Wadax Reference Dac and Server arrive

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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listened from 5pm to 10:30pm to the Wadax, mostly Quboz streaming, but some files too. then Elliot went to bed (had been up since 5am EST). i stayed up till 1am, and listened more, but mostly took 2 hours to move my shelves (very tedious process) to allow the MSB and Extreme to be installed and turned on, so they could get warmed back up for Friday afternoon listening. so no comparison listening yet.

so far the Wadax combo delivers on expectations. it's a breed apart in my personal experience. you try to get your head around what is different and express it in words, but it's hard. better to sit back and let the music effect you. how is the music different? as opposed to how does it sound different? does that make sense?

for now i would say there is an analog grainless liquidity, yet also a fine textural and timbral detail, that is 'un-digital-like'. it's really quiet, yet the ambience in recordings that possess it is vinyl like. redbook files are really fine.

it seems like it absolutely is complementary to my system, and does scale and authority really well. and has an overall top to bottom balance and completeness that i value highly.

no analog yet for reference, obviously no MSB or Extreme yet.

got to go to work for a few hours, but will be home mid day sometime and listen more.
 

Steve Vu

Active Member
Oct 26, 2020
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I'm looking forward to hearing full your review soon. The amazing system.
 
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divertiti

Member
Jan 12, 2021
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listened from 5pm to 10:30pm to the Wadax, mostly Quboz streaming, but some files too. then Elliot went to bed (had been up since 5am EST). i stayed up till 1am, and listened more, but mostly took 2 hours to move my shelves (very tedious process) to allow the MSB and Extreme to be installed and turned on, so they could get warmed back up for Friday afternoon listening. so no comparison listening yet.

so far the Wadax combo delivers on expectations. it's a breed apart in my personal experience. you try to get your head around what is different and express it in words, but it's hard. better to sit back and let the music effect you. how is the music different? as opposed to how does it sound different? does that make sense?

for now i would say there is an analog grainless liquidity, yet also a fine textural and timbral detail, that is 'un-digital-like'. it's really quiet, yet the ambience in recordings that possess it is vinyl like. redbook files are really fine.

it seems like it absolutely is complementary to my system, and does scale and authority really well. and has an overall top to bottom balance and completeness that i value highly.

no analog yet for reference, obviously no MSB or Extreme yet.

got to go to work for a few hours, but will be home mid day sometime and listen more.

Thanks for the early impressions Mike. The way you described the Wadax combo sound exactly like the same attributes you shared on the Select II. It will definitely be interesting to hear the comparison between the two both 100% warmed up, would also be interesting to mix and match the server dac combination to discern what each component is contributing. Some exciting listening times ahead.
 

Audiophile Bill

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Mar 23, 2015
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I think Mike is in consolidation mode not expansion mode.
 
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dcathro

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Sep 16, 2016
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Rhapsody

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Subscribed
 
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LL21

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SCAudiophile

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Sep 11, 2010
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Mike,...congratulations getting it all in and up and running for those fun first hours! Enjoy the new Wadax stack!!!
 
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Kingrex

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Feb 4, 2019
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I'm pretty excited for tomorrow's listening sessions. I'm so curious.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
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great listening day yesterday from noon on. back and forth between the Wadax chain and MSB/Extreme chain once in the afternoon, plus i did play 2 Lp's for that reference. we were joined by a WBF member (MSB Ref dac owner) for dinner and then listening till 11pm, and did 4 switches between the chains for that listener. after that listener left and Elliot retired i was listening till 1230am.

this afternoon 5 people are scheduled to join us. 4 of the 5 are WBF members; one of which owns an MSB Select 2.

i'm listening now :) waiting for Elliot to emerge so we can go get him his coffee :p . then we dive back in.
 

jonyung

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2014
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Mike
Been a long time reader of your excellent posts all the way back long time ago. I also learned a great deal. I went through my own little journey on finding the right DAC, starting from trinity and nearly ending up with the Select II +/- Extreme, but somehow, emotionally, it didn't felt right, though logically, it ticked all the right boxes. I ascribed my failure with the Select to perhaps a difference in personal taste with speakers in the demo rooms...
(In my locality, its practically impossible to have any extended period of loans or home trials, the most I could get is probably one afternoon. Hence, I have to decide on buying gear with very short auditions with CDs/files I am familiar with, and that means live recordings in venues I know well, and sometimes recordings of concerts I was at.)
The Wadax is a totally different paradigm. I realised that if one uses our Hi FI vocabulary to dissect and decipher differences between DACs, the Select/Grandioso P1x/D1x comes out right at the top. "Resolution" and "Darkness' always comes up to your mind. On the other hand, Wadax presents the same level of detail and 'resolution" , but it doesn't flaunt it. All the details are there, but it doesn't catch your attention, same thing in a real live concert. But, if you try to "analyse " the WADAX DAC, you find that all the resolution and darkness is there. It also presents music alot more like an analog rig.
But, the best way to enjoy Wadax is to forget about all the Hi Fi imagery. You let the music flow through you, and before you notice, it suddenly becomes very relaxing and it becomes very easy to teleport yourself back to the live concerts, as though you are sonically back in a time machine.
Due to my own circumstances, perhaps luckily, I started using the Reference Dac with a Blusound Streamer! ( totally crazy in usual Hi End parlance), using only low resolution files via SPDIF. It worked like a charm, and music flows.
Then, recently, I changed to a RoseHiFi 150 and can stream higher resolution files via USB. But, my reason for the Rose is not tidal/Qobuz, but youtube and TV. Listening to streamed concerts, eg Wigmore Hall recitals on Youtube and the Berliner Concerts are so enjoyable.
Would it be better with high resolution files? I'm sure! But, you may also be surprised how the voice comes through the Wadax in normal TV and low resolution files

Look forward to your comparisons using highend gear and high resolution files!
 

Rhapsody

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Jan 16, 2013
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great listening day yesterday from noon on. back and forth between the Wadax chain and MSB/Extreme chain once in the afternoon, plus i did play 2 Lp's for that reference. we were joined by a WBF member (MSB Ref dac owner) for dinner and then listening till 11pm, and did 4 switches between the chains for that listener. after that listener left and Elliot retired i was listening till 1230am.

this afternoon 5 people are scheduled to join us. 4 of the 5 are WBF members; one of which owns an MSB Select 2.

i'm listening now :) waiting for Elliot to emerge so we can go get him his coffee :p . then we dive back in.
Hi Mike,

Fun times for you and everyone else!!!

What driver in the Extreme are you using for the Wadax dac? Not sure if you/Emile were able to do a descriptor dump for the Wadax dac, so that Emile could supply a specific driver for the Wadax dac? Big difference, as you know between WASAPI and a dedicated/specific dac driver.

Or maybe Emile already had a WADAX driver so that you can achieve the best results from the Extreme/Wadax Dac combo???
 
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