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  1. #1
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    Just conducted an experiment

    I have been curious about how the amazing Woo WA22 headphone amp would perform as a pre-amp. Although it only has two inputs (I need three) and one set of XLR outputs I certainly could improvise with it if it were worthy.

    By using the outputs off the NAD amplifier to the subwoofers a single set of XLR outputs from the WA22 would work.

    The Woo is a fantastically built all tube piece, and as I thought it would, it worked wonderfully. However, the Hattor top of the line three box solution definitely sounds noticeably better. The Woo sounds more "tubey", kind of warm, a bit bottom heavy, but still smooth and inviting. The Hattor has much more definition, more air around instruments, better separation, and much more dynamic.

    Quite noticeable and confirms to me that the Hattor with the matching tube stage is a quite excellent pre-amp. The Woo is certainly a fantastic backup and could step in as a daily driver if ever needed.
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | HeadAmp GS-X Mini | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  2. #2
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    nothing like the euphoric distortion of tubes, that being said in a good sense !
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  3. #3
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    The Woo definitely has more of the "tubbiness" then the Hattor has .
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | HeadAmp GS-X Mini | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  4. #4
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    The Woo definitely has more of the "tubbiness" then the Hattor has .
    gotcha, kinda like CJ / Cary vs ARC ........
    Cheers ! …. Dave

  5. #5
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    I have been curious about how the amazing Woo WA22 headphone amp would perform as a pre-amp. Although it only has two inputs (I need three) and one set of XLR outputs I certainly could improvise with it if it were worthy.

    By using the outputs off the NAD amplifier to the subwoofers a single set of XLR outputs from the WA22 would work.

    The Woo is a fantastically built all tube piece, and as I thought it would, it worked wonderfully. However, the Hattor top of the line three box solution definitely sounds noticeably better. The Woo sounds more "tubey", kind of warm, a bit bottom heavy, but still smooth and inviting. The Hattor has much more definition, more air around instruments, better separation, and much more dynamic.

    Quite noticeable and confirms to me that the Hattor with the matching tube stage is a quite excellent pre-amp. The Woo is certainly a fantastic backup and could step in as a daily driver if ever needed.
    Interesting you posted this, Randy, because some years ago, I hooked up my Schiit Valhalla 2 tube headphone amp as a preamp, going to my CJ LP70S instead of my CT-5 as preamp. And frankly, I was rather amazed at just how good it was. Only one input, but, Man! It was really impressive. It was so good I've thought about using it as a preamp for my little Nelson Pass-designed Amp Camp amps. If you only require one input a time, that combo would make for a killer combination and one that would perform way, way above the cost of the components.

  6. #6
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    Well I got rid of the Woo in favor of a highly rated solid state amp. The HeadAmp GS-X Mini which has the exact same pre-amp functions except controllable on the front instead of rear switches (will make a nice backup pre if ever needed). More compact will fit my use and environment much better.
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | HeadAmp GS-X Mini | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  7. #7
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    I have a HeadAmp GS-X Mini on its way to me. After it gets broken in I plan on conducting the same experience mainly out of curiosity. I was a bit shocked at how the Woo, as a pre-amp, got owned by the Hattor setup.

    By the way, the HeadAmp actually has both XLR and RCA pre-amp outputs that are designed to be used simultaneously. Great for use with a power amplifier and powered subwoofers. Obviously being used as a pre-amp was considered as part of its design. I only wish it had three inputs instead of just two . Their step-up model (the GS_X MKII) does have three inputs, however the GS-X Mini is newer and rated by some (Abyss) as better over all sounding.
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | HeadAmp GS-X Mini | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  8. #8
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    I'll be very interested to see your findings. The GS-X Mini was on my short list when I was auditioning for a new headphone amp in the summer.
    Speakers- Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II, Amp - Pass Labs X150.5, Preamp - McIntosh C2600, Turntable - Music Hall MMF-9.3, Cartridge - Goldring Eroica LX, Phono PreAmp - Sutherland Insight, Digital Playback - Rotel RCD-1072, DAC - Bryston BDA-1, Headphones - Sennheiser HD-660S, and Drop + Dan Clark Audio Ether CX. Headphone Amp - Bryston BHA-1

  9. #9
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    Definitely will... it appears to be very highly rated and I know for sure that the guys at Abyss absolutely love it, although they actually recommend to get the standard volume control versus the updated (more expensive) one.
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | HeadAmp GS-X Mini | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  10. #10
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    I'll be very interested to see your findings. The GS-X Mini was on my short list when I was auditioning for a new headphone amp in the summer.
    Hey Jack, I've given my opinions on the HeadAmp GS-X Mini is this other thread...
    HeadAmp Headphone Amplifier
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | HeadAmp GS-X Mini | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

  11. #11
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    Hey Randy,
    My friend just emailed me and he's not happy with his new ZMF-VC headphones. I'm thinking it might be his headphone amp. He wants to try the Susvara next and I mentioned the Abyss Diana Phi as I see it is one of your favorites and I also mentioned the Meze.
    Last edited by Jack in Wilmington; January 21, 2022 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Misspelled
    Speakers- Dynaudio Contour 1.8 Mk II, Amp - Pass Labs X150.5, Preamp - McIntosh C2600, Turntable - Music Hall MMF-9.3, Cartridge - Goldring Eroica LX, Phono PreAmp - Sutherland Insight, Digital Playback - Rotel RCD-1072, DAC - Bryston BDA-1, Headphones - Sennheiser HD-660S, and Drop + Dan Clark Audio Ether CX. Headphone Amp - Bryston BHA-1

  12. #12
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    Re: Just conducted an experiment

    Hey Jack,

    I do love the Abyss Diana Phi. They have a new version out call the Diana TC. I also recently got a pair of less expensive phones for work because I didn't feel it was a good idea to continue taking such an expensive headphone to work like I have been doing for a while.

    The HifiMan Ananda are actually rather amazing. Very good sounding and comfortable although they are larger then the Abyss. They work great with my Astell&Kern portable! And for the price they are pretty wow (well for the deal I got them for)... They retail for $999 but can usually be found for $699. HeadAmp gave me a great deal plus let me use a coupon they gave me with my new amp!

    The HifiMan Susvara should be amazing... one of the best on the market, right up there with the Abyss AB1266 Phi TC .... But, I hear they are not the easiest to drive. I would think a good amplifier is a requirement. There certainly are more expensive amplifiers then the HeadAmp GS-X Mini, shoot I have had one that was close to three times the price, but I would choose the HeadAmp over all of them. I know that some of the guys at Abyss use it as one of their reference amplifiers!
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | HeadAmp GS-X Mini | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

    “One of the great challenges in life is knowing enough to think you're right but not enough to know you're wrong”
    "You can't use reason to convince anyone out of an argument that they didn't use reason to get into"
    ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

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Just conducted an experiment

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