Please rate WATT/Puppy 7


How great is it?Is it musical? Classical music only. Lots of chamber.
nmurro
Best in class-the WP 7 is itself, a musical instrument. It is only as great as the input it receives.
I heard them demonstrated last September at the HiFi News show in London. Absolutely amazing is all I can say. I have never heard a loudspeaker with this degree of resolution and imaging. The bass on a Kodo Drummer CD (can't remember which one) was very realistic. Bottom line, if you can afford them, makes sure they are on your short list and have a listen for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Over rated and over priced. Keep shopping.

-Ed
Ditto Ed-sawyer. And what about that mid-range? I have still yet to hear a Wilson design that gets the mids right.
I have wp6's and love them. I've heard the 7's, they are a little better. Anyone who doesn't like them, most likely didn't hear them set up right, with bad/not matching electronics, etc...

They are very revealing...and will tell you about a mismatch, wrong placement, etc...
It's a great one but $$$.
Stay tuned for used.
Used will have a right price hopefully.
As an example with Talon Khorus that dropped from 16k to only 4 this one may even take a larger one.
Another tip:
If you go for Dynaaudio C4 that is nearly twice cheaper you'll understand what's realy meant in most comments of this thread.
The Watt/Puppy is one of the most controversial products in audio. I own the 5.1's. They are a pain. The room and upstream equipment better be right. But, if everything is just so, they are something to hear. It took me years to get them to their current level and I suspect I can still get more out of them.

My point is this. Speakers as this level cannot be discussed in a vacuum. It all depends on your equipment and your room. If you want something to set up and play, and you don't want to fiddle with it, you don't want Wilson's. People that say they're poor speakers are correct AS FAR AS THEY KNOW because it's so difficult to get them to sound good.

Personally, I suggest a pair of 5.1's or 6's as they are so much cheaper. Then take the extra money and place it in room treatment and better equipment. I suggest tubes in the chain somewhere, I use a CAT Ultimate. I like MIT Cables with mine. If you have the funds to do all this and still get the 7's, which I'm sure are better, great. But, if you are spending this type of cash I'd find a dealer that will help you put all this together including room treatment and set up.

If you prefer to consider something easier to deal with I suggest the Vandersteen 5 A's. They are much more room friendly. Either way, make sure the dealer will give you your money back on the speakers if they don't work for you. For this kind of money a showroom demo is folley, you must hear them in your room.
On the plus side, excellent dynamics and fairly accurate. Downside, difficult/demanding of setup/positioning, substandard imaging/soundstage, they never pull a disappeaing act, require careful component matching, low speaker height makes it diffult to scale with tall images.

Keep in mind that I have not owned these speakers. I've only heard them in dealer showrooms. But I think that in itself indicates how difficult it is to get the most out of these speakers.

To put it succintly. The Watt Puppy's sound exactly like what they are and were intended to be. That being expensive studio monitors.

For your musical tastes I would recommend Kharma before Wilson.
I concur with Jazzdude. I owned 5.1s and while I understand that Wilson changed course with the 6 and evolved that new sound with the 7, the WP I owned were always exciting yet never enjoyable. Very demanding speakers and perhaps if you are willing to change your gear over 18 months you will find a semblance of nirvana. I felt my stereo should allow me to relax and enjoy the music rather than worry about the sound. I went to a Kharma which is not so slam-bam dynamic but is in my opinion, more legit in bass representation and accurate/deep in the midrange (vs flat, razor-sharp). At 10K a WP6 or WP7 might be worthwhile but not at 22K.

However, knowing what I know, I could have a pair of WP5.1s around the house in a secondary system at a 5K used price. What they do they do better than any but I think the sound is not a do-everything speaker.
Classicjazz raises some good points. His comments caused me to think of this. I went from ESL 63's to Wilson 5.1's. The Quads made almost everything sound good. The Wilsons made everything sound different. The better recordings got better, the poor ones worse.

What is a speaker supposed to do?

Allow me to ditto the comments about set-up. It's a chore. I had 5.1s and just couldn't fall in love, despite expensive cabling, lots of tweaking in the (tube) and SACD electronics feeding them. Revealing, yes indeed. Too much so. Then I got the 7s. It isn't even close. THESE I can love. They even sound better several rooms away. And speaking of rooms, I too, believe that many naysayers who have heard these or earlier versions heard them in rooms which weren't optimal or through less than synergistic equipment choices. I hope to build a gen-u-wine listening room designed by the best of the best. THEN we'll hear what these things can do.

Don't judge the 7s from the 5.1s. I never heard the 6s.

Best regards.
I too think most of the issues with the previous versions have been resolved with the 7’s. I have never listened to the 5.1’s, but I auditioned the 6’s on several occasions. I was very impressed with the accuracy, bass reproduction, and dynamics of the 6’s but could never warm up to them. Then came the 7’s. They did everything the 6’s did but better. They are a bit mellower on the top end without the loss of detail. I agree that they require careful system matching and may complement tube gear better than SS. I do not agree with the comment that they will not disappear. If properly positioned, you will be immersed in the sound and the 7’s are gone. As a matter of fact, they disappear better than any speaker I listened to in their size and price range. As far as price goes, they are not cheap. However, I don’t know why so much more emphasis is placed on the WP’s price. Other speakers in their class are comparably priced, and some cost more. I don’t think anyone that does his or her homework and shops around pays full retail anyway.

The 7’s will enhance a great system and reproduce what’s going on upstream. If you are looking for coloration, look elsewhere.
We used Watt/Puppy 7 in one of our CES demo rooms for the past two years. Its one of the best modern day speakers out there. Its a speaker that needs proper setup and if your system isn't up to snuff its not going to mask it for you.

IMO you need an accurate bass foundation for classical music and I can't think of any speaker at this price point that has the bass reproduction and articulation of the Wilsons. Buy it if you have the right system to compliment this wonderful speaker.
I truly find it hilarious when people are discussing a decade old model and relating it to the current day version which is completely different other than the name and general arrangement. When/how were comparisons made here, guys? What was the equipment? Give us a little background/detail to help us understand how you came to your conclusions.

It's been said already, but don't think it can't be overstated enough. I've heard WP7 with many different amps, both solid state and tube, and have to say they can sound like the traditional exposure most people have with Wilson: solid state hi powered amps, which would leave one impression that they can be very good or even awesome in certain areas like dynamics, bass extension, imaging, transparency blah blah blah.

With a truly world class tube amp they will bring out the best that ANY equipment is capable of, and drop your jaw with stunningly musical, realistically portrayed MUSIC.

For God's sake, if you've heard these in an audio "salon" you've not heard them. They cannot sound even close to what they're capable of within a casual sales environment and setup. They take a lot of care and as mentioned, time to find how they work in an individual room. No sales jockey in his right mind would take the time to set these up optimally-it's not worth it to them. They can sell speaker z which sound great when just thrown in the room, oh and it's a lot less money. Great.

Also, any small change and I mean small can totally alter them. They are truly chameleons: perhaps more forgiving than other Watt/Puppies but incredibly more involving-and it's not even close to the other models. The only way possibly to know what these can do is to try and search out an enthusiast who knows what he/she's doing and cares enough to take the time and spend the money to show 'em what's real on the battlefield and go visit their setups!
I concur that the W/P 7 needs proper setup but what really good speaker doesn't? It takes experience to position them ideally and that is why I always work with the dealer who places them intitially, allows them to break in then comes back several times to fine tune them with me. The result is easily worth the effort. I imagine having someone with experience set up the Kharma's would produce a better result than some noviciate reading the owner's manual.

I also concur that the W/P 7s sound sublime with capable tube amps which is why I run mine with JA-100s. But I have recently found them to be quite compatible with the elegant SS Hovland Radia stereo amp, no brute there.

There is no "do-everything" speaker but the W/P 7 comes closer than anything yet conceived. There are speakers that can best it in any given category but none can keep up in all.
I concur that the W/P 7 needs proper setup but what really good speaker doesn't? It takes experience to position them ideally and that is why I always work with the dealer who places them intitially, allows them to break in then comes back several times to fine tune them with me. The result is easily worth the effort. I imagine having someone with experience set up the Kharma's would produce a better result than some noviciate reading the owner's manual.

I also concur that the W/P 7s sound sublime with capable tube amps which is why I run mine with JA-100s. But I have recently found them to be quite compatible with the elegant SS Hovland Radia stereo amp, no brute there.

There is no "do-everything" speaker but the W/P 7 comes closer than anything yet conceived. There are speakers that can best it in any given category but none can keep up in all.
Dkarmeli, I would think most people would think the bass of the Vandersteen 5 is superior to that of the Wilson's. But they are not in the same price point.

I personally prefer the Vandersteen 5 to the Watt/Puppy overall too. But that is obviously my opinion and as such is extremely subjective.
tpigeon@tpigeon.com 

>> I would think most people would think the bass of the Vandersteen 5 is superior to that of the Wilson's<<

Generally I don't trust nor agree with most people's opinion!
Ok, have you ever heard the bass on the Vandersteen 5? If not, I suggest you try it. You might change your opinion.
I've heard the V5s several times just don't care for them.
Properly set up, there is nothing that I have auditioned that has been able to convey the subtleties of the musical event as evocatively. Careful setup by an experienced individual is essential. I wouldn't consider them without the assistance of an experienced setup person that you trust.

When all is right they are absolutely scintillating. For example, a recent SACD of Opera Arias by the soprano Anna Netrebko on DG is positively soul stirring. In particular, "Crudele? - Ah no, mio bene!" from Don Giovanni is arrestingly sung with great dramatic fluorish and an upper register to die for. This is a great young singer that I've only heard better at her debut with the San Francisco Opera. All of the qualities of her live performance are on display on this recording, and it sounds thrilling through the WP7s. Others (lots and lots) haven't conveyed either the sweetness or the boldness of her voice as convincingly.
i presently have eggleston andra-2's and ml-33h which sound
very musical. and remarkably the ml-33h in MY living room
have drawn me into the music- at the dealer they conveyed
accuracy but little more. i have also heard the wp-7's at the dealer and again great 3-d imaging and very good resolution
but no "wow, this sounds so much more like real instruments/voices, etc." so i want a home audition to see if the same thing that occurred with the ml amps might also happen with the speakers. BUT!!- i cannot move wp-7's around alot altho' toe-in or height adjustments are not a problem. so, my question again is- what is the likelyhood that wilson can fulfill my wish for greater involvement in the MUSIC, regardless of imaging and all that other good stuff. the 2 schools of thought in this discussion are very well expressed, however the andras (ugly as hell but what can you do?!) do everything i could want with the music. i listen to the boring stuff- baroque/jazz/etc. i never "crank it up"
anymore- so i need to hear the majic at old-guy volume (as my dad used to say- turn that s@@@t down!). thanks for any response.
French Fry Nice to see that you were able to get the 33h to sound musical. BTW, What was the gear that you heard wp-7 on?.
thanks for your response. i heard the wp7 with transparent opus cables, 33h amps, i forget the cd player, a ml-32
preamp. the room has a nasty bass node that was not the fault of the speaker- i've heard it before with other speakers. the imaging was like 5 speakers spread out in a semi-circle- phenominal/eerie/etc. female vocals was good but my impression at the time was "not any better than what i already have". the dealer would have liked to conduct the audition with tube (vtl-wotan) amps, but i prefer solid-state. so, lot's of accuracy/resolution/some of the best imaging i've ever heard. and lot's of questions unanswered.
I just recently auditioned these speakers. They were set up with Transparent cabling and Krell electronics. I left that 2 hour session with these observations. I believe these speakers will sound their best with a world class tube amp. These speakers are fast, accurate, with wonderful bass, and dynamics. But, the 'Watt' portion of the speaker begs for tubes (IMHO) to give them that musical sweetness. Without that sort of amp, they can sound a bit sterile.
This post from avsforum has a lot to say about the Watt/Puppy 7 (compared to ATC's).
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=aec97d53cc2226e024d6393fd990722b&threadid=360856
I just tried them. Great transiet details, deep bass, coherent, but only avg sound stage, and lack of mid range lucidity...a bit lean when I auditioned them w/ Spectrals. Probably wld be better w/ tubes. Personally, not my cup of tea though it could be yours.
I spent many hours listening to W/P7s on an all-tube setup (turntable, tube phono stage, tube preamp, tube monoblocks), and thought the combination sounded wonderful on good recordings, and brutal on mediocre recordings. When it came time to make my decision to buy, I had the dealer assemble the same equipment I have at home (tube phono stage, tube preamp, high-quality SS amp), and suddenly I couldn't stand the speakers anymore.

So, it seems to me that the people who are saying that the sound of the W/P7s are very equipment-dependent are spot-on.
Soundstage is a Wilson plus--they must have been setup incorrectly.

They may do things that some don't like, but the "wilson soundstage" has always been first rate.
Audio Goon: I auditioned them at a retailer who has carried the brand for quite sometime so I suspect the set up was fine. As I said b4, when driven by Spectrals which the retailer chose to do, they didn't sound involving at all ...but then again I agree that they may be good w/ tubes. Probably Audio Rsch is good match given the former's strengths will compliment....just a guess.
Interestingly, I had Spectral equipment when I purchased my WP7s and found the system precise but uninvolving, the antithesis of how they performed in several other, largely tube based systems. After much deliberation I settled on a tube pre-amp and amp that make for a salutary, highly involving combination with the WP7s in my system.
Siliab-

Which tube electronics did you pick?
Keithr,

I took a long time to decide. I auditioned many combinations in stores and at home. Ultimately, I chose the Wright Sound Company WPL20 preamp and the Music Reference RM-200 amp. I don't get much from other folks' detailed and generally non-musical descriptions of systems, so I won't bore you with mine. However, I will say that this combination was best able to facilitate an emotional connection with the music I like to listen to.
Sounds like good match Siliab.
fwiw, a truly great speaker should sound great with ss or tube gear/any decent cd/lp/in the home. i.e.- if you spend let's say 5k for a very good ss amp, that SHOULD suffice. i have a rowland consonance preamp- is that $3k piece "not good enough?!" while i am under the
wilson (it's the bentley of speakers) spell, i still
have my doubts about non-user friendly products just the same.
After 5 year of listening and traveling to dealers this is what I found does and doesn't work. I am now a WP7 owner.

Wilson synergy that I didn't like (Classe, Krell, Mark Levinson) any type of silver cable YUK or Audioquest or monster yuk .. High's were all too brittle and etched, not musical.. they disected musical scores.

Wilson Synergy that I could love (VTL, Manely, Rowland, LAMM,other mosfet solid state (not bi-polar), ARC Solid State or Tubes, CJ (not really realistic but very warm an pleasing. Music Reference (RM9,RM200)). Transparent Cabling seals the deal and takes these to the next level

Siliab - Great Match I still keep kicking around buying the Music Reference RM200, I owned an RM9 which was awesome (realist control without tube bloat) and huge soundstage and increadible for vocals.. I still might pick one up to try on my WP7's (the Lamm's I have are amazing but I've always wondered about that gem of an amp!)