Switching Wadia 581 between CD & SACD layers?

Hi folks,

I recently bought a Wadia 581; great player, great sound, but the manual and the player's quirkiness are driving me nuts. Hybrid discs are a toss up, sometimes the player selects the SACD layer for weeks at a time and suddenly, should my luck change, selects the CD layer out of the blue. SACD only discs work fine, nothing else to select!

The manual does not mention how I can control switching between layers. I have the later version of 581 with the side vents and the "much vaunted" ability to switch between SACD and CD layers. For 8 large, it should be able to do that!

I will really appreciate any guidance on this problem. It would be good to know I am not the only long-suffering Wadia owner out there. I have written to Wadia on the matter, but since they took a "mere" 8 months to ship my player to me, my expectations are hardly sky high.

Thanks and cheers,

If you play a CD and then a hybrid, it increases your chances of it selecting the CD layer. If you play a non-hybrid follwed by a hybrid, does it always get it right?

At one point a month ago I would play a normal CD and then hybrid after hybrid and it would play only the SACD layer. However, now that it has started only playing the CD layer of all my hybrids, I still get a sudden reversion to SACD layer out of the blue. However, I will try your experiment with SACD only discs followed by a hybrid to see if there is a pattern here.

BUT, all this would really be academic if I could CONTROL my own musical destiny!!!!!

Thanks and cheers,

Hi Aurlieus, I have a Wadia 581se. Concerning hybrid discs, I'm not sure why the Wadia goes into loading and then cues up one mode over the other, but to change to the other layer simply stop the player and push the "mode" button. I just tried it on mine and it switched from sacd to cd mode in about 8 seconds. I then pushed stop and then "mode" again and it switched back to sacd from cd mode. I have the metal remote. I don't know which remote you have (plastic or metal) or if it makes any difference. Have you tried the "mode" button to switch your's from cd to sacd mode? By the way, the player loads faster as it breaks in. Mine initially loads most cds in 5-7 seconds now. Stan
Hi Stan,

There must be something wrong with my laser, I do have a mode button but it simply loads hybrids in CD mode and even after pressing the mode button several times as you explained above, it keeps replaying the disc in CD mode.

Ack! I think I may have to get the player replaced!

Thanks very much for your help.

I have a 581i the old version without vents and standard(substandard plastic) remote. The software was updated by wadia by changing the control processor board. After software update the CD/SACD layer selection works with MODE switch on remote. One has to press it ONLY ONCE taking good aim at the unit, else you may end up where you started.

The transport control logic still don't show up the time of the disc if stopped mid way of a disc and the player fails to boot up properly with a CD loaded in the tray. My player takes clear 10 seconds to load a CD, SACD is bit faster and hybrid takes 2-3 secs more.

Eve with all this quirkiness I like the player because for that money I could not find a better one for my kind of taste.

I agree with you on the substandard remote! I have tried the method that Stan recommended, but to no avail. I know that the player is receiving my remote control's instructions, but it is simply switching back to CD layer from CD layer.

I have talked to my dealer and he feels that the transport may have been damaged during shipping. Or else Wadia still have a lot of technical problems to solve at their end.

Sure the player sounds great, but nowadays, even $50 SACD players from China can switch between SACD and CD.

Hello Khalid, I'd skip using the stop function and go straight to the mode button once the player is done loading. I did this with several hybrid cd/sacd's just now. I was able to switch layers each time I pushed mode. I did this several times on three different hybrids: sacd>>>cd, cd>>>sacd, sacd>>>cd. I will admit; however, that the unit is a bit quirky with hybrids. A few of my hybrids get "stuck" in the loading mode and take as long as 1 minute to load. But this is only with a few hybrids that I have and not the norm. How many hybrid discs do you have? I take it that all your hybrids stay in cd mode, no matter what. I'd suggest turning the player off at the power switch on the back of the unit, wait about 10 minutes and power the unit up again, (although you may have already tried this). Turning the player off and on may reset the player. Good luck. Stan
Hi Stan,

I will give this a try. If not, it is getting packed up and going back to Wadia. Ack!

Will let you know shortly.


Hello All,

Just wanted to post an update. Unit has been upgraded to 581se. Works flawlessly! All software and playback issues have been resolved and player has no issues. Want to thank Keith at Wadia. I take back what I said above, it would be unfair and dishonest of me not to!