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The transcendental Wadax Atlantis

edited November 2016
I am honored to be the first home user of Wadax Atlantis in HK. 

Since I will move home in a few months, I can only put it on the floor with the server stacked up on it without any grounding cables connected due to the constraint of my rack space and cable lengths, and with less than 60 hours of running it, it already can shock me with the huge improvements!

The immediate improvement is on the musicality. The music becomes so rich and dense. It squeezed out the nano details of the audio files, and yet it is so quiet and rich, making the music so linearly flowing out like analogue playbacks. It is not just high resolution, but very delicate and natural flow of music. I really can't believe I am playing digital music in 16/44.1 format. 

My vintage power amp and vintage speakers are weak on speed and energy, but Wadax rejuvenates it with punchy forces and full-bodied bass. It starts to get closer to the performance in AE showroom even with such weaker links in my system. Can't wait to hear how it can fly with my new Cessarro amps and speakers. 

The difference is getting more and more obvious after a few more hours of running it and even my girlfriend can notice the change in energy without paying much attention to it. 

With that few hours of running in, the sound stage starts to extend in all directions, both horizontally and vertically. The instruments and vocals become more visible and the depth builds up. I love to test my system with We Get Requests' You Look Good to Me. The strings have much more layering of sound making it so live-like, but what's more attractive is the piano, which is so harmonic, so rich and silky smooth that is even more difficult to reproduce than the double bass. I can feel the piano is leading the flow and the rhythm is unlike what I can hear from other systems before: very human with a mood of improvisation with joy. Such linearity is what makes Atlantis so unique to other mega systems. 

In a word, I think I made the right decision going on this path. If Trio is already one of the best sources in the world, I can say Atlantis is the real champion leading the way ahead of its peers!
Man
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Comments

  • Roman,

    Are you the one who bought a new home to house Cessaro's Beethoven horn system? And your preamp and power amp will be Air 1 and Air 2?

    Marvel mentioned a few times about a super client. I bet it is you.  
  • Yes, building up my music paradise. 

    Man
  • Hi Roman and PT,
    The Atlantis DAC is so new that it is not mentioned on the Wadax website.
    May you post a few more of its photos (particularly its back) and tell us more about its specifications and capability?
    Many thanks!
    CK
  • the atlantis dac is very musical
    I like it more than the other dac/ setup at the show
  • Roman,

    Can you share more after another evening of burn in?
  • With more burning in, the sound stage extends further from left and right and also the depth. The tones of all musical instruments are getting more "colorful" and lively. I need to burn in further to see if there are any other changes. 
    Man
  • Roman,

    Please share more on how Atlantis is playing the role in your vinyl playback.
  • Thank you for all comments on the Atlantis DAC.

    The Atlantis DAC is the result of our most super sophisticated circuitry and feedforward algorithms. A lot more of complexity that also delivered a lot more of performance, not merely a marginal improvement. During the design phase of our new discrete output stage, we obtained some crazy simulation results that yet we have not been able to measure. Two days ago we measured the total audio output with the latest Audio Precision ApX555, currently the World’s most accurate audio measuring device. Our simulated result is actually below the background noise of this instrument, so we cannot really tell where are we. See the picture. First harmonics are at -180dB. So we now know we are at least as low as the lowest noise floor of all available measurement instruments available at any price. We are working on our own measurement device and flow, using advanced statistics and crosscorrelation between different reference set vs the device under test (The Atlantis DAC)  to dig deeper into the noise floor.

    Beside the singular measurements of the Atlantis DAC measurements are singular, at the same time, I would like to bring up some experiment and experience around this.

    On purpose I altered some aspects of the circuitry, minor ones, plus some other changes in the implementation. Curiously, all these changes are not revealed in the typical set of engineering measurements. Of course, all measurement iterations were done following the same measurement procedure. A scientific method. Apparently no differences on measurements were found. However, from a musical perspective, the differences are huge. The capability to create and deliver emotion completely shifted.

    Advancing deeper, I created a listener panel, without explaining what was going on. I asked for an A-B preference, asking why they thought it was better. Results written on paper. 4 tracks of 2 minutes, played over 3 times to verify results were consistent. To my surprise.. or not.. the results were deterministic and reliable.

    Everyone in the panel agreed on ‘musical playback’ with my chose and the ‘proper’ set of values and settings. But the measurement set is crazy on both.

    As I see it, there is something more than just crazy measurements involved in recreating music in its deepest implications.  I think that BOTH are needed, or otherwise, we have only part of the solution. An incomplete solution.  I remember doing an experiment with my father around 1990 or so. We bought a first generation CD player. One dac multiplexed for 2 channels, 14 bit ENOB (effective number of bits), brickwall filtering, no oversampling. You could hear things that certainly should not be there, but besides this, there was something peculiar on that product. The long term listening was pleasant. Harmonic coherence and structure was good!. We learned a lot from that experience.

     

    As the second derivative of this, there are many audio devices in the industry whose effects rarely can be measured using proper engineering practices. But many of them obviously make a diference and improve the results. Shall we discard something we cannot measure –yet- but that improve our musical experience, that brings us closer into the stage? As far as I am concerned, we should remain open minded, and being thankful and respectful to all those who work applying different mind processes that come down to valid solutions. And if they can prove it using a scientific flow: repetitive experimentation should deliver same positive results.

     

    And, of course, no results.. no qualify.

  • Roman兄長,請問Atlantis的表現如何?好想聽下你的分析
  • After more burning in, the most obvious change is on the live-like sound stage and sharp positioning of different instruments. The sound stage is so wide and deep and you will feel the whole room is filled up with ease. You don't need to tune up the volume and the whole scene of the recording appears in front of you. In many different systems with conventional speakers, I would feel the music is spread on a "sheet" in front of me. For example, the saxophone and vocal are like being "printed" on a sheet and put in front of me, everything is flat though there could still be a lot of details. With Wadax Atlantis, I can see the sound of saxophone completely "independent" from other sounds, and it is so visible for you to tell if they are in front, in the back farther away or in the middle. It is not like all the sound coming out from two speakers. This makes the music so live-like. 
    Also, the resolution and density are so high. I especially enjoy playing piano music, as all the nano details that can build up the atmosphere of real performance are squeezed out. The piano is so crisp and full-bodied. It's really not like listening to computer audio. 
    Man
  • I've had the Atlantis for about two weeks now. I am honoured to be (i think) the second home user! 

    Even straight out of the box, from cold, you immediately know this is something different. It's obvious that this is a quantum leap from the Trio. And I was VERY happy with my Trio.

    So what is different? User #1 above has summed up a lot of what I heard, but i'll tell you anyway!

    Sound stage. Much, much (much, much!) wider and deeper. Quite shockingly so. That was what caused the jaw-dropping on first listen. I played a track from Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" and was literally open-mouthed at what I heard. 

    Density. Images are rich, totally fleshed out and touch-me real. Vocals are so incredibly realistic, real people singing, to you, in your room...I was amazed. I want to emphasise again, vocals are SO good.

    Bass is noticeably improved on my system. Tighter and deeper. Really apparent on something like plucked double bass.

    What Atlantis does with CD quality 44.1kHz is stunning. It's amazing how much information is on a little silver disc! It also makes lesser recordings more palatable.

    It's remarkable what Javier has managed to pull off. With the Trio I thought digital couldn't get much better, but the Atlantis pulls away many more of the veils between you and the music. It really is a fantastic achievement. I am SO happy to have it. 

    One post, so many superlatives...but the Atlantis really deserves the praise. I can't wait to get home tonight for more...
  • 葉倩文 x 港樂 一張普通的CD, 若大家週末有時間, 歡迎電我, 因為我太太想和你們分享。其中一曲黃沾的晚風........
  • 晩風....我聽後....無言靜思,究竟是什麼?為何可以是這樣? 
  • 我非常明白你的感覺,因為我剛剛聽完。
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