WA76 issues... :(

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by MustangMan78, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. MustangMan78


    Mar 20, 2021
    So, day two of owning my WA76...I turn everything on and notice the VU meter is not moving. I play with the settings and poof, there's no compression at all. When I unboxed it last night and hooked it up, everything was working fine, in fact it sounded AMAZING! Needless to say, I'm pretty bummed right now, as I have a gig this weekend and now am going to have to use my Keeley Compressor Pro instead.

    I just finished e-mailing WA's support, so hopefully they have some ideas as to what could be happening. I'm hoping I unwittingly activated some sort of bypass mode, but if it has one, it's news to me!

    Anyone have any ideas? Literally nothing changed from last night to tonight, except I was playing with the "all buttons in" mode and tweaking other settings. The VU meter does not move off of zero and it passes a dry signal through with no issue. As I crank the output it does get a little hissy, as I would expect.
  2. Driven Crane

    Driven Crane

    May 30, 2014
    it is TOO warm, as we may see...
  3. MustangMan78


    Mar 20, 2021
    Well, I got a response back from their support first thing this morning (PROPS +). It seems like a catastrophic failure (BOO -). They proposed I return it to Sam Ash and exchange it for another one. Of course, they don't have it in stock, but can hopefully ship it from another store in the chain. I'm hoping it'll arrive before my gig on Saturday. Otherwise, it looks like I'm using my Keeley as a backup or an old US-made dbx 166XL that I have sitting around.
  4. MustangMan78


    Mar 20, 2021
    So, to follow up…it’s November and I got finally got the replacement unit (supply chain issues, etc.). I plug it in, and still am having the same issue! The VU shows no compression at any setting. When I have the +4 or +8 buttons pressed in, the needle sits all the way at the left and moves a tiny bit to the right when I play.

    I’m at a loss. I can’t believe two units in a row would be dead! I power the unit from my Furman power conditioner, and my signal chain goes from my Mustang Bass, to my Korg PitchBlack rack tuner, to the WA76 to my Fender Rumble 500. I even tried bypassing the Korg and had the same results.

    I’m hoping someone has some ideas?
  5. Have you tried running the compressor in the effects loop of the amp?
    Jazz Ad likes this.
  6. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    The WA76 wants to see a line level input AFAIK
    halech54 and el murdoque like this.
  7. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
    Yeah, you need a preamp or something on the front end of the compressor to hit it with more signal.
  8. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    +1 regarding preamp; also it probably has fully balanced IO so you need to feed it a balanced signal and use a power amp or powered speaker with balanced input. Although you did say the first unit worked briefly….
  9. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    So did you try plugging it into the effect loop ?
  10. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    Looks like it will accept unbalanced IO so the fx loop would be a good call.
    OP, one of the switches for the meter is the Off button not just to turn off the meter but also bypasses the processing. There is also a 23db (!) input pad make sure that is not engaged.
    Hope you get it working I’ll bet it’s a sweet sounding unit.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2021
  11. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Yes, it is made for line level. It will accept unbalanced signals through a 1/4" TS connection, but wants to see line level signal strength.
    It's on page 5 of the manual.
  12. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Pair that with a Warm Audio WA73 (clone of Neve 1073 preamp) to boost your signal to line level, and you'll be off to the races.

    (Or, get yourself an Origin Effect Cali76. It's a 76-style compressor in pedal format, designed for instrument-level input.)
    halech54 and Rick Brienzo like this.
  13. MustangMan78


    Mar 20, 2021
    Ok, so I think I have this thing figured out and I'm thinking maybe the old one wasn't bad after all! Maybe I just forgot playing around with it and happened to have a chain that worked.

    Anyways, I patched the WA76 through the effects loop on the Rumble. Still the same issue...until I reduced the preamp gain and boosted the master. (I remembered reading that the Rumbles are weird like that.) Voila, I have compression! So yes, it has to do with the line level signal.

    That all said, I'm now in the market for a preamp, because I hate using the master volume to slam the signal and want to control everything prior to it going into the amp. That master volume quirk is just terrible! I'm thinking the WA73-EQ will be perfect, as it has the perfect frequency shelves for cutting highs and lows and carving out the bass fundamentals. I'm hoping with that, I won't need the Broughton Audio High + Low Pass Filter I was looking at. Until I can save up for that, I'll probably just put my MXR Bass DI in between the tuner and the WA76 to boost the signal.
  14. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Why not just look at a new amp at this point? I mean, if you want to purchase the WA73 don't let me stop you but it's a rather expensive band-aid type of fix to me.
  15. Roxbororob

    Roxbororob Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2015
    There is nothing weird or terrible about the master volume quirk. The master is simply at the end of the preamp, many amps are like this (look in the manual). The amp is fine

    I dont mean to offend but you just need to learn your gear.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2021
  16. halech54


    Jul 15, 2015
    Richmond VA,
    To each their own wanting to take what I'm assuming will be a racked 1176 and a 1073 out to a gig, but man their are pedal alternatives, really great ones might I add, that are designed for this sort of thing. All I can say is that the Cali76 is a fantastic 1176 clone in pedal format, and there are multiple Neve styled preamps from Broughton, if you can find them, and even JHS' Colourbox. I'd just as sooner grab an interface and use plugins live before going the route you are for a specific signal, but to each their own.
    Mushroo, Roxbororob and Rick Brienzo like this.
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol

    Just get a comp pedal and be done. It's what they're for. You're trying the wrong tool for the job here.
    Roxbororob likes this.
  18. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    The wa 73eq is awesome, if you don’t mind lugging it around. It has a really nice hpf built in; no lpf but you can roll off highs with the eq - not the same thing but very usable. The inductor eq sounds killer even set flat btw. People talk about “studio grade” pedals and I certainly love mine, but the real studio gear is on another level IMO. As usual YMMV
    31HZ and Mushroo like this.
  19. MustangMan78


    Mar 20, 2021
    I could, but I’m really digging the Rumble outside of the Master Volume thing. Plus, like I said, there’s other benefits to the EQ.
  20. MustangMan78


    Mar 20, 2021
    I’m just used to building a signal path a certain way, and for me, master volume should be a power amp level setting at the very end of the signal chain. It’s how every guitar amp I’ve ever owned works and it’s how live sound works, which is my background and probably why I’m so set in my ways!
    31HZ and Derek Williams like this.