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Woo WES stock v. maxxed

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

My searching skills are weak, but I can't find this topic addressed elsewhere.  Has anyone compared a stock Woo WES with a maxed one, or even one that is partially maxed (upgraded tubes, etc.)?  How significant is the difference?  

post #2 of 34

I distinctly remember reading a thread here about "maxing" Woos and then comparing them to stock Woos.  It may have been about the WA6, IIRC.  It was some time ago, so forgive me for citing hearsay.  The conclusion was the difference was subtle.  I think it was also concluded that if you have the cash, and don't get buyer's regret, it might be worth it.  But, it did highlight the law of diminishing returns.  Going from low-fi to mid-fi is a lot easier and cheaper than going from hi-fi to higher-fi.  You have to shell out serious cash for even the smallest of improvements once you're in the big leagues.

post #3 of 34

Tube rolling is by far the best part about owning a Woo Audio amp.  I decided to purchase a stock WA2 and spend a bit more on different power and preamp tubes.  You really need to ask yourself if that extra $1,200+ will do the rest of your system justice.  If your source and headphones  are up to the task and you have the cash, go for it.  Otherwise, I'd just spend that money on tubes.

 

hodgjy said it best, going from low-fi to mid-fi is a lot easier and cheaper than going from hi-fi to higher-fi.

post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 

I loved tube rolling on my Zana Deux, but when I look at the WES, which has about 89 tubes, it just seems so daunting, and I doubt if any one change (sophia tubes instead of stock =  $400) could really matter so much -- whether I would ever actually be able to hear anything.

 

Nice line about hi-fi to higher-fi.

post #5 of 34

I heard mixed things about the WES in the first place, such that it actually isn't pushing its tubes to the full capacity to drive O2s properly.  I think it might be fine paying for a stock WES, but at the upgraded price of about $8K maxxed, I think it is very overpriced for the performance that it delivers and there are other more capable amps at that price point.  Also I agree with Thaddy that tube rolling will make the biggest difference in a tube amp.

post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieurguzel View Post

I heard mixed things about the WES in the first place, such that it actually isn't pushing its tubes to the full capacity to drive O2s properly.  I think it might be fine paying for a stock WES, but at the upgraded price of about $8K maxxed, I think it is very overpriced for the performance that it delivers and there are other more capable amps at that price point.  Also I agree with Thaddy that tube rolling will make the biggest difference in a tube amp.


Besides the BHSE, what other amp are you talking about at that price point for driving O2s?  Or even at the stock WES price point?

post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by monsieurguzel View Post

I heard mixed things about the WES in the first place, such that it actually isn't pushing its tubes to the full capacity to drive O2s properly.  I think it might be fine paying for a stock WES, but at the upgraded price of about $8K maxxed, I think it is very overpriced for the performance that it delivers and there are other more capable amps at that price point.  Also I agree with Thaddy that tube rolling will make the biggest difference in a tube amp.


 

"overpriced for the performance" is one heck of a statement to make, based solely on reading Spritzer's comments :/  have you even heard this amp with O2s? 

post #8 of 34

Yes I have heard it and spent a good 30-40 minutes on it at Canjam w/ the O2s.  Granted not the best of environments and I wasn't used to the tube output source hooked up to it, but I wasn't the hugest of fans.  It was a too warm for my tastes and missed a lot of the detail/clarity as well as the controlled bass of the BHSE.  To me it just didn't justify the $8K price...but of course audio is subjective so to someone else the price and signature might be totally worth it.  And in my mind Kevin Gilmore knows pretty well what he's talking about in terms of what kind of current it takes to drive stats properly, so I would trust his opinion on the matter pretty well.

post #9 of 34

Nobody would ever dare to comment on something that they had not actually heard, would they? Say it isn't so!

post #10 of 34

It is a beautiful amp though that is amazingly built and from a company that I have a lot of respect for (I've bought several things from them myself).  Jack is an awesome guy and unlike many other vendors our there, these guys are on top of their game in terms of consistently delivering their products on time, having top notch customer service, and wonderful built quality.  I just wish there were more electrostatic amp builders in that were more like Woo Audio.


Edited by monsieurguzel - 8/26/10 at 12:30pm
post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 

Still kinda interested in my original question.  Anybody compared the two directly?  Any advice as to which of the upgrades would be more essential, if at all?  El Doug, I see yours is maxed . . .

post #12 of 34

I think that most people on this forum would agree that the BHSE is a better amp than WES in most cases.  So if you don't mind waiting about a year to receive yours, then go with that, otherwise go with a WES and spend money on tubes...or get a maxxed out one and invest in tubes down the line.

post #13 of 34

Wasn't one of the amps at CJ stock and the other "maxed" with those grossly overpriced Treasure tubes?


Edited by spritzer - 8/27/10 at 10:46am
post #14 of 34

Yup, the black one was maxed and the one to the right was a stock one.  Couldn't tell too much difference between them...

post #15 of 34

Same here, even with the room empty and using the same source the difference was slight at best.  This doesn't surprise me though as the difference between caps is often a lot less then it is claimed to be. 

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