Woo Audio WA6 + WA6SE: Tubes, Comments, Pictures, and Advice
Apr 13, 2021 at 3:19 AM Post #3,721 of 3,778

davehg

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Given they both cost quite a bit more, I would hope they outperform the 6SE. At their price points, they’re competing against DNAs and ECs. I’d also argue if you’re going to spend that kind of money on an amp, you may want to upgrade your HD650.

The competition in the 6SE price range is quite different and I can’t think of much that outperforms it if you like SETs and don’t feel like chasing high dollar tubes.

For my Verite C the 6SE is an outstanding match. I’ve thought about getting a 5LE but honestly I just don’t see the need.
i actually preferred the HD650 on the WA22 to the LCD3, mostly because the synergy between the two was so enjoyable that it changed my perception of the HD650 - those headphones on the right amp are really magic. When I can get them away from my son, I love to hear what they can do. In many ways they are just as enjoyable than the Clear and the LCD. I decided to keep the two mainly because the pairing is so special.

I’ve bought both the WA22 and WA5 used, so the cost difference was not that bad. A WA22 can be had around $1600 and the WA5 in the mid $3k range, used. Tubes aren’t crazy if you do your research - Brimar 5U4G instead of the pricey Sophia 274b, 6080s are cheap, and I was able to amass a score of NOS Sylvania and Raytheon 6SN7s for a dollar per tube. The 300b on the WA5 is the pricey tube, but Genelex and PSVane make decent tubes for not too much, and they last a good long time.

In the 6SE range, I’d probably also look hard at the Violectric 280 or 281 (MassDrop version) or a used Burson. The Violectric has a lot of power and presence. Don’t get me wrong - the 6SE is a great ticket onto the Woo train, but for not too much more, a WA22 with NOS tubes really shines. The WA5 was a splurge to be sure, but you get wonderful integrated amp, not merely a headphone amp, and the WA5 sounds magnificent with headphones and efficient speakers.

The great feedback in this thread convinced me to continue the journey beyond the 6SE, and I was able to sell the 6SE for near what I paid. That’s my main point - there’s more up the Woo food chain if you’re wallet is game, especially in the used market.
 
Apr 13, 2021 at 4:39 PM Post #3,722 of 3,778

HiFiGuy528

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Thank you for this page. I am puzzled by what appears to be an inconsistency between what is on this page and the product information below. If the Gen 2 WA6SE has the 13DE7 sockets, why would a 12SN7 be incompatible even with a 12SN7 -> 13DE7 adapter?

6SN7 or 12SN7 tubes are not compatible with any generation of WA6-SE.

While 6SN7 or 12SN7 tubes are compatible with WA6, we typically don't recommend it because the output is significantly lower than the stock tube.
Highly efficient headphones such as Grado, Focal Utopia would be ok but expect less volume output headroom.
 
Apr 13, 2021 at 4:49 PM Post #3,723 of 3,778

jonathan c

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6SN7 or 12SN7 tubes are not compatible with any generation of WA6-SE.

While 6SN7 or 12SN7 tubes are compatible with WA6, we typically don't recommend it because the output is significantly lower than the stock tube.
Highly efficient headphones such as Grado, Focal Utopia would be ok but expect less volume output headroom.
Thank you for the clarification.
 
Apr 13, 2021 at 9:30 PM Post #3,725 of 3,778

nerone

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@HiFiGuy528

So the 12SN7 are not compatible even with adapters for the WA6SE?

Also, any tubes for the WA6SE that lower the output impedance?

Regards.
Not even with the adapters. At least not with the ones sold by Woo. There is some information that they work with special adapters, but this will void the warranty and may damage the amp.
You cant lower the output impedance of the amplifier because it's a transformer coupled amplifier, so the transformer's impedance is fixed.
 
Apr 13, 2021 at 9:52 PM Post #3,726 of 3,778

Barnstormer13

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Just my personal opinion, but I regard the relatively inexpensive driver tubes that work in the 6SE a desirable aspect. There aren’t a ton of rolling choices, but in my experience there isn’t much difference within tube model numbers and the amp sounds fantastic as long as you put in a quality rectifier tube.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 2:44 AM Post #3,727 of 3,778

davehg

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I completely agree with Barnstormer. On paper, a rectifier tube shouldn’t make that much difference. But in every Woo I’ve owned, I could hear the difference clear as day. The Brimar from Langrex is a great cost effective NOS rectifier, though not as pretty as the shapely Sophia Princess. I’ve tried both and they both improve over the stock tube.

The only tube i have not heard make as big of an impact is the 6080 in the WA22. Maybe I’ve not found the magic 6080 NOS, but they don’t seem to have as much impact as the rectifier.
 
Apr 14, 2021 at 10:19 AM Post #3,728 of 3,778

Barnstormer13

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I completely agree with Barnstormer. On paper, a rectifier tube shouldn’t make that much difference. But in every Woo I’ve owned, I could hear the difference clear as day. The Brimar from Langrex is a great cost effective NOS rectifier, though not as pretty as the shapely Sophia Princess. I’ve tried both and they both improve over the stock tube.

The only tube i have not heard make as big of an impact is the 6080 in the WA22. Maybe I’ve not found the magic 6080 NOS, but they don’t seem to have as much impact as the rectifier.
I’ve never understood why the rectifier matters either, but it really does on the WA-6SE. My experience with the Sophia is that it did not work as well with 13DR7 or 13FD7 tubes but was good with 13DE7 tubes. That said, I’ve found NOS tubes are often much better and much cheaper. My favorite is a relatively modern 5AR4 Matsushita tube made under license from Mullard.
 
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Apr 14, 2021 at 10:51 AM Post #3,729 of 3,778

Odin412

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I’ve never understood why the rectifier matters either, but it really does on the WA-6SE. My experience with the Sophia is that it did not work as well with 13DR7 or 13FD7 tubes but was good with 13DE7 tubes. That said, I’ve found NOS tubes are often much better and much cheaper. My favorite is a relatively modern 5AR4 Matsushita tube made under license from Mulard.

I was surprised to hear differences between rectifier tubes on my regular WA6 (non-SE) as well, but different rectifiers do indeed sound different. Currently I'm running a new-production Psvane replica of the vintage WE 274B - not as pretty as the Sophia Princess 274B but sounds great.
 
May 12, 2021 at 1:03 AM Post #3,732 of 3,778

jonathan c

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For some time, I have been using an RCA 5U4G rectifier tube in my Woo WA6 (1st gen.) and it has been good / musical / satisfying. Because of very favourable experience with Mullard 12AT7 type tubes in my Woo WA3, I tried a Mullard GZ34 type rectifier tube in the WA6. I was astonished. The entire soundscape was more ‘solid’, imaging was more pinpoint, frequency response was extended at both ends of the spectrum. In short, there was more immediacy, more vivacity to the sound - not to be confused with midrange boost or etched glare. All was natural. Clearly, in its conversion of ac to dc, the Mullard GZ34 was having a positive effect on the realism of the sound. The Mullard will stay awhile and I really look forward to trying 12AT7 / 12AU7 type tubes with it in the WA6. How? I found 12Axx to 6DE7 adapters offered by Xuling Audio Labs. Alternating between 6SN7s and 12AT7s in the WA6 will be 🤩. Pictured below are Raytheon 7N7s in Woo adapters.
2A7ACD6C-DA86-4B69-906B-3297DFB33157.jpeg
 
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May 14, 2021 at 7:25 AM Post #3,733 of 3,778

Contrails

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The metal base GZ34 is slightly better sounding, IMO. I have also tried the brown base GZ34 which was a little warm in comparison to the Metal base.
 
May 14, 2021 at 10:57 AM Post #3,734 of 3,778

Barnstormer13

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I put a GZ34 mullard in at the recommendation of Brent Jesse and found it to have superior imaging compared to my NOS 1940s hanging filament RCA 5U4G. I don’t know if it’s the tube model or the tube brand that makes the difference, but a great tube nonetheless.
 
May 15, 2021 at 8:03 AM Post #3,735 of 3,778

askadennisk

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Actually, head-fi.org member Deyan is now building 6SN7 to 6DE7 adapters with a circuit that allows use of 6SN7 tubes with the WA6SE. I am currently using a pair of these excellent adapters on my WA6SE 1st Gen with Sylvania 6SN7 tubes made in 1952 and a Western Electric 422A rectifier.
Member 2359glenn used to make this type of adapter. When I asked him to build some for me, Glenn said he no longer made them and referred me to member Deyan in Europe who built the adapters for me. I had them in my hands in Virginia two weeks after I ordered them. I could not be happier with the adapters.
Actually, head-fi.org member Deyan is now building 6SN7 to 6DE7 adapters with a circuit that allows use of 6SN7 tubes with the WA6SE. I am currently using a pair of these excellent adapters on my WA6SE 1st Gen with Sylvania 6SN7 tubes made in 1952 and a Western Electric 422A rectifier.
Member 2359glenn used to make this type of adapter. When I asked him to build some for me, Glenn said he no longer made them and referred me to member Deyan in Europe who built the adapters for me. I had them in my hands in Virginia two weeks after I ordered them. I could not be happier with the adapters. deyan Woo adapter.jpg
could you tell me where i get 6sn7 adepter for se 1gen ?do you know the link?thanks.
 

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