Canadian Debut of Wilson’s Sabrina Speaker

Although I attended the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show, and contributed to Stereophile's on-line show report, there were many products outside my beat that I found about just like Stereophile readers, ie, reading my colleagues' show reports. One of these that piqued my interest was the Wilson Audio Sabrina, the lowest-priced ($15,900/pair) floorstander from this elite speaker manufacturer. Larry Greenhill's report provided a brief description of the speaker, but since the speaker was only being shown, not demonstrated, he couldn't very well say much about the sound.

A listening report came later from Jason Victor Serinus, based on a dealer event in Seattle. JVS was most enthusiastic, which added to my desire to hear the speaker.

Wilson Audio Specialties usually exhibits at the Montreal Salon Son & Image show, which I attend, so I thought this would be my chance to listen to the Sabrina. Not so. Wilson did not exhibit at this year's show, and although there was a dealer event going on at the same time that did involve demos of Wilson speakers, the Sabrina was not among them.

And then, a few days ago I received an email from Adrian Low, owner of Audio Excellence, a Toronto-area Wilson dealer, inviting me to a demo of the Sabrina by Wilson Audio Specialties' Peter McGrath (in heading photo, with the Sabrina) that would be taking place on April 9. Finally! Audio Excellence is one of the preeminent Toronto-area audio/video stores, located in a suburban industrial area, which, if you want people to find you, requires signage that's not subtle, as you can see in the photo.

Inside, the store is an oasis for the equipment-thirsty audiophile, with many of the top audiophile brands represented, and you're sure to receive a warm welcome from store manager Andrew Austin (left) and owner Adrian Low (right).

I got to the store later than I intended, and by then there were only a few diehard audiophiles left, including fellow audio writer, George Papadimitriou of Peter McGrath was his usual charming self, describing the critical elements of the speaker's design and playing music. The Sabrina has a number of "trickle-down" features from Wilson's more expensive models, most notably the tweeter (below), which is very similar to the one specifically designed for Wilson, and used in the Sasha and other more expensive Wilson speakers.

McGrath then played a wide range of source materials, including his own high-resolution digital recordings of opera, with the Sabrinas driven by McIntosh electronics. The sound was stunning in its impact, giving no indication that this was a "little speaker" (by Wilson's standards). I have admired Wilson's larger speakers in the past, but I've always found them to be somehow...well...intimidating-not something I could imagine having in my listening room, even if I could afford them. I didn't feel that way about the Sabrina.

In fact, this may well be my favorite Wilson speaker. Adrian Low said that he sees this speaker as ideal for his clients who own big speakers but are downsizing their homes, and are looking for a more compact alternative that still gives them the "big speaker" sound that they like.

Allen Fant's picture

Thanks! for sharing- RD.

In the very crowded $10K-$20K loudspeaker category, it is going to be interesting to see/hear how the Sabrina plays out (no pun).

I can hardly await to hear this speaker for myself.

la musique's picture

She didn't have a bikini wax!
Top right??????

Bluejimbop's picture

You've quite the eye for detail, la musique. Thanks for the laugh.

la musique's picture

Come on guys,
Time to have a lough.
Who can come up with the best joke about Sabrina.
Please Dave, don't get it wrong.
Akuna ma tata( Don't worry, be Happy)