Woo6 + Sophia vs. Woo6 SE?
Nov 16, 2008 at 6:37 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

tosehee

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As title says...

is woo6 + Sophia Tube better than Woo6 SE stock?
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 12:01 PM Post #2 of 15

PuffyElvis

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I recently emailed Jack (owner of Woo Audio for those who don't know...) a very similar question... I asked what would be better to listen to my Grados: WA6 with all upgrades or WA6SE and he replied that the WA6SE would be better able to optimally drive Grados. I emailed him again for clarification- so if I spent the same amount of money you'd recommend the WA6SE- same answer.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 3:52 PM Post #3 of 15

Orcin

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Well, the best option would be the WA6SE with the Sophia.
biggrin.gif


You can get some very good NOS rectifier tubes for $20-$50. With that additional investment spent wisely, the WA6SE would be better than the WA6 with a Sophia tube IMO. The main benefit of this approach is the ability to buy a Sophia later to pair with your WA6SE and have it all.

This thread will give you a lot more information on the topic.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 8:48 PM Post #4 of 15

tosehee

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thanks
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 2:37 PM Post #5 of 15

breakfastchef

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Orcin /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, the best option would be the WA6SE with the Sophia.


x2!! The SE is a bit more powerful so it can drive most any headphone. The Sophia Princess 274b is sweet. I purchased a stock WA6 SE, listened to it for three months, and then went for the Princess. That allowed me to really appreciate the changes when the new tube was introduced.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 2:50 PM Post #6 of 15

tosehee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by breakfastchef /img/forum/go_quote.gif
x2!! The SE is a bit more powerful so it can drive most any headphone. The Sophia Princess 274b is sweet. I purchased a stock WA6 SE, listened to it for three months, and then went for the Princess. That allowed me to really appreciate the changes when the new tube was introduced.


That's not a bad idea. Unless you are used to the stock sounds, you wouldn't know what you get from getting the exotic tube. :wink:

I might go that route if the deal with stock W6 + Sophia go south.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 7:06 PM Post #7 of 15

Gradofan2

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tosehee /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's not a bad idea. Unless you are used to the stock sounds, you wouldn't know what you get from getting the exotic tube. :wink:

I might go that route if the deal with stock W6 + Sophia go south.



If you want to save some bucks - get the stock WA6 SE with some optional tubes - more power, separate dual PSU, and great sound in stock form. Get the stock Sovtek 5U4GB (or 5AR4, if he offers it), and the Tung Sol 6DE7s.

I would not invest in the Sophia Princess immediately. I think you'll be very impressed with several other inexpensive rectifier tubes - such as... the Tung Sol 5R4GYA, Tung Sol 5U4GB, Tung Sol 5AR4/GZ30, Generic (Mullard) GZ30 / CV2748, Sylvania 5U4GB... and... the Tung Sol 6DE7s, Sylvania 6DE7s, Raytheon 6EW7s. These are all great tubes - which will really impress you with their sound - especially the Tung Sols (all listed in the approximate order of my preference). Forget trying the Phillips tubes - they're really Sylvanias and their a bit harder to find.

Then... if you want to "step up" to a bit better sound - you might try the Sophia Princess - after you've tried these others. You may find you won't ever need to invest the "big bucks" in the Princess and similar "high end" tubes. A lot of folks say, they can't tell the difference between rectifiers anyway (e.g. musicians). The most noticeable difference really seems to be their relative PRAT, rise time and dynamics (musicians refer to it as sag) - though even that seems to be relatively small differences. The Tung Sols have PRAT and dynamics "in spades." And the 5AR4s generally have a bit faster pace and higher output - though not so much more as to be very noticeable. Apart from PRAT, the various 6DE7s and 6EW7s seem to make a more noticeable difference in the sound. Even then... you won't notice as dramatic change in the sound from rolling tubes, as you might with an OTL amp - such as the WA3, WA2, SP Extreme, or MPX3, etc.

And... if you want to upgrade your caps and resistors, you can try DIY. The WA6 SE has lots of room to allow you to work, and swapping these components should be "no big deal" - you'll save lots of money.

You'll find relatively small improvements in "stepping up" to "high end" components - see if you're not very happy with the stock WA6 SE with the tubes I suggest, before "jumping in with both feet."

You'll be very pleased and impressed with the sound for a reasonable investment - with both high and low impedance phones.

And... if you can't resist the temptation to upgrade to "Blackgates," etc. at the outset - then I'd probably opt for the WA6 Maxed w PDPSU - with the same tubes as above. But... my first choice would be the stock WA6 SE.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 7:39 PM Post #8 of 15

takezo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tosehee /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's not a bad idea. Unless you are used to the stock sounds, you wouldn't know what you get from getting the exotic tube. :wink:

I might go that route if the deal with stock W6 + Sophia go south.



if you get the blackgate power filter caps don't bother investing in expensive
tubes, just yet... those blackgates will alter the sound signature up to 800+ hrs.
of play...

ask jack for a direct coupling set up for a stock wa6... it's preferable to coupling
caps imo... if that's not feasible, ask jack to use a mundorf silver in oil coupling
cap instead of the expensive v-cap... it's almost as good with a great blossoming
mid SQ...at only $50 - $60 per pair.
and the pseudo dual power supply is most highly recommended... it makes the
good stock wa6 into a great one.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 9:14 PM Post #9 of 15

tosehee

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Bah.. All these tube talk makes me dizzy. :)

I guess i will seriously consider WA6SE.. :)

Thanks for a detailed explanation. I guess it'll make sense some day.

I have no budget for sophia + wa6se.. so, that's already out of my budget.. But I will see if I can stretch a little and get some of those non-expensive upgrades if I order WA6SE..

Thanks again.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 9:58 PM Post #10 of 15

jamato8

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I would just buy some nice 5U4GB's and a couple of sets of the 6DE7 or whatever and go with the SE and most importantly, have fun!
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 1:57 AM Post #11 of 15

tosehee

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I bought the WA6 stock. This is my first tube amp, so I didn't want to go all out yet. If I really like the sounds from it, then I might sell and get the upgrades.

Until then, I really need to figure out if I really like the "tube" sounds.

Thanks for all your helps and etc. I might regret going with WA6, but I gotta learn it through mistakes. :wink:

p.s.:

Where do I buy these tubes that you guy recommend? Especially the Tung-sol?
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 9:02 AM Post #12 of 15

EtherealApril

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Congrats. I'm also looking at the WA6 as my first tube amp. From what I've read, I'm sure you won't have any regrets going with the WA6 and, given Woo's customer service, it should be easy to sell if you ever have the urge to upgrade.
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 2:18 PM Post #13 of 15

Orcin

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tosehee /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I might regret going with WA6, but I gotta learn it through mistakes. :wink:

p.s.:

Where do I buy these tubes that you guy recommend? Especially the Tung-sol?




You will not regret this purchase. Give it 100 hours or so of burn-in, and you will be very happy about it.

You can buy tubes on eBay, or from various sellers on the Internet. Just start googling tubes or read the various tube rolling threads on the Woo 6 for ideas. There is no easy source for these tubes, but that can be part of the fun.
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 3:08 PM Post #14 of 15

atbglenn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tosehee /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I bought the WA6 stock. This is my first tube amp, so I didn't want to go all out yet. If I really like the sounds from it, then I might sell and get the upgrades.

Until then, I really need to figure out if I really like the "tube" sounds.

Thanks for all your helps and etc. I might regret going with WA6, but I gotta learn it through mistakes. :wink:

p.s.:

Where do I buy these tubes that you guy recommend? Especially the Tung-sol?



I own a standard Woo WA6 and the only mod I have is the Pseudo Dual PS. Even before the mod, I was extremely happy with it. I'm sure you wont regret your purchase. I do however highly recommend the power supply mod. It brings the amp to another level in my opinion.
The one big problem I have with it is I seem to be out of control with my tube purchases. LOL
 
Nov 19, 2008 at 12:02 PM Post #15 of 15

tosehee

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Thanks.

I guess I will be shopping around for these tube in ebay. :)

As for the Dual PS, I will keep that in mind. I think I will get some of these tubes first before I get into PS.
 

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