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best tube amp under $1000 not needing all upgrades

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
I currently have a heed canamp, that I've been using for 3 years, very nice for non critical listening but I've got the urge to go to tubes and some of the manufacturers like Woo, offer a basic amp and then offer to supply what they actually think sounds the best in the forum of upgrades costing anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand dollars. I feel that this is kind of dishonest in a way, like, buy our amp but what you see is not the real price, you must upgrade a lot of stuff or you are getting second best. I was going to post this in the woo forum but new it would get buried and I really want some honest opinions, I've been reading for days, I use Sennheiser 650's and have been having trouble finding the right info. I would be willing to spend more than $1000. The Woo WA6 is $620, but if you buy as suggested it comes to close to $900.
Can anyone please offer up a really good amp for $1000 more or less. For example the woo WA6se is $1050, but close to $2000 if you buy the upgrades, it just doesn't sit right with me. I'd rather just see a posted price of $1950 up front with them saying this is the best we can do at this price point.
post #2 of 44
DNA Sonett with stock tubes for $1200. I used to own WA6SE with Sophia Princess rectifier. As good as the WA6SE is, I find Sonett to be better in most regards.
WA6SE with stock tubes is pretty darn good though. I am not convinced that it needs the upgraded parts, or even the Sophia rectifier.
post #3 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanuthead View Post
DNA Sonett with stock tubes for $1200. I used to own WA6SE with Sophia Princess rectifier. As good as the WA6SE is, I find Sonett to be better in most regards.
WA6SE with stock tubes is pretty darn good though. I am not convinced that it needs the upgraded parts, or even the Sophia rectifier.
Hi PH

Do you know Donald North?

USG
post #4 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Hi PH

Do you know Donald North?

USG
Not personally. But I did buy an amp from him.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
Hi PH

Do you know Donald North?

USG
I know Donald North and recommend the Sonett. Yes, he is a friend, but I would not recommend his amp unless I thought it was good. The 6H30 is a great tube for a headphone amp, the build quality is excellent and I agree with the design philosophy behind the Sonett. I don't think there's anything better in the price range.
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
I know Donald North and recommend the Sonett. Yes, he is a friend, but I would not recommend his amp unless I thought it was good. The 6H30 is a great tube for a headphone amp, the build quality is excellent and I agree with the design philosophy behind the Sonett. I don't think there's anything better in the price range.
You know, Uncle Erik, I have agreed with most of the things you have posted in the past but not this time.

USG
post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
You know, Uncle Erik, I have agreed with most of the things you have posted in the past but not this time.

USG
You know, just because you "know" somebody doesn't mean that you should automatically disqualify yourself from offering an opinion about something they do. And I think that it's rather rude of you to imply that doing so turns someone into an untrustworthy shill. I actually like the quote in your signature, but I'm afraid you may be taking the lesson there a little too far.

Besides, if somebody was trying to be "the voice in the crowd", wouldn't their false claims be more credible if they denied any affiliation with the individual whose wares they were trying to peddle? Full disclosure isn't exactly a policy such people tend to live by, you know?

More to the point, I don't see how your post is even remotely related to the question the original poster had. For that matter, unfortunately, mine isn't either. But, hey, I felt like I should say something.
post #8 of 44
I'am in the same boat, somehow drifting towards WA6 SE with Sophia, may come back to WA6 with Sophia
post #9 of 44
I liked Donald's amp before I even knew him.

When Donald first showed up here, he posted all the specs of his amp and I replied that he seemed to have done everything right - according to what I think an amp should be and the design philosophy I subscribe to.

I met him at CanJam '09 and it turned out that we were on the same page for pretty much everything. We get on well, and I'm really glad I know Donald.

Further, I've listened to the Sonett several times and think it sounds great.

No, there isn't any kind of financial or other interest for me. Of course, opinions will vary, but the Sonett is - in my opinion - a very good amplifier. Further, I think Donald has a good character and can be trusted.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valens7 View Post

You know, just because you "know" somebody doesn't mean that you should automatically disqualify yourself from offering an opinion about something they do. And I think that it's rather rude of you to imply that doing so turns someone into an untrustworthy shill. I actually like the quote in your signature, but I'm afraid you may be taking the lesson there a little too far.

Besides, if somebody was trying to be "the voice in the crowd", wouldn't their false claims be more credible if they denied any affiliation with the individual whose wares they were trying to peddle? Full disclosure isn't exactly a policy such people tend to live by, you know?

More to the point, I don't see how your post is even remotely related to the question the original poster had. For that matter, unfortunately, mine isn't either. But, hey, I felt like I should say something.
I think you will change your mind after you've been here a while....

If you understand the quote in my Sig, you'll see what I mean more often than you'd like to.

(And btw, I'm not calling Uncle Erik a shill, I'm just not agreeing with him this time.)

Now back to the OP's question... How about a GS-1. It's an extremely versatile solid state, requiring no upgrades or tube rolling. A less expensive solid state is the M^3, which has the same sound signature of my Woo3.

USG
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post
I think you will change your mind after you've been here a while....

If you understand the quote in my Sig, you'll see what I mean more often than you'd like to.

(And btw, I'm not calling Uncle Erik a shill, I'm just not agreeing with him this time.)

Now back to the OP's question... How about a GS-1. It's an extremely versatile solid state, requiring no upgrades or tube rolling. A less expensive solid state is the M^3, which has the same sound signature of my Woo3.

USG
Hey mister shill-hunter, I'll report to you as soon as I see one. Lately, I've seen a lot of fanboys of various products and people making dubious claims about cables, mods, etc, but not a lot of true shills.
Do you know Justin by any chance? Just checking to see you're not a double agent. Cheers.
post #12 of 44
I used to own WA6, now WA22. WA6SE should be very good. I think the difference really comes down to 'taste' at this point.
post #13 of 44
Yamamoto Soundcraft HA-02. It's $975 and the only thing you can think of is another pair of 408A. The stock ones from Western Electric are very nice already. My favourites were Sylvania Gold Pin but I have heard just a few options.
post #14 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by peanuthead View Post

Hey mister shill-hunter, I'll report to you as soon as I see one. Lately, I've seen a lot of fanboys of various products and people making dubious claims about cables, mods, etc, but not a lot of true shills.
Do you know Justin by any chance? Just checking to see you're not a double agent. Cheers.
LOL Mr. PH That's pretty funny.

Like Van Helsing ..........

USG
post #15 of 44
Upstateguy, are you suggesting that Donald has shills? I don't know of any. Other than being on good personal terms, I have no interest. For the record, I like Craig Uthus and Ray Samuels, too.

Do you have a specific criticism of his amp or business practices? I'd like to know.
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