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Woo Audio WDS-1 - Page 6

post #76 of 84

Update from Jack on the remote: It uses CR2030 Li batteries ("motherboard batteries") and yes the Torx screws on the bottom must be removed, and the plastic disc in the back apparently has a pretty tight squeeze to be removed, but slides out through the bottom and is the battery holder. 


I'm now using the XLR balanced outs, so I'll be commenting a little more on that soon!

post #77 of 84

I've just received a WDS-1 to go along with my WA22.  First impressions are pretty much what's been said earlier in this thread, exceptionally well built and beautiful object.  I bought this mostly for computer use, but I'm also currently running out of the Toslink on my Sony XA5400ES CD/SACD, balanced and through a Goldpoint XLR switcher, so the WA22 can receive balanced inputs from the Sony and the WDS.  I'm have a very hard time telling the difference, but that's probably a testament to the surprising quality of the Sony more than anything else.  Sound is simply exquisite either way, as much detail as I could ask for and always pleasant.  Still burning in, but I am very pleased, especially with USB operation.  The unit is simple and works without a hitch.

post #78 of 84

OK, I'll tune in as I have a WDS-1, purchased used from a head-fier some time ago.


I did not purchase it for the main headphone system but for a second setup so have a good rig for comparison.


The balanced digital feed in comes from a Meridian Sooloos server and is already upscaled to 88.2.  The main system consists of an M2Tech Vaughan -> Blockhead amp -> HD800 with balanced cabling.


I've inserted the Woo in place of the M2Tech for comparison and it comes through VERY nicely.  To me the ultimate test (on classical recordings) is if the items produce any listener fatigue so I'm pleased to report the Woo passes that test, something a Yulong D100 did not. But I can detect a difference in the filters and do not like the "sharp" one at all.  I queried the difference but was told nothing much except the name of the filter described what it did.  To these ears the sharp one introduced an upper end glare I did not like.  It took me awhile to realise that it was the wrong filter setting that initially had me worried about this DAC.


It is a strange beast with a concealed power switch that had me initially perplexed.  I attempted to dismantle it to investigate the innards but gave up as special tools are required to achieve that.  I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I'll not comment one way or the other except to say those feet look out of proportion to me.


But it is the quality of reproduction which should be the acid test, not how it looks and it is here the Woo shines admirably.  Great resolution and really nothing to criticise.So how does it compare to the M2tech Vaughan which costs many times more?  Answer - very favourably.  If I had not heard what the Vaughan can do I would have thought to have achieved the pinnacle of DAC engineering.  But yes, the Vaughan is better - and so it should be.  It demonstrates just that little bit extra refinement and supplety which is difficult to explain so I'll use an wine analogy.  It is sort of like comparing a very good "drink it now" red wine with one which has matured for 10 years or so.  Both are very pleasant to drink, both give similar affects but the matured one is more enjoyable to consume.


Bottom line is if I had not been sucked in by the Vaughan and had heard the Woo first, I would have been a much richer and happy camper.  The law of diminishing returns sets in with a vengeance past the price of the Woo.  Yes there are better DACs out there but the differences are not blindingly obvious and are expensive to achieve.  It demands good input, a good head amp and top headphones like the HD800 to reveal how good it is.  So, if you have one already, you can be justifiably pleased with your purchase.  If you are looking for one in that price range then certainly give it VERY serious consideration.


Footnote:  The second system it is in consists of feed from an OPPO and a Sony BD player -> Woo -> Balanced Headroom BUDA amp -> HD650s with custom made balanced cabling.  The HD650s do not really do the setup justice but I'm trying to be sensible and am resisting buying another pair of HD800s L3000.gif



post #79 of 84

Does the WDS-1 handle DSD files?

post #80 of 84



As I understand it few DACs do that but some with the SABRE32 Reference ES9018 chip from ESS Technology will - for example the latest OPPO 105 has now been configured to handle DSD.

post #81 of 84

There doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there on this bad boy.


Seems like there's an all black version of the WDS-1 and WTP-1 out there as seen in this review:



post #82 of 84

Is there a power amp you would recommend about the same size as the Woo WDS1?

post #83 of 84
Originally Posted by shadow4 View Post

Is there a power amp you would recommend about the same size as the Woo WDS1?

The HeadRoom Buda is discontinued but you might pick up a used one.  http://www.headphone.com/headphone-amps/amplifiers/headroom-balanced-ultra-desktop-amp-buda.php  I have one mated to the wds-1 and it is excellent.


I have not been following this but maybe the HeadRoom Ultra Desktop DAC (UDAC) is the replacement - certainly a lot less expensive.

post #84 of 84

Any new impressions or further developed feelings towards this piece? I love the idea of this with something like a Mjolnir or Little Dot MKVI+ for some LCD2s.

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