(That WA7 sure is a beauty.)
Currently using the ALO Pan Am and LCD.2.2s, and the punch is quite similar to the WA7 loaner I had for about 2 days, But personally I feel the rollability of the Pan Am kinda had me sold, though both amps sound amazing (WA7 definitely slightly better than the Pan Am with stock tubes).
Good observation....Makes sense that the PanAm would be a better full size kit.
Now I'm kicking myself for not jumping on that introductory price for the WA7. Oh well, maybe I'll give the PanAm a shot this time around -- want to try a tube DAC/amp to replace my Benchmark.
I have the Pan Am with the Gateway and the Russian tubes and love it. My dad listened to it with my HE-400s and said it's the best he's ever heard music sound. My mom almost started crying when listening to some Elvis songs. My only regret is getting it before the $100 price drop. Otherwise, from someone coming from a meager headphone background I was really blown away by it and can't wait to hear it when I eventually upgrade to the LCD-2.
I must admit these are my two favorite amp/dac combos on the market right now, and have been (in the case of the Pan Am) for a while! Now that i own the WA7 i must give it the nod out of the two for build, design, and audible honey. For me personally either way I could never see the Pan Am as portable, but thats not its best feature anyway, it was that sound! I dint even get to roll the tubes and i was impressed. Great units both of them... But the WA7 ended up on my Parker side table. Theres a WA7 review of mine here somewhere I wont link, but it's not a comparative nor as precise as this piece, just a bit of fun. Well done again Currawong, loved it.
Just got the WA7 two days ago...
Impressive? Yes and sexy as hell next to my MBPro setup.
I do not claim to have blessed audiophile ears and I have not heard many of the competing DACs out there (have not heard the Pan Am) but I can say that I am throughly enjoying the WA7 paired with my HD800s. I have read and read countless postings about "tube sound" and considering all my previous listens were from SS kit, I can say now that others' impressions regarding tube vs. SS is definitely more on point than I had originally expected. The WA7 gave the 800s more meat - if that makes any sense. The sound was more round and easy to my ears and although still detailed, the WA7 made the new "Passione" album from Andrea Bocelli just seem luscious and liquid with vocals and instruments just fading in and out without the punch and analytic jolt of solid state-"ness" that I had become accustomed to. Put on some Chris Botti and could just sit there for hours listening and sipping some tequila
Oh, yeah... (where was I!?!? what happened??) Pairing the WA7 with my TH900s elicited a slightly different response, however, which I didn't seem to like as much as the HD800 pairing as it almost seemed like the 900s got a little dark when busy passages arose in some choice Michael Buble favorites. Not saying this is a bad pairing but of the two phones, I never heard the 800s sound better.
My JH-13s were also tested via the dedicated IEM port for S&Gs and WOW... blackest noise floor I've experienced to date.
At this point it is fair to mention that the unit only has 5-6 hours of burn in and the Audioquest Carbon USB cable and Pangea 14-SE power cable are in the same boat. I know it will just get better with time and look forward to seeing how it will change with all the HP currently in my arsenal.
Also, out of curiosity, I have ordered the EH upgraded tubes... looking forward to burning those in as well as I understand they extend the highs and lows a tad more.
My two cents...