Ambitious challenge, it will be interesting to see where this ends up. Hopefully for you and this thread you have some takers.
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Am I the only one who thinks your phrasing smacks of arrogance?
And besides what audiophile in his right mind would spend the kind on money you did on the Wilson Benesch speakers when they could get a better sounding pair of Paradigm speakers for about 10% of the cost???
Funny how people can justify their own purchases, but anyone who spent more is an idiot!!!
Not sure about the 10%That old graphite magic in WB's is amazing if not only in speakers byut \ut a hell a good arm on a great looking table,To bad my budget will only aloow for WB moniotrs whiuc\ich I will pronb\baly never get but like some speakers say the Totem Mnai-2 the bass these little boxes throw is amazing.I can't be sure but my guss is you've never had the pleasure with WB,\.If ther is a big shakeout of stereo companies soone and now they seem toi be as numerous as Tribbles (no I am not a Trekkie) I hope they are one of the suvivors.
Al, bored to death this winter? Nothing going on in your life? Speaker competitions? Must be the up coming olympics, heh? I believe you. You ear tell ya that you have a great pair there? Why pick on just Wilson? If you're going to do it, why not make it an open competition? Or better yet: relax, listen to your tunes with a brewski, smile how lucky you are that you didn't waste all your money on a pair of Wilsons. Be happy with that...
Hmmm, I don't see this thread as a sign of arrogance at all. It sounds like a fair offer to hear a direct comparison of any two speakers (but why only Wilson?) with another local audiophile. I have done similar listening sessions with local audiophiles on a variety of our components and this can be a lot of fun and quite a learning experience.
A little time has to be spent to try and find the optimal position for each speaker, mark the locations and then move one pair into the location at a time. Sounds like an all-day ordeal but might be of some value. And after such an experiment, there should be some ideas as to the major differences to each.
We can talk of a speaker not being full range or rolled-off bass, but unless everything is constant, including the same room, such statements only reflect the results of the full system ..... that we are most likely not familiar with. We tend to make snap judgements on products without knowing the true cause of "problems" that we have identified.
Last night I dropped in a pair of ASC tube traps behind my SoundLab A1 speakers. From my experience, imaging has not been one of the strongest attributes I have experienced with these speakers. But just the one pair of ASC's made me rethink this as I had clarity and placement that I did not know possible with the A1s. In other words, I had a completely different speaker. I can only imagine what more room treatments will bring in this area .... and perhaps other sonic improvements. Only another speaker evaluated in my system would give me any idea as to whether or not I would have any inkling to change to something else.
So I think this is a great idea. But keep an open mind to try this with any other speakers or sources, electronics, cables, etc. Most of the fun is meeting and befriending other people in this hobby.
"So I think this is a great idea. But keep an open mind to try this with any other speakers or sources, electronics, cables, etc. Most of the fun is meeting and befriending other people in this hobby."
I absolutely agree
"Last night I dropped in a pair of ASC tube traps behind my SoundLab A1 speakers. From my experience, imaging has not been one of the strongest attributes I have experienced with these speakers. But just the one pair of ASC's made me rethink this as I had clarity and placement that I did not know possible with the A1s. In other words, I had a completely different speaker. I can only imagine what more room treatments will bring in this area .... and perhaps other sonic improvements."
I also agree. Many people here have used different forms of room modification. The design in my room was done entirely by the people at ASC. I followed their plans and my room is flat at all frequencies other than a small 60 Hz bass hump which has proved to be inconsequential.
Why not just meet at the local YMCA for the ultimate penis challenge? You know, full exposure of the drivers, measure the bottom end response, the whole kit and kabooty. Face it, unless you're one of these XXX stars with the deluxe-size pumper enhanced with the use of genital steroids, it's gonna be a lot easier on the back to haul your package to the contest than it is your speakers. Why not, it's the same game anyways, so forget about the Wilsons and just put your Jimmy up against their Johnson. And make sure you follow up here with a report on who has the better gear, with appropriate specs, graphs, who gets the 6 Moon award, etc. Will you do that for us, Jimmy?
Nryrchy, your mean spirited response is exactly what I was referencing in my post re: " personal attack/defences ". There truly is no arrogance felt/intended on MY part. Reread my post and you will see no mention of "idiots". Warrenh : I'm specifically "picking on Wilsons" as this thread was intended as a more thoughtful/ FUN reponse to the endless Wilson hype/bashing posts that contain more hubris than good natured debate. Jafox : You probably read the very long thread on the 'dv 50 anything sig better'. Multiple shootouts on mult dates. It's a great idea and sounds like lots of fun but I'm not sure it works so well with large ,heavy speakers. There are several speakers that on any given day / mood that I myself might prefer ( A-1's for instance) Please everyone , this is meant to be fun AND educational AND I am willing to accept that it might be me who is educated. One last comment to snook2 : Chimeras put out little below 24hz so if home theater, rap,organ music is your thing they will dissapoint. What you hear above this is a flat response without the usual midbase hump. It takes awhile to get used to this. I listen to jazz (real jazz not kenny g jazz), classical, rock, even some country and don't feel more bass energy is necessary although I accept that others may dissagree. My prejudice is for "accurate" not " musical " or 'reproducing the memory of a live experience' although I see these as valid alternatives. I just want what is on the disc and this is probably at the heart of alot of peoples differences reguarding speaker choices. Peace - Jim
Boa2 :Why is it that this subject hastraditionaly devolved into name calling and inuendos about peoples characters. Can you not concieve as possible that I and others might just be interested in learning more about this HOBBY of ours. I don't remember such attacks on the cd player shootouts or any other topic actually. People were really interested in the strong points of the various players. I didn't get the sense that they used there equipment (pun intended) to validate ther masculinity. The subject of value came up several times in discussions of emm,reimyo,esoteric vs. alex's modded units but I don't recall any insinuation that emm owners were "idiots". I think people, rightfully, were looking for high performing, less costly alternatives in DIRECT comparison. Somehow this discussion always devolves because the subject of 'value' in highend audio in general and Wilsons in particular brings out very few THOUGHTFUL inquires. Surely there is someone else who thinks about the subject and wants to have some FUN learning/experiencing something new. Jim
I believe that even in a system optimized for Wilsons you will (?) the beauty of a high end less costly alternativeIt occurs to me that you initiated this thread in order to teach someone a lesson, Jim, not to (as you say) "have FUN learning/experiencing something new. If I misread your post, excuse me. I did not interpret it as an inquiry, but rather more of a statement. If indeed you want to have fun comparing speakers, what do I care? I still contend that a group comprised predominantly of men will inevitably gravitate towards a game called "mine is bigger/better than yours." In fact, this happens to be the prevailing exercise in these threads. Furthermore, upon re-reading your initial post several times, I can't help reading as anything but an invitation to play that very game, with a predicted winner in mind even before it begins. So, have fun. Start your engines...
Well, if you ever do find someone to do the test, I'd like to know the outcome. I'm a big believer in emperic testing. Here's a big reason why: I once read and researched a line of loudspeakers that looked great on paper, were aesthetically beautiful, and which I thought would sound phenomenal. Went to company headquarters to listen, and (to my ears anyway)...YUCK. They weren't the Wilsons and I won't name the brand, but the point is that people need to listen for themselves.
So......FWIW: Your offer, to me at least, sounds useful and even (sort of) conciliatory rather than arrogant, although different people perceive things in different ways, so it's not necessarily surprising that some people found it potentially offensive.
Warrenh : OK, I'll bite. It's not the heat I object to. This isn't exactly life or death. I'm just a guy asking a question which apparently pisses alot of people off. Boa2 : I see your point if one subscribes fully to your phallic theory. I do not. It is,in fact, possible for men to learn together as adults. If you reread the post yet again you will see 'no personal attacks', 'honest assesment',and a willingness, upfront, to admit that I was wrong. These are not charateristics typical of the all too common boastfullness you imply. Naturally I have my own opinions and prejudices which I have stated before. Peace- seriously- Jim
No worries, Jim. I think I was perturbed by what I took as an unjustifiable, weekly bashing of Wilsons on another thread, but I didn't need to vent on you because of it. Incidentally, I happen to prefer the Chimera to either the Watt Puppy 7 or Sophia, but also believe that there are as many different auditory realities as there are people. Hence the reason that all high end components make someone happy. And thankfully so, because in my opinion it's always best to have such an array of sonics on tap.
i think some of this might stem from wilsons interview of his philosphy on system design in a rencent absolute sound (ie wilson speakers with a ipod.. more $$$$ on speakers and less on source)... and ivor from linn in the other corner saying the source is the most important...( i look for balance)
in regard to "challenge" that is mentioned in this post, i dont think it is relevant...
wether a speaker is "better" than another is really system dependant, room dependant, personal preference, and synergy. I have heard some really $$$ systems(highly regarded gear) sound like crap because of poor matching and/or setup. in fact, some of the best systems (musicality)have been of extermely modest gear but the utmost care taken in the setup (stereo salesman systems... which means they get to try out a WIDE range of gear and find out what sounds best in that system/enviorment)
in regards to the purchase of wilson speakers, i think you are blessed to afford them. which means you have a wide range to chose from - to say they are the end all/be all is a bit newbie (neophyte) position. when it comes to cost no barred, i love the joesph pearl, the big dali's, big maggies, circes(all beyond my reach and room). the reason i like the above mentioned is the way they present music, not because some of them cost more than my $8k retail audio physic libra's ( very good speaker btw)
keep in mind wilson's are out of reach of most audiophile (the most speakers sold are vandersteens or maggies).
i think most philes that buy wilson(or at that $$$ level):
-like the wilson house sound
-very experienced(keep in mind, high end audio is a sickness ( a dog that chases it tale).. there is a lot of buying, selling, swapping of gear and cables that is endless)
Jim, I believe you are sincere but I do not really understand your challenge. First off, the Chimeras do not sell for any less than the W/P7s. Second you say you will perform your comparison even in a system optimized for Wilsons EXCEPTING of course, the amplification. Third it is unlikely that any owner of the highly efficient MAXX 2s or X-2s will accept the challenge because of the amplification issue and the daunting challenge of moving the speakers which are hard to position in the first place and not just because of their weight.
That said I would love to hear a direct comparison between the Chimera and the W/P7s, the two being similarly priced speakers of similar design (the Chimera is Benesch's version of Watt on Puppy). I heard the Chimeras in San Francisco and was impressed. I also thought they were a little bass shy but I'm probably used to the Wilson house sound.
BTW, isn't Benesch Dave's evil doppelganger?;~)
Khrys : Yes amplification may be an issue but there are plenty of Wilsons running on 100+ watt amps. I was really ony trying to exclude SET s. IMHO Wp 7 is not similar to Chimera. Chimera is carbon fiber and possibly the most inert cabinet in audio. The tact drivers are also propriatary and made in house utilizing 500,000 + in EU money. The only part not made by WB itself is a version of the super revelator tweeter. Without EU deveopment money Chimeras would be at least 35k. Chimeras are 2.5 way designs with 4 isobaricly 7 " woofers. This presents exteremly fast, accurate bass but little energy below 25hz. Wilsons are very good trditional kit speakers. None of this says anything about sound. For accuracy we could measure response but for enjoyment we have only our opinions. I respect yours but to my ears WP's and WBb'do not sound at all similar though you and others may indeed prefer the Wilson sound. I'm a fan of accuacy so that may explain my preference. If you are ever in Atlanta let me know and will spend some time listening. In fact, if there are any Atlanta audiophiles interested in any of this look me up. Jim
Hey Jim. Just wondering if you had any takers of your "challenge". I'd like to know the results, especially against the Maxx II since that's the only speaker that has me thinking about giving up my W/P7s.
I certainly agree that the Chimera and W/P7s sound very different but the former is clearly Benesch's version of the latter: placing a dedicated tweeter-midrange unit (modified Discovery) on top of a dedicated woofer unit(like a puppy); the essence of the W/P design.
The tweeter/midrange of the Chimera uses a 1" tweeter with a 7" midrange loaded @ 4ohms in a dedicated highly inert ported enclosure with no parallel surfaces, of the same internal volume, just like the Wilson Watt.
The bass unit of the Chimera champions Wilson's concept of multiple smaller woofers in a ported reflex design: twin 8" active units vs. four isobarically loaded 7" drivers.
The Chimera is a Euro wannabe.
Westborn, I suspect your tongue is well in cheek and maybe rightly so but I had no intentions of writing any knd of polemic, impressive or hilarious. Jim in his post of 1/07 listed his well thought out reasons as to why he feels the speakers are different, and I countered in my post above with reasons why I feel they are actually somewhat similar. Nothing more. Calling the Chimeras Euro wannabes was a good natured tweek at Jim's description of the Wilson's as "very good traditional kit speakers" which is funny because there is some truth in it! Jim seems like a mature guy with a good sense of humor and I respect his opinion.
I see the Chimera & W/P7 to be markedly different executions of a similar design concept, similarly priced in USD as well that sound very different. And Viva la difference. To each his own.
Jim you say you value accuracy but what does that sound like in a speaker?
Yes Vince McMahon ,I mean westborn, the FIRST attempt at empiric evidence gathering about a controversial topic which usually degrades into typical WWF B.S. has brought just what one would expect. Hilarius bafoonery from the oh so hip cut up crowd. "Awesome performance" from it's newest member : westbornvincemcmahon graduate of Jerry Springer school of broadcasting. -Jim
Your premise alone, posited in _all caps_ as a "CHALLENGE" is a bit bombastic, if not an outright troll. If you really meant your "suggestion" as an informative, casual comparison to create an informed dialogue and shared experience--as you later inferred, you would have said so initially.
Logisics for such a foray would be beyond daunting. Do you know how much the MAXX2's weigh? Of course, they'd have to be moved out of the room and yours brought in. The process would take two to three days at least, to put together an informed comparison, and to what end?
You love your speakers, and I'm sure rightly so, but it's clear that your agenda is to prove that "better" (whatever that means) sound can be had at the same, or half the price of a Wilson product. Why not ask Alexandria owners as well, if you can drop by with your speakers so you can prove the incredible value your favorite speaker has compared to their top model?
You get defensive at any questioning response but fail to consider the manner in which you framed your "CHALLENGE TO WILSON OWNERS" post as a causatiive factor? IMO it was wildly inappropriate if your intent was benign.
So, let me understand, you propose to drag your speakers out of your home (with no agenda in mind) , and are asking Wilson owners(in CAPS) to allow you into their home based on an internet "challenge" to compare your "half the price" speakers with MAXX2's, or similarly priced WATT 7's. And of course, you are just interested in learning and will be completely unbiased? And you wonder why so many have responded as they have?
Your opening post clearly states your love for your speakers and your zeal to prove their value pitted against not just any speaker, but Wilsons specifically? And you are suprised you are not flooded with takers?
I don't casually let _anyone_ I don't know over for just a listen to my system, much less some internet yokel that wants to invite himself and his speakers over for an agenda driven comparison.
Maybe I've misjudged, but your initial, and subsequent posts indicate to me (and others in this thread) that you have way too much time on your hands and an itch for promotion, whether of yourself or your speakers is unclear. Not in my home, thank you.
And yes, I own the MAXX2's. I've heard your speakers at dealers and they are very good as are other WB designs, if not my cupa. They are a very good speaker, none the less.
I loved the original Audio Physic speakers and have had countless other speakers through my room. My tastes in music, sound, speakers and electronics are my own. I have NO interest in a proposed "shootout" (which is what you seek) as I have already made my choices and have nothing to prove.
I hope you aren't doing this as a means to justify your own choice, as that would be sad, indeed.
"I don't casually let _anyone_ I don't know over for just a listen to my system, much less some internet yokel that wants to invite himself and his speakers over for an agenda driven comparison."
I too am a Wilson owner--have been for the past 12 years in which time I have owned the WP 5.1, WP6, MAXX l's, X-1 Series 3 and now the X-2 Alexandria. I also presently have the XS as well as the WATCH center, surround and rear in my system. Personally I wouldn't own any other speaker because the Wilson's light up my ears. Having said that however I must tell you that I have met the finest people by inviting "internet yokels" into my house to hear my system. Most have become members of our local Bay Area Audio Society. Audiophiles are good people and only share the love of music. It comes in all flavors and we must be conciliatory to everyone and their own flavors. This is a very diverse hobby. Nothing is perfect. If our friend wants to travel to the SF Bay area with his speakers I would only be too happy for the challenge of putting his speakers up against my X-2 Alexandrias. Audiophiles IMO are just fine to open your house to and extend an invitation for some serious listening. I guaranty some good friendships will develop
Yes, khrys, tounge FIRMLY in cheek. It was late last night when I was reading through the forums and the 'challenge' just struck me as funny in an adolescent way (no offense AlDavis - sorry about that).
I'm sure the Chimeras are very good speakers, I haven't heard a Benesch speaker, but everything I've read and 'heard' from talking, emails, internet discussions, etc. from people's whose ears I trust indicates that they are very nice. AlDavis, I'm sure your speakers are very enjoyable to you, that's great; your pride of ownership and enjoyment of music through them comes through in your comments and challenge. Sorry if I was jesting and jabbing at what I'm sure is a well intentioned challenge - I know how it is to want to get folks in front of what you're hearing, - almost the lifetime cave - dweller has finally gone outside and witnessed sunshine - and tries to tell everyone back in the cave what it's like, sadly on 'deaf ears' to no avail most of the time. I'd love to be able to listen to your Chimeras, but alas am a long way from you.
khrs - I HAVE heard the WPs, although its been a while. And I was definitely impressed. Drooling for a pair at a reasonable (to me) price.
I KNOW they KICK SERIOUS ASS, man! ;-) And play music beautifully as well.
I currenly own Northcreek Revelator Rythms - which are nice, but not up to the level of either the Chimeras or the WP7, but cost about 1/7 as much too, so go figure. I've got 4 kids so other priorities compete for the dollars right now. Both of you guys have for what to me right now are 'dream speakers', though I've heard some line arrays that are altogether different than both and equally impressive in their own way.
By the way, I've just joined here... who is Vince McMahon? Sounds like a quarterback.
OK fellas you win. Samuel, yes it would be duanting but I volunteered to do the work at my own time/ expense. Why Wilsons ? I think this was clearly answered somewhere above but here goes again. Many nonprodutive flame wars have been started here over the subject of the Wilson "sound" and the concept of "value" in audio. I tried to start an empiric approach by offering my time and equipment without the common childish name calling (yocal) or character besmirthment (troll) that this subject so often engenders. On one similar thread I was told to move to Canada as my sentiments about value were somehow anticapitalistic. In fact I was expresing thoughts about real world concepts with what I thought were mature adults. It is not about my WB speakers per se but any high end well built speaker ( 20 T's for instance) in comparison to the Wilsons at multiples of their prices. Yes I regret the use of capitals in my opening remark but I regret much more the lack of civility,maturity, and any sense of real curiosity about a subject which so many of you have opinions about. Well you know what they say about opinions. - Jim
Oneobgyn, I could not agree with you more. I have found inviting audiophiles into my home to be hugely satisfying; meeting interesting people and picking up some great tips for music I might not have have otherwise considered. I'm in SoCal but travel to the City frequently and would love to hear your system. You'd be preaching to the choir of course.
Jim, I think I have been civil and mature with my posts to you and I am genuinely curious as to what exactly you think "accuracy" sounds like in speakers. Maybe grist for another thread?
Jim, Ok, I apologize for the "yokel" crack, however given the way you framed your initial "CHALLENGE", it did look a like a troll or at the very least a poor choice for an approach.
Oneobgyn's kind invitation aside, I see the time, effort and impracticality of moving your speakers into someone's home and room, and their 400 some pound MAXX2's out, as being prohibitive to this , um, experiment.
And In the end, because you are so greatly enamored of the sound you get with _your_ speakers and consider them a great "value", the results you get from any comparison to WATT Puppy's or MAXX2's are in my opinion, predicatable--simply given the vast differences between the speakers presentations. One persons "favorite speaker" is almost certainly going to be different than another persons.
Having spent years owning different speakers, first the Aerial 10T's, then a succession Audio Physic speakers and now Wilsons, I view the _differences_ btw speakers as being far more obvious than any type of qualitative difference, and that is what you are likely to find.
I accept that your intentions may honorable, and not as they initially came across, but the premise and execution of this project seem a bit beyond reason to achieve a predicatble result--to me.
Khyrs, yes you have been and I appreciate it. Even (especially) the "tweek". " Accuacy" to me means faithfuly reproducing what is on the 'disc' without adding subtracting or editorializing. If I want to add "color" I listen with a good red Burgundy. If I want "romance" I listen with my wife. If I listen with my wife while drinking Burgundy...well you get the idea. - Jim
By the way, I would be unbelievably surprised if someone were using a SET amp on any Wilson model. I wouldn't worry about it.Hey Oliver,
Hope all is well with you. As a matter of fact, Oneobgyn is using Lamm SET amps with his Wilson X-2's.
Incidentally, a few of us heard the WP7's yesterday with Halcro amps/pre and a $35K DCS stack. For those who savor the dexterity and refinement of a 7-course meal prepared by a first-rate Lyonnaise chef, the sound was outstanding. It would not be my choice for daily fare, but there was no question that other music lovers would have speedily written a check for the entire lot.
How can any kind of fair and realistic comparison be made under these conditions? How will anyone know if the performance of each contender was optimized, and optimized for whose taste? I
I heard MAXX IIs in several CES/THE SHOW set ups last year. In most of these rooms, they did not sound very good. But, they made a respectable showing in the Audio Research room at THE SHOW. That means they can sound good under some circumstances, but, SURPRISE, they are not good under all conditions.
Likewise, the Watt-7s can sound both good and bad. At CES, the room with Halcro amps, the big DCS stack of digital source components and the Watt-7s was one of the WORST sounding rooms I've heard (the big McIntosh demo has retired the title for WORST sound). Someone above, loved this set up. I am willing to bet the difference is primarily room and set up conditions. So, how can any judgment be made?
What was missing from that gourmet meal.What the system did was extraordinary. It just didn't quite hit my taste palate, that's all. It sounded like perfectly reproduced music, yet always in the realm of hi-fi. For what it's worth, I had the same effect both times I've heard the Chimera's as well. I notice the gear more than I am able to connect with the music. On the other hand, who can really say, given that our system at home is the result of two years of 'tweaking', not a 60-minute spin in an unfamiliar space. Also, the sound I heard this time (the third time I've heard the WP7's) was characteristic of the affects I hear from many power conditioners, as well as an overly damped room. Like I said, I could see someone else coming in and dropping the dime on the whole setup, because if this level of refinement and quality is what you're after, it delivers in spades.
I have nothing bad to say about Wilson speakers. I will say I found B&W speakers to be more detailed and interesting to listen to. Also less costly. I have found the JM Labs with be tweaters to have great highs. Butt, they lack base in lower priced models. I found B&W to be a much better speakers across the price line. B&W 800 are 20k a pair JM Grands are 80K per pair.