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Woo Audio WA7TP (tube power supply) Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by warrenpchi, Apr 20, 2014.
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  1. frankrondaniel
    Mine as well though it doesn't seem to be an issue so far.
  2. mootang
    posting a picture for my setup at home:
  3. frankrondaniel
    Except for the color we have the same setup!  Hugo pairs nicely.
  4. groovyd
    got a couple 'strong' matched sylvanias off ebay for cheap and swapped them in.  they have a strange burnt looking mark on their tops.  powered up and about 5 seconds later one of them flashed white bright like something just blew but the red heater is still going and it is powering the WA7 fine it seems.  not sure if that is a glitch to be worried about or not.  sound is about the same as the original tubes, perhaps a little punchier.  tubes glow brighter, little nervous to touch anything to turn it off haha... would be nice if there was a probe point somewhere to measure the voltages being put out to the WA7 so i know im not overdriving anything.
  5. Bevo
    I had that in one of the tubes Woo supplied. Ended up having to send the unit back to the US for them to check everything over due to it blowing fuses. I believe it is just an arcing tube and shouldnt be much of a problem. I ended up having to change the the 200mA to 500mA slow blow fuses to stop them from blowing every day even after it was returned by Woo.
  6. Dogmatrix

    Personally I don't trust arcing tubes , some say they will be fine others say it is a shure sign of imminent failure
    From research I did when one of mine flashed it seems the more a tube arcs the more likely it is to arc as each time it flashes some of the cathode coating (designed among other things to limit arcing) burns away
    All this would be no more than a curiosity but an arc often becomes a dead short which can do serious damage
  7. LemSkee
    Two Cents from a Noooob...
    Received my WA7tp about 3 weeks ago, but waited on posting this to ensure enough time had elapsed before I offered my opinion.
    As a new Woo Audio customer, I must say I’m pleasantly surprised with the quality of their workmanship and the difference the TP makes is quite noticeable.  Forgive me if I do not yet know all the cool lingo, slang, and idioms that provide the audiophileism factor to gear descriptions and reviews, but I’ll try my best (SMILE).
    Let’s start with “the bad”… For as much praise that I give to the aesthetics of both the WA7 and WA7tp, I am admittedly disappointed with the TP’s push button, which almost seemed to be an insult to such an exquisitely built unit.  When I received my WA7, it felt and looked like a piece of art to me, from any direction, and turning its buttery-smooth knob solidified that impression.  The WA7tp’s power button (in contrast) does not feel stable, unnecessarily turns, and overall detracts from an otherwise flawless design.  I can definitely see Woo addressing this following their next revision.
    Upon unpacking, setting up, and turning on the TP for the first time, one of the tubes [stock pair] (like others have described) created a bright white flash – is this arcing?  Being new to tubes in general, it made me nervous especially considering how much money had been poured into the WA7 + WA7tp system.  After about a 15 minute warm up, I elected to proceed with a listening session and my frown began to quickly turn upside down.  Quick note, I run HD800 cans and EH Gold upgrade tubes on the WA7, set to LO-Z, and use the WA7’s DAC via USB .   I listen to just about everything except metal and country.
    Yay!  That’s the only “bad” I’ve got, all the rest is pure joy…
    Here’s the best way I can describe the transitions I’ve noticed with the changes made up to this point:
    1. The EH Gold tubes on the WA7 added a tightness to bass, more defined mids, improved (IMO) soundstage, but also a tad more sparkle – something that bothered me a bit on an already bright pair of cans.
    2. The WA7tp (with stock tubes) made the bass appear to be even tighter, mids sound more pronounced, and the biggest surprise was how it shaved off the top end sparkle just enough to truly allow me to fall in love with HD800s.  Loving the improvements thus far, I was eager to see what additional burn in time would give me on the stock tubes.  But I have no patience, so….
    3. Enter the Sylvania JAN 5814A (110/110 | 110/110) tubes.  As another Head-Fier stated in so many words, these tubes just make everything better, and it’s the truth.  I think, generally speaking, HD800 owners tend to want a bit more bass for our beloved cans, and I was shocked with the results from rolling in these tubes.  I get all of the clean, tight, and accurate bass from the previous upgrades, but more of it – and not in an obnoxious way at all.  I even had to check my EQ to make sure everything was still flat when I started listening.  The low end goodness was first evident when I’m Trippin by Millok came across my track list.  I did, however, notice an increase in brightness / sparkle which I wasn’t overly happy about (at first) – but considering the improvements in every other category this was a small price to pay.  In a perfect world, I’d take everything the Sylvanias gave me with the “top end refinement” of the stock TP tubes – but bear in mind, this is just my own personal preference.  I also don’t get bright white flashes with these tubes and have more than 90 hours on them as of this post (the cans were previously burned in with 80+ hours of pink noise).
    Loving the HD800s has been quite a journey for me, an acquired taste if you will.  Seemingly each element changed in the system has been a clear improvement – the EH Gold tubes, then the WA7tp, and finally the Sylvania tube swap.  That additional sparkle I mentioned earlier is somehow getting smoothed out with each passing day and listening session – call it placebo, call it auditory adaptation, or call it what I do: A surprisingly delightful combination of components all working together symbiotically to deliver some of the best musicality you’ll probably get in this price range…
    Oh, one other side note: I (luckily) did not experience any of the color differences or height variances between my WA7 and WA7tp (silver finish).  Also, if you want to keep that dead silent, pitch black background, be sure to separate your two units at least 8+ inches apart or be prepared to hear buzzing in your cans.
    Apologies for such a long-winded post (especially from nooobish material like myself).  Happy hunting fellow head-fiers!
  8. olegausany
    You should use Hi-z with HD800 cause they are high impedance headphones
  9. LemSkee
    I've actually gone back and forth on this one and understand where you're coming from.  However, after many many hours of listening, for me at least, Lo-Z provides more refined, less "distorted", cleaner sound.  I may have to turn the knob just a tad more to the right, but feel the reward exceeds this minor necessity.  If I'm not mistaken, I believe this was Warren's impression as well between Hi and Lo-Z settings.  Also, this was my experience with the HD800s and cannot say what the case would be with, for example, some power hungry HiFiMans.
  10. Dogmatrix

    Thanks for you're 2 cents, very well composed for a "noob"
    I also run my HD800 on lo-Z and use the on-board dac actually I run everything on Lo-Z including HiFiMan
    Arcing is becoming a common issue and tube rolling is going to be very expensive if 25% of tubes are discarded due to arcing
    Could any one connected with Woo Audio comment on arcing tubes , are they safe ?
  11. LemSkee
    x2 :)
  12. desertblues
    Now that I've been able to spend some quality time with my WA7 with tube power supply, I am back with some impressions. First I am happy to report no real negatives to this point - the silver finish matches the original amp and there are no problems with height or tubes arcing. I started with the stock tubes and noticed the improvement in soundstage and overall sound quality as almost everyone has reported with my Grado PS500 & Beyer T1 (a fairly recent addition). So I was happy enough with the TP until a few days ago when I rolled in a pair of NOS RCA Cleartops; I am now ecstatic with this purchase! With the Grados on lo-z setting there is a very noticeable increase in soundstage (more than I expected) as well as clarity and more defined bass - they just sound so much better. Ah, but the T1's have been taken to a whole new level with the cleartops! To be honest I have kind of been on the fence with the Beyers until now - I am just amazed at how great they are with this setup. The sound and decay of cymbals and all types of percussion is the best I have heard, the soundstage width & depth is off the charts, bass is deep and well defined! There is no excessive brightness or sibilance, just lots of air & sparkle. I know I must sound like some kind of fanboy, but up until now my preference has been the Grado sound (I have not yet tried my RS1s but will do so once I'm able to unplug the T1's)!!! I listen mainly to acoustic jazz, rock, singer-songwriters, some country and even bluegrass now & then.My setup: iMac>flac or alac files>WA7. I also use Puremusic with iTunes.
  13. HemiSam
    I am late to this thread so forgive any dumb questions.  I have a Fireflies on the way.  Have not pulled the trigger on the TP...wanted to try it solo first with some tube options and then build from there.
    I'm also a Mac user and am particularly interesting in the Puremusic comment you made.  Sorry if I'm off-topic, but do you rip your lossless files (say from a CD) in ALAC or FLAC to your Mac's external drive?
    Thanks for the great review....piqued my interest in the TP.
  14. desertblues
    I forgot to mention I am using a pair of nos Reflektor cryo-treated tubes (from tubeman.com) in the WA7 in place of the EH upgrade or Sovteks. To my ears the Reflektors are a bit smoother and have a more extended bass, but they are all good! Most of the hi-rez files I have are downloaded from sites like HDTracks in flac (Puremusic allows me to play & keep them in iTunes). My ALAC files were mostly ripped from CD or downloaded before I had Puremusic. I really like PM but also have Bitperfect.
  15. HemiSam

    Thanks for sharing, db.  Regarding the tubes, I purchased the Electro Harmonix upgrade as well as the stockers that came with the Woo...looking forward to listening for the differences.
    I downloaded VLC...it's not all that user friendly, but it looks to be a nifty free tool for ripping in several formats and playing all sorts of formats if needed (although it's rustic at best).  I'm considering purchasing a Sonos to stream music to the Fireflies via my Mac's external drive.  I'll see how the Sonos software works and then make a call on whether something like Puremusic (PM) would be a good choice with it or redundant.  I'll also check to see if PM recognizes streaming from Beats Music...I really like what Beats (previously MOG) does in the way of finding new options based on your likes/dislikes.  Come across a lot of good music I wasn't aware of that way.
    I think I'm going to rip my CD's to ALAC to keep things simple...hopefully that's the right choice.
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