This handsome brute is a very serious piece of precision engineering, impressive to behold and lovely to listen to.
Lovely ? â€“ not a word thatâ€™s usually associated with digital reproduction and thatâ€™s exactly why Iâ€™ve used it because this player is so utterly beguiling.
Our 381 gets some serious work outs here at Sonata and you know it must be good if itâ€™s managing to tempt me away from my Simon Yorke turntable.
Now, itâ€™s certainly not cheap but it is great value particularly in the â€˜iâ€™ spec that weâ€™ve got.
This adds a whole raft of digital ins and outs (AES, SPDIF, Optical and USB) that allows the player to become a digital control centre with a digital volume control that actually works (trust me, so many digital level controls just donâ€™t work)
Weâ€™re having so much fun with the 381 and Wadiaâ€™s 171 iTransport. Friends and clients just canâ€™t resist docking their iPods and hearing them make music for once.
It also allows those of us who are dipping our toes into the world of home-based computer audio (fortunately, Iâ€™ve been exposed to computer audio in recording studios for over 20 years) to run our data streams into a world class DAC.
The Wadia 381i is quite simply a fabulous musical investment.
So, go on, spoil yourself and your music collection.