Both my Wadia units, the 64.4 DAC and the WT2000 transport are over 15 years old. Never had a problem. The transport was upgraded about 13 years ago and received the heavy duty Teac mechanism (S mod) similar to the VDRS used by Esoteric in their current $13K models.
I recently sent the transport to Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound to get a cleaning, lube and check-up. But that's all.
Wadia was a different company then, and I don't have any experience with their new products. But I will say this: the 270se does use the very best VRDS 3.2 mechanism from TEAC/Esoteric. But it's just a transport, so you'll still need a DAC. The 781i is a complete player, but so far, Wadia literature doesn't say just what transport mechanism it uses. You might want to call them. If it isn't a VDRS 3.2 by TEAC, I'd pass.
higher cost = higher performance = higher maintance (sometimes.. the theroy works really well with bmw/porsche vs infinity, nissan).
what usually goes is the transport mechcanism ( that is with ANY cd player /transport and wadia's are suppose to be very very good..
look at the bright side..you have a couple options in the repair/upgrade - wadia or steve huntly@ great nothern sounds ( i would go with steve )
if the transport drive isnt made anymore than....you have to scrounge around to find one...chances are steve has one..if you are looking at a paticlular unit, call steve and ask him or ask his opinion on the differnt units and upgrades available...it doesnt get any better than that..
look at what happened to remiyo cdp-777 - jvc stopped production of the transport mechanism...so remiyo has stopped production till a new drive is found...
btw, i still have a jvc-1010 (original X2) made in 1989 still going..i think that is something the older cd players units have the the newer and more $$$ units dont(maranz, denon, etc.... ymmv.
I've had the 27 ever since it came out. Had it upgraded to "i" version by Wadia. Purchased a 270 when they came out and upgraded to "se". One rectifier burned out in the 27i that's it. So I'd say this stuff is reliable. BTW: Both units now with GNSC reference mods.
I have had a Wadia 270 SE for about two years. Zero problems and love it. Good luck.
if my memory serves me correctly, almost all the "Wadia needs repair" threads that I have seen here on Audiogon are related to models that are old such as 10+ years. There are very few threads that pertain to recent models. Rja's experience w/ that rectifier burn-out seems like a freak accident 'cuz he is the 1st person that I know who's reported this. there could be others who haven't spoken up?
it is possible that the 270se might not recognize some of the new CD-R mediums but that's cuz the 270se was made at a certain time before these new CD-Rs. This is quite understandable.
anyway, i'd 2nd the others in saying that Wadia gear is very reliable.
The 270se uses the best TEAC VRDS drive. The 781i uses the latest TEAC multi-standard (SACD & CD) drive that is also used in the Esoteric multi-format players. I *think* that they call it "Neo VRDS"?
The 270se drive & the 781i drive should last you 10-15 years easily (if it's not abused). In my experience, if the s.s. piece of gear doesn't fail on its own in the 1st 6 months, it is unlikely to fail thereafter (this excludes power surges from brown-outs, electrical storms, etc).
I have some older gear - a Harmon/Kardon CDP from 1995 & a Sony DVP-S7000 from 1998. The Harmon/Kardon CDP has been in operation since the day I bought it & it works just fine even today, 11 year later! It's NEVER been serviced. This H/K unit doesn't have the build quality of Wadia (far from it) & uses some el-cheapo CD drive. Yet, it's still going strong today.
The Wadia should really be no issue for you reliability-wise, IMHO.
I've had a Wadia 860 since Dec 1997. It's been through the full 860->860x->861->861se upgrade path over the years. The only needed repairs was for an aging laser assembly (wouldn't play some CD-Rs due to lower reflectivity) which was done at the same time as the 'se' upgrade back in 2004.
I wouldn't dream of ever owning another CD player. I'll keep sending it to Wadia or Steve Huntley for repairs/upgrades.
I have a Wadia 850 that I bought new about 6 or 7 years ago. It has never been upgraded from stock, and I've never had a problem. In my opinion, it is still a great CD player and I have no plans to replace it.
I am also an original owner of a troublefree Wadia 850, now more than ten years young. This one gets a fair amount of use, as it is in my main home system.
I'm also the second owner of an 830. Before I purchased it from a fellow 'Goner, he'd had its humming transformer replaced at Wadia. That owner was pleased enough with the work, but he waited more than 6 months for the repair.
If I needed upgrades or repairs, I would definitely go with Steve Huntley.
I had an X64.4 Dac from 1995 to 2001, powered 24x7, no issues.
I currently have:
- a Wadia 9 (2001 - current) pwwered 24x7, no issues
- Wadia 7 with GNC mods, required an alignment and door belt replacement (partly due to sitting in 100+ degree unpowered house for a month afer Katrina) - thanks to GNC for the repair.
- Wadia 2000T (1995 - current) has some issues initializing a disk (I need to install a new teflon bearing supplied courtesy of GNC, but haven't gotten there yet)
So my problems have been minor and with older mechanical items, nothing unusual in my opinion. The 2000T dates back to around 1993 and the 7 to around 1996.
In my experience the Wadia gear is very reliable.
Thank you for all of the valuable feed back. I am encouraged by Wadia product reliability. As I expected, the units needing repairs were older ones.
Just adding to the common theme: Had an 850 for 4 years without any problems; then upgraded to 861 in 2003 and still no problems of any kind (both had GNS mods). In addition, I've never heard my Wadia players skip even once on any CD (of course I don't feed them terribly scratched CDs).
I currently own an 850 which has modified by Steve Huntley at GNSC and previously owned an 830. The 850 has been in our system for more than 5 years and has never experienced any sort of reliability issue. I am a BIG fan of the Wadia and eagerly await reviews of the 781i. In fact, I have been hooked on Wadia products for nearly 9 years. I say, go forth and purchase the 781i (so you can tell us all how it is)! : )