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Thread: Wadia S7i

  1. #51
    Addicted to Best! Diapason's Avatar
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    A friend has had zero success getting a Wadia 581SE repaired through the official channels in UK/Ireland, so I wouldn't expect much.
    Wadia 581SE - Mark Levinson 432 - Sonus Faber Elipsa Red (SE) - GIK Acoustic panels - Kubala-Sosna cables - Finite Elemente Levelplus rack

  2. #52

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by aston456 View Post
    Hi Chuck,
    I don´t intend to use the Wadia as a transport but only as DAC.
    I already own an 861 SE which I recently rediscovered due to new XLR interconnects to my active speakers.
    Before that I had become a little unhappy in regard of the overall performance of the Wadia and had tried various other DACs which a priori sounded better.
    After moving to new interconnects with very low capacitance the picture changed completely and I fell in love again with the Wadia.
    But as always in this business one is never 100% satisfied and always striving for the better.
    Cheers
    Kai
    I've been a Wadia fan for a long time but it's just not competitive anymore. The Wadia 861se GNSC Statement was super romantic and a fun listen many years ago but less resolving and more closed in than the S7i GNSC Statement. However, those two were fully outclassed by the EMM Labs XDS1 (even the original V1 release - the V2 made the improvement even starker), which has been summarily trounced in every way by the new EMM Labs TX2/DA2, which imho has finally delivered on the promise of digital - I've stopped looking.

    Long story short, digital has come a long way in the last 5+ years. There's a lot out there that you should try before spending money on dead end Wadia products.

  3. #53
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! still-one's Avatar
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    I would have to agree. I owned the S7 and when it was current it was as good as anything available. Unfortunately digital continues to improve and newer products have surpassed this 4 box unit.
    Jim
    Speakers:Alexandria X2- Series 2, AMP''s-D'Agostino Momentum mono blocks, Pre-Amp:D'Agostino Momentum Phono Stage Esoteric E-03 Sources :dCS Rossini , SME 20/3, Cabling/Interconnects:Transparent Opus SC and Interconnects, Power Delivery Shunyata Denali

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    I would have to agree. I owned the S7 and when it was current it was as good as anything available. Unfortunately digital continues to improve and newer products have surpassed this 4 box unit.

    Whether anyone has surpassed a well set-up Wadia 922/931/270SE GNSC is debatable.
    "It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
    - Mark Twain

  5. #55
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! still-one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    Whether anyone has surpassed a well set-up Wadia 922/931/270SE GNSC is debatable.
    I don't think there is any question that many current products have now surpassed the Series 9 four box units comprising of the 931 decoding computer, 971 transport and a pair of 922 DAC's. Don't get me wrong if I was sure Wadia would have committed to a upgrade path for the devices I may not have sold them back in August of 2012.
    Jim
    Speakers:Alexandria X2- Series 2, AMP''s-D'Agostino Momentum mono blocks, Pre-Amp:D'Agostino Momentum Phono Stage Esoteric E-03 Sources :dCS Rossini , SME 20/3, Cabling/Interconnects:Transparent Opus SC and Interconnects, Power Delivery Shunyata Denali

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by still-one View Post
    I would have to agree. I owned the S7 and when it was current it was as good as anything available. Unfortunately digital continues to improve and newer products have surpassed this 4 box unit.
    I hate to resurrect such an old thread, but I have an S7i and have recently compared it to two of the best of today's DACs, the Ayre QX-5 Twenty and the PS Audio DirectStream with Huron software.

    Of course both can play 24/192 and DSD, which the S7i obviously cannot.

    But when it comes to Redbook CD and PCM sources, the Wadia still beats either.

    Both of the newer pieces are brighter, to the point of being shrill on some recordings, but the big area in which the Wadia excels is space, or the presentation of it.

    Sure guitars and such sound great on the two newer DACs, but through the Wadia they are presented with a palpable sense of space around each instrument, where there isn't just the sound of a guitar string, but rather the sense of a guitar string being played in a space.

    I don't know if I'd advise anyone who didn't already own one to pick one up used, but I was ready to upgrade, and I think the Wadia's beauty has just sucked me back in.

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by BillK View Post
    I hate to resurrect such an old thread, but I have an S7i and have recently compared it to two of the best of today's DACs, the Ayre QX-5 Twenty and the PS Audio DirectStream with Huron software.

    Of course both can play 24/192 and DSD, which the S7i obviously cannot.

    But when it comes to Redbook CD and PCM sources, the Wadia still beats either.

    Both of the newer pieces are brighter, to the point of being shrill on some recordings, but the big area in which the Wadia excels is space, or the presentation of it.

    Sure guitars and such sound great on the two newer DACs, but through the Wadia they are presented with a palpable sense of space around each instrument, where there isn't just the sound of a guitar string, but rather the sense of a guitar string being played in a space.

    I don't know if I'd advise anyone who didn't already own one to pick one up used, but I was ready to upgrade, and I think the Wadia's beauty has just sucked me back in.
    The S7i is still a great front end, even today (I was keeping one for a second system but had to sell recently to fund an amp purchase).

    I'm not sure the Ayre or the PS Audio represent anything near the state of the art atm. Certainly they have their fans, but for me, for example, the Ayre was good but never great. There are however units that surpassed the overall (depending on what you're looking for) performance of the S7i (even GNSC Statement) years ago (like the EMM Labs XDS1) but even they couldn't establish that foundation that the Wadias get so right - which is what you're describing. It wasn't until the EMM Labs TX2/DA2 that I found a digital front end that surpassed Wadia in all facets including that critical foundation.

    Some excerpts from my review of the EMM Labs combo:

    ...
    I've historically been a Wadia fan because their players got the most important thing in music right – drive (in fact, I still have a Wadia S7i GNSC Statement CDP - Wadia's last CDP - that I intend to use in a secondary system once I get the space). Wadia's players have always been unparalleled in my experience in driving the music forward. Up until now, subsequent to the death of Wadia (what exists now has no relation to the original company), I have not heard any digital that has gotten that right since. When I replaced my Wadia 861se with the original XDS1, I sacrificed that drive for the significantly lower coloration, better and more open top end and midrange and the vastly greater resolution of the XDS1. But not having that drive always bothered me, and along with the mid-hall presentation of the XDS1 (I prefer being closer to the stage) and the good but I never felt quite right treble, I was never fully satisfied with that CDP, even in V2 guise.

    ...
    EMM Labs’ new reference digital combo has everything that one could ever want - resolution top to bottom that is generations beyond their single box CDP (which was not a slouch), highs that are smooth and accurate (violin is as smooth as it is in real life while cymbals have just the right amount of bite and definition), unlimited dynamic range and musicality without coloration that I can detect – plus the best aspects of Wadia - drive and solidity in the bass/fully developed foundation to the music.

  8. #58
    Bill,
    I totally agree to your statement.
    I´ve been owning a Wadia 861 SE now for almost 8 years and I almost sold it a year ago because I thought it would be bested by a Lampizator 5 balanced with volume.
    Fortunately a friend of mine, who is an electronics engineer, got hooked on cable design and built one with a very low capacitance and sent it to me for testing.
    I knew that all Wadias perform poorly with the "wrong" cable at the analogue outputs and had already done some research in that regard myself but that newly designed cable blew everything away. I was totally stunned what became of the grandfather Wadia
    I immediately sold the Lampi. Since then I´ve compared the Wadia with the PSA Directstream - gone and the AMR DP 777 SE - gone.
    I was always looking for a 27iX v3, which I was able to shoot recently and that one stayed because it has a more defined bass punch than the 861 SE, even though both should be equal from the digital part. I guess the PSU is better with the 27iX.
    I´m keeping the 861 SE too because one doesn´t show a good friend the door.
    And by now I am strongly convinced that one doesn´t need more than 16/44 if you got the right DAC. I´ve got various songs also in 24/96 and they seem to sound "better" but actually they don´t. They sound different but don´t deliver more details or more what-so-ever.

    With all that: I would love to buy the 931/922 combo. But they are rarely sold in Europe.
    Cheers
    Kai

  9. #59
    The 861SE GNSC Statement is still one of my favorite front ends but the reality is that it's colored - I saw it described once as the most romantic Wadia - I'd have to agree. Plus it's materially lacking in detail retrieval. I could live with it (it's a very fun listen - everything sounds great through it) but its certainly no longer SOTA.

    As to Redbook being more than enough - I concur. Well mastered redbook is all I need - everytime I improve my system, another whole treasuretrove of detail is unearthed from the humble CD.

  10. #60
    There can be many different reasons why you are lacking details with your Wadia.
    I, for example, had totally forgotten about the two differen algorithms beside A.
    And while I was sitting there missing details I remembered the B and C algorithms. And I found everything I was missing with C.
    And then came even more with the new cables.
    I am running it directly into my active speakers, so nothing is done via a separate preamp.
    Cheers
    Kai

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