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Thread Starter 

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.