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How good is the Woo Audio WA7 built-in DAC? Is it as good as Schiit Bifrost?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I've read great things about the WA7, but mostly as a complete package or mainly about the amp. Haven't heard much about just the DAC itself. Anyone use the WA7 as a standalone DAC and compare it to other DACs like the Bifrost?

post #2 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post

I've read great things about the WA7, but mostly as a complete package or mainly about the amp. Haven't heard much about just the DAC itself. Anyone use the WA7 as a standalone DAC and compare it to other DACs like the Bifrost?

 

 

http://kenrockwell.com/audio/woo/wa7.htm#meas

post #3 of 31

I've sourced my Bryston BDP-1 with the WA7 dac through my home stereo and it was crisp and clear.  I did not do any comparisons, just enjoyed the music.

post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timekiller View Post

I've sourced my Bryston BDP-1 with the WA7 dac through my home stereo and it was crisp and clear.  I did not do any comparisons, just enjoyed the music.


That's the way to do it. When people ask how better A is from B the answers are all down to personal taste. I drink coke and pepsi, but have no idea which taste better. Same with most DACs.

post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baxide View Post


That's the way to do it. When people ask how better A is from B the answers are all down to personal taste. I drink coke and pepsi, but have no idea which taste better. Same with most DACs.

 

Preference is preference and there are limits on our ability to discriminate between two stimulae however I always like to see what a unit can do technically, anything that falls below 16 bit quality these days is unacceptable at any price yet many such %$#@ devices are being sold and sometimes for loads of money as boutique see...

 

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/zanden-5000-mkivsignature-da-converter-2000-premium-cd-transport-measurements

 

The Woo is a technically competent unit as for the Biifrost I've been unable to find any measured performance.

post #6 of 31

I did a review of the WA7 for Positive Feedback and fed the DAC directly into a dedicated Tri headphone amp that's no longer made, comparing it to the Music Streamer Pro (not the HD). I felt that Woo sounded better but that you really need to think of the WA7 as a package. That's how it sounds best. I use one at work with a 17" MacBook Pro (with SSD), Locus Design Polestar USB cable, EH gold pin tubes, and Moon Audio Silver Dragon LCD-2's. I know that's a really big package; but I get fabulous sound and to me it's worth it as I seem to do most of my listening at work these days, everything from AAC/iTunes Plus to 24/192 PCM albums, classical, jazz, and rock/pop. They all sound great.

post #7 of 31

I think no one will buy WA7 for just the DAC, that is why no one review it this way

post #8 of 31
I think the DAC in the WA7 is actually very good and is handy if you want a desktop amp and pair of speakers along with headphones; but, yes, if you're looking for a standalone DAC, I would recomemmend saving your pennies for a Woo WDS-1 or maybe a second hand QB-9.
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

Ok so it sounds like a decent DAC. I'll have to compare it with the ODAC once I get the WA7. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD 700. Anyone have experience with those and the WA7? I'm thinking about eventually also getting the Bottlehead Crack mainly cuz it's legendary for Sennheisers, and the idea was to connect the DAC of the WA7 with the Bottlehead Crack.

 

I should probably make a thread in the amps section, but since we're here, anyone know if the Bottlehead Crack would even be an upgrade over the WA7 for Sennheiser headphones?

post #10 of 31

I'm sorry; but I've never heard the Bottlehead Crack. If you do decide to go with the WA7, I'd recommend upgrading to the Electro Harmonix gold pin tubes on the Woo website. Yeah, it's another $100.00; but the gold pins are richer and warmer sounding than the stock Sovtek's so would be a better match for the Sennheiser (at least for the HD800's, again, can't say that I've heard the HD700's). As mentioned before, I use a rewired pair of LCD-2's and that's very nice.
 

post #11 of 31

It is better. But the gungnir is far better dac then the wa7 dac.
 

post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyschaub View Post

Yeah, it's another $100.00; but the gold pins are richer and warmer sounding than the stock Sovtek's so would be a better match for the Sennheiser (at least for the HD800's, again, can't say that I've heard the HD700's). As mentioned before, I use a rewired pair of LCD-2's and that's very nice.
 

That's interesting, definitely have to try mine then!

 

Based on Currawong's review I expected them not to pair as well with somewhat bright headphones such as my DT880 and was holding out a bit on trying them : 
"Switching to the Electro Harmonix Gold Pin tubes and the WA7 becomes less "tube" like with the treble more open. This matched well for me with my LCD-3s but owners of brighter headphones might prefer the sound with the stock tubes. What wasn't lost was the lovely presentation through the mid-range and the sheer enjoyment of listening."

http://www.head-fi.org/t/651556/a-tale-of-two-tube-amps-the-woo-audio-wa7-and-alo-audio-panam

 

Note that with the Sovteks and based on my limited experience, I wouldn't really characterize the WA7 as a "warm" amp despite it using tubes, just neutral. 


Edited by BDM-Fi - 7/3/13 at 9:51pm
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post

Ok so it sounds like a decent DAC. I'll have to compare it with the ODAC once I get the WA7. I have a pair of Sennheiser HD 700. Anyone have experience with those and the WA7? I'm thinking about eventually also getting the Bottlehead Crack mainly cuz it's legendary for Sennheisers, and the idea was to connect the DAC of the WA7 with the Bottlehead Crack.

 

I should probably make a thread in the amps section, but since we're here, anyone know if the Bottlehead Crack would even be an upgrade over the WA7 for Sennheiser headphones?

I have the ODAC, and to me it sounds better than the dac on the WA7, But i didn't bought the WA7 for its dac, lol. I get a lot of chirps and the sound breaks a lot, like pressing the pause bottom in rapid sequence. Odac not a single problem music just sound good and more cleaner. 

post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyschaub View Post

I'm sorry; but I've never heard the Bottlehead Crack. If you do decide to go with the WA7, I'd recommend upgrading to the Electro Harmonix gold pin tubes on the Woo website. Yeah, it's another $100.00; but the gold pins are richer and warmer sounding than the stock Sovtek's so would be a better match for the Sennheiser (at least for the HD800's, again, can't say that I've heard the HD700's). As mentioned before, I use a rewired pair of LCD-2's and that's very nice.
 

I found this online, i abit cheaper.

 

http://www.cryoset.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=10&products_id=280&osCsid=714a5b133caa4007bcfdfa0eb4de7e37

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozz007 View Post

I get a lot of chirps and the sound breaks a lot, like pressing the pause bottom in rapid sequence. Odac not a single problem music just sound good and more cleaner. 

Seems something is amiss with your WA7 setup? Haven't experienced those issues in my two initial weeks of listening (Audirvana Plus (Integer bit perfect stream) on MBPr 10.8.4 + cheap USB cable).

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