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My new Woo Audio WA5-LE "The Black Beauty"

post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 


Chicago’s CanJam last June we my first one. I went there with the objective to listen to Electrostatic systems and specially the Stax SR-007MkII. I went into the Woo Audio room and got impressed by their organization and display of different amplifiers and headphones.

Since my objective was to listen to electrostatic I started listening to the WES (both of them available) with the SR-007MkII. Even that the sound was really nice I was not totally blown away by it.


I took my Zeus balanced recabled T1 with me so after listening to the WES/Stax combo I proceeded to listen to the WA22. It sounded very good but I did not think better than my Rudistor RP010B MkII.


After a little bit Jack Wu approached me and we started talking about what I was looking for in my sound and my current equipment. During the conversation he directed me to listen to the WA5-LE. I was not really convinced since it was a single ended amplifier and all my headphones are balanced. Jack insisted that I should at least take a quick listen so I did and WOW! I have never had heard the T1 sounding so good. Their sound was very dynamic, clean, and natural. I was blown away.


After leaving the Woo Audio room I went to the TTVJ room. There I listened to the $10,000 APEX Pinnacle and the $5,500 Manley Neo-Classic 330B using my same T1 headphones. IMO the WA5-LE sounded better. During the 2 days I was finding myself constantly back in the Woo Audio room listening to the WA5-LE.


By the end of Canjam I was convinced of two things. One, I am clearly not an electrostatic kind of audiophile and second the WA5-LE was death center in my sights.

So I came home, sold my Apache and in late June I placed an order for a black WA5-LE with all the upgrades.


I received my WA5-LE from Jack last Wednesday. It came in 3 packages. Two wood crates for the power supply unit and the amplification unit and a box with the upgraded tubes. Here are some pictures of the crates.



The wood crates tops are secured with screws. Inside the crates there are 2 pieces of  preformed high density foam specially design to fit the units. In the upper foam piece there is a cavity area where the corresponding stock tubes are stored.

Both the power supply unit and the amplification unit are covered by a protective plastic cover as seen in these pictures




This is the first black WA5-LE I have seem other than the WA5 pictures in Woo Audio's website and it is beautiful. The amplifier has the upgraded electronic parts package, the upgraded Teflon sockets, upgraded WBT NextGen RCA jacks and all the internal wiring is using Neotech OCC copper wire and Cardas Eutonic solder.





The tubes upgrades are Emission Labs 300B Mesh, Emission Labs 5U4G Mesh and Treasure CV181. Upon opening the box with the tubes I realized the they sent me the wrong rectifier tubes. Instead of the EML I received a pair of Sophia 274B Mesh. I immediately call Jack to let him know. He asked me to use the Sophia in the meantime he sends me the EML which will take about 10 days or so.




The sources in my system are a Squeezebox connected to a Monarchy Audio DIP classic and a Teac VRDS-10 CD player modified by Great Northern Sound. The DIP and the Teac are feeding a PS Audio PerfectWave with the “Signature” upgrade from The Upgrade Company. The interconnect from the Squeezebox to the DIP is a Wireworld Eclipse 6 RCA and from the DIP to the PW is a Wireworld Gold Starlight 6 XLR.

From the Teac to the PW I am using an Acoustic Zen MC2. The analog interconnects from the PW to the WA5-LE is a pair of Vampire Wire SL (pure silver interconnects) soon to be replaced by a pair of Wireworld Eclipse 6.


After placing the units in their final destination and loading the tubes I fired up the system. I let it get stable for about 20 minutes and then started listening. The magic I heard back in Canjam was there and even better. This is the best sound I have heard out of all of the headphones in my collection ever.  I can not say that I have listened to every amplifier available but some of the top end I have listened to are: RP010B MkII, Apache, APEX Pinnacle, Manley Neo-Classic 300B, Zana Deux, Phonitor, WA22, WES, Raptor, RPX-33 and Cary SLI 80. IMO the WA5-LE sound tops all of them.


Thanks to Jack and the Woo Audio family for producing a great line of products with supreme craftmanship and incredible sound that provides to all of us headphileholics tremendous pleasure. My upgradetitis disease has been cured for good after this jewel.

Edited by musicman59 - 8/9/10 at 2:25pm
post #2 of 112

^ Congrats! You Rock. You and your Black Beauty. Wow. Nice, nice, nice. I mean BEAUTIFUL!

Did the delivery person, freak? That's a haul if there ever was one! (Or three.)

Edited by Clayton SF - 8/9/10 at 8:39am
post #3 of 112


Originally Posted by musicman59

My upgradetitis disease has been cured for good after this jewel.

Sure. That's what they all say . Enjoy your new amp, though. I'm enjoying just looking at those gorgeous pics.

post #4 of 112

Totally awesome. Use it well and that me the final ticket for you. Looks super nice.

post #5 of 112

I'm uber jealous (but not of your wallet)

post #6 of 112

Congratulations, that's a fantastic amp!!

post #7 of 112


post #8 of 112

Congrats... enjoy.. I know I like my WA5 that is for sure.


"you have the tallest tubes in the land...."  :-)



post #9 of 112


I agree, the WA5LE was the best I've ever heard in CanJam as well. I thought the balanced Woo would be better, but the WA5LE for some reason..is magical

post #10 of 112

Size does matter huh? What does that beast weight into. 15 kg? Is that enough.


Gorgeous pictures surely. I am not sure it looks all that nice but it´s so massive, aggressive all in black. Sure it look 100x better IRL ;)

post #11 of 112

That's sexy!

post #12 of 112

Congrats on the amp. A year a go it was at the forefront of amps that I wanted to get. I ended up getting a BA. Maybe one day I will get the opportunity to listen to a wa5.

post #13 of 112
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by oqvist View Post

Size does matter huh? What does that beast weight into. 15 kg? Is that enough.


Gorgeous pictures surely. I am not sure it looks all that nice but it´s so massive, aggressive all in black. Sure it look 100x better IRL ;)

The power supply unit is 40 lbs and the amplification unit is 35 lbs.

post #14 of 112

Congrats on the amp!  I've come to love my WA5 (similar spec as yours) very much over time.  It will be quite a journey burning in all the tubes and caps. Mine sounded much better a few months later after the vcaps and blackgates burned in.  Your tubes also seem quite good...I had a pair of EML 300B mesh tubes but subbed them out for Shuguang 300B treasures and found the sound to have a little more attach and bass in sound compared to the very transparent sound of the EMLs.  CV181s are also great, but the TS 6SN7GTs are another option to think about with slightly more punch to the sound.  Most of all, have fun with you amp and enjoy it for a long time to come!  The beauty of this amp is that it sounds pretty killer with just about anything I throw at it (HD800, T1, LCD-2) and the WA5 is extremely versatile with speaker outputs to listen to K1000s, HE-6 and stats from the WEE.

Edited by monsieurguzel - 8/9/10 at 3:41pm
post #15 of 112

Congrats on the amp. I spent a some time listening to the WA5-LE at CanJam as well. You've got a good amp there. Enjoy! :)

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