First of all...nice system!!! Many people would very happy with it, and so should you be...and i imagine you are.
Now, as for possible upgrades...your room is not that small. Given your setup and enjoyment of Wilson...and concert levels (please take care of your hearing!)...i would suggest one of two ways:
1. Wilson Maxx3 or Alexandria 2 (which now can be bought for 1/3 of the original retail).
The reason is not for volume actually...it is because the big Wilsons exude an effortlessness that is remarkable and changed my whole concept of effortless delivery...at low volume but of course also at high volume. It makes it easy to listen at louder levels without any strain whatsoever.
Just bear in mind...you will be happy listening at incredibly low levels with your sub because the big Wilsons will deliver every detail fully balanced at low levels...but crank it to concert levels, and it is so pure, you could literally deafen yourself without knowing it because it is so loud but effortless. Be careful!
2. If your highs are hot, i found Sonus faber to work well with older Krells. I know the Strad well...not nearly as effortless as big Wilson...i have not heard Aida/Fenice.
3. Finally, an observation, if i had to point a finger anywhere on hot highs...it might be the Krell Home Theater Standard if you are using it as a preamp. Try an ARC Ref 3 or Ref 5?? They can be had for $5K these days...less if you are lucky.
Good luck! Enjoy your great system!
Really? Your recommending the Maxx3 or Alexandria for a 9' wide room that is 16' long? My sense is even the WP7 is too big for that room - I doubt you are getting the best they have to offer with a room like that.
IMO I have agree with S7horton..too much speaker for your room.As a Raidho owner I suggest the new C1.1s..everything your asking for and then some.Best ribbons on the market and they sound amazing ,faster than the Wilsons,better imaging,extremely musical unlike the 7s.Mate well with current backline and you may not even need that sub!
Agree with S7horton, you may have too much speaker for the cubic volume of the room.Moving to a larger speaker is very questionable.
Just curious have you had a formal hearing test with an audiologist recently? Be careful with the volume levels.
Best of Luck,
I have heard the Alexandria in a room 15' x 10' and i am telling you...the same room also had Guarneris...and i was stunned at how like a monitor the Alexandrias could sound when properly set up.
The key is you HAVE to have the right people set it up. The person who did it, in this case, is considered by Wilson one of the top handful of guys in the world.
That said, i take everyone's point...9x16 does not need a huge speaker to deliver concert levels, that is for sure.
"Can another speaker sound better given the smallish room?"
Maybe Magnepan (yes, even in your small room).
Being a planar, much less floor and ceiling bounce than your point source. What you might lose in bass impact could be made up for and maybe bettered with a powered sub.
You should have room behing the speaker but if you can't get 3 or 4 feet, you can put a diffuser behing them.
You certainly have the amp for them.
Your lack of experience is remarkable! No one has asked about cabling, power conditioning, or how much music vs home theater is happening. As usual with most audiogoners vs professionals you guys are not looking at the entire picture and asking all the right questions.
It is totally possible that a simple change of cables or adding power conditioning, may make a huge difference.
Also the Krell processor although good is not going to create the sound stage that this listener is trying to get.
If someone wants to listen to a combined home theater and music system the best thing is to use a real preamplifier with a home theater bypass function, I have never found a pre/pro that can beat a good tube preamplifier and usually the dac's in the pre/pros are good but seldom that remarkable compared to EMM Labs, DCS, Wadia etc.
I have sold numerous Krell systems fronted by tube preamps and yes you can use a Krell amp with a tube preamp, no problem what so ever.
The addition of a good tube preamplifier will make the highs much smoother and create a much wider sound stage.
Also there has been no discussion of what source is being used in the system.
An older digital source can have glare.
Hey guys what do I know, 25 years professional experience, gained at two of NYC biggest dealers.
If you like wilson, then obvious choice is sasha, it is a great improvement from w/p series, maxx would be to big...
@ Lloydelee21: where did you find maxx 3 or alexandria 2 with 1/3 retail price ?
Not sure what your budget is, but here are 2 speakers in the same approximate price range that I think would be an upgrade over what you currently have. The new Magico S5 speakers and the new Rockport Avior speakers. Both of these have the same approximate foot print as your Watt Puppy 7 speakers. These 2 speakers will sound different in comparison to each other so it will be a matter of personal preference.
Thanks very much guys for the thoughtful responses!!
Lol yes I have had a hearing test recently. I have lost some high freq. I can hear up to about 14.5kh. Too many years shooting skeet. M sbl meter reads at times 103 peaks but the norm is around 100db. However that's only for rock, volume is much less for Aron Copland :)
The HTS 7.1 does allow pure per-amp mode. I do not know how good it is though. The source is a pc running Sonos playing apple lossless though a Cullen modified zp90 feeding a PS Audio DAC. Maybe I can get a shop to allow me to audition per-amps. Issue is I have a PS3, CD player, and satellite all hooked up .
I did see Wilson Maxx2 listed for less than 19k. Tempting but i bet too much for the room.
"Can another speaker sound better given the smallish room"
The above replies were appropriate given the OP`s question and concerns.I believe most are aware of the 'multiple' variables that impact one`s system.
The Alexandria 2 retails for about 165K...and you can definitely bargain to have an original Alexandria Series 1 which was upgraded to Series 2...which sounds the same) for about 55K.
I agree...from an upgrade standpoint, my last suggestion earlier above was to consider an ARC Ref 3 or 5...far less costly than a big speaker upgrade...and in that room, one might start to create some further magic. One to consider for the OP.
If you like wilson, then obvious choice is sasha, it is a great improvement from
w/p series, maxx would be to big...
THIS! It's easily the
most logical choice. I've heard the WP7s and Sashas in extended auditions. The
Sashas pick up precisely where the WP7s leave off, with more realistic tonal
balance, truer midrange, tighter bass, better dynamics--you name it--at about
the WP7's original price. It's a big leap ahead in coherence, which was always the
W/P's weakness compared to the rest of Wilson's line.
Also +1 about the Maxxes. Way too much speaker for a 16' x 9' room. In fact,
your room size is borderline Sophia/Sasha territory. The Sasha W/P will give you
everything you're looking for. It's finally fully competitive with the Maxx and
Alexandria in terms of cohesiveness and overall goodness, better suited for a
room this size.
I think auditioning a new per-amp is a prudent choice. Certainly the least on the wallet. I have always admired ARC , as i did the original Krell amps. Will give that a go first then if not satisfied go for another full range speaker. Auditioning speakers is a tough proposition when there are no high end stores any more. No one in Atlanta carries ARC, there is Classe and Mac. any opinion on these, I do admire Mac.
The best Wilson setups I've heard were driven by VTL, ARC, or D'Agostino electronics through Transparent (Opus) cable.
Get a turntable and some vinyl
Hey guys what do I know, 25 years professional experience, gained at two of NYC biggest dealers.
yes we are impressed...
the OPs question was "Can anther speaker sound better given the smallish room?"
Don't worry about audiooracle he is a New Jersey audio dealer who is condescending to everyone. His lack of respect for others is remarkable.
Well, he did ask the question, "Hey guys what do I know".
From what I can tell:
1. He can't read.
2. He is weak in the social skills dept.
I'm sure much more but 1 minute is all I'm giving it.
I beg to disagree about comments made at audiooracle. I have almost the exact setup he recommends, in a room approx. the size of Hughp's and with WP7s and guess what, the system exhibits almost to a T the characteristics described in his post. Nagra pre (tube) MX-R amps (SS) much attention given to room setup and treatment. Top end digital front end Puccini/UClock.
Sorry guys, Raidho needs medium to big rooms to get a proper scale and midbass control
You may want to consider the new Rockport Atria. It has the same scanspeak tweeter as the Avior with some of the smoothest, almost crystalline highs I have heard in a box speaker, almost like a ESL. The smaller footprint of the Atria should work well in the OPs space.
All the best
You are not utilizing them properly. First of all, you must use the long wall, especially in a room with 9' width. Cables, source and preamp are most likely the weak spots. A tube preamp and musical cables, like Transparent or MIT would also help.
Why did Rockport replace the Mira 2's so fast?
Ricred, Rockport also stopped making the Rockport Aquila's.
You are right about recent changes in the Rockport line up. Not sure why but can only guess that with the new driver units being made in house, perhaps newer models were warranted....but this is pure speculation on my part. Brilliant speakers and would highly recommend an audition.
Satisfied owner disclaimer.
You problem is not the WPs, is your Preamp. Try to add some really good stereo preampand you will hear hiend ;-D
I listened to the Mira 2's when I decided to change from Wilson Sophia 3's. I didn't like the Mira 2's and decided to go a different direction. I didn't get an opportunity to hear the Avior's, because they weren't available when I heard the Mira 2's. I'm happy now, but if I were to look again I would seek out a Magico dealer.
find a GOOD dealer to help you. The advice on this forum is all over the board - you'll never figure out what is good advice and what is nonsense
I agree with Pojuojuo and Audiooracle. I was using the Denon AVP for two channel. Like the Krell, it has a bypass which allows a pure analog signal to pass through. While it was pretty good, I decided to try a line stage that had an HT bypass. I hooked up my two channel stuff to an ARC LS27. As stated by Audiooracle, it was no contest.
Before you change the speakers, try out a preamp/line stage that has an HT bypass.
I think there is some pretty good advice given above.
1) Consider loosing the Krell stuff
2) Use the Wilsons in a long wall set up
3) Consider Sasha/Sophia III's
4) The Maggie suggestion was interesting. I'm a Maggie guy, but I really liked the Sophia III's. Just couldn't justify the price difference. There aren't a lot of box speakers I like, so the Maggie suggestion is not as crazy as it sounds.
Point 3 is one I'd like to reinforce. I heard the Sophia III's and liked them better than the WP 8's. They were more musical to my ears. Timbre was dead on. Very good speakers.
While this thread is interesting, I think Hughp3 has left the premises. I noticed on another thread he purchased an ARC Ref 5 and solved his problem. Other than the WAF!
Everybody knows surround preamps are not as good as stereo preamps, Krell or whatever you want... Sorry but hiend speakers NEED hiend preamps