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Stuck between WA6 and WA6 SE

post #1 of 168
Thread Starter 
I've narrowed my next amp down to these 2, one of which I plan on ordering within the next week. I can't decide whether or not the SE is worth 2x as much. I've read post after post on these amps and it doesn't seem to be helping me at coming to a conclusion; it seems every thread turns into an in-depth never-ending discussion on tube rolling, and I'm not there yet. I don't want to go with the regular 6 and regret it later. The only thing I'm sure of is that I'm getting the princess upgrade either way.

This amp will be used with my K-701 and whichever Senn I decide to buy for my next set - maybe the hd800 if mental illness takes over any sense of fiscal responsibility I have, but more likely the hd600 or 650. My source is my laptop (using foobar w/ asio4all plugin) ->coax -> Zero DAC -> amp. I listen to just about every genre of music except rap/hiphop. If I had to narrow it down to a few bands for examples, it would be Steely Dan, Frank Zappa, Ed Palermo, Bela Fleck, and Phish atm.

Will the regular 6 do? My wallet hopes so, although I want the SE if it's really worth it. If I decide to get the hd800, will it be enough? Would the SE even be enough? Any help will be appreciated!
post #2 of 168
i've had both for awhile now and can say with certainty that while the SE version is
outstanding the wa6 with the pdps is just as good, with less power output. the higher
power output will give you the perception of a larger soundstage thru the SE but if that's
not your priority then the wa6 with pdps is the way to go, especially at nearly half the
cost. just make sure your dac or source provide enough output power, at least 2.0 vrms.
if it's lower than that then you may have limited volume knob control on the wa6, especially
with low impedance cans like the k701, d5000 and grados. the higher impedance cans by
senn has no issue being driven by the wa6, so i suspect the hd800 will have none as well.

*well, i forgot to mention that the SE is direct coupled and ,perhaps as a result, the bass
is far better than what you'll get out of the wa6 even with the pdps. more extended with
better resolution and texture... more natural sounding bass.
post #3 of 168
I was in a similar dilemma and ended up choosing the SE, mainly because I wanted the flexibility of 2 inputs and 2 headphone jacks. Also, there is siginificant power output difference between the two, and although it may not necessarily translate to better sound, I wanted to "future proof" myself. From what I've read, WA6 with PDPS gets you pretty close to the SE, and probably gets you more "bang for the buck."
post #4 of 168
I'm in the same boat as well and I decided to go with WA6SE instead. The cost difference is $300 compare to WA6 with PDPS mod and WA6SE. The WA6SE does give me the convenience of dual input and dual headphone out that separate high and low impedance instead of a switch on the back. I will hold back on the Princess upgrade and get that later as I want to heard the difference of both tube.
post #5 of 168
Investment in the power supply is worthy if you are going to live with it a long time. If you want to sample the 6 and will be moving up the chain in the future, save your money and get the lesser. (opinion)

Gallup hey. Not too much happening there. Used to service the hospital for a couple days at a visit. Beautiful country. I was driving through some of the back roads and in the middle of nowhere, this guy was sitting on a rock in the heat of the season, full length black coat and pants. Guess he was sweating out the demons.

Here's a few links with the same question.

Woo WA6 or WA6-SE? Zero DAC or TC-7510?

WA6 maxxed out, WA6 stock, WA6 SE or Zana Deux for my system?
post #6 of 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by saintalfonzo View Post
Will the regular 6 do? If I decide to get the hd800, will it be enough? Would the SE even be enough?

1. Yes.
2. No one knows yet.
3. It better be!

My advice would be based on your wallet. If you can afford the SE, I suggest that you should get it. My suspicion is that it will scale up to the HD800 level better than the WA6. (I am commenting on a stock WA6 here. I have not heard a WA6 with pdps mod.)

I also believe you will be happier with the two outputs for headphones as opposed to a switch. Assuming the volume levels match fairly well, it is a nice feature to be able to drive two phones at once and you will have phones to do that with a Senn and your AKG.

Having said all of that, I think you would be very happy with the WA6 and how it drives and sounds with your K701's. We really won't know about the HD800 until later, but I haven't read anything to indicate that the WA6 couldn't perform reasonably well with them - at least as well as some of the demo amps used so far.
post #7 of 168
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your comments so far, you're all helping me toward a difficult decision. I'll check back later tonight after work. Unfortunately head-fi is firewalled from the hospital here (as are all message boards and forums), but somehow I can get on notebookreview there. I can only be entertained by nbr for so long, but can happily spend hours here, so I wish it was the other way around. Don't ask me how, it's been that way at both of the government facilities I've been at so far. Well thanks again!
post #8 of 168
Avoid buyers remorse at all costs, an amp like that will last you forever unless you are not completely thrilled. I also agree with Patrick in that the PS is crucial when getting a nice amp like that.
post #9 of 168
Thread Starter 
I think I may be leaning toward the WA6 with the Princess due to the fact that I'll be eating ramen for a couple weeks if I order the SE right now. I'm incredibly impatient and it's always been my worst downfall. I just want to get a build going asap - if only I could try them both to see the difference! I agree w/ olblueyez on the buyer's remorse comment, but I don't know if I would FEEL any remorse with the WA6/princess. Oh well, somebody stop me before tomorrow night if this is a huge mistake. I appreciate all the input and would rep you all if they did that rep garbage here. Later.
post #10 of 168
Are you considering the upgrade package on the WA6? This is just my opinion but I think I rather have the parts upgrade than the Sophia because most of the fun with an amp like that comes from tube rolling to find the perfect sound for your headphones. You can also tailor the sound for different sets of headphones if you use more than one set.
post #11 of 168
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by olblueyez View Post
Are you considering the upgrade package on the WA6? This is just my opinion but I think I rather have the parts upgrade than the Sophia because most of the fun with an amp like that comes from tube rolling to find the perfect sound for your headphones. You can also tailor the sound for different sets of headphones if you use more than one set.
Wow, thanks for the quick reply. This is really showing my inexperience/lack of knowledge with amps, because I didn't know I couldn't upgrade those parts later on. I really just want to go with the best deal I can get for now on this amp while being able to buy other upgrades later on. It's really not due to lack of research, but maybe just lack of retention/comprehension of what I've read. Maybe I should just save money for a month or so, but that's difficult for the crackhead-like need-it-now craving for a great tube amp. I could just buy senns now and save for the amp, as I intend on keeping my MKV anyway. I want to have a setup for fun - with tube tone and a rockin' set of phones - and an analytical setup. I really do have fun with the analytical setup I have presently anyway, but I'm craving the tubes too. It's not worth jumping at what I can afford atm... at least that's what I keep trying to tell myself anyway.
post #12 of 168
Go for the SE, you will always wonder if you made the right decision if you don't.
post #13 of 168
If you decide to get a regular WA6, get the PDPS option. Email Jack, I believe around 150 and is well worth it.
post #14 of 168
The WA6 with PDPS would sound great I am sure. With the Princess, probably up another notch. With the parts upgrade, probably up a less noticeable notch.

The WA6SE has the PDPS already fitted, so if you could run to that you can always ship it back later to Jack if you want the premium parts fitted, and you can always add a Sophia later too.

Being in the UK I went all out with the maxxed WA6 SE since shipping back for mods would be prohibitively expensive (although I did have to ship it back for the Princess mod to stop the sparking on power-up issue).

I really don't think you would be disappointed with either amp. What you haven't heard you won't miss and the WA6 would be sure to impress you.

Simon
post #15 of 168
Actually it's $110 for regular PDPS, $130 if you get the maxxed version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jc9394 View Post
If you decide to get a regular WA6, get the PDPS option. Email Jack, I believe around 150 and is well worth it.
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