New Wadax upgrades take price to $376,520

The new TAS review is an exercise in superlatives, which, along with their prior full throttle support for (and misrepresentations about) MQA, are why I am not a fan.

Upgrading the USB cable between the server and the DAC to a new optical interface costs over $27,000 and “realized a staggering improvement in every aspect of the sound.” :roll_eyes:

I personally would never own a brand that charges prices like this, regardless of quality, but maybe just me.

“For those of you adding it up, the fully realized five-chassis 350+ pound Wadax Reference digital front end comes in at a breathtaking price of $376,520. But that staggering sum—along with lots of rack space—gets you the absolute state of the art in digital replay.”


Just this alone SCARES me :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

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Agreed. I own one 200lb product and it is not something to add to the living room lightly (pun intended!) ; ). It sits on the floor. I can’t imagine putting a 350 pound (160kg) DAC configuration on a rack (!)

Separately, I wonder what percent of the BOM is metal alone?

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Yes I do remember seeing a photo of your new Boulder amp - at my advanced age those days are over :joy:

My motto now is simplicity. Out with the multi box multi cable Naim 552/500 system and in with DarTZeel separates (no thanks to @all2ofme).

Quite honestly that is what holds me back from Vivaldi. I have no interest in 3 boxes and a multitude of cables. I guess I will just have to slum it with Rossini+Clock.


I feel the exact same way Gregg. At some point I will add a Vivaldi clock to the Rossini, like @all2ofme and others, but for now like my small, albeit heavy, box count.

The DarTZeel gear is absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations!

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Oof. Will read that later. Thanks for posting.

Agreed re: costs and box count. Most sensible people would say we already have some pretty silly limits, but apparently this Wadax release sails well over all of ours :grin:

I guess that’s to be expected with some brands, though. (I seldom take my top fuel dragster to get milk.) I just hope these are genuine advancements and spur development on other models/ranges. They can’t ALL go this way and survive.

Spot on Gregg!!!


Hear hear Gregg!

As a former Bartók owner, now “upgraded” to Vivaldi short stack, I can only agree. The Vivaldi certainly sounds better than the Bartók (incrementally, incrementally!) to my ears, but the SQ improvement definitely has to be viewed in the context of a raft of factors like the cable opportunity cost, the rack-space opportunity cost, the general brow-slapping brain-horsepower, confused-as-hell opportunity cost!

Folks, those of you with Bartóks have nothing to worry about! Please put your OCDs to bed, kiss them goodnight and let them be! You are very likely at the inflection point on the cost-performance curve! Have never owned a Rossini though…

But, on the subject of amplification, my (very personal) reflection. As a former Boulder and present darTZeel owner I can only say that I see both sides of the argument. No way can I as an engineer or an “audiophile” convince myself that the darTZeel is less coloured or objectively ‘better’ than my Boulder. But I love it! Maybe I am missing something, but in my system, my room and for my ears, the darTZeel puts a smile on my face the Boulder never did.

In my mind the Boulder is ultimate excellence the dz is absolute seduction. How can one choose??


I guess I should finally get around to posting my personal review of the Boulder since I’ve been living with it for ~4 months now

As with most things in life (but not a TAS review! Zing!) ; ) there are positives and negatives…


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According to my dealer you may…a DarTZeel pre.

I know many run their dCS Systems directly into an amplifier. This topic has been debated since the beginning of the forum.

In my personal situation, and those of other Naim owners, our eyes were opened when we removed our 552 pre-amplifier from the chain. Perhaps, however, this was more a function of removing a pre-amplifier way past its prime, which acted as a roadblock, and not necessarily the benefits of running directly into an amplifier.

When I demoed my Rossini directly into my Naim 500 amplifier, and then directly into a D’agostino s250mXv amplifier, both were obviously better than when my Naim pre was in the chain.

But yet there was still something missing, something not quite right. That is what my dealer was trying to explain.


My dealer has made the same observation, and if I happened to have $73,576 (Swedish sales tax, ouch) and nothing better to do with it I might very well be tempted to hand it to him. But sadly I don’t. Oh, and did I say, I am all out of kidneys…

Absolutely insane.


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At this point, and with no experience or credentials at all as a dealer, can I just point out that for $73,576 in revenue I would be willing to move to Sweden and become your dealer myself. PM me.

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I’ll attempt to get back to the topic of this thread.

As I have remarked earlier regarding the new Sonus Faber speaker, these extremely high priced items do not represent a commensurate advancement in sound quality. At best it may only be incremental. However the technology and build quality ( a.k.a “bling”) provide an excuse to up the price. That price is the real reason as it enables the manufacturer to serve an ultra-rich market where demonstrations of wealth are considered essential. The purchaser may well have nothing better than a rudimentary interest in music. Even dCS tried. Remember the gold plated Vivaldi One?

I sometimes need to put the high end market in perspective. After 60 years of this hobby frankly there have been remarkably few advances significant enough to be apparent by ear alone. BTW, one of the greatest loudspeakers heard by me in the last decade was made in 1926 ( not a typo) :wink:.


Maybe Tannoy?

Good guess, wrong though and we are moving OT again :smile:. BTW, although Guy R. Fountain formed the company in 1926, the Tannoy brand dates from 1928.

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