At this level and price you should go somewhere to audition the speakers at length. bring some music with you with brass, sopranos, cymbal crashes, etc. to evaluate the tweeters.
perhaps Wilson Audio is considering replacing their metal tweeters with the latest soft-dome variety. the Duettes at the low end and the new XLF speakers both have some version of soft-dome tweeters.
the reviews of the Sasha have been very enthusiastic, but for some, Wilson speakers are NOT well thought of. My last audition closest to the Sashas were the W/P-7's. The imaging was amazing, the bass was all i could have wanted,
and the overall definition and resolution of instruments was beyond reproach IMO. i love a speaker that punches way above it's size class.
Still another problem with Wilson's are that they could sound very different after you set them up at home. they need to be positioned just right in a room with acoustics that complement the speakers. the literature that comes with the speakers help in this regard, but many people have the point-guy at the store where they bought them come over and do this for you.
I have heard them recently at 2 different demos. One shop was hosting Wilson and a cable I don't remember. The second was at different shop which was promoting JL subwoofers.
I was very impressed to put it ,ildly and I tend to be a negativistic skeptic most of the time. The electronics in both cases were high end, SS Ayre and McIntosh. The imaging, as mentioned was astonishing, the detail very fine, and even without the sub they covered all frequencies especially the mid and low bass admirably, Even the Mac which I generally don't love sounded great with these speakers, and the Ayres sounded stupendous even with the old metal tweeters. It will be a very special fabric dome indeed, if it is going to match the current speaker's treble.
As mentioned already these speakers are very expensive and a serious investment for mere mortals. Check them out in persoin -who knows maybe the silk tweeter has negatively impacted the sound.,
There is a good reason that this expensive brand flourishes and isn't letting up in their goal of perfection. I own JM Focals BTW and would have a difficult time if I had to choose between a Utopia and a Wilson.
If you plan to buy a new pair of Sashas, you may want to wait until late Fall. Wilson will be releasing a new speaker just above the Sasha called the Alexia. There may be a few more used Sashas hitting the market by then and they should be in excellent condition. You may not have the benefit of a dealer setting it up for you, but you could save lots of money and still hire a professional to set them up.
I have heard them sound very good at shows, but also very mediocre. Same at a dealership and in a friend's home. I think amplification and cables are very important. The tweeter can be a bit strident, and the bass can be a bit boomy, in other words, not a very coherent and balanced sound, but if they are set up properly, I've heard them sound excellent.
I think peterayer is correct, there will be a glut of used sahsa's showing up shortly.Although I am biased, you may want to check out the rockports if you're going to drop that kind of coin.
I'll preface my statement with I've been a Wilson Audio fan since the release of the Wilson Sophia 2s. The Sasha's are the best speaker that I've ever owned. They are dynamic, smooth, and chameleon like. Sasha's have an ability to disappear and let music float in air. I submit they can be difficult to set-up and electronics/system integration is crucial. Everyone doesn't prefer the Wilson sound and at this price I encourage you to listen to as many speakers within a given price as you can...Rockport, Magico, and YG are just a couple that come to mind. The bottom line is let your ears decide.
I got good feedbacks, that's why it's worth posting in audiogon. I tried listening to sasha in Hongkong audio show recently but people come and go, so it was hard for me to appreciate the clarity of sasha. Last night, I had the chance to listen to a brand new one in an audio room. It sounds great but a lot of serious things have to be done like proper positioning, right cables and of course the power amp that will match a good speaker. I guess I have to wait for a while until Alexia is out in the market . . . hope I can get a good deal. Thanks for all the info.
It does not look like the Alexia will be a viable alternative to the Sasha unless the price is much cheaper here than in England. The price over there is suppose to be 200,000 pounds; or $300,000 or more depending on conversion rate. May be a great speaker but looks like it will be in a totally different price class, i.e. 10x as much. A friend has the Sasha and they are very good but are very demanding of associated gear.
with regards to this Alexia model being released, i have been wondering for the longest time when the W/P was going to offer an 8 and a 10 inch woofer array. AND NOW with the new tweeter the vision is complete. But at $50,000, it is a shame this speaker isn't priced below $30K with the Sasha in the low 20's.
I guess it's cabinet materials (or whatever) that keeps the pricing at least 25% higher than one might want.
When I initially bought my Sashas I had a hard time getting them to sound good but it turned out that my basement space (most likely my ceiling height of 7.5') was the culprit; once I moved them upstairs into another room they were like totally different speakers. They sing now...
I will agree that for best results the electronics need to be top notch or these speakers will let you know.
Sorry guys but I disagree.
While speaker like Sasha deserve top of the line electronics, they will sing like angels also with electronics costing significantly less than their speakers. I have heard the Sashas paired with Cyrus electronics (a narrow wooded rack filled with components) at two different shows (once in Belgium and once in The Netherlands) and every time the sound was very very good, i.e. not the best in the show but certainly in the first 5-10 systems at each show.
I am sure that other here have read, seen, or heard stories about Wilson demonstrating some of their speakers with lesser electronics, viz. to show: 1) how amazing their speakers are, 2) what is actually important in a stereo set (i.e. speakers and their placement in a room).
If you don't have really good electronics you will never know how good the Sasha are. They are a very difficult load and many amps just are not up to driving them. I have heard my friends with different amps and the differences were striking; and these were all quite expensive amps. The sound qualities of preamps and phono stages were also very obvious.
"It does not look like the Alexia will be a viable alternative to the Sasha unless the price is much cheaper here than in England. The price over there is suppose to be 200,000 pounds; or $300,000 or more depending on conversion rate. May be a great speaker but looks like it will be in a totally different price class, i.e. 10x as much..."
< Hi Stanwal, were you referring to Alexandria XLF? Or, if Alexia, 20k/30k pounds perhaps?
I think it is kind of silly to think that a person who can afford a Wilson speaker can't afford very good electronics. It just doesn't make sense. It is possible but improbable, so calm down.
The speaker like most speakers has to be optimized when installed. It needs good room characteristic, needs good cables, needs good electronics and so. It seems to me every speaker needs this kind of attention to sound their best, and to be frank creating a high fidelity system is what makes this hobby fun.
To the original poster's question, my answer is yes I have heard the Sasha sound ragged, bright, and lack coherence. It was in my system when I made the mistake of stacking a dac we were trying out on top of my phono stage. Vinyl sounded the worst I have heard it in my system, and my two listening buddies also commented on how bad it sounded. It took me quite a while to figure out what had happened.
Removed the dac (and turned off all digital sources) and back to great sound.
The lesson for me is that Sashas won't mask system issues upstream. If something is amiss, you'll know.
And to Mechans' point about Wilson owners being able to afford appropriate electronics -- at least in my case, I didn't get there overnight. In fact it has taken me the entire 2.5 years I have owned my Sashas to acheive the best sound, through trial and error on associated electronics and set up. The journey has been worth it, but I am at least one example of someone who had to work his way there over time.
I couldn't agree more with your comments about electronics. My Densen B-350s mono-amps were fantastic with Sophia 3s, but struggle a little with the Sasha's.
I think you would be surprised by how many own expensive speakers without electronics to match. I love my Densen's but know there are several amps that would get more out of the Sasha's. I've been enjoying this hobby for 20 years. I have traded my way up and purchased what I hope is my last speaker. In time I will upgrade my source and add room treatment.
I got the price from a British forum which started talking about the Alexia and went on to denounce 200,000 pound speakers. Apparently the topic had swiched to the Alexandria without making the transision clear. Everyone went on talking as if they were still talking about the Alexia and I couldn't get a price on them from the Wilson web site so I assumed that they were that expensive. $50,000 still seems high but not totally out of reason. When there are 127 speakers listing for over $100,000 out there I will believe just about any price; even the $6,950,000 solid gold ones.
Looks like the trading price of Sasha has been pushed down to 15k and dropping fast?
Where do you get that figure?
I have never been a Wilson fan, but had a powerful lesson why recently at a small show in England. I entered the room and the Sashas were being driven by a large Krell stereo amp, I am not sure which. Brittle, edgy, hard and quite unpleasant sound. I was just about to run out screaming, when the amp was changed to an Audio research reference 150. What a difference, all the detail but smooth, fast, great soundstage, quite delightful. I believe Wilson's are voiced on ARC amps.
Thinking about it, I have always heard Wilson speakers on SS amps. My conclusion, they need tubes and maybe ARC are the best choice.
I have been about 6 times at clients with Wilson Audio speakers. they had one thing in common. They had a lot of acoustic problems. Some music you even could not play. They say Wilson make very fast speakers in respons. To be honest I don't think so. Wenn timing is better with speakers you get less acoustic problems. I sold my Pass Labs XA100.5 to a client with Puppy 7 speakers. To be honest it was quite good. Most times I listend to Wilson speakers I would not even want them for free in my room. Because I prefer en deeper and wider stage first. And second instruments and voices need to be extreemly sharp focussed and in the right proportion. This is a part were Wilson is not as it's best. With many amps Wilson speakers sound lean and far from musical. And yess then you need tube to make it sound acceptable.
There are many solid state amps that sound great with Sashas. I do not agree that they have to be super expensive - Cary SA-200.2, which costs $4000, sounds absolutely amazing with Sashas.
The key is to get an amp that sounds smooth. It doesn't have to be a tube amp, although tube amps in general sound smoother than SS ones. The Sashas tweeter is so revealing, that it will let you instantly know about any problems upstream. Get everything right (which includes the front end) and there are a few speakers, irrespective of price, that will sound better.
Reading through this thread really brought back memories for me. Comments about how Wilson's, in this case the Sasha, require careful placement/tube amps/just the right cables/room treatment, etc., in order to sound good. These are identical to what owners have been saying about WP's for years.
With my WP's if everything was just so, including the recording, they were absolutely fantastic. But, ultimately I decided that they emphasized flaws to the detriment of my musical enjoyment.
Wilson owners have to have the resources to correct any and all anomalies in their room and equipement in order to get the best results. David Wilson was a recording engineer and his entry into home audio came as a result of developing studio monitors (the WATT) that laid everything bare. many at the time felt that he had come upon a new level of transparency that would let at least certain types of recorded music sound "live". consider however the deadness of a studio environment in playing back tapes. now consider the room you're going to put a pair of watt/puppies into...
I have a Wilson Audiophile CD i particularly like of organ music. my whole system seems to snap into focus and come to attention when listening to this recording, and "my speakers" even start to resemble the "Wilson Sound".
Like i said, David Wilson, engineer. the effect is just uncanny.
Ergady : "With my WP's if everything was just so, including the recording, they were absolutely fantastic. But, ultimately I decided that they emphasized flaws to the detriment of my musical enjoyment."
Used to own WP7s, recalled how they were sounding exceptionally good when driven by Jadis pre/power/DAC+Siltech cabling. IME, they do need the typically full, lush sounding gears in front to make sing, which helps tame their inherently rather prominent upper-mid/high.
*This was what Wilson has been working to improve upon I believe. And to a certain extent, was quite successful with the Sasha, ie.trading a little of utmost presence for musicality. I've heard, this is now pushed even further in Alexia and XLF with their new silk dome tweeters.
I've owned Mirage M1s, Devore Fidelity, Audio Physics, Artemis EOS, Sophia 2s & 3s and now Sashas. What I love and hate about Sashas is every component change can be easily heard and sometimes the change is dramatic. I like to learn in this hobby and my recent experience with CD players reminds me that the source has a significant impact on the sound of speakers. I auditioned a CD player that made my "system" super bright, diffused, and made me not want to listen. The CD player I like so far is a 10 year old Metronome CDV2 Signature and my system sounds very smooth. I'm replacing a Apollo-R. I submit that when you get to the level of Sashas, every component impacts the sound; therefore synergy becomes more important than the speakers.
Like you , I had to made a decision to buy a used pair Sasha(18months) in less than a few hours, as in Sydney, the new price is so high that any good 2nd hand pair is too good to miss out! I paid A$16000 and new is more than A$35,000. Sasha are great speakers but not the last anyone will own!! I found it very demanding to get out it's best. With different equipments, there is always something better and something not quite right, I used CJ Premier350, Audio Research Vt100iii and Lamm ML2.1. Six months later, I had to let it go. I am sure there are amps that can bring out it's total best but it will become an exercises too expensive for me. On the other hand, I could have lived with W/Puppy 7 which is not as perfect as Sasha but is more easy to bring out it's best.
All the times I listend to classical music on Wilson speakers it was so much different then in real. One of my best friends had a small concert room for about 60 people with a Steinway wing. I miss the wood sound of a violin. I miss the sharp and direct focus. An I miss the deep stage. In my world Wilson speakers sound a lot different then in real. I miss too many parts what can be there. For this I would not even want a Wilson speaker for free in my room!
this might be a little off topic but maybe not. People are talking about a lot of Sashas becoming available in the near future. Where have all the watt puppies gone. It used to be there were many different ones for sale at any given time. Now there don't seem to be any?
Mpit, it looks like eventually everybody here has figured out what Bo1972
knew for some time now, i.e. Wilson speakers are very bad speakers. :)
Though, I find it hard to believe that a dealer, i.e. Bo1972, would not want
Wilson speaker in his room even if they are for free...
"eventually everybody here has figured out Wilson speakers are very bad." I guess I didn't get the memo...I've listened to many speakers and for some strange reason I preferred Wilson Sashas. I didn't take anyone's advise, my wife and I used our ears. I heard several speakers that I enjoyed and/or did somethings better than Sashas; however overall I preferred Sashas. Speakers are about component matching...I recently inserted a new cd player in my system that changed the tonality of my speakers and after a couple of days I returned it. I had a home audition of another player that complimented my "overall" system. My point is your not just hearing a speaker, your hearing a system and my experience tells me that when partnered with the right components Sashas are just as good as other speakers. That being said, everyone has different preferences and there are no absolutes!
Ricred1, my post was meant to be ironic. It was a response to B01972's post on 04-02-13.
I have owned probably 10 to 15 pair of speakers in the 10K plus price range. While most of them are very good in their own right, Wilsons have got to be right up there with the best if your listening to rock and roll.
Sorry for directing my response to you.
Mpit's comment is in line with my experience. Try as I might, massed strings on a large number of my favorite recording were a problem with my Wilson's. Peaky mic's, mic's to close, mastering issues, sunspots, who knows? Still, if I wanted to listen to Bruno Walter, forget it. But Refference Recordings, Sheffied's, Harmonia Mundi, etc. sounded fine. The string edge on too many recordings finally caused my to look elsewhere.
For the longest time I couldn't decide if the Wilson's had a peak in just the wrong place, a violin, or if most classical recording engineers go for excessive detail. I finally decided it was a little of both.
If you want sweet sounding strings, the old Wilson tweeter isn't your best bet. I suspect the new silk tweeter will be better. But with rock and jazz, the issue I had with Wilson was immaterial.
All my clients who owned Wilson speakers had a lot of acoustic problems. Why you would choose for this? Why you choose for a sound what is difficult to get a musical and involving sound. Why you use for less deep stage if you can get a much deeper stage? Why you choose for a focus what is not extrreemly sharp as what is possible? Mmmmmmmm...just tell me........
I would not want one for free in my room. But yess I would one for free to sell to a fool.
Bo1972 sounds like a dealer I know who was a Wilson loyalist until he spent a day listening to a customer's system that used a brand that is known for making music. His comment to me: "How could I have missed so much music for that many years?"
Hey Bo I think its time to put down the crack pipe
I never sold Wilson. I know for a long time that Wilson sounds a lot different than instruments sounds in real. But many people who bought it do not have this knowledge. I had the chanche to listen en test so many stuff in 15 years. This makes it more easy to judge and understand. In the beginning I did audio for 80 hours a week. I was that addicted. All my free time I spend on testing. Mannnn I love it that much. I like to find out the quality and talents/properties of speakers, amps, cables, sources etc.
Do not get me wrong. Wilson is not a bad product. But it is not that good many people think it is. Nothing more, nothing less.
Name three speakers under 30K that I should listen to, so I can sell my Sashas. I listen to Jazz and my room is 20'x26'.
This weekend I was at a show with 50 distributers. Magico S1, New Dynaudio Platinum, Focal Scala etc. I was here with Monitor Audio Pl-200 ( which is in 3d, speed, natural sound and imaging a lot better than the Pl-300. Which I own for 5 years. And I sold a lot), PLW-15 subwoofer, which is the fastest sub in respons till about 6000 dollar. I used the Pass Labs X250.5 I used the Onkyo BD-SP809 as a source. Before this I owned the Meridian 800 DAXv4 dvd player. The most special thing is: Onkyo PR-SC5509 with Audessey Pro. But now comes the key. I did many tests in the last 15 years. We are talking about maybe thousands of tests. From not expensive till very expensive stuff. Since 6 months I know I have a photographic memory. The part of your brain were you use ther audition for audio had developed a lot. I can hear so much more than normal people can. Many times in 1/10 of a second I know everything of a set. What are the properties in sound. What is there and what is missing. Fort me it has become that easy. I can easily compare the first audition witht the second. I have in my head the first one, the second one I can compare very precise. This makes it more easy to understand the difference. What I did with Audessey pro is using it at Highend Standards. I measure at totally different hights and places compared to the Audyssey Way. The endresults are superior. I can measure so much more dynamics than they do. At the end I have a lot more drive, focus, sound realism, 3d imaging and control. I have even superior level in sound then what I had with my Pass Labs XP-20. Which I owned for 2 years. I did not sleep for one night because I had to do everything myself. At 5;15 I was ready with my Audyssey pro measurment. Wenn I listend I knwe I would have the best sound of everything. In 3 days many people came to me. Distributer owners who said: Bobby you have the best sound by far. Yesterday the owner and boss of the biggest Audio Magazine in Holland said: You had the absolute sound. What will be next. I am taking with a few brands to give shows. I hope to do some in the US as well. Then you can see me and hear were I am talking about. Hearing is believing. Monitor Audio England was even that surprised. I think and work in tools. A source, amp, speaker or cable is a tool for me. I test it and I will lable all the properties/talents it has. I can see and hear 3-4 steps further than other people can in this world of audio. I will soon send some links about the show. To be continued...
It's great that you have outstanding ears, but all I asked was for you to recommend 3 alternatives to Sashas below 30K.
I will need some time to ask your question. I will in a few days. Wenn I give an answer I want to do it right. I promisse.
Hey Ricred, I see you use Densen. I sold it for a couple of years. You have to understand properties/talents of the equipment you buy. Densen is open, fast en controlled. But it misses the emotional musical sound amps like Pass can give. Focus is good, but not stunning. In highend perspective there is not a very deep stage. Beside this I do not think your speakers are that special. The combination is not the best marriage. I would never advice this combination. Your speakers can give a good wide and deep stage. Not extreemly wide and deep, but it is there. It is not that fastest speaker on the planet. I would choose for a more musical amp like Pass or maybe tubes for your speakers. Definitely no Denson. They are both not that involving, I can imagine you are not extreemly happy with it. I could not be either to be honest. For the money you spend you could get a much higher level. I would have used my money differently. Wilson speakers give many times a lot of acoustic problems. So the people who think it is a fast speaker, just dream on. It is not. Speakers which are fast have less acoustic problems. You go for another amp or a speakerset.
Considering what I paid,I'm actually happy with my system. Have you ever heard Densen with Sasha's? I listen to contemporary Jazz and some old R&B. When the recording permits, the image has depth and extends outside of the speakers. Have I heard the Sasha's sound better...yes I have(usually tubes).
In all seriousness, I don't want you to recommend any speakers for me...I've had the luxury of auditioning everything that I've purchased. My wife and I are the only ones that can determine what to purchase. I do get recommendation from a very good dealer/friend of 20 years...he usually asks the following questions, what I'm I looking to improve and how much can I comfortably spend. I will continue to improve my system as funds permit.
The consensus, if there is one, seems to be that Wilson Sashas can sound great, with a lot of effort and the right ancillaries and recordings. That seems to be my limited experience too. As a point of principal, can any product be considered great,, when there are these provisos. I am not trying to give a definitive answer here, but asking the question.
I have been struck before by some HiFi reviewers, particularly in HiFi+, where they give a glowing write up about a product, concluding "It's the best there is, on such and such music, if you use these speakers and cables etc"
To me, how can it by great with so many qualifications.
To make some suggestions for Ricred1, about alternatives under $30000, that are musical, unfussy and not critical of the genre of music being played, I would suggest Daedalus, perhaps the Ulysses and Sonus Faber.
.......Wenn I listend I knwe I would have the best sound of everything. In 3 days many people came to me. Distributer owners who said: Bobby you have the best sound by far. Yesterday the owner and boss of the biggest Audio Magazine in Holland said: You had the absolute sound. What will be next. I am taking with a few brands to give shows. I hope to do some in the US as well. Then you can see me and hear were I am talking about. Hearing is believing. Monitor Audio England was even that surprised. I think and work in tools. A source, amp, speaker or cable is a tool for me. I test it and I will lable all the properties/talents it has. I can see and hear 3-4 steps further than other people can in this world of audio. I will soon send some links about the show. To be continued...
Bo1972 (Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)"
<< Please don't. "yeWnn"...
You can buy Sonus Faber Stradivari for low prices. This one makes music. The only thing what misses is a deep stage. Wilson does this part better. But still not stunning! I did compare in the past the Sasha 2 with the Pl-300 of Monitor Audio. Stage of the Monitor Audio is bigger. There is more air and resolution as well. Instruments were better focussed. This is because the respons of th Platinum series is faster compared to the Wilson's. These days I use a Pl-200 with a PLW-15 subwoofer. One of the fastest and best stealth low freq. I ever heard by a sub. You need to us Audyssey pro. Now I have full 3d sound form 16 hz till above 100.000 hz. The 200 gives me also stunning sound with classical music. Wilson I could not live to listen to classical music. Why? Because in real it sounds a lot different. I would get irritated! I also play 1 metre beside the speakers. This makes the stage very wide. Within this stage I have also a stunning 3s sharp individual focus. Almost all demo's at show's instruments and voices are played too big. With this in mind you will loose intimacy. My way of doing measuments with Audyssey Pro sets music to a much higher level in 3d touchable sound. This was the main reason why people found it the absolute sound of last week. The key is timing and sound realism. I will tell you one difference between Pass and Densen. A Pas can let you hear the difference of two acoustic gutars with ease. A Densen they will sound a lot more the same. Pass is great in sound, 3d and speed en timing is stunning. This is why I will go for the 600.5 this year.
I would like to hear your speaker suggestions.
I have heard Wilson's sound both very good and just average in the same room with different equipment.