Wadax Reference Dac and Server arrive

V-Squared

Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2017
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105
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.
Thank you, Mike and Elliot, for hosting me for a wonderful audition last night. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the company and the special audio treat. I love that you continue to refine your system, Mike, and strive to achieve that magical illusion of disbelief (coining your words).

Kudos on your new rig, Mike! Great to catch up!!
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,448
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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???
hi Bob, agree that these optimizations are essential. and they will happen.

the Extreme has the Wadax driver, but the Taiko USB card is not yet optimized for the Wadax. we have not yet done a Wadax dac + Extreme compare to the Wadax dac + server. in due time.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,448
6,150
1,420
Thank you, Mike and Elliot, for hosting me for a wonderful audition last night. As always, I thoroughly enjoyed the company and the special audio treat. I love that you continue to refine your system, Mike, and strive to achieve that magical illusion of disbelief (coining your words).

Kudos on your new rig, Mike! Great to catch up!!
Victor, it was great that you could join us. it was a fun session. and thank you for the kind words.

sorry i wrote you were an MSB Ref owner, when you are a Select II owner. i was not current on that.
 

MRJAZZ

[Industry Expert]
Jan 21, 2014
283
100
275
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!
The Rose 150 is a huge “bang for the buck”...
Superb playback capabilities...for not to much $$......
 
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ALF

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2012
517
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Southwest
Cool Mike…this should be a great adventure! Really nice that Elliot is able to be there to shepherd you through the connection dynamics…

vbw,
-a
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,448
6,150
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we had another great listening day yesterday. starting at noon had 6 visitors ending last night at 8:30pm. did a few back and fourths between the Wadax chain and MSB/Extreme chain. did a little vinyl.

changes. i have purchased the Wadax Reference Dac and am thrilled. and this is with streaming only so far. i love the look and build quality of the Wadax. the performance is magnificent. astonishing really to me. i don't want to speak for any of my visitors.....just myself.

late last night, was able to integrate the Wadax Ref server (off the rickety little table) into my rack and at least allow it a single Daiza shelf. the server question is just that. i appreciate that Elliot is allowing me to have more time with the Wadax Reference Server to investigate this possibility. work to do there.

thank you to everyone for the positive comments.

Wad + Ext (1 of 1).jpg
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
13,129
1,519
658
Big news! Congrats and look forward to reading about your ongoing adventures with the Wadax. That’s the corroboration that keeps Wadax at the top my interest list.
 

Steve Vu

Active Member
Oct 26, 2020
137
93
33
we had another great listening day yesterday. starting at noon had 6 visitors ending last night at 8:30pm. did a few back and fourths between the Wadax chain and MSB/Extreme chain. did a little vinyl.

changes. i have purchased the Wadax Reference Dac and am thrilled. and this is with streaming only so far. i love the look and build quality of the Wadax. the performance is magnificent. astonishing really to me. i don't want to speak for any of my visitors.....just myself.

late last night, was able to integrate the Wadax Ref server (off the rickety little table) into my rack and at least allow it a single Daiza shelf. the server question is just that. i appreciate that Elliot is allowing me to have more time with the Wadax Reference Server to investigate this possibility. work to do there.

thank you to everyone for the positive comments.

View attachment 87801
You don 't buy Wadax Server because Taiko is better than it, right?
 

SCAudiophile

Super Moderator
Staff member
Sep 11, 2010
1,049
270
495
Greer South Carolina (USA)
@Mike Lavigne That looks fantastic and I am glad to see you must be having a lot of fun with all this. Congratulations once again on the Reference DAC and good luck with you bake-offs regarding the Reference Server!
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
10,259
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Beverly Hills, CA
Congratulations, Mike, on determining a sonic victor and on purchasing the Wadax DAC!
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
13,779
4,424
863
E. England
A guy who's listening more than he's posting during a trial can only be a positive sign. Unless of course he's taking all day to lift and pack the item to return it Lol.
 
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jonyung

Well-Known Member
Sep 22, 2014
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Congrats Mike!

It doesn't need amazing high resolution files to show its might.

Enjoy Music
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,448
6,150
1,420
You don 't buy Wadax Server because Taiko is better than it, right?

if i ended up not buying the Wadax Ref Server, it would be because i prefer the Taiko is a better choice, which could be partly that i don't think the Wadax Ref server is worth the extra money, but maybe it's better. just not enough better. or maybe that the Taiko does perform equal or better. but i'm nowhere near knowing how i feel about those possibilities. while i "suspect" that as things sit right now, that the Wadax Ref Server is some better, i also know that right now the Taiko Extreme is not yet optimized for the Wadax Ref dac, and i have not used TAS yet, and also we have the XDMS upgrade looming.

no doubt i like the synergy aspect of one manufacturer dac and server and honestly like the idea of how both Wadax look together. and i like that such a slick interface as Roon is how the Wadax Ref dac rolls. i'm a music explorer junkie, and so that appeals to me. it might be that the big difference is the proprietary optical interface and Akasa cable on the Wadax. will i be able to isolate that part? don't know.

i could not have more confidence in the direction of Taiko, and i have high admiration for Emile and his team. they are awesome and i feel i am part of their family. one important part of this is you buy a server for where it is going, not only where they are. and whether or not i find that the Taiko is the server for me now at this particular time in my particular system, Taiko is on a roll and i know they are not standing still. and while my first brief blush experience with Wadax service was perfect, the Taiko team sets the bar impossibly high there and we are talking multiple years and many installations.

i know i will end up with a fantastic server. i have 2 to choose from. and i have some time to figure it out.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,448
6,150
1,420
Congrats Mike!

It doesn't need amazing high resolution files to show its might.

Enjoy Music
absolutely agree; yesterday we played mostly Quboz redbook streaming and much of it (not all) sounds exactly like good vinyl. many visitors made comments referring to this perspective. OTOH higher rez has an even higher ceiling. some thought their fav track was a Quboz "Yes" 192/24 tape transfer of "I've Seen All Good People/Your Move". they wondered if the my vinyl was as good? no, we did not go there.
 

2ndLiner

Well-Known Member
Dec 16, 2015
146
234
148
if i ended up not buying the Wadax Ref Server, it would be because i prefer the Taiko is a better choice, which could be partly that i don't think the Wadax Ref server is worth the extra money, but maybe it's better. just not enough better. or maybe that the Taiko does perform equal or better. but i'm nowhere near knowing how i feel about those possibilities. while i "suspect" that as things sit right now, that the Wadax Ref Server is some better, i also know that right now the Taiko Extreme is not yet optimized for the Wadax Ref dac, and i have not used TAS yet, and also we have the XDMS upgrade looming.

no doubt i like the synergy aspect of one manufacturer dac and server and honestly like the idea of how both Wadax look together. and i like that such a slick interface as Roon is how the Wadax Ref dac rolls. i'm a music explorer junkie, and so that appeals to me. it might be that the big difference is the proprietary optical interface and Akasa cable on the Wadax. will i be able to isolate that part? don't know.

i could not have more confidence in the direction of Taiko, and i have high admiration for Emile and his team. they are awesome and i feel i am part of their family. one important part of this is you buy a server for where it is going, not only where they are. and whether or not i find that the Taiko is the server for me now at this particular time in my particular system, Taiko is on a roll and i know they are not standing still. and while my first brief blush experience with Wadax service was perfect, the Taiko team sets the bar impossibly high there and we are talking multiple years and many installations.

i know i will end up with a fantastic server. i have 2 to choose from. and i have some time to figure it out.
Huge ARVT (audio related vicarious thrill), Mike, and what a great way to alleviate the post-holiday blues!
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
10,448
6,150
1,420
A guy who's listening more than he's posting during a trial can only be a positive sign. Unless of course he's taking all day to lift and pack the item to return it Lol.
you have it exactly right Marc. i'm exhausted.......just got back from dropping Elliot off at the airport (icey slippery drive). after 2 weeks of dealing with snow and trying to keep my driveway clear for a delivery, then the last 4 days picking up the Wadax from the depots, working each day, and also listening 100% of the remaining time and hosting Elliot and the other visitors. moving gear, changing my racks. whew!

but....i do have a sh*t-eating grin on my face.

i tried my best to post the basics of what was going on. i need to take a deep breath now and take it easy and enjoy the fruits. and try to post as i can.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
13,779
4,424
863
E. England
Mike, good things come to those who schlep.
So, you're hanging onto the DAC and Server a while longer to fully gauge especially the latter w the Akansa cable?
Btw, talking about Yes, I'm just playing Fragile on MoFi Ultradisc One Step 45 rpm, for the first time 6 months after buying it while my cart was being sorted in NYC.
 
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Steve Vu

Active Member
Oct 26, 2020
137
93
33
if i ended up not buying the Wadax Ref Server, it would be because i prefer the Taiko is a better choice, which could be partly that i don't think the Wadax Ref server is worth the extra money, but maybe it's better. just not enough better. or maybe that the Taiko does perform equal or better. but i'm nowhere near knowing how i feel about those possibilities. while i "suspect" that as things sit right now, that the Wadax Ref Server is some better, i also know that right now the Taiko Extreme is not yet optimized for the Wadax Ref dac, and i have not used TAS yet, and also we have the XDMS upgrade looming.

no doubt i like the synergy aspect of one manufacturer dac and server and honestly like the idea of how both Wadax look together. and i like that such a slick interface as Roon is how the Wadax Ref dac rolls. i'm a music explorer junkie, and so that appeals to me. it might be that the big difference is the proprietary optical interface and Akasa cable on the Wadax. will i be able to isolate that part? don't know.

i could not have more confidence in the direction of Taiko, and i have high admiration for Emile and his team. they are awesome and i feel i am part of their family. one important part of this is you buy a server for where it is going, not only where they are. and whether or not i find that the Taiko is the server for me now at this particular time in my particular system, Taiko is on a roll and i know they are not standing still. and while my first brief blush experience with Wadax service was perfect, the Taiko team sets the bar impossibly high there and we are talking multiple years and many installations.

i know i will end up with a fantastic server. i have 2 to choose from. and i have some time to figure it out.
If you choose Taiko, I can understand that. I think you keep Taiko because of your relationships, not for the quality. Wadax Server has the proprietary optical interface and it is clearly not normal music server like other companies. I don't think other interfaces can beat it at this time and near future. Maybe in next May or Jun, we can know the information about Wadax Server fully.

I said that not because I owned Wadax but because I also compared and listened them so much that I could give my decision.

Just my 2 cent opinion.
 
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