My story goes like this: I'm a computer audio listener right from the start (beginning of the 2000) - which means as a software developer im used to operate the sound from a laptop because its easy, direct and versatile. The sound should get me into the flow for the programming duty and all i needed was a hassle-free way to operate it on some capable near-field speakers. So i ended in buying one of the (imho) first serious solutions therefore by getting a small wadia powerdac 151. Plug in USB as source, bind the speakers and done. I burnt into the sound of this small device and learned to love it - precise, lively, direct, engaging, easy and never harsh - fully matching my taste - electronic music.
For my living room i didn't care much about as i was used to listen music on my workplace. So i simply invested some money for some highly praised active (nubert.de) speakers having all digi connectors build in and done... and... a bit disapointing - soundwise - when compared to my not so stylish little wadia. I didn't care - until they broke right after exceeding their warranty limit. Time to get digged in - ok, what do we have here - the wadia never stopped playing, never had any issues at all while beeing two/three times older and producing a much much better sound. Lesson learned: Dont trust the magazines.
Angry over my bad decision to fall for some popular BS i decided to go the safe way and install another small (used) wadia for my bigger living room. For testing i took the small unit upstairs and tried a range of shelf speakers. It soon became clear the system had to be more powerful as the device produces only 50W@4Ohms - so i had to look around for a pair of high sensitive speakers to match the wadia. I visited several dealers and listened to omega speakers, spatials and some others but the sound felt never right especially when compared to a more powerful combination of amp and speaker. During one of those sessions i fell in love with piega, a small but costly pair of swiss floorstanders having a full aluminium body and a far to high imepdance for the waddie. So this made me think maybe i should buy a bigger amp. The dealer congratulated
me and brought in all the amps he had to offer: NADs, Rowens, he praised tubes, activated some mcIntosh-monsters where u could think the nearby atomic power plant has to inject another fuel rod instantly for keeping this thing alive. The whole effort was to much. They sounded "ok"ish but all i wanted was a grown up wadia, an easy "get the best of bit for speaker to sing"-thing - so I asked what drove the piega. Guess what. He told me, this is the last and his private for comparison reasons. The unit was not offered because the customers in general are to conservative and go with nad etc. Mhm. Superb sound with nice pace and depth. All digital. Onebox solution. Was an IDA-16. Nuprime - never heard before. Talked. Took it.
Now signs changed and instead of buying the piega i decided to take time and match some other floorstanders against the ida as there was another dealer offering to bring your own which is seldom. This finally left me with kefs r5. Its a pitty. I liked the piega so much and didn't want to go with some maybe overhyped kefs (the plastic binding port is a joke and im not sure whether i want to see their crossover...) But its the pace of dry and cultivated bass and the sound depth, space, dimension which made this combination win... Love it.