You might want to read the Aug. 2000 HiFi News article (pg.32) which compares the Wadia 860x to the dCS Purcell/Delius combo. (Perhaps a 27ix/270 for the Wadia would have been a better choice.) Looks like it may come down to which "flavor" of CD reproduction you prefer. They both clearly do the job well, and offer top engineering. Wadia may be the best "oversampler" available now, and dCS the best "upsampler". Of course with the Wadia combo you get a great transport included. I own the Wadia 850, and use an active preamp (Pass X1). I like the dynamics provided the preamp, but admit that without a preamp you get even more transparency. However, I don't like the idea of "losing bits" by using a digital volume; I'm not sure if the Delius uses analog or digital gain control (do you know?). I've heard the dCS, but not yet in my system for a direct comparison to Wadia. I will say that my Wadia (modified by Great Northern Sound and thus supposedly near the 27ix sonically) produces very realistic timbre/tone/harmonics of musical instruments. Yet my experience with dCS and other good "upsamplers" is that music images have an exceptional "3-dimensionality" that I don't always get with Wadia. I'd be interested to know if others have noticed these characteristics. Well, if you choose dCS, you might want to check out a used Wadia transport. So, as usual in high-end audio, you'll need to audition Wadia v. dCS in the same system with your own ears. Have fun!
9 responses Add your response