Woo Audio 2 as preamp?
Feb 6, 2011 at 8:39 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

SteveFord

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Does anybody have any thoughts as to the WA2's capabilities as a two channel preamp?
I'm sure that as a headphone amp it's tremendous but how about using speakers with it?
I was thinking that it might pair up nicely with a set of smaller VTL or Manley monoblocks.
Thanks
Steve Ford
 
Feb 6, 2011 at 9:36 AM Post #2 of 10

Rizlaw

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Steve,

I've had my WA2/LCD-2 combo for a little over a month. One of the reasons I chose the WA2 was for the preamp functionality. My experience with it has shown me that it works quite well as a preamp into powered speakers with one caveat. The caveat is this:

If you happen to have a pair of LCD-2s headphones connected at the same time you will notice that the volume level to your speakers is almost halved! Remove the LCD-2s while music is playing and the volume magically increases. Plug them back in and the volume drops. Now plug in a pair of 600 ohm DT-990s phones and the volume never changes while using the WA2 as a preamp. Now, I appreciate that you would not normally be listening to speakers and headphones at the same time, but I tend to leave my headphones attached to the WA2 and as a new owner, at the time, having 1st read the WA2 manual, I wasn't expecting this behavior.

At first I wasn't sure if the WA2 was broken or not, and the WA2 owner's manual is very light on useful information about using the WA2 in general and as a preamp in particular: especially any negative interactions you should watch out for.

I emailed Jack Wu about the problem and he wrote back that it was due to an impedance imbalance when the LCD-2s (50ohm) are connected at the same time the WA2 is connected to an amp or powered speakers. Lesson learned: don't keep low impedance headphones attached to the WA2 while using it as a preamp.

I hope this little bit of info helps.
 
May 7, 2011 at 5:18 PM Post #5 of 10

jenneth

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While the WA2 is a very good headphone amp, I'm not so sure if I can say the same thing about using it as a preamp. To me, it renders the sound somewhat recessive (especially the midrange). So, after using that a few weeks, I got a passive volume control and I was much happier with that.
 
Oct 1, 2011 at 12:19 PM Post #6 of 10

Lord Soth

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Quote:
While the WA2 is a very good headphone amp, I'm not so sure if I can say the same thing about using it as a preamp. To me, it renders the sound somewhat recessive (especially the midrange). ......



Hi Jenneth,
 
May I know what sort of tubes were you using?
 
Were they Stock tubes or other NOS tubes?
 
 
Nov 26, 2014 at 9:15 PM Post #8 of 10

Franatic

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  I know this is an old thread... but I was curious on this same subject as well. I am looking to a future WA2 as a possible preamp and headphone amp to replace my Asgard 2. Running into Manley Lab series 100 monoblocks.


I've had my Woo WA2 for about 4 months. I love it as a preamp for my main system. I use this function even more than the headphone amp function. Absolutely you must upgrade your tubes if you want to get great performance. With the right tubes this amp is awesome.
The current and my best tube combo:
Rectifier: RFT EZ80...does it's job perfectly
Driver: Siemens CCA......awesome imaging and detail/ 3D and completely transparent
Power: GEC 6080WA.....adds very nice bass and lower mids but maintains all the details and soundstage of the CCAs
 
With these tubes the WA2 enters a whole new class and is a wonderful preamp! :)
 
Dec 14, 2014 at 11:16 PM Post #9 of 10

Coolzo

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I've had my Woo WA2 for about 4 months. I love it as a preamp for my main system. I use this function even more than the headphone amp function. Absolutely you must upgrade your tubes if you want to get great performance. With the right tubes this amp is awesome.
The current and my best tube combo:
Rectifier: RFT EZ80...does it's job perfectly
Driver: Siemens CCA......awesome imaging and detail/ 3D and completely transparent
Power: GEC 6080WA.....adds very nice bass and lower mids but maintains all the details and soundstage of the CCAs

With these tubes the WA2 enters a whole new class and is a wonderful preamp! :)


Thanks for the response! :) hmm the WA22 is calling me, but the preamp isn't stock and would probably cost much more... decisions decisions.
 
Dec 17, 2014 at 12:29 PM Post #10 of 10

Franatic

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Thanks for the response!
smily_headphones1.gif
hmm the WA22 is calling me, but the preamp isn't stock and would probably cost much more... decisions decisions.

With the difference in price between them, you can put some money towards some T1s. T1s can be had at a good price these days. I got mine at an open box discount for $722. Then, of course you gotta get tubes....etc. Always we have so many choices in a hobby that is not cheap. I do love my WA2/T1 combo. The WA2 preamp out rocks my main system. The WA2 is well worth the money when you give it double duty. Good luck with your choice...I don't think you can go wrong with either.
 

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