Wadia 850 repair? Suggested replacement?


Hello,
I have a Wadia 850CDP I have owned since around 97-98 (I think). About 5 years ago it developed a problem with the loading mechanism and a CD got stuck. Wadia was able to repair and all was okay till about 2 weeks ago. Now there's a grinding sound when the drawer opens and as it reads the CD and now it will occasionally skip. I have contacted Wadia (now ARC owns them) and I'm told they no longer support it :-(
Does anyone know of a place that might be able to fix it? Preferably in the NYC area. If my fear is realized and it can no longer be repaired, what do you guys suggest as a replacement? Preferably under $5k. TIA and Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas!
jcatral14
Your Wadia is a great PCM1702 Multibit player, and has this laser, easy and cheap to replace.
http://www.ebay.com.au/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.TRS0&_nkw=KSS-240A&_sacat=0

The transport mech (Teac) had the reputation of stripping this gear, that is most probably the noises your hearing. (BTW opportunity for some to copy this gear with a 3d printer and make some money)
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/TEAC-VRDS-tray-idler-gear-CMK-4-part-5801571100-Long-Life-/172441196394?hash=item28264bd76a:g:uSUAAOSw-kdXzWSL

Cheers George
  
Try Stereo Exchange first. They can definitely fix it as long as they can get the part. Even if Wadia says they don't have any left, SE does so much business, they may still have left over parts. 

If they can't help, call Resolution Audio and ask for Steve. If he can't do anything, plan on getting a new CD player. After him, there's really no one else to go to.

One thing you want to do is check your remote. If you push the buttons down too far, they can get stuck in the down position. If you're not aware of this issue, it will drive you crazy. If the open/close button gets stuck, it can definitely trick you into thinking something is wrong with the transport.  

If you end up needing a new player, I still have a 302 and an 861SE. Both of those are better sounding players than the 850. I had one for 5+ years and was able to compare them at the same time in the same system. If you like Wadia, you should also like Ayre, Resolution Audio and Aesthetix.
Keep us posted- jacatral14

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.
Georgelofi and mb1audio02 thank you for your suggestions. I will reach out to Stereo Exchange. I thought about reaching out to Steve Huntley but GNS is no longer and I'm not sure if he will work on old Wadia gear at RA. I guess I'll find out soon ;-)

I was looking at the Ayre7. We'll how it goes with the repair first. At any rate, I won't be able to buy a new CDP till Q2 next year anyway. I have an old Proceed CDP to keep me company in the meantime.

Will keep you all posted. Including you jafant ;-)

Happy Holidays!

Jay
If he can get the parts, I don't think he'll have any issues fixing your 850. He had no problem turning my 861 into an 861SE for me. The SE upgrade is just a transport, so its really the same exact job.

In the mean time, if you come across a good used 302, its definitely a nice upgrade from the 850 (at least I think so). Also, if you would consider just a dac, Wadia's new products are outstanding, and the prices are very fair for what they give you. They brought some of the original Wadia people back and they're off to a good start.
I am In New Jersey and can take a look at it for you.  Send me a message if you are interested.
The guy I spoke to at SE was pretty condescending so I don't think I'll be bringing my Wadia there. I'll contact Steve and see what he says.

bigkidz, if it doesn't work out with Steve I'll contact you. Thank you :-)
Welcome to NY. The techs that work for SE are very good, but that's no excuse for the attitude. I wouldn't put up with that either.
mb1, I read online reviews of SE after and saw a lot of people get treated the same way. I just spoke to the guy over the phone and didn't like his "tone". One of the reviews mentioned In Living Stereo and I called them up. Unfortunately they don't repair but I was referred to Technetron in Midtown so i might bring it there but probably after the holidays. City traffic is a zoo this time and I'm not going to lug a 40lb CD player in the subway lol. Have not heard from Steve yet but it is the holidays.

Jay
Keep us posted -Jay.
Got a reply from Steve! He regrets not being able to repair my unit as he does not have access to parts any more but he did recommend someone. He says that when he closed down GNSC he put out a list of qualified/willing techs that would work on stock or modified gear they were known for. One of them is Ben Jacoby in Brooklyn with "High End Audio Repair". Anyone here have experience with Ben? Although if Steve will recommend him then I believe he is more than capable of repairing my unit :-)

Will keep you guys updated. In the meantime, have a great weekend coming up. Hope Santa's good to you ;-)

Jay

PS I'm now reading up on Resolution Audio and maybe next year will add the next upgrade to my system in the form of a Cantata Music Center 2.0. Seems like a logical step for me to move into a network storage based system :-)
" One of them is Ben Jacoby in Brooklyn with "High End Audio Repair". Anyone here have experience with Ben? Although if Steve will recommend him then I believe he is more than capable of repairing my unit :-)"

I don't know him, but I have heard good things about him.

It just occurred to me that Wadia was bought out not long ago by the group that owns ARC and McIntosh. Even though this is the third time for them, I think its a good thing. The company is now well funded and they brought back some of the original Wadia people. Your 850 was made during that era, so someone there has direct experience with it. Quite often, when a business like this changes owners, the buyer ends up with some NOS parts. I would call them. You have nothing to lose.

This is a long shot, but I would also ask Wadia if you can use a transport from one of the other players. The upgrade for my 861 to SE status was just the transport. Maybe they kept the old ones. Find out if they're compatible with the 850, and if they are maybe they'll give you one.
I'v used Ben before. He's great.  He fixed my Denon DCD 9000 DVD Cd player.  
Another person i also recommend is Scott Gramlich at SG Custom Sound in Douglaston Queens is also really good. 
www.sgcustomsound.com 
Number is 718 224 5083
Why not just by a new OPPO 203 or 205 or a 105D? The sound will be better than your old Wadia;which you obviously bought for sound;plus it will give you all the new options to enjoy music. Just dump that old brick. Cheers. Pete
Why not just by a new OPPO 203 or 205 or a 105D? The sound will be better than your old Wadia;
Really!!
On pcm Redbook, CD's which the OP obviously uses either 16/44 or 24/96, the Wadia will slay those Oppo’s

Cheers George
Dear George,
Have you made the comparison?
From the forcefullness of your comment I most sincerely 'doubt' it.
By the way I "assume" anyone listening or looking at the OPPO knows enough to use an "Isolation" device, ie Furman P-2400 IT or Equitech 1Q ahead of it. I'll bet you thousands,of dough-nuts, that the Oppo,in such a set, Blows away the old Wadia--even though it was great--way back then. 
Come back buddy.10-4. Pete
Try an OPPO 105D. Better audio plus so many options. Pete
From Mojo Music Inc.

"When a PCM file is played on a DSD or Bit Stream converter, the DAC chip has to convert the PCM to DSD in real time. This is one of the major reasons people claim DSD sounds better than PCM, when in fact, it is just that the chip in most modern single-bit DACs do a poor job of decoding PCM."

BTW: The OP’s Wadia is a very good Multibit machine converts bit perfect for PCM , not DSD/bitsteam/single bit, as the Oppo’s are.

Cheers George
" I'll bet you thousands,of dough-nuts, that the Oppo,in such a set, Blows away the old Wadia--even though it was great--way back then."

I'll take that bet. A Wadia 850 will make a 105 or 203 sound defective on Redbook. And even though its old, the 850 will easily surpass the Oppo in many ways. Its definitely a more advanced player.

" Dear George,
Have you made the comparison?
From the forcefullness of your comment I most sincerely 'doubt' it.)

The same can be said of you. The Oppo 205 isn't coming out until next year, so how can you compare it to anything? Also, you don't have an 850 now, and your posts suggest that you're never owned one. You would have said so if you did. So how did you make the comparisons that George didn't?
True,I was making statements from assumptions....Benny Hill would have chided me for that. I had listened to later Wadia's,about 5 years ago and was very impressed. I didn't think 16 year old technology was as good as you know it to be. I was just teasing George. Not too nicely I take it. I'll improve for 2017 !
I didn't realize you were joking, but I don't get the part about 16 year old technology. (actually its more than 16 years. something like 18-20. I had my 850 in 1997.) 

Here's a list of features that the Wadia has over the Oppo.

-Transport. There's just no comparison. The transport alone is worth more than the Oppo itself.

-The analog stage. Fully balanced, 0 negative feedback, parts quality.

-The designers. Wadia and a few others practicly wrote the book on high end digital playback. I'm not saying that Oppo doesn't have good designers. They do. But guys like Steve Huntly are in another league.

-Volume control. It comes in 2 parts. First is the digital volume control that you actually adjust while listening. The second is global gain settings. There's a series of dip switches you can set to raise or lower the overall gain. This allows you to keep the volume as close to 100 as you can. Also, if you're dealing with components that are sensitive to gain, such as very efficient speakers, you can have issues like gain related noise/hissing, or an overly sensitive volume control.

-Its impervious to external vibrations. (case and feet design).

-Most of what's going into the Oppo is video related. For a player that sells for around $500, how much money went into sound quality? It can't be that much.

I'm sure I could come up with a few more examples, but this should do. Put these players side by side, and there will be no doubt as to the difference in SQ.

   
Thanks for your inputs guys. Well Ben was very nice but won't touch it due to parts being unavailable. He won't use gray market or aftermarket parts as he feels they fail prematurely and doesn't want what he repaired to come back for a long time.

dan6054, I'll reach out to Scott and see what he says. Thanks!

mb1, george, appreciate the info. I am not all that savvy and technical but know that I love what the Wadia produces with my CDs. Now I know why.

ptss, thanks for the info but I like old bricks and not really into the habit of just throwing out anything that has served me well for a long time. I'll try my best to get it fixed and if not, maybe I'll check out this Oppo brand.

Best,

Jay
Only best wishes for a satisfactory outcome Jay.Pete
Keep us posted- jcatral14-

Happy Listening!