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Woo Audio WA7 & WA7tp DAC and Headphone Amp Review

THW

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Measurements cannot capture how real something sounds. Never judge audio gear by graphs and charts. Utter waste of time.
To this day no “subjectivist” has answered this question in a satisfactory manner but I’ll ask again anyway.

What makes your ears so unique and special when compared to state-of-the-art measuring equipment that is absolutely unmeasurable?
 

o2so

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Ok ... Remind me *not* to subscribe to any blog of yours, where you subjectively review audio gear. :)



I've actually known of Amir and his work for a long time. Back to the old HD DVD vs Blu-ray format war. (Yes, there was a competing high def format to Blu-ray, a long time ago.) If any one in audio tells it like it is, it's him.
Oh another lovely comment, thank you.
Perhaps you should give a good read to my comment. I think you would find that in no way whatsoever I attempt to disqualify Amir's review, which in fact I respect very much. Nor I make statements to diminish the importance of measurements, in fact I emphasize this in my very first sentence.

All I am saying is that, in more than a single case (I mentioned two, but there are more if you dig), bad measuring tube gear received - consistently - raving reviews from users and critics. This is a fact, not my opinion. Why? I am not quite sure and I'd be happy to discuss this with the others in the forum.

My opinion, on the other hand, is that Woo Audio's amplifiers have a pleasant sound signature. It does not mean that someone with a different opinion is wrong, on in bad faith. It's just opinions.
Peace.
 

o2so

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To this day no “subjectivist” has answered this question in a satisfactory manner but I’ll ask again anyway.

What makes your ears so unique and special when compared to state-of-the-art measuring equipment that is absolutely unmeasurable?
I do not think my ears are special at all. However it is scientifically proven that everyone's hearing is different. Perhaps that could be one reason?
Other reasons may span in the field of inconsistent recording quality, psycho- acoustics, or there could be other aspects driving music enjoyment that have not been measured yet. I have no idea.
All I know for a fact, is that in some cases - certainly not always - bad measuring audio gear are very much loved by seasoned audiophiles (such as Micheal Fremer). How is this possible? I think this is an interesting question, isnt it?
Does it mean there is no point in measuring? Certainly not, measuring is fundamental. It is just a fact, not an opinion, worth giving some consideration - in addition to measurements.
 

SIY

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All I know for a fact, is that in some cases - certainly not always - bad measuring audio gear are very much loved by seasoned audiophiles (such as Micheal Fremer). How is this possible? I think this is an interesting question, isnt it?
Yes, but you might not like the probable answers. :D
 

o2so

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Yes, but you might not like the probable answers. :D
:)Do you dare expanding on this in writing? :)

I tend to exclude the option of reviewers being bad reviewers, or worse being in bad faith, when there is such an overwhelming consensus from either other reviewers or users. They cant all be bad reviewers, statistically, can they?
 

THW

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:)Do you dare expanding on this in writing? :)

I tend to exclude the option of reviewers being bad reviewers, or worse being in bad faith, when there is such an overwhelming consensus from either other reviewers or users. They cant all be bad reviewers, statistically, can they?
no one is above the power of bias.

i don't have the paper but there was this wine experiment a while back that shows how bias due to price differences can have a strong influence on perception.
 

Blumlein 88

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:)Do you dare expanding on this in writing? :)

I tend to exclude the option of reviewers being bad reviewers, or worse being in bad faith, when there is such an overwhelming consensus from either other reviewers or users. They cant all be bad reviewers, statistically, can they?
Using Fremer's methodology they are all guaranteed to be bad reviewers even when acting in good faith.

We could go on from there, but I guess I'll let SIY reply for himself otherwise. The point being with the best of intentions by the reviewer, the results are still bad. The results are heavily influenced by every other non-sonic factor. Appearance, price, advertising stories about what is being designed for, or how the designing was approached, and more, and more. ........

Looks like THW beat me to it by a few seconds. :)
 

o2so

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Using Fremer's methodology they are all guaranteed to be bad reviewers even when acting in good faith.

We could go on from there, but I guess I'll let SIY reply for himself otherwise. The point being with the best of intentions by the reviewer, the results are still bad. The results are heavily influenced by every other non-sonic factor. Appearance, price, advertising stories about what is being designed for, or how the designing was approached, and more, and more. ........

Looks like THW beat me to it by a few seconds. :)
Ok I take the point as I am a firm believer in confirmation bias.
However, what if the distortion introduced by Woo Audio's amplifiers was actually pleasurable to most, despite of obviously coming up in the tests and affecting the results?
That is what tubes do, dont they? Pleasurable distortion.

What if this is like the case of those terribly smelling french cheese types, that instead of being smashed by reviewers for their smell become famous and are incredibly expensive for that exact same reason? :)
 
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THW

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That is what tubes do, dont they? Pleasurable distortion.
having heard how a distorted reproduced audio signal sounds like, I can tell you that distortion is generally unpleasant in audio reproduction.
 

o2so

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having heard how a distorted reproduced audio signal sounds like, I can tell you that distortion is generally unpleasant in audio reproduction.
Ok, but doesn't this statement defeat the purpose of using tubes in audio?
 

THW

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Ok, but doesn't this statement defeat the purpose of using tubes in audio?
in terms of audio quality yeah.

there are other reasons to like tubes though. some just like seeing what retro technology can do.
 

o2so

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in terms of audio quality yeah.

there are other reasons to like tubes though. some just like seeing what retro technology can do.
Uh that's one bold statement mate. But I see where you are coming from. Personally, I like having access to both options.
 

o2so

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But then again, criticising a tube amp because has distortion sounds to me like criticising a smelly cheese because it smells.
 

THW

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But then again, criticising a tube amp because has distortion sounds to me like criticising a smelly cheese because it smells.
i for one dislike smelly cheeses though :)
 

BillG

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Measurements cannot capture how real something sounds. Never judge audio gear by graphs and charts. Utter waste of time.
Give me gear that measures as clean as I wish to afford, and I'll worry about the "realism" later - i.e. I'll run some DSP on the output, and have a grand time listening... :p
 

Julf

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However it is scientifically proven that everyone's hearing is different.
What exactly does that mean? Anyway, however your hearing appears to work, it works the same for a live sound as it works for a reproduced sound, so the reproduced sound should still be as uncolored as possible.
 
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What exactly does that mean? Anyway, however your hearing appears to work, it works the same for a live sound as it works for a reproduced sound, so the reproduced sound should still be as uncolored as possible.
The frequency response of everyone's hearing is different. For example, older people have a harder time hearing high frequencies. As a consequence, they might prefer a leaner or brighter sound presentation. Beyond obvious differences due to age, there is also a natural variability in hearing even in young people, which might affect their listening preferences.

Yes hearing will work the same for live or reproduced sound, but that does not mean that everyone's preference will be to have an uncoloured sound reproduction. Some may prefer a sound that is coloured. In fact, many do. The whole point of tubes in audio - at least nowadays - is to provide euphonic coloration to the sound. My understanding is that his is achieved through harmonic distortion produced by tubes, sometimes referred to as "tube magic". If everyone wanted an uncoloured sound, there would be almost no market for tube-based audio gear.

Whether sound reproduction should or should not be coloured is something pointless to discuss IMO, because it depends on personal preferences.
Amplifiers such as Woo Audio's do not provide an uncoloured presentation, because they are not designed to do so. It is not an error in the design, it is just how they wanted their amps to sound. At least this is my understanding. By the way I have no affiliations with then what so ever.
 

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