Wilson's Polaris Center-Channel

I know, center-channel speakers are the bailiwick of our sister magazine Home Theater. But as Wilson Audio Specialties' Peter McGrath told me when he explained the speaker's technology to me in the Utah company's suite at the Mirage, two Polarises work magically as a stereo pair. (Unfortunately, the speaker was only being shown, not demonstrated.)

Nothing I had read in the press release for the Polaris had prepared me for just how big the speaker was in the flesh. It has to be low, of course, to fit under a screen, but is wide and deep. Two 10" woofers flank a vertical array of two midrange units and a tweeter, all three of the latter units the same as those introduced in the Series 2 version of Wilson's flagship Alexandria. And like the Alexandria and the MAXX3, the geometry of the upper-frequency units can be adjusted with precision to optimize the sound quality at a given listening position and distance.

The enclosure is fabricated from Wilson's inert and massive epoxy resin-based laminate, X-material, while the midrange baffle is formed from another composite, called S-material. Because the large rectangular port is at the bottom front of the enclosure, the Polaris can be placed against the wall behind it. And because all three low-frequency radiators are adjacent to the floor, boundary reinforcement results in prodigious bass output.

The Polaris will start shippng this quarter. And would you believe I forgot to ask the price? I am sure it will be not inexpensive!

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COMMENTS
Bill Leebens's picture

U.S. MSRP is $27,900, John.

John Anthony's picture

This thing must be awfully heavy to hoist up on your shoulder for breakdancing. Where's the handle?

charles's picture

If you ever wonder why High end audio is stagnant,if not dead, this speaker is the answer. With video technology progressing at an alarming rateans one would think that audio would try and keep up. Speaker diaphram tech is still 50 years behind and NO one's making any thing remotely revolutionary, instead we praise dianosoure tech like this coffin. It probably cost more than my first house. Have any of these guys seen the Iphone or a TV recently? Thats progress homie!

John Atkinson's picture

Unlike your iPhone, there is almost nothing in a highest-performance, full-range loudspeaker that isn't large and.or heavy. The bill of materials will always be expensive, therefore. However, what has happened with loudspeakers is that the price for a given level of performance has dropped over the years. A speaker costing $2000/pair in 2010 will both sound and measure better than a $2000/pair speaker from 1990. And regarding youur statement that there has been no progress in diaphragm technology in 50 years, you're just wrong. Research into materials and such techniques as FEA have revolutionized speaker technology.

Michael Arthur's picture

I'll take one left - one center - one right,just don't know which flavor.

J. Anderson's picture

I suspect the sonics of this speaker will keep pace with other Wilson designs, and weather or not that is a good thing is a matter of personal taste, but, aesthetically.....WOW....I thought the Watch Dog was visually unappealing. I know, I know; form following function. Whatever. Personally not being a fan of hyped-up bass, or "fake bass" as I once heard it termed, if I were a potential buyer, and I am clearly not, I would be concerned with "because all three low-frequency radiators are adjacent to the floor, boundary reinforcement results in prodigious bass output". Hopefully, we will see some real measurements of this fella at some point.

Rico Suave's picture

Is that a wine chiller in the background?

Danny G's picture

Good spot Rico! I see P. McGrath is pointing to where the Beryllium tweeter should be. Series II upgrade, perhaps??

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