WA2 vs Valhalla 2 vs Crack Speedball
Apr 11, 2015 at 2:10 PM Post #16 of 36

politbureau

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Glad to see someone giving the WA2 some love! It's a fantastic amp, and I sort of regret selling mine. That said, I actually bought the WA2 and WA6 and didn't ultimately keep either. The WA2 I found too smooth (albeit beautiful if you want that complete tube sound), and the WA6 a bit too articulate to fulfill my tube desires. Lyr 2 split the difference, particularly when a friend let me borrow his Amperex OGs (bastard took them back).
 
I suppose it comes down to personal preference. The WA2 was literally like pouring warm, honeyed butter into my ears. I actually miss the sound, but I remember being frustrated at the time.
 
Congrats on the purchase. As DSG says, get rolling! You will literally spend the rest of your days hunched over your computer scouring the web for tube deals... but it's worth it!
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 7:15 PM Post #18 of 36

bucketbrigade

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I just finished building the Crack (no speedball yet) and while very impressive, just isn't in the same league as the WA2.

 
The Crack with Speedball is in a different class than without. It makes a huge difference. I haven't heard a WA2 yet, but the Crack w Speedball slightly outclasses my WA6. Personally I have a long term itch for a WA22 or WA5.
 
Apr 11, 2015 at 8:15 PM Post #19 of 36

politbureau

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The Crack with Speedball is in a different class than without. It makes a huge difference. I haven't heard a WA2 yet, but the Crack w Speedball slightly outclasses my WA6. Personally I have a long term itch for a WA22 or WA5.

Agreed. It's a basic amp unless you get the speedball.
 
Has anyone here heard the La Figaro 339? I am wondering how it stands up to other amps in this thread.

I have, and used to own one, of the 6J4P variety. It's the softest and most tube sounding of all the amps discussed here. My problem with it, like the WA2, was there was no way to push it closer to neutral, regardless of tubes. It's always going to sound soft. Which may not be a bad thing.
 
The Lyr 2, WA6SE and Bottlehead SB all have the ability to sound neutral, fast and analytical, or with different tubes soften up completely to give that tube warmth and tone.
 
In my experience, the Lyr 2 is the most flexible, as it can stray to either extreme without issue, and still provide the power needed to drive any set of cans. Construction is top notch, as is warranty, and its made stateside, so no shipping, import fees or duties to worry about. Plus tubes are readily available, relatively cheap, and the sound of different models well documented and discussed on this forum. IMO, it's the better, more flexible, and 'safer' buy.
 
If the WA2 is in your sights, however, I'd definitely consider the 339 - it has a similar sound out of the box, can be rolled, and is much less expensive than the WA2. The latter has better components internally, but with the $500 or so you save, can buy quite a few sets of tubes.
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 11:41 AM Post #20 of 36

Krutsch

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I've been enjoying my WA3 for some time now and think it's time to move up to a WA2.
 
Been buying up tubes in preparation: a pair of Brimar EZ81s, a pair of Siemens EZ81s and a pair of Telefunken EZ80s as rectifiers.
 
On the power tube front, I've upped my Western Electric 421a count to 5 (two matched pairs, along with a NIB spare that I've been using in my WA3). Also, I've added pairs of TS 5998, TS 7236 and another pair of TS 6520 (these are underrated tubes, IMO).
 
@mikoss is tempting me with his GEC 6080s ... of course, I will beg to try them out.
 
And, I have lots of driver tubes...
 
Anyway... I have two questions:
 
1. is Woo Audio still selling "upgraded" or "maxed-out" WA2 amps? I am still working my way through the Woo Audio 2 thread, so maybe that question is answered there and I haven't gotten far enough along;
 
2. How does the WA2 compare to the WA3? Yes, I know it has roughly 2x power, looking at the specs on paper; but am I going to drop $1,200 US and go: "meh" or "nice".
 
Thanks, in advance.
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 1:01 PM Post #21 of 36

politbureau

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1. is Woo Audio still selling "upgraded" or "maxed-out" WA2 amps? I am still working my way through the Woo Audio 2 thread, so maybe that question is answered there and I haven't gotten far enough along;

They are not, however you may be able to find one used. You can also contact Woo and see if it's available via a special order. Last time I asked, however, they said no :frowning2:
 
2. How does the WA2 compare to the WA3? Yes, I know it has roughly 2x power, looking at the specs on paper; but am I going to drop $1,200 US and go: "meh" or "nice".

Big upgrade in power, and more tube sound, bigger soundstage, and more separation.
 
Personally, I would either try and find a used, upgraded WA2, or skip it and get the Figaro 339 new. I actually preferred the 339s sound to any of the Woo gear I've owned, but you have to like and want that soft tube sound.
 
If you're set on a piece of Woo gear, I'd be looking towards the WA22 as an end game solution, and would save my money towards that purchase instead. Same argument I'd make when considering and LCD-2 - better to save up and get the LCD-3 and be done with it!
 
Apr 13, 2015 at 5:57 PM Post #22 of 36

Krutsch

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  Big upgrade in power, and more tube sound, bigger soundstage, and more separation.
 
Personally, I would either try and find a used, upgraded WA2, or skip it and get the Figaro 339 new. I actually preferred the 339s sound to any of the Woo gear I've owned, but you have to like and want that soft tube sound.
 
If you're set on a piece of Woo gear, I'd be looking towards the WA22 as an end game solution, and would save my money towards that purchase instead. Same argument I'd make when considering and LCD-2 - better to save up and get the LCD-3 and be done with it!

 
Love the first part... sounds like the answer to my question is: "nice" ... thanks for taking time to respond.
 
For the second part, I like Woo Audio, the company: their stuff is beautiful, built to last and a Woo has a great customer sat reputation. So, I am fairly set on going in this direction.
 
I've considered the WA22 (recommended by someone in the Woo Unite thread, based on moving into planars at some point), but it's 2x $$ + more new tubes = $$$$.
 
Food for thought...
 
Apr 15, 2015 at 5:39 AM Post #23 of 36

Liu Junyuan

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They are not, however you may be able to find one used. You can also contact Woo and see if it's available via a special order. Last time I asked, however, they said no :frowning2:

Big upgrade in power, and more tube sound, bigger soundstage, and more separation.

Personally, I would either try and find a used, upgraded WA2, or skip it and get the Figaro 339 new. I actually preferred the 339s sound to any of the Woo gear I've owned, but you have to like and want that soft tube sound.

If you're set on a piece of Woo gear, I'd be looking towards the WA22 as an end game solution, and would save my money towards that purchase instead. Same argument I'd make when considering and LCD-2 - better to save up and get the LCD-3 and be done with it!


Thanks for the mention of the 339.
 
May 19, 2015 at 1:25 PM Post #24 of 36

Maxx134

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Has anyone here heard the La Figaro 339? I am wondering how it stands up to other amps in this thread.



They are not, however you may be able to find one used. You can also contact Woo and see if it's available via a special order. Last time I asked, however, they said no :frowning2:

Big upgrade in power, and more tube sound, bigger soundstage, and more separation.

Personally, I would either try and find a used, upgraded WA2, or skip it and get the Figaro 339 new. I actually preferred the 339s sound to any of the Woo gear I've owned, but you have to like and want that soft tube sound.

If you're set on a piece of Woo gear, I'd be looking towards the WA22 as an end game solution, and would save my money towards that purchase instead. Same argument I'd make when considering and LCD-2 - better to save up and get the LCD-3 and be done with it!



I herd the 339 at the NYmeet,
and have to say it was at least in the same league as the wa22 there in beauty/clarity of sound.
maybe the wa22 had a bigger stage but I was not able to verify.
I could only say that the sound was truley excellent smooth and clear, and I preferred it over the overly bright zana deux next to it, which had a larger soundstage as well, but was not as satisfying or pleasant.
 
May 20, 2015 at 1:40 AM Post #25 of 36

Liu Junyuan

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I herd the 339 at the NYmeet,
and have to say it was at least in the same league as the wa22 there in beauty/clarity of sound.
maybe the wa22 had a bigger stage but I was not able to verify.
I could only say that the sound was truley excellent smooth and clear, and I preferred it over the overly bright zana deux next to it, which had a larger soundstage as well, but was not as satisfying or pleasant.


Thanks. I actually know the person you are talking about with the EC ZD and 339, and he convinced me to get the 339:). I've been loving it so far.
 
Jun 3, 2015 at 5:06 AM Post #26 of 36

abhishekSPS

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Has anyone here heard the La Figaro 339? I am wondering how it stands up to other amps in this thread.

 
They are not, however you may be able to find one used. You can also contact Woo and see if it's available via a special order. Last time I asked, however, they said no
frown.gif


Big upgrade in power, and more tube sound, bigger soundstage, and more separation.

Personally, I would either try and find a used, upgraded WA2, or skip it and get the Figaro 339 new. I actually preferred the 339s sound to any of the Woo gear I've owned, but you have to like and want that soft tube sound.

If you're set on a piece of Woo gear, I'd be looking towards the WA22 as an end game solution, and would save my money towards that purchase instead. Same argument I'd make when considering and LCD-2 - better to save up and get the LCD-3 and be done with it!



I herd the 339 at the NYmeet,
and have to say it was at least in the same league as the wa22 there in beauty/clarity of sound.
maybe the wa22 had a bigger stage but I was not able to verify.
I could only say that the sound was truley excellent smooth and clear, and I preferred it over the overly bright zana deux next to it, which had a larger soundstage as well, but was not as satisfying or pleasant.


Have u auditioned crack+speedball...how does it compare to 339...@ $750 ($130 shipping) is it worth over crack+speedball?
 
Jun 3, 2015 at 5:10 AM Post #27 of 36

abhishekSPS

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I herd the 339 at the NYmeet,
and have to say it was at least in the same league as the wa22 there in beauty/clarity of sound.
maybe the wa22 had a bigger stage but I was not able to verify.
I could only say that the sound was truley excellent smooth and clear, and I preferred it over the overly bright zana deux next to it, which had a larger soundstage as well, but was not as satisfying or pleasant.


Thanks. I actually know the person you are talking about with the EC ZD and 339, and he convinced me to get the 339:). I've been loving it so far.


how does 339 compare to Garage1217 project ember especially with hd650...on yuking's website 339 is listed for $750
blink.gif

 
Jun 3, 2015 at 2:31 PM Post #28 of 36

Liu Junyuan

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how does 339 compare to Garage1217 project ember especially with hd650...on yuking's website 339 is listed for $750 :blink:


Sorry, I have not heard the Ember. But they are not the same topology: whereas the ember is a hybrid, the 339 is completely tube and is output transformerless.
 
Jun 3, 2015 at 9:48 PM Post #29 of 36

abhishekSPS

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how does 339 compare to Garage1217 project ember especially with hd650...on yuking's website 339 is listed for $750
blink.gif


Sorry, I have not heard the Ember. But they are not the same topology: whereas the ember is a hybrid, the 339 is completely tube and is output transformerless.

yes i know 339 & BHC+SB are OTL while ember is hybrid but I am looking for an amp which can provide best sound without much tube rolling for HD650s.
i like syrupy mids tight & deep bass, but should not be boosted/emphasized; soundstage imaging and presentation should be EXCELLENT;
highs should be super smooth without loosing much details...I am over sensitive to treble.
I am also eying on Gustard H10. So 339s are the most expensive ones :frowning2: How does 339 compare to BHC with speedball upgrade for HD650s?
 
Jun 3, 2015 at 10:03 PM Post #30 of 36

Liu Junyuan

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yes i know 339 & BHC+SB are OTL while ember is hybrid but I am looking for an amp which can provide best sound without much tube rolling for HD650s.
i like syrupy mids tight & deep bass, but should not be boosted/emphasized; soundstage imaging and presentation should be EXCELLENT;
highs should be super smooth without loosing much details...I am over sensitive to treble.
I am also eying on Gustard H10. So 339s are the most expensive ones :frowning2: How does 339 compare to BHC with speedball upgrade for HD650s?


I also never heard the Crack. You really cannot go wrong with that amp for the HD 650s, from what I gather, on condition that you get the speedball upgrade.

I do own the H10 and can wholeheartedly recommend it.
 

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