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  1. #1
    Site Founder The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
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    New Wadia 321 Decoding Computer

    Here is the press release from Wadia



    WADIA DIGITAL INTRODUCES NEW DECODING COMPUTER FOR CES 2014

    Wadia 321 Combines the Brand’s Reputation for Technological Excellence with Sleek New Design

    LAS VEGAS, NV – January 7, 2014 – Wadia Digital, the leader in high-performance digital audio, is pleased to announce the launch of the new Wadia 321 digital two-channel decoding computer for CES 2014. Founded in 1988 at the height of the compact disc era, Wadia Digital’s technological sophistication and innovation quickly established the brand as a leader in the revolutionary space. The brand’s early recognition of digital audio as a musically responsive, evolving and engaging format has shaped the way that high performance digital audio has grown over the past two decades. Today, Wadia Digital offers complete audio solutions that combine the exceptional quality that audiophiles have come to expect with a new, more polished aesthetic.

    “We are thrilled to announce the debut of the Wadia 321 Decoding Computer,” says Charlie Randall, President of Wadia Digital. “It is a perfect example of our commitment to the production of beautiful audio solutions that integrate the best of technology, industrial design, and usability.”
    WADIA 321 DECODING COMPUTER – technological expertise meets flawless design

    The Wadia 321 digital two-channel decoding computer integrates Wadia’s superior technical performance with sleek, industrial design. The Wadia 321 has two optical, two co-axial and one high speed USB digital input, allowing music from all sources to be reproduced with the extreme precision and elegance audiophiles expect from Wadia Digital. The truly exceptional sound quality is facilitated by the variable balanced and unbalanced audio outputs, offering premium noise rejection for optimal performance. The clean glass top panel, cast aluminum construction and fiber optic light diffuser panel illumination of the chassis add aesthetic beauty and an extremely comprehensive user interface to the superior sound quality of the Wadia 321, resulting in a complete solution component for the most discerning customer.
    About Wadia Digital, Inc.

    Chris Connaker

    Founder
    Computer Audiophile

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  2. #2
    Sophomore Member CatManDo's Avatar
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    Is "Decoding Computer" a DAC?
    Claude

  3. #3
    Let's see that bad boy!
    Love Wadia products.
    David

  4. #4
    I've owned several Wadia components and always found them to be top notch. I'm looking forward to seeing what this thing looks like and how much it is.
    Neil M.

    CA System 2013 i7 Mac Mini, JRiver, AQ Cinnamon, MF V Link 192, Teradak PS, DACiT, W4S STI 1000, Linn Ninka's
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  5. #5
    Trouble maker... Audio_ELF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatManDo View Post
    Is "Decoding Computer" a DAC?
    Yes
    ...in my opinion / experience...
    While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.
    And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

  6. #6
    I have the Wadia 521 decoding computer and it is a D.A.C.
    I am sure the that the 321 is a D.A.C.
    Sure would love to hear how it compares to the Jeff Rowland Aeris.

  7. #7
    Newbie Objectionist wgscott's Avatar
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    Do all decoding computers .... oh, never-mind.
    Living Room: 2012 i7 Mac mini --> Halide Bridge-->Peachtree Nova --> Class D Audio 254 X 2 --> B&W CM7R + Rel R218
    (iTunes | Audirvana | BitPerfect | Decibel ) & Dirac
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    Señor, señor, let's disconnect these cables
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    This place don't make sense to me no more.

  8. #8
    please complete the sentence wgscott. I am sure you have an interesting point.

  9. #9
    img_7898ss.jpg

    Just saw pics from my-hiend.com by Leo Yeh

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Pal Chiu View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just saw pics from my-hiend.com by Leo Yeh
    Now THAT is Wadia! I have missed seeing their gorgeous products out in the marketplace. The foray into lower cost, small form factor products has made them more of a household name but has not burnished their reputation as a leader in cutting edge digital. I hope this product (along with the gorgeous Intuition) is the start of their reclaiming their place in the hi-end sphere.
    David

  11. #11
    wow that looks beefy as xpensive...
    A
    Pre: Norma Audio Design SC 2 Ref, Power Amps: Bel Canto Monos Ref. 1000, Denon DVD A1 UD, Mac-mini + ... DAC. Speakers Audio Physic Virgo V. Lots of Music

  12. #12
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    Any info on the technology inside this DAC ?
    Adam

    PC: CAPS v3 with Jcat USB card and dual Teddy Pardo LPSUs, running Win 2012 + AO
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  13. #13
    I would not be surprised if this is a repackaged McIntosh D100. Based on the Wadia website it looks like they are now sharing space in Binghamton with McIntosh. The new 321 has similar connectivity and pricing to the D100. Time will tell...

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Davkj View Post
    I would not be surprised if this is a repackaged McIntosh D100. Based on the Wadia website it looks like they are now sharing space in Binghamton with McIntosh. The new 321 has similar connectivity and pricing to the D100. Time will tell...
    I would be very surprised. Same price? Unlikely.
    David

  15. #15
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    Here's some more information....

    Wadia 321 Decoding Computer | Ultra High-End Audio and Home Theater Review

    BTW - MSRP $3,000....

    I'll be interested to see what it's all about. I've had several Wadia products, and I've always been happy. What I'm hoping to learn more about is DSD capabilities...no word so far that I've seen.
    Five (or so) in heavy rotation:

    Van Halen - Studio Albums 1978-1984 (24/192) | The Eagles - Hotel California (24/192) | Robbie Robertson - S/T (MFSL) | Tord Gustavsen - The Well (24/96) | The Beatles - Rubber Soul (24-Bit)

  16. #16
    The plastic remote is not acceptable, even for $3k. I hope they have something that matches the appearance and quality of the device.

    Another question is, can it be connected directly to power amplifiers or powered speakers?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by joepesci View Post
    The plastic remote is not acceptable, even for $3k. I hope they have something that matches the appearance and quality of the device.

    Another question is, can it be connected directly to power amplifiers or powered speakers?
    Yes, according the the Press Release

  18. #18
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    wadia01.jpg

    Does everything but DSD. Looks and feels great.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Davkj View Post
    I would not be surprised if this is a repackaged McIntosh D100. Based on the Wadia website it looks like they are now sharing space in Binghamton with McIntosh. The new 321 has similar connectivity and pricing to the D100. Time will tell...
    Does anyone have any information on whether the Wadia 321 is indeed a repackaged McIntosh D100?

  20. #20
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    $44k MSB Diamond DAC comes with a plastic remote. And so myriad of sub $10k DACs and players. You cannot have everything.
    Adam

    PC: CAPS v3 with Jcat USB card and dual Teddy Pardo LPSUs, running Win 2012 + AO
    Digital: Trinity DAC
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    Cables: AudioQuest WEL Signature IC / Shunyata Anaconda Z-Tron SC

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by joepesci View Post
    The plastic remote is not acceptable, even for $3k. I hope they have something that matches the appearance and quality of the device.

    On the picture the remote looks exactly the same as the one of the 121 model, which is made in aluminium + plastic and is not so cheap.
    At least you have buttons here in this new unit, meaning that it can be controlled without the remote, a lot better than the 121 totally remote dependant.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by CatManDo View Post
    Is "Decoding Computer" a DAC?
    Yes, Wadia calls their DAC "Decoding Computer" because the D/A functionnality is not hard wired in a chip, it's somehow like a computer with a processor running their digimaster program.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Elberoth View Post
    $44k MSB Diamond DAC comes with a plastic remote. And so myriad of sub $10k DACs and players. You cannot have everything.
    I think that this component is already in a price range where we can expect a sophisticated remote. I don't think that the 321 remote is one, the plastic top ruins it. But you are right, many companies fail when it comes to remote design and remote quality. With Livio Cucuzza Wadia has a very capable designer, and the 321 remote is definitely not from him. He should change it. I already have a proposal for him, basically the Wadia 321 design screams to be copied by its remote:


    This is with a milled and brushed aluminium unibody, black glass top and black aluminium buttons. It matches the design of the 321. Same size as the existing remote. The white text on the glass top of the remote would be the same type as the one on the DAC (it's missing for the buttons). Don't ask me how to put the batteries in it, it's just a quick concept.

    It may sound strange, but for me the remote quality and design is a definite reason to exclude a component, and I don't see why so many companies fail at such an easy task. I'm willing to pay extra for a good remote as an additional option. Gato Audio does it that way, I think their remote is $500 extra.

    Just a few examples of nice remotes. The first one is from Boulder, the best I've ever seen (I know, Boulder is a different universe). The second one is from Gato Audio.



    I know that most of you think that I'm overreacting, and that's probably true. Most customers seem to accept plastic remotes on components costing a few thousand dollars, or even as much as a car.
    Last edited by joepesci; 02-02-2014 at 03:34 PM.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by joepesci View Post
    The plastic remote is not acceptable, even for $3k. I hope they have something that matches the appearance and quality of the device.
    each to his own I suppose. Slightly off topic, but after a full 1.5 days of intensive auditioning I am still yet to decide on a Wadia intuition vs Devialet 170. On sonic grounds the Wadia is my preferred option, by some margin. But the Devialet is a functional, finished, user friendly product. The Intuition is not. And the worst part of it is the trendy, sexy, expensively heavy brushed aluminium remote. Even if I were not partially sighted I would find the damned thing near impossible to use. You can't tell up from down, or left from right. It must add hundreds of $ to the price and it's useless. I cannot (yet) overcome the worry that, despite the Intuition's superb sound quality, the remote will simply kill my listening pleasure. Like buying a Ferrari with a long-wave only radio. So give me a cheap plastic remote -that works - any day, and I will buy the Wadia

  25. #25
    Site Founder The Computer Audiophile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timmytentoes View Post
    each to his own I suppose. Slightly off topic, but after a full 1.5 days of intensive auditioning I am still yet to decide on a Wadia intuition vs Devialet 170. On sonic grounds the Wadia is my preferred option, by some margin. But the Devialet is a functional, finished, user friendly product. The Intuition is not. And the worst part of it is the trendy, sexy, expensively heavy brushed aluminium remote. Even if I were not partially sighted I would find the damned thing near impossible to use. You can't tell up from down, or left from right. It must add hundreds of $ to the price and it's useless. I cannot (yet) overcome the worry that, despite the Intuition's superb sound quality, the remote will simply kill my listening pleasure. Like buying a Ferrari with a long-wave only radio. So give me a cheap plastic remote -that works - any day, and I will buy the Wadia
    I have both the Devialet 170 an Wadia Intuition in for review. I agree 100% about the Intuition remote.
    Chris Connaker

    Founder
    Computer Audiophile

    Listening Room | System Details

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