Why do Asian looks for old Wadia CDP at high price?


I recently sold my Wadia 861 for a Vietnamese at unbelievable price.  The question keep popping up on my mind why do Asians (Vietnamese) interested in the Wadia CDP too much even at very high price. Many nowadays CDP has better quality with up-to-date technologies on sound distortion deductions.

We have been used Wadia for around 2 decades ago and it's time to put them on retirement but they treat as treasures. I was so surprised about that. Wish I could have more Wadia CDP to sell to them in order to make some extra bucks.
joecrawford
There seems to be a solid group of members here who prefer 10-25 year old CD players and DAC’s
I'll have to assume that they believe the sound quality is superior to other alternatives.  I can’t come up with any other reasonable explanation. 
Charles 
Yes agreed with Charles sound quality and also possibly a bit of a fascination with classic American brands? I certainly see some similar fascination with classic Asian, primarily Japanese, brands.
Nearly all old Wadia’s/ML’s/Theta’s, had R2R Ladder Multibit D to A converters done right, it’s the best way to convert RedBook CD (pcm) 16/44 or 24/96.
I’ve sold many to them being the same mains voltage as Australia, they still love their CD’s as do I, and want the best way to get the best sound from them.

Cheers George
What are some of the R2R Wadia models?  Thanks 
maybe it's nostalgia for grandpa's stereo setup
I believe that George is more on target than Randy's explanation. 
Charles 
This is a really good question. I think it pertains to a lot more than just Wadia CD players. I wonder if even the people in question even know why they like them. Maybe the name is appealing to them in their language? I have an LP by a man named David Wiffin titled "Live at the Bunkhouse". It has commanded a ton of money in Japan. Why??? It's only one guy and his guitar singing folk standards. (They only pressed 100 of these). It's OK but nothing to get exited about. Oh well. Does anyone want to buy some beanie babies? (My dad bought a bunch of them). Joe
jl351,643 posts09-27-2017 7:01amWhat are some of the R2R Wadia models?  Thanks
These are some Wadia's that use Multibit:
The one with my favourite Multibit chip being the latest PCM1704


WADIA 9

8 x PCM63P-K + DSP – CS8412-CP

It's a DAC



WADIA 15

4 x PCM63P-K + DSP – CS8412-CP

It's a DAC


WADIA 16

4 x PCM1702-K + DSP – CS8412-CP

VRDS CMK-3.2 – KSS-151A


WADIA 25

4 x PCM1702-K + DSP

It's a DAC


WADIA 27

PCM1702 / PCM1704 + DSP

It's a DAC


WADIA 302

2 x PCM1704-K + DSP

Philips VAM1250


WADIA 381i

4 x PCM1704-K + 2 x DSP56004FJ50

StreamUnlimited


WADIA 521

4 x PCM1704-K + 2 x DSP56004FJ50

It's a DAC


WADIA 581

4 x PCM1704-K + 2 x Motorola DSP

Sanyo SF-HD65


WADIA 781i

4 x PCM1704-K + 2 x Motorola DSP

 

WADIA 830

4 x PCM1702U + Motorola DSP

Pioneer Stable Platter PEA1343


WADIA 831

PCM1704

Pioneer Stable Platter


WADIA 850

2 x PCM1702-K + Motorola DSP

VRDS CMK-4-a – KSS-240A


WADIA 860

4 x PCM1702-K + 2 x Motorola DSP

VRDS CMK-3.2 – KSS-151A


WADIA 861

4 x PCM1704-K + 2 x Motorola DSP

VRDS CMK-3.2 – KSS-151A


WADIA 861SE

4 x PCM1704-K + 2 x Motorola DSP

VRDS S-Type – KSS-151A


Cheers George







VRDS they don't make them like that anymore.
I sold it after auditioned with a Berkerley DAC Alpha 2. It made me couldn’t listen to my 861 anymore due to the Berkerley DAC has much much more details and sonics. The presentation that I have never had with 861 previously, things becoming unreal.

I'm looking forward to upgrade for an Emm labs DAC now
There are current manufacturers that use very old DAC chipsets because they sound better.  These include Naim, Zanden and Audio Note, among others.   Some of these old chips are expensive because they are coveted.  The priority for modern chips is to be very small and use very little power for use in mobile devices, and sound quality is not much of a consideration.  I have an older CD player (still in production) that utilizes the 1704 chip and it still sounds really good.

I also like a number of DACs that use resistor ladder multi-bit conversion, but, I don't know if this is the reason they sound good.  I owned a Wadia a long time ago and it sounded good and worked flawlessly.  Still, I am not certain I would get one unless I knew the transport was in really good shape or replacement parts are still available.  

I also wonder if there is such a thing as a different, "vintage" sound to DACs.  I know a dealer who hates the sound of most modern DACs, particularly when utilizing USB connection.  He thinks most sound to analytical, and while detailed sounding, that is accomplished by sounding bright and tizzy.  I have not looked into this myself to any great extent, but, I do know from my own experience that some highly regarded DACs, players and streamers are not to my particular taste.
Good point larryi and I guess I use a vintage DAC myself an Audio Note DAC-3 Signature circa 1995 which used the Burr Brown PCM-63K with is a multibit R2R chip. Sounds great to me but I'll admit to not having spent much time auditioning more modern DACs.
Jond,
You made an excellent choice.  I came oh so close to buying a used AN DAC 3 or 4 level at one time.  I am certain that I'd been very happy with it. Personally I don't find many of the newer generation DACs necessarily  better sounding,  just more of an emphasis on "detail" but not particularly natural or musically engaging. My 2 cents worth. 
Charles 
@charles1dad great point. I have experienced with my Berkerley DAC alpha at the beginning too. However, it’s turn out that I used the low quality USB and didn’t stream lossless music through any audiophile player software.

The dealer recomended me to use Mac Mini with Audirvana Plus software, and lent me a Light Harmonic USB cable to try out. Things turned out completely different as my old setup. It was surprised at extremely quiet background, soundstage depth, and imaging precision clearly, and very natural overall. It also produced an amazingly pure sound as listening to live performance which could see the musicians position, no bright or harshness of digital in a very musical sound. My system would have never been like that before though I tried to upgrade all cables around many times.

Maybe I was lucky than others on DAC but I have learned that be patience with this new technology involved with computer since I'm not a tech-savvy. However, you can get to the point if in the right direction for the digital solution setup.

My 27i went to Hong Kong.
Does Wadia still provide parts and service for these CD spinners?
I have read about some models that can benefit from mods as well.

Happy Listening!
Parts for Wadia players have not been available for about 5 years. I sold my 4 box 9 series Wadia due to lack of support and no spares being available, especially the Sony KSS151 lasers and DAC chips etc. yes, they sounded great, but I replaced the Wadia with a German T+A PDP3000HV and in direct comparisons the T+A was almost identical in sound, but just slightly more detail and air up top. This was at 1/4 the price of the Wadia.
T+A does indeed build excellent gear.
Happy Listening!
Mojo Audio Dac is R2R and it is 
probably the best Dac I have ever heard so far.
I have owned Wadia,Krell,Theta 
Goldmund,PS Audio etc.
It is made in Albuquerque NM.
Give it a try 
Happy listening.
i heard many years ago that the japanese back in japan likes the older stuff. i heard that 'jbl' makes the 'paragon' speakers for them because they like it. also heard that they pay big bucks for the classic american cars too!
I have owned my Wadia 861b since 2003 and she is still running strong.  Any ideas how much longer it will last and what is the most likely thing to fail.  I guess once it fails, I have a big chunk of worthless silver metal at that point (albeit a beautiful one).
Perhaps Christiaan can shed some light on the subject:

He did.
The Wadia 512 which he loved uses old R2R Multibit dacs, the last ones made without going discrete like others are today. Burr-Brown 1704 DACs.
Today because Wadia used the ESS Delta Sigma dacs instead of going discrete like MSB and others, they don't seem to hold center stage as much.
MSB went for doing discrete R2R Multibit after the last R2R chips ran out and they seem to have the center stage more than Wadia do now.
  
Cheers George
Word of mouth. Same thing in many other brands. Certain ones have a 'reputation', and some folks are willing to pay for it. Some people get listened to. And their opinion matters, (not reality for a percentage of the buyers) And all it takes is a few percentages to bump a used item from no one whats it, to high demand big prices.                                
My favorite example of a decent but way overpriced audio toy is the Audio Research SP-10 mk2 old but venerable, it has a great reputation. So much so it is selling for more than the original price of $3000. I owned both a SP-10 and a SP-15 at the same time. The 15 trounces the 10. I kept the 15, sold the 10. Yet folks still clamor for the 10. Why? the REPUTATION.
Yes, reputation.

1. But also simply geographics. No offense to Vietnam, but they dont have the number of folks with big money to spend on toys, compared to the US. So there is a smaller number of higher end products available. 
E.g. We often forget how spoiled we are in the US with all our choices, but it is not the same around the world. 

2. Reputation in the sense of which products get hype and which ones dont, just like in the US. What is hot right now? I see more and more forums on Asian brands- Denafrips DAC, Jay's Transport, Kinki something something. And people in the US are jumping on that bandwagon. Same thing in Vietnam.

3. IME, the audiophile Asians I have met tend to like a smoother sound, like the ESS Sabre DACs with 1000x oversampling. It is still detailed, but smoothness and lack of grain tend to be the preference. Not to stereotype or anything, just my experience. Which is interesting b/c the older WAdia/high end DACs that are quoted above are Burr-Browns, which to my ears have always been more fast, nimble, high res, high dynamics but a mostly analogue sound (the better the support circuitry and power modules. )


the model 17 is a brick s-house of a fantastic a to d

build quality !!!

sonics

An audio bud of mine has a multi-thousand buck Wadia he’s forced to use as a doorstop because the broken drive cannot be sourced. 
doak,
I'll trade him for an actual door stop if he's interested? 
I have on an extended loan from an audio buddy an Wadia 26. I am using it as the DAC from my Oppo 95 Modwright which while very nice was getting long in the tooth relative to what I have listened to over the past several years. I have the Wadia on a different input so it is quite easy to go back and forth between the Modwright ouptut of the Oppo and the Wadia. I heard the difference IMMEDIATELY, the Wadia is more focused, timbrally more natural and correct, MUCH better bass and bottom line made me not miss my TT set-up as much though the Oracle is still more engaging. No big deal what is is that I don’t have that sinking feeling when listening to digital.

The Wadia is a great buy for someone looking for something better than the budget fare that is out there. Of course the price and opportunity to purchase must be presented but if so, don’t hesitate for a moment! Yeah, maybe, just maybe you are going to get more "detail" on newer budget units but what will you lose? Great is timeless and great digital on the cutting edge still costs compared to analog, that continuous sound that draws you in and keeps you there. My system has evolved since I purchased my last speakers and everything is well sorted out less the digital. I just replaced two caps in my mono amps that were defective and the realization of what was missing and further how good the Wadia is was a revelation. I decided to purchase the Wadia. I really love this thing, can listen for hours without the desire to "well it’s time to play a record" reality rearing it’s head, after all digital that reproduces the emotion found in great analog is the bottom line.