Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP Mod or try Wadia 861 ?

As most of you have seen, I have been toying with the idea of having my Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP modified through Steve Nugent at EmpiricalAudio. With the cost of this mod however, the player will also be nearing the cost of the Wadia 861 player.

Does anyone have any experience with an Empirical Audio modified EMC-1UP and a Wadia 861 cd player?

I have read many threads that the Wadia is a better player than the stock EMC-1UP, however I was curious if anyone has had the luxury of comparing the two.

Input greatly appreciated.

I wish I could answer this. I contacted Steve several months ago about doing some full out mods to my EMC-1UP. And I too keep going back and forth about the Wadia 861.

My biggest concern about the EMC really is ergonomics: I just don't like the hassle of a top-loader. And I have some minor quibbles about the layout of the controls. None of that would be adressed by any mod.

I have heard the 861 in other systems and wonder if just getting it would do me well. Then again, I think about getting a modded 861 from Great Northern. And to furhter confuse myself, I go back to thinking about simply having Steve mod the EMC.

So far I do love the sound of the EMC in my system and for now, I have put off the decision. I told myself I would finance any CD upgrade or mod once I sold off some gear. Until that happens, I try not to think about it.

I understand your conundrum. The choice is made truly difficult by not being able to hear the mod first.

Good Luck!
I've had the ECM1UP for about a year, last winter I had the chance to play for 2 weeks with the 861 and the ARC CD3 at the same time.
My honest conclusion (and also the store manager whom very kindly brought the 2 cdp's to my home) was that the ECM1UP had nothing to envy the Wadia (and I really was excited about owning one!) They both sounded exactly the same, I was really surprised!
The ARC was a different story. It sounded 'different' (not better or worse, just 'different') but I couldn't honestly decide to keep either the 861 or the ARC. However, the sound of all 3 had me feeling that 'something' was missing on my setup (ARC LS25MKII + Krell FPB 300c + Martin Logan Prodigy).
I have since changed (I wouldn't dare to say 'upgraded', it is so subjective...) the EC for an Oracle CD2500, and so far I'm happy with the results and don't miss the EC at all.
brgds, marcelo