Wadia Upgrade Question

I have heard nothing but great things about Great Northern Sound.. I am currently considering having Steve upgrade a Wadia 830... I would like to hear opinions from people who have had Wadia mods done by GNS.. What were the sonic improvements from the mods and was it worth the cost?
I recently had my 861 modified by Steve. I chose his statement mod package. The sonic improvements include a smoother , more relaxed, more natural sound. Dynamics are still there, but now the player is not in a rush to deliver the goods.

The modded player seems to get me closer to the performers in a more real and fleshy kinda way. I can now feel the performer more instead of just hear the music. Its hard to explain.

When I first decided to pony up the dough for the mod, Steve said that I would forget about SACD. I said to myself, "Yeah right Steve! SACD is the bomb! How could this be. I really didn't expect the player to better an SACD player. I just wanted the best Wadia 861 or redbook player I could afford.

The modded player does not sound necessarily "better" than SACD. But, I don't play my SACD's much anymore. I don't even worry about it anymore. My 80's soft rock music now sounds like music or shall I say more like music. Some of those recordings really suck. Vocals with both jazz and rock sound incredibly real on most of my recordings now.

All in all, the Wadia is still the Wadia in everyway. Bt it's more refined now. It has better manners. It also sounds way better direct to my amps now. Even low level listening sounds fine. Nevermind losing bits. I get deep base and articulation at very low levels with amazing clarity. There is no grit or grunge going direct anymore. ..just music. The player also seems to play quieter if you can believe that!

Anyway, my upgrade was costly. But I dont miss the money because Steve did exactly what I had hoped for. He beautified the sound while retaining the dynamic character that is the trademark od Wadia. I hope this helps.
Thanks for your response Avnut... Has anyone compared a modded Wadia against an Electrocompaniet or a Cary? Seems like it would be an interesting comparison...

I believe you'll love what Steve can do with your 830 if
the work he's done on my 861 is any indication. All the comments by avnut are on the mark. The one caveat is that
these mods take a while (weeks) to fully break in so if you
commit, be patient.

Tclipse: I had the "reference upgrade" done to my 850 by GNS back in late 2000. I'm still enjoying it. I now run it without a preamp. Compared to the stock unit, the mod greatly fleshed/filled out the midrange, and significantly smoothed out the highs. The bass also has more weight. Dynamics are improved overall. Generally it's more relaxed and musical (less hi-fi sounding). Avnut's comment about the unit "not being in a rush to deliver" sums it up well. IMO one consequence of this is that the lowest bass is a bit warmer (a slightly rounder leading edge on low bass transients), but some people may not even notice this.
In my system I recently compared my modified 850 to some newer CD players such as Levinson 390S and Aero Capitole 24/192 (both with analog volume control), and I still prefer my GNS-Wadia for its combination of accurate timbre, transparency, and midrange warmth. In conclusion, I'd say go for the mod of your 830, or buy a used Wadia 850-860-861 and get the mod (then you get a better transport mechanism than found in the 830).
Tclipse, I first met Steve Huntley when he did some work on my ARC preamp. Prior to this I had a pretty dim view of CD playback, but I was so impressed with Steve's work on my preamp that I traveled to his shop in Minnesota, where I had a chance to hear his modified Wadia 860. This was enough to get me looking for a CD player of my own, and I ended up paying $2000 for a used 830 off Agon. Six months later, I had Steve perform his "reference" mod on the 830, which at $1500 was not cheap, but still totaled less than a used 860. When I went to pick it up, Steve had just received a stock 860 for modification, so of course we had to compare the modified 830 to the stock 860. Long story short, we BOTH thought the 830 was better in some important ways, and I'm pretty sure even Steve was surprised at this. The gentlemen above have described well how the mod effects the sound. I would simply add that the modified 830 is easy and fun to listen to, which CD playback usually isn't, in my experience. Several years ago the 830 received a very favorable review in Stereophile. If they liked the stock unit that much, I can't imagine what they would do with a GNS modified unit!
Thanks for everyone's imput and opinions.. I will look into discussing further with GNS.. Anybody have info on Wadia being able to upgrade the DAC's in 830 to the same Burr Brown 1704 chips that the new Wadia 301 has? I wonder if upgraded DAC's along with Steve's mods would make the 830 even better still? Would the GNS mods void the Wadia factory warranty?