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Thread: Wadia S7i

  1. #61
    Yes, the reason that it is lacking in detail retrieval is that it simply doesn't have the ability to resolve the detail that my EMM Labs XDS1 could, which is now significantly eclipsed by the detail retrieval of my current front end.

    Look, nobody is telling you that you shouldn't stick with and enjoy your Wadia. Just don't delude yourself - it's simply outclassed by today's SOTA digital (note I didn't say all digital - almost all of these hyped low to mid-range sub$15k units aren't anywhere as good imo as everyone goes on about so I could definitely understand preference for the older generation Wadia - hell, I'd probably be one of those people).

    Btw, if I were you, the last thing I would focus on is detail retrieval as that's pretty easy to objectively compare. If you had said you prefer the older Wadia's warm sound and subterranean tubby bass, you'd be on much more solid ground as that's a preference and is certainly understandable (I actually have a fondness for that romantic Wadia sound but the SOTA digital world has moved on).

  2. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Bar81 View Post
    Look, nobody is telling you that you shouldn't stick with and enjoy your Wadia. Just don't delude yourself - it's simply outclassed by today's SOTA digital (note I didn't say all digital - almost all of these hyped low to mid-range sub$15k units aren't anywhere as good imo as everyone goes on about so I could definitely understand preference for the older generation Wadia - hell, I'd probably be one of those people)
    I do feel compelled to point out that when it was being made the S7i was a $13K unit; I think the EMM you reference is over $20K, and at that point the Esoteric K-01X/K-03X are likely worthy of consideration, not to mention some of the less expensive dCS units (none of which I've actually heard.)

    I never found the S7i lacking in detail per se, my issue is still that few other people seem to get the sound of piano keys right.

    It's not good when you put a Redbook CD with piano into your new player feeding your new DAC and you wince at the sound, something I found myself doing with the PS Audio DirectStream last night, even though it's one of the best reviewed DACs out there (Fall 2017 Stereophile Class A+ yet.)

    For all its apparent shortcomings, I swapped back to the S7i and… bliss.
    Last edited by BillK; 10-06-2017 at 06:38 AM.

  3. #63
    I've never been particularly impressed with any of the single box dcs or Esoteric gear (although I've heard the latter has become somewhat more musical in the current generation).

    Relying on Stereophile to tell you what's good (particularly in digital) has been a waste of time for at least the last 10 years. The only thing the magazine is good for is JA's measurements. To be fair to Stereophile, in my experience, 9/10 of the favorably reviewed pieces in any of Stereophile, TAS, etc. will not live up to the hype.

    Back on topic. So now we're shifting from the 861 to the S7i? Let's move those goalposts

    The S7i is less colored and is all around better in every way than the 861 including a significant jump in detail retrieval and better controlled bass. The S7i was $14k when new and another $4-5k for GNSC statement mod (which massively improves performance). I was comparing that to an XDS1 ($25k) and the EMM unit came out ahead (and the XDS1 continued to later improve in subsequent firmware updates) except for that low end solidity you are focused on that's Wadia's trademark.

    I think the S7i GNSC still compares favorably in this day and age for the used price it fetches (if you can find one). There's a reason why Wadia still has plenty of fans to this day - nothing sounds like a Wadia and it has a definite "rightness" to its sound (although how you can pick anything but Algorithm A is beyond me). The S7i GNSC is still the best one box Wadia CDP ever made and for a Wadia fan they might never need to look elsewhere.

  4. #64
    Yes, I have always used the magazines as a starting point to narrow down what to audition but ultimately it’s come down to an in home audition. I had Vivid Audio speakers for over two years before they even got a listen in the mags. That being said, I have found my tastes have always aligned more with Stereophile than TAS.

    I suspect I will indeed return the PS Audio gear and keep the Wadia. It’s that “wince” factor on piano that bothers me the most; the Wadia just sounds most like real music.

    As an aside, I always thought that if you weren’t going to run algorithm “A” you were best off purchasing another brand altogether.

  5. #65
    You guys are funny.
    Complaining about the lack of details with the Wadias, you apparently prefer algorithm "A" which has a rather early roll-off (~ 17 kHz) in the high frequencies.
    That is the reason for lack of details in my opinion.
    When I first had the AMR DP 777 for an audition at my home, I was enchanted by the details and open sound of the machine.
    And I was almost selling my Wadia for it. Fortunately I switched the algorithm and that was it then.
    So I don´t think that using "A" is a valid basis for a comparison.
    I was always thinking about buying a S7i but it is often said that it is not a "real" Wadia any more.
    And reading this review http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/revi...ews/wadia-s7i/ doesn´t really give me the idea that the S7i is a must-have over the 861 SE or the 27iX.

  6. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by aston456 View Post
    You guys are funny.
    Complaining about the lack of details with the Wadias, you apparently prefer algorithm "A" which has a rather early roll-off (~ 17 kHz) in the high frequencies.
    That is the reason for lack of details in my opinion.
    When I first had the AMR DP 777 for an audition at my home, I was enchanted by the details and open sound of the machine.
    And I was almost selling my Wadia for it. Fortunately I switched the algorithm and that was it then.
    So I don´t think that using "A" is a valid basis for a comparison.
    I was always thinking about buying a S7i but it is often said that it is not a "real" Wadia any more.
    And reading this review http://www.hifi-advice.com/blog/revi...ews/wadia-s7i/ doesn´t really give me the idea that the S7i is a must-have over the 861 SE or the 27iX.
    The fact that you have a Wadia and are using C shows you have no idea what Wadia is about. Anyway, you keep on holding to your delusion that your 861 is even competitive anymore. The world has moved on.

  7. #67
    I never complained about lack of resolution, but I think aston456 is responding to multiple people here.

    Regardless, here is the best description of what I just heard a few seconds ago.

    On one track I have there is a little wooden "tock" in the background once a measure when the singer starts the chorus.

    On the PS Audio DirectStream and Oppo UHD-205, that "tock" sounds like a wood block, at times almost like the "tock" of a clock.

    With the Wadia you can hear that it's actually a wooden drumstick on the rim of a drum; you can hear the slight echo of the hit on the rim as it echoes very slightly off the drum head.

    Yes, on setting "A."

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