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Woo 3+: Adventures in Tuberolling (update page 6) - Page 6

post #76 of 90
Thread Starter 

Well, this thread sunk to the bottom a LONG time ago, lol.  I spent a long time away from this ridiculous and insane and expensive hobby, preferring to blow all my money on other frivolous pursuits, mainly collecting vintage Gillette razors and indulging in other shavanalia. In the intervening year and a half plus, I spent little time collecting and improving on my audio equipment, and stayed away from this board for my own mental health...


Until recently...more on that later.


Looking back over this thread, I am embarassed at some of my earlier, more naive impressions...it was a dive in headlong, with inexperience and exuberance. Everything was hyperbolic and AMAZING(!).  From here on out, I'll be speaking less with the voice of a Head-Fi parrot (I read a lot less of what others have to say, unless it's something I'm interested in...no more trolling every thread, wishing I had bigger, better, more), and will try for a more careful and analytical approach.


So, first, the equipment changes since I last updated this thread...um...some feet, some dampers (as needed), an Isoclean fuse, and that's pretty much it.  The biggest and best improvement to date came with having Jack Woo replace the stock caps with Black Gates.  This brought a level of refinement, definition, separation, and detail that I didn't think this amp was capable of.  Well worth the expense!  Around that time (about a month or so ago) I also went off the deep end, and gave in to my long-repressed tube collecting desires, and picked up the following:


Tung-Sol 5998 - 1961 (to go with the two I had)
Tung-Sol 6520 - 1952 NOS x2
Tung-Sol 7236 - 1964, cryo treated (I wanted a spare...this was the floodgate opener)
GE 6AS7G - 1948, clear top, copper radiators
RCA 6AS7G - 1950's, black plates, bottom getters

Amperex E88CC/6922 - 1959 (*9K), Hicksville NY production, D getters, PQ Shield label, matched pair x2
Amperex PCC88/7DJ8 - 1968, Heerlen Holland production, Valvo/BWB labels, matched quad
Mullard ECC88/6DJ8 - 1966 (B6B3), Blackburn UK production, IEC labels, matched pair
Siemens & Halske CCa - 1961 (A0 1≠ 2K), Munich production, matched pair
Voskhod 6N1P - 1978, Kaluga City production, Russian Milsurp x8


As you can see, by today's rates this was not a cheap mania, especially those CCa's and those Valvo and Amperex PQ quads.  All of them are awesome sounding tubes, all offering their own take on amplification.  There were some suprises, but none were misses.  If I had been more careful earlier on I would have done things differently, but this time I did my homework, price be damned.  No, I didn't commit commercial suicide, but I spent way more than I ever intended to, lol.

I'm not going to go into every possible permutation and combination of each and every tube option, but instead, if there is interest in a specific tube or combination that you would like to know more about, by all means ask, and I'll do the rolling and comparisons for you.  Forget a lot that other crap I said earlier (most of it anyway)...I think I now have a much more solid footing (based in reality, lol). 


Fact of the matter is that I never got around to writing up full reviews/impressions of most of those earlier tubes because most of them sucked, and I stuck with pretty much one set the whole time...TS 5998 & Siemens 7308.  I could go into detail about the 6080WB, or others, but bottom line is they just were not all that great.  Sure, the 7236 is a winner, and the Siemens 6922 is nice, but my tube taste has refined and I have new faves.  I'll say this, for now: the 5998 is still king, and the CCa is all they are hyped up to be.  Strangely enough, they )the CCa) are not my faves...but man, are they close.


Questions/thoughts/who cares Monkey?


Thanks for reading this far...

Edited by Golden Monkey - 10/30/10 at 2:28am
post #77 of 90

What does affect the sound of the Woo WA3 the most in tube rolling, the power tube 6AS7-6080 or the drive tubes 6DJ8-6922?

Is there a WA3 schematic available anywhere?



post #78 of 90
Thread Starter 

I think you get different flavors of sound between rolling the power or driver tubes.  With power tubes you mostly get variations on gain and bass impact and how the music (again, mostly in the bass department) is "controlled" if that makes any sense.  Certain power tubes do a better job of tightening up and articulation of the bass (like the 5998), while others provide more slam (like the 7236).  There's also a difference in dynamics as well...some 6080's I've tried sound dull or muddy the image a bit, and compress the soundstage.  The 6520, in contrast to say a 6AS7G sounds very similar, but has a more open and airy feel to it. 


With driver tubes, there's a HUGE difference in sound from one tube to another (in my experience), and this is where the widest range of variety lies.  Some tubes sound very warm and intimate (Mullards), some are more detailed and "precise" (Siemens), others more sweet and pleasant (Holland Amperex).  Those are sweeping generalities though.  When you "drill down" into each manufacturer's offerings and compare various types they made, things differentiate again.  Let's take Amperex as an example: 6DJ8's are a lovely and smooth tube with sweet midrange, detailed bass, and a pleasing, slightly rolled off top end.  These sound very "vintage" and intimate, leaning towards a warmer presentation. Amperex 6922's are a little more detailed and nuanced, and with a little "sizzle" to them (not to be taken literally...by sizzle I mean they have a touch more liveliness to them), but still retain that "Amperex sound".  Siemens tubes tend to become more detailed and airy, neutral in tone but with a wider soundstage and more instrument separation as you move from 6DJ8 > 6922 > 7308 > CCa.  There's a lot of room for detail and comparison here, but I'll leave it at that for now, lol.


So to sum that up, I think each tube (power or pre) in and of itself changes things overall on their own, but you'll find the biggest differences between swapping sets wholesale, and finding that magical combination that yields the results you're looking for.  I guess the answer is "neither and both", lol.  You need to see what each tube brings to the table and mix and match flavors.


As for the Woo schematic, no, there's isn't one out there, but Jack's got a pic of the innards onhis site, and if you are really good with parts identification you can probably figure out what's in there.  It's a clean and simple design without a lot of crap to clutter up the signal paths, but the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts, that's for sure.

post #79 of 90

Thanks Golden Monkey. I am using now a Tung Sol 5998. The difference from the stock tube is noticeable in the bass department as well in the overall music presentation with my HD580. I also liked the RCAs 6AS7 and a 7236 is on the way. As driver tubes I am using Sylvanias JAN 6DJ8 but I am waiting for some ECC88 6DJ8 Amperex Holland. Have you tried a 6528A tube? It seems it can help low impedance headphones such as AKG 701 but I am not sure if the WA3 can handle it. I asked Jack about this tube but did not get any answer. Thanks again.

post #80 of 90
Thread Starter 

The 5998 is such a well rounded and magical tube...I really can't think of a compelling arguement to use any other in my Woo, lol...but of course I do...it's just never as satisfying.  I think you're really going to like the Amperex 6DJ8, great choice.  Try that with the 5998 driving your K701's...you'll most likely find them warmed up quite a bit!


I've not tried that 6528A...I'm assuming by the designation it's a Tung-Sol (or Chatham)?  I'll have to look into it, thanks.  The ONE tube I tried that works that I would urge caution with is the TS 6520...it is a higher gain than most in the family, and draws a lot of current, so the amp gets hot, especially on longer listening sessions. 

post #81 of 90


Originally Posted by Happy Camper View Post


What is the pair of tubes you like best with the Extreme? I'm using the RCA 6080s and would like to get a set for the K701s that would flush out a bit better bass. I'm leaning towards the TS 5998s.

Man you have a lot of tube eaters. You'd have to have a family member selling tubes to roll all those amps.


Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

In my Extreme I use an ECC32 for the driver tube, and a pair of GEC 6AS7G's for the power tubes. The British GEC tubes have a quite different plate structure from the US 6AS7G's - they have the detail and bass power of the 5998, but with the warmth and liquidity of the RCA 6AS7G. They are my favorite 6AS7 type. Unfortunately, they tend to be hard to find.

HC, I recently acquired a pair of gec 6as7g's. Next meet I will be sure to let you try them.

post #82 of 90

I've not tried that 6528A...I'm assuming by the designation it's a Tung-Sol (or Chatham)?  I'll have to look into it, thanks. 


The datasheet is here: 6528A.pdf. It is a improved 6528. The heater current is 5A against 2.5A of the 6520 evil_smiley.gif. I will stay away from them to avoid "melting" my WA3.biggrin.gif

Edited by jcbrunelli - 12/7/10 at 1:50am
post #83 of 90


Originally Posted by jcbrunelli View Post


I've not tried that 6528A...I'm assuming by the designation it's a Tung-Sol (or Chatham)?  I'll have to look into it, thanks. 


The datasheet is here: 6528A.pdf. It is a improved 6528. The heater current is 5A against 2.5A of the 6520 evil_smiley.gif. I will stay away from them to avoid "melting" my WA3.biggrin.gif

DEFINITELY do not try to use a 6528 in Woo amps.  No way.  That tube is not even close to being a direct sub for the 6AS7G.  And to make matters even worse, it's a crappy sounding tube.

post #84 of 90
Thread Starter 

Holy crap, that thing has a gain of nine!  Danger, Will Robinson!

post #85 of 90

Golden Monkey,

how are the Voskhod 6N1P tubes compared to the rest of the group? i got my WA3+ from head-fi a while ago but haven't rolled tubes. the russian tubes seem most affordable...

post #86 of 90
Thread Starter 

The 6N1P sounds really nice for the money, for sure...actually, they sound good period.  They are a nice quiet tube (mine are the "stock" version...not the EV, "hardened" ones).  These sound very detailed, clean, and smooth, reminding me of Siemens E88CC/6922's from the 70's.  An excellent tube value because they must have made them by the millions for the Soviet military and Eastern Europe must be flooded with them now, lol. 


You should note that the 6N1P isn't a direct 6DJ8/6922 drop-in replacement, as they draw a little more current, so they run on the hot side.  They are fine in the Woo as the power suppy can more than handle it, but a nearly exact Soviet equivalent is the 6N23P.  Either will work fine, but since the 6N1P is rated with slightly different specs they can be had for a lot less. 


Anyway, the 6N1P compared to the rest of my tubes hold up pretty well...I like them much more than the stock Sylvania 6922, but they don't have quite the character to set them on par with the others.  They are neutral and don't seem to color the sound in any way, so they sort of have this solid state feel to them.  The fact that you can get eight of them and pay more for the shipping than you do for the tubes themselves and they are a better sounding replacement than the stock ones makes them a fantastic value for the budget-conscious.

post #87 of 90
thanks for the info! will get some 6N1P tubes. when i got my WA3+ it did come with a Chatham 5998 and two Bugle Boy 6DJ8 tubes. seeing how expensive they are i decided to start with the stock tubes to form a base-line. as i also have a DV336i i have some 6080/6AS7 tubes to roll for my WA3+. :)
post #88 of 90
Geez, all this is sooooo over my head I don't even know enough to ask the question.
So it's like this. I'm chasing a preorder of the new Audeze LCD2 headphones. I was pointed to a DAC/AMP combo preamp package, The APEX peak and APEX Volcano with a LAVRY DA11. So what does the Woo have over this arrangement?
post #89 of 90

the Peak / Volcano is a much better amp than the WA3 the WA3 is nice for the price, but isnt in the same league as the Apex

post #90 of 90
Thread Starter 

Uh...well, I guess all you could say the Woo has over THAT is bang for the buck...but that setup is WAY more bucks, lol.

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