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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. joseph69
    What year did you purchase your 22?
    I had a brand new Burson Soloist with a DACT and had the same issue when increasing/decreasing the volume...couldn't stand it!
    A little over 1yr ago I bought a new a GS-X mk2 with a DACT and never once have I hear a peep out of it, literally
  2. Badas
    Mine is a late 2014.
    I don't really care about it on the WA22. I just noticed it has improved.
    I adjust the volume using the V281. I use the V281 as a pre-amp.
    I noticed it cleaned up the treble on the WA22 if the input voltage was lower.

    So I do this:

    Yggy > V281 > Woo WA22 > HP
    Yggy > V281 > HP for SS listening.
  3. joseph69
    Now I see why it doesn't bother you being you're using the V281 volume control.
  4. Badas
    Not only is the V281 a superb SS amp it is a very clean operating pre-amp as well.
    A really nice piece of kit.
  5. attmci
    Now you can compare it head-to-head to your V-281.
  6. joseph69
    Yes, I remember reading nothing but positive impressions about the V281.
  7. ajreynol
    Hello folks. Considering purchasing a new WA22. I am sticking to a budget of no more than $2400, so I though I'd ask a couple of questions:

    1.) How are the default/stock/base tubes that come with the WA22? Should I feel pressed about upgrading them immediately to really appreciate the amp?

    2.) How much would the next level of improved tubes run me? Can I stay in my budget and improve the sound?

    3.) Using the Woo amp comparison chart (http://wooaudio.com/docs/wooaudio_amplifier_comparisons.pdf) I noticed that the WA22 produces a lower RMS output per channel than the 6SE. I expected this to be the other way around. Should this be a consideration for me and my rather thirsty LCD-4's?

    Thank you for any insight.
  8. Badas
    I wouldn't use a WA22 with a LCD-4. You need a 300B amp.

    The WA22 doesn't power my Ether Flows well at all and they require less power.
    WA22 falls apart on Ether. Switch Ether to SS V281 and everything comes alive.

    Planars require power.

    Stock tubes are rubbish. Especially the rectifier and drive tubes. If Woo is still using the GE 6080 power tubes then they are okay.
    You can make a really nice sounding combo of tubes for not much money.
    Keep the stock power tubes, add the Brimar 5Z4GY then choose some driver tubes. There will be many suggestions for driver tubes.
    I personally use Tung-Sol round plates. They can be found at good prices. Avoid any new Chinese made tubes.
  9. BillinSF
    Badas, your note is fascinating. I use the WA22 through an Oppo HA-1 as the preamp and have Ether Flow C's and Senn. 800S. Senn's sound great but my Ether's sound like garbage. Glad to hear that it's not just me.
  10. Badas
    They get a transistor sound aye?
    Sound closes up. Soundstage disappears, instrument separation dies. Lushness gone.
    It is because the amp struggles to power.

    As a general rule and this is not true of all amps and HP's Planar prefers SS, dynamic drivers love tubes.
    I'm moving from Planar to dynamic drivers.
  11. BillinSF
    My Ether's just sound like mud. Just no SQ at all. I was very upset at the hype for these headphones; but you've explained the problem. They sound much better through the Oppo. But then there is not the tubey goodness I crave.
  12. Badas
    I agree. The Ether is not all that. My favorite is far cheaper HP.
    Might be better to quit them rather than look for another amp.

    They almost sound end-game on my V281 tho.

    I had the Oppo HA-1 for a while. Bypassed the DAC and I found the amp itself very flat. Might explain the tube sound you are missing. There are other SS amps that get very near to the tube sound.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  13. leftside
    Also consider a used WA22. Would give you plenty of spare cash for tubes with more gain like 5998's (or a cheaper option is 4 * 6BL7's - search on this thread on how to use those with an adapter) and ECC33/ECC35 for your LCD-4's. There are other fine tube variations that people like on here like for a WA22, but the combo I mentioned would give you the highest gain and imo the best sound out of the WA22.
    bosiemoncrieff likes this.
  14. Badas
    Nothing has changed from my initial impressions.

    V281 is a tube amp killer. Great warmth like tubes. Better treble detail (treble is my pain), cleaner bass and the real gem is by using 4 amps to power a HP in balanced mode it give you 97% of that tube holographic effect.
    V281 uses a left push, left pull, right push and right pull configuration in balanced mode. Very unique and great sounding.
    joseph69 likes this.
  15. leftside
    Don't you find the V281 a little ugly though? Or maybe beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
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