Woo Audio Amp Owner Unite
Nov 14, 2020 at 11:40 AM Post #41,056 of 41,885

Krutsch

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Hi all. I have a used Wa3 arriving soon. I'll be using it primarily with HD6xx's, which sound like should be a great match. I have 2 questions though.

1) It's my first tube amp. If I use it with lower impedance cans like Audeze Lcd-x's will that be a problem or cause damage?

2) If anyone that has tube rolled the Wa3 has any recommendations would love to hear them.

Thanks!

Looks like it's that time of year again: :L3000:

To cut to the chase on the low-cost end for the drivers I strongly recommend these:

https://www.tubedepot.com/products/telefunken-black-diamond-e88cc-6922

They sound fantastic, have great clarity and imaging ... almost holographic compared to many of my other driver tubes. New they are about $50 US each, as I recall.

...if you want to spend more money, my other favorites are

Siemens CCa (NOS),
Siemens E288CC (NOS - mine are re-branded as Philips) or
Telefunken E188CC (NOS);

all are WAY more expensive, but can be found on eBay. I have more tubes (see my profile), but these are the ones I rotate between.

For the power tubes, that one is harder (read: more expensive). I recommend the following, in ascending order:

3. Tung-Sol 7236
- clean and crisp sound, less bloomy or tubey (are those real words?), decent power and fast dynamics (compared to other 6080 compatible tubes). That last part is real; after spending a lot of time with the next two tubes, I noticed the speed right away with the TS 7236.

*Note: I have Sylvania 7236 tubes that don't sound half-bad; are close in sound, less expensive and less rare.
Maybe try these - I haven't listened to these for a while?

2. Tung-Sol 5998 (or Chatham 2399) - the Chatham tubes are re-branded TS 5998, but my pair has somewhat different sound characteristic between the types, which might be a factor of wear. The TS 5998 is a favorite of many and presents a lot of bass and more "tube sound". IMO, it's a very syrupy tube with a lot of "bloom"; with the HD-650s, I think it sounds quite pleasing for some music, like warm guitar rock or female vocals.

1. Western Electric 421a - these have been described as the "holy grail" for 6080 compatible tubes; so far, I agree. Many believe these are identical to the TS 5998, of this I respectfully disagree. These tubes are now stupidly expensive on eBay. IMO, the Westys combine the best of the TS 7236 and the TS 5998 - that is, there is good bass and oomph, but with less bloom (i.e. less bleed of lower frequencies into the lower mids). The speed is good (not as great as the 7236, IMO), but what really separate the Westys from the pack is the clear, warm tonality. Seriously, with this glass, I can listen all night and lose track of the time.

*Note: I have a collection of 6AS7Gs from RCA (black plates) and Tung-Sol, but folks who know better usually advocate the GEC version, which is expensive and more rare (I have a pair in my WA2 and they sound pretty great).
 
Nov 14, 2020 at 12:04 PM Post #41,057 of 41,885

Wid

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Looks like it's that time of year again: :L3000:

To cut to the chase on the low-cost end for the drivers I strongly recommend these:

https://www.tubedepot.com/products/telefunken-black-diamond-e88cc-6922

They sound fantastic, have great clarity and imaging ... almost holographic compared to many of my other driver tubes. New they are about $50 US each, as I recall.

...if you want to spend more money, my other favorites are

Siemens CCa (NOS),
Siemens E288CC (NOS - mine are re-branded as Philips) or
Telefunken E188CC (NOS);

all are WAY more expensive, but can be found on eBay. I have more tubes (see my profile), but these are the ones I rotate between.

For the power tubes, that one is harder (read: more expensive). I recommend the following, in ascending order:

3. Tung-Sol 7236
- clean and crisp sound, less bloomy or tubey (are those real words?), decent power and fast dynamics (compared to other 6080 compatible tubes). That last part is real; after spending a lot of time with the next two tubes, I noticed the speed right away with the TS 7236.

*Note: I have Sylvania 7236 tubes that don't sound half-bad; are close in sound, less expensive and less rare.
Maybe try these - I haven't listened to these for a while?

2. Tung-Sol 5998 (or Chatham 2399) - the Chatham tubes are re-branded TS 5998, but my pair has somewhat different sound characteristic between the types, which might be a factor of wear. The TS 5998 is a favorite of many and presents a lot of bass and more "tube sound". IMO, it's a very syrupy tube with a lot of "bloom"; with the HD-650s, I think it sounds quite pleasing for some music, like warm guitar rock or female vocals.

1. Western Electric 421a - these have been described as the "holy grail" for 6080 compatible tubes; so far, I agree. Many believe these are identical to the TS 5998, of this I respectfully disagree. These tubes are now stupidly expensive on eBay. IMO, the Westys combine the best of the TS 7236 and the TS 5998 - that is, there is good bass and oomph, but with less bloom (i.e. less bleed of lower frequencies into the lower mids). The speed is good (not as great as the 7236, IMO), but what really separate the Westys from the pack is the clear, warm tonality. Seriously, with this glass, I can listen all night and lose track of the time.

*Note: I have a collection of 6AS7Gs from RCA (black plates) and Tung-Sol, but folks who know better usually advocate the GEC version, which is expensive and more rare (I have a pair in my WA2 and they sound pretty great).


I agree with all of this.I prefer the Tung Sol 5998 but also really like the Tung Sol 7236. Tried a couple 6080 tubes and really not a fan. For an inexpensive driver tube you can also look at the current production Gold Lion E88CC/6922
 
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Nov 30, 2020 at 8:56 PM Post #41,058 of 41,885

reeltime

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Wanted to throw you guys an update on my new Western Electric 300Bs (posted a video about them a few weeks ago):

They sound better than the Taks to my ears, but two of them developed a chatter, they sent out one replacement and it developed a loud popping like it was going to blow. Shades of Elrog 1st gen tubes. Might want to hold off a bit until they get QC under control, if you're considering a purchase.

The positives are massive-- better sounding 300B. But this being the first run, and I'm a lab rat right now. The really, really good news is that unlike Elrog, Western Electric have a 5-year warranty on these tubes. You write them and you get an actual human response. They're standing by their products.
 
Nov 30, 2020 at 9:45 PM Post #41,059 of 41,885

attmci

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Looks like it's that time of year again: :L3000:

To cut to the chase on the low-cost end for the drivers I strongly recommend these:

https://www.tubedepot.com/products/telefunken-black-diamond-e88cc-6922

They sound fantastic, have great clarity and imaging ... almost holographic compared to many of my other driver tubes. New they are about $50 US each, as I recall.

...if you want to spend more money, my other favorites are

Siemens CCa (NOS),
Siemens E288CC (NOS - mine are re-branded as Philips) or
Telefunken E188CC (NOS);

all are WAY more expensive, but can be found on eBay. I have more tubes (see my profile), but these are the ones I rotate between.

For the power tubes, that one is harder (read: more expensive). I recommend the following, in ascending order:

3. Tung-Sol 7236
- clean and crisp sound, less bloomy or tubey (are those real words?), decent power and fast dynamics (compared to other 6080 compatible tubes). That last part is real; after spending a lot of time with the next two tubes, I noticed the speed right away with the TS 7236.

*Note: I have Sylvania 7236 tubes that don't sound half-bad; are close in sound, less expensive and less rare.
Maybe try these - I haven't listened to these for a while?

2. Tung-Sol 5998 (or Chatham 2399) - the Chatham tubes are re-branded TS 5998, but my pair has somewhat different sound characteristic between the types, which might be a factor of wear. The TS 5998 is a favorite of many and presents a lot of bass and more "tube sound". IMO, it's a very syrupy tube with a lot of "bloom"; with the HD-650s, I think it sounds quite pleasing for some music, like warm guitar rock or female vocals.

1. Western Electric 421a - these have been described as the "holy grail" for 6080 compatible tubes; so far, I agree. Many believe these are identical to the TS 5998, of this I respectfully disagree. These tubes are now stupidly expensive on eBay. IMO, the Westys combine the best of the TS 7236 and the TS 5998 - that is, there is good bass and oomph, but with less bloom (i.e. less bleed of lower frequencies into the lower mids). The speed is good (not as great as the 7236, IMO), but what really separate the Westys from the pack is the clear, warm tonality. Seriously, with this glass, I can listen all night and lose track of the time.

*Note: I have a collection of 6AS7Gs from RCA (black plates) and Tung-Sol, but folks who know better usually advocate the GEC version, which is expensive and more rare (I have a pair in my WA2 and they sound pretty great).
Which is 421A? 5998?
 

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Nov 30, 2020 at 10:32 PM Post #41,060 of 41,885

cddc

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1. Western Electric 421a - these have been described as the "holy grail" for 6080 compatible tubes; so far, I agree. Many believe these are identical to the TS 5998, of this I respectfully disagree. These tubes are now stupidly expensive on eBay. IMO, the Westys combine the best of the TS 7236 and the TS 5998 - that is, there is good bass and oomph, but with less bloom (i.e. less bleed of lower frequencies into the lower mids). The speed is good (not as great as the 7236, IMO), but what really separate the Westys from the pack is the clear, warm tonality. Seriously, with this glass, I can listen all night and lose track of the time.


Tubes with the same internal structures are always the same tube (one being the original and the other being the rebrand), I have never seen exceptions. WE 421A and Tung Sol 5998 are no different.

The sound difference perceived can very likely be attributed to the psychological effect - people tend to believe more expensive tubes sound better, even though sometimes they are hearing exactly the same tube. Sometimes the difference can come from different batches - some small variations on getter shape/location and tube construction materials over the years .

WE 421A and Tung Sol have the same internal structure, and also have the same transconductance. In fact some WE 421A tubes were labeled as "421A / 5998" on their bases.
I did some research on WE 421A and Tung Sol 5998 a while ago and found that they are the same tube. For details:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/crack-bottlehead-otl.476650/post-15927789

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/crack-bottlehead-otl.476650/post-15930093
 
Dec 1, 2020 at 2:26 AM Post #41,061 of 41,885

davehg

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A question for WA5 owners.

My Genelex Gold Lion 300bs have given up the ghost after less than 60 hours. First one tube then about a year later, the other. Symptoms are one channel loses volume, and the problems follows the tube as I switch it to the other channel. Definitely the 300bs and not the 6SN7 or 274bs.

I‘ve put the stock Shugangs back in which surprised me with their power but am wanting to try something more smooth sounding and reliable and won’t break the bank. The Taks are out of my value window, but the EMLs look promising. There are three versions: basic at about $600, the XLS for another $140 extra, and the mesh for and additional $140.

what’s the difference and is it worth going to the XLS or Mesh? Are they reliable? Should I consider any others in that price range?

Ive been mostly listening to speakers, not phones, recently. The WA5 drives a pair of Devore The Nines as well as the Super 8s wonderfully.
 
Dec 1, 2020 at 2:33 AM Post #41,062 of 41,885

moemoney

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A question for WA5 owners.

My Genelex Gold Lion 300bs have given up the ghost after less than 60 hours. First one tube then about a year later, the other. Symptoms are one channel loses volume, and the problems follows the tube as I switch it to the other channel. Definitely the 300bs and not the 6SN7 or 274bs.

I‘ve put the stock Shugangs back in which surprised me with their power but am wanting to try something more smooth sounding and reliable and won’t break the bank. The Taks are out of my value window, but the EMLs look promising. There are three versions: basic at about $600, the XLS for another $140 extra, and the mesh for and additional $140.

what’s the difference and is it worth going to the XLS or Mesh? Are they reliable? Should I consider any others in that price range?

Ive been mostly listening to speakers, not phones, recently. The WA5 drives a pair of Devore The Nines as well as the Super 8s wonderfully.
I’m interested as well in your responses. As well as other recommendations.
 
Dec 1, 2020 at 2:45 AM Post #41,063 of 41,885

reeltime

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what’s the difference and is it worth going to the XLS or Mesh? Are they reliable? Should I consider any others in that price range?

There are few tubes that will outperform the EML Mesh 300B. The only tubes I've personally heard (I haven't heard every tube on the market) that sound better are: 1) The Elrog, which I will never EVER buy again because I refuse to support a company that ghosts its users. 2) The Takatsuki which until the Western Electric were the king of the hill. 3) the Western Electric which outperforms the Tak, but appears to be having reliability issues for now.

So the answer to me would be the EML Mesh (the XLS gives up tube-ness for a slightly stronger bass, allegedly. I have not verified)-- or the Takatsuki at around twice the price. Neither suffer significant failures. Not to say they never happen, all tubes die at some point, but these are established quality manufacturers of 300B tubes.

The EML Mesh will deliver about 85% to 90% of the Takatsuki, in my opinion, which is to say, they're very very good tubes, and reliable as hell.
 
Dec 1, 2020 at 2:52 AM Post #41,064 of 41,885

davehg

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There are few tubes that will outperform the EML Mesh 300B. The only tubes I've personally heard (I haven't heard every tube on the market) that sound better are: 1) The Elrog, which I will never EVER buy again because I refuse to support a company that ghosts its users. 2) The Takatsuki which until the Western Electric were the king of the hill. 3) the Western Electric which outperforms the Tak, but appears to be having reliability issues for now.

So the answer to me would be the EML Mesh (the XLS gives up tube-ness for a slightly stronger bass, allegedly. I have not verified)-- or the Takatsuki at around twice the price. Neither suffer significant failures. Not to say they never happen, all tubes die at some point, but these are established quality manufacturers of 300B tubes.

The EML Mesh will deliver about 85% to 90% of the Takatsuki, in my opinion, which is to say, they're very very good tubes, and reliable as hell.

Thanks Reel. Did you ever try the basic EML?
 
Dec 1, 2020 at 10:24 AM Post #41,066 of 41,885

JLoud

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I had the EML mesh on my WA5le. They sound fantastic. I also had the Gold Lions and much preferred the EML. Bigger stage and sweeter midrange. Never had any issues. I really like the EML mesh 5U4G as well. However the Takatsuki is on another level.
 
Dec 1, 2020 at 11:18 AM Post #41,068 of 41,885

JLoud

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Same site has the 274b for a phenomenal price. I would spring for the Takatsuki for the price difference. I feel they are that good.
 

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