Replacing Wilson WattPuppy 5's

Yes, 20 years is a generous life span for these pets, but driven by the Vac Renaissance 70/70, well, they always sounded like 'home' to me. I'm considering either the Sashas or the Sophia 3's, once they're brought in from Eliot's loading dock and broken in. Should I anticipate a quantum leap in presentation from 1991 or has the Wilson 'sound' been pretty consistent over time ? Thanks. I'm a new member here.
Welcome Dr. John. I've always been a fan of your music.

I think the Sashas sound much different, and preferable (to my ears) to WP8's. I have not heard WP5's and therefore cannot comment on how they compare.

In the numerous times I have heard the Sophias they have sounded very average to me. I have not heard the Sophia 3's.
20 years is not a long time for speakers and an amp that are classics.
The VAC amp will be placed in the coffin with me. I've driven the speakers hard and they sound it. I appreciate your word 'classics'. BTW, my front end is the Wadia 27 transport/DAC duo going straight into the amp. I use a CAT preamp as a phono stage only. (PS -I didn't like the Sophia 2 sound, but don't want to say why for fear of offending others on this site. New member here.
The Sasha's blew me away: a huge soundstage and amazing detail. Reminded me of the saying, 'Don't buy a yacht unless you have an ocean to sail it in.'
I have not heard the WWP5's or the 8's but I can say that the Sasha's driven by a 100 watt tube Acoustic Research amp have become my standard! Huge soundstage, (Pete Townshend's "Misunderstood" was an excellent example for demonstrating what they can do), very tight accurate bass and a 3d quality lacking on most speakers. My wife wants a second mortgage so we can get the Sasha's and if the wife wants them, you know they are the real deal!
I have a friend who owned the WP5 for 5 years or so.
When he heard the Sophia 2s he felt it was a big improvement over the WP5s.
He eventually ended up w/ the Sashas.
So far, peers that have heard the Sashas have nothing but praises for them.
I bought a pair of WP5's in 1995. While overall they are great speakers, they have an upper midrange that is troublesome. On most recordings they sounded great, but massed strings were always a problem. Any brightness in the recording was magnified. But with the right recording they were magic.

Over the years I finally decided I needed something a little more relaxed. In short, a speaker not quite as ruthlessly reveling as the WP5. I sold my WP5's and, like you, am looking to replace them.

I have it on good authority, a Wilson dealer, that the big jump was from the WP5 to the WP6. The WP6 toned down the brash upper midrange quite a bit. The WP7 and WP8 continued with the refinements, but these were smaller, more incremental steps.

The Sasha and Sophia 3 reflect the improvements implemented in the Maxx 3. The WP8 and Sophia 2 have the tweeter from the Maxx 2. Anyway, if history is any lesson the choice of the Sasha or Sophia 3 will depend on the size of your room and your need for very low bass. Chamber music in a room of 250 sf isn't likely to sound much different. But the Sasha would likely do better with Mahler in 500 sf room.

I'm considering the WP8 or the Sophia 3. The Sasha is out of my price range. A used pair of WP8's, while attractive, aren't that much less than the Sophia 3. To me, if the Sophia 3 really has a more refined sound I'd prefer that to the extra slam I'd get from the WP8.

I'll look forward to your comments about the latest generation of Wilson speakers. Since you and I were in the same boat for so long I'm very curious as to your thoughts.
Thanks, Egrady, for your thought-out response; I now have some sense of Wilson's aural evolution. The Sophia 3's are, as I write, being broken in at NYC Innovative. I was blown away by the Sasha's, but there's about a $10k
up-difference from the Sophia's. I run a tube amp (the classic VAC Renaissance 70/70 with Western Electric 300B's), and I'm hoping to audition either speaker with tubes. $10K makes a difference to my wallet, and I'm wondering if the price diffential is quantifiable in terms of sound. A tough choice even for seasoned ears, I suspect.

Can one out there attest to the qualitative difference of tubes vs boards in driving the Sasha's/Sophia's. The KEF 207.2's were also suggested to me, but apparently their highs sound bright (surprising) with tubes.
I have Sasha's for 10 months. Using Ren Signiture VAC pre and Phi 110/110 tube amps to drive . Vinyl junkie. Soundstage is unbelievable. Depth and detail are the best I've ever experienced in my limited time in this pursuit. My room is roughly 20 x 25 x 9. Has extensive acoustic treatment.
Always lusted after Maxx2 until I heard Sasha's in my room.
Dr. John,

I drove my WP5's for some time with an ARC Classic 60. While 90% of the time I was happy, it was only after I tried a Levinson 335 that I realized what I was missing. A tube amp like mine, and yours, will not control the bass as well as a a big, high current one like the Levinson. I realize everything is a trade off and tubes have their own magic.

My point is, with your amp, you won't be getting the same level of low bass control as you otherwise might. Hence, you won't be able to take advantage of the probable difference between the Sasha and the Sophia 3. While the Sasha can likely produce a more powerful low C organ note than the Sophia 3, with your amp I doubt this capability is material.

The only way to know for sure is to listen to both in your room. My guess is the Sophia 3 would work just as well for you.