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Woo Audio WA7 & WA7tp DAC and Headphone Amp Review

MZKM

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#21
I say anything from 6 or 7 kHz and higher will make the sound brighter.
In general, what sounds “bright” can actually be even lower in frequency than that. The KEF LS50 is pretty neutral, but some state it sounds bright, and that’s because at 1250Hz and 2000Hz, it retains energy off-axis, so the listening window can sound bright (it also is a bit bright at 2000Hz on-axis as well).
 
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#23
Let's consider that in our music we have many tones. Each tone creates that spray of harmonic so together they add up and increase the high frequency content. But they do more than that: the harmonics now land on top of low level detail in music. That would obscure them and potentially mask them completely. Again, this is what I was hearing with detail getting lost between peaks.
Mind showing a multitone graph?
 
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#25
btw Do you feel that jds atom sounds warmer than thx 789, amirm?
John - define warm. Music is neither warm or cold - transparency dictates the sound from the amp then you have speakers/headphones right? The idea that tubes create "warmth" is only true because they're hot (IMHO)(and rolled off highs with mushy bass). Then there's the vinyl argument. Vinyl has a limited dynamic range that is more comfortable to our hearing spectrum thereby creating the false sense of warmth (mainly the rolled off highs). Plus, we have poorly mastered recordings (levels all the way up on every instrument and vocal). And I'm rambling... and not really answering your question... sorry...
 

DuxServit

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#26
@amirm Thank you for the review. Very useful.

I’m one of those folks who almost bought these Woo DAC/amps, but got suspicious at the amount of “love” shown on HF for Woo. FYI Since 2009, there has been 2700 pages of discussions at the HF main thread on Woo Audio. This is not counting the other product-specific threads.
 

amirm

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#27
Mind showing a multitone graph?
Must we torture ourselves that way??? :)

Woo Audio WA7 Headphone Amp and WA7tp Power Supply USB Multitone Audio Measurements.png


Anyone who thinks all those extra spikes between our tones makes music more real has lost touch with reality!

Note also the rising noise floor in low frequencies, reducing dynamic range.
 

NTomokawa

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#31
It pains me to admit that I once considered Woo Audio products during my less knowledgeable days.

Look away...
 

solderdude

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#34
Anyone who thinks all those extra spikes between our tones makes music more real has lost touch with reality!

Note also the rising noise floor in low frequencies, reducing dynamic range.
Indeed.
The high amounts of distortion is built-in on purpose.
Those extra spikes actually translate into noise and comes closer to the S/N ratio of vinyl.
Maybe that's what some folks like about these amps. Noise floors that 'modulate' on music.
No music no noise, high levels of music with high levels of noise.

But for sure... this is NOT closer to the recording nor more real, maybe closer to vinyl in some aspects.
The high output R also makes this amp sound different from most other amps as well.
I figure that's what WOO is after... something that sounds and looks different with glowing tubes showing off.
They succeeded.
Some will love it to bits, others will hate or be disappointed.
The folks that buy this aren't interested in measurements anyway as it says nothing to them AND they trust their ears more as that is 'reality' to them.

Noise for lower frequencies isn't really problematic IMO (see Loudness contour curves)
Rolled-off treble and huge 2nd harmonic is what this amp is about.


Indeed tube amps can be made that perform (almost?) as well as SS but that's not the purpose of this amp.
 
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daftcombo

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#35
Well, I don't hear 20 kHz so it doesn't matter what it does there. :)

The perception of highs starts pretty low in frequencies. I say anything from 6 or 7 kHz and higher will make the sound brighter. In this instance, the harmonic distortion creates additional energy there where the music signal is already pretty weak, changing its tonality to brighter side.
Hi,
Do you think the roll-off is designed on purpose to somehow compensate the brightness caused by the harmonic distortions (as you explained)?
Why does the frequency response graph show a roll-off if there is actually more treble than medium and bass?
 

solderdude

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#37
Hi,
Do you think the roll-off is designed on purpose to somehow compensate the brightness caused by the harmonic distortions (as you explained)?
Why does the frequency response graph show a roll-off if there is actually more treble than medium and bass?
The roll-off is most likely caused by the use of output transformers.
 
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#39
I have almost bought this WooAudio amp many times. I have actually had it in the basket on the site but could never bring myself to hit order. I wonder how it measures in comparison?

https://wooaudio.com/amplifiers/wa6se
 

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