Linn vs. Wadia

I was just checking out the specs on the Linn Ikemi and Wadia 830. The head-to-head comparison of the specs are quite interesting... MSRP Price: Ikemi $3500, Wadia $3250-$4000 depending on options Transport: Ikemi - proprietary design from the $20k Sondek CD12 (regarded as best CD player in the world). Hundreds of thousands went into R&D. Constructed from machined aluminum. Value of transport alone is around $2k since the Ikemi transport doubles the price of the Genki, which is essentially the same player (chassis, DAC and power supply). Wadia - dipped into the Pioneer parts bin and modified(?) the transport that originally went into sub $1k mass-market Pioneer machines. Value of transport around $200? DAC/Digital filter: Ikemi - less sophisticated variation of the Sondek, but still a proprietary 24k delta sigma design that decodes HDCD beautifully. Wadia - no HDCD decoding, because you get Digimaster (whoopie), DAC is from the same parts bin as everyone else. Chassis: Linn - same dated but functional box as their lesser models. Wadia - not much better until you move up to the 850/860. Preamp: Linn - have to use preamp or integrated, like you are supposed to in hi-end. Wadia - digitally shreds the sound up like the volume control on my personal computer. Sound: I have not heard either so I won't comment. Guess which player I'm expecting to give better sound? :) Where's the beef? I'm rather appalled that a "leader" in digital audio technology like Wadia hasn't in their over 10 year history even bothered to develop a transport that pushes the state of the art. So where are all the R&D bucks supposed to be going? I always thought that Wadia was like a pure bred Ferrari, but now I find that this "Ferrari" has a Honda engine and a Ford transmission!

Showing 5 responses by ritteri

I have both a 301 and an 861. What exactly are you talking about when you state wobble?
Proud Wadia 301 owner here. Have AB'd many of these units. For $2950 the 301 is a steal, and I couldnt believe how big of a step up in SQ it was over the earlier 830 and 850 models.
When I was a Wadia(Also sold Lynn,Meridian,ML,McIntosh and Rotel) dealer, we had never seen 1 single unit come back in our store due to defect(or anything else for that matter) and we sold a good deal of them through the course of the 3 years I worked at the company. On the other hand a few Lynn's did come back for one reason or another. As for the Wadia being a "parts bin" cd player, to some degree yes it is, but I sure wouldnt call the collection all that cheap if you ask me. THe Pioneer stable platter is a good solid transport. It sure isnt the best by any means, but its still better than most realize.The TEAC transport is also a great transport and a step up from the Pioneer. The PS, circuit seperation/layout, circuit traces, component quality is also VERY GOOD to excellent depending on the model from Wadia, and the beauty of the units is that they are all modular and can be upgraded in house or from various other compaines like Great Northern etc which make an a great player even better. SO how is the Lynn different? Take apart ANY of their cd player's and 95% of the parts are sourced out or built from one company or another also(surprise! surprise!).Linn doesnt include anything more of their own "design" than does Wadia in one form or another when it all comes down to it. I do feel Linn does have a great transport, especially for the money paid, but it doesnt do the job any better of reducing jitter than either the Pioneer or the TEAC units do especially in reality. Their Delta Sigma DA conversion is also know to "wash out" the sound resulting its its "smooth" presentation(while offering less detail and microdynamics in the process). Something alot of British companies seem to key on. Some people may key in on this sound, but it doesnt make for a better cd player necessarily at all.
I also have to add that if someone wanted to give me either A Linn Sondek CD12, a Wadia 861(with a GNSC statement mod), or Wadia 270/27x Im not gonna say no by any means to ANY of them, and noone on this BB would in their right mind either. Though I personally would take the Wadia 861 with the Statement modification as my first choice. Nothing beats their monolithic chassis, its potential is incredible especially coupled with Steve Huntley's upgrades.
Are you talking about the "SE" upgrade? Or something entirely different??