Wilson Audio Specialties Alexx V loudspeaker Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog sources: SME 30/12 turntable with V-12 tonearm and Ortofon Windfeld Ti cartridge (in for review).
Digital sources: Intel NUC computer with SSD drive running Roon Optimized Core Kit, Roon Nucleus+; Denafrips Avatar CD transport; Synology DS918+ 4-bay Network Attached Storage device with 16TB; TP-Link 8-Port Gigabit network switch (unmanaged); dCS Rossini DAC.
Preamplification: Pass Labs XP-25 phono preamplifier, Pass Labs XP-22 line preamplifier.
Power amplifiers: Pass Labs XA60.8 monoblocks.
Cables: Digital: AudioQuest Carbon & Cinnamon & Coffee, Comprehensive Connectivity DXLRP-DXLRJ-6EXF (all USB). Interconnect: Clarus Crimson (RCA, XLR). Speaker: Clarus Crimson.
Accessories: PS Audio Power Plant P10 power conditioner, Butcher Block Acoustics RigidRack, IsoAcoustics, and Magico footers.—Jim Austin

Wilson Audio Specialties
2233 Mountain Vista Ln.
Provo, UT 84606
(801) 377-2233

Awsmone0's picture

JA in the measurement section you repeated your time domain measurement with the microphone in JCA listening position
You commented that one midrange was still misaligned probably by one step
Can we conclude JCA listened with this misalignment for the listening tests ?

remlab's picture

Wilson used a modified Focal Titanium dome almost exclusively, so as far as the exclusively "soft dome" claim goes..

AaronGarrett's picture

I love how you used Selected Ambient Works to audition the loudspeakers. "To Cure a Weakling Child" is also really great for analyzing a system -- the "soundstage" is like the aural equivalent of a cubist painting.

Jonti's picture

...is another great AFX option for testing systems, what with the panning, full-frequency wave-surfing, and holographic bouncing ball!

AaronGarrett's picture

Stereophile should have an electronic music column, in addition to Classical/Jazz/Rock.

DaGiff's picture

I recently heard 3 songs I'm familiar with played on these through Boulder electronics and, while it was clearly a good system, they just didn't move me. Wilsons never have (I am not a Wilson hater). By contrast, I recently heard a pair of Rockport Cygnus driven by Gryphon electronics and was truly mesmerized. That system revealed to me what those who can afford the best are after in their pursuit. The music was just there - organic and beautiful. You forgot to think about the system reproducing it. Not so with the Wilson/Boulder combo...not even close.

CG's picture

As almost nobody says, "One size does not fit all."

Good for you for recognizing and acknowledging your own tastes! (That was meant as a compliment.)

jtshaw's picture

I'm fortunate that a dealer near me carries both Rockport and Wilson loudspeakers, so I've heard a number of models with different amplification, including Gryphon. I suspect the Alexx 5 with Gryphon would prove a good combination. I have most enjoyed hearing the smallest Rockports and Wilsons (Atria II and SabrinaX). They strike me being much more accessible in both price and in working well in more modestly sized rooms. They really don't give up much to the larger models except in ultimate dynamic ability and bass slam. Or, maybe I'm just too old now....

Long-time listener's picture

I haven't heard the Rockports you mention -- or these latest Wilsons either. Maybe they've made progress. But a number of years ago, at a dealer, I listened to a pair of their mid-sized floorstanders as well as a huge model like the one reviewed here. Both struck me as dull and uninviting, lacking the kind of freshness and presence I like to hear.

windansea's picture

Heard Wilson Alexia at the local dealer and was unimpressed. Walked out after 10 minutes. Not for me. Maybe they're good for Mahler and not for smaller scale music? Just sounded thick and heavy to me.

CG's picture

It's great that we have choices. As I said, one size does not fit all.

(Full disclosure - we own neither Rockport nor Wilson loudspeakers here...)

tonykaz's picture

My wife's interior design lady was working on our window treatment, I asked her how she would place these Wilsons in our living area. She shyly suggested some other design, I agree.

These things are Visually-fear inducing , A dark room might be the owners better adaptation.

We saw this design portrayed when Mr.JVS had an introduction to the $750,000 version in the Utah home of Mr.D.Wilosn, the photos made the Loudspeakers look rather sinister as it stared down at our humble friend who was sitting in what looked like a Funeral Home.

Of course, this type of industrial design probably belongs in the Man-Cave Basement where banishment is the normal life experience of our typical obsessive Audiophile.

In response to Focal Tweeters: It was said in Stereophile ( somewhere ) that Focal stopped sharing their outstanding
driver manufacturing with other loudspeaker Manufacturers. Who makes the Wilson Drivers ? , I hoped that our intrepid Mr.JA2 would've inquired and reported. ( guess not )

There was a time when I sold Wilson Products. ( a few decades ago ) I still feel that Wilsons are Status / Ego type products. ( well made )

Tony in Florida

ps. no loudspeaker can duplicate Live ! but Klipschorns can duplicate a amplified Performance

georgehifi's picture

With that 92db efficiency and hellish load you only need an amp with 25w or more, but it has to take that load, and almost double all the way down to 1ohm.
I can think of the perfect amp, the classic Mark Levinson ML2 monoblocks, which are only 25w pure Class-A into 8ohm, but then 50w into 4ohms, 100w into 2ohms and 200w into 1ohm.

Cheers George

Ortofan's picture

... should come bundled with one of Dan D'Agostino's amplifiers to ensure that the amp can drive the 1-2Ω impedance that these speakers present.
Either that, or a Rotel RB-1582 which, according to a test in Hi-Fi News, has a peak output of nearly 300W into 8Ω, over 550W into 4Ω, 1kW into 2Ω and 1.6kW into 1Ω.

DougM's picture

Some more recent Wilson speakers have measured very well. I see this overpriced piece of garbage is a return to their former engineering prowess, with a speaker that costs nearly as much as a house, and surely as much as a luxury car, that measures worse than a $500 Wharfedale, KEF, or Polk, and certainly not as well as similar stratospheric priced offerings from Magico, Vivid, Revel, KEF, Focal, and others. Apparently they've learned nothing over the years, and the recent Wilson offerings that measured well were merely flukes

JHL's picture

Given your expertise, I look forward to your analysis of how this loudspeaker has so badly failed acceptable engineering standards...

Metalhead's picture

Those big beast monoblocks were the best solid state amplifiers I ever heard.

IF I ever had to give up tubes I would definitely be looking for a pure class A power amp.

Those ML's were really something

Not a Wilson denier (Hell never heard one) but as I am not a cone and dome guy at all. For those with the coin and space more power to them.

STapp's picture

Like, it's so cool: goes up to 11 !