The train I took from Toronto to Montreal arrived at 2:30pm, right on schedule, so I was able to meet Art Dudley in the hotel lobby at 3:00 to discuss the game plan for covering the 2013 Salon Son & Image. As we pored over the map of the exhibits, Wilson Audio's Peter McGrath (right, with VTL's Luke Manley) came over to us and reminded Art that he had agreed to visit the Wilson/VTL room at 3:30. As it turned out, Art and I decided to cover the show geographically, and the Wilson/VTL room was going to be part of my beat, so I went along with Art.
The feature attraction was the new Wilson Alexia ($48,500/pair), a speaker with the footprint of a Sasha, but with technology borrowed from the more expensive Alexandria 2 XLF. The soft-dome tweeterpictured belowis a proprietary design, designed by Dave Wilson (who else?). The system used electronics by VTL (TL-7.5 Series II line stage, $20,000, TP-6.5 phono stage, $10,500, MB-450 Series II monoblock amplifiers, $18,000/pair), with phono, digital sources, and cables all priced at the "if you have to ask . . ." level.
The system had the clarity and dynamics that Wilson speakers are famous for. Peter McGrath played some of his own recordings; I was particularly impressed by a recording of a Haydn string quartet by the Tokyo String Quartetapparently their last recording before retiring.