T.H.E. Show Newport
Beach 2015 Report
Woo Audio is finalizing their sweet little battery powered vacuum tube headphone amplifier. Using my Noble Kaiser 10 in custom Rose gold Tiger Stripe, it had plenty of power with only two of the three tubes operating. You can use the top switch to choose between two or three tube output depending on if your IEMs or headphones need more power output. Need more power? Then kick in the third tube into the circuit and you're good to go. There is an output jack for both 1/4" and 1/8" stereo just below the large volume knob. At volume level 6 I was cranking, with 7 being OMG that's insanely loud! Volume at 4.5 was fine for me most of the time quite frankly, so there is an abundance of headroom to spare.
The volume control was silky smooth in operation. Priced at $1500, the WA8 sound was good, if a touch thick in the bass and the highs seemed slightly recessed in the frequencies above 8kHz. They are still fine-tuning the unit and am sure they'll eventually nail it and finally release a production version. It is very promising! The one thing i should also note is that the unit is very solid and heavy. It might look lightweight, yet don't be fooled as it is a bit hefty in physical weight.
Of course it must be said that the Woo Audio WA-8 reminds me of the GREATech µVAC stereo amplifier i reviewed in 2006. Loved it and if Woo Audio can get their portable unit to sound like the GREATech unit we'll have something very special to enjoy the music.