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This thread is a derivation of the thread: Wilsons, EMM, Ozawa, Saint-Saens and...
| clarkjohnsen wrote:|
|While in general I agree with Romy about Wilsons, I have once or twice heard them sound really, really good. On the other hand I have also heard them sound really, really miserable -- worse than anything. I'm not talking merely mediocre here, folks; I'm talking disaster. |
Well, it complicated…. about the Wilsons.... as many other things in audio the reality of the Wilsons has nothing to do with pubic perception of the Wilsons.
The smaller Wilsons are quite poor speakers. All those multiple versions of the Watts, Cubs, Maxx, Sofias, Puppies are not really interesting. With meticulous setup and only under condition of the accidentally lucky rooms those smaller speakers might be more or less balanced but still they would show off huge amount of problems, partiality with serious music. I never seen anyone was able to make the smaller Wilsons to sound acceptable, nor I’ve seen any person with advanced “audio intelligence” even trued to experiment with sthe maller Wilsons.
The larger Wilsons: the Grand Slams III and Alexandria (I did not hear the Wamms) are very different speakers from the rest of the Wilsons line. Many things that the larger Wilsons do are very correct (only compare to other box, mass-loaded speakers) but the larger Wilsons also some very serious, not to say mortal problems. The issues that I have with the larger Wilsons are following:
1) UNACCEPTABLE LOWER BASS. Pretty much whatever below I would say 120Hz should be filtered out as the ported Wilson’s channel NEVER sound correct. I understand why David Wilson went for this – this way the speakers become the speakers of the manageable size but I am taking about sound in listening rooms not about the marketability of the products. From a different perspective David kind of personally hearing-impaired to the port’s noise and to the dipole diluteness of bass by dirt coming form the port, or at least he refused to acknowledge it publicly (I would to it too if I were at his place). Even in his XS modules, where he had “no limitation” he went for dual drivers and ported enclosure? Why? “Romy, do not forget that we have +20 db compare to the John Dunlavy at 20Hz” – David told me. Yes, David, you do and I am sure it is easy to sell loudspeakers to public that do not require those 800W amplification. However, I am talking about the sound in the listening rooms not about the marketing suitability of a product. Should John Dunlavy not use the extremely crappy drivers in his largest sealed enclosures (it is what he ordinary used) then perhaps David Wilson might learn something from the sound of the LF sealed enclosure. The size? The size is not really a problem. The LF section of the Grand Slams has very much enough volume to sealed accommodate I would say 18” something-like-Leviathan woofer with free air resonance of 11-13Hz and with the crazy Aura’s underhand motor. Was Wilson not able to afford the use something like this if they sold the speakers for over 100K? How different the larger Wilsons would be if they employs the sealed LF? How much more simpler would be to the setup of the larger Wilsons if they had no port-sources?
2) HIGH QUALITY AND HIGH PRECISION BUT NOT MUSICALITY. This is the most important and unfortunately not defeatable point with the Wilsons that pretty much eliminate any serious interest to the Wilsons’s idea. When the Wilsons were very, very, very, very, very, very, very… very meticulous and very, very, very, very, very, very painstakingly set up (less than 1% of all Wilsons users I would estimate) then the Wilsons could produce very good Sound. Pretend that the room is very lucky as well and pretend you were able to mask of the noise from the port. (It would be imposable but pretend that it did take place). In this scenario for instant the Grand Slams do very well but what would be the definition of that “very well”? The Hi-Fi would be doem wonderfully, and the Audio Sound would be phenomenal. However, Wilsons never go for the Humane Sound. What I mean? Clark, when you experience a very high quality symphonic play then this “high quality rendering” it is favoriteable but not self-sufficient condition to be taken, daunted by musically. In order the subordination of listener awareness to the musical force took place it should be something more in Sound then just a perfect rendering of fundamentals, harmonic and overtones. When we talk about the reproduction then in the loudspeakers there is nothing as prominent and nothing as important as a simple quality of the drivers. Here is what the “inhumanity” of the largest Wilsons derive form: Wilsons use not finest, contemporary and very much not “humanity accommodated” drivers. There are many drivers from past that do much more “humane sound” that produce and those driver produce that above mentioned “subordination of awareness” to the mush degree higher then Wilsons can do. Ironically, some of those drivers cost a fraction of the Wilsons, although they can’t even approach the Wilsons in the Hi-Fi-ness. So, the question would be: what would manifest Good Sound - the highest quality of “sonic rendering” or the highest impact to the listener’s personality from the reproduced musical peace? If the answer was first then the larger Wilsons might be useful. If the second then the larger Wilsons are out of the game.
(I feel that it is necessary to make a discourse in here and to say that I am NOT a vintage speakers freak. There are plenty of the idiots out there who collect, worship and almost religiously devoted to vintage speakers. I do NOT share this vision. All know to me completed vintage speakers are NOT good and all of them VERY relentlessly compromised. Anyhow, the vintage speakers are very different subject and I do not blindly appreciate their “talents”.)
3) PEOPLE WHO USE THE LARGER WILSONS. I have seen/heard a few people who use large Wilsons and generally I was always very dissatisfied with them. They were more or less wealthy people who got their largest Wilsons due to their own Intellectual audio-laziness. If you observe the audio interests and audio judgments of the largest Wilson’s owners then it very noticeable that they all demonstrate immunity to audio sensibility. Their audio actions and their audio motivations are oblivious to the no-nonsense results. Also they always disassociated form any other reference points then own slavery of the Wilson ownership. With all of it above, their entire playback usually demonstrate very-very ordinary Sound and their advancement in the audio-understanding are less then satisfying. So, a typical Moron ™ with Grand Slams or Alexandria in his listening room consider himself as a belly-button of universe, despite his usesly dreadful sound and his own disability to get better Sound out of the Wilsons. This “belly-buttonism” of the Wilsons owner makes them to behave patronizing. Their stupid self-confidence brewed on the own ignorance and very high level of audio superficiality is something that always makes me laugh when I deal with the owners of the largest Wilsons. Those people are under impression that better speakers deliver better audio result and they god the best speaker they know of and then they feel that the automatically blessed with the best audio outcome. For those people the largest Wilsons are actually a dead-end because those speakers replace for those listeners thier ability to understand what the real speakers could do. Well, there is nothing wrong to have bad sound in own listing room. However, to have a dreadful sound on own room whale being completely not familiar with reproduced sound in the way how it MIGHT BE and at the same time to spared own semi-idiotic patronizing judgments about somebody “associated equipment”…here we go… you go the complete snapshot of a typical Grand Slams audiophile. Talk with many of the Grand Slams owners about audio gear and you will see what I mean….
So, does all that I said mean that anyone who uses the largest Wilson is Morons? Certainly not, but whoever are not Morons and whoever do have skills and taste to get any more or less useful sound from the largest Wilsons are NOT KNOWN in the audio circles and they do NOT expose their own listening room to the publics audiophile travesty.
So, what it all leads me to? I feel that the largest Wilsons are in away are grotesque loudspeakers where the amount of spent efforts (I do not mean money) is not adequate to the results. Are the largest Wilsons bad? Nope they are not, in fact they are better among many others loudspeakers. Today when the used pair of the Grand Slams being sold for under $20K-$25K they are still much more interesting loudspeakers than the army of other high-price but low performing crap. The best among the worst? Well…
I feel that the largest Wilsons are fine if the demands are very generic, very none-specific, very non-involved and very superficial. You always get what you paid for. In case of the Wilsons you do not spend anything but money and you do not get anything “special” from the larges Wilsons. You get only what you can get for money: good quality but no soul. Also, you get with the largest Wilson that body-armor of the Wilson community who suffer from a half-inch of own ego enragements. However, if you have something else to do with own ego or with own applied sense of taste and demands then you most likely pass on the Wilsons…
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche