Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Woo Audio WA6 SE - Internal Photos, Pg. 10/11
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Woo Audio WA6 SE - Internal Photos, Pg. 10/11 - Page 8

post #106 of 183
Ok, I just went from a good rectifier, a Sylvania, to a GZ34 metal bass and the difference, with my modified 6 and dual ps, is more dramatic than before. So with the SE and its dual supply the change would have to be pretty much the same. With the GZ34 metal the sound really opened up, the depth increased, the bass firmed, which was already good. what I am saying is with all the refinement in the ps of the modified 6 or the SE you are going to notice more changes, good and bad and that a good high quality tub e rectifier is going to make a more substantial difference than in some other circuits. Again the good and bad points are going to be magnified due to the higher degree of articulation.
post #107 of 183
So, I've been playing around w/ WA6 SE now for some time trying to like it, without much success... initially. I first burned it in more; no avail there, I can't say I've heard any difference after burning in, although the amp definitely needs to be warmed up for a few minutes to sound its best. So, I decided to attack the weakest link first, and in my case, it was the interconnects. I've made myself ICs in the past, but nothing I was in love with. This time I ended up with a tribraid of .999 solid-silver that made a world of difference. Well to put things into perspective, cables never make a 'world' of difference. But, these cables made strong and meaningful contributions to the overall sound, and being silver I would have never expected that they would tame the shrill upper-midband frequencies. There is still an inherent brightness to the sound of the amp in that freq. band that I think does need a rectifier change to be completely ameliorated, but the cables refined the sound of this amp to such an extent that I am now quite please with my WA6 SE. Truth is, I'm quite enamored with these little silver cables. So enamored, in fact, that I'm considering starting a small co. to sell them to audiophiles who are dismayed by the high prices of silver ICs (and ICs in general). My target price right now is to sell a 2' pair for $40 USD and I'm fielding if there is enough interest and demand. I'll keep you filled in on the progress of that endeavor; now I need to commit to a rectifier tube and find a good used one...
post #108 of 183
I took some advice here, and picked up two NOS 5U4G Coke Bottle ST "Premium Rectifier Tubes" on ebay, one is a Sylvania and the other RCA, for $24.97 + shipping for both. I have the RCA (Emerson labeled) warming up right now but it sounded pretty decent cold. So, well see...

I also got a used but tests strong RCA Black Base/Plate 5U4G Full Wave Rectifier Tube for $14.99 shipped, that isn't here yet. Good deals are out there.
post #109 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwwhats View Post
So, I've been playing around w/ WA6 SE now for some time trying to like it, without much success... initially. I first burned it in more; no avail there, I can't say I've heard any difference after burning in, although the amp definitely needs to be warmed up for a few minutes to sound its best. So, I decided to attack the weakest link first, and in my case, it was the interconnects. I've made myself ICs in the past, but nothing I was in love with. This time I ended up with a tribraid of .999 solid-silver that made a world of difference. Well to put things into perspective, cables never make a 'world' of difference. But, these cables made strong and meaningful contributions to the overall sound, and being silver I would have never expected that they would tame the shrill upper-midband frequencies. There is still an inherent brightness to the sound of the amp in that freq. band that I think does need a rectifier change to be completely ameliorated, but the cables refined the sound of this amp to such an extent that I am now quite please with my WA6 SE. Truth is, I'm quite enamored with these little silver cables. So enamored, in fact, that I'm considering starting a small co. to sell them to audiophiles who are dismayed by the high prices of silver ICs (and ICs in general). My target price right now is to sell a 2' pair for $40 USD and I'm fielding if there is enough interest and demand. I'll keep you filled in on the progress of that endeavor; now I need to commit to a rectifier tube and find a good used one...
Thanks and glad you are liking the WA6 SE now! I'm looking forward to testing and reporting on the cables when they arrive later. I wasn't a big fan of cables till I got into headphones that were very resolving. I definitely have some cables that I can hear make the sound worse, and several cables that I can hear sound like I expected and very transparent.

I have a pair of XLR interconnects that if I insert them between my Balanced HD600 headphones and amp they will clearly harm the sparkle in the treble, reduce micro-detail and shrink the soundstage. I'll report on that soon with another Write-up that Blutarsky and I are doing from a mini-meet on the 19th.
post #110 of 183

Does the SE...

Does the SE have a powerful, dynamic, fast, sharp, high impact sound - as well as a rich, highly detailed, highly resolved sound?

I gather from the various comments, the maxed WA6 does - but, does the SE also?

I'm still trying to decide between the two.

I'd prefer the smaller footprint of the maxed WA6, but only if it sounds as good as the SE - which it sounds like it probably does.
post #111 of 183
I'm looking at these 2 & is leaning towards SE (as much as I prefer a smaller WA6 maxed) because I can always max the SE later should I crave for more performance; instead of changing amp.
post #112 of 183

I Was Too...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonq View Post
I'm looking at these 2 & is leaning towards SE (as much as I prefer a smaller WA6 maxed) because I can always max the SE later should I crave for more performance; instead of changing amp.
I was leaning towards the SE also... but, I'd really prefer the smaller size of the WA6... and... if it sounds just as good, or within 5%, or so... then... why not the maxed WA6. At least that's the way it seems to me.

It appears to me the two are virtually identical, except for the additional transformers, and the separate PSU of the SE. It seems difficult to believe these can make much difference in the sound (assuming the pseudo-dual power supply of the WA6, and the BG upgrades).
post #113 of 183
I would describe the WA6 SE as very fast, very detailed, VERY dynamic and impactful, very sharp, EXTREMELY high resolution, with the UTMOST transparency. These are its primary sound characteristics. Secondary to that is richness. But, don't get carried away with adjectives; this amp has a tremendous WOW factor that doesn't diminish with time. Actually, I would say it grows with time. Chopping up the whole picture of what this amp does into little bite-sized adjectives does a lot to take away from conveying an accurate impression of it's capabilities. Overall, it damn near sounds real! It's like describing a Ferrari as fast and agile, with sleek lines, and good looks. Those words don't make me want to spend $200K on the car, but once you see it, touch it, and drive it... ah then you can understand why it's so desirable. So, back to this amp; if you heard it, you'd definitely re-read my above description and say "yeah, I can see how you chose those adjectives." But, ultimately those words do no justice to the emotional and visceral impact of this master-piece. If I had to do it again, I'd buy this amp without any hesitation! Not on that, but I'd be quite upset if I couldn't get it and had to settle on something else. Just make sure everything else in the chain is up to par, because it will definitely reveal what's there.
post #114 of 183

That's Understood... But...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwwhats View Post
I would describe the WA6 SE as very fast, very detailed, VERY dynamic and impactful, very sharp, EXTREMELY high resolution, with the UTMOST transparency. These are its primary sound characteristics. Secondary to that is richness. But, don't get carried away with adjectives; this amp has a tremendous WOW factor that doesn't diminish with time. Actually, I would say it grows with time. Chopping up the whole picture of what this amp does into little bite-sized adjectives does a lot to take away from conveying an accurate impression of it's capabilities. Overall, it damn near sounds real! It's like describing a Ferrari as fast and agile, with sleek lines, and good looks. Those words don't make me want to spend $200K on the car, but once you see it, touch it, and drive it... ah then you can understand why it's so desirable. So, back to this amp; if you heard it, you'd definitely re-read my above description and say "yeah, I can see how you chose those adjectives." But, ultimately those words do no justice to the emotional and visceral impact of this master-piece. If I had to do it again, I'd buy this amp without any hesitation! Not on that, but I'd be quite upset if I couldn't get it and had to settle on something else. Just make sure everything else in the chain is up to par, because it will definitely reveal what's there.
That's understood... but... is it really much better than the maxed out WA6.

That's what I have difficulty believing - given their similarities.
post #115 of 183
Speaking to Jack Woo about the WA6 SE, he explains that the design of the WA6 SE is quite a great deal different than the design of the WA6. I've never heard the WA6, but I get the impression from Jack that, although their sound character is cut from the same cloth, they are not quite on the same level.
post #116 of 183

Yeah...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmwwhats View Post
Speaking to Jack Woo about the WA6 SE, he explains that the design of the WA6 SE is quite a great deal different than the design of the WA6. I've never heard the WA6, but I get the impression from Jack that, although their sound character is cut from the same cloth, they are not quite on the same level.
Yeah... that's what he told me also - although somewhat indirectly.

I'm a bit uncomfortable with "suggestion" and "inuendo" - much more comfortable with "firm, absolute statements and comparisons" by those who have experienced them both (e.g. Jack, etc.).

And... I'm sure there's a bit of "paternal pride."

Also... except for the transformers, and separate dual power supply, I'm a bit uncertain of any other differences - and that those alone would improve the sound of the standard SE that much over the maxed WA6.

I can see how the maxed SE could be quite a bit better... but... I'm not clear that the standard SE could be. And... I'm not really prepared to sink another $500 in the SE for even a 10-15% improvement, which I also doubt is likely (i.e. a 5-10% improvement is much more believable - but at that price premium?).

In other words... if the maxed WA6 and standard SE sound about the same (<5% difference), and assuming a person will not spend the additional $500 for a 10-15% improvement, and they want a smaller footprint - then why choose the SE over the WA6?

Of course there are several assumptions in this statement - but, so far, not even Jack has suggested the standard SE is sufficiently better to justify accepting its larger footprint - unless you're going to upgrade it, and you don't mind the larger footprint. It's more like he's saying - "the maxed SE is 10-15% better than the maxed WA6, so you should get the maxed SE, if you don't mind its larger footprint, and spending $500 more."

That's what Jack seems to be saying to me. But... I'm really not sure... since he speaks in "suggestion and inuendo."

And... of course... there's always another consideration - how big is the market for a $1600+ amp, when you decide to sell it? There's a much greater risk of loss on resale. There's even a fair risk of loss on the maxed WA6, upon resale, though it would necessarily be less than the maxed SE. Witness the large losses on the high priced SPs. I'm not a big fan of large losses.

So... for me... it seems to get down to... do I mind spending $1600 for an amp... and do I mind large losses when I resell it... and if so... then I might as well get the smaller maxed WA6, because they sound very similar - or, at least they do... until Jack says... unequivocally and absolutely... the SE sounds much better.

But... like "jamato8" - "that's just me."
post #117 of 183
I like using inductors very much, which is the main difference with the SE and the fact that the two halves of the tube are direct coupled, which means there is no cap in the signal path. Less is better? Normally but I have designed both ways and frankly I don't mind a "good" cap. The 6 with the dual power supply and extra cap stage I have is as described above, a sound that is fast, very transparent, solid deep bass that is clean and does not muddy the lower mids, and a very good and refined top end. I would though divide the supply as I have done in the 6 with 2 resistors per side vs the 1 that is used on the modification from Jack as this allows for another cap per side and further smoothing of the DC. So instead of 1 1000 ohm per side I use a 460 and a 500 ohm with a cap between the two. Resistors also help to decrease ripple and they aren't expensive. I also come off of the first cap from each side for the front section of the tube rather than coming right off of the rectifier. This gives further refinement for the driver section as it now has more refined power supply and a balanced current demand. I love using inductors but I think in this design you will get most everything in a single amp. I would enjoy getting an SE some day as it would be fun to have more room to play around with but that is me.
post #118 of 183
I'm not verse in EE design but my prior experience with Naim 72/140 amps show pretty big improvement with upgrade in PS; in the form of a Hi-cap. Not sure if that's the dif between WA6 & SE though.
post #119 of 183
Gradofan, sounds like your best bet might be to get a maxxed WA6 with pseudoPS... and remember Jack does have a return policy; if you don't love it, give it back....
post #120 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonq View Post
I'm not verse in EE design but my prior experience with Naim 72/140 amps show pretty big improvement with upgrade in PS; in the form of a Hi-cap. Not sure if that's the dif between WA6 & SE though.
What is a Hi-cap?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Woo Audio WA6 SE - Internal Photos, Pg. 10/11