Which 3K CDP: Simaudio Nova, Ayre CX-7 Wadia 302

Unfortunately the market is saturated with many 'new' ~3K CD players, all of which are well reviewed. I have heard all 3, but do not have the opportunity to do A/B comparisons, as only the Simaudio is available where I live. It is tough to compare the 3 in your mind, when you have listened to all 3 in 3 different cities, using different electronics, speakers and in different rooms. All 3 sounded great, but without the possibility of direct comparison it is tough to choose among them.

I will likely be using them with Hovland HP200 pre vs. Simaudio P-5 pre, Simaudio LE W-5 amp, and speakers still undecided (JMlab Alto Be vs. Dynaudio Confidence C2 vs. Wilson Sophia)
If you aren't set on buying new, you can also include a used Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP for around your price point. Many feel this is one of the best sounding red book players. Just another option...

I forgot to add, as a reference I listen to mainly alternative. The discs rotating on my second system CD player include:
Radiohead, Muse, Ryan Adams, U2, Beck, REM, White Stripes, Strokes, Lucinda Williams, Wilco, PJ Harvey etc.

Second, I should add that I don't want to go with a used CD player.
What's your aversion to going used? You'll get much more for your money and you'll lose less when you decide to upgrade (which will probably be sooner than you think!).
I'd stay away from anything Wadia... The company has changed over many times, which is enough for me to worry about possible future service issues... Especially for that kind of money...
Gamut CD1R or the newer version is pretty amazing.. I am a fan of Wadia but the Gamut got me more for my money.. The R version fixed the bass problem with a powersupply upgrade. It sounds increadible on my Wilson Watt Puppy 7's (Sophia would be just as revealing). Just make sure you preamp can handle the 5 volt output (the Wadia's are hot also 5volt-10volt)
Ahhhh....I disagree with Mdp0430 quite a bit! Looks like Mdp0430 is just looking for some excuse to reject a manuf.

>>The company has changed over many times
Wrong! The company has changed hands just once! That was in year 2000.
It is probably true that their former financial ill-health had many worried about the viability of their product but I think that it is quite safe to say that Wadia is here to stay. There is an excellent post on Head-fi.org detailing a trip to their factory. Here is the link:
There are more Wadia 302s on the production floor than you can shake a stick at. Wadia just moved into a new building to *expand* production! There do not seem to be any signs of Wadia going under. I have no financial numbers to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt nor can I say that this won't happen again.

Wadia products are supported by Wadia themselves & by Steve at Great Northern Sound. If Wadia fails, Steve will be able to take care of their products thereafter.

I think that it would be quite wrong to rule out Wadia in the running based on speculative info about their going under.
The Wadia products are expensive & they might not fit your budget. That is true.

I was searching for a redbook player for many months & I chose Wadia for the long-term potential that it has & the fact that their upper tier models can be upgraded & can work with other formats (DVD-A for the time-being). You can view my opinions as biased as a product owner but I can tell you that I do not want to be saddled with a product from a defunct company any more than you do.
with steve @ the great northern sound why would you have concerns with wadia gear?
not to mention, when is the last time you heard of a broken Wadia.

i've never seen it posted.
Thom_y-I can't comment on the other two CD players but I own the Ayre CX-7.

It's a great player and will work well with the type of music you like,most of which I enjoy also.
Simply put it works with all types of music from classical via Jazz to modern avant garde electronica and real heavy rock.
A newer CX-7 has some tweaks including a new transport and apparently is an improvement over the intial design.

Sounds like you are not in an ideal situation as a home dem. is always best.
If it makes you feel better the Ayre CX-7 is £3k in the UK and I live in the UK!
If you end up buying the Moon Nova, at least try to check out Nova LE version. I bought one, its REALLY nice. I have it paired with a Perreaux Radiance R200i Integrated Amp. I'm very happy with the system's sound
My only additional input regarding Wadia is that if you're going to pay a heftly price I for one would like to feel comfortable for the long term. I, personally, don't feel that way with Wadia... And again, that's just my opinion...


You bring up an interesting point(keeping the equipment for a long time). That was another reason why I went with the Simaudio Nova LE. They have a 10 year warranty on the electronics on that player. That, is hard to beat. I intend on keeping it for a long time...
Right. And if you like Nova's kind of sound... it doesn't have much competition in its niche. I guess it would be the last thing I'll upgrade.
Resolution Audio Opus 21, no brainer under $8k.........
"Sim Audio" Good thing about that 10 year warranty, I had my Sim Audio W5 for only 5 days before I sent it back!

Are you really intending to keep your front end for 10years? in 5 years a $200 player will kill it..

My wadia 12 that I bought used was still doing duty 2 years ago when I sold it... so is that like 10+ years?? The seller sold it to me without the feet, and when I called wadia to see how much they were, they just asked for my address and sent them to me in 5 days for free! I couldn't ask for better support.
as far as wadia is concerned, even if the company were to disappear, there are always people like great northern sounds who can take care of any maintenance issues... and their players are great!
I *strongly* recommend that you look into the Exemplar modified Denon 2900. Do a search for more information/opinions.
Cytocycle, that's interesting point. Warranty is not the reason why ppl choose SimAudio, the reason is sound and quality - for the money. But if they also give a good warranty, well, that's just a worthy addition. Nova is one of the best in its price range, and choosing between Gamut, Ayre, Wadia, and Nova is a pure matter of taste - they all are excellent players on about the same level of sound quality.
Hey, since it's been about three months since the start of this post, hopefully you've decided on a CDP. If so, let us know what you got. If not, I also will put my 2 cents in for the Resolution Audio Opus 21.

Thanks for your suggestion ... the short answer is I have not made a decision on my CDP yet (or the associated equipment)

... the long answer is that our home renovations have started later than expected ... initially we thought we would start in July ... but some last minute thoughts delayed things until an Aug. start ... so hopefully in 3 months from now we will have a dedicated room

meanwhile, since I posted this thread I have bitten by the Tenor/Kharma/emm lab bug ... so I am considering going with a Tenor 150 HPs/ Kharma speaker to be decided/ emm labs transport/DCC2 vs. Audio Aero Capitole ... hey a fair bit more than I wanted to spend originally ... but after an extending listening on such a system it was hard to look back at the other stuff ... yet, I still have 3 months before I need equipment for the room ... so I can always come back to my senses :)
Which has the beefiest power supply and best output caps? (I like impactful, yet focused bass. I'm looking for a player that can get *all* the pipe organ bass fundamentals, and can handle percussive outbursts while keeping the sound full-bodied.)