Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Which Woo amp for Audeze LCD-X?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Which Woo amp for Audeze LCD-X?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

I've been a member here for a long time, but I had stopped visited the forums for years (so I don't go broke). Since, it's been a few years, I thought I'd take a look at what's new and see if I can do a major upgrade of my equipment.

 

I mostly listen to classical, jazz and more modern orchestral (like Yanni, Vangelis etc.). I like all frequencies equally. My music is mostly in SACD and ALAC. I use a mac and a Marantz SA8001 for source. I have one of the very first WA6's with a Sophia and the PDPS mod and I use it mostly with the HD650. I also have some portables and speaker amps, AKG K701, Beyer 770's etc., but I'm looking to upgrade my desktop rig, so let's concentrate on that.

 

I would like to get a wider soundstage, represent all frequencies equally, separate instruments and increase clarity. I don't care for too analytical of a sound, like that coming out of the AKG K701 as compared to the HD650. I do use those when I mix, but not when I want to sit back, relax and enjoy the music.

 

I have pretty much decided on getting the Audeze LCD-X, after looking at the LCD-2, LCD-3 and HD800. I have read that the LCD-X pairs well with transformer coupled or SS amps. Specifically, I got these from the forums:

Burson Conductor
Woo WA7
Mjolnir
SPL Phonitor

Grace 903

 

I really like the Woo quality and looks. I am thinking of going with the WA6-SE or the WA5-LE. Here are my questions:

 

1. Am I correct that with the LCD-X, I will hear some immediate changes even with the WA6 I have?

 

2. Will there also be a significant change moving to the WA6-SE, then the WA5-LE, then the WA5-LE with upgrades? I am trying to gauge by how much, so I can see how the diminishing returns apply in this scenario.

 

3. Am I correct that the WA6-SE has the power that the WA6 is lacking for the LCD-X?

 

I am comfortable with a $3k total budget (so LCD-X + WA6-SE). I can stretch to the WA5-LE, if we are talking about 10% or more difference between the WA6-SE and the WA5-LE (like how I quantify that?). I really don't want to pay another $1200 for the upgrades of the WA5-LE, unless you guys put a gun to my head.

 

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of listening to any of these amps here. I am in St. Louis, MO and looked at what's going on with meets here, but it seems like nobody around here has met in more than 6 years. So, any light you may shed on how much of a change you think I would see with the above combos would be greatly appreciated.

 

I tried to come up with something that I believe I will like after reading these forums extensively and trying to catch up. If you believe, I am heading down the wrong path, please feel free to suggest anything else you may think I need to look into.

 

Thank you all for any help you may be able to provide.

 

George.

post #2 of 31

I have the WA5 and LCD X here and can say with the tube sI am using its one of the very best combinations and a significant step up over the WA7. I also tried it with the WA6 SE and WA 22 and the WA5 really  is poutstanding so the WA5 LE would be your bes tbet. I dont have parts upgrades on the EWA5 but do use a really nice tube combo od EML 300B,TS 6F8G and 596 recitifers.

 

If you can swing the WA5 LE that is the route I would recommend if not go with the Wa7 

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Frank. It sounds like you value the WA7 higher than the WA6SE and WA5LE being the best of all (naturally). I may have to go the WA5LE route, then. Let's see where I put this extra $1.5k now...

post #4 of 31

I would go with the WA5 LE if you can swing it. My WA5 is doing double duty with speakers but I do think the WA7 is bette for the lCD x than the 6SE.  Just remember you will need to get better tubes than the stock tubes. I like the EML 300B and George Lenz form EML will steer you right with the tube upgrades for the 5LE. Look for some good TS 6F8G with the adapter and if you cant find any 596 for reasonable money go RCA 5U4G. I am pretty satisfied with the WA5  and see no reason to buy any more amps and it will drive any headphone I use with it.  My 300B were $550.00 for the pair

post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 

Got it. I don't mind investing in tubes, because I can at least do it a bit later. Almost $3k is pretty steep for my wallet, especially considering the $1.7k I'm paying for the LCD-X at the same time, but I think I'll manage. I won't have a dime more to spend on the tubes for a while, though. Which is not going to be a big deal for now.

 

So, Frank, are you saying that you like your tube combo better than the upgrades which Jack suggests on his page?

 

I would also like to post two quotes straight from the horse's (Jack's) mouth:

 

Quote:
 The WA6 drives the LCD-X fine since the headphone is high sensitive. The WA6-SE is a big step up from the WA6. It has high power, great dynamic range, and fast speed. This amp powers all Audeze headphones equally well.
Quote:
The improve from WA6 to WA6-SE is fairly significant compared to 6SE to 5LE. However, you will not be getting any 300B sound of the WA5-LE from the WA6-SE. The WA5-LE is the best amp we build besides the 234 MONO. Note that all of these amps will power the LCD-X properly.
 
I'm not so sure what "300B sound" is like and how it's different than the 6SE sound, but it seems that it's preferred :) I'm surprised he didn't mention the WA7 at all, but so be it.
post #6 of 31

I dont like the sophia tubes as much as the EML tubes,  The 6SE is not even close in sound quality to the WA5LE. The 300B tubes give yoi a fuller sounding tube with excellent bass and good treble extionsion with transparency and are easily availabe tubes as they are current production. The tube in the 6SE are not being made and hard to find the better ones as they are getting scarcer. I would say if you have the money and get that amp then  do your tube upgrades when your funds become available you will be done. I have not wanted to upgrade anymore with my amp.

 

Once you find what you like most with the tubes as OI did you wil be done with thats also. I occasionally change the drivers but not often.

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Ok, thanks, Frank. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. I will try to go for the 5LE :)

post #8 of 31

Your welcome and good luck with what ever you decide to go.

post #9 of 31

I think you should keep a SS option in your list such as the Conductor, for the price and features it's well regarded. A guy on the conductor thread made some reviews and comparisons.

 

Keep us posted on what you decide. 

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 

Yes, it looks like I'll have to consider the SS amps around $1k. I am looking more at the Soloist now than the conductor, since they have the same head amp and I don't really need the DAC. Thanks for the advice.

post #11 of 31

A great solid state amp right at the 1K price point would be the Violectric V-200.  Excellent with the LCD-X.

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 

So I have been reading. It seems that the LCD-X likes SS better than tubes around the 1k range, just for power alone. I am actually debating between the Mjolnir, V-200 and Soloist at the moment. I ordered the Mjolnir to try it, since they have a 15 day return policy and we'll go from there. The V-200 is a bit harder to get coming from Europe, but it seems people are having good luck with that. Thanks for the input!

post #13 of 31
Maybe you can spend a little more on the amp(wa22) and less on phone. The lcd2 sounds great with wa22. I'm a LCD and WA user by the way.
post #14 of 31
PS: the LCD2 is better than the HD650 in terms of sound quality. You can easily notice this once you put them on.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by George Chronis View Post
 

So I have been reading. It seems that the LCD-X likes SS better than tubes around the 1k range, just for power alone. I am actually debating between the Mjolnir, V-200 and Soloist at the moment. I ordered the Mjolnir to try it, since they have a 15 day return policy and we'll go from there. The V-200 is a bit harder to get coming from Europe, but it seems people are having good luck with that. Thanks for the input!

Put the Meir Classic on your list too

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › Which Woo amp for Audeze LCD-X?