Wadia 861 vs. 861 SE

I have a Wadia 861 and I would like to know if there is a significant improvement with the 861 SE? I would like a comparison of 861 vs. 861SE and not include GNSC mods at this point.

I have a friend who had a 16i updated to the se platform and loved the difference it made to the bass and imaging. He said that everything was more fleshed out and real,also the dynamics were improved across the board. The se is truly a worthy upgrade and I tried to retrofit a se into my Wadia 8, but Gnsc said that it wasn't possible to do. I also have a friend who has a Wadia 2000s that is also great sounding (use the first version of the se platter).If I had your 861, it would be a no brainer. Hope this helps-Dennis
Agree with Cenline. I had Wadia upgrade my non-GNSC 860 to 861se about 1.5 years ago. Well worth the upgrade.
I am in the same boat. I have a Wadia 861 on order for my second system.... and am looking forward to receiving it in a month or two.

Given that I always want to go for the top model, I am already thinking of either the upgrade to SE or an upgrade by a company called great northern sound.


I appreciate any advice on this as well.

Have a good week-end.
I had a 270 converted to a 270se. If I'm not mistaken, the transports are the same in the 861 and 861se. Mechanically, the SE transport is more robust and massive than the standard transport and appears to be of much higher quality. The standard transport appears to be cast while ths SE looks like it's machined. There is a noticable, more than subtle but not of a overly dramatic magnitude, difference in sound; definitely noticable. My suggestion, if you can afford it, go for the 861se. If it's going to put you in a bind forget it and enjoy the 861.
If you have GNSC install the SE transport I would definitely consider the installation of the full damping package. This combination is very synergistic. As far as the GNSC mods, which I recommend, I suggest you contact Steve at GNSC. He's more than willing to describe the mods and the results you can expect. Good luck! PS: I'm glad to hear that Wadia is shipping product agan.
Well now that you mentioned Gnsc upgrades offer a true taste of what a Wadia can do.Both units that I spoke of earlier have had Gnsc updates as well as my 8 and 15i.If you think a stock wadia sounds good, a modded unit blows the doors off a stock unit. Sorasound should get the se and an update package through Gnsc since steve has 1 se platter onhand. Redbook sounds fantastic with the modded Wadia, and I am really happy with the results. If you get the se platter or the update, you will not care about the latest and greatest-Dennis
Isn't the EMM Labs DCC2 with CD/SACD transport a much better system in every way?
Wow ,I am always amazed at how the question seems to get lost in the wording!Dbk maybe you could explain how Emm labs pertains to this thread??
I have a 860 with GNSC mods with a SE drive. The SE-drive makes a pretty big difference that I can recommend. If you can afford it, go for the SE.

RJA: Have Wadia been out of business again? Anyone else who knows anything about this?
dbk not comparing Redbook the emm system vs. my gnsc statement modified Wadia 861 se easily equaled its performance. on sacd the emm was maybe 5% better than the Wadia Redbook performance.
Thanks for everyone's input on the 861SE. I got a short demo of it last week and I am considering it.
I have had a few Wadia players and enjoyed everyone of them. I hope their business situation gets better and be around for a while.

My understanding is the company is now owned by employees which will probably give them more control.