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Wadia U upgrade...anyone hear it?

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Greetings to forumites. My first post after "lurking", perhaps better said learning about this relatively complex technology.


Been noodling on going hard drive, particularly since travelling for last year with an ipod and realizing how powerful and useful it is to have a music collection at ones fingertips as opposed to stacked in hinged plastic boxes that are hard to read (particularly since my eyes got old, I'm still young, it's just my eyes) when stacked by the hundreds and consuming excessive storage.


Have an 861i that I purchased for a good price as a demo that sounds fine, when I can find the CD I'm looking for, that is hooked up to a McCormack DNA-500 (a very sweet sounding beast) that controls a pair of Aerial 10Ts, that need a firm hand and juice to sound their best.


Been hoping to hear on this forum and/or on AA from philes who have checked out the U upgrade as a relatively inexpensive, versus a new DAC, way to go computer audio. Have heard mixed on the Bel Canto adapter and others, the HiFace unit sounds cool...because it is a very inexpensive alternative versus the $1,000 U upgrade. Mr. Rankin is working on a box, so is Mr. Cullen, Offramp is another option...but these will approximate cost of U upgrade which is said to be designed to take advantage of Wadia software designed to handle jitter...but I'm told that these boxes deliver little jitter to the spdif inputs.


Noticed this morning that Wadia has become a CA sponsor, so I guess they are serious about this technology. Love the musicality of the player, it creates a big and engaging sound with dynamics and color. Hate to sell it and replace it with new technology that sounds clean, sterile and boring but is designed for USB or firewire. Then I would not need all the tunes in the hard drive!


Thought about both Ayre (whose products swing hard) and the Weiss Dac2 (never heard one), but neither have remote volume controls and seem to require a preamp...sold mine years ago...kind of stupid to have all that switching and extra circuitry between a CD player and amp when nothing else is attached to switch between.


Anybody do a U to their Wadia?


Tone with Soul

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Yes please, anyone who has done a serious comparison between the USB and transport playback of the new range of 781 or 381 (equipped with USB sockets) please respond. I'd like to use a Wadia DAC without the transport, playing everything off the computer instead.



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I currently have a 781i (non-USB input). I've asked some Wadia people that are in-the-know, and their responses were the same: the digital inputs will sound better than the internal transport (including USB) on high-resolution material. The internal transport will have an edge over the digital inputs on 44.1kHz data. Stupid of me, I never did ask where USB performs relative to each type of legacy input since I assumed they were generally the same. Silly me.


I really do like the Wadia and would like to keep it. Given that the upgrade to the new digital board is about $1K, I'm holding out to try some of the USB to BNC converters first. I don't think Wavelength has released their's yet. The M2Tech Hiface sounds interesting.




Apple TV (for casual listening)->Wadia 781i->Classe Omega Omicron Monos->B&W 800D; Transparent cabling with Audience Conditioners


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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, I've completed my music server set-up now, using my Wadia 781i as a DAC. It is outstanding, even through the BNC coax input being fed through the M2Tech HiFace USB converter. Although the internal transport sounds slightly (2%) different, the differences not necessarily better--just slightly different. The usability of computer-based system makes me wonder how frequently I will end up using the internal transport.


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  • 4 weeks later...

Noticed Wadia seems to be interested/investing in computer audio products.


Happy to be a product tester...but not for $1,000.


HiFace or Legato or Wavelength's new product are/will be less and include clocks and other technology. They also have incremental/independent value as opposed to an upgrade to an 8 year old, but very sweet sounding unit.


Tone with Soul

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