Haven't seen many people address tube rolling on the WA-5, so I'm trying a thread about it.
Backstory: I was a Woo WA-6 owner, and I had a great time running through tubes on the amp. Ultimately settling on a 6SN7 drivers and a mid-1950's GZ34 rectifier as my reference set.
Then it happened. I was cruising eBay (always a danger) and happened across a WA5-LE.. and no one was bidding. I won the WA5-LE for a little over $1800 dollars-- it has about 20 hours on it. Pretty stoked.
Point of reference-- the Woo WA-6 sold for $50 bucks more than I paid for it on eBay. Lesson here-- this Woo stuff retains its value. It's a darn safe audio buy.
The WA5-LE is absolutely stock with no upgrades -- which I'd expect for the price. But I do want to upgrade tubes very soon.
My biggest fear is going with vintage tubes. This wasn't an issue on the WA6, because 1 rectifier was doing the job for both channels, and the drivers are relatively cheap. But in WA5-land, you must match your tubes. Matching vintage tubes looks like quite an unlikely prospect. Worse-- there are now 3 separate pairs instead of 2+1 on the WA6.
So I'm left with a field of options-- From Western Electric re-issues to EML to Sophia, PSVane and many others.
I'm leaning toward EML (Emission Labs). There's high praise for the EML rectifier-- 5U4G (a mesh plate). But the 300B output tube is said to lack bass emphasis on the EML.
Sophia Electric has mesh and carbon and even a hyper-juiced carbon 300B ($1200 bucks!) are said to produce a deeper bass-- but aren't as strong through the mids. Generally the Sophia gets higher marks than the EML
The Western Electric is supposed to have brilliant mids, but there's a roll-off in the bottom and top.
Then there's the PSVane, 596's, and on and on...
So many choices-- so little time (nor unlimited funds). What are you rolling right now? Why?
I'll post some photos in the near future.