What amp is best with Wilson Sasha DAW speakers


Just received my new Wilson Sasha DAW speakers and am now beginning to sift through a long list of electronics that would bring out the best in them. If anyone owns these and could give some recommendations I love to hear them. I’m open to tube or solid state. Looking for amps and preamp. All opinions are appreciated.
E3a762d3 4f60 4ee7 a4fa da88fc39e863Ag insider logo xs@2xcarey1110

We have a client with the Wilson Alexia using the T+A PA 3100HV which is one of the worlds best integrated amplifiers and he loves his amplifier.

The T+A PA 3100 HV is basically the company's $19k power amp and a paired down version of the T+A $18k preamp in one box. 

The amp is a 300 watt beast and can drive any load, it is warm, punchy, very three dimensional and has an amazing feature set:

Amp can be upgraded with an external power supply
Amp can have a fanatastic phono board added
Amp has a analog parametric equilizer.

The T+A PA 3100 HV uses high voltage rails to run its transistors like a tube amplfier this creates a very full bodied and liquid sound yet the amp runs warm and not super hot.

https://www.ta-hifi.de/en/audiosystems/hv-series/pa-3100-hv-integrated-amplifier/

In this review the T+A PA 3100 was compared to a $50k Dagastino Momentum integrated:

https://positive-feedback.com/reviews/hardware-reviews/ta-elektroakustik-3100-hv-pdp-3000-hv-sacdcd-...

If you are on the East Coast we have T+A products on display


Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ T+A dealers


If you follow Wilson Audio on Twitter, by far the most commonly tweeted photos of amps that Wilson tweets or retweets with their speakers are Audio Research. Often at shows but also in retail demo rooms or research test or development sessions.

That tells me that Wilson likely feels Audio Research is the best match for their speakers.
I agree its very popular comb..  Ever heard of Spectral being paired with Wilson
Get a Parasound Halo A21. A great amp designed by John Curl. There are several now available on EBAY. Around $1400. Spending more for a different amp is just throwing money away! The A21 is competitive with any five-figure amp!
A matching Parasound preamp (also by John Curl) would nicely match the A21.
Carey Spectral does play well with Wilson the issue with Spectral is that you have to use an entire Spectral system and Mit cables and power conditioning for the system to be stable. Mit cables are very expensive and are not as transparent as many non network cables.


For this and other reasons Spectral has not been gaing market share as other easier to use high performing electronics companies proliferate. 

Kren as per WIlson and ARC being shown together doesn't necessarily mean that that is the best combo. Often company's that have a working relationship will show together. So sometimes in the past ARC might have given Wilson amplifiers in exchange for a set of speakers for them to have in their listening room or sales managers who are friends. 

So sometimes the setups that are popular at shows have more to do with these relationships then anything else. 

We heard the Wilson/ARC setup at Axpona and it was very good. 

Roberjerman2,  sorry you are very mistaken, we are a Parasound dealer and their gear is excellent, but in no way does a A21 compete with amplifiers that are five figure amplifiers, the Parsound A21 is a lovely $3k amp but does show it limitation same with their preamp. 

If we were going to use a $38k pair of Wilsons we would definately want someone to use the best possible electronics and when you listen to a good amplifier vs a really good amplifier there are distinctly different things that you will experience in terms of resolution, image float, midrange liquidity, bass slam, dynamic impact and overall realisim.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ 


@carey1110 What electronics are you currently using ? 
Dear @carey1110  : Great speakers those Sasha Dawn. Are speakers that needs a high current amp to honor it and you have to remember that its impedance goes down 2.48 at 85hz that's an " all day " frequency.

Spectral is very good and does not needs the MIT cables and I know because I used with out it and performs great. 

Spectral preamps are very goo too  but for amp for your speakers I think that you can't wrong with the Halo JC1s monoblocks designed by J.Curl for Parasound.
 These amps are extremely hard to beat and its quality level performance ( in my experiences with top speakers . ) is second to none and competes with heavy $$$$$ amp s. You can't ask for more and a bargain at its low price:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9fc7b-parasound-halo-jc-1-solid-state

here its specs/features: 
https://www.parasound.com/jc1.php

  other very good alternatives:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9e4a8-spectral-dma-400-rs-mono-amps-solid-state

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis99ha4-mark-levinson-no-536-solid-state

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9b483-krell-600e-evolution-solid-state

For a preamp these are excellent units:

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9dchc-ayre-acoustics-kx-r-twenty-reference-dual-mono-preamplifier-class-a-solid-state

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lis9aff0-fm-acoustics-resolution-255-reference-solid-state



Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
After owning a Parasound A21, in my opinion it doesn’t have the dynamic headroom/power to drive Wilson Sasha DAW speakers.
@rauliruegas If you don’t care about warranty support or want a very expensive paper weight then by all means use non mit cables in a spectral system.

@audiotroy is correct on this one and Spectral must be used as a system. That is pre+amp and MIT cabling.

if you don’t subscribe to the spectral system approach then I wouldn’t pursue Spectral. As others have stated there are many fine and less expensive alternatives.

However , a properly setup and full Spectral system is very special indeed. 

There is YouTube Video from Munich 2019 with Your speakers and Spectral electronics.  I know you can’t judge from YouTube but , in case you are interested. 

Also consider reaching out to music lovers in ca and innovative in NYC for all your spectral/ Wilson questions as they are authorized dealers for both brands. 


Troy,
I’m sure that’s true about some cases of manufacturer partnering to share equipment, but dig deeper and the Wilson / Audio Research connection seems to run especially tight.

For example, check out the May 21 Soundstage video of Audio Research headquarters
https://audioresearch.com/2019/05/21/soundstage-shorts-audio-researchs-cd6se-and-cd9se-cd-players-2/

and see that ARC uses Wilson as their speaker of choice for their Warren Gehl listening test of every single Audio Research product before it goes out the door.

ARC could choose any speaker they want for that critical application, and arguably their speaker choice for their out-the-door gatekeeper for every single ARC product is the most important speaker choice they can make.

Further, Wilson’s aren’t even in the ARC-member McIntosh Group corporate family like Sonus Faber is, for example (where you’d expect if ARC were to buddy-up with a speaker manufacturer, it’d be Sonus Faber, not an outsider like Wilson).
I'm not a Wilson expert, but I believe also in that video the Wilson speakers used are from the Watt/Puppy lineage, from which the current Sasha DAW derives.  So yeah, pretty good bet that Sasha DAW's with ARC is a solid combo.
Though I never owned one, I would think a Pass Amp would be a nice combo with Wilson.
B
Once again roberjerman is speaking definitively about how you should spend your money. I am getting really sick of him telling us (me) what is and is not "throwing money away". Enough already! Some new members might actually take your advice and languish for an extended period of time in the world of midfi.
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I recommend you trying to hear the Gryphon Colosseum Solo. I submit it is detailed without being forward/bright and does all of the audiophile things well, while remaining musical. 
Dear @mdp632   : I only shared my personal experiences with.

 I really like Spectral and admire prof. Johnson not only for its electronics but his subs and recordings. He is very innovative in many design subjects as that Mhz band-windth in its electronics that is not easy to handle with a not precise design.

I respect every one opinion and that is my experience, maybe I did not acchieved all the " glorious " of the units because non MIT cables but I don't like in those old time those cables and certainly not its high price.

The JC1s are competitive even against Spectral and the Ayre and FM Acoustics are not on shame ginst Spectral or any other premp.

R.
Sounds like a lot of wisdom and insight her,   I never really thought much about how companies pick other manufacturers to demo there gear with.   I’m sure the combos must sound good but not necessarily the best.  

FWIW: At T.H.E. Show in Long Beach this past June, Wilson paired their DAW’s with the new D’Agostino Progression Integrated. It was a powerhouse that you would expect. Yet, the HF had a very unpleasant sizzle – most noticeable with vocals. To be fair, many of the hi-end rooms at that show also had an unpleasant sizzle – even with tube amplification. My guess is dirty power.

I’d recommend checking out PranaFidelity Audio – their Purna/ca preamp and Purna/ma amp. This combo offers a truly authentic ‘you are there’ musical presentation. Vocals sound human. Not electronic. Zero graininess. Zero white noise. Liquid with dynamics - a rare combo.


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@rbach

Does what Troy say not align with your experience?

@audiotroy

@carey1110

Troy/Dave, I’ve heard Wilson many many times and I agree with most of what you say and moreover most of the time; it correlates with what I hear. I’ve not heard the T+A with DAW (have with Sabrina and wow, it was really good). But have heard D’ag Progression mono’s plus the matching preamp and they work really good with the DAWs; digital was great and vinyl even better. To my ears, the Progression was better than the ARC Ref 6 (may have heard with Ref 10 too) with 160M monos. The T+A gear is very exceptional in both sound and beauty of build.

Somebody mentioned Pass, and while good, I prefer the D’ag Progression with DAW. I’d bet the T+A would be killer too. I have much less experience with T+A, but every time I’ve heard it with Wilson, it was a match made in heaven.

While Wilson is known to use ARC at shows, and to work quite well with their tube gear, Wilson have endorsed Nagra and I believe others on YouTube and the Classic Line was very good with the Sabrina in my experience a couple years ago. Haven’t heard Nagra on the DAW though. In Utah, Wilson have the Wamm Master Chronosonic setup in their personal room with D’ag Momentum monos + preamp on the main speakers and a stereo Momentum amp on the Chronosonic Subs. That is a substantial statement on Wilson’s part since this is their Flagship speaker. Take it for what you will.

In the end, it is all about synergy. @carey1110 , I hope you have a fun journey to find the amps of your dreams to go with your fine speakers.

BTW, I’m not a dealer. But my dealer is about 5 miles from me and I have a chance most Sunday’s to hear some amazing systems. I am truly blessed in that regard. BTW, I'm in SoCal, nowhere near Dave and Troy.
Would a Mcintosh MC462 be ample power for the Wilson DAW's?
The best I've heard are Spectral and Ayre. Spectral does require MIT cable, or you will break things, but properly set up is sublime!
I find it bizarre that someone would trust people with limited experience over dealers with decades of experience owning scores of high end products.
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I heard the Wilson Sasha DAWs with ARC M160 amps and an ARC Ref 10 pre-amp at a local dealer. I was impressed with what I heard.  I didn't go into the dealer to hear either the amps or the speakers. I went in to hear a turntable setup and the Wilson/ARC pairing is what they hooked the vinyl rig up to--I left liking the speakers/amplification combo a great deal. I suggest you hear that combination if at all possible since you are open to owning tube amps. If you can listen to the D'Agostino's too, that would be great. (The dealer I was at also carried that line of products.)Enjoy your quest.
Astewart, there is no doubt that should be an excellent combo you are talking a $30k preamp and a $30k pair of amplifiers, that is a $60k for the electronics add in a good set of interconnects and power cables and you are way up there in terms of price so yeah that combo should sound really good.

We are suggesting a $23k intergrated amplifier which sounds about 80% of the companies $40k separates. 

So aside from just sound quality you have that issue of how much do I want to spend to accheive great sound?

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
My introduction to Wilson Sabrinas was with Audio Research. During subsequent auditions, the DAW were in their high end room with Audio Research 160 monos, Ref 10 pre, and dCS Vivaldi . My last audition included an A/B with AR and Moon by SimAudio, as suggested by the dealer. I brought a second set of ears to that audition and we both agreed that the SimAudio was better. After we both stated it, the dealer commented that the SimAudio gear is a perfect pairing with Wilson Audio.

I realize this is a bit thin for reasoning, and I am still new to this hobby, but if you get the chance to audition Moon by SimAudio with your Wilson DAW, I highly recommend commend it. (I have no affiliation with any of the companies mentioned.
Real power in reserve is what you want. if you are going to spend about $20k, T + A  or Dan Dog will do it. Go listen! The ARC Amp blew up at Axpona so that is that. D"Agostino's family are great people to work with. The Germans, well Speckenzi Deutsch? 
At an Audio store show tonight I heard the Wilson Alexx driven by D’Agostino Relentless $250k mono blocks.. don’t want to speak about the pairing or the sound because its not what I look for but for what its worth, the rep from Wilson, someone who’s been with the company many years shared the intimate story of D’Agostino and Wilson for the past 10+ years and shared that he has the D’Agostino Momentums himself.. for what its worth.. according to him D’Agostino started out designing his hardware on Wilsons.
I use my wilson sasha 2 with vitus sia 025. Fantastic
combo.
I’m looking for a warm inviting very musical sound. Something I can play all day without ear fatigue but still very detailed. Realism. 
Midrange and vocals are very important to me. 
Carey, the T+A gear we recommend is warm and very musical yet has outstanding resolution and dynamics.

If you research the company you will see the HV concept, this is emmulating the sound of tubes by running the rail voltages to much greater than standard rail voltage for solid state designs.

The T+A engineers stumbled upon this concept after building some reference grade tube gear. The prevailing thought to why tubes sound more organic has always been the thought that tube disortions are even order harmonic based vs transistor disortions which tend to be odd order harmonic in nature.

The T+A engineers started an experiment where they postulated that by amping up the rail voltage in a transistor design, that the transistors would be run in a more linear fashion at higher voltages and create less distortion, and therefore sound more organic and more tube like.

Tests proved that at higher rail voltages the amplifers did indeed sound better, this lead to a custom designed output stage and parts capable of being run a much higher voltages and thus the High Voltage series was born.

For less money the new Krell gear is fantastic, they use a special type of Bias circuitry and run in Class A, the new Krell gear is awesome and affordable, however, on comparision the T+A is still a notch higher.

For this reason we recommend so highly the T+A PA 3100HV which is the company’s same power amplifier and a slightly paired down version of their reference preamplifer for a bit more than half price of the separates.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ T+A dealers
carey1110

please try vitus sia 025 or mcintosh ma9000.
i prefer vitus even compared to gryphon diablo 300,
vitus has a slight midrange warmth compared to
diablos, but not as much compared to mcintosh.


Dear @carey1110  : """  for a warm inviting very musical sound. Something I can play all day without ear fatigue but still very detailed. Realism. """


well, I think that a MUSIC lover as you and I imagine almost all audiophuiles are looking for our room/system reproduce with true fidelity what is in the recording.

That could means that if the recording is in the warm side that's what we listening to but if what is in the recording is not to warm that must be what we must to listen.

A good room/system does not editorialize the different recordings we are listen it.
My personal target is to stay truer to the resording that is what put me nearer to the live MUSIC that's my reference.
I know I'm not truly " there " but that's my main room/system target.

Trhough some of the posts that other gentlemans posted I read that word: " warm " for the MUSIC and some reference to tube elctronics and only you posted about : " detailed and realism " that are live MUSIC characteristics where warm is not in any sense.

Truer to the recording means to listen what the recording microphones pick up during the recording sessions where those microphones are " seated " at near field position ( 2m-3m ) not at 15m-20m + that is normally where we are seated in live events, many times even more far away from the source.

If any one of us seated at near field listen a trumpet/horn or piano or violin players playing at live SPLs no one of us can say we are listening " warm " sound, that does not exist in live MUSIC events we attend seated at nearfield position that's where the recording microphones are.
So, why many of us want to listen something that just does not came in the recording?.

Yes, it's each one of us privilege to listen any thing we want in the way we want it, this is not under questiononing in any way.

In the other side , I don't know how many of you already experienced with top room/audio systems FM Acoustics electronics or the extremely humble JC1 amplifiers because I did t several tiemes along with some of the D'Agostino designs or Vitus or ARC Boulder and the like.

It's not easy to find out second hand FM Acoustics electronics because the owners just keep it for .ever. M.Huber designs started and still follows in the big studio recordings all over the world and nothing can " touch " it as nothing can"  touch " his home systems audio items.

@carey1110  and please don't be worried for that so low price of the JC1s, its quality level performance for a ridiculous fraction of the price of those very heavy $$$$ priced electronics is true competitive.

The best way to go with your system is with separates where you don't merry with a signature preamp or signature amplifier for ever. With separates you always has the alternative to change the preamp or amp in the time you decide to do it and with separates.
In the amps subject monobloks is the way to go, as nearer the speakers as best quality performance.

Btw, money is always important but money/high price is not always a synonimous of " better ".
The dombination of money and KNOWLEDGE level ( high or low ) is what makes the success happens or not.

I gave my opinion according my personal targets and MUSIC/sound priorities. The others gentlemans not disclosed yet their priorities and certainly don't have to do it.

I'm not biased to take your money or to spend your money, I'm biased to the MUSIC.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.

https://www.fmacoustics.com/products/line-stages/fm-255-mkii-r/


For me it was Luxman 590axii not the 509. 590 made me want to listen to music all day , class A goodness 
I certainly understand the need for accuracy in a system however it’s not my priority. Maybe the word warm is not the best description. I guess what I mean is organic or real.   Just as sound engineers brings the recording into a mix they feel is right and enjoyable so it is that we  design our systems in such a way that draws us in. One that is involving and makes us want to listen.  That can be different for each of us. What I have found over the years is that there are many system that can sound completely different from each other but still draw you in and captivate you in different ways.  I heard both tubes and solid state do this well but in different ways. This is why I ask for opinions because many of you achieve this in different ways, ways that I have not yet experienced. That why I love this hobby there are endless possibilities.
"Get a Parasound Halo A21. A great amp designed by John Curl. There are several now available on EBAY. Around $1400. Spending more for a different amp is just throwing money away! The A21 is competitive with any five-figure amp!"

@roberjerman   You are obviously satisfied with mediocrity.
Actually, I think there are a lot of extremely wealthy people who love music who could easily live with a Halo A21.  There comes a point where a kind of neurotic need for some elusive, mostly never achieved equipment goal, outweighs the simple pleasure of listening to music.
Dear @initforthemusic  : I don't know the Halo 21 ( I never listened. ) but the Parasound JC1 monobloks are far away of that mediocrity/average quality performance and competes with any amplifiers you can name it, at any price.

Yes, whealty gentlemans could never think to buy Parasound because is not enough expesive and maybe the Parasound name preclude that they been a proudly owners.

Room/sistem quality performance levels depends mainly of the owner MUSIC/audio knowledge level and his priorities. Money could means nothing with out that true knowledge levels. Mediocrity/average quality performance belongs to a low knowledge levels.

Regards and enjoy the MUSIC NOT DISTORTIONS,
R.
i would think that a Luxman M-900u would be a very nice fit
Warm, musical yet detailed?

Pass Labs and be done with it.

not sure?  Call Reno hi-fi, and take advantage of their demo policy.

250.8 would do the job nicely and at a reasonable price.
@rauliruegas I was commenting on roberjerman's absolutely ridiculous delusional Statement that the Halo A21 is competitive with any five figure Amp! I can name dozens that absolutely thrash it!


Then you come out with a similar ridiculous delusional Statement:

Dear @initforthemusic  : I don't know the Halo 21 ( I never listened. ) but the Parasound JC1 monobloks are far away of that mediocrity/average quality performance and competes with any amplifiers you can name it, at any price.

At any price! That indicates you have heard every Amp, which clearly you have not, or you could not make such a ridiculous Statement. So Ok lets's see a list of all the Amps you have heard to make such a Statement.
Luxman works very very well with the latest gen Wilsons.
Dear @initforthemusic  : Spectral, ML, Krell, Gryphon, Audio Note Ongaku, Atmasphere, Air Tigth, Lamm, Conrad Johnson, Plinius, Joule, Audio Research, MBL, ASR, Boulder, Nagra, Rowland,  Thrteshold/Pass, Rogue, Ayre, SimsAudio, Wavac,  VTL, Cary, Luxman, Mcintosh, Halcro,   Crown, Denon, Nad, Naim, Dartzeel, YBA, Chord, Classé, Coda, Edge,  etc, etc .

Too many to name it and paired with very good audio systems, some I experienced in my system and in other systems.  Ovbiously I don't listen to all audio amps but I have enough experience about to post that " ridicolous " statement.

Please let me know how many times do you listen the JC1s and with which speakers ?

R.
Rauligues, we are a Parasound dealer and we had the JC 1 on display, in the same rack was a pair of Electrcompaniet AW 400, a pair of Chord SPMP 650 monoblocks and the Reference Chord SPM 1400.

The reality is the Parasound was the cheapiest and least good souding amplifier in that stack.

It wasn’t that the JC 1 were bad, no they were decent, except that the Electrocompaniet was far better, the EC amps were about $2k more expensive, and the Chord monoblocks were a bit better than the Electrcompaniet.

Parasound builds great for the money gear, there is no way that any of their products compete with things that are five times the cost, we know we sell those items.

We sell Parasound because they produce excellent value for the dollar equipment, their products sound great for the price, are very well made and reliable.

In the case of the JC 1 they were nice not exceptional amplifers that got bettered by amplifiers that were not that much more expensive.


https://www.stereophile.com/content/audio-doctor-searching-best-everything

(this was before the Kef Blades and Chord Reference amplfiers, you can cleary see the JC 1 at the bottom of the rack)


Our test system at the time was a pair of Kef Blades, with the EMM Labs Dac 2X Se, Esoeric D03X reference dacs and a high end server, cabling and power conditioning.

Your love of the brand is noble but misguided, you really do get what you pay for.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor


Dear seller: I respect your opinion and disagree with.

In the same system with Wilson MAX3 the JC1s was a real challenge to  the Boulder amps.

No, it's not that outperformed but the Boulder did not beats the JC1.

I listened too with Soundlabs top of the line speakers making not a good job or so so but a great job and other than my own system I listened the JC1 with Dynaudio one step down its top of the line.

For me in all systems the JC1 did not makes a " decent " job but a true very good job.

I'm not biased through the JC1 but in my book and with my own MUSIC/sound priorities ( main target: truer to the recording. ) the JC1 is " there " no matters what.

It has very good tonal balance, tigth and deep bass but at the other frequency extreme is really good too. Has impact and dynamics with power as the live music and at the same time detailed with fast transientes, colorless but the music natural color and with good rhythm and with enough headroom.

Maybe for some  one the Boulder or dartzeel or other amps fulfill better his own priorities but the JC1 never puts your system on shame.

What the OP decide on his amplifier is only important to him. I have not interest in any way to convince him or any other gentleamns on this Parasound amplifier and I'm only given my first hand experiences through very high resolution audio systems.

As I said in other post: JC1 is not expensive enough for really been appreciated its quality level performance, not even by audio distributors as you.


R.
Raulgias, your findings don't in anyway mirror our findings, as per price if an amplifer is $10k JC 1 and the other amplifier is $12k-14k that is basically in the same price range. 

So in our system first with the Kef 207.2 and then the Kef Blades the more expensive amplifiers sounded signfigantly better.

The fact that the other amplifiers were a bit more expensive means that most people would pay the difference. We don't recommend an amplifier just by price alone, which is why we had the amplifier in the first place. 

We purchased the amp and preamp based on raves from reviewers and the forums, without hearing the amplifiers. 

Once we got them into our store, burned them in, and tested them vs other amplifiers which came into our store a bit latter did we come to our conclusions.

We continue to work with Parasound because they make excellent products for the money, the reality is that the more expensive gear sounds better as it should.

If you honestly think that a Boulder was not better than a Parasound, then it could be a couple of things, one a gross mismatch sonically with the Boulder amplifiers which tend to be sonically a lean, clean sound with big bass or two something was not right with the Boulder amplfiers.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ


Hi Dave,
I have been a fan of your experience and have really enjoyed your postings.  But sadly, as of today, I have to say that your messages have all come together into one, and that is "Spend a ton of money or you will not have a great rig".  Sorry, but I don't think I agree with you or Mr. initforthemusic
I have always respected rauliruegas postings for their impartiality and content.