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  1. #1
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    Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    for 3-4 months i have been working on demo'ing a Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server in my room. i had been reading quite a bit about this reported wonderous new dac, and server. finally in early December i was in West Palm Beach for business, and had a free afternoon, so drove down to Elliot Goldman's room in Davie, Florida to hear these beauties. i had been at Elliot's room 2 years prior and heard the 7-box CH Precision mono dac, and now the Wadax. it exceeded my considerable expectations, now i need to get it in my room....and hear it directly against my MSB Select dac and Taiko Extreme server.

    wadax | Atlantis Reference [DAC]

    added side note---after i heard the Wadax Ref dac and Ref Server in Florida i reached out to a friend who owns an MSB Reference dac and sold him my MSB Select II dac. he was supportive on my move and understood what i was doing. but he allowed me to keep the Select II for a direct compare. but; at the start of this weekend i had not committed to purchasing the Wadax yet (stay tuned).

    400 pounds of digital wonder on 2 pallets shipped to me before Christmas, but it took 2 weeks to reach Seattle; and we have had 2 weeks of lots of snow, i live in the mountains east of Seattle.....and had 3 feet of snow in my yard. and snow and ice on my driveway. so if i wanted these, i needed to drive to the freight depot to pick them up. which i did. one pallet on Wednesday, the other Thursday afternoon after i picked Elliot up from the Airport.

    we got home around 4:30pm, and listened from 5pm to 10:30pm to the Wadax, mostly Quboz streaming, but some files too. then Elliot went to bed (had been up since 5am EST). i stayed up till 1am, and listened more, but mostly took 2 hours to move my shelves (very tedious process) to allow the MSB and Extreme to be installed and turned on, so they could get warmed back up for Friday afternoon listening. so no comparison listening yet.

    so far the Wadax combo delivers on expectations. it's a breed apart in my personal experience. you try to get your head around what is different and express it in words, but it's hard. better to sit back and let the music effect you. how is the music different? as opposed to how does it sound different? does that make sense?

    for now i would say there is an analog grainless liquidity, yet also a fine textural and timbral detail, that is 'un-digital-like'. it's really quiet, yet the ambience in recordings that possess it is vinyl like. redbook files are really fine.

    it seems like it absolutely is complementary to my system, and does scale and authority really well. and has an overall top to bottom balance and completeness that i value highly.

    as of Friday night; no analog yet for reference, obviously no MSB or Extreme yet. (more info about Friday and Saturday sessions to follow).

    some Audioshark members requested that i post this thread on Audioshark, and some Audioshark members were present this weekend during the demo's and hopefully will post their thoughts.

    pic #1 below shows all 8 digital boxes on Friday and Saturday.

    pic #2 below shows the MSB removed on late Saturday night.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    notes from early Saturday morning....

    great listening day yesterday from noon on. back and forth between the Wadax chain and MSB/Extreme chain once in the afternoon, plus i did play 2 Lp's for that reference. we were joined by a MSB Ref dac owner, for dinner and then listening till 11pm, and did 4 switches between the chains for that listener. after that listener left and Elliot retired i was listening till 1230am.

    this afternoon 5 people are scheduled to join us. 3 of the 5 are Audioshark members; one of which owns an MSB Select 2.

    i'm listening now waiting for Elliot to emerge so we can go get him his coffee :p . then we dive back in.

    notes from early this morning....

    we had another great listening day yesterday. starting at noon had 6 visitors ending last night at 8:30pm. did a few back and fourths between the Wadax chain and MSB/Extreme chain. did a little vinyl.

    changes. i have purchased the Wadax Reference Dac and am thrilled. and this is with streaming only so far. i love the look and build quality of the Wadax. the performance is magnificent. astonishing really to me. i don't want to speak for any of my visitors.....just myself.

    late last night, was able to integrate the Wadax Ref server (off the rickety little table) into my rack and at least allow it a single Daiza shelf. the server question is just that. i appreciate that Elliot is allowing me to have more time with the Wadax Reference Server to investigate this possibility. work to do there.

    if you want some deep info on these pieces there are some on line reviews, but the best place where i found lots of easy to understand information including owners manuals is the Goodwin's Audio website here. if you dig around it will answer lots of questions on the dac and server.

    WADAX - Digital Sources | Goodwins High End

  3. #3
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Mike,...Congratulations on the major upgrade to the Reference DAC and all the best for the continuing trial with the Reference Server/Streamer.

    This certainly all qualifies as a second "Merry Christmas" for sure and I'm very happy for you. They look right at home in your system!
    Legacy Audio VALOR with Wavelet V2, Legacy i.V4 ULTRA 4ch amp, HDPlex 300W LPSU, RevAudio Labs Passage Cryo-silver DC Umbilical,Ghent Audio DC Umbilical, Esoteric Grandioso P1 & D1s, Cybershaft Premium Ltd Type2 OP21A 10 MHz Clock, Esoteric C-02X Preamp, SHUNYATA TRITON v3, TYPHON QR & ALTAIRA SG hub & cables, AfterBurner8 duplexes, CSP Inc Q4B, S2B IEC support plates, Shunyata OMEGA CLOCK-50s, AQ Firebird 48 HDMIs, Elrod Master Series Diamond & Masters Series Statement Gold Power cords, Elrod Statement Gold XLRs, Diamond XLRs & Master Diamond XLRs, Shunyata OMEGA QR-s power cable, Shunyata Anaconda Z-tron XLR, Elrod Statement Gold speaker cables, Adona AV45CS3, AV45CS2 & AV45CS1 and Multi-Element platforms, Composite Audio CF-2010, HRS DPX Damping Plates, Stillpoints Ultra SS w/Ultra Bases

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  4. #4
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    I was one of Mike's guests. I was really impressed with the wadax. When I saw it in pictures, it seemed ugly to me. In person, it oozed class and craftsmanship. Quite a striking statement piece. I don't know if "beautiful" is the right word, but it definitely looks impressive and does not disappoint in sound quality, either.

    My overall opinion is is that the wadax combination provided a more engaging, emotional experience than the msb. The msb has the resolution nailed, but is just a little flat sounding in comparison.

    We even tried a single track to compare vs vinyl. To my ears, and astonishment, it was a draw! This is extremely high praise, because Mike's vinyl playback is the best I've ever heard.

    So the wadax combination is certainly industry leading gear, with impeccable build and sound quality. Of course, it sure is expensive.

    What I don't know is, how much the wadax server played a role in this, vs the taiko. That will be for Mike to figure out!

    Either way, congrats Mike! Thanks for the experience!

    Sent from my SM-N986U1 using Tapatalk
    --Marc

  5. #5
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Thanks for sharing your experience Mike. Most of us only get to wonder about such equipment. I am very interested in your take on the Wadax Server versus the Taiko Extreme.
    Kharma Elegance dB11-S, Bricasti M21 DAC/PRE & M28 Mono Amplifiers, Antipodes K-50 Server, Supra Cat 8+, Twin (Nenon) Modified Buffalo GS2016Switches with Keces P3 LPSU, Shunyata Denali 6000/S v2, Sigma XC V2, 3 X Alpha v2 NR PCs, ADDPowr Wizard and 2 X ElektraClear EAU, Nordost Valhalla 2 AES/EBU, Wireworld Platinum Eclipse 8 Speaker cables, Silver Eclipse 7 ICs, Vicoustic, GIK & Stillpoint Room treatment, Stillpoint Minis and Ultra SS, Three dedicated 20 Amp lines w/Furutech GTX - Gold outlets, Adona 5 Shelf rack

  6. #6
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by 2fastdriving View Post
    I was one of Mike's guests. I was really impressed with the wadax. When I saw it in pictures, it seemed ugly to me. In person, it oozed class and craftsmanship. Quite a striking statement piece. I don't know if "beautiful" is the right word, but it definitely looks impressive and does not disappoint in sound quality, either.

    My overall opinion is is that the wadax combination provided a more engaging, emotional experience than the msb. The msb has the resolution nailed, but is just a little flat sounding in comparison.

    We even tried a single track to compare vs vinyl. To my ears, and astonishment, it was a draw! This is extremely high praise, because Mike's vinyl playback is the best I've ever heard.

    So the wadax combination is certainly industry leading gear, with impeccable build and sound quality. Of course, it sure is expensive.

    What I don't know is, how much the wadax server played a role in this, vs the taiko. That will be for Mike to figure out!

    Either way, congrats Mike! Thanks for the experience!

    Sent from my SM-N986U1 using Tapatalk
    Mike, if I understand correctly, the Taiko was feeding the MSB and the Wadax server the Wadax? Will you eventually be comparing both DACs fed by the same server? Providing feedback on this apples to apples comparison would be most helpful recognizing that servers also impart their own sonic signature and can influence performance.

    Thx
    Digital Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and EtherRegen w/ Upgraded PSU+External Clock
    Analog Source: Spiral Groove SG1.1 w/ Centroid Tonearm; Airtight Opus-1, Ortofon Anna; Sutherland BIG LOCO
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  7. #7
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Battles View Post
    Mike, if I understand correctly, the Taiko was feeding the MSB and the Wadax server the Wadax? Will you eventually be comparing both DACs fed by the same server? Providing feedback on this apples to apples comparison would be most helpful recognizing that servers also impart their own sonic signature and can influence performance.

    Thx
    I'm not Mike, but you quoted me. Yes, you are correct in what we compared. Yes, Mike will be doing a deeper dive into what each component brings to the table. We'll have to wait a little to see what he finds.

    Sent from my SM-N986U1 using Tapatalk
    --Marc

  8. #8
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    My mistake, Marc. Yes, very much looking forward to hearing Mike’s apples to apples comparison. Wondering if some of the relative flatness in MSB’s presentation is the Select or a performance disparity between the Wadax and Taiko servers.
    Digital Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and EtherRegen w/ Upgraded PSU+External Clock
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  9. #9
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Congratulations! I had a chance to listen to the setup, briefly, at the LA show. They were limiting how long each group was allowed in the room. Really nice gear but of course not close to being able to really listen to the setup like Mike has in his home.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Hi Mike,

    Congrats on your new Wadax Reference DAC!

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
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  11. #11

    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Congratulations Mike and a great deal of gratitude for sharing your experience!
    With kind regards, GN
    ———————————————
    MSB Select II, Taiko SGM Extreme, Naim Statement, Shunyata Everest&Sigma

  12. #12
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Congrats on your new Wadax Reference DAC!

    Ken
    So does this mean we can trash msb now 😳
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  13. #13
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Too funny... yea we will trash MSB because a $145,000 DAC was determined to be slightly better ...
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

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  14. #14
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    All in fun all this stuff is way above my pay grade
    Lets get you to a better server first then we both can trash msb lol. Just kidding
    I heard taiko gone too is this true ?
    TUBEZATOR

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  15. #15
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    So does this mean we can trash msb now 😳
    I gave the Wadax/Gobel system a long listen at Capital Audiofest with several visits to the room. I wish I could say I loved what I heard but to be totally honest the sound left me cold. The system lacked the lifelike sonic qualities that immerse me in the music. It was lacking the magic that evoke an emotional response, no chills down the spine, no smiles or tears of joy. It just left me flat.

    Contrast that with my trips to the MSB room at Axpona in successive years where I was as emotionally captivated as I have ever been by the music emanating from the Select DAC and adjoining system. I ended up spending nearly half of my time at Axpona in the MSB room savoring every minute of the music.

    I will certainly give the Wadax Reference System another listen the next time I have the opportunity. There could have been something off with the room at Capital Audio Fest. IMHO, I thought the Wadax sounded very similar to the DCS Stack, which never moved me. I much preferred the new Esoteric Grandioso components in the VAC/Von Schweikert room for realism. MSB was not at Capital Audio Fest.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
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  16. #16
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    All joking aside the msb is marvel of digital
    but not an analog sound to me but music ls
    How we each hear it. vinyl when done well
    Is just above digital yet it makes no sense to me how.
    the msb always was a detail monster making you take notice to of what you felt you never heard
    i can’t say how the wadax sounds but the ones who did felt it was more analog then the msb was
    it’s like Lampi dacs it’s a different sound if you love it it’s amazing
    If you don’t you might like msb more.
    i like dcs dacs always had a sound I loved some love them some don’t.
    anyway I Ty for taking the time to Answer. from
    I have read the of you and have been told you really know great audio.
    TUBEZATOR

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  17. #17
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    I can agree on the wadax there and the dcs too. the big vac room was best digital of the show no doubt two years at that
    Location
    What I can’t get is how when they played vinyl the wheels came off
    Both years too. how did you feel about there vinyl ?
    TUBEZATOR

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  18. #18
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    I gave the Wadax/Gobel system a long listen at Capital Audiofest with several visits to the room. I wish I could say I loved what I heard but to be totally honest the sound left me cold. The system lacked the lifelike sonic qualities that immerse me in the music. It was lacking the magic that evoke an emotional response, no chills down the spine, no smiles or tears of joy. It just left me flat.

    Contrast that with my trips to the MSB room at Axpona in successive years where I was as emotionally captivated as I have ever been by the music emanating from the Select DAC and adjoining system. I ended up spending nearly half of my time at Axpona in the MSB room savoring every minute of the music.

    I will certainly give the Wadax Reference System another listen the next time I have the opportunity. There could have been something off with the room at Capital Audio Fest. IMHO, I thought the Wadax sounded very similar to the DCS Stack, which never moved me. I much preferred the new Esoteric Grandioso components in the VAC/Von Schweikert room for realism. MSB was not at Capital Audio Fest.

    Ken
    Ken makes a interesting observation. Not all of us are looking for the same end result. What pleases one may not please another. There is no single correct or best solution.

    I am interested in following Mike's journey with his Wadax set-up. (Un) Fortunately a Wadax move for me is along the lines of a jump to Relentless or XVX's, likely an improvement but not worth the price of entry or the space required.

    Mike had the benefit of being able to A/B the two set-ups in his own system and make his decision. The synergy with other components is always a factor.
    Jim

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  19. #19
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    I can agree on the wadax there and the dcs too. the big vac room was best digital of the show no doubt two years at that
    Location
    What I can’t get is how when they played vinyl the wheels came off
    Both years too. how did you feel about there vinyl ?
    I thought the vinyl in the VAC/Von Schweikert room was good but certainly not ground breaking. I preferred the Esoteric Grandioso stack, which I thought sounded quite wonderful.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  20. #20
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    I felt the best analog was the kharma room
    It was music bliss to me the tidal room was also good digital but not in the league of the vac room.
    TUBEZATOR

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  21. #21
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    I felt the best analog was the kharma room
    It was music bliss to me the tidal room was also good digital but not in the league of the vac room.
    I totally agree. The Conrad-Johnson/Kharma MIDI room was outstanding and the Tidal room sounded really musical too.

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
    Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7 Mk2
    Power: Two AudioQuest Niagara 5000’s with AudioQuest Dragon and Hurricane Power Cords

  22. #22
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    So does this mean we can trash msb now Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive
    Alrainbow, I don’t think so. I wish Mike L. all the best with the Wadax, but having heard it a few times, it’s not for me. I agree with Ken on this one. I have a feeling it’s something that may impress at first, but long term doesn’t cut the mustard and may grow fatiguing. When I sat listening to the Wadax in Germany, I found it grew fatiguing on me the longer I listened. I’ve heard it a couple of times after that. Not my cup of tea, but I’m glad Mike likes it.

    I’ve heard a lot of digital - a lot - and the MSB, to my ears, most closely resembles my R2R. The MSB is so fleshed out and natural sounding. I can listen to it for hours and never get digital fatigue. I also like that MSB is made here in the U.S., and there is a sizable company behind it with in-house manufacturing and a 35+ year legacy in digital.

    If I didn’t want something that resembled my R2R, but instead of a world class source in its own right, I would go for the new Esoteric Master Discrete products.

    Just my two cents….


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  23. #23
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    I don’t know why but yes esoteric is just great digital to me. but you don’t get buzz on forums like msb and a few others do.
    TUBEZATOR

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    Infinity IRS-V speakers with Xover redone by Arie Nudell.




  24. #24
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Plus 3 on Esoteric ..!
    * An Audiophile is only as old as his tweeters ..!!

  25. #25
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Battles View Post
    Mike, if I understand correctly, the Taiko was feeding the MSB and the Wadax server the Wadax?
    yes.

    Will you eventually be comparing both DACs fed by the same server? Providing feedback on this apples to apples comparison would be most helpful recognizing that servers also impart their own sonic signature and can influence performance.

    Thx
    the MSB Select II is out of the system now. and it's on it's way to it's new owner, i have purchased the Wadax Ref Dac. both servers are still in the system and i have a few weeks to compare each server with the Wadax Ref Dac before i make a decision on which server to keep. when i do compare the server's head to head with the Wadax dac it will underline what the dac differences were.

  26. #26
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Congrats on your new Wadax Reference DAC!

    Ken
    thank you Ken.

  27. #27
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by GiorgioNuvolari View Post
    Congratulations Mike and a great deal of gratitude for sharing your experience!
    With kind regards, GN
    ———————————————
    MSB Select II, Taiko SGM Extreme, Naim Statement, Shunyata Everest&Sigma
    thank you Giorgio.

  28. #28
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Battles View Post
    My mistake, Marc. Yes, very much looking forward to hearing Mike’s apples to apples comparison. Wondering if some of the relative flatness in MSB’s presentation is the Select or a performance disparity between the Wadax and Taiko servers.
    comments from my visitors was that the Wadax combo was more life-like and if they did not know better, sounded like vinyl. my view is that the Wadax makes digital sound like analog in the best sense. this is not to say it's a good as vinyl. more that when you are listening to the Wadax it could be vinyl. there is no sense of any digital signature. and this is a relative thing. the MSB relative to other digital 5 years ago did the same thing. but now, by a greater margin than back then, the Wadax does that much more completely. it crosses a threshold.

    of course, this is in my own system compared directly to my sources. it took me 6 months to set up this in room demo so i could be sure of my result. i was and continue to be an MSB believer. it's fantastic in it's own right. this does not change that. i still feel the same about MSB.

    but my views are just one guy's opinion. and we have a few other visitors too, who did hear what they heard.

  29. #29
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    I gave the Wadax/Gobel system a long listen at Capital Audiofest with several visits to the room. I wish I could say I loved what I heard but to be totally honest the sound left me cold. The system lacked the lifelike sonic qualities that immerse me in the music. It was lacking the magic that evoke an emotional response, no chills down the spine, no smiles or tears of joy. It just left me flat.

    Contrast that with my trips to the MSB room at Axpona in successive years where I was as emotionally captivated as I have ever been by the music emanating from the Select DAC and adjoining system. I ended up spending nearly half of my time at Axpona in the MSB room savoring every minute of the music.

    I will certainly give the Wadax Reference System another listen the next time I have the opportunity. There could have been something off with the room at Capital Audio Fest. IMHO, I thought the Wadax sounded very similar to the DCS Stack, which never moved me. I much preferred the new Esoteric Grandioso components in the VAC/Von Schweikert room for realism. MSB was not at Capital Audio Fest.

    Ken
    Ken,

    The Grandioso stack in the big VAC/Von Schweikert room at CAF 2021 did sound amazing, no argument there....that setup was the
    Grandioso P1 and D1 generation, Esoteric's top offerings until Spring 2019 when the P1X and D1X were brought out; the move being
    a change from AKM 4495S DACs (16 per channel) to Esoteric's new in-house designed and built DACs and a few other upgraded features.

    The Audio Company did a great job showing P1 / D1 at its best, for sure and it sounded wonderful.

    Now it's my turn because I installed that exact Grandioso stack at home here on December 30th and could not be happier,...will post photos soon.
    Legacy Audio VALOR with Wavelet V2, Legacy i.V4 ULTRA 4ch amp, HDPlex 300W LPSU, RevAudio Labs Passage Cryo-silver DC Umbilical,Ghent Audio DC Umbilical, Esoteric Grandioso P1 & D1s, Cybershaft Premium Ltd Type2 OP21A 10 MHz Clock, Esoteric C-02X Preamp, SHUNYATA TRITON v3, TYPHON QR & ALTAIRA SG hub & cables, AfterBurner8 duplexes, CSP Inc Q4B, S2B IEC support plates, Shunyata OMEGA CLOCK-50s, AQ Firebird 48 HDMIs, Elrod Master Series Diamond & Masters Series Statement Gold Power cords, Elrod Statement Gold XLRs, Diamond XLRs & Master Diamond XLRs, Shunyata OMEGA QR-s power cable, Shunyata Anaconda Z-tron XLR, Elrod Statement Gold speaker cables, Adona AV45CS3, AV45CS2 & AV45CS1 and Multi-Element platforms, Composite Audio CF-2010, HRS DPX Damping Plates, Stillpoints Ultra SS w/Ultra Bases

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  30. #30
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by SCAudiophile View Post
    Ken,

    The Grandioso stack in the big VAC/Von Schweikert room at CAF 2021 did sound amazing, no argument there....that setup was the
    Grandioso P1 and D1 generation, Esoteric's top offerings until Spring 2019 when the P1X and D1X were brought out; the move being
    a change from AKM 4495S DACs (16 per channel) to Esoteric's new in-house designed and built DACs and a few other upgraded features.

    The Audio Company did a great job showing P1 / D1 at its best, for sure and it sounded wonderful.

    Now it's my turn because I installed that exact Grandioso stack at home here on December 30th and could not be happier,...will post photos soon.
    Congrats on your new Grandioso P1X/D1X/G1X Stack! I owned the Grandioso K1/G1, which was terrific sounding, before I replaced it with the MSB Select II DAC. The Grandioso P1X/D1X/G1X stack is certainly a major step up with its new in-house DAC chip. Please give us a full report on what you’re hearing when you get the opportunity. Thanks!

    Enjoy,
    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
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  31. #31
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alpinist View Post
    Congrats on your new Grandioso P1X/D1X/G1X Stack! I owned the Grandioso K1/G1, which was terrific sounding, before I replaced it with the MSB Select II DAC. The Grandioso P1X/D1X/G1X stack is certainly a major step up with its new in-house DAC chip. Please give us a full report on what you’re hearing when you get the opportunity. Thanks!

    Enjoy,
    Ken
    Thank you Ken,...as mentioned above what I picked up was the P1 and D1; I did not pick up the G1 or G1X clock as I already have a Cybershaft OP21A Prem Ltd2 that's written about elsewhere which equals the complete performance of the G1X at a fraction of the price. I did however also add a C-02X preamp (new) to the mix
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Good morning mike L a big congrats on the new top of the Mountain setup. I’m sure it’s all you claim and more. sometimes changes in a new direction is magical. like a new plate of food never had before. I’m sure you will seated even more playing music on it.
    may I ask what is the OS of the new server ?
    TUBEZATOR

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  33. #33
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    Good morning mike L a big congrats on the new top of the Mountain setup. I’m sure it’s all you claim and more. sometimes changes in a new direction is magical. like a new plate of food never had before. I’m sure you will seated even more playing music on it.
    may I ask what is the OS of the new server ?
    The operating system chosen for Atlantis Server is an extensively modified Windows 10 according to their website..
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  34. #34
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Alrainbow View Post
    Good morning mike L a big congrats on the new top of the Mountain setup. I’m sure it’s all you claim and more. sometimes changes in a new direction is magical. like a new plate of food never had before. I’m sure you will seated even more playing music on it.
    may I ask what is the OS of the new server ?
    hi Al, thank you.

    you are spot on. i love what i'm hearing. great to hear familiar digital music as 'fresh and new' again. harder to go to work, or to bed. i'm captured. as far as it being 'just' the new thing, that's why i use references in my own system such as my tt's, as well as keeping the MSB around to directly compare. i wanted to know if it was just different, or really better. and by how much. for myself. which....i did. over three days with 7 visitors at various times i went back and fourth 15 times with myself or others in the sweet spot.

    i have not yet copied my own files to the Wadax Ref Server since i've not decided between it and the Taiko Extreme. that is my next task. there are 1.8tb of music installed on the Wadax server resident memory, but many are unknown to me. so not much for a reference....yet. but a few are ones i used.....but not my own best/favorite 24/352 or dsd256 files.

    the Wadax server uses Roon for music management. as far as an OS can't say, and have not read it. not sure if it's windows, Linux or whatever.

  35. #35
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Thanks glad to see your enjoying the new dac
    To me it looks very retro industrial I love it truly do.
    It’s a break out look no doubt.
    Roon is the best GUI period there is nothing close.
    keep us posted on how things go. I use it but in a two pc setup but it’s great on its own
    TUBEZATOR

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    amps ML No.33
    Infinity IRS-V speakers with Xover redone by Arie Nudell.




  36. #36
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by SCAudiophile View Post
    Thank you Ken,...as mentioned above what I picked up was the P1 and D1; I did not pick up the G1 or G1X clock as I already have a Cybershaft OP21A Prem Ltd2 that's written about elsewhere which equals the complete performance of the G1X at a fraction of the price. I did however also add a C-02X preamp (new) to the mix
    That’s a great system! Exactly what I would buy or the MSB. Great choice. Love the pictures you shared on the other thread. The new Esoteric stuff is fabulous. So musical.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
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  37. #37
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    That’s a great system! Exactly what I would buy or the MSB. Great choice. Love the pictures you shared on the other thread. The new Esoteric stuff is fabulous. So musical.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Thanks Mike! Apologies to Mr. Lavigne for taking the eye off the ball of his fantastic Wadax Reference DAC update and the trial of the new Reference Server.
    There are very few ways to achieve best of the best, "sounds non-digital" playback in this sport and the Wadax series is definitely special in that regard!
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  38. #38
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by SCAudiophile View Post
    Thank you Ken,...as mentioned above what I picked up was the P1 and D1; I did not pick up the G1 or G1X clock as I already have a Cybershaft OP21A Prem Ltd2 that's written about elsewhere which equals the complete performance of the G1X at a fraction of the price. I did however also add a C-02X preamp (new) to the mix
    Sorry for the misunderstanding on my end. I guess it was wishful thinking on my part. Anyway, congrats on the P1/D1 combo, also terrific!

    Ken
    "No summit worth climbing is easily attained."
    --------------------------------------------
    Source: MSB Select II DAC with Two Mono Powerbases and Femto 33 Clock; Renderer V2 Digital Input Module and Roon Nucleus Plus; MSB UMT V Signature Transport
    Amps: Vandersteen M7-HPA Mono Amps; MSB M204 Mono Amps
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  39. #39
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    my Extreme is going to a new happy owner. i'm buying the Wadax Reference Server.

    on Friday night my friend Victor, who owns is an MSB Select 2 and is an Extreme owner, came over to assist with the compare. Victor also brought a Gigaswitch and LPS to optimize the copper Ethernet that both the Wadax and Extreme would use. both the Extreme and Wadax server were sitting on Dazia's. we used TAS for the Extreme, and Roon obviously for the Wadax. Emile had optimized the USB driver for the Wadax Reference dac.

    we did the compare, first three tracks with the Wadax Server, then those same three with the Extreme. i'm not going to speak on behalf of Victor. but it was a clear choice. we move on. synergy? Akasa Optical link? hard to know cause and effect exactly.

    the Extreme/Wadax Ref dac is awesome in every way. the Wadax combo is better.

  40. #40
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    my Extreme is going to a new happy owner. i'm buying the Wadax Reference Server.

    on Friday night my friend Victor, who owns is an MSB Select 2 and is an Extreme owner, came over to assist with the compare. Victor also brought a Gigaswitch and LPS to optimize the copper Ethernet that both the Wadax and Extreme would use. both the Extreme and Wadax server were sitting on Dazia's. we used TAS for the Extreme, and Roon obviously for the Wadax. Emile had optimized the USB driver for the Wadax Reference dac.

    we did the compare, first three tracks with the Wadax Server, then those same three with the Extreme. i'm not going to speak on behalf of Victor. but it was a clear choice. we move on. synergy? Akasa Optical link? hard to know cause and effect exactly.

    the Extreme/Wadax Ref dac is awesome in every way. the Wadax combo is better.
    @Mike Lavigne

    Mike, a hearty congratulations on such an incredible set of upgrades to your system. No matter which products stayed and in which combination there
    was no downside as they are all excellent. Very happy for you and wish you all the best with your new SOTA purchases!!! (In a rather long line of SOTA purchases
    over the years, you certainly have a trend going !!!)
    Legacy Audio VALOR with Wavelet V2, Legacy i.V4 ULTRA 4ch amp, HDPlex 300W LPSU, RevAudio Labs Passage Cryo-silver DC Umbilical,Ghent Audio DC Umbilical, Esoteric Grandioso P1 & D1s, Cybershaft Premium Ltd Type2 OP21A 10 MHz Clock, Esoteric C-02X Preamp, SHUNYATA TRITON v3, TYPHON QR & ALTAIRA SG hub & cables, AfterBurner8 duplexes, CSP Inc Q4B, S2B IEC support plates, Shunyata OMEGA CLOCK-50s, AQ Firebird 48 HDMIs, Elrod Master Series Diamond & Masters Series Statement Gold Power cords, Elrod Statement Gold XLRs, Diamond XLRs & Master Diamond XLRs, Shunyata OMEGA QR-s power cable, Shunyata Anaconda Z-tron XLR, Elrod Statement Gold speaker cables, Adona AV45CS3, AV45CS2 & AV45CS1 and Multi-Element platforms, Composite Audio CF-2010, HRS DPX Damping Plates, Stillpoints Ultra SS w/Ultra Bases

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  41. #41
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Congrats, Mike !

    I have always wondered about this Wadax stuff, but never had a chance to listen to it in good conditions (shows only). Seems that they are the real deal.
    Adam

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  42. #42
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by SCAudiophile View Post
    @Mike Lavigne

    Mike, a hearty congratulations on such an incredible set of upgrades to your system. No matter which products stayed and in which combination there
    was no downside as they are all excellent. Very happy for you and wish you all the best with your new SOTA purchases!!! (In a rather long line of SOTA purchases
    over the years, you certainly have a trend going !!!)
    Mark, thank you. never thought i would hear digital sound like this. today my Son is starting to load my own files from my NAS to my server including all my long term references. can't wait to hear those.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elberoth View Post
    Congrats, Mike !

    I have always wondered about this Wadax stuff, but never had a chance to listen to it in good conditions (shows only). Seems that they are the real deal.
    Adam, thank you.

    agree that shows are not a great spot to appreciate sources. so many variables. among the many attributes of what the Wadax does is make the music more real, the performers appear in front of you as flesh and blood.....much more that any previous digital. if you are at a show in an audiophile check list listening mode, this part can be missed. but once you hear what it does, it's hard to un-hear it.

  43. #43
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Mike, Congratulations on reaching another mountain.

    I would interested to know if you hear a further uptick using an internal SSD.

  44. #44
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    Mark, thank you. never thought i would hear digital sound like this. today my Son is starting to load my own files from my NAS to my server including all my long term references. can't wait to hear those.
    Wow, if you have only been streaming then you have not heard the best that setup can do yet. You will be thrilled listening to the files stored locally. You said you are using Roon also if I recall. My other question is it a Windows based OS? I can't even imagine using HQPlayer with that setup.... DAM that would be amazing.
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  45. #45
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    notes from last night....after my son downloaded a small portion of my files.

    for the last 45 minutes i've been quickly shuffling through the downloads. and.......as i am emotionally attached to these files, i have to pull the reigns back a bit, but my reference files seem to be another clear level beyond the streaming. the one's he loaded are most of my own ripped CD collection which are my longest term references, and a few dozen of my dxd (352-24) files, and they are other-worldly for sure.

    really none of my mid-hirez stuff. and zero of my dsd files so far.

    i need to sit back and savor these at a slower pace. it's hard to not want to hear the next one. this is the payoff for all this effort and asset allocation. how great can digital sound? pretty friggin great!!!

  46. #46
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Wow, if you have only been streaming then you have not heard the best that setup can do yet. You will be thrilled listening to the files stored locally. You said you are using Roon also if I recall. My other question is it a Windows based OS?
    modified Windows 10

    I can't even imagine using HQPlayer with that setup.... DAM that would be amazing.
    don't think HQ Player is involved. Wadax has their own musIC feed forward error correction process. it seems to be the secret sauce.

  47. #47
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lavigne View Post
    modified Windows 10

    don't think HQ Player is involved. Wadax has their own musIC feed forward error correction process. it seems to be the secret sauce.
    Yea, you would know if you were using HQPlayer. It is all about upsampling, etc. I would definitely stick with Wadax system, however if it were me I would probably ask them about if HQPlayer might provide any kind of benefits. But since you have not yet loaded any of your DSD files it is probably not a big deal to you as of yet ....

    Does sound like one hell of a digital setup... huge congratulations!!!
    McIntosh C49, MR85, MC7100W, R778 | KEF LS50 Meta w/S2, KC62 (x2) | Rega RP8, Ania Pro, NEO PSU | Technics SL-1500C | Audio Technica VM740ML | Hexmat Eclipse, Yellow Bird, Molekula, Molekula Mini | Pro-Ject VC-E | Falcon NW PC Server (Roon Core & HQ Player) | Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Roon Controller) | Abyss Diana Phi | Astell&Kern SE200 | Oppo BDP105 | AudioQuest Niagara 1000

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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Myers View Post
    Yea, you would know if you were using HQPlayer. It is all about upsampling, etc. I would definitely stick with Wadax system, however if it were me I would probably ask them about if HQPlayer might provide any kind of benefits. But since you have not yet loaded any of your DSD files it is probably not a big deal to you as of yet ....

    Does sound like one hell of a digital setup... huge congratulations!!!
    having used HQ Player for years with the SGM 2015 server, back when i had an up-sampling dac, i am familiar with it. it's very good with dacs of a particular design ethos.

    my guess is that the Wadax error correction approach is orders of magnitude beyond the scope HQ Player.

    i'm only guessing based on my listening memory of back then, verses now.

  49. #49
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    Re: Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

    I would tend to agree with you. The Wadax appears to be a completely different world ... Enjoy the setup my friend!
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Wadax Reference Dac and Reference Server arrive

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