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Should I Choose WA2 or WA6-SE? (Closed)

Poll Results: Which amplifier pairs better with a Sennheiser HD650?

 
  • 41% (7)
    Woo Audio WA2
  • 58% (10)
    Woo Audio WA6-SE
17 Total Votes  
post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fiers.  A few months ago I tried asking for help finding an amp but found no replies, so I've been left to my own devices and have lead myself to Woo Audio.  I am trying to plan ahead in my choice of amps, so let me explain myself.  A year ago I purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD650s and an Audinst HUD-mx1 DAC/ amp.  I am very fond of this combination, but as it happens, I've decided to start looking for something that will both cure my upgraditis and open myself up to future upgrades throughout my chain.

 

Currently, I am looking with an amp in the $750-$1250 range and am pretty much settled on buying something from Woo Audio.  Obviously, this leads me to the WA2 and the WA6-SE.  I really like the two-block design of the latter, but I'm thinking that the warmth from the WA2 might be a good thing for me.  I listen mostly to classical and soundtracks, so I'm looking for something that will pair well with my HD650s.  I've been trying to get some ideas from Jack, so I realise that the WA2 is warmer and the WA6-SE is punchier.  I'm just trying to find opinions from fellow Head-Fiers to solidify a choice.

 

I know the question of what I'm going to use as a source is going to come up, so here is the answer: for the time being, my source will be my Audinst for the time being.  Yes, I realise I will not get near 100% of what either one of these amplifier choices is offering from this, but I'm not going to split my budget to get both an amplifier and DAC when I can get something very good now and upgrade my DAC in about a year for a similar budget, potentially balanced to open myself up to an electrostatic system later (way later) down the road.

 

Finally, the final bit of my potential dilemma.  I plan on having a good DAC and a one of these two Woo Audio amplifiers in approximately a year's time from now.  I know this will be very good for my HD650s but I can forsee myself starting to wonder what a different headphone would be like.  Therefore, I am also trying to figure out which one of these amps pairs better with the Sennheiser HD800, the likely headphone I'd upgrade to. Of course, that decision is several years down the road, but I'm trying to make a future-proof investment, so I'd like your opinions on that as well.

 

Thank you very much for your asistance.

post #2 of 16

If you were planning on keeping your HD650s as your main cans, I'd have recommended the WA6SE, whose punchiness really helps keep the HD650s sharp and balanced. But if you are set in your plan to eventually migrate to the HD800s, I recommend the WA2 without hesitation. I don't have my HD800s any more, but it's not because they didn't make a fantastic pair with the WA2 (I just like the T1 slightly better).

 

FYI, there's a detailed thread called "Sibling Rivalry" that compares the two amps and addresses many of the issues you pose here. Highly recommended reading.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am by no means attached to the idea of getting the HD800, I'm just trying to help future-proof my system lest I decide to purchase an upgrade later down the road.  I definitely don't plan on changing my HD650s out for at least several years, so I take it that it would be the better buy to get the WA6-SE instead of the WA2 and review that purchase later down the road?

 

One thing that worries me a little about the WA2 is the cost to replace the tubes.  I plan on getting the Woo Audio "tube upgrades" whenever the stock tubes burn out and to replace the WA6-SE's tubes would only be $260 whereas the WA2's upgraded tubes would cost me more than twice that.  Is this a legitimate fear or am I just finding ways to cause indecision?

post #4 of 16
Just curious, did you consider the DNA Sonett or the upcoming Eddie Current Super 7?

I found the Sonett quite good with the HD-650 and really enjoyed it with the HD-800. Also, the 6H30 is a sensational tube with a great reputation. They're reasonable, too.

I haven't heard the Super 7 yet, but Eddie Current makes good amps and people I trust gave it strong marks.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

No, I had not considered those amps.  They do look nice, but I feel that the more "professional" nature of Woo Audio attractive and I very much like the way their amplifiers look.  Thank you very much though!

post #6 of 16
Woo makes a nice amp, but the fit'n'finish of the others is quite good. The Zana is better in person. It is built like tube gear from the Golden Age.

Plus I'm quite taken with Eddie Current's circuit designs. Craig always pushes the envelope. And the Sonett is the only commercial offering with the 6H30, which is very well suited to headphones. I'm surprised no one else is using it.
post #7 of 16

Woo Audio, good choice indeed. There are plenty of great amps out there but like you Im just drawn to their looks. SQ is also steller. Honestly though, post 2 is exactly dead on. Beyond that yeah, more tubes = more money but they take a long long time to burn up on you. I would not base my choice on that but I guess you could. I obviously own the WA2, but Ive spent plenty of time with the WA6SE. Both are great but matching them with the right phones is somewhat important. Read the thread referred to in post #2 and it will answer any and all questions you have.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhoenix924S View Post

No, I had not considered those amps.  They do look nice, but I feel that the more "professional" nature of Woo Audio attractive and I very much like the way their amplifiers look.  Thank you very much though!


FWIW, I used to have a stock WA6SE and now an older maxxed WA6SE (blackgates + stepped attenuator) and a Sonett.  I find the Sonett a superior amp to standard 6SE.  And while I do dig the industrial nature of the Woos, I would prefer to have Sonett sitting on my desk, it is aesthetically one of the prettiest pieces of gear I've owned.  The maxxed Woo w/ EML 274b has won my heart in the end.  Sorry to taking this off a bit on a tangent, just a FWIW.

 

post #9 of 16

I agreed on the Sonett, unless you are getting the WA2or WA22, the Sonett is definitely worth a look at it as it pairs with HD800 crazy good.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hmm... How is the Sonnett with the HD650s?  I really don't want to feel like I have to upgrade headphones in a few years, so in the end, I'd really like what pairs best with the HD650s.  If it pairs with the HD800s that would just be an added bonus.  I read the "Sibling Rivalry" thread and it seems to me from the descriptions there that the WA6-SE is the Woo for me, but seeing as the parts upgrades are no longer available, I'm not sure if that's the best choice.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much everyone for your help.  I just placed an order for a WA6-SE, as I feel it is the best for me due to its synergy with the HD650s.  Will post impressions when I can.  Until then, I'm going to just hope that it makes an audible difference over my Audinst to help me feel as if the cost is well due...

post #12 of 16

I think you made a good choice. At one of the Head-fi meets, I brought some reference CDs and my headphone. I thought the Woo WA6 SE model was definitely one of the best amps. Steve Guttenburg  from CNET raved about the WA6 SE in one of his reviews. I must say that I agree with him. It really is such a fantastic amp and much better than the stock Woo 6 which was somewhat underwhelming to me.

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhoenix924S View Post

Thank you very much everyone for your help.  I just placed an order for a WA6-SE, as I feel it is the best for me due to its synergy with the HD650s.  Will post impressions when I can.  Until then, I'm going to just hope that it makes an audible difference over my Audinst to help me feel as if the cost is well due...


Enjoy your new amp! I really liked the WA6SE/HD650 combination. It's entirely possible that you won't feel the need to upgrade your cans.

post #14 of 16

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhoenix924S View Post

Thank you very much everyone for your help.  I just placed an order for a WA6-SE, as I feel it is the best for me due to its synergy with the HD650s.  Will post impressions when I can.  Until then, I'm going to just hope that it makes an audible difference over my Audinst to help me feel as if the cost is well due...



beerchug.gif Cheers!

 

If your anything like me, this will be a great experience! Enjoy! 

 

Take pictures! 

post #15 of 16

I own the WA2, but I can say from experience that if the 650's are your preferred can then you made the right choice. Im a Grado guy so the WA2 is the right choice. My point is you cant go wrong buying Woo, they are terrific and you are going to love your new amp.

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