Stereophile's Products of 2007 2007 Joint Loudspeakers
Dynaudio Confidence C4 ($18,000/pair; reviewed by John Atkinson & Wes Phillips, Vol.26 No.3 & Vol.30 No.3, March 2003 & March 2007 review)
Wilson Audio Specialties WATT/Puppy 8 ($27,900/pair; reviewed by Wes Phillips, Vol.30 No.6, June 2007 review)
Runners-up (in alphabetical order)
Focal Electra 1037 Be ($10,995/pair; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.30 No.7, July 2007 review)
Harbeth HL-P3ES2 ($1895/pair; reviewed by John Atkinson, Vol.30 No.4, April 2007 review)
JL Audio Fathom f113 subwoofer ($3400; reviewed by Larry Greenhill, Vol.30 No.9, September 2007 review)
NHT Classic Three ($800/pair; reviewed by Robert J. Reina, Vol.29 No.11, November 2006 review)
Peak Consult El Diablo ($74,995/pair; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.30 No.5, May 2007 review)
Pioneer S-1EX ($9000/pair; reviewed by Kalman Rubinson, Vol.30 No.3, March 2007 review)
PSB Alpha B1 ($279/pair; reviewed by John Atkinson & Wes Phillips, Vol.30 Nos.5 & 9, May & September 2007 review)
Sonus Faber Guarneri memento ($15,000/pair; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.30 No.8, August 2007 review)
Vandersteen 2Ce Signature Edition Mk.II ($1995/pair; reviewed by Art Dudley, Vol.30 No.1, January 2007 review)
Wilson Audio Specialties Sophia Mk.2 ($13,990/pair; reviewed by Brian Damkroger, Vol.29 No.11, November 2006 review)
Wilson Benesch Arc ($4500/pair; reviewed by John Marks, Vol.30 No.10, October 2007 review)
The Wilson WATT/Puppy 8 edged out the Dynaudio Confidence C4 by only two votes in this year's competition. Judging by looks alone, an outsider might conclude that these two designs couldn't possibly occupy the same component category—if the Dynaudio is a loudspeaker, then the Wilson must be something else. But these excellent performers merely take different routes to stirring our emotions and conveying music's charms.
As Wes points out in his review, the WATT/Puppy system has always been symbolic of the High End's fanatical devotion to detail. While the "meticulously constructed" W/P8 retains the W/P7's two 8" woofers and 7" midrange driver, it uses a new 1" titanium-dome tweeter derived from that used in Wilson's MAXX 2. To improve on the WATT's already stellar design, David Wilson worked hard to better control the release of stored energy. The implementation of an "anti-jitter" crossover circuit and Wilson's refined M composite material seem to have done the trick. Wes concluded, "What was a very good speaker to begin with has just gotten better."
Mr. Phillips also had the pleasure of living with our second winner, the "freaking large" Dynaudio C4. With its twin tweeters flanked first by twin 6" midrange units and then by twin 8" woofers, the C4 stands 69" tall and 17.5" deep, but somehow manages to remove itself from the scene, leaving behind only the performers and the performance space, and absolutely transporting the listener. Wes thought he could actually hear drummer Louie Bellson listening as he followed Sarah Vaughan's lead. Impossible? Probably, but that sort of illusion is what this hobby is all about.