Availability of Wadia

I called my local dealer a couple of weeks ago concerning the availability of Wadia 861. Thay said they had no idea when they'll get the unit. I emailed Wadia afterwards, it took Wadia over two weeks to reply to me, referring me back to my dealer !
Does anyone know what's going on with Wadia products these days ? Instead of spending $8000 on a 861 I am now inclining to buy a cheaper SACD machine like the Sony SCD-777ES instead. Can anyone advise please. Thanks.
I found the article below in Stereophile:

Wadia Returns as Division of Audio Video Research

By Barry Willis

December 11, 2000 — Briefly gone but not forgotten, Wadia Digital will return as a division of Audio Video Research, Inc. (AVR) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, a new company formed in December, 2000 by combining the assets of Wadia and Digital Imaging Corporation. Wadia products, including the 861 and 831 CD players and 27ix processor, will be shown at CES in January, 2001.
One of Wadia's first new offerings will be a "significant upgrade" for the 27ix (a Stereophile "Recommended Component"), according to company president and CEO Jim Anderson. Wadia's distribution network is intact, and warranties on all Wadia products will be honored by AVR. "It's tremendously exciting to be reconnecting with our dealers," Anderson said in a phone interview on December 8. "They have been incredibly loyal during this difficult period."

Anderson mentioned that Wadia's physical assets and equipment will be moved in mid-winter from River Falls, Wisconsin to a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ann Arbor. Also making the journey will be personnel from Wadia's sales, marketing, and engineering departments. "We feel especially fortunate to have been able to continue a working relationship with employees from Wadia Digital, many of whom are helping us in the transition," Anderson said. "Our attrition rate has been surprisingly low. We are encouraging key employees to move to Ann Arbor."

AVR anticipates becoming a leader in audio and video processing technology, in part by leveraging Ann Arbor's strong tradition in industrial electronics, and in part by taking advantage of the huge pool of engineering talent produced by nearby universities. (Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, and Michigan State, Wayne State, and Eastern Michigan Universities are all within a one-hour drive.) "Some of AVR's working relationships go back 20 years," according to vice president of sales and marketing John Schaffer, a former Wadia manager. "We intend to bring a new level of manufacturing discipline to this industry."

Wadia products will continue to push the "reference level," said Schaffer. "That's our passion." The company also intends to introduce products in the more affordable $3000–$5000 range, but has no intention of sullying the Wadia name by putting it on low-end gear. "We are not going to compete with mass marketers," Schaffer stated. "We'll never sell a product we're not proud of."

In addition to ultra-advanced disc players, digital/analog converters, and digital signal processors, AVR/Wadia will produce surround-sound processors and digital amplifiers—building on Wadia's experience with the PowerDAC, an expensive all-digital amplifier that was one of Wadia's last projects before financial problems forced the company to shut down. The new venture is "very well-funded," said both Anderson and Schaffer, without specifying who company backers are, or the depth of their commitment. AVR has "no debt, and owns substantial physical and intellectual assets," Anderson emphasized.

AVR's video division will work on advancing the technology of video processing, according to Schaffer, but the Wadia division will concentrate on upper-end audio products, all of them employing "ultra-fast, patented, Swift Current sonic-enhancement technology." Another unique feature will be "selectable algorithms [that] optimize the player to the system." Without revealing technical details, Schaffer said the technique will help audio systems "attain better synergy."

At CES, Wadia will showcase its products in Suite 2607 in the Alexis Park, with amplifiers from the Jeff Rowland Design Group and "PipeDreams" loudspeakers by Nearfield Acoustics, Inc. (Wadia does not have a new website; link to the old one here.)
Wadia is now very much alive as you can tell from the previous post. The 861 is available (silver or black) and may be purchased through your local dealer, if they maintained the relationship with Wadia during the bancruptcy period. Wadia will also have a unit called the 301 (originally known as the 831) available in a month or so. This unit will sell for $3450-3950 US. It is said to be a big improvement over its predecessor, the 830, which received a glowing review in Stereophile last year. It will use the lastest version of the Digimaster algorithim and is said to be a "giant killer". I had the opportunity to hear an early prototype in January at CES with some Pipedreams/Lamms. The sound was quite promising and the metalwork photos were attractive. You may want to audition one of these puppies before plunking down 8k on the 861.
The San Francsico Retailer reports "The 301 is the 831 CD player with a new name. This is a great product and is
pictured on the wadia website(www.wadia.com). It will have the new swift current technology and the latest wadia software. We have heard a prototype both at the CES 2001 and at our store. It is a great sounding unit. We're
looking forward to this product".
SACD is a smokescreen, it will NEVER take off... go with the Wadia 861
Thanks for the info. Good to learn that the company is alive. I emailed Wadia a few days ago but have no reply yet. Their slow response just makes me a bit concerned. I think I'm going to put a hold on my planned purchase for a while. Thanks again.
Someone else told of Waidia's slow email response. Please call them on the phone and keep us posted. Thanks..
Copy of message from Wadia: The Wadia 301 is discussed on the Wadia website on the following page:


Please visit the Wadia site to obtain the most up to date information available on technology. Thank you for your inquiry.
I received a reply from Wadia yesterday, 13 days after I sent my second email. They said there is a 4 week backlog of orders for the 861, and don't have a firm release date for the 301 yet.