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Woo Audio Amp Owner Unite

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by dannie01, Jun 9, 2009.
  1. binot
    One more thing to add... The unit at my dealer also exhibited the same weird humming.. when the unit was off.. So no other WA5-LE owners in the states experience this issue? Possibility of a bad production batch?
     
  2. JLoud
    I have a WA5-LE that is about 6 months old. Absolutely zero hum. Even when turned on it is dead silent. On high gain with my Utopias there is slight hum when on. But this sounds like a power supply issue to me.
     
  3. isol
    Anybody know where can I order a pair of Tung-sol 6F8G Round Plate for my WA6-SE? Thnks..
     
  4. jerick70
    They are hard to find. Keep watching Ebay. I picked up a pair there 6 months ago.
     
  5. isol
    Ok, thanks..
     
  6. matthewhypolite
    Woo Audio WA33 Elite Edition Review

    [​IMG]
    ...look closely

    Introduction

    Hello all, I've been partaking in this hobby of ours for the past 14 years. Starting over a decade ago with a Grado SR60, and climbing up the ladder since then. My first amp was the Headroom Micro Amp, and I've slowly upgraded over the years, making a few big jumps in-between. I ultimately ended up on the Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold which has served me well, but I've always been interested in tube amps. The price/performance of solid state amps just outperformed all the cheaper tube amps IMO so I never got into them. Now that I've reached the upper end of headphone amplification I decided to make the jump to tubes. Enter the Woo Audio WA33 Elite Edition!


    Equipment

    Headphones : Abyss Phi, Focal Utopia, Denon D5000, D7000+, Sennheiser HD6xx
    Amps : Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold (LAu), Woo Audio WA33 EE, HeadRoom BUDA
    DAC : Schiit Audio Yggdrasil, HeadRoom UDAC
    Source : Computer, USB, Jriver
    Cables : DHC Spore 4 Fusion + Interconnects, CAD USB Cable, JPS Labs Kaptivator Lite, JPS Labs AC-X Digital
    Misc : Lane 315 Cinema Home Theater Recliner +Transducers
    Transducers : ButtKicker LFE, 2 x ButtKicker BK4 Advanced (Stereo), Clark Synthesis Platinum

    Build Quality

    Before we get to how it sounds, the build quality is absolutely astonishing. A solid metal twin chassis housing the gorgeous tubes up top. The unit is solid and heavy, I think it clocks it in at 65lbs. The finish is clean and precise and I really like the look of it. Overall a really well built and solid piece.

    Sound Quality

    Now let's get to how it sounds. I've run the amp on stock tubes for about 2 months now. In its stock form the amp is really good. Gobs of power, clean, precise, authoritative. It feels like a natural progression from my previously owned Dark Star and Liquid Gold. It retains the qualities of these very excellent solid state amps and adds that tube magic on top. Detail retrieval, resolutions, dynamics, all in-tact. I was initially apprehensive about going with a 2A3 design, because I didn’t want a sound that was dry or clinical, but I'm happy to say that is not the case. The amp is very much smooth, rich, and full bodied. I think the WA33 design has struck a really great balance between accuracy/resolution and euphonic tone. It's simply a highly resolving, accurate, yummy delicious sound. The amp is really clear, resolution and detail retrieval is amazing. It has the tube character, but very clear. The bass is tight, full, and impactful. The phi sound amazing on this amp. There is a bit of sibilance, but this has all but been removed with tube upgrades which I'll get to later on.
    There's a gain control and impedance control nobs for high/low on each. With the Phi I run High Gain and toggle between high/low impedance depending on the genre. Low impedance offers a warmer sound and high offers a cleaner more powerful presentation. With the Utopia I run low on both. There is not hard and fast rule for these controls, I just played with them and settle on what sounds best.

    My average listening session on this amp with the Phi is about 2-3 hours. It's hard to stop listening. Whiles performing critical listening of the amp and the new Phi, I've often found myself lost in the music and forgetting that I was performing a critical listening session for my review.
    I must say, at around 200hrs on my abyss, and about 125hrs on the WA33, they sound absolutely incredible. In tracks that pair with the abyss well, i.e. clean well recorded tracks, they sounded marvelous. I've found myself saying "what was that?", and rewinding portions of tracks to re-listen. I'm hearing details I’ve never heard before, that combo gives such an intimate window into the music, while’s still being open, lifelike, and rich with the tube signature.

    This Is my first tube amp, so I can't really compare it to anything other than what I’ve heard before. And what I can say is, it’s a huge step up from the Liquid Gold. The WA33 EE gave me the power of the Lau, the impact of the Lau, with the rich deep tones of tubes, all combined into 1 cohesive sound. Then turn up the performance 2-3 notches. This is all based on stock tubes.

    I know the question on most folks minds is, "Is it really worth $15K!!!?". To put that question to rest as simply as I can, If you're a budget conscious headfier, look elsewhere. There are many great options for a fraction of the price that do an excellent job. Woo's own offerings have some great options, as well as any of the many great solid state amps out there. I cannot comment on the price of the Elite vs Standard as I haven't heard the standard, but I'm told it packs a lot of what the elite has for half the cost. Having said all that, if you do have the budget, this is a really excellent end game amp and I am happy with my purchase.

    Tube Options

    Now onto the part that makes tube amps a hell-of-a-lot of fun. Tube rolling!
    My original intension was to run the amp on stock tubes for a year then look at upgrading. But……I couldn’t resist and wanted to extract the best out of the amp a lot sooner than I planned. So I began my tube hunt for various exotic NOS and new production tubes. That in of itself was a fun journey. I've learnt a lot about different tube types, variations, brands, etc etc etc. In addition to a lot of reading both on and off of head-fi, I've had some really great and educational conversations with several head-fiers that's helped me with my initial amp purchase as well as tube rolling options.

    I've broken down the tube rolling options below and how the various tubes I've rolled affected the sound compared to stock.

    Rectifiers (5U4G / 274B):
    upload_2018-4-15_22-26-7.png

    Power (2A3):
    upload_2018-4-7_18-14-59.png

    Drivers (6C45Pi):

    upload_2018-4-7_18-15-19.png

    I'll update those tables as I collect more tubes, hopefully it's a useful resource for anyone that may be considering tube options for the WA33.

    Thus far my primary tube config is RCA Mono + Takatuski + EH Drivers. When I get my hands on the WE and Elrog rectifiers I'll see which I like best to run as my main. I eventually plan to get my hands on some KR Audio HP Tubes and Maybe a set of AVVT. But I'll spread out my future tube purchases over the coming years.

    Summary

    Overall this is an excellent amp. Tube rolling is a hell of a lot of fun and there's a lot more fun to be had, to the detriment of my wallet! I think I've finally found my endgame amp, and the ability to modify the sound via tube rolling to suit my preference at any given period is awesome. Clean, precise, authoritative, rich, smooth, expansive sound, with a euphonic tone and quality that made me shed manly tears once some exotic tubes were rolled in. Paired with the Abyss Phi, this is truly a marvelous system.

    Special Thanks

    Special shout out to Xecuter and isquirrel, they've both been of great help. Also like to mention Mike and Jack Wu from Woo Audio, they were very forthcoming and accommodative of all my questions an inquiries before and after my purchase. Now enjoy the nerd-p0rn, I mean photos :D!

    Photoshoot

    20180202_184647.jpg 20180202_190041.jpg 20180323_193153.jpg
    20180405_195514.jpg 20180405_220605.jpg 20180405_220914.jpg IMG_5129.JPG IMG_5130.JPG IMG_5134.JPG IMG_5187.JPG IMG_5198.JPG IMG_5203.JPG IMG_5204.JPG IMG_5205.JPG IMG_5207.JPG IMG_5209.JPG IMG_5217.JPG IMG_5228.JPG IMG_5233.JPG IMG_5253.JPG IMG_5256.JPG IMG_5258.JPG IMG_5283.JPG


     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
    kyle1010, Matro5, phase0 and 5 others like this.
  7. 18inch
    anyone know why Woo Audio's new version of WA6 and WA6SE went with 12de7 isnt of 6de7 route? seems like the choice of tube with these sockets are much more narrow...
     
  8. joseph69
    @matthewhypolite
    Congratulations on your new beautiful amp!
    Please buy or build a stand deserving of your gear! :)
     
    HoloSpice likes this.
  9. Xecuter
    Incredible gear @matthewhypolite ! Looking forward to hearing how you go with the NOS rectifiers!

    Enjoy this amazing system in good health my friend!
     
  10. matthewhypolite
    I'm building a massive L desk around the entire room to house my PC/Gear, i started with my headphone gear section first, but once it's done it will be 1 solid L-Shape desk going right around the room.

    20180403_172416.jpg
     
    joseph69 likes this.
  11. joseph69
    Very good! Post some photos when it's done.
    I built a simple but stable stand for my amps from 1-3/4 solid butcher block topped with a piece of 1/4" tempered glass & steel legs.
    The rest of my gear is on top a 1/8" aluminum plate mounted to my gas fireplace which has a separate duct inside forcing the heat out through the front vents so minimum (if any) heat reaches the top surface of the fireplace.

    P1020519.jpg
     
  12. Violent_Sneeze
    How long should a pair of Electro Harmonix 6C45Pi last? Have some in my WA7
     
  13. matthewhypolite
    I've added the WE274B impressions to my review, see here:

    upload_2018-4-15_22-26-48.png

    Thus far i'm liking the NOS more. But ill roll the taks in a week or 2 and see how i like them.
     
    Xecuter likes this.
  14. Ron Sherwood
     
  15. Ron Sherwood
    Other than free shipping is there any other reason to order my new WA7 from Audio Advisor vs direct from Woo Audio?
     

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