WOO-HOOOO... WA7 "fireflies"!!!
Mar 18, 2015 at 4:05 PM Post #1,876 of 2,600

money4me247

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  Did you blind test them, having someone put two of the same pair of headphones with the different cables on your head randomly? Was the lesser comparison cable provided by Nordost? 
 
I've researched this topic extensively, and came up with anything that has the twisted pairs correctly done, and decent shielding (any $10-15 cable) cannot be improved upon.
 
I went to Audio Perfection (only audiophile store in MN) and tested cables myself. Tried cryo frozen cables, (analogue only) different types of digital cables (optical and USB) and I couldn't hear any difference between anything they had versus my Amazon Basics cables (USB/Toslink/RCA). 
 
I looked up the "Heimdall 2 USB" cable on Google, is it really selling for $500? That kinda makes me want to vomit. I'm only posting this for any ill advised consumer eating up the endless rhetoric on these forums. Maybe I can save somebody $480. 
 
EDIT: http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/speakers-when-is-good-enough-enough.2512/page-2#post-15412
Note, this was done using analogue cables, which have a much greater tendency for interference, then digital cables (like USB). 

lol we already had that terrible cable monster discussion & I totally agree with your assessment from my personal experiences & research into the subject as well.
 
however, the people who believe & post about cables here have already made up there mind, so no point in having this thread devolve into another cable debate. how ppl want to spend/waste their money is their own business.
 
Mar 18, 2015 at 4:47 PM Post #1,877 of 2,600

Jeb Listens

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Before this goes too far.....

1) Some people hear differences, some don't.

2) Post your impressions without rubbishing others.

3) Don't assume you know everything.

4) Bear in mind that if you invoke "science" you are inherently referring to the currently agreed upon scientific understanding of sound / human physiology NOT absolute truth.

In short, be polite and show a little respect - It's really not hard.
 
Mar 18, 2015 at 5:00 PM Post #1,878 of 2,600

comzee

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Before this goes too far.....

1) Some people hear differences, some don't.

2) Post your impressions without rubbishing others.

3) Don't assume you know everything.

4) Bear in mind that if you invoke "science" you are inherently referring to the currently agreed upon scientific understanding of sound / human physiology NOT absolute truth.

In short, be polite and show a little respect - It's really not hard.

Sounds like the exact same rhetoric politicians use to refute global climate change. Respect is earned, not given. Also, I didn't rubbish anyone, I just get a bit irate when I see snake oil for $500. 
 
If someone can freely state a $500 cable is giving them a difference in audio, I can freely state that it does not. As "money4me247" states, how people want to spend their money is ultimately up to them.
 
Mar 18, 2015 at 5:24 PM Post #1,879 of 2,600

Jeb Listens

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Anyway.....

Getting back to the WA7. I spent my first real (2 hour +) session with the WA7 and LCDs this afternoon. I have plenty of upgrade tubes to try but I'm still just sticking with stock tubes for the moment. I know it's a bit sadistic but I just want to be able to appreciate the gains that I know will be made with tube rolling later.

All I can say is the sound is really really good to my ears - even in stock form.
 
Mar 18, 2015 at 9:35 PM Post #1,880 of 2,600

abvolt

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Anyway.....

Getting back to the WA7. I spent my first real (2 hour +) session with the WA7 and LCDs this afternoon. I have plenty of upgrade tubes to try but I'm still just sticking with stock tubes for the moment. I know it's a bit sadistic but I just want to be able to appreciate the gains that I know will be made with tube rolling later.

All I can say is the sound is really really good to my ears - even in stock form.

 
That's a good idea I did the same thing for the first 2 months, I became very accustom to how the stock amp sounds, then when I did make tube upgrades it was very noticeable..
 
Mar 19, 2015 at 5:39 AM Post #1,881 of 2,600

Jeb Listens

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That's a good idea I did the same thing for the first 2 months, I became very accustom to how the stock amp sounds, then when I did make tube upgrades it was very noticeable..




Cheers Abvolt : Yep thats the way I like to do things - make incremental changes. I'm Also in the process of getting used to having my head squeezed between two very soft suede pads while I listen to music (LCD2F). It's not necessarily uncomfortable.... Just new sensations.

Very much enjoying the WA7 and LCD2 combo though. Very clean and balanced.

Jeb
 
Mar 19, 2015 at 9:05 PM Post #1,882 of 2,600

abvolt

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Cheers Abvolt : Yep thats the way I like to do things - make incremental changes. I'm Also in the process of getting used to having my head squeezed between two very soft suede pads while I listen to music (LCD2F). It's not necessarily uncomfortable.... Just new sensations.

Very much enjoying the WA7 and LCD2 combo though. Very clean and balanced.

Jeb

 
I agree that's my favorite combo..
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 10:06 AM Post #1,883 of 2,600

rage3324

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I am doing some gear juggling and trying to figure out what can fit and what might need to go. I am waiting on a delivery of a Thorens turntable with a Maranz 2230 receiver (which has a very respectable headphone out) for my records and I am also waiting on delivery of the DNA Stratus for my HD800. That leaves my WA7 in limbo. Short of selling the WA7, how can I use it to improve the sound quality chain for my Headphones setup or Vinyl setup. 
 
Vinyl Chain
Thorens TD 126 mkii -> Marantz 2230 -> Wharfedale Denton Speakers
 
Headphone Chain
Macbook Air->Centrance Dacmini->DNA Stratus->HD800/PS1000
 
I do plan on using headphones in the Vinyl Chain. So what is the best use of the WA7? Do I leverage it as a pre-amp for my headphone chain, do I introduce it to the Vinyl chain somehow, or do I keep it as a separate headphone chain for my PS1000? Any other ideas? I am not too familiar with preamp setups. 
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 11:33 AM Post #1,884 of 2,600

Jeb Listens

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  I am doing some gear juggling and trying to figure out what can fit and what might need to go. I am waiting on a delivery of a Thorens turntable with a Maranz 2230 receiver (which has a very respectable headphone out) for my records and I am also waiting on delivery of the DNA Stratus for my HD800. That leaves my WA7 in limbo. Short of selling the WA7, how can I use it to improve the sound quality chain for my Headphones setup or Vinyl setup. 
 
Vinyl Chain
Thorens TD 126 mkii -> Marantz 2230 -> Wharfedale Denton Speakers
 
Headphone Chain
Macbook Air->Centrance Dacmini->DNA Stratus->HD800/PS1000
 
I do plan on using headphones in the Vinyl Chain. So what is the best use of the WA7? Do I leverage it as a pre-amp for my headphone chain, do I introduce it to the Vinyl chain somehow, or do I keep it as a separate headphone chain for my PS1000? Any other ideas? I am not too familiar with preamp setups. 


Rage, sounds like you have some fine equipment inbound - congratulations!  
beyersmile.png

 
 
However, I do wonder if you might have upgraded yourself out of a useful place for the little WA7.    Below is my understanding of it:
 
I don't  think it would be wise to use it between the Turntable and the Marantz.  The power from the turntable is very small and needs to be corrected via a proper phono stage like your Marantz has.  Though it would be "theoretically possible" to insert it in the chain using the WA7's RCA input option > WA7 headphone socket output) its possible that the output will be too powerful for your Marantz 2230's phono-stage and could damage it.   In any case, even if you could integrate the WA7 into a preamp chain it seems like it would be quite an expensive and over-engineered solution for such a fine piece of equipment.
 
You could, however, use the WA7 in your vinyl chain as an additional and quite fancy dedicated headphone amp connected to your Marantz 2230 (via the line out or tape-out from the Marantz) so that you would have that as an option for your Grados as well as the Marantz own headphone socket, which as you say is meant to be excellent anyway.  If you have a WA7 headphone combo you love, that is one nice way to keep it in your system. 
 
Given that you are also going to have an excellent amp in your Macbook headphone chain, unless you want to keep it connected to your computer (or from the Dacmini)  as well as the Dacmini / DNA Stratus combo, you might find it is redundant there too. 
 
I love my WA7 but I think if it were me and I found that the Marantz gave me everything I needed for headphones in the Vinyl chain, I would probably be sending it on it's way, recouping as much money as possible and putting it towards a KILLER Dac for your DNA Stratus.   
 
Of course, since the WA7 is such a neat and fabulous mini all-in-one solution perhaps you have another place in your home where it might be useful - say for example on your bedside table?
 
Either way - its a nice problem to have and you are just tweaking degrees of amazingness! 
 
Regards
 
Jeb. 
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 11:53 AM Post #1,885 of 2,600

pdferguson

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I looked up the "Heimdall 2 USB" cable on Google, is it really selling for $500? That kinda makes me want to vomit. I'm only posting this for any ill advised consumer eating up the endless rhetoric on these forums. Maybe I can save somebody $480.

I always look at this in terms of what kind of headphones you could buy for $500. That would be such a better improvement over spending the money on a USB cable. In my opinion, outrageously expensive "audiophile" USB cables are for people who don't understand the basic concept of block data transfer.
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 11:56 AM Post #1,886 of 2,600

money4me247

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+1 i agree with above recomendation by Jeb Listens seems what u have things covered on both chains. maybe start a new chain somewhere else. the wa7 strength is its an allin one solution. or it seems what u need most wld nice dac for ur comp chain if looking to upgrade smtg. wld recommend other options as the wa7's primary strength is its amp, not its dac.
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 12:02 PM Post #1,887 of 2,600

Jeb Listens

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+1 i agree with above rec. seems what u need most wld nice dac for ur comp chain. wld recommend other options as the wa7's primaru strength is its amp, not its dac.


Yep I reckon so,  - unless he's already 100% happy with the DacMini.  But with the money recouped from the WA7 and DacMini he could get a really nice Dac.  I recently got the Rega DAC and now there's a newer one with asynchronous USB, so even better  
 
Of course there are many great DACs out there - not least Woo's own WDS-1.  I only mention the Rega because Rage is obviously a Vinyl / Tube lover and the Rega has a nice and full analogue sound and Rega made their name selling Turntables so I guess that kind of sound is in their DNA. 
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 1:17 PM Post #1,888 of 2,600

rage3324

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Wow, great info guys! I am definitely considering selling the WA7 and WA7tp (and dacmini) for a better dac as an option. Or perhaps moving the WA7 and WA7tp to the bedroom or living room to be used with my home theater for movies, music, and games. 
 
Can someone describe how a pre-amp impacts sound quality? I do not think I fully understand it. If I were to hook up the WA7 to the Marantz via lineout/tape, would the Marantz be acting as a pre-amp?
 
The dacmini dac is superb and combines very well with the WA7 especially with Grados (opens them up very nicely). Any looking? :)
 
Mar 20, 2015 at 2:53 PM Post #1,889 of 2,600

Jeb Listens

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  Wow, great info guys! I am definitely considering selling the WA7 and WA7tp (and dacmini) for a better dac as an option. Or perhaps moving the WA7 and WA7tp to the bedroom or living room to be used with my home theater for movies, music, and games. 
 
Can someone describe how a pre-amp impacts sound quality? I do not think I fully understand it. If I were to hook up the WA7 to the Marantz via lineout/tape, would the Marantz be acting as a pre-amp?
 
The dacmini dac is superb and combines very well with the WA7 especially with Grados (opens them up very nicely). Any looking? :)


Hi rage, 
 
 
Without knowing the full ins and outs of the amp, some of this would be guessing but using the Tape-Out would generally be the way to go. 
 
What comes out of the Tape-Out is a fixed voltage signal so if you had your WA7 hooked up to this then the volume dial on the Marantz would usually have no affect and you would just use the volume dial on the WA7.  This is great so you don't have to worry about setting two different volumes on two different amps.   
 
Normally (e.g. if you were using a CD player connected to the Marantz) what comes out of the Amp's Tape-Out has not travelled through any pre-amp circuitry and is just looped directly from the source so its a relatively clean unaltered signal  BUT since you are using a turntable I'm pretty sure the signal will have had to pass through the (separate) pre-amp of the Marantz phono-stage  (this converts the Turntable's rather puny signal to a proper line-level signal which then comes out the Tape-Out RCAs) so there could be some change in sound character from that. Not something I would think you should worry about since its a great amp and you need a phono-stage anyway.   
 
Pre-amps do a few things (many I don't understand)  including setting the gain (as described above) and also equalisation - but the Tape-Out bypasses the main Marantz preamp, volume pot and all the  tone-controls.... 
 
It might be a case of experimentation.  Or, even better than that, since you have delved into the world of vintage amps, there are some super-knowledgeable guys on the vintage receiver thread who would probably know the ins and outs, and it would always be best to check with them before hooking up your beloved WA7 ... you know, just in case :) 
 
Mar 25, 2015 at 8:24 PM Post #1,890 of 2,600

vasunshine

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  I always look at this in terms of what kind of headphones you could buy for $500. That would be such a better improvement over spending the money on a USB cable. In my opinion, outrageously expensive "audiophile" USB cables are for people who don't understand the basic concept of block data transfer.

 
Actually, it is more important to make sure after purchasing the cables, you still have $500 to get a pair of headphones. 
 
http://www.theaudiobeat.com/equipment/nordost_odin.htm
 

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