your best answer to your questions would come from Mr. GNSC Steve Huntley himself he is utterly honest
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Sure, Steve is extremely honest...but let me give you my objective opinion of the 270se with GNSC reference level modification:
It is the most outstanding, musically accurate piece of audio equipment I have owned during my 25 years of involvement in high end audio.
In multiple listening sessions (audiophile friends, CES, CEDIA, Home Entertainment Show etc.) of the highest quality transports, I have not heard a single transport that I think provides as much accurate information or sounds as good.
The first Statement upgrades on Wadia 27's and 270's are just now being returned to the owners...we JUST completed the development of these. Customer feedback on the Statemnt mods to these two units won't occur for a bit until the units burn in and the end users have a little time with them. Feel free to contact me directly to discuss it.
Yes, I would like to hear opinions from owners who own Statement mod 27s and 270s, especially those who had the upgrades done to Reference mod units. I realise the Statement mods are new but when someone has the opportunity I would love to hear your impressions. Obviously, I'm considering the next step.
Have you first maximized the benefit with power cords, a power conditioner, optical cables, and a proper stand? Those things each can add a very dramatic benefit, plus you won't be without your CD player while it is being upgraded. I cannot comment upon the perceived benefit going from reference to statement, since this wasn't the path I took. If you are looking to upgrade the Wadia, I would send both in at the same time so that you have less total time without.
Steve....if you still are reading this thread:
Could you please describe the differences between the reference level modification...and the statement level modification.
What additional benefits is one likely to hear? I just can't imagine improvement over the reference...but I said that when I moved from the GNSC maxed out WT-2000 only to be amazed at the superiority of the GNSC modified 270se.
I would be more than willing to discuss the differences between the upgrades, but I really prefer to do it off-line directly with people.
In general terms though, the Statement upgrades are our "statement" of what is possible with great CD playback gear like the Wadia units and the impact we can have on them. They are very exhaustive upgrades that are designed to squeeze every last drop of performance out of the units. Happy to go into more detail with you, or anyone else who's interested, directly.
BTW, only two 270's and two 27's have had the Statement upgrade so far....initial customer reactions are very positive...I'm sure that info will be shared as the units burn in fully. A third set of these units is being shipped out now...I'm pretty sure that at least one of these guys is an audiogon member.
There are quite a few 860's and 861's that have been upgraded to the Statement level...those customer comments are readily available.
I own a Statement Mod done by Steve on my Wadia. Steve's work is pure genius. He really makes the playback sound analog. Not only that, but he is a truthful, hard working individual who has the customer's interest in mind. I once asked him if he could work his magic on an amplifier I used to own and he told me I would be wasting my money. I really respect that.
Dan (Kana): You know me by now. As I always do, I will simply do a week or two of blind A/B comparisons of:
Wadia 270se (w/GNSC Statement mods) without Apogee Big Ben versus Wadia 270se (w/GNSC Statement mods) with Apogee Big Ben!!!
The winner will be the configuration that remains in my system. The bottom line is that there are often trade-offs and rarely is an absolutely clear answer when dealing with components of this level of excellence.
I have an 861SE modified to Statement level from the Reference level. I bought the 861 from GNSC and never heard it at the factory 861 level. I also went from 861 Reference to 861SE Statement all at once.
The difficulty with the Statement mod is that it takes some time to burn in. Immediate comparisons are not worthwhile. I can say that over time, the more detailed but not bright or hashy top end of the Statement is a big plus. Overall, the Statement just sounds more real. It is a top-to-bottom thing that is hard to describe in great detail, though I always worry about people who say this. So, I enter that suspect group.
My best advice is to call Steve Huntley. He is a very honest guy and can better describe the differences.