While some may argue the merits of separate components over the everything-in-one-box approach, the current leaps in DAC performance have given rise to many solid walk-ons onto the team. The concept’s lack of versatility may be seen as a drawback, one cannot deny it’s helpful real estate approach and the opportunity for interesting design aesthetics when your audio “box” doesn’t have to compete for attention with all the other components that would be taking up space in your listening room. These all-in-one products are somewhat rare in hifi, and rarer still are a attempts to reach the utmost pinnacle of performance. The new Wadia Intuition 01 ($8500) definitely looks the part. 350 watts per channel via a class D amplifier combined with a 384 kHz/32 bit DAC and DSD playback through USB are all a good step in the right direction. I was impressed with the futuristic design and the clever display, which was surprisingly large and readable given the small form factor of the device.
Wadia also brought along their well-received 121 Decoding Computer (which has shed the DAC moniker, $1,300) and 151 PowerDAC Mini integrated ($1,200) for show attendees to gaze upon.