Woo Audio WA11 Review / Preview - Head-Fi TV
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Gilles De Rais

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A use case here is that a Digital-Audio-Player (DAP) with a balanced headphone output (4.4mm or 2.5mm) can be used as a source. The answer is it depends if
1) the DAP's balanced output has a ground (Lotoo PAWGT 4.4mm output does)
2) if there is an unbalanced output. In the case of #1, the answer is yes. However, most DAP's balanced output does not carry a ground wire because it is designed to be used with headphones. There are 4 wires, namely L+, L-, R+, R-. That leads to case #2 that you will need a connection cable to "borrow" a ground from the unbalanced 3.5mm headphone output which is typically found in most DAP.

Again, most DAPs with 4.4mm or 2.5mm balanced output are designed to be used with headphones. There are 4 wires, namely L+, L-, R+, R-. There is no ground wire because headphones does not need it.

For example, to connect a Sony WM-1A to the WA11 via balanced output will need a cable that would look like the one in the picture below. The thin wire is a ground wire that you plug it into the 3.5mm unbalanced headphone output to "borrow" the ground.




Another example is the Astell&Kern PEF21 Balanced cable for their DAPs for use with home audio components. Note the dual jacks, 2.5mm and 3.5mm are wired to the dual 3-pin XLR.




Now, back to the 4.4mm balanced input on the WA11. It is a Pentacconn 5-pole connector. The wiring scheme is
L+, L-, R+, R-, GROUND, from tip to the bottom pin.

The argument here is that the source does not need a ground. That is incorrect. All analog interconnection cables MUST have a ground or you will hear a noise in the sound.

The reason that we use a 4.4mm balanced Pentaconn analog input on WA11 topaz is for use with balanced audio components such as home DACs, CD players, Phono preamplifiers, etc with balanced XLR outputs. This allows the user to add a high-performance headphone amplifier to those sources where (typically) does not feature a headphone output.

If you are using balanced home audio source, a connection cable would look like:

Audio sources (DAC, CD player, Phono pre, etc.) with dual 3-pin XLR output:
- Left channel: PIN 1 - ground/shield - PIN 2 - positive/hot (+) - PIN 3 - negative/cold (-)
- Right channel: PIN 1 - ground/shield - PIN 2 - positive/hot (+) - PIN 3 - negative/cold (-)

WA11 topaz input: 4.4mm balanced plug (5-pole) to dual 3-pin XLR balanced connection
- Left channel (+) PIN 2 / Left channel (-) PIN 3
- Right channel (+) PIN 2 / Right channel (-) PIN 3
- Ground to PIN 1 both Left and Right channel

If we didn't use Ground on WA11's 4.4mm balanced input, the connections with balanced home audio components outlined above would not function correctly and would cause noise in the signal.

Hope this helps clarify our choice to use all 5 poles on WA11 topaz 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced input.
Could you confirm if the Hifiman R2R2000 series of Daps with apparently a balanced ground pentaconn lineout is compatible with the WA11 line in? The manual lists wiring configurations from p8 http://down.hifiman.com/manual/R2R2000.pdf

Would there be a benefit in listing cable arrangements for dap series/manufacturers on say page 1 of this thread? Thanks
 
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Mediahound

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Could you confirm if the Hifiman R2R2000 series of Daps with apparently a balanced ground pentaconn lineout is compatible with the WA11 line in? The manual lists wiring configurations from p8 http://down.hifiman.com/manual/R2R2000.pdf
Seems like it. Hifiman even warns against an ungrounded balanced connection in the manual:

D5C0FDFB-1B47-4A4A-AEA0-C3D89202BF26.png

Just gotta remember use 5 poles, grounded balanced only, for the balanced line in to the WA11.
 
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HiFiGuy528

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Could you confirm if the Hifiman R2R2000 series of Daps with apparently a balanced ground pentaconn lineout is compatible with the WA11 line in? The manual lists wiring configurations from p8 http://down.hifiman.com/manual/R2R2000.pdf

Would there be a benefit in listing cable arrangements for dap series/manufacturers on say page 1 of this thread? Thanks
Looks like the HFM R2R2000 also wired to 5-pole. For use with WA11 topaz's 4.4mm input, the 4.4mm to 4.4mm cable should be wired this way (both sides) as outlined in their manual.

1596575805938.png
 
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utdeep

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Is there a way to replace the battery in this device? I plan on using it mostly in desktop mode, but It would be awesome to know if battery can be switched when it no longer holds a charge.
 
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elira

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Is there a way to replace the battery in this device? I plan on using it mostly in desktop mode, but It would be awesome to know if battery can be switched when it no longer holds a charge.
You can send it back to Woo Audio for them to service it.
 
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HiFiGuy528

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Is there a way to replace the battery in this device? I plan on using it mostly in desktop mode, but It would be awesome to know if battery can be switched when it no longer holds a charge.
Yes, we can replace the battery at our NY facility. The average turnaround is 1–2 days + transit time. The battery cells we use in WA11 and WA8 are Japan-made, highest quality and should last many years. In fact, we have NOT had to replace the battery once on either models.

I am playing with new A&K SE200 music player and reading its manual. A&K noted this for use with Balanced Audio Devices. As referenced in my previous post, the Ground is necessary by using BOTH outputs (2.5mm and 3.5mm) on SE200.

1597098381851.png
 
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utdeep

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If we use MQA, should we only use the WA11 as an amp and avoid the DAC?
 
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