anyone care to comment re: WP-8?

the recent review in stereophile seems (to me) to be "fair and balanced". while it gives high praise to the "reference" level of quality the speaker represents, it also raises some recurrent problems with the design and the sound. looking for the best tweeter, or the most rigid cabinet, or even the best material for the puppy-port on the back, dave wilson forgets, IMHO, that the sum of the parts has to exceed the values of the individual components. the dynaudio speaker the reviewer uses as a comparison seems to integrate everything together although it doesn't have the degree of transparency that the wilson has- virtually nothing i've seen or heard out there does. this reminds me of the issue of approaching a goal line by coming 1/2 of the way closer on each move forward. you would have to take infinite steps to arrive there; the WP8 discloses its own shortcomings like an almost flawless lens with one tiny chip in it- unfortunately not towards the edge but distractingly always in view. so what you have here is a speaker that gets closer and closer to an "ideal transducer" but the design, the "painting", is never quite finished. still, i have to envy anyone who owns one of these speakers. a rolex is a rolex, and a watt-puppy is small but uniquely elegant (unless of course you own a pair of kharma exquisites...)
Great speakers as everyone surely already knows. The consistent narrow bass bump from 80 to 100 Hz (and very sharp roll off) in the WP series is my only concern but then again "big bass" sells, as it sounds impressive. I call this kind of coloration the Britney Spears "Hit me baby one more time" bass - it really kicks!
Reviews are an interesting starting point, but they have little bearing on what each listener prefers in his or her own system.

Frankly, reading reviews is often a detriment because they highlight flaws that are forevermore in the mind of the listener, regardless of how exceptional the speaker sounds.
Just like every iteration of WP, or any speaker for that matter, you'll either like them or you won't. That being said, there are few designs of ANYTHING that have received more careful consideration than these loudspeakers. Should it be surprising, then that specific characteristics/inherent limitations of the design become more apparent as other imperfections are planed away? Even DAW acknowledges this when discussing the transitions from 6 to 7 to 8.

But, how good are the 8s? I think they are great. Most notably, they are somewhat smoother on top than the 7s, which, I believe is all good. The other changes are harder for me to hear, but I do think it is a less noisy system, if only a little. Overall, very nice evolutionary move forward. Worth another $6k? Not for me, but I would guess that that would depend on how important the tweeter improvements are to you.
My WP 8's show up on Fri. I've had WP 6's for about the last 5 years. Sorry, I have heard the 8's repeatedly at my dealer, it is a much improved speaker imo. I know it's pricey, maybe not the best "value", but it draws me in like no other speaker. I thought the Stereophile review as very middle of the road, Tvad had a great point.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll post my impressions on my WP 8's as soon as they run in some...
The bass IMHO has always been the strong point of the
Watt Puppy series. The highs are an acquired taste. I heard
the WP8 recently and the signature WP highs and upper mids,
a kind of jangly, ever-so-slightly abrasive sound in
strings and vocals, are still there, though they are significantly more refined than earlier versions.
I still wish Dave would give a ribbon or silk a chance.
Of course, maybe Watt Puppies wouldn't be Watt Puppies
without this sound. Just my 2 cents.
(I had WP6s for about a year.)
I thought the review was artfully written.

Obviously, the reviewer wanted to laud the speaker while reserving the highest praise for Wilson's higher priced (presumably better?) systems, as well as for the inevitable W/P 9s, 10s, 11s, etc. yet to come.

Spending time laying out the W/P's history helps put its strengths and weaknesses in understandable perspective. To my reading, its strength has always been the tweeter and the WATT enclosure, which together provide the heightened detail that Dave Wilson apparently found lacking in other monitors.

After the tweeter, everything else was a catchup. The 7 inch midrange is as big as some woofers used in other monitor speakers and may have at one time supported the hope that the WATT could be almost a full range monitor. I am impressed that it has held up as a credible midrange driver.

As the review points out, the Puppy's have long lagged the effectiveness of the tweeters, and their flaws still persist, perhaps providing rationale for future W/P generations.

Incrementally, it appears that the key differences in the W/P8 are (1) the tweeter is toned down somewhat, to sound not as hot, but without losing detail (?), and (2) the Puppy is slightly improved but still imperfect. As a result, it sounds like the speaker is more balanced.

I am much encouraged by Jfrech's comment that the speaker is indeed much improved, and I am looking forward to reading his further impressions. I like my W/P6s for their high end detail and bass prominence (as Shadorne so aptly highlighted), but they are getting long in the tooth. Maybe its time to move up.
can anyone name a speaker for half the wp's price that does not show it up?...sonically
05-25-07: Jaybo
can anyone name a speaker for half the wp's price that does not show it up?...sonically
Is this what you mean?

Or, did you mean, "Can anyone name a speaker for half the wp's price that DOES show it up sonically?"

I can honestly say the Von Schweikert VR4 Gen III HSE come very, very close to the sound of the WP7, IMO. No, they are not as good, but at their original retail price of $5995, it'd be damn hard to choose to spend an additional $15k on the WP7.

Also, Egggleston Andra II are excellent competitors to the WP8. In fact, I can easily imagine some listeners preferring the Andra II in a blind listening session.

That said, the WP8 are truly outstanding speakers, and probably worth their asking price for those who have the scratch.
I have owned my W/P 8s since November but have refrained from commenting about them untiI I felt I had sufficient experience with them.

I have owned every W/P since the 3/2 up to the 8s but not exclusively. I have tried several alternatives including worthy contenders from Sound-Lab, Vandersteen, Quad, Audio Physic and Martin-Logan but have always returned to the Wilson house sound.

I find the W/P 8s to be the most cohesive speaker I have ever heard. And by "cohesive" I mean sounding as one.

All the drivers seem to match more seamlessly, transparently and effortlessly.

They're like a blend of A-1s and 5As, except smaller, more dynamic and exciting; and frankly just more fun.

At least for now.