Stereophile's Products of 2010 OVERALL PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
2010 RUNNERS-UP (in alphabetical order)
Aerial Acoustics Model 20T V2 loudspeaker
Audio Research VSi60 integrated amplifier
Bauer Audio dps turntable
Convergent Audio Technology SL1 Renaissance preamplifier
dCS Puccini SACD playback system
Logitech Squeezebox Touch network player
NAD Masters Series M2 "Direct Digital" integrated amplifier
Spiral Groove SG2 turntable with Centroid tonearm
Vivid G1Giya loudspeaker
This was an extremely close and hard-fought race. Votes were scattered across the board. Eight of our ten contenders earned first-place votes, and four received individual votes from five or more of our writers. A vote here or a vote there, and either the dCS Puccini SACD playback system or the stunning Vivid G1Giya speaker could easily have topped this list. In the end, however, there was one clear winner: With 15 total votes and four first-place votes, the Wilson Audio Sasha W/P is our "2010 Overall Product of the Year."
Art Dudley had the pleasure of reviewing the Sasha. In his review, Art confessed that, before last year, he had little more than a professional interest in the products of Wilson Audio Specialties. His time with the Sasha, however, transformed that professional interest into deep, full-blown admiration. The Sasha produced outstanding resolution of detail, exhibited a surprisingly good sense of scale, gracefully communicated the notion of force, and proved just as emotive as any of the speakers AD most loves. With the Sashas in his system, aspects of stereo reproduction that Art had previously considered luxuries somehow became commonplaceglorious bass and exquisite spatial prowess were suddenly achievable without significant compromises. By the end of the review period, the Wilson Sashas were no longer a luxury: "I was taking them for granted, and had surrendered to them in full ignorance of the consequences of the discomfort of sending them back. Now that's my idea of a great speaker."
It's true: Great audio components have the strange power to change our expectations, to alter our notions of what's right or possible in the listening room, drawing us closer to the music, transporting us from our homes to the concert hall. The Wilson Audio Specialties Sasha W/P is a great audio component.