About the new Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy 8


What are the differences between the Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy 7 and the new Watt/Puppy 8? And how much is the MSRP of the new Watt/Puppy 8? Thanks.
bluesky
Save your money; buy the Zu Audio Definitions instead; better bass, huge sound stage, dynamic and more musical sounding. Don't fall for all the advertising hype of the Wilson like I did. Listen with your ears, not your eyes.

http://www.zucable.com/loudspeakers/
Keeping on thread, the 8 will have the new titanium high range driver from the MAXX 2, an extensively redesigned proprietary crossover and an entirely new cabinet utilizing new bracing and more of Wilson's "M" and "X" materials without any lead ingots since they are now banned by the EU. It is the EU's ban on all lead that has forced Wilson to reconfigure its speaker design since it is a speaker of international significance.
I have great respect for the Zu Audio Definitions. I understand they are the choice of polygamists worldwide.
Hifimaniac and Khrys,thanks a lot for your replies. They are much helpful to me.
$28,000 correct?
Hifimaniac -

I read your "David vs. Goliath" review.

So pretty much you're saying that the Caravelles sound better than the MAXXs in your 13 x 18 ft room....

That's like trying to drive a Farrari on a 10 foot track, you'd be better off with a go-kart.

13 x 18 is order-of-magnitutde WAY too small for the Wilson MAXXs. They are a big speaker, and require a big room, should be 16 x 25 or so minimum for the MAXX.

small room -> small speaker will sound better, it doesn't matter which one
Goatwuss, if you read the review I stated what you are stating! I had the MAXX in my old room 17 X 28 (in CA) and they sounded great, but the Caravelle still is a more musical sounding speaker with a better tweeter than the MAXX 1. The MAXX 2 tweeter is better, but there was no comparison on the high end; the Caravelle sounded better and the vocals more natural. The Wilson speaker is too lean sounding for my taste now after hearing a better midrange. The Caravelle is a superb speaker; however, I like big band and full, dynamic classical and it failed me on certain pieces I like even with a sub. In a smaller room, it would have been fine. I found the perfect speaker in size and dynamics for my room and it is the Zu Definitions. I have owned the MAXX for five years and the Watt/Puppy 5.1's before. For the money, the Zu's can't be beat...Anyone thinking of the Watt/Puppy 8 should demo a pair of Definitions for 60 days with no risk return policy. It is worth the shipping costs if you're going to save $21k. By the way, if you read the Stereophile review of the MAXX they talk about how good they sound in a small room about the size of mine; don't believe them. Finally, comparing Wilson's to a Ferrari is a slap to Dave Wilson who builds a very high tolerance product that will last a life time unlike Ferraris that have to be dealt with on a regular basis.
Hi Hifi -

Sorry, I must have missed that line. It looked a lot like you were saying "The caravelles are a better speaker because they soujnd better than the MAXXs in a small room." If what you were saying is "the caravelles have a better high-end than the MAXXs did even when they were in a large room" than that is meaningful.

Sometime in the next five years I will be looking for my reference speaker in the up-to-$15k price range, and both the Zu Definitions and the Wilson Sophias are on my list, along with a small handful of others including Audio Note and Merlin.
You say - "By the way, if you read the Stereophile review of the MAXX they talk about how good they sound in a small room about the size of mine; don't believe them."

Don't worry, I don't believe anything that Stereophile says ( :
The description of design price changes are accurate...as I understand them. Recently I purchased the Sophia 2s...not the 7s, since I was aware...or suspicious that there was going to be an model change in the near future. If that wasn't the case I would have gotten the 7s....but will get the 8s instead. Against many other speaker models I felt that Wilson seems to handle all the real world tradeoffs that a speaker faces with the best balance of all the ones I listened to....They, for me in my room, provide the best reproduction of 1/2-15ips recordings I made with a stereo Neumann mike. While no speaker is perfect and no speaker can replace a live performance...Wilson's designs seem to provide smooth power response with correct time information...and thus do an excellent job....the list of other speakers with that capability is very short...IMHO. Given their performance and quality of construction and ruggedness I think Wilson prices are fair...remembering this is an elite product (part of my background includes managing the design and manufacture of loudspeakers)...it costs a great deal to take the last few steps towards Nth performance...which is what I sought....
Hikejohn; The Zu Definitions are easily as dynamic and more musical than my MAXX were even in my large CA room. I have never had a speaker present so much information so effortlessly. The Definitions have no cross over and if you buy the Pro version and connect the woofers to an outboard amp they can reproduce 16Hz. They are super efficient at 101db/watt; incredibly easy to drive; have a 12 inch square foot print and best of all they only cost $9k. Very few people who have demonstrated them and allowed them to properly break in 400 hours have returned them. Do yourself a favor and demo a pair. Check out the link below and go to the second page and see the picture of Archie, who lives close by in Scottsdale, AZ who traded in his Alexandria's for the Definitions. I was a happy Wilson owner; had MAXX's for five years and Watt/PUppy 5.1's for three and I enjoy the Zu's best of all. It's your $28k; but why rush when there are other very viable options for less money.

http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatures/zutour/zutour.html
From what I can tell from Zu's web site and from my experience in the speaker world I suspect their approach isn't one that appeals to me....but the bottom line is that I use products that sound correct to me....but Zu's specification information wasn't particular communicative in a useful fashion....glad you like them....
you obviously had MAXX l's and not the MAXX ll's as the latter so far and away outperform your Zu's that there is just no contest.

Sorry to be off topic BUT please try not to mislead readers here
Has anyone heard whether owners of the watt puppy 7's will be able to have wilson upgrade them to 8's?

thanks

Mike
This thread is supposed to be about Wilson. Hifimaniac is providing advice from experience with Wilson and an alternative that he has discovered. On one hand you could look at him as invasive and on the other, you could consider what he says, question his motives and perhaps even make an attempt to evaluate his advice for yourself.

I own the $2800/pair Zu Druids and I can assure you that they will embarrass Watt/Puppy 7s. I don't have any idea how the W/P 8s compare.

Hifimaniac - The failings of the website do not extend to the speakers themselves. Polk has a great website.
Steve, I have heard the MAXX II's at CES and agree the tweeter is better than MAXX 1's and they are more coherant the the first model, but compared to the Zu's they are not 30K better! Have you heard the Definitions set up properly? I think you'd be amazed. No cross overs to force the notes into, just an amazing, coherant wall of sound with incredible dynamics, musicality and an equal array of color choices to compete with Wilson's.
Not upgradeable as best I know
Hifimaniac

This is a post from a thread over on avsforum about the Zu Definition

"Hey Guys..I had the chance to personally audition the entire Zu speaker line last October in LA during a 'demo tour' they did. It took place in a medium sized hotel conference room with no acoustical treatment. The "Zu Crue" (just made that up!) were all very cool and let the attendees play whatever we wanted. They used a Rogue Zeus amp or a Nightingale Armonia integrated and fed them with either an Apple G5 or an Opera Droplet CD player. I had high hopes for these speakers, with their amazing 101db sensitivity and especially after 6moons' Srajan Ebaen had given the Druid IV's such a rave review. Unfortunately, something was very wrong with their sound. Everything sounded really congested and muffled. This was the last thing I expected but thats the way it was. They also had a extremely narrow sweet spot. I mean if you moved your head more than 1 foot to one side or the other, the highs rolled off significantly. Although I contributed a lot of the poor sound quality to the odd shaped and untreated room, the speakers narrow sweetspot was a deal breaker for me. I would still like to give Zu's speakers a second chance and look forward to hearing them again at HE'06 to finally find out if really do sound like they did in that conference room. It'll be interesting."

I thought this would have interested you.
Already read it and it is one man's opinion. You know from experience that a show setting never shows off a speaker's true worth because of the lousy rooms and set ups. Remember the Wilson Watt/Puppy 7's at CES in 2005. They sounded like $500 speakers. You know that the room there was bad. Talk to people who have bought them. Zu hasn't received many back. Now, in your room they wouldn't work; your room is too big. But a guy here in AZ dumped his Alexandria's in favor of the Zu's so they can't be all that bad.
"Already read it and it is one man's opinion."

But so also could be said of yours!

One man dumping his X-2's says nothing for me except that he knew nothing about his room or those speakers
Has anyone heard whether owners of the watt puppy 7's will be able to have wilson upgrade them to 8's?

thanks

Mike

Mike,

I heard from a dealer that they won't be doing upgrades from the 7 to the 8, though they will discount anyone who recently purchased a 7 on a trade-in for the 8. I'm not sure about the details concerning the trade-in.
Oneobgyn,

I can't tell from your posts here if you have actually heard the Definitions. I haven't myself, but just wondering if you have heard them? Sorry if I have over-looked the answer to my question in one of your previous posts.
No I haven't heard them although I have a great interest in doing so

I just felt that it was a pretty bold statememnt made by Hifimaniac that someone dumped his Wilson X-2's in favor of the Definition. His implied that the Definition is a better speaker. I would simply suggest that as good as the Defintion is, it isn't in the same league as the X-2. I suppose that my statement can be construed as just as bold and it is not because I own a pair.
>>it was a pretty bold statememnt made by Hifimaniac that someone dumped his Wilson X-2's in favor of the Definition<<

Not bold, factual.

>>I would simply suggest that as good as the Defintion is, it isn't in the same league as the X-2.<<

Both bold and suppositional
I've heard the Alexandrias in a dealer's room with $60k worth of electronics. I was with a friend. We both agreed my Definition Pro setup smoked them.

I didn't expect this. The room had over $200k worth of equipment playing and I expected to be blown away. Well, I wasn't. I could go on but won't.

To say that one speaker isn't in another's league without hearing it is foolish.
I've heard the Alexandrias in a dealer's room with $60k worth of electronics. I was with a friend. We both agreed my Definition Pro setup smoked them.
I can relate. The $1000/hr. Las Vegas hooker couldn't make me fall in love with her either. I'm telling you, marriage is da bomb!
I agree; there is no way the Zu Definition are in the same league as the Wilson Alexandria. I was merely pointing out that an owner of the Alexandria felt they were. I am not attempting to slam Dave or any of his products; I was a very happy owner of them for years. The Wilson product is excellent. You will never meet a man with more character and class than Dave Wilson. My point is there is other contenders that compete very easily, (the Definitions being one) at a fraction of the cost. In a very big room with good electronics, I'd buy the Alexandria's if cost weren't an issue. The better comparison for the Definitions is the Watt/Puppy 7. I haven't heard the 8's so I can't comment, but I think the masses would be very surprised at how good this speaker sounds for only $9K or $10k plus another amp for the Pro version. I just want everyone to be aware of a product that could save them lots of money, but not enjoyment. Also, with a no-risk 60-day return policy, why not rule them out before you spend an additional $20k for the Watt/Puppy 8's. In the end, I don't care what others decide to buy. I am a very satisfied customer of the Zu's and a former satisfied Wilson owner. I am glad I could pocket some change but still have killer sound.
"We both agreed my Definition Pro setup smoked them."

How about your speakers against mine in my system. I would be happy to welcome the challenge. This is not to disparage the Zu but to use the standard preppie adjective of "smoked them" always gives me pause to laugh

If I were to offer up any suggestion as an alternative and less money speaker as an alternative to the WP 8 I would seriously consider the Alon Mini
sorry I meant the Magico Mini by Alon Wolf...now that is a speaker!!
You know, there is always someone who dumps their [whatever] for the latest [whatever]. Always. It means nothing.

And another thing: In my experience with high end components, few if any excellent components ever really "smoke" other excellent components, nor do they embarass them, stomp all over them, or anything else of the sort. But that's just me.
To be fair, my system has been built with my ears and priorities. Since the veracity of my statement is in question, I'll posit a few specifics:

The tweeters sounded like the drum kit was 10 feet over my head. The midrange obviously emanated from a lower point and bass was on the floor. The bass was muddy and the speakers had a difficult time tracking the cacophony of Patricia Barber's "Norwegian Wood" from the Live in France album.

I thought tone was weak and the speakers did not "speak" with one voice, rather a collection of sounds with different personalities coming from different points in space.

My speakers have none of these issues. For convenience purposes, I used the colloquial "smoked".
Oneobgyn writes:
but to use the standard preppie adjective of "smoked them" always gives me pause to laugh
Well said. Sometimes a laugh; other times a flash of anger, particularly if I own the smokee. (or is that "smok ed")

Regards,
The Zu Definition speakers compete favorably with the best available. Whether or not, you choose to own them, you must acknowledge that for $9000/pair this is an achievement. And until you have heard these speakers, you are in no position to refute the claim.
There is technology at Zu's disposal that companies like Wilson have either failed or neglected to access. The Zu full range driver affords an audio perspective that your speakers do not provide. Of course, you don't want to hear that. I wouldn't either if I had invested X thousand dollars in the extravagant reputation of one of the incumbent monarchs of speaker purveyance. But, what are you gonna do? Time marches on. The first one now shall later be last. The train is coming. Change is on the way.
The Zuists are not crazy and we are not basking in hyperbole. This thing is real. Check it out. See what you're missing.
It always makes me laugh when comments such as that of Miklorsmith are posted.

These are naive at the very least.
Hey guys seeing how the topic of this thread is "About the new Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy 8"
Does anyone have another speaker they can rant about or is there a thread about Zu's so I can maybe learn about Martin Logan or B&W...
Finally heard the Zus. They sound like slightly constricted Mangers. Surely one must wonder why crossovers exist at all. Or why AC current and Transformers should not grace any pretender to the throne.
So, did anyone actually hear the WP8 in LA last weekend? I'd appreciate any comments, if so.
Terrym4,

Yes, I heard the Watt Puppy 8 this past weekend in Los Angeles.

Phil
The Wilson Audio room featuring WP8 and ARC electronics was one of the most musical rooms I heard at the LA show...with an asterisk. They demo'd primarily vocals...female solo, male solo, choral and small group, with a solo acoustic bass instrumental. I wish they had played a wider variety of music that would have displayed some fast transients and wider dynamics within the individual pieces. Thus the asterisk.
I heard them. Sounded great and better than my recollection of the 7s---very well integrated drivers and not fatiguing at all. Not surprised as I love Maxx2s tweeter as well.

I did not hear them on more grandish music either---solo bass, chorals, and vocals were what demo'd in the 15 minutes i spent there. Still a very high price tag...
Tvad, I have the Wilson WP7. Do you think the ARC electronics will sound good together?


06-08-06: Hic
Tvad, I have the Wilson WP7. Do you think the ARC electronics will sound good together?
No idea. I'm not a Wilson nor ARC aficionado. However, I know the WP8 sounded excellent with the top-of-the-line ARC gear at the LA HES.
Hic,

Yes, I've heard current AR electronics with Wilson speakers and the pairing is exceptional. Wilson themselves, recommends the combination and owns many of the current ARC products.

Also, read some of Marc Mikelson's (Editor: Soundstage) recent reviews of ARC with the Wilson X2's and MAXX2's. His comments mirror my own impressions.

Regards,

Grant

The high-end is a small community. There are many good, even great speaker designs out there at all manner of price points and for all tastes. We should celebrate that we have so many choices rather than attack lines we know little to nothing about. Hearing a speaker in a showroom or at an industry show doesn't count. Reading an ad we don't like and defining a company because of it is equally short sighted.

There is no best, better for less, or for the price, or "mine's bigger than yours". The choice of a speaker, factoring room, electronics and budget is _way_ too personal and subjective for anyone to make categorical statements of value on what's best, or what sucks. The premise itself is ridiculous if you factor in all the intangibles.

In high end nowadays? Quality, value and established reputation rules. Gone are the days of over-priced, under performing products that do well and subsist on the open market--they're gone. If you make and market crap, you _will_ fail.

IMO, Wilson does not fall into the latter category, and every single market arbiter supports that assertion.

best for everyone? Noooooo.

Excellent designs, great sonics when set up well, great value based on any market, design or construction arbiter you care to review? Yes.

Simple as that, though these net forums were made for people that like to thow clandestine stones, so have at it.

JMHO.

Grant

The high-end is a small community. There are many good, even great speaker designs out there at all manner of price points and for all tastes. We should celebrate that we have so many choices rather than attack lines we know little to nothing about. Hearing a speaker in a showroom or at an industry show doesn't count. Reading an ad we don't like and defining a company because of it is equally short sighted.

There is no best, better for less, or for the price, or "mine's bigger than yours". The choice of a speaker, factoring room, electronics and budget is _way_ too personal and subjective for anyone to make categorical statements of value on what's best, or what sucks. The premise itself is ridiculous if you factor in all the intangibles.

In high end nowadays? Quality, value and established reputation rules. Gone are the days of over-priced, under performing products that do well and subsist on the open market--they're gone. If you make and market crap, you _will_ fail.

IMO, Wilson does not fall into the latter category, and every single market arbiter supports that assertion.

best for everyone? Noooooo.

Excellent designs, great sonics when set up well, great value based on any market, design or construction arbiter you care to review? Yes.

Simple as that, though these net forums were made for people that like to thow clandestine stones, so have at it.

JMHO.

Grant
Wilson speakers will show whatever you put behind them. That being said, if you like the ARC house sound you will like Wilsons w. ARC. If you like VTL or Lamm then ...same thing. There are a few different camps of sound in the tube word. Some w. more dynamics, others w. better bass & others w. better tonality. You almost always sacrifice something to get something. Wilson Sophias II were very well received w. the new VTL MB450 Signature and TL 7.5 Mk II preamp. In the end I would compare them carefully. I know that hearing Wilson w. certain electronics would have made me never buy the speakers. Only once I heard it w. my Electronics of choice - there are a lot of choices these days - only then I started to assemble a system.
Help! I have a pair of Wilson7 speakers.What electronics should I use?
Power amp AR or VTL
Pre amp AR or MBL 6010
CDP AR CD7 or ?
"Wilson's will show whatever you put behind them" Not according to my experience I had of the Wilson's 5 yrs ago at a dealer in New Orleans. You could have put Jadis' top of line, 3 or 4 models even, and the W's would have poluted the Jadis sourse. One word, fatigue.
Hey Hifimanic, so you bought into a pr of Wilson's did you? What yr? Talk had been big, and i'm sure many like you "went for it".
Bartokfan,

I don't know which Wilsons you listened to but I own WP7s and have listened to(and about to receive) the Maxx IIs extensively. They really do show everything you put in. Maybe your Jadis was not a good combination. From my understanding everyone modifies their Jadis for this reason. Once modified they are supposed to be excellent but who knows I wasn't there. Maybe they weren't setup right. All I know is that tons of people own Wilsons & you seem to resent it. Yet anytime people here the recent generation Wilson speakers they tend to love or at least respect the sound. Maybe you are right and all the people who buy wilson speakers (which aren't so beautiful in my opinion compared to some other speakers out there) are deaf and only you can hear. All I know is when I listened to the Wilsons w. Levinson, Halcro or Naim or VTL or Krell I knew what I was hearing immediately and they all impossed their signature on the sound.
Hic,

There are no definites. If you are buying new I would purchase the new MB450 in a heart beat. They should be incredible. Also get the new 6.5 preamp. Make sure it is a brand new one as there are some changes. You will then be in hassle free heaven. Those are my biases. I would match preamp to amp in this case as you will benefit from the super balanced topology which is truly superb. It takes the sound up a level. If you don't run fully balanced you will miss out. Also the 6.5 preamp is a sleeper. It is affordable & sounds great. Don't mistake the synergy of the combination.

I haven't heard the ARC so no comment but every time I hear VTL equipment (or Manley for that matter) I recognize their sonic signature & love it.
Bartokfan once listened to Wilson speakers at a dealership 5 years ago, which makes him an expert.