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post #3166 of 3420

it's a transformer-output 6sn7->300b.  you've heard one, you've heard em all.  with the Woo, you get some of the world's best build quality, and top tier customer service, and very good output transformers. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

This is...actually...a really good idea...

 

10wpc @ 8 ohms...a great headamp and 300B goodness...

 

And 6SN7s...Hoo boy...

 

Has anyone actually done a review of this as a speaker amp primarily? Does it hold up in the price range? I mean, that's pretty much Leben money.

 

post #3167 of 3420

Not sure if you're saying that as a good thing or not. :D The 6SN7 is probably my favorite tube and people just rave about 300Bs so it seems legit to me. 

 

I've handled but never owned a Woo amp and build is definitely top notch. They're also gorgeous. Jack's service was pretty good when I bought my 009s from him so there's that. 

 

Seems like a good idea still though. I posted on SH to see what people thought compared to other tube amps in the price range like the Leben so we'll see what they say. If reviews are good vs other stuff in the price range it might be a go come tax season.

 

EDIT: After spending more time with my record collection I'm seriously considering making our speaker rig analogue only (well, maybe a Halide DAC or something for digital only copies). c:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

it's a transformer-output 6sn7->300b.  you've heard one, you've heard em all.  with the Woo, you get some of the world's best build quality, and top tier customer service, and very good output transformers. 

 


Edited by MorbidToaster - 12/4/12 at 8:58pm
post #3168 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

Not sure if you're saying that as a good thing or not. :D The 6SN7 is probably my favorite tube and people just rave about 300Bs so it seems legit to me. 

 

I've handled but never owned a Woo amp and build is definitely top notch. They're also gorgeous. Jack's service was pretty good when I bought my 009s from him so there's that. 

 

Seems like a good idea still though. I posted on SH to see what people thought compared to other tube amps in the price range like the Leben so we'll see what they say. If reviews are good vs other stuff in the price range it might be a go come tax season.

 

EDIT: After spending more time with my record collection I'm seriously considering making our speaker rig analogue only (well, maybe a Halide DAC or something for digital only copies). c:

 

 

I'd audition the Woo stuff for certain before a purchase if you can, seems like a lot of their money went into the aesthetics rather than the implementation.  The WA5, doesn't sound particularly 300b'ish in my opinion.  I sold mine in favor of UK's Audion brand.  Much better amplifier (maybe not aesthetically but depends on what your priorities are), especially in their 300b implementation.  Sounds like it should, silky smooth midrange, lush, emotional.  They have quite a few options if 300b doesn't suit your needs either. 

 

http://www.audion.co.uk/index.html

post #3169 of 3420

Their 300B offerings seems to hit about 4.5k minimum and that's about a grand more than I was looking to pay (especially if I end up blowing the speaker part of the budget) though I'll keep it in mind. Someone else suggested them as well...

 

How would you describe the WA5's sound then if not particularly 300B-ish? 6SN7-ish? Because I love that tube, too. It was my favorite when tube rolling in the LG.

 

EDIT: Trust me I'd like to audition before I buy. That's one reason I'm excited about the Leben again. Local dealer.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colinharding View Post

 

I'd audition the Woo stuff for certain before a purchase if you can, seems like a lot of their money went into the aesthetics rather than the implementation.  The WA5, doesn't sound particularly 300b'ish in my opinion.  I sold mine in favor of UK's Audion brand.  Much better amplifier (maybe not aesthetically but depends on what your priorities are), especially in their 300b implementation.  Sounds like it should, silky smooth midrange, lush, emotional.  They have quite a few options if 300b doesn't suit your needs either. 

 

http://www.audion.co.uk/index.html

post #3170 of 3420

Ditto to what's said above by Colin, and then that amplifier isn't even that great a headphone amp.  For that kind of money, there's First Watt to consider, Line Magnetic, Rogue Audio.  A plethora of more lauded choices.

post #3171 of 3420

Don't buy a Leben sight unseen.  I know more than one owner who highly regret their purchases. That makes an audition a must.

post #3172 of 3420

No rush and I'm considering all of those names. Though First Watt might be out of the price range and Rogue tends to be higher power than I plan on. They're pretty much the first choice if my current speaker choices don't work out.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Ditto to what's said above by Colin, and then that amplifier isn't even that great a headphone amp.  For that kind of money, there's First Watt to consider, Line Magnetic, Rogue Audio.  A plethora of more lauded choices.

 

I've said a few times that the local Zu and Devore dealer also deals in Leben. I've heard it before albeit a few years ago. Eager to hear it again.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

Don't buy a Leben sight unseen.  I know more than one owner who highly regret their purchases. That makes an audition a must.


Edited by MorbidToaster - 12/5/12 at 10:30am
post #3173 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by MorbidToaster View Post

Their 300B offerings seems to hit about 4.5k minimum and that's about a grand more than I was looking to pay (especially if I end up blowing the speaker part of the budget) though I'll keep it in mind. Someone else suggested them as well...

 

How would you describe the WA5's sound then if not particularly 300B-ish? 6SN7-ish? Because I love that tube, too. It was my favorite when tube rolling in the LG.

 

EDIT: Trust me I'd like to audition before I buy. That's one reason I'm excited about the Leben again. Local dealer.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Ditto to what's said above by Colin, and then that amplifier isn't even that great a headphone amp.  For that kind of money, there's First Watt to consider, Line Magnetic, Rogue Audio.  A plethora of more lauded choices.

 

Yep, I'll agree with sphnxvc here.  El Doug said earlier that if " you've heard one, you've heard em all."  Their money is in the build quality, which in a lot of ways is unsurpassed.  But they do all sound particularly "Woo."  To me that's very thin, spacious, detailed, and bright...regardless of the tube compliment.  The WA5 lacks weight and midrage plushness, though it looks great on the coffee table.  By no means did it sound like I paid ~5k for a single ended 300b amp.  This all comes down to their output transformers, they're wound in house but I've no idea how they're made or of what materials, but an amplifier is only as good as it's output trans.  The Audio Note Kits company makes an EL84 based class A amplifier that is for heaphones and speakers, that is something you should also take a look at.  EL84 is a great tube IMO.  Outputs will be of much better quality as they were designed by Andy Grove specifically for use in this application.


Edited by colinharding - 12/5/12 at 11:04am
post #3174 of 3420

@ MT, Perhaps you're thinking of Pass Labs?  First Watt is pretty affordable.  $1.5-2K for M2 or F3.  $2.5-3K for J2.  Low power too.

 

A J2 was effectively stolen on Audiogon recently for $2K.  frown.gif

 

Line Magnetic stuff is super nice too (speaking from some brief personal experience).  Here's Devore demo'ing his speakers with Line Magnetic @ a recent RMAF, he also uses them at Monkeyhaus, which speaks to his confidence in them.

 

Eh, I say that but...I always chicken out when it comes time to buy tube gear.  That'd be how I ended up with the Odyssey.  And much as I like to think I'll eventually end up with a nice Line Magnetic or some other tube amp, it's more than likely going to be a FW.

 

--

 

Good luck come tax season.


Edited by sphinxvc - 12/5/12 at 11:07am
post #3175 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

 

Rack:

p1010848a.jpg


 

Top to bottom:

Blue Hawaii amp

Sennheiser HEV90 Orpheus

Blue Hawaii PSU / Dayton speaker amp

Menace amp

Menace PSU

Accuphase DP 75

 

Headphones:

p1010840q.jpg

 

 

Holy sheep!!~~!@

post #3176 of 3420

Always remarkable to see N3rdling!

post #3177 of 3420

Looks a bit different these days.  I need a 2nd rack frown.gif

post #3178 of 3420
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

Looks a bit different these days.  I need a 2nd rack frown.gif

what I wouldn't give for a 2nd rack... tongue_smile.gif

 

Very impressive collection of phones. May I ask if you have a favorite?

post #3179 of 3420

HE90 smily_headphones1.gif

post #3180 of 3420

So I made a trip to my dealer today to listen to some systems (speakers + amps). 

 

Source was my personal LPs on a Well Tempered Labs table (~3k) with (strangely enough) a Dynavector 20X (same as my current Scout). Along with a (I guess) reasonably priced Leben Phono Stage (~2.5k).

 

Anyway, I tested the Devore 88s, Zu Soul Superfly, and Harbeth SHL-5. Amp was the Leben 300XS (15wpc I believe). I heard the Devores with the Line Magnetic 218ia as well, but it had literally just been sold when I got there so it ended up walking about before I could hear it with more than a few songs (the customer actually waited for me to get there so I could at least hear it a bit, what a nice guy). 

 

As far as ranking these 3 it's pretty easy to do. 

 

Third: Devore 88

Second: Zu Superfly

First: HL-5

 

This order was much easier than I thought it would be to pick. The Harbeth was easily the winner. Even my wife(ish) who has the 'it all sounds good' attitude picked the Harbeth. 

 

I was absolutely floored by the Harbeth HL-5. It just out did the others in every way. The Devore while it sounded nice didn't go anywhere near deep enough bass wise and seemed a bit 'shouty'. It was a pretty short audition on those. It was fairly obvious with the first bass test that they just wouldn't work without a nice sub for my kind of music. The Harbeths came on next and set the bar. Stunning mids, deep bass (rated down to 40), and the higs were smooth but well extended. I liked that part quite a bit. Next the Zus. My dealer laughed as I asked him to put them on and said 'Good luck finding better than those HL5s'. While the Superfly was not a bad speaker by any means (and was cheaper than the HL5) something just felt off. The highs were 'off' the bass was 'off'. There was nothing in particular that stood out as bad...they were just off. 

 

If I'd had the money right then and there I'd honestly have walked out with the HL-5 and the Leben 300XS (and the gorgeous rack it all sat on). I was that happy with it. Some people have said they're not a good match but I'd say to those people you're fools. It may not seem optimal in the numbers game but the amp didn't struggle to push them way beyond where I listen and it sounded fantastic. I didn't hear any other amps, but I'd say a sound I can't really find anything wrong with is a success. 

 

I'll be returning in a few weeks to do a shootout between the 218ia and Leben 300XS but out of all the speakers he has in that store I think these Harbeths are the ones. I might try a few others just for the sake of it, but they're his favorites and right around my max as far as spending goes. 

 

This was the scene today. Except with less people. I was stunned by how well the rack matched the wood on the Leben pieces, but the wife(ish) was having none of the gold color. 70's porno was her description of it. I honestly loved it. I forgot how much better Leben gear looks in person. The rack is a Box Audio rack. 

 

1000

Main test records were Pretty Hate Machine (NIN), Conditions of my Parole (Puscifer), and James Blake (James Blake). 

 

Picked up an LP for the wife(ish). An Imported Bowie compilation, and a good looking copy of Heart's Dreamboat Annie for myself. I'll definitely be back to see Bryan as soon as possibly. One of most down to earth audio guys I've had the pleasure of having an extended conversation with.

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