November 13, 2018 § Leave a comment
The WA33 could very well be the best sounding headphone amplifier ever to make its way into the lab, but its also the most expensive. Could it sound better? Maybe. I do recall hearing Woo’s own pinnacle monoblocks ($16k) at an audio show complete reset my thinking for what can be achieved in person audio with proper support, but lets keep things (somewhat) practical for this exercise. The dual chassis case will fit on a desktop and despite its high society price tag is manageable and fully balanced for an end-to-end experience that can both wow and whisper. The bonus preamp callabilities make some sense for near field or desktop listening and all other qualifiers as a top tier headphone amplifier are firmly checked.”
September 8, 2018 § Leave a comment
“The Bang is a powerful yet compact power amplifier that would be at home in both a PC based system as well as a HiFi system. If you partner it with the Play you have a remote from which you can adjust the volume, with the Fun you only have the volume pot. The Bang does not shy away from a challenge and it will do justice to many easier to driver speakers out there, it sounds a lot better than the cheaper integrated amps around the same price, the only downside is you will need a pre-amp to match the amount of inputs you need”
August 4, 2018 § Leave a comment
“There have been several songs that have been thrown to the zeitgeist of audiophile tracks as references for music that fully represents entire spectrum of sound for testing purposes. During a tour of Harmen’s testing facilities in California, researcher Sean Olive expressed a nomination for Tracy Chaplin’s Fast Car. While not the most uplifting song every penned, it does a fine job as an amplifier illuminator. Though the WA33 the polished dynamics of the tube driven amp really laid the foundation for a capability to be drawn into the music. The bass was so supportive of the rest of the mix, the overall presentation sounded accurate, but also fun. If one was to break down the feeling into more certain terms, you could look at two separate, but intertwined ideas. 1. its relaxed 2. its intimate. This Woo isn’t relaxed in the sense that it has opened its grip on transparency, control or otherwise, but rather it finds a balance between the analytical nature of pureform detail pass-along and the slowly creeping edge of overpopulating the notion of information presentation. It’s the emotional equivalent of someone saying “relax, we got this” before coordinating a game winning play. There both confidence and authority in the delivery. The intimacy is derived from a robust tonal structure that fills in the lost spaces between reality and recreation. T
July 31, 2018 § Leave a comment
“Not having heard Simaudio’s less costly Moon 880M monoblock, which was reviewed by Brian Damkroger in June 2013, I can’t be sure, but I’d bet the Moon 888 sounds similar, albeit with greater nuance, grace, and finesse, especially in the upper octaves, and greater transparency overall. Of course, if the recording is poor, you’re going to hear that poorness in all its awful glory—but that’s not the amplifier’s fault. However, with the best recordings, regardless of genre or whether it was on LP, CD, or hi-rez file, the Moon 888s produced the highest level of sound quality in my system, passing along warmth or chills, transparency or sludge, grain or greatness, as dictated not by the electronics but by the recording itself.
To say that the Moon 888s delivered what I’d expect and demand for $118,888/pair is not to say that it will necessarily meet the expectations of every audiophile, especially those who prefer warmth and, perhaps, a more fleshed-out harmonic presentation even if it’s not on the recording. But they sure met mine.”
April 14, 2018 § Leave a comment
“If the Viva Egoista 845’s price is out of bounds, the company also offers the somewhat smaller Egoista 2A3 tube headphone amp for $9,750 in the US. The prices are for the amps in Viva’s standard painted finishes, custom ordered automotive paint finished amps are available for a $500 upcharge for either Egoista amp.