Vandersteen Model Seven Mk.II loudspeaker & M7-HPA monoblock power amplifier Page 2

Fri, 04/22/2016

COMMENTS
ctsooner's picture

What a great review of an amazing powered speaker system with what sounds like some first ever experiences, especially with some of your own recordings. I must admit though that after reading the conclusion I wondered why you withheld any recommendation for this system. I read your first paragraph and you spoke about getting more that you expected. After rereading your review, I get that same feeling you had with the original 2's. Can you highly recommend this system? Thanks I value your response.

John Atkinson's picture
ctsooner wrote:
After rereading your review, I get that same feeling you had with the original 2's. Can you highly recommend this system?

Yes Indeed. It broke my heart when the shipping company picked it up last week to be returned to Vandersteen. And a full-range version of the Vandersteen M7-HPA monoblock would be a wondrous amplifier indeed!

But there is a certain relief in being back in the land of audio components that I can actually afford!

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

ctsooner's picture

John, thanks so much for responding and sharing your thoughts. The best thing about Vandersteen is that they DO have affordable for nearly anyone as they have a trickle down, signature sound. I converted to them a few years ago as a lower cost of admission and am very happy with them.

Pages

Vandersteen Model Seven Mk.II loudspeaker & M7-HPA monoblock power amplifier

Driving the Model Sevens at the 2014 CES were Vandersteen's then-new M7-HPA monoblocks, which provide a high-pass–filtered output (above 100Hz) to the upper-frequency drive-units of the Model Seven. At the time, I made a note to myself that I would like one day to try these amplifiers with the Sevens in my own room. That opportunity came later rather than sooner, after Vandersteen had updated the Model Seven to Mk.II status.
Fri, 04/22/2016

JS Audio Event in Maryland Saturday Evening

Tomorrow, Saturday April 23, from 4–10pm, JS Audio (4919 St. Elmo Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814) is hosting a Wilson/dCS/Dan D'Agostino/Audio Research/Nordost event. Wilson's Peter McGrath will be introducing the new Alexx loudspeaker; Dan D'Agostino Master Audio Systems President of Sales, Bill Mckiegan, will be showing the iconic company's new amplifiers; John Quick of dCS will be discussing the latest developments in their Vivaldi (2.0), Rossini, and Debussy ranges; Dave Gordon will be present the new Reference 6 and Reference Phono 3 preamplifiers, along with the New Ref 150 SE amplifier; and Michael Taylor from Nordost will be demming the Odin 2 Reference cables and, it is hoped, he will have the New Valhalla 2 USB Cable for attendees to audition.
Fri, 04/22/2016

Wilson Audio Specialties Sabrina loudspeaker Measurements

Thu, 04/21/2016

COMMENTS
Allen Fant's picture

An excellent review and article- RD.
I have enjoyed the Sophia and Sasha models. The Sabrina is next on my short-list.

Allen Fant's picture

2nd Note:
it is interesting that Nordost cabling was used. Transparent is a hallmark and sonic match for Wilson speakers.

Ali's picture

Its almost unusual for an audio magazine reviewer to take a picture of his room and include it in his review; In this very rare occasion Robert did, excellent! reader of an article always has to simulate in his/her mind how the reviewer has setup the equipments or if he has a very especial room with lots of room treatment objects around or not, but putting a picture, can give people immediate view of how the equipments under review, has been placed and listened to. Plus, lots of hints for how he has been set up, say, a speaker in his room. And that, even a listening room belongs to a Stereophile Magazine reviewer, can be so cosy, comfortable and ordinary-looking home-made room instead of drastic professionally acoustically treated room with negative WEF( wife expectancy factor)! Thanks for review but more thanks for your room picture; Its a nice one by the way! I hope we see more pictures of whats going on during setup and listening in this magazine( not private ones of course!)

Robert Deutsch's picture

Thanks! There is more information about my listening room at http://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-aria-936-loudspeaker-confoundin...

RobertSlavin's picture

Let me first admit I have not heard this epeaker. But I have heard the even more expensive Wilson speakers, the Sophia and Sasha and I am completely unimpressed with them, particularly given their quite high prices. They have a somewhat elevated bass. At their price point this isn't forgivable. And I don't hear the level of resolution and detail I would expect given their price.

Now here is the Sabrina at $17,000 (or $18,000 if you have them painted white or red -- must be very expensive paint!!).

I would say the Revel Performa3 F208 has got to be a much better choice for someone considering the Sabrina. It is a large three way speaker like the Wilson. But it must sound better, as it sounds better than the Sophia and Sasha!!

It has similar efficiency but unlike with the Sabrina you can adjust its low and high frequencies for room conditions. It also is at ease playing loudly. And at $5,000, I believe, it costs less than a third as much!!

In this light I cannot see why the Sabrina should have been given such a positive review.

Robert

doak's picture

Why not???
For example, you recently reviewed the Golden Ear Triton 1. How might this speaker "compare" to what you heard from the Wilson Sabrina?? IMO it's a natural question to ask and also the "elephant in the room." So, let's have it. Inquiring minds ....

Sure Wilson is kind of a "sacred cow" in some respects, no doubt, but that's exactly why your readership needs this type of info. Stereophile's credibility is in the balance.

Robert Deutsch's picture

It's a natural question, but comparing a speaker being reviewed with previously-reviewed speakers is problematic, unless all of these speakers are on hand for direct comparisons. The GoldenEar Triton Ones--and various other speakers I've reviewed that are potential candidates for comparisons--are long gone, and it's simply not practical to try to get them back. So any such comparison involves the memory of what those speakers sounded like--not a very good basis for evaluation. Add the fact that some of the system components have changed from earlier reviews, and you have a situation that involves potental confounding.
Having said that, on Page 3 of the review I make two references to comparisons between the Sabrinas and the Triton Ones (paragraphs 4 and 5), and paragraph 7 makes reference to the Fujitsu Ten Eclipse.

low2midhifi's picture

Thanks for sharing your speaker set up picture in your listening room. It looks like you have dealt well with a room much like my own. What is that material hanging on the wall behind your chair? I, too, am constrained to have wall right behind me. Please advise.

Amendment: I followed your link. I found the information for Vicoustic. Thanks for sharing what I am sure is a successful set up with speakers along what seems to be the long-wall in front.

Pages

Wilson Audio Specialties Sabrina loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Thu, 04/21/2016

COMMENTS
Allen Fant's picture

An excellent review and article- RD.
I have enjoyed the Sophia and Sasha models. The Sabrina is next on my short-list.

Allen Fant's picture

2nd Note:
it is interesting that Nordost cabling was used. Transparent is a hallmark and sonic match for Wilson speakers.

Ali's picture

Its almost unusual for an audio magazine reviewer to take a picture of his room and include it in his review; In this very rare occasion Robert did, excellent! reader of an article always has to simulate in his/her mind how the reviewer has setup the equipments or if he has a very especial room with lots of room treatment objects around or not, but putting a picture, can give people immediate view of how the equipments under review, has been placed and listened to. Plus, lots of hints for how he has been set up, say, a speaker in his room. And that, even a listening room belongs to a Stereophile Magazine reviewer, can be so cosy, comfortable and ordinary-looking home-made room instead of drastic professionally acoustically treated room with negative WEF( wife expectancy factor)! Thanks for review but more thanks for your room picture; Its a nice one by the way! I hope we see more pictures of whats going on during setup and listening in this magazine( not private ones of course!)

Robert Deutsch's picture

Thanks! There is more information about my listening room at http://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-aria-936-loudspeaker-confoundin...

RobertSlavin's picture

Let me first admit I have not heard this epeaker. But I have heard the even more expensive Wilson speakers, the Sophia and Sasha and I am completely unimpressed with them, particularly given their quite high prices. They have a somewhat elevated bass. At their price point this isn't forgivable. And I don't hear the level of resolution and detail I would expect given their price.

Now here is the Sabrina at $17,000 (or $18,000 if you have them painted white or red -- must be very expensive paint!!).

I would say the Revel Performa3 F208 has got to be a much better choice for someone considering the Sabrina. It is a large three way speaker like the Wilson. But it must sound better, as it sounds better than the Sophia and Sasha!!

It has similar efficiency but unlike with the Sabrina you can adjust its low and high frequencies for room conditions. It also is at ease playing loudly. And at $5,000, I believe, it costs less than a third as much!!

In this light I cannot see why the Sabrina should have been given such a positive review.

Robert

doak's picture

Why not???
For example, you recently reviewed the Golden Ear Triton 1. How might this speaker "compare" to what you heard from the Wilson Sabrina?? IMO it's a natural question to ask and also the "elephant in the room." So, let's have it. Inquiring minds ....

Sure Wilson is kind of a "sacred cow" in some respects, no doubt, but that's exactly why your readership needs this type of info. Stereophile's credibility is in the balance.

Robert Deutsch's picture

It's a natural question, but comparing a speaker being reviewed with previously-reviewed speakers is problematic, unless all of these speakers are on hand for direct comparisons. The GoldenEar Triton Ones--and various other speakers I've reviewed that are potential candidates for comparisons--are long gone, and it's simply not practical to try to get them back. So any such comparison involves the memory of what those speakers sounded like--not a very good basis for evaluation. Add the fact that some of the system components have changed from earlier reviews, and you have a situation that involves potental confounding.
Having said that, on Page 3 of the review I make two references to comparisons between the Sabrinas and the Triton Ones (paragraphs 4 and 5), and paragraph 7 makes reference to the Fujitsu Ten Eclipse.

low2midhifi's picture

Thanks for sharing your speaker set up picture in your listening room. It looks like you have dealt well with a room much like my own. What is that material hanging on the wall behind your chair? I, too, am constrained to have wall right behind me. Please advise.

Amendment: I followed your link. I found the information for Vicoustic. Thanks for sharing what I am sure is a successful set up with speakers along what seems to be the long-wall in front.

Pages

Wilson Audio Specialties Sabrina loudspeaker Specifications

Thu, 04/21/2016

COMMENTS
Allen Fant's picture

An excellent review and article- RD.
I have enjoyed the Sophia and Sasha models. The Sabrina is next on my short-list.

Allen Fant's picture

2nd Note:
it is interesting that Nordost cabling was used. Transparent is a hallmark and sonic match for Wilson speakers.

Ali's picture

Its almost unusual for an audio magazine reviewer to take a picture of his room and include it in his review; In this very rare occasion Robert did, excellent! reader of an article always has to simulate in his/her mind how the reviewer has setup the equipments or if he has a very especial room with lots of room treatment objects around or not, but putting a picture, can give people immediate view of how the equipments under review, has been placed and listened to. Plus, lots of hints for how he has been set up, say, a speaker in his room. And that, even a listening room belongs to a Stereophile Magazine reviewer, can be so cosy, comfortable and ordinary-looking home-made room instead of drastic professionally acoustically treated room with negative WEF( wife expectancy factor)! Thanks for review but more thanks for your room picture; Its a nice one by the way! I hope we see more pictures of whats going on during setup and listening in this magazine( not private ones of course!)

Robert Deutsch's picture

Thanks! There is more information about my listening room at http://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-aria-936-loudspeaker-confoundin...

RobertSlavin's picture

Let me first admit I have not heard this epeaker. But I have heard the even more expensive Wilson speakers, the Sophia and Sasha and I am completely unimpressed with them, particularly given their quite high prices. They have a somewhat elevated bass. At their price point this isn't forgivable. And I don't hear the level of resolution and detail I would expect given their price.

Now here is the Sabrina at $17,000 (or $18,000 if you have them painted white or red -- must be very expensive paint!!).

I would say the Revel Performa3 F208 has got to be a much better choice for someone considering the Sabrina. It is a large three way speaker like the Wilson. But it must sound better, as it sounds better than the Sophia and Sasha!!

It has similar efficiency but unlike with the Sabrina you can adjust its low and high frequencies for room conditions. It also is at ease playing loudly. And at $5,000, I believe, it costs less than a third as much!!

In this light I cannot see why the Sabrina should have been given such a positive review.

Robert

doak's picture

Why not???
For example, you recently reviewed the Golden Ear Triton 1. How might this speaker "compare" to what you heard from the Wilson Sabrina?? IMO it's a natural question to ask and also the "elephant in the room." So, let's have it. Inquiring minds ....

Sure Wilson is kind of a "sacred cow" in some respects, no doubt, but that's exactly why your readership needs this type of info. Stereophile's credibility is in the balance.

Robert Deutsch's picture

It's a natural question, but comparing a speaker being reviewed with previously-reviewed speakers is problematic, unless all of these speakers are on hand for direct comparisons. The GoldenEar Triton Ones--and various other speakers I've reviewed that are potential candidates for comparisons--are long gone, and it's simply not practical to try to get them back. So any such comparison involves the memory of what those speakers sounded like--not a very good basis for evaluation. Add the fact that some of the system components have changed from earlier reviews, and you have a situation that involves potental confounding.
Having said that, on Page 3 of the review I make two references to comparisons between the Sabrinas and the Triton Ones (paragraphs 4 and 5), and paragraph 7 makes reference to the Fujitsu Ten Eclipse.

low2midhifi's picture

Thanks for sharing your speaker set up picture in your listening room. It looks like you have dealt well with a room much like my own. What is that material hanging on the wall behind your chair? I, too, am constrained to have wall right behind me. Please advise.

Amendment: I followed your link. I found the information for Vicoustic. Thanks for sharing what I am sure is a successful set up with speakers along what seems to be the long-wall in front.

Pages

Wilson Audio Specialties Sabrina loudspeaker Page 3

Thu, 04/21/2016

COMMENTS
Allen Fant's picture

An excellent review and article- RD.
I have enjoyed the Sophia and Sasha models. The Sabrina is next on my short-list.

Allen Fant's picture

2nd Note:
it is interesting that Nordost cabling was used. Transparent is a hallmark and sonic match for Wilson speakers.

Ali's picture

Its almost unusual for an audio magazine reviewer to take a picture of his room and include it in his review; In this very rare occasion Robert did, excellent! reader of an article always has to simulate in his/her mind how the reviewer has setup the equipments or if he has a very especial room with lots of room treatment objects around or not, but putting a picture, can give people immediate view of how the equipments under review, has been placed and listened to. Plus, lots of hints for how he has been set up, say, a speaker in his room. And that, even a listening room belongs to a Stereophile Magazine reviewer, can be so cosy, comfortable and ordinary-looking home-made room instead of drastic professionally acoustically treated room with negative WEF( wife expectancy factor)! Thanks for review but more thanks for your room picture; Its a nice one by the way! I hope we see more pictures of whats going on during setup and listening in this magazine( not private ones of course!)

Robert Deutsch's picture

Thanks! There is more information about my listening room at http://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-aria-936-loudspeaker-confoundin...

RobertSlavin's picture

Let me first admit I have not heard this epeaker. But I have heard the even more expensive Wilson speakers, the Sophia and Sasha and I am completely unimpressed with them, particularly given their quite high prices. They have a somewhat elevated bass. At their price point this isn't forgivable. And I don't hear the level of resolution and detail I would expect given their price.

Now here is the Sabrina at $17,000 (or $18,000 if you have them painted white or red -- must be very expensive paint!!).

I would say the Revel Performa3 F208 has got to be a much better choice for someone considering the Sabrina. It is a large three way speaker like the Wilson. But it must sound better, as it sounds better than the Sophia and Sasha!!

It has similar efficiency but unlike with the Sabrina you can adjust its low and high frequencies for room conditions. It also is at ease playing loudly. And at $5,000, I believe, it costs less than a third as much!!

In this light I cannot see why the Sabrina should have been given such a positive review.

Robert

doak's picture

Why not???
For example, you recently reviewed the Golden Ear Triton 1. How might this speaker "compare" to what you heard from the Wilson Sabrina?? IMO it's a natural question to ask and also the "elephant in the room." So, let's have it. Inquiring minds ....

Sure Wilson is kind of a "sacred cow" in some respects, no doubt, but that's exactly why your readership needs this type of info. Stereophile's credibility is in the balance.

Robert Deutsch's picture

It's a natural question, but comparing a speaker being reviewed with previously-reviewed speakers is problematic, unless all of these speakers are on hand for direct comparisons. The GoldenEar Triton Ones--and various other speakers I've reviewed that are potential candidates for comparisons--are long gone, and it's simply not practical to try to get them back. So any such comparison involves the memory of what those speakers sounded like--not a very good basis for evaluation. Add the fact that some of the system components have changed from earlier reviews, and you have a situation that involves potental confounding.
Having said that, on Page 3 of the review I make two references to comparisons between the Sabrinas and the Triton Ones (paragraphs 4 and 5), and paragraph 7 makes reference to the Fujitsu Ten Eclipse.

low2midhifi's picture

Thanks for sharing your speaker set up picture in your listening room. It looks like you have dealt well with a room much like my own. What is that material hanging on the wall behind your chair? I, too, am constrained to have wall right behind me. Please advise.

Amendment: I followed your link. I found the information for Vicoustic. Thanks for sharing what I am sure is a successful set up with speakers along what seems to be the long-wall in front.

Pages

Wilson Audio Specialties Sabrina loudspeaker Page 2

Thu, 04/21/2016

COMMENTS
Allen Fant's picture

An excellent review and article- RD.
I have enjoyed the Sophia and Sasha models. The Sabrina is next on my short-list.

Allen Fant's picture

2nd Note:
it is interesting that Nordost cabling was used. Transparent is a hallmark and sonic match for Wilson speakers.

Ali's picture

Its almost unusual for an audio magazine reviewer to take a picture of his room and include it in his review; In this very rare occasion Robert did, excellent! reader of an article always has to simulate in his/her mind how the reviewer has setup the equipments or if he has a very especial room with lots of room treatment objects around or not, but putting a picture, can give people immediate view of how the equipments under review, has been placed and listened to. Plus, lots of hints for how he has been set up, say, a speaker in his room. And that, even a listening room belongs to a Stereophile Magazine reviewer, can be so cosy, comfortable and ordinary-looking home-made room instead of drastic professionally acoustically treated room with negative WEF( wife expectancy factor)! Thanks for review but more thanks for your room picture; Its a nice one by the way! I hope we see more pictures of whats going on during setup and listening in this magazine( not private ones of course!)

Robert Deutsch's picture

Thanks! There is more information about my listening room at http://www.stereophile.com/content/focal-aria-936-loudspeaker-confoundin...

RobertSlavin's picture

Let me first admit I have not heard this epeaker. But I have heard the even more expensive Wilson speakers, the Sophia and Sasha and I am completely unimpressed with them, particularly given their quite high prices. They have a somewhat elevated bass. At their price point this isn't forgivable. And I don't hear the level of resolution and detail I would expect given their price.

Now here is the Sabrina at $17,000 (or $18,000 if you have them painted white or red -- must be very expensive paint!!).

I would say the Revel Performa3 F208 has got to be a much better choice for someone considering the Sabrina. It is a large three way speaker like the Wilson. But it must sound better, as it sounds better than the Sophia and Sasha!!

It has similar efficiency but unlike with the Sabrina you can adjust its low and high frequencies for room conditions. It also is at ease playing loudly. And at $5,000, I believe, it costs less than a third as much!!

In this light I cannot see why the Sabrina should have been given such a positive review.

Robert

doak's picture

Why not???
For example, you recently reviewed the Golden Ear Triton 1. How might this speaker "compare" to what you heard from the Wilson Sabrina?? IMO it's a natural question to ask and also the "elephant in the room." So, let's have it. Inquiring minds ....

Sure Wilson is kind of a "sacred cow" in some respects, no doubt, but that's exactly why your readership needs this type of info. Stereophile's credibility is in the balance.

Robert Deutsch's picture

It's a natural question, but comparing a speaker being reviewed with previously-reviewed speakers is problematic, unless all of these speakers are on hand for direct comparisons. The GoldenEar Triton Ones--and various other speakers I've reviewed that are potential candidates for comparisons--are long gone, and it's simply not practical to try to get them back. So any such comparison involves the memory of what those speakers sounded like--not a very good basis for evaluation. Add the fact that some of the system components have changed from earlier reviews, and you have a situation that involves potental confounding.
Having said that, on Page 3 of the review I make two references to comparisons between the Sabrinas and the Triton Ones (paragraphs 4 and 5), and paragraph 7 makes reference to the Fujitsu Ten Eclipse.

low2midhifi's picture

Thanks for sharing your speaker set up picture in your listening room. It looks like you have dealt well with a room much like my own. What is that material hanging on the wall behind your chair? I, too, am constrained to have wall right behind me. Please advise.

Amendment: I followed your link. I found the information for Vicoustic. Thanks for sharing what I am sure is a successful set up with speakers along what seems to be the long-wall in front.

Pages

Wilson Audio Specialties Sabrina loudspeaker

I first encountered the work of Dave Wilson in the late 1970s. He was then a recording engineer responsible for some great-sounding records, including pianist Mark P. Wetch's Ragtime Razzmatazz (LP, Wilson Audio W-808), which quickly became one of my favorite system-demo records.

Then Wilson turned his attention to designing loudspeakers. His first model was the Wilson Audio Modular Monitor, reviewed for Stereophile by its then-publisher, Larry Archibald, in August 1983, who described it as "the most enjoyable speaker system I've listened to, and significantly valuable as a diagnostic tool." At $35,000/pair ($83,577 in today's dollars), the WAMM may have been the most expensive speaker then on the market.

Thu, 04/21/2016

Prince Rogers Nelson (1958-2016)

“Can you make it rain harder!”
Thu, 04/21/2016

Pages

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