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BHSE or Woo WES? - Page 10  

post #136 of 155

Here's why I bought the Woo WES over the BHSE.  First, I'm an engineer and an (amateur) audiophile.  I certainly don't know as much about headphones and high-end audio as many people here -- especially Spritzer, who's somewhat (over-?)revered as a god on this site.

 

Anyway, I wanted the best sound for a sizeable investment that would last as long as possible.

 

If you read the reviews (e.g., Tyll's at Inner Fidelity and AV Guide) critically, there isn't much difference among high-end amps.  They both talk about how amps offer the least difference among components and how "hair-splitting" the comparisons are.  They also refer to advantages that the WES has specifically over the BHSE, such as tighter control of bass.  Clarity and detail retrieval are also above any other amps.  

 

Quote:
In some ways this was my favorite amp.

 

 

Quote:
 the WES was superb with sweet acoustic music

 

I am basing this on expert reviewers' impressions.  If some of you want to challenge these, so be it, but these reviews are as objective and professional as possible.

 

Another advantage, the Woo WES is easier to upgrade over time.  You can get the base version and add better tubes later.  I'm not sure if you can upgrade the volume control of the BHSE so easily down the line and how much it will cost.

 

Finally, I like the fact that the WES has no circuit boards, no ICs, and uses point-to-point wiring.  Every integrated circuit will one day fail.  Every printed circuit board will one day get a short or have a component failure.  What happens with the BHSE in 20 years when that happens?  Will Justin be around?  Hopefully... but what if he isn't?  The BHSE will become an expensive, huge, paper weight.  With the WES, you just replace the failed component.

 

I'm not really a fan of the Woo company, believe it or not.  Despite this, I still think that if you favor longevity, low (relatively) entry price, and top-tier sound, the WES is the one to get.

post #137 of 155

Hi Surge74 -- just to correct something, the BHSE doesn't contain any integrated circuits, unless you count a 555 timer (which is socketed) in the power supply, and those will probably be available for 100 years

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
Find us at www.HeadAmp.com

post #138 of 155

as someone who has owned both of these amplifiers, I can tell you that this statement is 100% false

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post

 

They also refer to advantages that the WES has specifically over the BHSE, such as tighter control of bass.  Clarity and detail retrieval are also above any other amps.  

post #139 of 155
Well, not according to the comparison published on AV Guide.

This all tells me (as Tyll's, and others' indicate) that the differences are very minor between them.
post #140 of 155

The differences are far from minor, my first question to Jack Woo when hearing the WES at CanJam in 2010 was "Is the amp broken?".  His reply "No, it's the upgraded version...."  That pretty much says it all. 

 

Claiming all components will fail is completely wrong.  Some might fail, such is life, but I've repaired enough Stax amps from the 60's, 70's and 80's to know it's very rare.  All of these amps had transistors I could easily replace if I had to and all built on PCB's which still worked perfectly.  The only things that will break are cheap carbon resistors and the electrolytic caps.  Now if the wrong resistor fails then it can kill some sand but that's not because the sand was destined to die. 

 

Unlike you I have compared both amps side by side in my own system and built a fixed version of the WES so I know that there is nothing high end about the WES, it's just expensive. 

post #141 of 155

Because looks are as important to me as SQ and BQ, there are only three stats amps I would ever have, the DIY T2 would be my first choice but is not available and probably too expensive, but the other two are the BHSE which I have, and the Aristaeus which I should hopefully have soon. I've no interest in any other stats amp.

post #142 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post
Another advantage, the Woo WES is easier to upgrade over time.  You can get the base version and add better tubes later.  I'm not sure if you can upgrade the volume control of the BHSE so easily down the line and how much it will cost.

 

Finally, I like the fact that the WES has no circuit boards, no ICs, and uses point-to-point wiring.  Every integrated circuit will one day fail.  Every printed circuit board will one day get a short or have a component failure.  What happens with the BHSE in 20 years when that happens?  Will Justin be around?  Hopefully... but what if he isn't?  The BHSE will become an expensive, huge, paper weight.  With the WES, you just replace the failed component.

 

I'm not really a fan of the Woo company, believe it or not.  Despite this, I still think that if you favor longevity, low (relatively) entry price, and top-tier sound, the WES is the one to get.

 

In regards to the BHSE volume pot, are you referring to the DACT or the Alps RK50? Because the DACT is upgradeable to the RK50 for a cost ($1.2K). Not sure why anyone would want to "upgrade" the RK50.

 

Personally I also feel that the "upgrades" that Woo Audio offers are detrimental to the customer experience, but I can see why others would prefer it. Whenever I see vendors offer a variety of "upgrades" for a product, it reeks of upmarketing to me, as if the base model is somehow inferior if you don't upgrade anything. I prefer buying something that's just sold as-is, no upgrade options offered. But to each his own I guess.

 

And no offense to any vendors here, but if you want to start the subject of longevity, I'd argue that HeadAmp has the longest longevity out of most of them. Justin is probably one of the youngest vendors on Head-Fi, and I mean that in terms of his age at something like 29. Almost every other major amp vendor on Head-Fi has at least ~15 years on Justin, if not substantially more like Eddie Current and Cavalli Audio. Again, not to offend Woo Audio, but the family that runs that business consists of two middle-aged men plus their parents. How long do you expect them to stay in business compared to HeadAmp? Not that you need to answer, just a rhetorical question.

 

In 20 years I'd expect some of the other vendors to not be around anymore. HeadAmp, on the other hand, could easily still be around by then, as long as Justin wants to keep running it, of course.


Edited by Asr - 3/2/13 at 1:12am
post #143 of 155

the AV guide review is the most perplexing thing - so far away from what anyone else has heard, that I wonder if they even plugged in the amps before writing their articles. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post

Well, not according to the comparison published on AV Guide.

This all tells me (as Tyll's, and others' indicate) that the differences are very minor between them.

Edited by El_Doug - 3/2/13 at 1:11am
post #144 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by El_Doug View Post

the AV guide review is the most perplexing thing - so far away from what anyone else has heard, that I wonder if they even plugged in the amps before writing their articles. 

I owned the Wes and currently own the BHSE. After reading AV Guide reviews of both amps....I stopped visiting their website. Enuf said...
Edited by tiga3mata - 3/2/13 at 8:45am
post #145 of 155

popcorn.gif

post #146 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiga3mata View Post

I owned the Wes and currenly own the BHSE. After reading AV Guide reviews of both amps....I stopped visiting their website. Enuf said...

Would you mind sharing your comments on both the WES and BHSE, with the SR-009?
Thanks
post #147 of 155
Not knocking Woo products....they have a huge fan base in Headfi so that speaks for itself. For my taste, I prefer the Stax 009 on the BHSE. I am of the opinion that the review for the WES by AV Guide describes many of BHSE strengths. Wont be surprised if they got the 2 reviews mixed up....rolleyes.gif

Try to audition both of them and trust your judgement.

Ha my 100th post....took quite a while. Gonna fire up the System to celebrate!cool.gif
Edited by tiga3mata - 3/2/13 at 9:00am
post #148 of 155
Regarding Tyll(sp?)'s review on Inner Fidelity, according to Jack Woo of Woo Audio, the WES not only had the stock tubes but was not broken in (it was brand new). As WES owners reported here, the amp requires 250-500 hours before sounding right. I'm surprised that a respected reviewer would test an amp that wasn't broken in!
post #149 of 155

Because they probably would no longer be respected.

post #150 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surge74 View Post

Regarding Tyll(sp?)'s review on Inner Fidelity, according to Jack Woo of Woo Audio, the WES not only had the stock tubes but was not broken in (it was brand new). As WES owners reported here, the amp requires 250-500 hours before sounding right. I'm surprised that a respected reviewer would test an amp that wasn't broken in!

Did Jack send him the amp to review?  If so I'd turn that question around and say I'm surprised a respected manufacturer sent a reviewer an amp that was not yet in "reviewable" condition (assuming break-in is necessary to make it properly reviewable, per Jack's comment.)

 

 

If you take a look at the AV guide reviews, the one on the WES and the one on the BHSE were written by... two different people.  Its also been mentioned they didn't have both at the same time though I don't remember reading that in the actual review.  On the one hand, its interesting how reviewers who are sort of immune to the forum mantras of what X or Y product are supposed to sound like come up with, as those articles do seem very unadulterated by group-think bias that many forum impressions can be laced with. On the other hand I can't reconcile those reviews with my own experiences and have not come into contact with anyone else who has been able to either (at least those who have heard/owned both.)

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