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Woo WA3 versus Schiit Valhalla

  1. franklyshankly
    Hello, I've been on here for a few months searching and searching for my perfect set up. As a student I am basically poor, so I'm unable to buy and try all the products that catch my interest, so I TRULY appreciate all the help you people give to me. I do try to do all the research I can but at some point it's more effective to ask for a specific comparison.
    My headphones are HD650. I'm using the KICAS amp but am not impressed. I've narrowed it down to the WA3 and the Valhalla. Both amps are really highly regarded, and I understand the basic pros and cons of each. Schiit is more affordable, has tubes that are designed to work best which will prevent me from sinking into tube-rolling (which I'm afraid I will enjoy too much but cannot afford), great warranty, AWESOME customer service.
    Woo has amazing build quality, sound quality, and alluring upgrade potential.
    Both seem to synergize with the 650s but the Woo comes up more often.
    Based purely on sound quality with the 650s (not build quality, looks, or performance with any other phones) which is "better", OR, if they are equally good but different, how are they different? How would you describe the sound of each in relation to each other.
    Also, I'm really tempted by the WA6 but it is really pushing my budget ... is it worth the extra $$$? I know there are threads about this but they all ended up off track and failed to answer the question.
  2. franklyshankly
    nothing? no one heard both?
  3. blacknile
  4. caracara08
    im curious too.  i asked in a thread once and no one bothered to compare them. they said the lyr is usually compared with more expensive amps but for my headphone, i needed a wa3 vs lyr comparison. i ASSUME they are saying that the lyr sounds better, but i cannot confirm that.  i think with high ohm phones its closer than some may think.  tubes also matter with both.
  5. dragon042
    Bump. I have the exact same question as well!
    EDIT: this is a similar thread:
  6. hodgjy
    From everything I've read (and I own the WA3 and the Asgard) is that the WA3 is a little warmer and more tubey sounding than the Valhalla.  In fact, the Valhalla can be slightly analytical.  It's very clear and precise, especially for a tube amp. 
    The choice comes down to which sonic characteristics you prefer.  Smooth, warm, and tubey, vs. more analytical and clear.
  7. Spareribs
    For me, I am somewhat of a purist and I prefer the more traditional or closer to traditional design of the tube amp, so I usually go with the Woo. That said, it's the sum of the whole design that matters the most so ultimately, it's the sound that is most important.
    Best to audition at a meet and bring your favorite CDs. Other people's opinions are not important. Audio is an art remember and it's subjective.
  8. namhkim
    I have wa3+ With Tung-Sol 5998, and valhalla2 is coming. I could compare them on HD650, Audeze EL8 open, etc., and reply.
  9. Redcarmoose
    This is a great thread. I purchased the W3 years ago and after hearing it with the HD650s decided to just kinda keep it as a back up amp. I'm not one to sell things but just keep everything and slowly rotate stuff back into listening.

    The crazy part is even though I purchased the Woo in 2007, I still have not got a pair of HD650s to match with it.

    Yesterday I picked up two new sets of low cost headphones for portable use. Like I always do, I did a rotation with amps and found the Woo3 was great at driving my new purchases.

    Woo now does not make the W3 a preamp so now the new ones are more powerful. Mine is the old one with stock tubes.

    I have been switching from the Woo3 and the Asgard One for the last two days. I am not answering the original post question but have been amazed at how good the Schiit Asgard is for the money. When I compare against the Woo 3 the Asgard One is maybe the beter amp. The Woo3 is almost $600, and I found a used Asgard One for a $100.

    Still like the above post it comes down to the genre of music you listen to and headphones. Maybe with the HD650s the Woo would be the better amp? I will never forget how great the synergy was with HD650s and I'm sure members have then changed tubes and taken the whole sound to another level all together.

    My current new headphones have been the $99 Urbanears Zinken and $70 aJAY TWO IEMs.
  10. judgmentday

    Hi namhkim, Did you ever get the Valahlla2 and if you compared with your WA3? Thanks.
  11. namhkim
    Yes, they both came and gone.
    I liked WA3 much better, although Valhalla 2 was not bad at all, very precise and accurate. However, I found myself to be a tube guy, not so much for solid amps. So my biased preference is not so much helpful for others I guess.
  12. judgmentday

    Thanks for your informative answer. I'm also a tube guy.
    I have not heard them, but from the specs both look great. The WA3 only produces 330mW @ 300Ohms vs. the Valhalla2 800mW @ 300Ohms. Also, I have heard that the WA3 has more noise than the Valhalla2.
    Long time ago, I had the famous SinglePower MPX-3. It was 500mW and handled the HD650 & Zu Mobius cable with great authority, clarity, space, lush, liquidity on the highs, body, bass had a great slam and great midrange that just tubes can produce.  Of course SinglePower is gone.

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