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The Beauty and the Beast... Woo WA2 vs WA22 - Page 3

post #31 of 213
Thread Starter 
What's your main LCD2 setup then?
post #32 of 213

just the WA6-SE

post #33 of 213

This review = Excellent. Wow. Amazing. 

 

274

post #34 of 213

I'm still planning on getting the WA22 or the WA2 as my main setup for my LCD-2 and RS2i's. It's just a matter of money and patience.

post #35 of 213

That was a great review!!  The pictures were almost distracting they were so well taken, but I did really enjoy the read.  Ardilla I've much the same sonic tastes as you do, warmer, involving rich sound.  The music should move you emotionally instead of critically like an SAT prep course.  The Senns seem to respond extremely well to different sources, especially different amplifiers.  I used to have a complete 300b Cary signature setup (CAD-572SE if i remember correctly) with gold faceplates and the like that was my pride and joy for a while, so I'm very much a fan of your preamp/amp.  If you haven't recapped that it is a world of improvement even if you throw in some hovland musicaps, I have a slew of vintage caps though if you'd like to try some out.  Anyway what I'm trying to get at here is that the Woo is the weak link in your chain for those headphones.  They are very nice (had a WA5 for a very brief period of time) but within the context of vintage gear (or even your Cary), which if I'm hearing you correctly would be well within your musical preference, they are quite thin and weightless.  Sure in their own right they absolutely wonderful amplifiers, but once you've compared them to some old iron there is really not much competition.  Try this, make a quick cable (any regular cheap speaker cable will do) that terminates in banana plugs for your HD650s and plug them into the back of your Cary, I will be astounded if it doesn't beat out the Woo.  Or grab a Dynaco St-35 or SCA-35 (people don't realize they are the same circuitry, the latter just much cheaper because of this) and plug the phones in there it will blow away your Woo for a fraction of the price.  Moving up the chain try Eico, HF-30/33, HF-50, or HF-60 with the Acrosound Transformers...really nice.  Speaking of if you can find an Acrosound 2020 those are some of the best transformers every made for an EL84 application.  I have a couple if you are interested in giving it a whirl.  I use a McCurdy tube amp from the late 40s, input transformer, Allan Bradley resistors, hand-wound transformers, the works.  They were licensed by Western Electric much like IPC, Motiograph, ALTEC, Northern Electric, etc, except they were made for Canadian radio applications.  Out of these my Senn HD-650s are right on par with my speaker rig, amp puts out about 5 watts so its perfect for headphones.  Quick comparison, I recently bought a Portaphile 627, does a great job line out of my preamp into the HD650s but it is absolutely blown out of the water by the McCurdy.  I realize that's not quite on par with Woo audio but it gives a decent comparison.  The sense of power, realism, and naturalness is absurd.  If you think about it though, an amplifier is only as good as its transformer, Woo transformers are nothing special; hence why Audio Note will spend 500 hours hand winding all their top of the line transformers. 


Edited by colinharding - 6/27/12 at 9:09am
post #36 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubstep Girl View Post

yes, only sometimes

 

umm something about the source output being low, im sure someone can explain it better than i can lol.

 

If your source output is low like 1v it makes your amp work harder.  If your source has high output (take a look at some of SCHIITs stuff) 4v - you amp can relax a little.

post #37 of 213
I just got the WA2 couple weeks ago. I think it is a very warm, sweet, smooth and musical amp but not very powerful. I hope it would have wattage for my LCD2 r2!
post #38 of 213

Great review, Ardilla. Only stumbled across it today. I will join this club myself pretty soon, and hope to hear some differences, preferably improvements. I guess for either one a lot of the overall impressions will depend on the tubes used...

 

I have never felt that my WA2 is underpowered for the LCD3, even with the volume somewhat past 12 o'clock, and pretty much distortion-free to the end (not on my ears though) The likes of the Valhalla very clearly struggle with the LCD3s though, but it's a different league anyway. I agree that it sounds very smooth though, esp. with my favourite female singer-songwriters, and look forward to what the WA22 will bring to the table, esp. running balanced from the source all the way through.

 

I also want strongly emphasize your point about the T1s which I own as well, and have (tried to) listen to: the WA2 didn't much help with that ginormous treble spike and the resulting sibilance (which I am particularly sensitive to) and I doubt any amp will, even less so cables or DACs. The cure for me was the LCD, and the WA2 has done a lovely job with it. So much so that with my limited time currently, I'd rather have spent time just enjoying listening to this team than analyzing & comparing the various equipment combos at my disposal. Which will be drastically reduced if the WA22 is as good as you make it sound...


Edited by TheGrumpyOldMan - 6/28/12 at 12:37am
post #39 of 213
Thread Starter 

Thanks :)

 

I was expecting that the WA2 was leaving quite fast when the WA22 arrived. But I haven't gotten myself into selling the WA2. I has its own right. Maybe I'll keep

both? Maybe I'll search for another amp that do both thing at the same time (which will never happen)? I'll see after summer ;) I could live happily with either one - but even happier with both. (I will not compare them to women) 

 

(EDIT) (Click to show)

 Natalie-Portman-in-action-on-Your-Highness.jpg  keira_knightley-65.jpg

 

...I will neither compare them to cars.

 

(EDIT) (Click to show)

Mercedes WA22 WA2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

My intention with the review was partly to communicate that I feel the WA2 really is up to the task with the LCD-3 and LCD-2 rev.1, even when compared to the big brother. I hope I've managed to communicate this ambivalence in preference. The spec-wise superior WA22 big-brother versus the little sister who does things her own way.  

 

The WA22 isn't a straight improvement over the WA2. Even if the share the Woo-sound (or whatever) It is a "totally different construction" as Jack Woo put it. And though it's higher price is fair value, it doesn't do the same things as the WA2. I think my LCD-3 comparison showed that I preferred the WA2 almost as much as the WA22, but that the reasons for variations in preference was different. 

 

On the T1 - It is regarded a stellar match with the T1 (and I too think it is) - but yes - if you find the T1 too bright (like I did) - do not expect the WA2 to roll off that treble spike. 

 

PS: Did I make the WA22 sound THAT good ;) ? 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post

Great review, Ardilla. Only stumbled across it today. I will join this club myself pretty soon, and hope to hear some differences, preferably improvements. I guess for either one a lot of the overall impressions will depend on the tubes used...

 

I have never felt that my WA2 is underpowered for the LCD3, even with the volume somewhat past 12 o'clock, and pretty much distortion-free to the end (not on my ears though) The likes of the Valhalla very clearly struggle with the LCD3s though, but it's a different league anyway. I agree that it sounds very smooth though, esp. with my favourite female singer-songwriters, and look forward to what the WA22 will bring to the table, esp. running balanced from the source all the way through.

 

I also want strongly emphasize your point about the T1s which I own as well, and have (tried to) listen to: the WA2 didn't much help with that ginormous treble spike and the resulting sibilance (which I am particularly sensitive to) and I doubt any amp will, even less so cables or DACs. The cure for me was the LCD, and the WA2 has done a lovely job with it. So much so that with my limited time currently, I'd rather have spent time just enjoying listening to this team than analyzing & comparing the various equipment combos at my disposal. Which will be drastically reduced if the WA22 is as good as you make it sound...


Edited by ardilla - 6/28/12 at 3:08am
post #40 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin Morrow View Post

This review = Excellent. Wow. Amazing. 

 

274

+1

post #41 of 213
Thread Starter 

^ thanks again ;) haha - when I first saw that pic Austin posted I read it "Full of Wind!", kinda suited the facial expression in a way..


Edited by ardilla - 6/28/12 at 4:26am
post #42 of 213
Thread Starter 

In what way do you think those tubes takes the WA22?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kchew View Post

That was a great read! I've not heard the WA2 to make any comparisons, but I found your description of the WA22 spot on. Considering your musical tastes, I'd think the WA22 would sound better for you with RCA VT231 greyglass or Brimar CV1988 with Brimar 5R4GY rectifier. Have you tried other tubes with the WA2?
post #43 of 213

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardilla View Post

My intention with the review was partly to communicate that I feel the WA2 really is up to the task with the LCD-3 and LCD-2 rev.1, even when compared to the big brother. I hope I've managed to communicate this ambivalence in preference. The spec-wise superior WA22 big-brother versus the little sister who does things her own way.  

 

The WA22 isn't a straight improvement over the WA2. Even if the share the Woo-sound (or whatever) It is a "totally different construction" as Jack Woo put it. And though it's higher price is fair value, it doesn't do the same things as the WA2. I think my LCD-3 comparison showed that I preferred the WA2 almost as much as the WA22, but that the reasons for variations in preference was different. 

 

On the T1 - It is regarded a stellar match with the T1 (and I too think it is) - but yes - if you find the T1 too bright (like I did) - do not expect the WA2 to roll off that treble spike. 

 

PS: Did I make the WA22 sound THAT good ;) ? 

I was just concurring with you in regards to the WA2 + LCD-3, for others who may be considering both. I'm really looking forward to the WA22 and whatever differences it may bring to the table, and you pretty much confirmed that much at least, so no pressure! wink.gif

post #44 of 213
Thread Starter 

Yup - no reason not to get the LCD-3 if you have the WA2 - they are indeed great!

 

Looking forward to your impressions on the WA22 :)  

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGrumpyOldMan View Post

Quote:

I was just concurring with you in regards to the WA2 + LCD-3, for others who may be considering both. I'm really looking forward to the WA22 and whatever differences it may bring to the table, and you pretty much confirmed that much at least, so no pressure! wink.gif

post #45 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canfly View Post

I just got the WA2 couple weeks ago. I think it is a very warm, sweet, smooth and musical amp but not very powerful. I hope it would have wattage for my LCD2 r2!
Are you running the stock tubes? I found the Tung Sol 5998s to be more powerful than the stock 6080s I don't have an LCD-2 but the WA2 has plenty of power for my modded T50RPs and Thunderpants.
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