Woo Audio WES Electrostatic Amplifier (Playback 54)

Headphone amps and amp/DACs
Woo Audio WES Electrostatic Amplifier
Woo Audio WES Electrostatic Amplifier (Playback 54)

The top chassis of the WES houses the signal amplification circuits. There are four 6SL7 driver tubes and four EL34 power tubes employed in, as we said, a balanced design. Two balanced inputs are provided, along with one single-ended input. For the latter, two 12AU7 tubes are on the back of the box as the basis of a phase splitter circuit. Again, a Plexiglas screen is used to deter users from attempting to touch the tubes.

The volume control is a DACT 24-way stepped attenuator. Auricap capacitors and Teflon tube sockets are used, along with extensive point-to-point wiring. The metal work is heavy, though we wouldn’t say that a lot of cost was sunk into jewel-like cosmetics, the overall styling and appearance falling more in an “industrial chic” vein, rather than striving for lifestyle-grade smoothness.

Our test amplifier had two Woo-authorized tube upgrades installed, with Sophia 6SL7 driver tubes and Shuguang 50 Years Treasure 6CA7 power tubes. If you like tubes, the resulting amp looks pretty darn cool, especially at night. But, you’re not here for an industrial art history discussion, so let’s get on to listening.


Consider this electrostatic headphone amp if:

•Signal purity and mid-range clarity are the signal reasons you use electrostatic headphones in the first place, and you want to ensure these characteristics are preserved, without any major downsides. The WES is a seriously revealing headphone amplifier.

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