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Woo Audio WA22 Amp Owner Unite

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by leftside, Nov 20, 2016.
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  1. abvolt
    I recently got a few inexpensive rectifiers (3) Bendix 6106 which is a variant of another rectifier I have the 5Y3WGT you can see in the pic the Kenrad is the 5Y3 and has a different construction then the 6106, it's their sq differences like night & day, the 6106 is for an inexpensive tube simply excellent sounding, If any of you guys haven't heard one it's well worth your time to get one.

    The other is a 5AS4 not the 5AS4A straight bottle envelope I've had a number of them and didn't care for their sound, it's the older coke bottle style envelope that sounds very nice worth owning that's for sure, I've got a few more that I'll post after some listening time my tube rolling has become a habit..enjoy

    20170913_183836.jpg 20170913_184023.jpg
  2. EndGameSearch
    It looks like I win the jack ass award for the day. I'll pass it off as a rookie mistake but feel I should have caught this. I just received my WA22 and Nordost XLR cable from Woo. We had a miscommunication and they thought I had a balanced source. I ASSuMEd I could connect my Chord Hugo 2 to the Woo with a RCA male to XLR male cable to run my HD800S with their balanced cable. Now I come to find out that I am limited to the RCA to RCA single ended connection with the Hugo.

    Shame on me.............

    One of the main drivers behind this purchase was the fact that it is balanced, the HD800S came with a nice balanced and SE cable which I could finally take out of the wrapper and I was going to look at other harder to drive headphones in the future that would benefit from the balanced output. How much am I missing out if I only run it in SE mode? I surely do not want to drop another 1 - 2K on a new DAC since I love the Hugo, but this all a bit disappointing. I feel like I"ll be driving a high performance sports car but not able to take it out of 2nd gear. I'm not looking for balanced for the sake of balanced, but Woo designed this amp around it's balanced output so it seems to be a waste.

    Thoughts? Advice? Reassurance? Smart ass remarks? Right now I'm leaning towards the dreaded return and re-stocking fee, and going a different route. I really wanted to take this step beyond my WA8 but there are also some nice SE solid state amps I find attractive which may be better suited to drive the LCD-4's I will likely buy in the near future.
  3. EndGameSearch
    Disregard the previous post. The WA22 will be heading back to Woo....
  4. davehg
    I'd stay the course. The WA22 with a single ended source still sounds great. I've found that the balanced improvements really depend on the source. With my Sony HAPz1ES, I heard real improvements over the SE outputs because the power supply and filtering on the Sony was optimized for balanced output. With my phono stages and my older TriVista 21 Dac, the WA22 still sounds great.

    To be clear, if I was building a system around the LCD4, I would choose the WA5 all day every day over the WA22. I don't have super exotic tubes and the WA5 is noticeably better over the WA22. It uses SE inputs, though you can get XLR inputs they are not truly balanced.
  5. m8o
    I understand your position of not wanting to buy a fixed desk DAC Michael given what you already have. But if it's not too late already I will still suggest it; I will suggest a used NAD M51. Easily had used for around $1K, and pretty common these days either here, eBay, or Audiogon (if not seen for sale every day). It was on Stereophile's recommended A+ list for several years; not sure, it may still be there. It's precise neutral ultra revealing output is an excellent compliment for the lusciousness of the WA-22. And if you're building a rig that's not moving, having an A+ rated DAC coupled to it full time makes some sense.

    Option #2. Get a used Mjolnir series 1 (or series 2, for a bit more $). And use its single-end in, balanced out preamp option to most neutrally balance an unbalanced source. It uses a special circuit that balances an unbalanced signal without phase splitting. Actually, maybe get the series 2. You mentioned wanting a quality solid state amp. The Mjolnir is that (well, a hybrid actually, but there is a solid state 'tube' too for pure ss), with the added trick it does a fantastic job in the preamp section balancing an unbalanced signal. This would be cheaper than another DAC too.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  6. EndGameSearch
    Thanks guys. Good thoughts and suggestions. I need to dig into the details and weigh my options. It surely is a beautiful piece of equipment and a real shame to give back.
  7. davehg
    So I fire up the WA22 for the first time in several months. I'll admit having the WA5 paired with the LCD3f in the next room makes the decision to listen to the WA22 a deliberate one.

    I've kept the WA22 hoping my wife will listen more when she's working at her desk. Today she texted me to ask how to play the system (I use a Squeezebox connected to Tidal, so you have to manage two apps to use it). She ends up frustrated with the navigation so she switches to the Sony HAPZ1ES, a great high end music player with about the easiest app nav made, and front panel in case the app is challenging. Like a giant IPod in a box that plays DSD files too.

    Anyway, it's hooked up to a six year old pair of HD650s and some Cardas Clear balanced headphone cables that cost as much used as did the phones. Amos Lee is playing, followed by Reverend Al Green, and some cuts from Passenger's Whisper album.

    It's just sounding so nice. Warm mids, full bottom end, and natural highs. It's wonderful to rediscover the WA22's charms.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017
  8. abvolt
    I'd agree the wa22 is a wonderful sounding amp plus one gets the huge tube rolling possibilities..enjoy
    MIKELAP likes this.
  9. abvolt
    Here's another amazing combo but with a inexpensive rectifier that is imo hard to beat even with spendy rare tubes. I don't think the Brimar 5Z4GY ever sounded better then with a pair of TS 5998's and a pair of ECC35's..enjoy

  10. PeterZhu
    I wonder how about wa22 drives the AKG K1000.:nerd:
    bosiemoncrieff likes this.
  11. Usejimmy
    I did what you guys told me to get and now i have WE 421A & WE422A + some Sylvania 6SN7GTB Chrome Top to start with IMG_20171124_202526.jpg
  12. BillinSF
    Jimmy you are cooking now!!

    Have fun and nice holidays.
    Usejimmy likes this.
  13. Usejimmy
    HAHA! the same to you ^^
    In fact WA22 got cooler then ever since i changed the stock 6080 :beyersmile:
  14. Usejimmy
    Which tubes does give the most sound impact of them all? Im looking for more Bass,warmth and soundstage.
    I heard that the VT-231 is a good match with WE 421A/422A but there is so many VT-231 versions! https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_od...TR0.TRC0.H0.XVT-231.TRS0&_nkw=VT-231&_sacat=0
    I ordered some NOS RCA tubes just for the fun of tube rolling https://www.ebay.com/itm/MATCHED-PAIR-1960S-RCA-6SN7-6SN7GTB-BLACK-PLATE-VACUUM-TUBES/132174086153?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  15. paulomario77
    Congrats, Jimmy! A nice combination of tubes for sure. The 5998 was my power tube of choice, and I understand the WE 421A is actually the same tube. I also bought a pair of 421As but returned them because they were terribly microphonic. I guess the pair I had was late production.

    Nowadays I`m using a single 6BL7GTA instead of the 5998. The problem with the 5998 is that the gain of the amplifier is too high for one of the headphones that I hear the most: the Fostex TH-X00. The 6BL7GTA lowers the amp gain and has a rich, beautiful sound. I have both late production RCA and antique GE 6BL7s. My rectifier is the U52, and ECC31s as the drivers.
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