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Woo Audio Amp Owner Unite

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by dannie01, Jun 9, 2009.
  1. phthora
    How much warmth does the amp add?
  2. abvolt
    It's not bright at all very detailed the wa22 of course adds some warmth as do most tube amps, the ss amp I have is also on the warm tilt which is the LCX a great sounding inexpensive amp..
    I had a pair of Fostex TH500RP planars did not like with WA2 if i recall not enough power . never liked that pairing ended up selling the Fostex not my thing
  4. phthora
    Unfortunately, that is what I was expecting. Since I have mostly planars, looks like I'll stick to the WA6SE. Thanks for the input!
  5. lefever
    Hello everyone - First time to try asking a question. I hope I am doing this right.
    Can anyone tell me when looking at the back side of a WA22 (backside viewing meaning the AC plug is on the left) - what is the direction of the electrical flow? Is it left to right? or right to left? This question is only for awareness when upgrading the fuse for fuses that are direction sensitive. Thanks to anyone who knows for sure. Or if this has already been answered elsewhere - can you post a link?
    Honestly i use .25 cent fuses and really dont worry about stuff like that .Spend you money on better tubes is my advice .:)
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
    Badas likes this.
  7. lefever
    Thanks, @MIKELAP - I hear you... end of the day, it's about the music. I am running a "pack of four for $3" basic glass fuse now. The stock fuse my wa22 came with blew at the time a Sophia 274b Princess rectifier was going bad. That was a month ago and I have since dropped almost $1000 in tubes (and at the end of my budget for tubes), and test-listened to $500 of driver/rectifier combo that I chose not to keep. If a $40-60 fuse will make a difference in replacing something I hear lacking at the moment - something I really enjoy (deep emotional encompassing bass - I do have a $12 Acme Silver fuse that seems to remove that bass presence and this is why I put the cheap fuse back in - I have no shortage of treble extension and stage spatiality at the moment - so I do not need a fuse for that, but my current tube configuration is missing that deep bass involvemnet - that visceral bass but everything else in the musical spectrum is the best it has been)... so if a fuse can give me what I am looking for, then I am open to it - but I am done with tubes and almost done with critical listening assessments (meaning, I just want to get back to smiling because the music sounds so good and involving) -- I am reading every page over the next few days of a fuse forum - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/audio-grade-fuses.419939/ - but thought I would ask this woo audio forum for any electrical direction at the fuse holder just in case it matters - I would like to avoid turning the power on and off repeatedly for switching fuses one way or another to A/B for sonic changes, as that is a good wat to put age on a rectifier tube (as told to me by Sophia Electric). Once I have dialed the sound to the way I like it for my ears - I will be putting a box of tubes up for sale, headphone cables and such that I do not use -- as I do not enjoy tube rolling or critical listening, once I have the sound I want, the tubes will be made available to those who love to tube roll).
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
  8. abvolt
    I'm not sure how a fuse can make a difference in sq, I read through that forum and some are talking how great those fuses are in sq, I'm not convinced sorry dude..
  9. audioadvocate
    My 2-cents re: can fuses out of direct audio circuitry path affect sound quality? I think they can, but there are so many other factors to consider that differences in sound quality can be do to unexplained and complex electronic interactions between components in and out of the audio chain.

    If a fuse acts as a significant resistance to current flow, that could "steal" or limit the amp's current requirement for reproduction of the lowest frequencies. So a skimpy, resistive fuse could rob your bass of the fullness (low end frequency response) of your bass. I was given a solid silver bar for use in my DAC as a replacement for the fuse, and don't notice any audible difference in the DAC's output signal as fed to my WA22. But since a DAC is a low-level device, and the WA22 is a Current and Voltage-producing device, a silver fuse (99.99%) should be the best in terms of electron, and therefore, current, flow. Does a pure silver fuse behave in non-linear manner the greater the current flow? In other words, is there a hysteresis that affects the fuse's resistivity as the current flow fluctuates? Maybe, but I'd expect that more with a typical BUSS fuse rather than a 4-nines silver bar. I'd expect a cheap fuse to exhibit more impedance (variance of the measured resistance/a feature of AC circuits) than simple resistance (a feature of DC circuits) and bass loss.

    Add to this that at least traditionally, headphones were at one time more voltage-dependent than current-dependent devices. Remember that magnetic planar cans and Litz cabling have/add capacitive effects as well.

    I use headphones that work with traditional drivers (Sennheisers), and those that, because they are magnetic planars (Anandas), are probably heir to capacitive effects. I have seen finely-tuned stereo amplifiers, whose circuit topology has them operating on the ragged edge of instability (for example, with no negative feedback), blow all of their outputs with Litz speaker or more esoteric cabling by instigating parasitic oscillation, so be mindful that your cables can have a much greater effect on sound quality than a lowly PS fuse. I was using, at the time, Magnepan MG-IIbs and Martin Logan CLS electrostats...known for their capacitive loads, which made things even more touchy. There are so many countervailing electronic issues in and out of the audio chain that changing out a PS fuse simply shouldn't provide large sonic effects on the audio chain by itself.

    Many years ago, I did a "test" to see whether beefing up a power supply in a common audio amplifier could improve that amplifier's low-end performance. I used a Hafler DH101 and gutted the bridge rectifier, and replaced it with one that had twice the current capability. I doubled the value of the PS capacitors. I replaced the ON/OFF toggle with a beefier one. The improvement in the solidity and power of the bass response was incredible. Knowing that Hafler had used MOSFET outputs, I took a chance that I would NOT have taken with regular bipolar output transistors. But my point is that providing the audio circuit with unfettered access to clean, raw DC power made a huge difference. Contrast this with likely minute differences in available AC power from the wall. I'm not convinced that the effect of changing one "good" fuse with another would make a tangible difference.

    I suspect that today's headphones are far more current-dependent than ever before. I have not measured the current output capabilities of the WA22, but with a set of TS5998 or TS7236 tubes or 421As, I suspect it is substantial. I also suspect (although I have no proof) that because the WA22 is built like a brick schiithouse, that Woo Audio has considered most of these esoteric electronic interactions, but from what I am told, has decided to keep it's Class A circuit simple. Everyone has heard the "keep it simple, stupid" admonition....I believe it's a good one.

    I dare not ever open my WA22 although I'd love to see a picture of the point-to-point wiring we hear so much about. If any of you have a photo and could share it, I'd love to see it.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
    abvolt and llamaluv like this.
  10. lefever
    Hello @audioadvocate - I really appreciate the depth you took in this discussion. I have noticed a difference in AC cord with my WA22 - I use one that gives me a better definition than the one I use with my speaker preamp loom... why? I have no idea but any time I tube toll and want to check the AC effect, I return back to this particular AC cord. I had a pair of Sylvania 7236 in the power sockets (6080) and they worked great paired with the Sophia Electric 274b Princess Mesh (clear glass) rectifier and the Sophia Electric 6sn7 (discontinued clear glass), Had replaced the 7236 with a great NOS 1959 T-S 6080 tube and the treble delicacies were vastly improved but the reduced power made the combination to polite - the bass was distant and lacked on stage presence and slam... put in a pair of NOS RCA 1956 6sn7GTB tubes and the bass slam returned but the staging was flattened - Went back to the Sophia Electric 6sn7 + Sylvania 7236 and was happy with the emotional involvement I felt though I missed the delicate treble details and timbre -- if I have to compromise I will take emotional involvement over clinical detail as I use music as a means to shut my mind off while I work and engage emotionally rather than analytically (I have plenty of friends who are the opposite and also get emotionally involved too - this is the subjective part) - analytical detail, especially a treble emphasis actually interferes with my work... I only mention that because one thing rarely discussed in building a system is the "why" we listen to music (intention or goal for making a system sound a particular way) or if we use it as for some function other than to disapear into the music -- the 7236 with the Sophia tubes was giving me a touch of glare (noticeable in trumpets, and having heard what delicacy was, I thought to change this but needed to keep that visceral bass - it is why I bought the LCD-3 headphones - midrange warmth and bass and then proceeded to open the Audeze darkenss with tubes cables and equipment - not something I planned - it happened more as a compulsion) - So aquired the Tung-Sol NOS 5998 power tubes and that was the best midrange and treble combination with enough power for the imapact missing with the 6080 tubes... but the deep visceral bass was absent (bass was there, very clean, but a tad lean as if waitng on the new voicing for the "balls to drop" so to speak .... replaced the Sophia 6sn7 tubes with teh RCA and got my impact with a slight obscuring of the stage air (something the Sophia tubes do well - especially the new Blue glass 6sn7 with their Aqua 274b - amazingly quiet and detailed - too analytical for my tastes and they lacked that onstage presence I like, especially in the deep bass - I would say their sound is similar to the HD800 compared to an Audeze LCD-3 in terms of detail and tone in my system).... bringing us to the fuse. I had a silver Acme Audio Labs ($12) ceramic cryo treated fuse (4A - taking a risk with 4A) to replace a blown stock fuse... I was to give it 700 hours to burn in but after about 200 hours, went back to an inexpensive standard electric store 3A glass fuse because it sounds fine and isn't choking the bass which the Acme fuse was apparently doing (I was too impatient to wait a month for the fuse to burn in to see if that was going to change - and besides, Jack Wu recommended I go down to a 3A or even a 2A for protecting the amplifier)-- When you sited. "So a skimpy, resistive fuse could rob your bass of the fullness (low-end frequency response) of your bass." -- THAT IS EXACTLY what I experienced - thank you for sharing that insight. I am not planning to go nuts with the fuse - and Jack Wu has said he has played with fuses but heard no difference, however, he may revisit that in the future. However, like you said, and I am paraphrasing, everything (I have found) is dependant on everything else... and my system was built around opening up the Audeze LCD-3. Next month I am changing headphones, and I cringe to think that the current set-up may be less optimized for the new cans. The hobby is too rich for my blood - and why I have come to the forum to eliminate isolated trial and error. Thank you again for your contribution - it was helpful.
    Eduardo C and abvolt like this.
  11. abvolt
    I think after further reading on how fuses affect sq in audio gear by some very notable reviewers even the owner of PS audio is convinced they work, I'm going to take back my not being convinced until I give them a try..
    Alcophone likes this.
  12. fnsnyc
    Quick question:
    The WA7 (1st gen with tube power supply) or the WA8?
    and why?
  13. elira
    I'll take the WA8. I auditioned both and I didn't like the WA7 it was a little too sharp, the WA8 was amazing and it's transportable.
  14. fnsnyc
    I didn't focus on that too much though, more the mid range and bottom end.
    But now that you say it, the cymbals sounded more blended in and more in place on the WA8.
  15. attmci
    Old version with DACT CT2

    wa22 920794.jpg

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