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Topic: Wilson Audio and the Moore's law

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Posted by Romy the Cat on 04-26-2009

It said that no one ever lost money investing in the idiocy of American consumers. Which company emblemifies the American audio consumption better then Wilson Audio? The Moore's observation, that for some stupid reasons is being called ”law”, suggests that possessing power of PC  increased exponentially, doubling each 18 month. I think the investment of Wilson Audio Clan (distributors, dealers, publishers, writers-promoters) into the deaf and brainless indifference of audio public  does follow the Moore's law as each 18 month Wilson crate a new “hurricane in a vine glass”  - or introducing a new “revolutionary” speaker.

I do not follow precisely what Wilson does but I remember that they has a dozen of Watt/Pappy 5 versions, then there were many versions #6 then #7, then Watt/Pappy got “transvestited” into a number versions (!!!) of Sofias, Selenas, Natashas, Annas and Casandras. Each of the releases was fallowed the same unavoidable pattern:

1)      An appointed audio-writing whore publish some “idiocy was adjectives” in a pre-feed audio resource about an god sound of some kind “expensive model”. No one case to sell them in US - they are foe Arabs and Asians.

2)      Immediately after that Wilson announce a new revision of the “less expensive model”  where “the ideas from more expensive model were used”

3)      The release is unavoidably buttered-up with a story that David Wilson was hijacked by aliens and while he was exposed to medical experiments in the Flying Sourcer he suddenly discover what sound is all about.

4)      The Wilson market department write long manuals to Wilson Dealers training them to convince this customer that in the coming model the electricity flows in the NEW Wilson crossover not with 0.8849292 of speed of light but 0.0000000092 times faster.

5)      The new Wilson dealers buy from retire Wilson dealers a phone book, paying $70 for each contact with older Wilson model.

6)      David Wilson circles in his office a day in calendar with a red marker, putting on a rubber glove and squeezing Vaseline on his middle finger.

7)      A Wilson distributor calls to his boat dealer and say the now he can afford 3 feet longer yacht.

Now, Wilson about to release his new “revolutionary” 18 month expectancy – they call it Sasha, which will join the harem of  Sofia, Selena, Natasha, Anna and Casandra. The speaker will have a secret driver that was made from a pulp of ostrich’s hair and will have a port that will disperse antimatter pressure.

The 323 Audio-morons in Ohio, Washington Nebraska, and update NET will hear about the upcoming Wilson Sasha, look at their long due to be updated Watt/Pappy and will turn their pants around, having zippers on behind…

The Cat

Posted by el`Ol on 04-26-2009

How Wilson sounds:
Pressure caused by non-linear bass squeezed through narrow port holes.
Shining caused by the papery upper mids of a too high crossed 6.5" midwoofer.
Sparkle caused by the metal ringing of a titanium tweeter.
What Wilson does:
Use standard components, tune them as the audiophiles´ guild expects them to hear and give them a finish that tells you it´s hightech.

For someone who likes mega horn systems the goal usually is to have as little audible speaker effects between the source and himself, so why should he be interested in such a parallel universe?

Posted by Romy the Cat on 04-26-2009

Posted by haralanov on 04-28-2009
Wait a second, I have an information they are going to hit the market with a model called "Patricia B." after 18 months Smile

Posted by hifitodd on 05-01-2009

Brand new review up at soundstage by Mickelson -

Some great ad copy

Posted by ArmAlex on 05-02-2009
You know in this site it's a cult to knock heads of "big brands" which is not a bad thing considering the huge propaganda machine working for
them in press, but sometimes I feel it's being done just for fun...

Posted by Paul S on 12-15-2016
Since they finally went back to silk HF domes, I wonder if they will use any paper drivers this go-round?

Anyway, it looks like they've plotted a time line for dribbling information.  Again, I actually want to hear them.

Paul S

Posted by Paul S on 02-08-2017
Looks like Wilson hit the ground running about 20 Dec. 2016, with a flurry of quickie "reviews".  Here's a link to the Absolute Sound roll-out/"review":

Wilson claim all drivers are "proprietary".  Blurb says they use the same 7" "lower-midrange" drivers as several other Wilson models. none of which I've heard anything good from, especially the lower-mids.  I understood they finally went to a soft dome tweeter a while back, with predictable improvements.  I would have guessed they would go with the newest SvcanSpeak line, many of which are actually paper, I think, though that hardly seems "tech-y" enough for Wilson.

Again, the original WAMMS made BY FAR the best sound I've heard from Wilson, and I'm still looking forward to hearing these fed by master tape.

Paul S

Posted by JJ Triode on 02-09-2017
And the original WAMM was itself a Fulton J Modular wanna-be, wasn't it?

Posted by Paul S on 02-09-2017
Ha! You're either old or you read too much. There was also Arnie Nudell.  Back to Bob Fulton, he never made 2 "statement" speakers alike! I actually owned E modulars from him. They were +/-  the same as the Js, but with smaller subs. Ironically (considering he made speakers), Bob had great ears, and he could get about any pile of speakers to sound like he wanted.  He was a real stickler about time alignment, also tone, which I think David Wilson has not been so fixed on. However, no guessing about who's getting the last laugh. Gordon Holt, who started Stereophile in PA (near where Fulton lived), pretty much launched Fulton, and Pearson did the same for Wilson (who once wrote for...). Still wanna hear the new WAMMs, though he's said he's only making them for friends, and I'm not rich enough to be his friend.

Best regards,
Paul S

Posted by Romy the Cat on 02-09-2017
It is great that Wilson did anything like this, thank for pointing out. I did not read the article passing 3rd paragraph and stooped reading when they start taking about listening impressions. The listening impressions from those people are truly irrelevant. They are industry pimps and they characteristically run mouth admirably about any product, converting any manufacturer’s fart into own public listening orgasm. I do not waste my time to read their foolishness. 
Regarding WAMM. It is largely aligned with my general criticism of large Wilsons that is well covered at my site. The largest Wilsons has some unique wonderful characteristics that are so welcomed me and this is way I feel that for being as good as they and being as ambitions as they are the largest Wilsons should not slip upon the same problems as Alexandria had. I would be not the person who object more channels and time alignment, after all this is very much aligns with my Macondo Axioms. Still to have a “aggressive” project and to base it upon a ported bass is kind of incongruous or even better to say laughable. 
The whole lower octave solution in WAMM is kind of primitive. I think they use up all budget of $700K for upper range drivers and juts cheated with bass. Well, I do not think they lost budget on driver but rather on the necessity to feed the industry assholes who will be selling the new speaker to public but this is a whole another subject. Back to bass. It is possible that is some kind “perfect” room the location of WAMM’s bass section will be perfect for this room.  I did hear Grand Slamms and Alexandria many times and I did not hear them in THAT room. A separate sealed bass sections located on sides of the WAMM would so much better solution that only this would bring WAMM to very different category of loudspeakers. It is not to mention that with no need to build up that large box under the bottom would drop the total Hight of the speaker to sane level. 
You see, the parabolic curvature that WAMM has is fine but because the tweeter is much higher than it has to be for sitting listening position it is angled down. Because of it the whole upper MF drivers (and they work as pair of MTMs) are angled down. From a perfect time, alignment point of view it is fine but only if time alignment idea is sold to the people who have no personal experimentation with time alignment or brains to undusted what they are listening. The idiots who wrote the article I guess the perfect target audiences. In real world if a person spend time with time alignment experimentation the person understands that quality of sound is not only derivative of time alignment in a given listening point but also in the way how the playback is going away from time alignment. This is why many people measure time alignment in multiple locations, and multiple distances. The perfect scenario is when a line of perfect alignment is parallel to the floor and there is absolutely nothing in WAMM that prevent it… because the large stupid bass box at the bottom of the speaker.  Keep the upper bass channel on the main body WAMM, drop the main body of WAMM a foot lower and putt the lower bass driver in external line array…. BOOM!!! and you have a VERY different acoustic system with by topology able to deliver much more interesting result. 
I do not think David Wilson does not know it but David is also knowing that he does not make acoustic systems for discerning consumers. The way how the industry work a manufacture makes products for a very thin layer of uninformed, foolish and non- discriminating industry pimps who act as marketing proxies. Being as senior player as David Wilson is he knows that elaborate and decorative minimalism he did with WAMM is enough for the industry pimps to create the right amount of talking points and to do sale. This is how the things work folks… it has nothing to do with actual speakers and has more to do with a need to create waves…. In term of Wilson releasing new models each few years and the industry pimps discover a new Messiah each few years I this the ceremony is…. well time-aligned but slightly “angled”.

Rgs,Romy the CaT

Posted by Paul S on 02-09-2017
Yes, insane amounts of money are wasted on "exotic" cabinet materials and construction methods, for instance.  And the misguided idea of keeping it one narrow stack per channel does, literally, compromise the sound, as does the "technically correct" curved configuration.  However, all this is (pardon the pun) trumped by the self-important aura that attends a product like this, and they will certainly sell these to the beneficiaries of the 2008 Wall Street bail-out. Ironically, better screening of and applications for the drivers might well have made them sound better -  if, in fact, anyone concerned could actually tell the difference, or if anyone actually, ultimately, cares.

Like I said in my last show report, the big Alexx from Wilson sounded plain bad in their set-up, and not just the LF, but everything. It does seem like Wilson has settled into a house sound that is ultimately no better than other "high end" speakers.  And certainly their "innovations" are market speak. We'll see/hear.

Paul S

Posted by Romy the Cat on 02-09-2017
 Paul S wrote:
Yes, insane amounts of money are wasted on "exotic" cabinet materials and construction methods, for instance.  And the misguided idea of keeping it one narrow stack per channel does, literally, compromise the sound, as does the "technically correct" curved configuration.  However, all this is (pardon the pun) trumped by the self-important aura that attends a product like this, and they will certainly sell these to the beneficiaries of the 2008 Wall Street bail-out. Ironically, better screening of and applications for the drivers might well have made them sound better -  if, in fact, anyone concerned could actually tell the difference, or if anyone actually, ultimately, cares.

Like I said in my last show report, the big Alexx from Wilson sounded plain bad in their set-up, and not just the LF, but everything. It does seem like Wilson has settled into a house sound that is ultimately no better than other "high end" speakers.  And certainly their "innovations" are market speak. We'll see/hear.

I do not share many if the sentiments you expressed, Paul. I have no problem with Wilson "exotic" cabinet materials, not with the selection of their drivers, not with the way how they use them and now with the price they charge. The Wilson ended have settled for house sound that in fact IS better than other "high end" speakers, I am taking about larger Wilsons: Grand Slamms and up not the smaller models. They have many spectacular accomplishments with sound, only the way how they defeat macrodynamic compression make them way more interesting than anything else out there in my view. My criticism was not for what they do but rather the topological decisions they use projected to status of better acoustic system. As sane people understand it is not about criticism of a company but rather learning (or teaching) how to make better acoustic system using a given product as an example. 
There are plenty of idiots read this site and they got upset when I knock this or that product but they unfortunately recognize audio as a list of available products (or marketing moves) instead to recognize available products as opportunity to learn how to make better sound. 
Anyhow, like with many other expensive products if a loudspeaker demands a lot of money then the presumption is that it use expensive winning topology. WAMM very much has a lot of it but I above innumerate my specific concerns that would for me to disqualify WAMM as a candidate worthy to bet a lot of money. Grand Slamm were selling for 75K and any big Wilsons after Grand Slamms were basically the SAME Grand Slamm topology with only arguable incremental improvement. WAMMs in 90 were very different beast with separate LF sections. I did not hear them but they had to be in a different scale acoustic system then Grand Slamm then. Well, today Wilson demonstrated reportedly a better flagman but returning back to basic to Grand Slamm topology. This is very unfortunate in my view. 

It is important to note that the time alignment that new WAMM introduced is not new and the very same alignment options were available before, it juts was not sold as a big deal. So, the new WAMM is basically the same Grand Slamm only with price tag 10 time bigger. I am sure that there are some minor advancement in the new WAMM but Wilson had 5 or 5 versions of Grand Slamm as well and in my view the new WAMM  is juts a new version of Grand Slamm

Posted by Paul S on 02-09-2017
The only reason I have brought this up is because it is interesting to me when someone with experience, manufacturing capabilities and capital tries to make the best speakers he can, and I have heard and noted the best he can do over many years.  And yes, the way their biggest speakers handle "macro" over a wider range than most other speakers has kept my attention on Wilson. However, my remark on their "house sound" includes the vast majority of speakers they sell, which lowers the bar considerably, vs. their best. And, based on the Alexx, there appears to have been some trickle up.  Of course I am only doing a mental "what if" exercise with what I see of the new WAMM, and I am indeed adding a notion of "value" into my mental equations.  In this case, "value" means the best use of the money only with respect to results., since -  in reality - it's not like they are "doing everything" to get the best sound. While I do not mean to restrict expenditures in order to make their best speakers cheaper, I am pointing to areas where I think the money they do spend might be better spent, only to the end of better sounding speakers.

Best regards,
Paul S

Posted by Paul S on 02-13-2017
Maybe this link will work, so others can see the original WAMMs I have been referencing. Yes, they had "phase issues", but  -  like I've said -  I have not since heard better from Wilson.

Scroll down until you see the photo of young Mr. and Mrs. Wilson with their audio offspring.

Paul S

Posted by Paul S on 02-14-2017
Maybe a better link to the original WAMMs, this should come right up, and it includes an info-mercial:

Paul S

Posted by Paul S on 04-19-2017
This just in from May Stereophile:  The first part of Fremer's roll-out of Wilson's new-ish Alexx tells us the economic reasons for this speaker's existence.  Then there is naming of names of those involved in it's implementation.  Then there is technical "justification".  In a good move, I think, Wilson has gone back to paper drivers (except silk HF), though this was to no avail when I heard these speakers at T.H.E. Show, Newport, 2016, where the Alexx sounded bad from top to bottom.  I guess Wilson fixed things for Fremer, because, I gathered, MF liked them better than his own Alexandria XLFs.  Price of the Alexx?  MF says, $109k.  I guess the message is, better sound for 1/2 the money.  Let's see how well these sell.

Paul S

Posted by martinshorn on 04-21-2017
just been this feb in NY city to an exclusive Wilson studio. I thought that the rushy noisy exhibitions where their portfolio sounded very average to me was maybe not fair to judge, if everyone loves them so much. 

So in that studio i got all the time and perfect circumstances to listen. After 30 minutes useless bla bla how grate the new alexx is, i finally got the remote and he left the room. Ten minutes later i left the room too. Couldn't believe what i heard. I was lucky they got some songs im very familiar with. 

Ok the sunny side, the mids and highs where quiet pleasant soft, the stage size fluffy with lots of air. That was good part. 

Negative, the localization was not sharp, though precisely aligned room. The real emotion and soul of music was not really getting through. It had something of a studio monitor. Something. Obviously not all. As the main reason to leave the room was my headache. All the lower 3 octaves at least where so boomy. Ok you may blame the room a bit for that as well but... for such pricy stuff why no one cares bout room and Voicing before presentation?What more you could expect buying those including delivery and voicing service???

Honestly, even my 1200 bucks ESL was classes better. What a crap! 

Cheers , Josh 

Posted by Romy the Cat on 04-21-2017
Josh, even though topologically Wilson Alexx is something that I would not advocate and I have crucified plenty of Wilson but the experience you describe does not say anything about Wilsons as the speaker but rather say only about the owner of the “exclusive Wilson studio”. It sounds like it was a business studio and this says a lot. The sales people who work in audio shops and who set up the installations in those audio rooms very frequently are incredible idiots.  I have no vocabulary to express what kind of ignorant but incredibly self-pompous assholes they are! They are the worst thing existing in audio, juts absolute scams. The experience you had just one of many illustrations of it. I know exactly what you heard and I know exactly why. I assure you that in a good hands the very same Alexx will sound very deferent. Will have own topological problems but it would be respectable.

Posted by martinshorn on 04-21-2017
Hi Romy, agree the dealer and the room where the problem here.
Anyway, hunting for gold in the audio scene for ages, theres no way around the Wilsons with 6 figure price tag and review texts of almost pornography description of the sound.
Funny enough to experience that the sound was rather "normal"... including the normal speaker problems of room integration, voicing etc.
To me, there was 0 correlation between return and investment.
You may say that happens often in that price range, but most oft them I admit at least got a certain "something".

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