Levinson 39 or Wadia 830/850/860 ?

There are quite a few of these in the used market. How do they sound compared with each other ? Any comments please. As Wadia is now back in business according to Stereophile, I feel comfortable buying it.
Lee- There is an excellent comparison in Stereophile May/98 done between the 39 and 850, in the review of the 850. I have not compared the two side by side, but I have listened to both and I ended up buying an 860. Good luck
Thanks Ejlif. Where can I obtain a copy of the Stereophile review apart from ordering a copy from them (this could take a few weeks) ? I realize this may be a bit too much for me to ask, would you be able to post a short extraction here ? Thanks again.
I listened to both and ended up with the No. 39, for what it's worth.
Lee- here's a snippet from that review I spoke of- "take the excellent Naxos recoridng of the elgar piano quintet for example. I could hear no diffrence in the two machines' extreme top ends despite my know abouth the early rolloff of the Wadia filter. The 850 was actually just a tad brighter than the 39, which brought the higher intruments of the string quartest a bit more forward in the mix. Peter Donohoes's piano, however, which is audibly more distant in the soundstage, sounded both slightly bettter defined spatially via the Wadia, and had greater subjective bass extension. As aresult, the Levinson's presentation had slightly reduced authority and soundstage depth, though it was overall rather smoother sounding . The Wadia gave a more transparent view into the recorded image, though it could occasionally sound just a bit strident. But the most improtant (though still small) diffrence for me was how the 850 more delicately revealed Donohoes's pedaling of bass notes at the reprise of the big syncopated tune in the work's concluding Allegro. The Levinson sounded more homogeneous, but ultimately a little less informative". These words were from John Atkinson. Hope this helps -Ryan
I second Drubin and went w/ the 850...
It looks like I don't second Durbin since he went with the Levinson. Dumb mistake on my part...
Call or go to your local public library to get a copy of the review. If they don't have it, they can get it from a library that does.
I purchased the no.39. Wadia seemed less musical to me...more bright as well. Also....I purchasd at the time that Wadia was shaky....which you say has changed. I would make certain that your information is correct. There would be nothing worse than a $6000 CDP and nobody to repair! The no.39 is one of the most enjoyable pieces i have owned...and it has features galore.
Thanks you very much, Ejlif. Last time I visited my local library they didn't keep any copy of Stereophile. I think I'm going to try a larger library next time. Thanks to everyone for their opinion as well.
(1) stereophile has an extensive archive of reviews on their website; (2) wadia is, for now and maybe forever, kaput--caveat emptor; and,(3) it's all system-dependent, i.e., ya gotta listen for yourself, in your system. IMHO, the madrigal dacs smooth out the sound by rolling off the highs, thus creating their own version of distortion. what some hear as "brightness" with the wadia's is probably closer to neutrality than with levinson's (the name, not the man) of equal price range .
just read the stereophile article re: the reborn wadia. not sure what stock to place in it. i'd wanna hear more before investing.
Searched the Stereophile website archive. There is no review of the Wadia 850 (May 98) available. Is there any chance that someone may have the review posted in his own website ? Thanks.
The SONY SCD-1 easily surpasses all of these CD players (in my system) for Red Book CD playback and you get SACD capability to boot. The selection of the SCD-1 is a no-brainer IMHO.