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Two weeks until I order the Woo but I've lost my perspective to the evil "Mr. Audiophile"

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by icenine2, Nov 4, 2010.
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  1. Icenine2
    I would please like some audio perspective about my impending Woo amp purchase since I believe I've lost mine(perspective that is.......sensibility seems to leave one after full blown Audiophile has set in!).  
    After the listen of a WA6 at Skylab's I decided to "Audiophile it"  and get a WA6SE with the upgraded parts, volume, sockets tubes.  Reading more forum posts, endless comparisons, and emailing Jack I decided on a WA22 since it is roughly the same price as the upgrade 6SE.   That was enough for me until I started thinking about getting a non-modded 5LE.  It's just another $600.  I'm about two weeks away from ordering one but now I'm thinking "Mr. Audiophile" may have taken over my brain and I'm overreaching.  It's one of those deals where half of me thinks get a WA5LE otherwise I'll regret it and just start thinking about buying one down the road.  The other half of me thinks just get the WA22, be happy, enjoy the music and let it go.  
    Some considerations:
    1. Tubes for 5LE are more expensive and we all know where that leads
    2. Tubes should last though and is above a real consideration or am I just chicken!?!?.
    3. The footprint(s) of the 5LE are big!  Wife alert!!
    4. Who cares about the size of the double bodied 5LE?  Has anyone looked at the picture of these amps?  They are smokin beauties!!  This is what originally got me started on this Woo journey: Musicman59 The Black Beauty http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/506402/my-new-woo-audio-wa5-le-the-black-beauty  Yes I'm shallow.
    5. The WA22 review in 6Moons is quite compelling.  What more could I possibly need?
    6. Is this what it is like to buy a Ferrari right before you write the check?
    I've got about two weeks here and I will order at that time!!  Any advice is welcome.
    MomijiTMO likes this.
  2. Badd99
    Man, your crazy! But I do know how it feesl to get the upgrade bug. You just have to bring yourself down to reality. Can you really justify spending so much more right now for a ~5% upgraded sound? You know that once your at the WA6 level every dollar you spend is getting you much less improvement in the sound right? Im getting myself a WA6 and Im going to be plenty happy with that. I cant see spending double that for a small upgrade right now. Maybe down the road. I like to work my way up and not really just jump to the top. Ill grap a basic WA6 and throw in a princes tube and be very happy. Remember, its about the MUSIC and the ability for yourself to tell yourself that your happy with it.
    If you really do want to spend that money I think you should just get a WA2 or a WA22
  3. dongringo
    I say if you want it and you can afford it, then GO FOR IT! [​IMG]
  4. kboe
    What you should do is trust in your fellow headfies, particularly me. Have the amp shipped to me, and a few weeks later I tell you if you made a good choice, or if you need to send it back and have woo send me a new amp to try for you.

    It's really quite simple. [​IMG]
  5. TheAudioDude
    I didn't have this tough decision when I bought my WA22... it was actually months later that I realized I could have bought a basic WA5LE.
    But then I thought about the cost of the tubes (well, I've spent a lot on tubes for the WA22).  But you have to remember you'll have to buy not one but two rectifiers, so if you go the EML route it can be pretty expensive.  Not to mention the $1100 parts upgrade which would bring it $450 over the price of a basic WA5.
    Also, there's really no way to justify spending that much money on a headphone-only amplifier when you also have to buy the upgraded tubes (and parts if you desire).  If the WA5 were to cost as much as the WA5LE, then it would totally make more sense to spend $2500 for a headphone and speaker amp.  I guess even $3150 isn't too bad considering the options you have.
    Another thing I realized was that the WA5LE doesn't have balanced outputs.  Since my DAC is balanced and my headphones are balanced, I figured it just wasn't worth the 'downgrade' - if you can even call it that in any way, shape, or form.
    In conclusion, buy a WA22 and put your $600 towards some really great NOS tubes.
    BTW, what headphones are you using?
  6. jc9394


    Sorry but the WA22 is way more than 5% better than the WA6.  Don't get me wrong, I have owned the WA6 maxxed and love it until I have WA22.

    X2, I auditioned the WA5LE and love it but the size and possible of getting a NOS WE 300B for it will get my wife kills me once she found out how much that WE 300B is.
  7. Uncle Erik Contributor
    Have you auditioned the 5LE?
    A 300B sounds substantially different from other tubes.  Some love DHTs (I do), but not everyone.
    I'd try one out before dropping $2,500.
  8. Icenine2
    My headphones are AKG K701's.  I listened to the Beyer T-1's at Skylab's and if I don't get the 5LE I'll go ahead and get those right away or pretty soon as well.  As much as I'd love to get the 5LE the closer I get to this my gut is telling me the WA22.  It is just easier to move about the house if I need to.  Plus the tube cost is killer.  I remember my wife reaction 15 years ago when I bought a Proceed CDD/DAP combo for about $5K.
    Should I get tube upgrade from Jack for the WA22 or look elsewhere?  EML, eBay?
  9. jc9394


    EML, from Jack.  If you are looking at the Treasures, fleabay is much less.  Check fleabay for GEC6080, it is hard to find but it is great power tube except the GEC 6AS7G (even harder to find).
    EDIT - you will love the WA22, I got a chance to get a used WA5LE instead of WA22 but I never regret not getting it.  I used the extra money I saved for upgrade tubes and enjoy it ever since. 
  10. nututubes
    It's very easy to get carried away. I have a WA22 on order right now. As each week goes buy, and as I read posts by the gentelmen who just posted above [​IMG] I order things like NOS tubes from Greece and Hong Kong. Some EML and Treasures from Jack Woo. HD800 from Jack Woo. Headphone cable from Apuresound. Interconnects from Blue Jeans etc.....I worry what will happen when tube rolling bug bites!
  11. skeptic
    The two amps are both great, but different flavors.  I'd echo Uncle Erik's suggestion, if you can possibly attend a meet and sample both before making a decision of this magnitude - do it.  For whatever it is worth, to my ears, the WA5 is the clear stand-out of the Woo lineup.
  12. LAmitchell
    Hey Icenine, 
    You and I are in the same boat - and it's nice to have the company!
    I am about a week away from ordering from Jack. 
    I started thinking about the 3.... read everything I could.... decided I should get upgrades
    then thought about the 6......read tons and tons of posts.......decided i should get the 6 with upgrades
    now i'm at the 2....STOCK. why the 2?  i'm not afraid to admit it: I LOVE THE WAY IT LOOKS.
    if ALL the woo amps are going to sound as good as everyone says,
    I might as well pick the one that I like looking at the most!
    (A)     i love the look of the single chassis:
    (B)     i can use the preamp feature with some DYNAUDIO Focus110A's in the future (what a beautiful sight that will be!!)
    (C)     and now that i decided on my amp, i can focus on OTHER THINGS.... like a new DAC!  yyyyeeaaahhhhh!!
  13. TheAudioDude

    Tube cost really is killer, man.  It's also a pretty good investment once you consider the cheaply-made electronics most people buy these days.  [​IMG]
    I got my EML 5U4G mesh from George at TubesUSA for ~$240 (shipping included).  I've used eBay for all of my other tubes.  There have been times where I wanted to spend more than I'd really like to, but being patient has really paid off in the end.
    Still hunting for some GEC 6AS7Gs though...
  14. musicman59

    I agree. When I was looking into buying an amp I was originally looking at the WA22 because my system is fully balanced as well as most of my headphones. I have the opportunity to listen to the WA22 and WA5LE (without major upgrades) at Chicago's CamJam. I was blown away by the WA5-LE sound. Between what my ears told me and a long conversation with Jack I was convinced the WA5-LE was the best for me even not being balanced. Two wees later I ordered mine. I have been listening to it for 3 months now and I know I made the best decision. I could not be happier.
  15. Reputator
    My general attitude is, just get the best you can afford. A lot of people who have been doing the headphone hobby thing for a long time will tell you it just saves you more money in the end to go all-out early on. At least then there won't be any question of "well this is good but how much better would the higher up model sound?". If you just get the best you can afford, then you know that's the best you're ever gonna get, period, and you'll spend less time wondering what could have been.
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