17 responses Add your response
My local wilson dealer uses both Audio Research and Ayre to drive his Sophia and Maxx and in another system Naim to drive Duettes. I think the Wilson speakers will sound great with just about any amp. But I am partial to the sound he gets with the Ayre on the Sophias as a opposed to ARC tubes. The bass and mid just seem to step out of the corner and join the rest of the sound.
The Ayres sounded very nice with the WP7s and other Wilsons I used to listen to at my dealer's, as did the Accuphase 50 watt integrated, a surprisingly sweet amplifier. I'd say you wouldn't go wrong with any of the amps you mention as well, just don't go for something too lean or the speakers might get a little too analytic.
While Spectral often is paired up with Wilson and I have heard it sound quite good at a dealer, I would not suggest it without an audition unless the preamp was also a Spectral unit. As good as the amps are individually, they are intended to sound their best in an all-Spectral system. Not sure how the Spectral amps would sound with your preamp.
Every once in a while somebody asks the exact question I have had on my mind. I own the Soph;2's. I would guess my speakers might be a tad more forgiving than the 7's or 8's. ( of amp selection)
I also don't think I could handle the big Pass's w/o a chain pulley.
The Roland 312's are tempting but costly;but at least lighter. Plus I can't afford the Opus wire I'd like to own. Those retail for only 34k,the pair.
So I stay with my CJ 350 ss amp. My pre is the AA Prestige se--the one box thing.
Anybody have a clue what my next move is???
The Ayre MX R's sounded so good at my dealer they are now in my system at home. I am VERY impressed with these Ayre amps. I've run tubes for years with my Wilsons. The Ayre are wonderful. Revealing, Transaparent, Delicate, Powerful, Seamless...
I have to echo the comments above on Ayre.
Now somehow you'll have to get that amp down ! I've never seen a amp stand quite like that :)
wow! great to come home and see all the responses! real surprised to hear all the ayre suggestions as i have heard them to be not a great match for wilson (although stellar amps overall). i have not heard the halo's but appreciate the suggestion and will take a look.
george: i understand the 302 is very similar to the 312 and allot less money since it is not the current model. still near the top of my list.
jazdoc: i will definitely be emailing you when i get the chance. really look forward to hear your thoughts because at this point, i think i could live pretty happy with the 436's for a long time. appreciate the offer to chat.
i love this forum! fantastic resource!
Did you buy the KX-R too or just the MX-Rs? I'm currently using the MX-Rs with a VK 51se(also started as VK 50se). This combination seems to work pretty well but I haven't had the chance to try the KX-R in my room yet. Did you find the KX-R to be a significantly better match with the MX-Rs? I'm also wondering if I should try other top preamps in that price range(Messenger, Doshi, Tron Syren). I'm not really sure if I might miss the tubes in the linestage.
I had MAXX 1's with Krell KCT and 750 monoblocks and Transparent cabling and I thought they match was excellent. Wilson used Krell equipment years ago before Krell got into loudspeakers. I have a pair of Rowland Model 6's with batteries driving my newly acquired MAXX 2's and while they had no problem making the MAXX's sing the bigger MAXX speaker sounds better with more current. However, the JR model 6's would easily drive your Watt/Puppy 7's. I took a chance on the Electrocompaniet Nemo Monoblocks recently and got a good deal and I can tell you they have better sounding bass than my Krell 750's did and are more musical to my ears and best of all much more affordable. I also had VAC 220s on my old MAXX and think Wilson's sound best with a solid state amp.
I have been trying several combinations. I've owned BAT for well over 10 years. 50SE/51SE, VK200, VK60, 75SE, 150SE's...
The things I keep coming back to is the Nagra PLL/VPA's and Ayre KXR/MXR.
The KXR is really a killer preamp. Silent. My BAT equipment is quiet. Ayre KXR is silent. There is a difference here. Allows resolution to pour out but mains a VERY natural presentation and tonal balance. The Ayre has a nicer top end than the BAT. The BAT better depth and better bloom in the mids.
The combo I seem to be falling in love with is the Nagra PLL and MXR's. The PLL is more dynamic, bigger wider deeper stage, more transparent than the BAT. The PLL also has a much more realistic top end than the 51se, to my ears anyway. The MXR's seem sweeter/natural/delicate on the top and ditto for the bass (vs the 150se's) except here I'll add more control and that "ease" everywhere.
I think the Nagra PLL has more body and depth in the mids, where the KXR is more silent and more resolute.
Honestly, BAT, Nagra, Ayre, it's all good. System matching, speaker placement, etc are all critical to getting just that right sound for you.
Richard Stacy: The Ayre amps are a great match. I never thought I'd be ready to swing to SS vs tubes. The Ayre's are that good...
Hope this helps !
I own Wilson CUBs and moved away from tubes (ARC, then Jadis) recently - now have a class D ICEpower amp, from Wyred4Sound (ST1000). Stunning clarity, and absolutely grain-free. Thought I'd mention this as I love the fact that it weighs nothing, does not act as a space heater, and is great value. The sound, to my ears, has all the virtues of tubes with none of the draw-backs. I have heard Krell with my speakers, and with Sophias, and found the sound too aggressive and tiring - pretty much the "opposite" of tubes. The local distributor pushes tubes, as above, or Gryphon SS - and steers away from Krell, and ML. Of course, I'm not sure how this translates to your WP7s, but Wilson does seem to have a house sound - only improving as you go up the scale.
Good luck - I'm sure they'll sound great whatever you choose.
To add to Bezimienny's notes above - I also recently received a Wyred 4 Sound amp, mine is the 250WPC version instead of the 500WPC version he got.
I don't run Wilsons, I run the Gallo 3.1. Different speakers of course, but both fall into the fast/detailed/articulate speaker camps.
The 3.1s, along with the Wilsons, can sound bright with the wrong amps, or if not setup correctly. The Wyreds sound fantastic on the 3.1 right out of the box. No grain, harshness, etched treble, etc. Would surely be worth a try, and if it works out, you save a LOT of money.