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The Woo Audio 6 SE: My Impressions *updated*

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 
i had the WA6SE for about a week now, so i thought it'd be time to give some impressions. i originally wanted to wait a bit til i received the MAD ear+ purist to do a comparison, however it did not arrive yet, so i will save that for later.

to be honest, i was not initially "blown away" by this amp at all. this is a very different sounding amp aside from all the amps i had in the past. it took me a while to adjust to the sound and appreciate its qualities. the WA6SE is not a traditional tube amp. in fact it sounds like a hybrid of solid state/tube. it's got the details, punch, and dynamics of a SS and the warmth and (massive) soundstage of a tube. it is an very involving amp and takes your mind away from anything else that you're doing (i had to pause the music while writing this). it does however needs a good warming up before a good listen. i say a good 30-45 mins for the initial bit of harshness to go away.

the WA6SE is indeed in a class of its own. it immerses you into the music letting you hear everything; every note and beat with precision and detail. bass notes hit with snap, drums hit with a kick, and cymbals hit with a punch. the cymbals will have a nice ring to it that lingers for a few seconds. the feel is less intimate, but more lively and energetic. you'll no longer feel like you're in a small room with a band of five. rather you'll feel as if you're in a arena in the front row with a band of fifty.

this WA6SE brings out the best in your headphones. it drives all my low/high impedance phones with ease. out of all of my phones, i preferred the HD650 and K701 over the RS1i. i found the WA6SE/RS1i combo too be a bit too bright/forward for my taste.

i listened to Roy Haynes' Birds of a Feather for reference. with the HD650, the focus here is the bass and drums. bass is nice, tight, and textured. every note is hit with precision, snap, and PRaT. i consider my K701 to be my most neutral and balanced phone. while listening to the same track, there is no focus on a particular instrument here; trumpets, drums, bass all hit with same amount of impact. the sound is really nice, even, and detailed. i enjoy listening to the K701 as much as i do with the HD650 with the WA6SE. with the RS1i, the main focus here is the saxophone, trumpets, and horns. however, everything else in the background is still felt with amazing detail.

to be continued...

picture courtesy of peanuthead's nice camera work:


7/14/09 – woo audio 6 SE impressions updated

I recently picked up a new DAC, a PS Audio DLIII in replace of the Beresford TC7520 in my main rig, so I thought I follow up my impressions of the Woo audio 6. The Mapletree Ear+ Purist never did arrive, so I’m afraid I won’t be able to do a head to head comparison. I may be able to do one based on memory though, however, in the future.

Take back what I said about the WA6 having bad synergy with the RS1i. With this new DAC in place, I can definitely hear the synergy between these two. The sound of the woo audio, like I said before, is unique; too describe it in words the best thing I could think of is that I feel like I’m listening to a highly crafted and engineered amp. The sound is luxurious; I feel like I’m listening to a Mercedes Benz. It is definitely a tube amp, its got that tubey roundness, weight, and body to the sound. Not to say that it is slow and mellow sounding though; it is upfront and lively, you can definitely count on not falling asleep with this on.

It’s a joy listening to jazz music like Diana Krall with this amp. You can hear every note being plucked and feel it with oomph. Her voice just comes through and melts in your ears.

I really like the sound of the Woo, the overall sound is consistent with each headphone I plug into it. Having owning it for over a month now, I can say that it drives Grado’s and K701 easily with very good synergy. Are they a match made in heaven? I can’t say that they are for sure…I have yet to hear an amp that will make them sound “glorious”.

As far as the synergy with the HD650, it is quite good. It does sound a little congested though upon first start up, but the sound does open up a bit after having the amp on for more than a couple of hours. While the sound is good, I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the sound and wanting more out of it.

As you know I have posted this amp for sale in the forums. I have been very pleased with the sound and its uniqueness and didn’t want to come across as disappointed. As much as I want to keep this amp, I don’t feel that it fits with my current system. I’m looking for a different sound and heading towards the balanced route. The sound of the Woo will be missed dearly though…you can expect impressions of the WA22 in the future.

BTW, it also drives the new HF2’s quite nicely.
post #2 of 78
I thought you said you weren't blown away but your impression says otherwise.

Did you get it with any upgrades? What tubes are you using?
post #3 of 78
Thread Starter 
lol, i did say "initially".

no upgrades other than the Sophia. this amp was bought from peanuthead. i'm currently using the United 6EW7. couldn't really tell a difference between the United's and the GE 6DE7 so far...
post #4 of 78
*bites his fingernails waiting for his to get here*

Wait... killing... me...
post #5 of 78
Great to have the WA6SE, that's an impressive amp. Be a bit more patient, thinking that peanuthead is not given enough time for burn-in. Up-to 400+ hrs, you'll more happy with it until the component being settle.

Also, I absolutely agree what you stated that "the sound is really nice, even, and detailed. i enjoy listening to the K701 as much as i do with the HD650 with the WA6SE." I feel the same as you.
post #6 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Covenant View Post
*bites his fingernails waiting for his to get here*

Wait... killing... me...
X2, it is over a month for me already.
post #7 of 78
Glad to hear you're enjoying your new amp!
I had initially sold the 6SE thinking I wanted to go the balanced route...but I'm not so sure any more.
I compared 6SE at CanJam to all the big guns out there, and 6SE held its own without any difficulty; in fact I preferred it to many amps more than double its price...
Enjoy, and I look forward to hearing more impressions from you.

Edit: And sorry about your wallets guys, but 6SE drove HD800 extremely well - truly top tier in my opinion.
post #8 of 78
waiting for your comparison with the mad
post #9 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanuthead View Post
Glad to hear you're enjoying your new amp!
I had initially sold the 6SE thinking I wanted to go the balanced route...but I'm not so sure any more.
I compared 6SE at CanJam to all the big guns out there, and 6SE held its own without any difficulty; in fact I preferred it to many amps more than double its price...
Enjoy, and I look forward to hearing more impressions from you.

Edit: And sorry about your wallets guys, but 6SE drove HD800 extremely well - truly top tier in my opinion.
The maxxed WA6SE at Canjam was really impressive but that was over $1600 dollars. Oddly enough, I preferred the sound of the maxxed WA2 that cost only $1300.
post #10 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanuthead View Post
Edit: And sorry about your wallets guys, but 6SE drove HD800 extremely well - truly top tier in my opinion.
I'm not listening. I'm not listening

Quote:
X2, it is over a month for me already.
Jack's given me a rough shipping date of the 13th of June, so hopefully only another couple of weeks for mine. Fingers crossed!
post #11 of 78
SemiAudiophile:

Thanks for your impression! I am surprised to know that you find RS1i too bright with the Woo SE6. Doesn't the two synergize well enough? Have you had the chance to audition the Raptor as well? How does the Woo SE6 hold up against the Raptor?

I am in the process of getting the Raptor available in the sale forum; if that falls through and if (two conditions lol) you want to let go of your Woo 6SE, please PM me
post #12 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Covenant View Post
Jack's given me a rough shipping date of the 13th of June, so hopefully only another couple of weeks for mine. Fingers crossed!
He have not given me a ETA yet.
post #13 of 78
The date will come eventually. I know how it feels as I have gone through that stage of anxiety.
post #14 of 78
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baimi View Post
SemiAudiophile:

Thanks for your impression! I am surprised to know that you find RS1i too bright with the Woo SE6. Doesn't the two synergize well enough? Have you had the chance to audition the Raptor as well? How does the Woo SE6 hold up against the Raptor?

I am in the process of getting the Raptor available in the sale forum; if that falls through and if (two conditions lol) you want to let go of your Woo 6SE, please PM me
yeah, i've heard other people with the older RS1's like the woo combo, but it's too bright for me. depends on the recording i guess, sometimes it's not too bad. i'm gonna try some tube rolling to see if i can find a better match for the RS1i's. hadn't had a chance to try the raptor yet, but i really want to. let me know your impressions of it when you get a chance.
post #15 of 78
I have already auditioned the Raptor with my current rig (PC optical out - M902 - Raptor with stock tubes - GS1000 & HP2). While the Raptor doesn't really go along with the GS1000, I like the combination of Raptor and HP2 immensely. The Raptor has tremendous power that easily surpasses the amp section on the M902.

I am happy with the GSK + M902 combination but for the HP2 I have been looking for an amp that will better drive the HP2. Sadly my budget around US$ 900~1K forbids me to buy a new Raptor/Woo 2/Woo 6SE with international shipping accounted for. I really want to audition the Woo family amps but these things are very rare in Taiwan. Heck, the Raptor is also just as difficult to find given where I live. Imagine my woes when peanuthead told me someone has already snatched the Woo 6SE !

Anyway thanks for the impressions again.
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