Just curious what the price on the Wadai 9 series is as well as how much does the GNSC mods add to the price?
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I have not tried the stock optical cords. I did have the 921 upgraded to the 922. The 922 has a much more defined lower end due to the additional power transformers. Elrod statement power cords add a significant improvement to the lower end presentation.
I am familiar with Alan Taffal's review. It his opinion, and I believe the review is accurate in its description. In the end, his preference was for a source that brings something extra to the table. The Wadia will not add anything to the music. He correctly called it 'supremely pure'.
At this level, it is a matter of taste. This is why I wrote my review. Audiophiles know their priorities, and cannot audition properly set-up equipment in an acceptable manner. We greatly rely on descriptions to help us decide. I am not saying that this is 'the best', and I would not tell anyone to go buy something just on my word. I consider it a process of gathering information.
That said, the modifications are going to make a substantial contribution to the ease, flow, and energy of the player. I know Steve's design goal is to make Wadia's technical accomplishment into a very musically satisfying machine. Also, a very high quality preamp can make a difference, and Mr. Taffal stated he preferred running direct into the amp. Running direct is impressive, and I will probably do this during the summer. I have opted to use the BAT Rex to add a very subtle layer of richness and warmth which translates into greater texture, depth, flow, and musicality. I think one could run direct into a tube amp very successfully, but solid state amps may benefit from a synergistic pairing with the preamp and cables.
I wholeheartedly agree with you in every aspect of this review.
I too have owned the GNSC statement modified 270SE, 931, 921 combination.
At the moment its at GNSC for upgrade to 922 and to pass to the 270SE on in favour of a 971 (also GNSC Statement modified). Steve has even built-in the latest Wadia patented power filter filer technology introduced in the 971 into the 931 and the 922 in addition to ByBee Power Rails in all four components. I can't wait to get them back.
Steve recomends the new Aural Symphoics Optimism Lotus optical cables for the Wadia combination, so I have also ordered three of those for the music signal while I intend to use the Aural Symphonics Optimism v2.2006 for the clock singal.
I will also use the new Shunyata Research Hydra Triton power conditioner exclusively for the Wadia combination, four pieces of the Shunyata Research Powersnakes King Cobra CX from the Wadia components to the Hydra and an Electraglide Epiphany (the original) from the Hydra to the wall on a dedicated electrical circuit for this combination only.
Roysen, congratulations on finally getting your Wadia upgraded. One of my sayings in audio is that "good things come to those who wait".
I am as impressed with the Wadia Series 9 now as I was back then. Maybe even more so. I have really put together a combination of power cables, grounding, and power conditioning that has lead to breakthroughs in imaging, clarity, dynamics, naturalness, and ease. With every new find of a magical component, the Wadia further reveals its capabilities. This is a crazy hobby.
I find it very interesting that you perfer to use the BAT REX preamplifier with your Wadia combination. Up until I sent my Wadia to GNSC for upgrade now I have tried the Wadia combination unbalanced with my Tube Research Labs Platinum Golden Triode Reference Preamplifier and balanced with my Connoisseur Definitions 3.0 preamplifiers and have in both cases prefered the Wadia diretly connected into the amplifiers no matter what power amps used. I will however give it another try with a FM Acoustics Resolution Series 268 preamplifier very soon.
That is very reassuring that I found a preamp that would be hard to beat. I think balanced is very important. I also think tubes and power are important. There are only a handful of such preamps in addition to the BAT: Joule LA450, ARC 40th Anniversary, Purity Audio Ultra GT, a couple others I'm sure. I find it very convenient and unique to alternate between 2 sets of tubes by a switch on the BAT.
The Wadia sounds impressive direct, but it doesn't quite flow or congeal. It isn't as relaxed or effortless. Music doesn't quite decay into space like a live performance, or have that same holographic effect. The preamp adds a new dimension of texture, harmonics, and space. Believe me, I'd love to ditch the preamp. More troubling is an unacceptable loss of dynamics with the digital volume set to 90 or below. I could probably live with direct if the volume was always set to 100.
Even though I "only" use a w7i I would like to add my solution as a most interesting one: audio consulting silver rock tva - you can hardly call it a preamp, but it returns a flexibility to your all digital system by correcting volume according to different sources, like this I listen always around 100-92, the tvc gets adjusted by about four steps to keep the Wadia in said range. Very happy! E
To be completely honest, the silver rock being only "passive" does not explain its quality - here is a product that is made to such a high standard, you can actually hear it :-)
Most interesting in this context is its ability to render an amazing resolution regardless how quiet you listen (although with the Wadia I tend to use it in the middle range). And: This is thing is expensive. But considering either the 7 or 9 series, this might seem relative..
Egidius, That sounds like an interesting solution. I tried one passive and was not satisfied. But, perhaps this is something other can research.
Personally, I've got everything really optimized. I'll admit, that it was a very expensive journey, but one that brings total satisfaction. Essentially, I needed to buy a 2-chassis preamp, along with an extra interconnect, two extra power cables, and two shelves in order to get the maximum performance from the Wadia and the system. I've also added 3 NVS power cables for the transport and DACs, in addition to 4 HRS shelves, Aural Symphonics glass cables, and Tripoint grounding and power conditioning systems.
I am still amazed by the Wadia series 9, even several years later. I think the S7i is an outstanding piece as well. Just understand that there are many more things you could do to take it to another level.
Hi Rtn1 - of course that's what everybody says, and clearly, I have several building sites (not the least actually practicing my instrument; as I am a musician, my hobby is very near my profession, and I always have to be careful not to mix one with other too much ;-)
I find that the silver rock / MIPA amplification solves a lot of problems, the Wadia equally covers its tracks.
How do you place your gear, i found the Arbelos wood lenses fantastic, as opposed to the solid placement of Wadia, they give free lateral movement.
As far as you mean GNS, i got my S7 from Steve with all his bits included as well - or what else do you mean?
What do YOU mean by taking it to another level, maybe I was too fast to jump in and assume it was the GNS mods - as it is, I do have the Wadia on woodlenses and on a nice finite elements rack, otherwise have not really gone down the power cables road, and just use Cardas GR cables.
In Europe most of the power cables would be different, indeed for Switzerland again, as the connector is different; so most information about those cables is different as well..