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Woo WA6 SE vs. WA22 - Page 2

post #16 of 31

Sorry to wake this thread up again, but I was wondering about actual sonic differences between Wo 6se and the Wa22.. I've been reading through all the forums, but nobody has given a detailed answer about the actual sonic difference in the amps.. Just the reply from Jack.. "WA22 is better if the source if balanced, if not WA6SE is better..."

 

Is there anbody out there who has owned both of the amps at length,  who can help?

 

 

 

 

post #17 of 31

So glad to see this thread revived. I would love to know the answer to this as well. 

 

I have also searched for comparisons and difference between the WA22 and the WA5LE but have not found any true write-ups. Most of have anecdotal comments but it would be really helpful to get some real insight.

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

So glad to see this thread revived. I would love to know the answer to this as well. 

 

I have also searched for comparisons and difference between the WA22 and the WA5LE but have not found any true write-ups. Most of have anecdotal comments but it would be really helpful to get some real insight.

 

Well, I have owned both.  I had a WA5 for about 6 months.  Bought it intending it to be my primary speaker amp as well as headamp.  Couldn't find any high efficiency speakers that I liked, so sold the WA5 and replaced it with a Cary SLI-80 and a WA22.  I have had the 22 now for about four days.  I am no reviewer but will try to help you out a little bit.  The WA5 is extremely dynamic, punchy, fast, and has an "effortless" kind of sound.  To my ears, not an extremely "tubey" or warm sound but extremely transparent, clear and DYNAMIC without ever being bright.  You can really sense the power (or current) behind the music.   Very, very nice!  And did I mention dynamic?  

 

The biggest difference I have noticed with the WA22 so far is that it is a little warmer and and a touch more euphonic.  It is more responsive to tube rolling though.  It can be almost lush sounding with the 5998's.  With the 7236, it is a little closer in sound to the WA5 but a touch less dynamic maybe.  It's subtle though.  (I have tried 6080, 7236, and 5998's)  I am using a different dac now with the WA22 - a W4S Dac-2 where I was using a EE minimax with the WA5 so that may skew my impressions a little.  Headphones are all the same with both amps, but not the HE-6 with the WA22.

 

If I had the experience and writing skills of some of the folks here, I guess I would write a more extensive article but hopefully this helps you a little.
 

 

post #19 of 31

Old thread, but reviving in anticipation of my recently purchased WA22, which may (or may not?) replace my 6SE.

 

Bought it because I use a balanced source for some listening - a Sony HAP1EZ - which is said to sound much better in balanced output than in single ended. But I've gotten into vinyl recently, and love the sound of my table through the 6SE.

 

Stay tuned for impressions.

post #20 of 31

My WA22 showed up today, courtesy of a fellow Head-Fi'er. It's been previously modded with Jupiter copper capacitors and a Furutech IEC. I listened for a few hours to both vinyl and digital sources, single ended only, with lots of swapping of tubes, cables, headphones, and such. I am awaiting a set of balanced cables to connect my Sony via its balanced outputs, and I'll post more thoughts, but here's a few very initial impressions using LCD3s and HD650s. Both amps had stock tubes except for the Princess Sophia substitution.

 

1. The WA22 sounds quite different than the 6SE. It is faster, cleaner and clearer on the top end, but lacks some of the low end of the 6SE (both compared using the Sophia Princess 274). The midrange is wonderful, but not at all "tube sounding" on the top end. Not quite sure yet if this is an overall good thing, but I am enjoying hearing all the detail.

 

2. The WA22 is very revealing of changes like tubes and cables. For example, I swapped my usual Foundation Research LC2 cable (a power cable with a high pass filter) out for my Cards Golden Reference AC cables. Clearly heard the difference and preferred the Foundation Research. Swapped the stock 5AU4 for the Sophia Princess and heard differences much more clearly than with the 6SE.

 

3. The 6SE has a more forgiving sound, warmer but darker on the top end, yet nice and hefty on the bottom end. Everything I hooked up to the 6SE sounded warm and musical, whereas the WA22 seems more clinical.

 

4. I need to experiment with tubes - looking for something that is a tad warmer on top and with some low end heft. But...I don't want to lose the definition that the WA22 has over the 6SE. While the 6SE's bass was fatter sounding than the WA22, I heard much more low end definition via the WA22.

 

5. Less gain with the WA22 - on certain songs it was cranked to the 1-2oclock position where the 6SE never went past 11 o'clock.

 

Tunes used to compare included: Alan Toussaint/Egyptian Fantasy, Al Green/Jesus is Waiting, Bob Dylan/House of the Rising Sun, JJ Cale/Cherry Street, and Muddy Waters' Folk Singer album on 180g vinyl.

 

This thread indicates the WA22's strength is with balanced sources, so I'll have more impressions once my XLR's arrive.


Edited by davehg - 9/11/16 at 11:19am
post #21 of 31

I received a pair of Cardas Light XLR cables and spent the night listening, trading off between digital and vinyl.

 

Like everyone says, running the WA22 with a balanced source makes a big difference. The more clinical sound on single ended gave way to more detailed, natural, and just plain musical sound on the balanced cables. While I am sure the Cardas added their own sweetness (certainly compared with the Acoustic Zen silver cables), the balanced route gave me much better gain (now at 11'oclock max volume instead of 1 o'clock), quieter background, more detail, and more impact on the bass. I am really thrilled with amp now, and it sounds more like I anticipated it to be.

 

On the 6SE, I never completely enjoyed the HD650's- the LCD3's were a much better pairing. On the WA22, however, the HD650's just sing - I think this amp was specially made for the Sennheisers. Not to say the LCD's were any slouch - I still preferred them overall, but the WA22 made the Sennheiser's sound way more musical than I've heard them on any other amp.

 

I switched over to vinyl for a while - wow! I played my wife a cut of Muddy's Water's Little Schoolgirl, and she was floored by the fidelity. At half priced Books I found a John Lee Hooker album and a Del Shannon Runaway album, and popped those on too - amazing the fidelity you hear in the early 60's recordings.

 

I've got a few tubes coming to roll based on the WA22 tube rolling thread, and I am sure the sound will change even more, but right now, pretty happy where the WA22 has landed. A balanced digital source is pretty essential to getting it to better the 6SE, and I agree with the other comments about the 6SE being a better choice if you are running RCA's instead of XLRs.

post #22 of 31

i used to own both of them, personally like wa22 with we421a much more.

post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by davehg View Post

I received a pair of Cardas Light XLR cables and spent the night listening, trading off between digital and vinyl.

Hi,
I am contemplating the same thing, but with LCD 4's. I currently have the WA6-SE. Now that time has gone by, have your thoughts changed/evolved?

Like everyone says, running the WA22 with a balanced source makes a big difference. The more clinical sound on single ended gave way to more detailed, natural, and just plain musical sound on the balanced cables. While I am sure the Cardas added their own sweetness (certainly compared with the Acoustic Zen silver cables), the balanced route gave me much better gain (now at 11'oclock max volume instead of 1 o'clock), quieter background, more detail, and more impact on the bass. I am really thrilled with amp now, and it sounds more like I anticipated it to be.

On the 6SE, I never completely enjoyed the HD650's- the LCD3's were a much better pairing. On the WA22, however, the HD650's just sing - I think this amp was specially made for the Sennheisers. Not to say the LCD's were any slouch - I still preferred them overall, but the WA22 made the Sennheiser's sound way more musical than I've heard them on any other amp.

I switched over to vinyl for a while - wow! I played my wife a cut of Muddy's Water's Little Schoolgirl, and she was floored by the fidelity. At half priced Books I found a John Lee Hooker album and a Del Shannon Runaway album, and popped those on too - amazing the fidelity you hear in the early 60's recordings.

I've got a few tubes coming to roll based on the WA22 tube rolling thread, and I am sure the sound will change even more, but right now, pretty happy where the WA22 has landed. A balanced digital source is pretty essential to getting it to better the 6SE, and I agree with the other comments about the 6SE being a better choice if you are running RCA's instead of XLRs.
post #24 of 31

The WA22 does a good job with the LCD3 but you have to get your source, cables, and tube choices aligned. I use an EAR 834P phono stage with a VPI prime and an Ortofon Black cartridge - the EAR is much sweeter and lush whereas the Ortofon can be a bit bolder - the Woo WA22 reflects a tone that depends upon tube choices, and I find that it really does change quite noticeably with different tubes. I am not sure I've quite found the right combination.

 

I've heard the WA22 described as dark - I don't necessarily agree. I think it is very neutral, and that the tonal quality is more directly tied to source, headphone, tubes, or cable choices. With some tubes, I get a glare or hardness on the top end, with others, it is darker. Adding the EAR's tubed phono preamp added in a lush rich sound compared to the ifi Phono stage, and swapping cartridges from the 2M Red to the Blue to the Black clearly showed each of their differences using the LCD3 to monitor. Less so with the HD650 - I think it has a tendency to lack the air and extension and detail on the top end that the LCD3 has, and pairing it with the WA22 (vs. the WA6SE which had a warm tone IMHO) brought more life into the top end.


​LoganRoss, I just purchased a pair of WA5's, after hearing from a number of folks about how well they pair with the LCD3. I'll soon have a chance to compare both of these amps, but if what I hear is correct, I suspect the LCD3 will be a great match and the HD650...maybe not so much with the WA5. That will pose a dilemma if the HD650 sounds better with the WA22 - which might cause me to run the WA22 as a digital source only amp just for the HD650, and keep the vinyl system dedicated for the WA5 and LCD3...so long as my budget and space permits.

 

So to be clear - today, I think the 6SE might be a better match but only IF you are running a balanced source. I think the WA22 is the better choice if your source sports balanced outputs, and perhaps if you run a fully balanced system (using balanced headphone cables too).  Since I am running a hybrid system (balanced digital but single ended vinyl), I am looking to see if the WA5 excells in all areas. Hope that helps.


Edited by davehg - 10/26/16 at 10:23am
post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by davehg View Post
 

The WA22 does a good job with the LCD3 but you have to get your source, cables, and tube choices aligned. I use an EAR 834P phono stage with a VPI prime and an Ortofon Black cartridge - the EAR is much sweeter and lush whereas the Ortofon can be a bit bolder - the Woo WA22 reflects a tone that depends upon tube choices, and I find that it really does change quite noticeably with different tubes. I am not sure I've quite found the right combination.

 

I've heard the WA22 described as dark - I don't necessarily agree. I think it is very neutral, and that the tonal quality is more directly tied to source, headphone, tubes, or cable choices. With some tubes, I get a glare or hardness on the top end, with others, it is darker. Adding the EAR's tubed phono preamp added in a lush rich sound compared to the ifi Phono stage, and swapping cartridges from the 2M Red to the Blue to the Black clearly showed each of their differences using the LCD3 to monitor. Less so with the HD650 - I think it has a tendency to lack the air and extension and detail on the top end that the LCD3 has, and pairing it with the WA22 (vs. the WA6SE which had a warm tone IMHO) brought more life into the top end.


​LoganRoss, I just purchased a pair of WA5's, after hearing from a number of folks about how well they pair with the LCD3. I'll soon have a chance to compare both of these amps, but if what I hear is correct, I suspect the LCD3 will be a great match and the HD650...maybe not so much with the WA5. That will pose a dilemma if the HD650 sounds better with the WA22 - which might cause me to run the WA22 as a digital source only amp just for the HD650, and keep the vinyl system dedicated for the WA5 and LCD3...so long as my budget and space permits.

 

So to be clear - today, I think the 6SE might be a better match but only IF you are running a balanced source. I think the WA22 is the better choice if your source sports balanced outputs, and perhaps if you run a fully balanced system (using balanced headphone cables too).  Since I am running a hybrid system (balanced digital but single ended vinyl), I am looking to see if the WA5 excells in all areas. Hope that helps.


Hi

This is helpful.  I sounds like you are very happy with WA22, but exploring the WA5.  I have heard many say that is the way to go.  However, it may be out of my price range.   I can run the LCD 4's as balanced, but as of now, my source is a Chord Mojo and so my source is unbalanced.  My understanding is that sometime ago, Woo updated the WA22 to convert unbalanced source to balanced and thus I could still take advantage of benefits of the balanced WA22.  Thank you again.

post #26 of 31
I was about to start this thread. Thank god I saw this before I did. How many feel if the difference is worth it? I'm using an orthodynamic hp.
post #27 of 31

I have both WA6 SE & WA22. Long story short, WA6 SE is my first tube AMP sounds more dynamic, I got WA22 one year after and find it in a more euphonic & warmer character. Woo's comments in their comparison chart http://wooaudio.com/docs/wooaudio_amplifier_comparisons.pdf are valid (at least for WA6 SE & WA22).


Edited by ghhf - 11/18/16 at 7:14am
post #28 of 31
What about the GES?
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganRoss View Post
 


Hi

This is helpful.  I sounds like you are very happy with WA22, but exploring the WA5.  I have heard many say that is the way to go.  However, it may be out of my price range.   I can run the LCD 4's as balanced, but as of now, my source is a Chord Mojo and so my source is unbalanced.  My understanding is that sometime ago, Woo updated the WA22 to convert unbalanced source to balanced and thus I could still take advantage of benefits of the balanced WA22.  Thank you again.

WA22 is wonderful and perfect for tube rolling (probably the largest set of tubes available), it can drive a AKG-K1000 nicely. But I am also about to explore the WA5 (check the Woo site for limited special offer in 18 Nov - 28 Nov) to see if it really sits at its own class. Back to the WA22, it performs great also with the unbalanced input, as good as that of WA6SE but in a bit gentle manner.


Edited by ghhf - 11/19/16 at 3:21am
post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pawn View Post

What about the GES?

I have a set of STAX 007tii/ 507 system acquired 6 months ago, very nice result in unique sonic,haven't tried the Woo GES though,better have a search to the forum,there is one for reference: http://www.head-fi.org/t/246153/woo-audio-ges-or-stax-amp
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