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Woo WA7... Uh... What's going on?... It's TERRIBLE.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Okay, so took delivery of a new Woo WA7 today, to replace my WA3, which was a little big for the space, particularly when paired with a DAC... I got the upgraded electro-harmonix tubes option as well.

 

So... I know you need to burn amps in a bit, but everything I've read on the WA7 says just a few hours does it. I'm on like six or seven, and I have to say... How exactly is this an upgrade from the WA3?

 

The WA3 was running some nice tubes, sure (Tung Sol 5998 and Telefunken E88CC drivers), but wow... The WA3 is more detailed, has clearer, better highs, and much deeper bass... The WA7's bass is "sludgy", for lack of a better term... Sloppy, no detail, and just not very deep. The mids are decent, if a little congested. And the highs are fine, although it can be overly bright at times (and I'm running HD650's, so wow.)

 

The WA3 without a DAC easily beats the WA7 (which has a built-in DAC)... The WA3 with a Peachtree DAC•iT X murders it. Murders it. On every conceivable front. 

 

Words can't express how disappointed I am right now... $1100 for what? I just don't understand all the glowing reviews... People would have to be deaf. 

 

Maybe I'm jumping the gun and it needs more burn-in time... But that would be a hell of a burn-in transformation if it gets good... Like a night and day thing. I'm a believer in burn-in for most speakers, headphones, and components, but I'm also a realist with regards to how much something can realistically change from it. Maybe I'll eat my words and feel like a jackass... But I am seriously doubting it.


Edited by Earbones - 5/20/14 at 1:44am
post #2 of 17
curious if you have the impedence set to hi-z yet since you're using the hd650. the eh tubes do need time (25-30 hrs i guesstimate others say more) but regardless should be fairly detailed and extends down well with strong but controlled bass.

also did you dislike it with both the internal DAC and your Peachtree?

I find it odd that this amp could sound this terrible. burn in improved sound a good amount but I never thought at any point that it sounded remotely bad.
post #3 of 17

the HD 650 should sound pretty good off WA7, but then again, an OTL amp with upgraded tubes also works wonders with high impedance headphones like the HD 650, also maybe the WA7 is too warm for HD 650? its supposed to be a warmish amp right?

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi... No, it's not that warm for a tube amp... Definitely not as warm as the WA3. Then again, it's not an OTL and really more of a hybrid, having tube drivers and a solid state power supply.

 

I returned the Peachtree when I ordered the WA7, as I assumed I'd have no need for a standalone DAC...


Edited by Earbones - 5/21/14 at 4:03pm
post #5 of 17

maybe the reviews are compared with lower end stuff hence the obvious hype... you already had a very good setup, with some supposedly better tubes even... although i never had experience with any of these product.. just a thought..

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

I guess. Though a lot of these reviews act as if it's the second coming. Every one of them that compares it to the WA3 or WA6 claims it to be a superior amp. I liked my old set up a lot... But I was taking up one entire end of the dining table. Compromises had to be made with the female half. ;-)

 

Looks like I'm going to get a Resonessence Labs Concero HP. Which will certainly make the girl happy with it's tiny size, and the fact that the only cable involved is a single USB. And from what I've been reading, it's a pretty spectacular little all-in-one. Wish me luck that what I've been reading won't lead me to yet another frustration, ha ha.

post #7 of 17

you could give it more time as well since u already have it... also, i think the wa3 uses a tube power supply inside... maybe the solid state power supply is whats bothering you and affecting the sound in a bad way for you with the wa7 since you got accustomed to a tube power supply... you could maybe try out the new tube power supply of the wa7... worth a try... contact woo audio im sure they will help  you out with your issues...


Edited by 18inch - 5/22/14 at 5:41am
post #8 of 17

The 6S45P tube is one of the most extended and linear tubes out there.  It's also very clear and detailed.

 

If you're unhappy with the sound of the WA7, my guess is the built in DAC is the weak link.  The Peachtree is a firecracker of a DAC.

 

Try hooking up a CD player or DVD player to the analog inputs and play a CD.  See if the sound improves at all.

post #9 of 17

Ever occur to anybody maybe he just got a bad amp. Maybe send it in, see if they find anything wrong with it.

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post
 

The 6S45P tube is one of the most extended and linear tubes out there.  It's also very clear and detailed.

 

If you're unhappy with the sound of the WA7, my guess is the built in DAC is the weak link.  The Peachtree is a firecracker of a DAC.

 

Try hooking up a CD player or DVD player to the analog inputs and play a CD.  See if the sound improves at all.

 

I have the same opinion. Most of my audiophile friends say that the WA7 dac needs to be improved and they're right. 

 

Probably going for a different Woo amp and + Dac from another company will suit you better. 

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Regardless of how clear and detailed the 6S45P is supposed to be, the fact is that my WA3 (with no DAC, fed by a 3.5 stereo to RCA cable from my Mac) is translating bass tracks far, far better than the WA7. The detail and separation of bass notes is just not great when running the WA7 via USB with the DAC engaged.

 

For instance, the bass line from Daft Punk's Get Lucky... Where the WA3 without a DAC separates and projects "Bum, bum, ba bum, bum..." the WA7 bloats and mumbles "Mm, mm, mmm mm, mm". There's no pop or punch of the individual bass notes being struck. No definition. The notes blur together.

 

This is the most glaring offense. But my A-B listening has also shown the WA3 without a DAC to have audibly better overall detail and somewhat clearer, smoother highs.

 

If I got a bum unit, so be it... 


Edited by Earbones - 5/22/14 at 7:17pm
post #12 of 17

I have one tip for you: trust your ears. If your ears are telling you it's terrible, then it's terrible. Go on, sell it (or return it while you can) and try something else, maybe solid state this time.

post #13 of 17

I'm really sorry to read your story, Earbones.  It is one that hits VERY close to home - getting gear that you think is going to be a certain standard and it is a total let down.  But in all honesty, it sounds like you got a dud amp or that the power supply is having a major problem and providing enough power or something.  Did you buy it from Woo or from someone privately?  Sounds like it's time to take it back and exchange it if possible.  Best of luck to you.

 

Sympathetic ears to you,

 

-Paul

post #14 of 17

@Earbones we should take a look at your unit to ensure it wasn't damage during shipping.  Would you be able to send it to us?  We'll go over it bumper to bumper including the tubes.

Reply
post #15 of 17

What was the resolution to this issue? I am curious because the WA7 is in my list of amps I am considering. Thanks!


Edited by rhart00 - 7/7/14 at 11:52am
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