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Should I get the stepped attenuator for the WA6E?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I posted this in the "Woo Thread" and had one response since they are deep into tube rolling (no it is not an Olympic Sport) discussions.


I'll probably just go with it (it's only another 215 audiophile dollars) but actually have no idea why I really need it or not other than I've read other great amps have them.  What is the upside to it.  Thanks.



post #2 of 5

Greetings Keith, 


I had a WA6SE with the DACT attenuator. 


The difference between this type of device and a typical volume potentiometer is that there is only one set of resistors in the signal path at any given time. A standard volume control will add more resistance to the circuit the more it is attenuated, that is at the lower end of its range it may not sound as good as when it is "wide open" or at is upper level. The difference is certainly not night and day, however, with a headphone rig every nuance is magnified so I find it to be quite relevant in this application. 


If you are already planning 1.) Sophia or EML rectifier and 2.) Premium Parts Upgrade then I would say just do it and be done but I certainly would not make it your main priority. 


I have a WA5 now and was told that this option was not available due to the circuit design so I have the standard Alps control; had it been offered then I would have certainly added it on.


I do find on occasion that I miss the precision of the DACT control, some of the WA5LE owners are putting in the Alps RK50 pot which is not a stepped attenuator but a mega potentiometer and indeed a work of art. But at $700 you are really hitting the point of diminishing returns but I guess it is all relative. 


In any event you will really enjoy the WA6SE, I think it is one of the best amps in the Woo line for price/performance and the build quality is really something to behold. 



post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you.  That was quite helpful.  I will go with that for sure.



post #4 of 5

Some people seem to hate SAs because they can't get the right volume for them, it's either just a bit too soft and the next step is too loud, so you might want to keep that in mind as a factor.

Personally I love the SA in my amplifier, with it I can always easily find the volume I was previously listening at when I turn it down/up for various reasons.


I tend to listen to the same volume level most of the time, so it's nice to be able to access it easily.

post #5 of 5
Plus it really worth it if you are listening at low level. I have it with my WA6 and WA22 (standard on WA22). If you are planning to spend that much on a WA6SE and have a balanced source or planning to get one soon, you should really take a look at WA22.
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