I can't imagine how you keep blowing midrange capacitiors, but according to the Wilson website, both the Maxx 2's and the Alexandria V 2 would present the same load to an amplifier. Both are rated at 4 ohms nominal and 3 ohms minimum, though the Alexandria is 4 db more sensitive (95 db vs. 91 db)
Your VTL Seigfried's claim to be able to pump 800wpc in Tetrode or 400 wpc into Triode mode into a 4 ohm load, that's a lot of freaking power.
So what does all this mean? Either you have a VERY, VERY large room, your listen at VERY, VERY loud levels and/or the blown midrange caps have nothing to do with SPL's, but perhaps DC leakage from your amps. Yes, the Alexandria will be easier on your amps, but your amps, if healthy, should provide plenty of juice for the Maxx 2's also.
You may want to have VTL check out the amps, IMHO.
Hi, I'm with (the above) John. I fully agree with all his statements.
I've owned WP 6's running 60w/channel (bat vk60) tube amp. Then WP8's running a 75w/ch (bat vk75se), then WP 8's with BAT 150se's, Maxx 2's and Maxx 3's.
For fun, I took one amp out with my Maxx 3's. I have a large room. So back to a 75SE (75w/ch). It drove the Maxx 3's great. Never a hint of distortion, grain, still effortless. (The 150se, controlled the bottom better and better image, but a 75se wasn't lacking in power).
I've also tried a Nagra VPA. 50 w/ per channel and others here at Audiogon (oneobgyn) runs his X2's on with Lamm tube amps (18w/channell). All with superior results.
Something isn't right, you either have misbehaving amps, ear bleeding levels, or super super big room.
Might ask Wilson on a upgraded X2 vs brand new X2 series 2, I doubt there is a difference.
BTW, I went from Maxx 2's to Maxx 3's, it's a MONSTER upgrade. So Maxx 2's to X2's are even bigger. You won't regret this move if you can afford it !
You are blowing the resistors. So did I on my Maxx IIs if I play loud. Funny I have the VTL 750s But it was really loud and the resistors are there to protect from overdriving. So I called Wilson and yes the X-2s are the way to go. No doubt for high SPL. But honestly, I then began to think about some top notch horns that can play to 120 db w. a few watts as the way to go. Just hard to find a pair I love, let alone hear them. I doubt it is a problem w. the amps as I took out both my speakers at once. But it was loud. I don't listen that loud more than once or twice a year (it was great, I was having a blast, playing a live concert to ridiculous concert hall levels).
For now I am staying put. A friend w. the smaller Lamms on the Maxxs isn't so happy. I don't agree that 18 watts can power it, unless you have a subwoofer. Wilsons are efficient and the Lamms are great, but they don't play that loud. Mind you, I would love to have the Lamms as a 2nd amp, but the best compromise are the Seigfrieds. You should go w. the X-2.2s, but first give them a listen w. your amp. I know the voicing of the new Wilson products is quite a bit different than the Maxx II.
With all due respect to the owners of any of these speakers...do you really find it reasonable at this price point to be limited in ultimate output capability? I understand that Wilson puts a tremendous amount of $ and R&D into the cabinets, but we're talking about an absurd amount of money here, is there any reason you should need to make any compromises?
Dgad, you're right, it is the resistors i'm blowing. My room is pretty large too.
I have another set of Maxx 2's in a different system and have never had one problem with them but this room is much smaller.
If you really have a large room and listen loudly, maybe try a top slight SS amp with a lot of headroom-just another option.
(better yet, get the x2's and a great SS amp :)
Out of curiousity, what's the rest of your system?
I've listened to the Wilson Alexandria V2's and the Sigfried's. I think they are a match made in heaven! Also had Thor's hammer. Which I would also recommend.
I don't understand this playing loud thing. Most audiophiles go out of thier way to protect the ears, but blast music at levels high enough to damage(regardless if the sound is distortion free and you have a large room).
I never play loud(even with the guitar).
My Maxx's are great speakers but i'm constantly blowing the midrange capacitors.
Have you considered trying pro gear? Most consumer designs don't like being driven hard as the drivers are not built for it. Soundstage won't even test a speaker above 100 db SPL as most consumer designs would be damaged.
Friend of mine had the same problem with his Maxx 2's, large room and kept blowing the mid-range. SPL's not high either.
He traded for SoundLab U1-PX's after he heard mine. IMO its worth auditioning electrostatic speakers.
Couple of quote from friends who own large hi-fi stores: (1) "On Saturday I had an interesting situation in the store, in one demo room I had ML's new CLX being driven by Ref 7&3 & Evo 600 mono's. In another room Maxx 2 & FBI & 505CD, It was chalk & cheese the CLX system was totally organic whilst the Maxx 2 set up was pure 'Hi-Fi'....
(2) "No offense to Dave Wilson but his designs have always been hi-fi to me and its no accident that his first speaker, the original WAMMs, had (and still do) two electrostatic elements in it. I am not a fan of the Wilson sound but I must say I like the Sophias and Watt 7s (not the 6s) in the areas where they are musically involving the lower mids. Gayle Sanders (Martin Logan) best effort was and still is the CL series of full range electrostatic and their latest CLX is their best effort yet. I think they lost the plot when they started developing hybrids and subwoofers/cone loudspeakers and home cinema.
It was people like Roger West (and Quad) who stayed true to the electrostatic loudspeaker and only redeveloped the Dynastat hybrid as a way of offering his electrostatic technology to a wider audience because of price. Roger once told me if he had his way he would make his full-range ESL even bigger a true wall of sound. Incidentally the first SoundLAB creation way back in 1978 was a hybrid design called the R-1".
Scousepasty, it's interesting that you mention the last part. A couple of years ago Sound Lab demonstrated a pair of 5-wide arrays of ProStat 922s, each array set up in a continuous arc at each side of the stage in the 21,000 seat LDS Conference Center main auditorium in Salt Lake City. Ultimately the arrays would be several units high, producing clear, coherent sound of uniform loudness no matter where you are seated. The mind boggles.
Back on topic, I too find it odd that Maxxes would be blowing capacitors, especially with such amplification that I couldn't imagine would be clipping. Have the amps been passing or putting out some DC or other spurious signals on occasion? I would get them checked out before doing anything else.
Just to be clear, Maxxes have protective resistors. He is not blowing capacitors. Just resistors that are easily accesable and put in place to protect the drivers from being blown. Maxxes & Alexandrias both have these to protect the drivers from being over driven & destroyed. It is easy to do, if you like to play very very loud. I have done it once but honestly, it was incredibly loud. Using it as a party speaker. Not a great idea. Saved me a lot on new drivers. I have owned quite a few speakers that you need to replace drivers when played too loud. My CLS's used to ARC when played too loud so the CLS referral I find funny.
None the less, comparing a dipole to a dynamic speaker is apples & oranges. I love both but they both are different.
Thanks for the clarification, Dgad. Blowing resistors due to overdriving is a very small consideration for most people, I think, unless the speakers don't perform well at low and moderate volumes. The much larger considerations are the sound and do you find yourself getting lost in the music and wanting to listen for very long periods of time. That's certainly the case here.
I recently upgraded from Maxx 2's to Alexandria X-2 series 2. Thare are many differences. The top end is waaay more laid back than in the Maxx, but very detailed. I suspect that is where some of the Hi-Fi comments come from re: Maxx. The mid range is more organic and "clear". The bass is markedly improved. Actually I find the Maxx to be almost bloated by comparision. I spent tons of time and money trying to control the bass in my room (24x17x11). The Alexandria solved that problem instantly. I has a similar type of sound to other Wilson speakers, but it is improved in all areas. I only blew a resistor once in my Maxx's when I demoed an ASR emitter using the battery. I assume to much DC. Of note I tried the Lamm ML 2.1 for a month, but decided to keep the Boulder.
Thanks for the informative post. I have heard some who say the ML2.1s don't have enough power. It depends on the listening level. I have only blown resistors once myself. But I really was upset and wanted to go your direction. Mind you I am slightly anti Alexandrias as you really need to put effort in them to get the best and that is a major commitment in time. Tough to find the time. Also, I would drive myself nuts refining the sound & individual positions to the point of absurdity. I would never listen. Maxx's might not be as good but you can more or less set & forget.
I think it took me much less time to get them set up versus the Maxx's. I will say that you will notice some component matching issues. Specifically, the Maxx treble is "hot" by comparison. Thus, you can grind out much more detail, while still being musical. I found that my previous set up was taming that top end a bit. For example, I have a line conditioner that is very detailed that I can let loose now. Perhaps some minor cable changes too. I think that would be all. Now you have no excuse:-)
Sorry, meant resistors but fudged it because that was in your intro.
The Alexandria X-2 is a mind-blowing speaker, way better than MAXX 2, which is an awesome speaker in itself. Obviously you need a big room for the X-2s, though I assume you have one since you owned the MAXXs.
Microdynamics is astounding and the attack is unreal. It will bring live recordings to life like you wouldn't believe. With the X-2s, you truly understand what people mean when they talk about the difference between a great sounding speaker and one that brings you to the performance.
Having said that, personally I would spend 1/3 of that money and get a pair of MBL 101Es instead. This is a sound experience like you wouldn't believe. Until you've heard an omnidirectional speaker of this quality, you have no idea how difference and amazing speakers can sound away from traditional front-firing ones. Immense soundstage, truly 3D holographic imaging, a musical stage that floats in front of you that you can walk around. Certainly not as forward as the Wilsons and lacking that attack and slam, but this is more than made up for by the many ways it is better than the Alexandrias.
Try a demo first before you plunk down that amount of cash for the X-2s. You can't go wrong with the top of the line Wilsons, but it doesn't hurt to make sure you're getting the absolute best speaker for your budget.
FWIW - blowing the resistors is perhaps a good sign. If the output is clean and with ultra low distortion it is quite natural to want to turn it up...and up....and up. It all sounds just so natural and completely effortless.
Many speakers just sound so terrible when turned up that this problem never occurs or only occurs during a house party