Personally for me, I have to admit I didn't really enjoy the HP-A8 as much. I gave it a 3-star in my review. As a DAC-only it's better however IMHO that's quite a bit to pay for just "DAC-only". For me I think in almost every way I preferred the WA7 over the HP-A8. If I had the WA7 already and I had a further $1600 - $2000 to spend on a DAC, I'd probably find a dedicated DAC or some sort.
Yup, same for me. I felt it was a waste to spend that much and use the DAC only. If Fostex made a DAC without a discreet headamp and charged $500 - $700 less, I probably would have bought it. Same for the WA7, but in reverse. I think the in-built DAC is only about as good as most of the portable usb-stick units (like the first-gen Dragonfly), and would prefer if Woo sold it as an amp only for around $200 less.
I still maintain that, if I needed a single unit for both DAC and amp functionality for the TH series headphones, and had to choose between the HP-A8 and WA7, I'd take the HP-A8. If you were to ask me to rate the HP-A8; DAC = 4/5, Amp = 3/5, Overall = 3.5/5
Edited by kurochin - 12/24/13 at 9:53pm