The Wadax Room: Wadax Atlantis Reference Server with PSU Power Supply, DAC, and Transport X CD Player; Audio Research Reference 6SE Preamplifier and Reference 160 M Amplifiers, Wilson-Benesch Eminence Loudspeakers, Transparent Cable

The Wadax room brought huge gear and huge sound to Munich High End, along with a couple of new product introductions. Their main demo, in Atrium 4.2's E207 room presented the Wadax Atlantis Reference Server ($64,900) with a new, upgraded Reference PSU external power supply ($49,000) that's said to improve performance (as well it should). Its output noise is said to be crazy low: reportedly setting a record of 200nV of RMS noise from 0.1Hz to 20kHz. It uses a feedforward topology that adjusts its power regulation circuitry in real time based on current load requirements; this helps minimize current variations, CEO Javier Guadalajara (above) explained.

The Reference Server allows up to 2TB of onboard storage and slots for additional card memory (as opposed to NAS). Of course the Reference Server is Roon Ready. But it can also operate as a Roon Core. Apart from playing one song from a CD I'd brought, we streamed a few Qobuz tracks through Roon,

In an unusual touch for a server, the Wadax Reference Server has two sets of control knobs on front—one set each for optical or USB—for Speed, Input Gain, and Output Gain. These interact with the Akasa technology inside to allow you to shape the contours of the waveform's reconstruction without tampering with the data itself. It's an unusual kind of fine-tuning, and Guadalajara said they're the first company to take this approach.

Audio Research amplification powered the system: An Audio Research Reference 6SE preamplifier ahead of Audio Research Reference 160 M monoblocks, which drove a pair of flagship Wilson-Benesch Eminence loudspeakers in a bi-amped configuration—two monoblocks per side. (I learned Wilson-Benesch premiered its new Omnium loudspeakers elsewhere at the show.) Apart from the Wadax Asaka interconnects mentioned, Transparent Cable's XL cables connected the rest of the system. Artesania Audio racks supported the equipment.

With the Wadax Reference DAC (above), the tall Wilson-Benesch speakers disappeared. Parts of Roger Waters' "It All Makes Perfect Sense" from Amused to Death, are recorded out of phase with Q Sound: Piano parts floated into my ears with the illusion of coming from beside me, directly from my immediate right and left—nowhere near the speakers.

I also listened to a few familiar tracks. On Hugh Masekela's "Stimela," an audiophile classic, the singer's almost holographic in-the-room presence—a bit of a cliché, I know—was palpable. The cowbell clank opened the track with spooky realism. All elements seemed to scale. On A Delicate Motor's "Do for Self" from my Fellover My Own CD, rhythmic drive came through more clearly—and as it should, as a subtle undercurrent. Resolution was high. Almost as if I could hear every bead in that egg shaker. The deep organ swells in The White Stripes' "In the Cold, Cold Night" sounded sinister; bass dipped low.

The Spanish company apparently had a big presence elsewhere at the show. I was told their equipment appeared in as many as five other demo rooms.

Glotz's picture

Thanks for the coverage!

Julie Mullins's picture

It was my pleasure to cover this and many other rooms.

windansea's picture

where is it on the rack?

maybe there's a miniature nuclear reactor inside, for some extra amperage.

Glotz's picture

They're solar powered bro.

Anton's picture

Vibranium casework.

Gets spendy.

funambulistic's picture

Not nearly heroic enough for me. Unobtanium, on the other hand...

JoeE SP9's picture

Gee! That Wadax gear is IMO the most unattractive gear I've seen in years. It might deliver audio heaven. However, I'd need a blindfold to protect my eyes.

Anton's picture

It's endorsed by Captain Nemo.

JoeE SP9's picture

Capt. Nemo's stuff has the good taste to have Brass and Copper fittings. IMO Chrome and Black don't look right on Steampunk appearing gear.

FWIW, I like the look of D'Agostino gear.