The NEW Woo Audio WA23 Luna and STAX SR-X9000 electrostatic headphone debuted to the public at AXPONA 2022.
It is always a refreshing stop by the Woo Audio room at any audio show. At AXPONA 2022 last week, the personal audio tube amplifier company kept things very much “on brand”. The usually quiet room allows for listeners to get a real snapshot of Woo’s long list of amplification options. The draw for the brand itself (as headphone enthusiasts had to trek up several floors to experience) was surprisingly strong all weekend. A constant flow of attendees filled nearly every seat in the room, some joining the listening session extremely prepared with their own inventory of headphones from home to try out.
None of this may come as a surprise to fans of the NY-based manufacturer. Big tube amplifiers are the real bread and butter of the brand, but it’s easy to forget that Woo Audio also makes entry-level options starting at $1k for the WA6. From my personal experience, the top end stuff is some of the best sounds you can find on the market. The WA33 we reviewed is a fully balanced amplifier, but new on display was the WA23 Luna ($9k), a single ended version of the amp with a few twists.
Utilizing 6C45 tubes in the drive section and 2A3 for the power, the rectifier tube has been slimmed down to a 5U4G and a smaller, separate power supply. Along with several aesthetic design changes, there is also a visible Alps RK50 potentiometer and color changing LED across the front. All the internals in the Woo WA23 Luna are wired point-to-point, and Woo even winds their own output transformers. The new amplifier will ship mid June and is available for pre order here.
Also situated along the far wall was the yet-to-be-released STAX SR-X9000 ($6.2k) connected to the Woo 3ES Electrostatic Amplifier ($8.9k). The sound was quick, detailed and energized while I listened to several test tracks. To my ears, there is still a sense that you are listening to an electrostatic headphone as opposed to more typical dynamic options (or even planar dynamic), but it is a sound that many might prefer given all other things equal (i.e. cost).
The new STAX SR-X9000 is due out in July, and is available as a preorder from Woo Audio as well – they also sell partner headphones and audiophile products direct from their site.
More info: Woo Audio