Rockport Avior 2 vs Wilson Sasha DAW


I’m consider one of these two speakers, the Rockport Avior 2 and the new Wilson Sasha DAW. My room is 19’ x 25’ with a 20’ ceiling, the room floor plan opens behind me into a kitchen and the rest of the house. I listen at low to moderate levels and usually have to supplement the bass with a sub because of the large space. I listen to jazz, folk, classical full orchestra some old classic rock on rare occasions. I’ve always like the detail of electrostatic speakers but they all have there limitations. Looking for a great all around speaker. I Enjoy both tube and solid gear, currently using solid state spectral. I Have several amp choices from Spectral and Rowland. Just wonder if anyone knows these speakers intimately and can give me some strengths of each and an opinion which you would choose and why. I’ve been researching many other speakers and have come down to these two. Thank you for your thoughts.
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I had a 45 minute demo this week with DAW’s, through some McIntosh gear. On both digital and vinyl the speakers were really good. Had about 400 hours on them, they were being broken in for Frankie Sullivan of Survivor. He has good taste. They delivered on everything, I could list all the superlatives that are usually addressed but no need to, the DAW’s delivered on all levels. Superior speakers. Sorry have not heard the Rockports. Also this was all delivered at low to moderate levels, max db was around 65.
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In my experience with the brands---you cannot go wrong. Wilson tends to be more on the revealing side with excellent dynamics throughout the spectrum. Rockport tilts slightly to the warm side and excels in low end response.
Wilson often displays with Spectral. But Rowland is also top shelf. Both SS brands will pair up well with either speaker. 

good sized room. keep the subs.

for good or ill, in this price range I've gotta submit were it me, I'd have a terribly hard time justifying buying either brand without having heard it myself as that is a fair to middlinn' stash of cash about to be in play.

on the DAs.... heard them in a smaller room to be sure with AR tubes and DCS front end.

IMO? mo' power was needed than the 150/160 AR monos supplied as the bottom end was noticeably loose. in demanding passeages.

otherwise, they sure make a memory and I'm not a huge Wilson supporter overall but have noted a penchant for their former sophia line..

the DA should work in your room but again, I'd really get out to hear them and tow along your go to powewr plants if possible.

sorry, I'm totally in the dark on the Rockports though i get the feeling they are a mite more forgiving than Wilsons up top. dunno.

very good luck..
Thanks guys. I’ve heard the DAW and the smaller Rockport Atria 1 but I don’t feel that was a fair comparison. Anyone out there heard the Avior 2 ?
Jump on the Rockport asap!!
The few times I’ve heard Rockports was always impressive and they seem to have a similarity of a “house sound”. You can like them or leave them but at least they are designing to a specific intention. The Wilson stuff is a totally different matter. I have heard them sound very good on occasion but generally not. Of more concern is their casting about for a certain sound from each model or version which does not seem coherent with their other lines. Their changing choice of tweeter is a perfect example of this. Also their maxx sounds totally different than a Sasha which is totally different than an Yvette. It would be interesting to hear the various iterations of the dozen or so watt/puppy versions side by side. You couldn’t possibly love or hate all of them, there would be something for everyone in that mix and all of them different. I prefer a speaker line designed to a single goal.
I’ve listened to the Rockport Cygnus twice in a home setting. I imagine any of the Rockports will be able to fill / pressurize your room to your satisfaction.

I personally do not see a need for subs (for augmentation) but that, of course, is a personal choice.

Some of the listeners stated a need to push the volume for the system to come alive. I’m specifically mentioning ’system’ because it may have been the amplification [and NOT the speakers]. Pointing this out since you list low to moderate listening levels as being important. The owner of the Cygnus based system listens to them at moderate volumes.

All the best in your search and final choice.
Rockports all the way! Not even close IMO. 
What about the Rockport is better. I’m looking for some specifics if possible. 
I know this is personal preference I’m just trying to quantify what is being said. ie:  is one more natural, does on have a better sound stage, imaging etc. 
Rockports are a bit richer (for want of a better word) but not as revealing as Wilsons. Both speakers image very well and provide large soundstages. 
They are my 2 favorite speaker manufacturers. They both have the best dynamics in the trade. I prefer Wilsons as I believe they present the source warts and all. I want to hear the warts if they are there. Likewise, when the recording is superb, you get all of it. But I could happily live with Rockports which slightly ameliorate the badness in bad recordings.
Thank you so much. That gives me a good idea of the two speakers. Much appreciated! 
carey1110- I've done fairly extensive writeups on Whatsbestforum in my speaker search including both Rockport and the Wilson DAW. Not the Aviors, but rather the bigger Altairs. Check it out under my "Dream Speaker Search." I hope this helps!


I was never a fan of Wilson speakers until they got away from that wretched inverted dome tweet. I think the first model I heard with the silk dome was the Alexia at a NYC show, and I remember thinking -- YES, now they’ve got something. I find Rockports to be just a little reserved in the upper octaves so they squelch some "air and space" for me. But that’s my personal taste and the refinement of that beryllium tweeter just may be above my pay grade.

So im gonna throw a wrench in the works. At your price range, I wouldn’t buy either before listening to the Joseph Audio Pearl 3 because I think it possesses the strengths of both without the limitations of either. It's also relatively easy to drive (it's min impedance is 6 Ohms) so may sound better at low-to-mid volumes.  Sorry to complicate your situation, but I would’ve felt guilty if I didn’t at least bring up this potential third option. 

Uh, but let's be clear here.  These are all awesome speakers and you're not going to be disappointed by any of them.  Period.  Yours is an embarrassment of riches and I am jealous, and I hate you.  That said, best of luck in whatever you choose you lucky bastard. 
Thank you sir. However I’m not rich. I’m driving a 2000 Toyota 4Runner so I can get these. Lol!!  Thanks for your input and other recommendations. I’ll look into it. 
Is it safe to say the Rockport is softer maybe a little less detailed and more forgiving than the Wilson Daw

Hi Carey,

I have had listening experiences with the Rockport Arrakis, Altair II and Lyra. I have had less experience with the smaller models.

I, too, find that Rockport has a “house” sound similarity across the models. I happen to love this house sound, which I characterize as a very natural sound with a tonal balance which I find to be a bit warmer and more realistic than Wilson.

I vote for the Rockport. Be advised that they require a lot of power to be driven properly and sound their best. I would not drive Altair IIs or Lyras with less than about 350 watts.
I listened extensively to both and bought the Rockport’s. My room is 15.5 by 27 by 8 high.  Love the Aviors. Before I had 3 different Martin Logan’s. Driving the Aviors with VTL S200. Don’t know where you are located but recommend the Sound Environment in Omaha and Kansas City. Great dealer and they have Rockport and some Wilson’s
Opposite side of the country from you  Smer319 I’m east coast. Have you compared the two speakers?. 
Btw I did have and opportunity to hear the Sasha DAW but the only rockport I head was the Atria 1. So really not a fair comparison I don’t think. 
My Rockport dealer loved the Atria most in his room where I heard the Altairs (which were a hair big for it, but it wasn't small). I've also heard they are the most coherent Rockport.

He also told me the entire line has the same sound, just bigger scale. Unlike Wilson ime.


@carey1110 -- where on the east coast?  Goodwins is a great Rockport dealer outside Boston.  Personally, at the price of these speakers I'd be traveling wherever I had to for an audition of both speakers before buying either.  
Sounds like I’m getting that there are more responses favoring the  Rockport at this point. Maybe the Wilson DAW is too new yet. Or may it’s more preferred 😊   My decision is coming soon. 
Don’t worry I plan to hear them both first. Is one more finicky to set up?
Wilson is much harder to setup.

What are your top three criteria for speakers? Might make things easier to recommend.
Listen to both speakers if you can. The Rockports are, at least IMHO, still utilizing the rather ragged sounding beryllium dome for the tweeter. The DAW utilizes the far smoother- and IME extend sounding silk dome ..same as utilized in their WAMM!
I am banned on WBF, LOL...otherwise I would have posted something there about why the new silk dome from Wilson is so much more ’natural’ sounding ( to my ears) than the previous tweeter utilized by Wilson...and the current ones by Rockport.
Otherwise, the Rockports are a great speaker....so long as you tame their hard metal ringing tweet.


I don’t agree that the DAW is much harder to set up....the Wilson has some adjustability of the drivers to accommodate more listening positions...so from that stand point, yes they aren’t just drop it and forget like the Rockport, but that’s not a bad thing, IMHO.
My top criteria would be: 
1.  No brightness or harshness but very Transparent and detailed like an electrostatic. Great low level detail. 
2.  Tonal balance. Instruments to sound real with a great since of wood or string differences. Deep tight Bass
3. Pinpoint imaging and sound staging of electrostatic with top notch dynamics. 

Ive owned and enjoyed many electrostatics and other panels. Sound Lab, Quad, Martin Logan to name a few. Looking for all that wrapped in a nice dynamic bow speaker. Want to move up tho not over. 
Also look for Magico, Sonus Faber. Vienna Accoustics, Gamut, etc. Don't limit yourself to just the Wilson and Rockport.
Magico was on my list but a little too analytical i believe. Haven’t heard them but a friend of mine who likes them has described them to me.  I’ve heard the DAW and almost bought it but I was told at the price level the Rockport Avior 2 should be considered as well.  I do like the Wilson DAW a lot,  very smooth top end. No brightness but plenty of detail. 
Just my view from the other side of Planet Earth...

Not impressed with Avior2.
-slow-ish
-dim, despite what people say about Berrylium. It is very different from a FOCAL berrylium which swings toward "aggression".
-shut in
-loose bass
-"uninterested" - in the way music is presented
In fact, I don't understand why it costs so much to make a pair of speakers to sound like that... other than heavy polished woodworks?
Yes, it can handle very high power and feel "inert", but still, it doesn't sing like a high-spirited choir boy with a pristine voice.

Was never impressed with Wilson, until I heard the DAW.
-just very well integrated and balanced. For once, I use the word "musical' on a Wilson product. Usually "Can it play music after a spectacular fireworks?" would have been more of my thinking.  However, the DAW made me want to listen to more music. 

FWIW.

@carey1110

Different models and series within Magico all have different sonic characters. I’ve heard from people that the lower end Magico speakers (under $40k/pair) tend to be somewhat forward accurate & a bit analytical and of course highly depending on the electronics they’re paired with and your listening room. But the top of the line Magico M series such as the M3 & M6 are completely different.

I happen to own a pair of Magico M6 myself and they aren’t analytical at all, far from it. They are very musical very fluid. I pair them with the Naim Statement NAP S1 monoblock amps + Naim Statement NAC S1 linestage analog preamp.

I’ve never heard the Wilson Sasha DAW before but have heard other Wilson Audio speakers such as the Sasha ll, Sabrina, Alexis ll & Alexx. The Alexx were by far my favorite Wilson speakers although the Wilson Wamm are most likely the best Wilson speakers but I have yet to hear the Wamm. But the Alexx are smaller version of the Wamm and they share pretty much same DNA and similar design concept. I used to own a pair of Wilson Alexx before the Magico M6 and the Magico M6 are quite a bit better imo but cost a lot more than the big Wilson Alexx.

IMO the Wilson Sabrina & Sasha ll were very neutral and forward sounding speakers and excel in details & resolution. When I heard the Sasha ll they were driven by a pair of ARC tube monoblock amps & ARC tube preamp and they were still somewhat forward.
However I have yet to hear the Sasha DAW but will be psyched to hear them one day at my local dealer that happens to be a Wilson Audio dealer.
Thanks, Carey - from my auditions this year:

1. Neither the Wilson or Rockport has any brightness or harshness. I don't know how Andy Payor does it in the latter. 

2. Rockport has superior tone with tighter, articulate bass. Best ported bass I've auditioned.

3. Dynamics much better with Wilson. I'd say imaging and soundstage are comparable. 

Good luck with your decision!

Thank you. I hear they both need pretty good power to drive them. Also heard the Rockport may need to be out in the room a little more that the Wilson. Did you happen to notice that. 
@carey1110  

Which speakers did you decide on buying? What are your electronics and cablings? 
I have spectral, Krell, and Rowland. Haven’t made my final decision but leaning toward the Wilson. Going back for another listen. 
Transparent, Cardas and MIT
If someone offered you the choice between the Rockport Avior 2 and the Wilson Sasha DAW and free of charge which would you pick? Also if you didn’t pick in three days you’d loose both what would you do? Which one ??
Sasha DAW.
Because it makes me want to listen to music... ;-)
Sasha DAW--One of the best pair of speakers on the market regardless of price. IMHO
“Makes me want to listen”. I like that and I thinks that’s the key here. Regardless of all the technical data,  what sounds real or not. The bottom line is Do I want to sit in front of it and listen.  Who care if it’s accurate, extended etc. the Question is,  do I enjoy listening to it?  
You got it. That's exactly what matters. The system that is musically engaging and involving.
I wonder if the Sasha DAW will make the cut in recommended components A class?  Amazing how many speakers are in that class A category
Thanks for all your input. After weighing all my research and listen with my own ears. I’ve decided to go with the Wilson Sasha DAW. Takes three weeks to get them.  I’ll keep you posted. 
I home auditioned the DAW’s, loved them, sounded so good. Unfortunately they failed the wife AF test, and were a bit big for my space. U will love your choice, perhaps your final pair of speakers.
i ordered the Yvette’s and hope I don’t regret my choice of passing on the DAW’s.
mine will come 3 weeks after order also.
please post your experience on break in and final observations on sound and happiness.