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Wadia

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
At the National Meet, headroom put out a gorgeous Wadia CDP. the purpose of such a high $ money player was to sell the Headroom balanced Max... but ever since I've been sold on the Wadia. During the meet I must have spent a total of at least 4.5 hours with the EMM/Orpheus rack, but Sunday morning was an eye opener. the Wadia revealed all of what was missing or smothered by the euphoric presentation of the EMM combo. But, even while it was done in a quiet room at a low key time, I must convince myself that all i heard was a "meet impression" and not a true measure of any component's true performance. but all this makes me is more curious in the wadia.

I have several questions for head-fiers and anyone interested. What experiences have you had with wadia players? What is there reputation as things as build quality, longevity go? And, what would you describe as the sonic purpose of Wadia players (like do they have a "sound sig"?). Thankyou, I'll continue to research...
post #2 of 8
Wadia has the reputation for building the best CD players on the planet. I haven't had the chance to listen to one, but I know several audiophiles that swear by them.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by granodemostasa View Post
And, what would you describe as the sonic purpose of Wadia players (like do they have a "sound sig"?). Thankyou, I'll continue to research...
I had a Wadia 561 in my system for a few weeks, but it wasn't to my tastes and I sold it. The short summary is solidity, denseness, and detail, though at the expense of tone and a slight "mechanical" sound. Imaging is very dense and solid, sounds are there, and not translucent nor see-through like they are with many players, it's not "blown-up" to sound analog-like which my Audio Aero does to some extent. The detail retrieval is slightly better than my Capitole and about on par with my modified Manley, it's about the best I've heard from digital to date.

Earlier I mentioned tone, it's neutral to a fault and to me it's a little too cool and dry. Everything is there, and everything is great, except it doesn't really "come alive" and I'm left waiting for music rather than listening to music. As best as I can describe it, it's like waiting for one's system to warm up from a cold start and get on with making music, except it never warms up. The wait for the warmup which never arrived eventually frustrated me, and somewhat regretfully, I sold it.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roam View Post
I had a Wadia 561 in my system for a few weeks, but it wasn't to my tastes and I sold it.
There is a lot of personal taste here. I listened to an 860 with GNPC mods. System has Dartzeel amplification and $10K Wilson Bennech speakers. The Wadia was noticeably "thick" and warm. Syrupy maybe.
It had a big bass but it was slightly boomy and lacked details and definition. Sounds like the exact opposite of your impressions, but we do agree that both units did not sound very musical if you are after tonal accuracy and musical details. I can see the wadia being quite impressive with metal and heavy rock or even big symphonic music. Definitely not a good fit for small club Jazz, chamber music or any "intimate" kind of music.
A Resolution Opus 21 was much more neutral and significantly more musical in the same system, provided you use the fixed outputs. I can only imagine that an Esoteric would be on the drier side, compared to the Wadia, just to give another reference point.
post #5 of 8
I've been to no fewer than 3 meets at Wadia, and heard the 861 or 27/270 at at least two other meets. I also had the 27/270 in my home rig for 3 days (which I used for non-stop listening...I was even off for a day!!) after transporting it to a meet.

I think it's the best digital sound that I've ever heard. Granted, I've not heard tons of other players of that caliber for extended periods. About the only one would be the Meridian G08, which was in my home for 2 weeks. The Meridian is also a VERY good player...I just like the Wadia signature a little better. It does soundstaging exceptionally well, and the music seems fuller and more resolved. It reminds me as a listener of the experience that I have when smoking a really good Cuban cigar - it makes me step back metaphorically and say "Whoa!!".
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by elrod-tom View Post
I think it's the best digital sound that I've ever heard. About the only one would be the Meridian G08
My own impression was that the 860 (with GNPC mods) is on the opposite end of the sonic map, compared to the super-detailed but somewhat dry Meridian G08. Perhaps the GNPC mods alter the 860's character in an extreme manner. Very interesting!
post #7 of 8
I own a Wadia 23 (built in 1995) and I'm the second owner. It's built like a tank and sounds great. I don't really have too much experience with other Wadia players except the 301. I'm a big fan of the Pioneer Stable platter transport and the 23 and 301 both use that transport. The sound from my player is detailed with good separation, strong bass, warm mids and good, but not quite sparkling highs.

A while back we compared Hirsch's Wadia 301 to his Slim Devices Transporter....well actually the DACs on each. We found that the transporter edged out the 301 with detail and high end shimmer being better on the Transporter. That said, the 301 is also a great player. I have not heard any other Wadia players.

The Meridian G08 is a better player overall compared to the 301, but again, system matching is important. The G08 is super detailed and can be a bit dry with the wrong amp/headphone combo. Paired with the 007t and Omega II, the Meridian GO8 is amazing!
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ori View Post
... compared to the super-detailed but somewhat dry Meridian G08.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrice View Post
... The G08 is super detailed and can be a bit dry with the wrong amp/headphone combo. Paired with the 007t and Omega II, the Meridian GO8 is amazing!

Interesting, I had the G08 in my system for about 2 years and would never describe it as dry, somewhat smooth, laidback or polite, but never dry. Most of that time it was played through an RSA Stealth for headphones and a MF A300cr/Energy Veritas 2.3i for speaker listening.

P.S. I do not doubt your impressions just never felt that way about the G08 in my system at the time.

Actually I may have some info for you as i am working on getting a Wadia 581i for an audition, but it will probably be a little while.
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