Sonus Faber vs Wilson


I currently own a pair of absolutely gorgeous Serafino Tradition speakers. They are about 3 months old and I’ve finally got them positioned nicely in my room. They are being driven by a Gryphon Diablo 300. Great soundstage and imaging even off access. Tremendous detail and I just love the way the speakers look. I must add that it’s really important to me how all this stuff looks in my home. I love the tight fast and nuanced delivery of the Gryphon but not loving the way it looks…alas..that sound made the decision for me and I’ve hidden it away so my wife doesn’t have a coronary.

So….this brings me to my newest quandary. My local dealer has a gorgeous dedicated listening room in the lovely Biltmore hotel just minutes from my home. (Very dangerous…!) There are a pair of Wilson Sasha DAW speakers that sound…well…that sound like the best speakers I’ve heard. I absolutely HATE the way they look…and I would dread getting them up the three front steps of my home…but that sound….

Do I keep the lovely sounding and gorgeous looking Serafino’s or swap them for the ugliest best sounding speakers I’ve ever heard.? 
(There is an $18k price difference so there’s that too…!)
9a209482 01c9 40c2 a8d4 1e90fa038f28jomonhifi
I'd get the speakers and sell the wife.
@mikostyn - A very wise man…!
Don’t worry about getting the speakers up the front steps, that’s the dealer’s problem.  Don’t sell the wife…….a replacement is super expensive
2 completely different speakers with totally different sound its your call.
The Wilson’s are just a little “easier” to listen too. I’m going to need a barn or a separate house for all this stuff… 
What amp are the Wilson's being driven with? I know the Diablo is a large heavy amp but would you be able to drag it over to your dealers?
The Diablo will have no problem driving the Wilsons.
@jond - He was driving the Wilson’s with a Gryphon Mephisto and a pair of ARC Mono-blocks.

I’m not worried about the Diablo’s ability to drive those Wilson’s if that’s why your asking…

He’s got a Diablo 120 that we wired up to the Wilson’s… Total F&cking Magic…!
….not selling the wife, BTW…. She’s way cool…!
Don't forget that you're hearing those Wilsons in his room, not yours (nor with your stuff). Grass ain't always greener. Can you demo them in your house? 
hard for others to advise you on how to balance sound vs looks... as you have stated that looks are highly prioritized
That is quite the quandary. i guess a good one to have.

My only concern was sound for most of my audiophile life, I never paid attention to looks. Then I got near retirement and wanted both. Fortunately I did not have to choose between the two. My Sonus Fabre Amati Traditional have both look and sound I want.

The Wilson and Sonus are not often put up in the same comparison. They are very different speakers. Most people fall in one camp or another. I appreciate Wilson speakers, but don’t want to own them… for the sound… o looks.

Having said that… you really like the sound of what you have. Is it possible some of the sound differences are coming from the electronics driving the Wilson’s, or the room acoustics.

Honestly, I would tell him to bring them over and set them up for you to audition. That is his job. Then you can experience the sound and ugliness and make an informed judgement. If they blow you away with your own equipment and room acoustics… then you will have no choice.


Seriously, you've had your Sonus Fabers for all of three months and you're thinking about changing!!!  What is wrong with this picture?  One other thing, the Wilsons are ugly and three months from now they'll still be ugly.
@onhwy61 - Very true… I think saying this all “out-loud” really helps to synthesize my gut feeling… and that’s to realize that the $250k system in my local showroom is probably going to sound pretty nifty… What did the Wizard of Oz say…?? “Don’t go looking past your own backyard…” or something to that effect…

Thanks guys…!

keeping the SF’s
keeping the wife
hiding the gryphon


If you can try the Wilson’s in your room (as mentioned) with your gear that would be the only way to judge. 
Just forgetaboutit and take some or all of the 18k and get the lady a gift. 
@wsrrsw - You read my mind…!
The Wilson Sabrina X with all its trickle down technologies and their proprietary X  cabinet  material ,and now they bought Rel cap capacitors they make custom in house, my brother owns these 
these are without peer in the $20 k range as far as naturalness 
and image density and soundstage depth Bass only high 20s but solid tuneful Bass. Granted his system is well beyond my budget 
but you are drawn into the performance without any effort it’s  
that good.
Wilson’s are nice, their iconic robotic futuristic look is cool. 
 Keep the Sonus Fabers & don’t look back. 
The bigger and uglier the better in my book especially when it comes to the vintage speaker market set down a pair of wilson speakers next to a full size vintage 50's speaker and realize what has been missing from music for 70+ years, it will blow your mind.
If you like the looks and sound of your SF’s there is little wrong in that. The Wilson Sasha DAW’s are an excellent speaker that can probably bring you more dynamics and bass punch at the expense of some room flexibility. If your room isn’t up to par, I think you will hear that more with the Wilson’s. 
Maybe consider an alternative, giving you great looks and SQ…the Franco Serblin designed Stradivarius. IMO, SF’s from the Franco era are still the best of the lot.
@mijostyn  
  Unfortunately you'll never get back what you have invested in the wife. Better idea is to attempt to collect the insurance you have on her. But you are on the right track.
There’s always going to be something bigger and badder than what you have! It comes to a point of being happy with what you have put together and not keep getting caught up in all of the hype and what everyone else thinks! You have a beautiful set up with beautiful speakers and a beautiful wife! Kick back, crack open your favorite beverage put on some good music and enjoy! Regards!😎🎶
Keep the speakers and try silversmith fidelium cables they are the best cables on the market at any price right now they're $1,195 US for an 8-ft pair and they bested Greg Weaver's $18,000 speaker cable and that's his new reference now. They're coming out with interconnects as well too but anything's OCC single crystal is very good as well.
Audioman 58 the monitor audio platinum 300 will walk all over the Wilson Sabrina's that's a joke if you think Wilson is better than platinum. But that's your opinion you should get yours check though LOL
The Wilsons are far easier on the eyes in my book. Only 3 steps? Boxed up, a simple hand truck will do. To get them to your steps, rent a box van/ truck with a Tommy gate from your local by the day truck rental company and call it done. 

jomonhifi OP
Gryphon Diablo 300.


Wonderful amp.
 That’s defiantly a keeper, and will drive either the Sonus Faber vs Wilson to their best.
The sound of the Gryphon is Class-A type of sound, which to me is prefect. But some say it can sound a "little" dark, I think it’s because it’s not in your face like a Class- A/B and D can sound.

And that makes me say it will be a little more suited to the Wilson, as the Sonus Faber sound is also said to be a "little" dark.

Cheers George
I think you should keep the SF for a year or two and spend the time thinking about what you want long term. Maybe go and listen to other speakers in the same price range as the Wilsons. Like Magico, Focal, Von Schweikert, MBL, etc. You may like both their sound and their looks.
Some speakers I think look great and sound great:

Bayz
Borresen
Marten

Less good looks but great sound:
Vimberg
Steinberg
Verity
Raidho
Hello,
At an eighteen thousand dollar upgrade the salesman brings them to your house for a demo. A two week demo. Everything goes OK you work out a deal for the demoed speakers or order the pair and color you want. See if the salesman will let you keep one of the speakers until your speakers come in. Demo, Demo, and Demo in your home. This way you can see if you can live with them. 
There is no correct answer to the question: It seems to me the Wilsons should have been on your list of speakers to consider before purchasing the SF's. Now, if you change, you will take a big financial hit & you will own ugly but great sounding speakers. Maybe, you need a dedicated room where the Wilsons are hidden from view.
I started this journey in March of this year with a $5000 budget and…well….

Mcintosh MA252 - SF Sonetto 8’s - BluSound

Mcintosh MA352 - SF Olympica Nova 3’s

Gryphon Diablo 120

ARC Ref 75SE (didn’t fit - sounded lovely)

Gryphon Diablo 300 ❤️❤️

SF Serafino Traditions & Aurender A10

DCS Bartok 

Assorted thousands in wires and connectors..

The financial hit keeps on hitting…and…well…I’m having a blast…!

I had no idea it could all sound so lovely… it’s bringing me tremendous joy and I just love tinkering with it all.


One quick additional point...why are so many thinking the Wilsons are ugly? I think they look great, plus you can pick a number of different colors to match your decor. The SF's, which all have a very nice look ( i own a pair) are all of the 'traditional' style look, favored by the Italians. The Wilsons are a lot more contemporary looking IMHO. 
I have Sasha’s driven by Rowland - bliss.
jomonhifi OP
Gryphon Diablo 300 ❤️❤️



Glad you love it, very hard to better it, for speakers as I said before with that amp.
https://forum.audiogon.com/posts/2220137

Cheers George
A friend of mine who lives in Miami visited the same dealer and listened to the same system.  He said it was the best he's heard but like a previous poster mentioned, his room is set-up perfectly and pretty sure you won't get near the same results.  You have some very nice speakers and would keep the SF. 
Davey- my fiancé never complained about any speaker appearance until we auditioned Wilsons. Ugly robots according to her. In any color. 
The Wilsons do look "robotic".    They don't look like furniture that gives a room that warm comfortable feeling.     I can't imagine how they'd score on the  Wife Acceptance Factor test.    Keep the wife and the SF.
The gryphon doubles wattage down to 2 ohms ,wilsons are a easy load 
the Gryphon can handle even maggi with ease.
I’ve heard those Sashas at that Florida dealer. I think he was running a Bartoc pre direct through to an ARC 160. I was totally impressed with the way ARC responded with the Wilsons.  I was actually thinking of going the Sonus Faber Amati Tradition direction until I heard the Sasha DAW’s. The SF is a gorgeous design but  I chose the Sashas and I’m glad I did. They look fabulous with my decor. I even
bought a couch to match the speakers (desert silver). 
 The Wilson’s are several steps above the SF’s in sound and neutrality  and IMO the Gryphon is a better match w Wilson for slam and bass response. You’ll need to have a dealer setup bc the Wilson’s are not easy to get right but once you do, it’s over. 
@jomonhifi
hiding the gryphon
pretty hard to do given it's cooling requirements
I started this journey in March of this year with a $5000 budget and…well….
I can relate.  I started with budgets of $3k preamp/amp and $5k speakers.  I ended up paying $18k Constellation Inspiration preamp/amp (TAS Top 50 Bargains)  and am waiting for some funds for my $25k Magico A5 speakers (sonics competes with their $40k S5mkII) and cables.  Initially I told my wife my total spending will be $60k for my entire analog/digital chain, well you know the rest of the story....and counting....
With respects to how long you’ve had your SF speakers, i can for sure say that IF you get those Wilsons, you will sooner or later have next itch, what happens with a separate power amp. No matter how nice you think the Gryphon is, a separate power/ pre will get you to next step. I have been in this situation myself. It just never ends. Also, a system is so room dependant so there is no way you can compare those speakers without swapping them back and forth in same environment. Have you ever visited a true state of the art room acoustic center? I say you will be utterly amazed when you realize what room acoustics do.
What kills most of the overall sound is room nodes (bass peaks and dips).
These are also not solved with the typical room acoustic devices (bass nodes).
If you measure, you’ll have the facts clear. So again, consider listening in your room and also consider if you possibly will ask for a new power/pre amp in a few years.

I personally quit all hifi for years and years because i got OCD. Nothing mattered but the system and it’s updates. 10 years later i still pay for stuff i don’t own (sold it all).
To reroute back to you, who you are will determine how you behave with this hobby. 18K is alot just to change speakers in less than ½ year.


OP, Having a Gryphon amp and SF Strads at home, I can see why your considering Wilsons upfront and less dark sound, but I have a suggestion. 
Go listen to Gryphon Pantheons. I heard them last week with Essence stereo amp and was frankly blown away by the better mids and clearer highs and same bass. 
I also know your dealer.  And those speakers.  They are an easy load so your amplifier will love them.  Getting back to John Ic... if he sets the Sasha's up for you, which of course he will, you will be forever glad you made the change.  As long as your bride is in for the trip.  As to his listening space, it's fine but small, a larger, better designed room would sound even better.  Suggest you take your wife over, have lunch, meet John and let her make the final decision after seeing and hearing the Sashas.  Happy hunting.
All I can say is you must be filthy rich.

My wife would kick me out of the house if I purchased a pair Wilson's.
I like Wilsons a lot but 2 things mentioned in a few answers.
1. Wilsons are not an easy load. The newer ones are better but they still drop to 2 ohms or lower at spots and are very reactive. But good amps designed for these characteristics will work very well.
2. Wilsons like big rooms. But they can be set up to be excellent in small rooms. I've heard Michael Fremer's Wilson XVX speakers, much bigger than the Sasha and they were excellent in a small room, so small that almost everyone would look at it and foolishly not even try the speakers there.
@keithr   Keith, your fiance may have a point if they are going to be center of your main living room. OTOH, the Sasha DAW's or the smaller Sabrina X's can be perhaps 'blended' into the space with a choice of color. I guess I am lucky, I don't have to worry about these things, as the dedicated room is rarely visited by the better half. 
Which is more important to you, looks or sound?

I have always held sound to be paramount, and pursued appearance only if I happened to be able to get a speaker that also looked nice.

I really like the Sonus products - they are stunning in the looks department and very good sonically. 

But I own Wilsons (and older larger model than the Sashas (Maxx) , which, BTW, I drive with a 70 wpc tube amp.  Don't know how easy a load the Sashas are.

Were I going for looks I'd probably look at Avalons, though.
From what you said in your original post, you are there- good sound, great look.  It’s new. Enjoy it. Other systems might sound better, look better. But, remember, your system is damn good. All you have to do is, like Raul say’s, Enjoy the Music!
I'm sure you made the right choice to keep the SF.  I own the previous Sasha speaker (series 2), which I traded in original Sabrina's for to get a demo pair.  While the Sasha DAW is certainly a great speaker, particularly when you get to this level it really is a matter of personal preference.

What I think you might consider is to upgrade your dCS Bartok to the Rossini DAC (and maybe even getting the Rossini Master Clock as well).  The Bartok is certainly a great DAC and I was considering it when I upgraded my digital front end a couple months ago.  But after doing a side by side comparison of the Bartok and Rossini in my home system, and hearing from a dCS representative on an online forum that there are no current plans to upgrade the Bartok mapping algorithms, the Rossini is a significant step up in sound quality.

Of course another alternative would be to keep the Bartok but add the Rossini Master Clock to it.  From what I've read, that still won't quite equal the Rossini in SQ but it will certainly be closer.
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