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Looking for a balanced tube headamp/preamp - Page 3

post #31 of 34
Thread Starter 

Just to close the loop on this discussion.....


Wow!  Eddie Current Balancing Act.  Wow!  Let me say this again....  Wow!


I ended up buying one second hand, it needed to make a trip through Craig's hands first to fix a problem with one of the switches.  I received it before the weekend, and have been awestruck by this thing ever since.


The unit I got has the Alps RK50 pot upgrade, something Craig doesn't even offer any more.  I ended up purchasing the original owners KR PX4 tubes, and I scored a NOS Tung Sol 6SN7 black glass round plate.  That seems to be the raging combo on the Balancing Act threads.  I can't argue.  Sound is over the top fantastic.


Went through some other changes as well.  The BA threads and reviews all seemed to point to the LCD-2's as the magical headphones through this amp.  I decided to try a pair out and then keep either the LCD-2's or the Senn 800's.  No question about it, the LCD-2's blow the Senn 800's away, at least powered by the Balancing Act.  It's not even a close competition.  So the 800's are moving to the for-sale pile....


Also in flux is my DAC.  I have the Benchmark DAC1 Pre.  I like it a lot.  But I've read so many rave reviews of the Wyred4Sound DAC2, particularly that it's much more musical than the Benchmark.  I've ordered one to evaluate against the Benchmark, then one of those ends up joining the Senn 800's in the for-sale category.


I ended up spending more money than I had intended.  Hah.  When does that not happen.  The funny thing is, between the amp and the tubes, I spent almost as much as I would have on a B-52.  If you would have told me that I'd end up spending B-52 money, but on something other than a B-52, I would have said you're crazy.  But the Eddie Current really appealed to me for some reason, the more I read the more I felt this was the one.  And then when a second-hand opportunity came up, the deal was done.


Very happy with the outcome.  Eddie Current BA + Audez'e LCD-2 is an absolutely killer combo.



post #32 of 34

Resurrecting this thread here. I'm also looking for a balanced tube headamp/pre and really considering the WA22 because I know Jack can add the modification to it. But when I asked Jack about adding unbalanced outputs he said that it would be "unreasonable" because gain and output signal would be weaker, resulting in performance degration. This I don't understand because I see that it can be done on solid state amps like GS-X, etc. Why not the WA22? This is a problem because my speaker amp only accepts unbalanced inputs. Anyone have any ideas?


If I were to get unbalanced outputs anyway and just go unbalanced all the way from source to speaker, shouldn't it function the same like normal? Is he comparing the performance to strictly balanced? That I can accept and is not a problem..

Edited by SemiAudiophile - 9/3/11 at 9:19am
post #33 of 34
Be careful with balanced stuff. I don't know how Woo handles it, so I can't comment.

Be aware that not everything calling itself balanced actually is balanced. A lot of the gear is single-ended with XLR jacks. Some manufacturers get away with this because people just look for XLR jacks and the word "balanced" in the sales literature.

You should also keep in mind that some of the people who loudly proclaim the benefits of balanced (and who will also probably show up shortly to tell me how wrong I am) are actually listening to single-ended gear.

Caveat emptor.

Personally, I decided to stay single-ended. My amps have more power than I need. I do not have to drive long distances of cable. Neither do I have problems with channel separation. Theoretically, balanced does those things better. But since I don't have those issues, why bother?
post #34 of 34

The Woo 22 is a balanced amp. Jack posted a schematic on Head-Fi a few months ago when a question arose as to whether the 22 was truly a balanced amp. If I can find that post I'll copy the drawing here.

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