Difference between Wadia 850 and 861B and ML390S


I just have a Wadia 850 at home which I borrowed from a friend. I always thought that my Levinson 390S was one of the best players in the world until I listened to the Wadia. The Wadia has more air and the voice sound much better. However it looses on bass slam and dynamics to the Levinson.

So my question is will the 861B add the bass slam and the dynamics that I miss in the 850. I like the voice and the air in the 850 but want also the speed and slam of the Levinson. Is the 861 (861B) better in this aspect than the 850.

I'd recommend you talk to Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound.
I can highly second and recommend Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound Company.
I am currently using an 860 with his reference modifications.
After auditioning a Levinson 390s I felt that it beat it out hands down in dynamics, a practically non-existent noise floor and a completely black background.
Definitely give Steve a call if you have any questions concerning a Wadia.
I purchased an 861 from someone who also owned the 390s at the same time compared both many times always preferred the Wadia
Any thoughts on the Wadia's performance as compared to the Audio Aero Capitole?Thanks!Both great units.

BTW,the 390-s can sound "dead black quiet" and dynamic as heck,provided the unit is fed by a really quiet line,with superb interconnects and a top notch P.C.The 390-s,from my experience is very sensitive to these specifics,and can sound either "merely good",or sensational,based upon this.I've heard it on numerous occassions,and these parameters are critical for it to perform at optimum level.

Regardless,the 390-s seems to be,to me, an underrated unit,even though they have sold a ton of them.Maybe 6700 bucks isn't pricey enough!!
After one wek of living with the 390S and the Wadia I can clearly make a conclusion now between Wadia 850 and ML390S.

1. The Wadia has more air and 3D effect.
2. The ML390S has more bass and more high.
3. The ML390S is much more dynamic.
4. The ML390S sound louder in vocals.
5. The ML390S is more enjoyable to listen to.

Without a preamp the Wadia gains on air but looses on dynamics and bass. For me the Wadia looses the ML390S. The 861b must be a lot better otherwise I prefer the ML390S.