Woo's New Flagship WA33
Sep 6, 2021 at 11:17 PM Post #1,726 of 1,814

littlej0e

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If I had to pick out weaknesses, I’d say your dac, usb reclocking and using Tidal.

The DAVE is a big upgrade and it sounds great with a WA33. Your USB connection could be “dirty” so a usb reclocker would probably be a nice upgrade.

Tidal uses MQA (which Chord Dacs do not fully support) and does not have as large of a collection of hi-res albums as Qobuz. Most of the time, for the new albums I listen to, Tidal is not Hi-Res, but Quboz is (I’ve found it to be quite a big difference in hi-res album availability).

To piggy back on this as well, I 100% agree with Cigg here. I found Qobuz to be better when it came to both sound quality and availability of Hi-Rez content. You can also buy Hi-Rez music at discounted prices through Qobuz with their sublime streaming plan (they just significantly reduced the cost on sept 1st). Most of Tidal’s Hi-Rez content requires MQA compatible devices to be used to its fullest They also do not offer the option of purchasing music at all.

Lasty, if you are investing a lot of money in a high end system I personally think you owe it to yourself to at least consider investing in locally stored content, especially in .wav or .aiff formats if you can manage it. The differences in sound quality can be quite significant over Hi-Rez streamed content. Local > Qobuz > Tidal

The source can make a significant difference in a system as can the content you are playing with it.
 
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Sep 6, 2021 at 11:54 PM Post #1,727 of 1,814

TDinCali

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Gents,

Are you buying tube upgrades through Woo exclusively or are there other sources that you trust also?

cheers!
 
Sep 7, 2021 at 6:38 PM Post #1,729 of 1,814

Roasty

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Gents,

Are you buying tube upgrades through Woo exclusively or are there other sources that you trust also?

cheers!

I got most of my tubes from ebay, Parts Connexion, TubesUSA, and vacuumtubes.net.
 
Sep 9, 2021 at 10:46 PM Post #1,731 of 1,814

Roasty

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The replacement pair of eml 300b 2.5v have been pretty stellar. I no longer get funny puffs/sounds during the music. And the in betweens are pitch black, even with the Utopia. The mids and low end I'm getting now are everything I ever wanted.

I am, however, having a slight channel imbalance, now causing the centre imaging to skew a bit to the right (side of the older pair of tubes) . But the Rockna Wavelight fine balance control has sorted out this issue perfectly.

Screenshot_20210910-103909.jpg


The app/firmware upgrade for the Rockna came at just the right time.

Am enjoying this album a lot right now. Love the vocals and the low end/bass line.

Screenshot_20210910-103707_Roon.jpg


I would have included a money shot of the wa33 and utopia but I think everyone may be sick of me posting those already! Have a great weekend, guys!
 
Sep 9, 2021 at 10:53 PM Post #1,732 of 1,814

pippen99

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Fired off a 30 day email to Jac today. No answer yet. Now 5 months since he received the defective tubes. Glad they are sounding good for you. The imbalance might disappear after about 300 hours burn in.
 
Sep 10, 2021 at 4:16 AM Post #1,733 of 1,814

ThanatosVI

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Sep 13, 2021 at 11:38 AM Post #1,734 of 1,814

Benny-x

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First the question. I am currently using XLR splitters to run both my amps(WA33 EE and Cavalli Lau) off the balanced outputs of my dac(dCS Rossini). Is there any advantage to ditching the splitters and running the Lau off the preamp out of the WA33. If any of you are doing something similar what are your volume settings and what is the volume controlling unit?
Sorry to hear about your situation with the EML tubes, but I've been dying to read some feedback on the Cavalli LAu vs. the WA33, so I've got to ask your thoughts on them.

I own an original LAu as well and I've lost Ng eyed the WA33, but haven't made the leap yet, so I'd appreciate hearing your impressions.
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 3:31 PM Post #1,735 of 1,814

lucasratmundo

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My WA33 shipped today! Can't wait :)
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 4:38 PM Post #1,736 of 1,814

pippen99

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Sorry to hear about your situation with the EML tubes, but I've been dying to read some feedback on the Cavalli LAu vs. the WA33, so I've got to ask your thoughts on them.

I own an original LAu as well and I've lost Ng eyed the WA33, but haven't made the leap yet, so I'd appreciate hearing your impressions.
The SQ of the two amps are not dissimilar to my ears. The Lau is the best SS amp I have ever heard and I feel very lucky to own it. The WA33 has a richness to its sound that the Lau cannot quite match. However one enters the realm of diminishing turns. The WA33 is not anywhere close to being 4x better than the Lau(I have the Elite Edition. With that being said I must confess I rarely listen to the Lau. In fact I listened more to the WA5 I had before the WA33. Something about the upscale Woo sound fits my ears. The WA33 does present some challenges.

1) Some of them hum. Mine does. With my ZMF VO(300 Ohm)(now sold) the hum was audible with no input and between tracks. The hum seemed to become less audible the longer I listened but I don't know whether it was my brain becoming accustomed to the noise or it fades as used. With my LCD-4(200 Ohm) there is no noise audible through the headphones.

2) With all Woo products and from my readings on this Forum to obtain the best performance out of any tube amp one must upgrade from the stock tubes. With an amp such as the WA33 that is an expensive proposition. I have spent $5-6K on upgrade tubes. Also tubes go bad. So far I have had two EML 300B 2.5V tubes go bad which I am now at 5 months awaiting replacement. DO NOT PURCHASE EML PRODUCTS. I also lost a Takatsuki 274B at 13 months on a 12 month warranty with no give or take. That's the price of using vacuum tubes.

3) If you want only the best SQ you have to wait for it. I generally let the WA33 warm up a minimum of 15-20 minutes before I start listening. Still I can detect SQ
changes for the next 20-30 minutes. That is one reason I still have the Lau. If I have a limited time to listen or just want to check out a couple new tracks I flip on the Lau and once it goes through it's safety checks to my ears it sounds pretty much as good as it is going to sound. Very little change.

4) The WA33 is a furnace. If listened for more than an album's worth of music it will get hot enough that putting a hand on is very uncomfortable. It can noticeably affect the temperature of the listening area especially considering most people are listening within 5-6 feet. Also one needs to make sure you have a serviceable area to set up the WA33. The EE weighs in at 56 lbs. I had to purchase a new rack to set it on as my glass shelved rack would not carry that weight.

If it sounds like I am attempting to discourage you I am not. I love a warm signature and that is why I got the Lau. At one time I also owned a Liquid Carbon a great small amp. Before he shut the business down I corresponded several times with Dr. Cavalli and found him to be most accommodating and friendly. I will keep the Lau until someone throws a boatful of money at me or they cart me off to the Home.

I will also keep the WA33 too because of its warm and precise sound signature. It fits my listening needs just as the LCD-4 has the signature I like(COME ON AUDEZE WHERE IS TH LCD-5). I am now using the WA33 as a preamp when I do listen to the Lau and it sounds better than using the splitters. Another vote in favor of the WA33. I hope this helps and does not discourage you. Good Luck
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 8:00 PM Post #1,737 of 1,814

SuperBurrito

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The SQ of the two amps are not dissimilar to my ears. The Lau is the best SS amp I have ever heard and I feel very lucky to own it. The WA33 has a richness to its sound that the Lau cannot quite match. However one enters the realm of diminishing turns. The WA33 is not anywhere close to being 4x better than the Lau(I have the Elite Edition. With that being said I must confess I rarely listen to the Lau. In fact I listened more to the WA5 I had before the WA33. Something about the upscale Woo sound fits my ears. The WA33 does present some challenges.

1) Some of them hum. Mine does. With my ZMF VO(300 Ohm)(now sold) the hum was audible with no input and between tracks. The hum seemed to become less audible the longer I listened but I don't know whether it was my brain becoming accustomed to the noise or it fades as used. With my LCD-4(200 Ohm) there is no noise audible through the headphones.

2) With all Woo products and from my readings on this Forum to obtain the best performance out of any tube amp one must upgrade from the stock tubes. With an amp such as the WA33 that is an expensive proposition. I have spent $5-6K on upgrade tubes. Also tubes go bad. So far I have had two EML 300B 2.5V tubes go bad which I am now at 5 months awaiting replacement. DO NOT PURCHASE EML PRODUCTS. I also lost a Takatsuki 274B at 13 months on a 12 month warranty with no give or take. That's the price of using vacuum tubes.

3) If you want only the best SQ you have to wait for it. I generally let the WA33 warm up a minimum of 15-20 minutes before I start listening. Still I can detect SQ
changes for the next 20-30 minutes. That is one reason I still have the Lau. If I have a limited time to listen or just want to check out a couple new tracks I flip on the Lau and once it goes through it's safety checks to my ears it sounds pretty much as good as it is going to sound. Very little change.

4) The WA33 is a furnace. If listened for more than an album's worth of music it will get hot enough that putting a hand on is very uncomfortable. It can noticeably affect the temperature of the listening area especially considering most people are listening within 5-6 feet. Also one needs to make sure you have a serviceable area to set up the WA33. The EE weighs in at 56 lbs. I had to purchase a new rack to set it on as my glass shelved rack would not carry that weight.

If it sounds like I am attempting to discourage you I am not. I love a warm signature and that is why I got the Lau. At one time I also owned a Liquid Carbon a great small amp. Before he shut the business down I corresponded several times with Dr. Cavalli and found him to be most accommodating and friendly. I will keep the Lau until someone throws a boatful of money at me or they cart me off to the Home.

I will also keep the WA33 too because of its warm and precise sound signature. It fits my listening needs just as the LCD-4 has the signature I like(COME ON AUDEZE WHERE IS TH LCD-5). I am now using the WA33 as a preamp when I do listen to the Lau and it sounds better than using the splitters. Another vote in favor of the WA33. I hope this helps and does not discourage you. Good Luck
That was a super informative post - thanks!
 
Sep 13, 2021 at 11:16 PM Post #1,738 of 1,814

Benny-x

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The SQ of the two amps are not dissimilar to my ears. The Lau is the best SS amp I have ever heard and I feel very lucky to own it. The WA33 has a richness to its sound that the Lau cannot quite match. However one enters the realm of diminishing turns. The WA33 is not anywhere close to being 4x better than the Lau(I have the Elite Edition. With that being said I must confess I rarely listen to the Lau. In fact I listened more to the WA5 I had before the WA33. Something about the upscale Woo sound fits my ears. The WA33 does present some challenges.

1) Some of them hum. Mine does. With my ZMF VO(300 Ohm)(now sold) the hum was audible with no input and between tracks. The hum seemed to become less audible the longer I listened but I don't know whether it was my brain becoming accustomed to the noise or it fades as used. With my LCD-4(200 Ohm) there is no noise audible through the headphones.

2) With all Woo products and from my readings on this Forum to obtain the best performance out of any tube amp one must upgrade from the stock tubes. With an amp such as the WA33 that is an expensive proposition. I have spent $5-6K on upgrade tubes. Also tubes go bad. So far I have had two EML 300B 2.5V tubes go bad which I am now at 5 months awaiting replacement. DO NOT PURCHASE EML PRODUCTS. I also lost a Takatsuki 274B at 13 months on a 12 month warranty with no give or take. That's the price of using vacuum tubes.

3) If you want only the best SQ you have to wait for it. I generally let the WA33 warm up a minimum of 15-20 minutes before I start listening. Still I can detect SQ
changes for the next 20-30 minutes. That is one reason I still have the Lau. If I have a limited time to listen or just want to check out a couple new tracks I flip on the Lau and once it goes through it's safety checks to my ears it sounds pretty much as good as it is going to sound. Very little change.

4) The WA33 is a furnace. If listened for more than an album's worth of music it will get hot enough that putting a hand on is very uncomfortable. It can noticeably affect the temperature of the listening area especially considering most people are listening within 5-6 feet. Also one needs to make sure you have a serviceable area to set up the WA33. The EE weighs in at 56 lbs. I had to purchase a new rack to set it on as my glass shelved rack would not carry that weight.

If it sounds like I am attempting to discourage you I am not. I love a warm signature and that is why I got the Lau. At one time I also owned a Liquid Carbon a great small amp. Before he shut the business down I corresponded several times with Dr. Cavalli and found him to be most accommodating and friendly. I will keep the Lau until someone throws a boatful of money at me or they cart me off to the Home.

I will also keep the WA33 too because of its warm and precise sound signature. It fits my listening needs just as the LCD-4 has the signature I like(COME ON AUDEZE WHERE IS TH LCD-5). I am now using the WA33 as a preamp when I do listen to the Lau and it sounds better than using the splitters. Another vote in favor of the WA33. I hope this helps and does not discourage you. Good Luck
That was more than I could have asked for! Probably one of the most informative posts on the WA33 and in this thread. Thanks a lot 👍
 
Sep 17, 2021 at 2:22 PM Post #1,739 of 1,814

lucasratmundo

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The WA33 is here! But the tubes only arrive on Monday... That's so mean:frowning2:
 

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