Good hi-fi retailers will allow you to demo equipment at home, usually just on a handshake.
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Not true, they are also designed to work as a standard monitor. That's the reason for the stand. You can do a crossover mod if you are going to use them in a normal audiophile setup.
One of my friends had the wilson dealer setup his watt puppy 7's. In my opinion it is worth what the dealer charges to get it right.
S7horton: Yes, they will work as a standard monitor but they were designed for interior decorators where speaker were to be integrated into bookshelves and out of the way. Plus these are smaller than Cub II's and with the external crossover provides additional flexibility in installation options. My dealer informed me that the stands were mainly for dealers stores to demo them.. yes you can buy the stands but the cost of the stands plus the speakers is more than a pair of Sophia 2's which go lower ... so why would you buy monitors when you can buy floor standers.
Tvad: You are correct in that if someone purchases Wilson speakers the dealer does install and setup the speakers in house. The question referred to an in home demo of speakers before purchasing.
I've heard the Duette during a demo tour that David Wilson was conducting at a local dealer. They were mounted on stands and a couple of feet out from the front wall. While it's true they were designed to work in unfriendly conditions, that doesn't mean that's the best position for them.
What immediately struck me during the audition was how far out they projected the sound. This was no doubt as intended to give them needed depth in situations where the speaker was close to the front wall or in a bookshelf. I could certainly see that they would project a nice stage even against a wall.
I loved the way they made music and normally find speakers that are that forward to be annoying. Not the Duettes. They were stunningly engaging. I want a pair...like yesterday.
Tvad: You are correct in that if someone purchases Wilson speakers the dealer does install and setup the speakers in house. The question referred to an in home demo of speakers before purchasing.Righty-o.
Hopefully, dealer will credit the installation fee toward the purchase price if the speakers are subsequently purchased.
While many have already confirmed that the installation is part of the purchase price of the speakers, I want to reiterate this. It is, in fact, required to get the Wilson warranty!
They installed mine, no additional charge and a 1:45 distance from the dealer - no questions asked.
I have tried them in both the near wall installation and on stands out in the room. They sound very good in both set-ups. Perhaps it is psychological, but I prefer them out from the wall on the stands, but then I have the space for this.
FYI, when you purchase the speakers, two sets of cables are including from the cross-overs to the speakers. One pair is marketed for near wall positioning and the other for more traditional placement. There are also two sets of resistors for the cross-overs. So the comments about modifying the cross overs is not 100% accurate as the items that you need to change the performance of the speakers for the different placement options are part of the standard delivery (all sets included with whichever set-up you choose).
I hope this helps to clarify your options. They sound great and in my opinion are smoother than the Sophias in the upper frequencies but don't go quite as deep (but they still do a credible job down into the mid to upper 30s) and are fairly tight and controlled.