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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
    Gorgeous in black I also agree with @Pharmaboy Woo's adapters are the best you can buy plus best looking, enjoy your new amp..
  2. Badas
    Nah! The Glenn adapters are the best.

    The wires go straight out the back. Away from any tubes and all you see from the front is the caps. Awesome stuff.


  3. Gibson59
    Well I’m very close to pulling the trigger on a WA22. Had my eye on it for a long time and I had chance to demo it today in a quiet environment with my HE1000se. The two have fantastic synergy! The soundstage, timber and overall euphoric sound is just fantastic. I really got lost in it. I also really like how it handled the treble with the HEKse.

    Two questions for you guys...

    1) Does Gen 2 offer a significant sound upgrade over Gen 1? The Woo website says “New for 2018 is improved sonic performance...” I’m wondering what the Gen 2 upgrades are if that improved sonic performance is appreciable. I won’t be using the preamp feature so if the sonic improvements are negligible I may save some money and buy a used Gen 1 unit.

    2) I use a Chord Qutest DAC which I really like and plan to keep using. Therefore I’ll be using RCAs/single ended only with the WA22. I know balanced is the preferred connection but is it a waste to use only single ended? I’d really like to keep using my Qutest. I’m sure the answer is that it still sounds great, which I verified myself today. But just wondering from the bevy of owners here if single ended is a waste of a great amp.

    Btw I demoed the amp against the WA6 quite a bit today and walked away preferring the WA22 by a large margin. But the WA6 wasn’t bad by any means and at the price point I can see how some would be very happy with it. The only area where it had some brief appeal vs the WA22 was that the bass seemed to hit a little harder (not necessary reach deeper than WA22, but maybe a tad punchier) and the sound was a bit more forward overall. But the bass lacked texture and the overall sound was far less refined on the WA6, the soundstage, imaging and euphoria greatly lacked by comparison.
  4. Joao Paulo Martins
    They will always say it's better the 2nd Gen, but have some cases like the WA6 SE 1st Gen sound better than 2nd. So I think just comparing side by side to make a opinion.

    IMO there's no proboem using the SE , even more in the Chord world, only get balanced using a TT/TT2, and I heard opinions from this DAC (Qutest) and it's amazing of course'll be benefits from the balanced but it's not a super loss.
    Gibson59 likes this.
  5. Joao Paulo Martins
    Guys, I have some tubes and I think I'm ok with this. But I want to know if there's any other good option I don't use yet.

    I get:
    U52 GEC
    USAF 596
    Quad 6BL7
  6. Pharmaboy
    The WA22 I have F.S. here is gen 2 (purchased new 11/18), but I never used it as a preamp (though it is designed to do that), nor did I hear it compared to a Gen 1.

    I used my w/single-ended input only, and all I can say is, if even better sound can come from balanced in, that's an amazing idea (since the sound was also very high level).

    Personally, I would be more concerned w/matching DAC to WA22 on sonic grounds--how much you like the single-ended DAC's basic sound & whether you think it will be a synergy w/the basic sound of the WA22. Of course, hard to say what the basic sound of the WA22, since everyone tube-rolls this amp, some more than others (I never even used stock tubes--never heard them; it was all NOS tubes).
    Gibson59 likes this.
  7. davehg
    Two questions for you guys...

    1) Does Gen 2 offer a significant sound upgrade over Gen 1?

    2) is it a waste to use only single ended? I’d really like to keep using my Qutest.

    Hard to answer #1 without a side by side comparison but you can upgrade a Gen1 with better capacitors but at a $400-500 cost unless you are DIY. My guess is that these are iterative improvements rather than massive ones. Talk to Woo.

    On #2, if the sound worked well for you, don’t sweat it. I’ve used both SE and balanced on several DACs and only one (Sony HapZ1ES) has a significant difference on the Woo. The others (Lumin D2, Trivista) sounded great SE.

    I found the HD650 headphones to benefit using a fully balanced system whereas the Audeze LCD 3 and Focal Clear are less of a difference. The amp is not wasted on SE, but I think you’ll find that using different NOS tubes can very much tailor the sound to be warm or forward.

    I was neutral on the WA22 at first but currently, with various tube changes to dial in the sound, I’m a big fan. I have a WA5 that is currently mothballed while my family room is being remodeled and I am eager to again compare the two, as the 5 is completely single ended.[/QUOTE]
    Gibson59 likes this.
  8. leftside
    Pretty sweet tubes you have there. Not sure if you'll get too much improvement from other tubes, just different flavors. All depends upon whether you like tube rolling and collecting different tubes.
  9. Joao Paulo Martins
    Exactly what I want, different flavors. Any suggestion ?
  10. leftside
    With my gear I like the Bendix 6080WB for a little extra bass, GEC 6AS7G for most reasons, but in particular great definition and clarity. Typically I'll use a 5998 as these are still reasonably priced, and there seems to be a lot around. GEC L63/6J5 as a great all around driver as per most GEC tubes seem to extract every fine detail from the music (adapter required). Mullard 6C5 mesh plate for a little extra warmth (same adapter as L63 to 6SN7). Fivre 6N7G seem to add an extra element of life and dynamics to the music. RCA 6SN7 late 40's black plate seem to add a little extra warmth.

    You'll get an almost endless list of other recommendations if you go through these pages, and also look at the other tube specific pages.
  11. Joao Paulo Martins
    Thank you !
  12. Roasty
    Did you guys listen to the WA22 with the stock tubes for a long time before you started tube rolling?

    I am nowhere near completing the 150 hr recommended burn in time for this amp. Best guess scenario I'm at 10 hrs or so...

    I've seen the tube upgrade offerings on the wooaudio website and am curious, whether I should just continue on with stock tubes, or I'll have a much better time listening with some other tubes.

    I guess my options are..
    1) Purchase new tubes for wa22
    2) use the money for a WA6/WA6SE for the office
    3) siphon the money towards a ZMF Verite...
  13. Gibson59
    Anyone using a Chord DAC with their WA22?

    Also, anyone using their WA22 as a preamp into a solid state power amp for speakers? I’ve only read a few very brief mentions in this thread.

    If I purchase a WA22 I will be doing it with the intention of running it as a preamp into my Peachtree Nova 220se solid state integrated speaker amp in addition to headphones.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2019
  14. leftside
    I wasn't impressed with the stock tubes, but you might get more bang for your buck going for the Verite (depending upon what you current headphones are). Get the Verite first, save some more cash and go through these pages and others on Headfi for some good tube rolling options.
    Roasty likes this.
  15. Gibson59
    Well I pulled the trigger and purchased a 2nd gen WA22 and NOS tubes from an awesome member here. Glad to be part of the WA22 club!

    I still have my Wells Audio Milo so I’m really looking forward to comparing the two amps using my Chord Qutest and HEKse.

    I’m also gonna have the WA22 serve as a tube pre-amp to my solid state stereo speaker amp.

    He’s shipping it out to me tomorrow. Impressions coming soon!
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