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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. abvolt
    I will agree that most if not all NOS & vintage tubes are high priced and there getting higher every week that I look it seems. My suggestion for Fudgebucket would be just to keep an eye on ebay for a good deal they do come along. I will also say most of the RCA tubes I own sound really good, for example I was lucky enough to get a pair of RCA black plates for a 6.00 per tube + 3.00 ship doesn't happen that often but you'll find them, good luck on your search..  
  2. mikroski
    one month from payment, and my miniwatt still in US, impressive!! [​IMG]
  3. Shini44
    thats why i pay extra more for fedex and get my item in 3 days exactly, i did the same to ship the Ragnarok internationally. 
  4. Jeb Listens

    I agree - you don't have to spend a lot to make some pretty big gains.  Even the Jan 5814a are a huge leap over the stock 12AU7s.  
    After spending a lot of time with the Mullards, they grew and grew on me.   I just posted quite a long review and re-evaluation of the WA7 DAC in which I compared it to 3 other DACS. There's also a tube-guide for the WA7tp.  Loads of pics of the WA7 and tubes.  You can read it here
    In the end, I think if you are going to use the WA7 with its onboard DAC, the Mullards do an absolutely supreme job of tweaking the amp's sound to help balance the DAC's own signature.  If you have another DAC you like with a different kind of sound, then the Mullards are still a great choice but there could be other, more exciting tubes to try, which might not be the excellent all-rounder that the Mullards are, but may do other things even better - and be cheaper for that matter.  
    Damn expensive hobby.   
  5. abvolt
    Really well done on your review, I agree a better dac makes big difference I've been using my nuforce dac 80 and my puredac with the wa7/tp it's almost like night & day in SQ over the woo dac in the wa7..   [​IMG] 
  6. Jeb Listens
    Thanks abvolt - really appreciate that. 
    Congrats -those are two very well regarded DACs you have - I haven't had the pleasure of hearing either of them, unfortunately.   PureDac is on my shortlist though.   As you say, the WA7 can definitely benefit from something of this quality - and it speaks to the high level that the WA7 amp sits at.
    Relatively speaking, the on-board WA7 DAC is really no slouch, though.  It has a small issue with some thinness in the sound that unfortunately t ends up detracting from all the other things that it does really really well.  Once you roll in the JANs or the Mullards, that adds a solidity to the amp's sound  that helps smooth over the grain imparted by the DAC.  This can allow the listenter to appreciate all of the WA7 DAC's good qualities: which for me would be its dynamics, agility and overall musicality.  In my experiments The WA7 DAC was equally as far ahead of the Schiit Modi as  the Rega DAC was, in turn, ahead of the WA7 DAC.   The WA7 DAC even did a good job through the Asgard II, which was a nice surprise. 
     For size of gains  I would do it in this order:
    1. replace stock 12AU7s in the power supply - $30 JANs or $100 CV4003 (both offer big improvement)
    2. Dac Upgrade - anywhere from $500+ (big improvement)
    3. Electro Harmonix Gold Pin tubes $100 (small improvement)
    Of course, many people will want to do all three, but if I was pushed for money and space then I would be more than happy with just no.1 or no.1+3.  If you do 1 + 2, then doing no.3 would be even less critical and would be the final 5-10% to the top.
    If you do all three, then that's at least $700.  Does it sound $700 better? For me, yes. 40-50% improvement if I had to quantify, and the stock units are already superb! So it's a great journey to take at whatever pace your budget allows.  
    The EH tubes were quite an interesting journey for me:  when I compared them right at the beginning I struggled to hear a difference.  However, after spending a good few days with them, when I rolled the Sovteks back in, I wanted the EH's back immediately - I had taken for granted everything that the EH Golds were contributing, even if the improvements were relatively small in comparison to the 12AU7 rolls.  Subsequent comparisons convinced me I wouldn't want to give them up.  I know many people don't hear a difference, though.  We're all different and maybe I'm deluded.  
  7. HiFiGuy528
    Thank you for the excellent review.  You addressed the concerns about the internal DAC by others effectively and without bias.  You ROCK man! [​IMG]
  8. mikroski
    There is tracking information, but seem that there is some thing went wrong and my tube be sent to Jamaica instead of Thailand.
    I will cancel order if seller won't contact me within next week. I do want to hear how miniwatt sound with W5000. I will find another seller on ebay (with tracking number of course [​IMG])
  9. money4me247 Contributor
    Jeb Listens thank you for your above post. rly appreciate the recommendations with a honest appraisal of the relativr contribution of each upgraded. i wld b limited on funds as well when pursuing upgrades so that info is greatly appreciated! :)
  10. groovyd
    I have the Mullards both as purchased off ebay for a decent price and from upscale which were ridiculously expensive and i can say the two tubes are completely different.  They even actually look quite different and upon power-up the ebay Mullards flash while the upscale don't.  The upscale sound way better.  I guess all I am saying is be careful in comparing apples to oranges even if both seem to be apples.  I do not believe them to be the same tubes at all, most likely manufactured even in different factories using different specs at different times.  The upscale are the ones you want if you want the best sound IMHO.
    Shini44 likes this.
  11. mikroski

    Which Mullard you purchase from ebay, CV4003 or ECC82?
  12. Jeb Listens

    Interesting stuff groovy - would you be able to post a pic or describe the visual diffs so I can compare with my Ebay tubes.   
    Since the CV4003s  Mullard were manufactured right from the early 60s through to the 70s, possibly later so its very likely there is some variation depending on the age of the tube and as you say the place of manufacture.   Since you have one that sounds noticeably different, and if they look very different its also possible you ended up with a tube manufactured by Brimar instead or worse a replica - but if it was from a reputable seller that's not so likely.  Obviously there's always the chance of getting duds too!  
    Yes, Ebay is more of a lottery.  Upscale does guarantee great quality and more rigorous testing,  I agree - I got my Ciftes from there.  Just as another option - If you are UK based (or even not, depending on shipping) Langrex is a good place too, totally reputable -  CV4003 are £35 each ($50).
    By the way - you may already know this but the flashing at startup is a hallmark of Mullard tubes and indeed many tubes from Europe - I actually began to question the authenticity of mine because they didn't flash!  Obviously there's a difference between the heater flash at startup and proper arcing, which I haven't experienced and is probably very bad! 
    Since the NOS are getting more expensive I was really hoping the PSVANEs would be good... and they were, in their way... but in truth they didn't come even close to the Mullards, at least not for my tastes.
    Thanks for the info!
  13. Shini44
    quite sad to hear that , since i did buy the Ebay one yesterday, but still happy because i know this, and i will buy the CV4003 from upscale once i can, 

    also should i check the box of (Cryogenically Treated) or? 
  14. money4me247 Contributor

    cryogenically treated sounds like a fancy way of saying..... dipped in ice.

    lol, well i personally wld be very wary. ymmmv
  15. Dogmatrix
    On Mullard
    There are three versions of genuine Mullard which can be labeled CV4003
    Type one , the most highly regarded amongst audiophiles is the K61 or long plate from the 50's this has long ladder or ribbed plates similar to a Sylvania or other common tube
    Type two , the most common has short ladder or ribbed plates very similar to a Mini-watt often re-branded
    Type three , the box plate or box anode has short rectangular enclosed box shaped plates
    All genuine Mullard tubes will have a factory code etched into the glass , Google Mullard tube codes for a key
    money4me247 and mikroski like this.
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