Originally Posted by sonq
I'll likely get flame for this. I've heard the ZD driving RS1000 that's burnt-in, warmed up with decent cables & CDP - not an enjoyable experience - dry and bright. Maybe it's the choice of tubes or a case of over-expectation after reading so many great posts and excitement about it. It did much better on AD2000 but still not something I'll crave for.
I'm sure it could be tubes - there is no one set or fixed sound for a tube amp. When we're talking less than 5% difference in sound it could be due to not using the best tubes, length of warmup, interconnects, power cables, impedance matching, synergy with a certain headphone, and more. We did use the same source, interconnects and headphones with the same warm up time (each time we gave them all up to three hours to reach peak performance, and with the Zana vs Melos they were run for 6 hours). And all amps were plugged into the same power conditioner.
I'd bet I can roll tubes to make the WA6 gain that 3-4% or even beat the Melos, till Blutarsky changes his tubes too, but then we could do the same with the Zana Deux and have them all trade places with each other. I was using a <$100 Amperex Bugle Boy GZ34 rectifier and the WA6 is sensitive to changing recitifiers - my Sylvania or RCA 5U4G or 1955 Phillips Metal base might have sounded even better if I'd thought to bring them or my other 3 pairs of driver tubes to try. I could also have used my Sovtek or Svetlana 5AR4 rectifiers and made the WA6 sound like 85% of the Melos
My point was that a Maxed WA6 with pseudo dual power supply, Melos SHA Gold, and Zana Deux can all be within 5% of each other depending on the setup, and I think that is lofty company to keep. Everything I have heard about the WA6 SE says it will perform similarly.