Have heard the X1, X2 and X2.2 All incredible and my favorite speakers that i have heard myself. (have not heard many incl Arrakis, Evolution Acoustics MM3, etc).
I too am waiting for comments on this speaker...it is not suppose to replace the X2.2 but sit above it...and both will continue to be sold. Which means it must be dramatically better to justify both being sold.
The cabinet looks to be about 6-8 inches deeper nearly from top to bottom. If you consider that there are 2 speakers...would the extra volume come close to one Wilson Thor? Possibly?
Given that it is called XLF, will sit above the X2.2, and they sell the Thor...one would have thought/hoped the speakers would compete with the X2.2 plus Thor. That would be incredible!
Many X1/X2 owners i know (in fact 6 of the 7 owners i know) also run a sub (JL Gothams, Thor, and Velodyne).
Please post if you hear anything about how they sound! i will do same.
theaudiobeat.com put out a email yesterday saying they'd be publishing a preview soon....
No focal tweeter anymore.
i saw their new brochure...silk dome...quite a new thing for wilson...the silk domes i've heard I've always just loved...a touch of warmth...I got a brochure emailed to me from Wilson...new drivers, new cabinet in places...it seems like a pretty big upgrade...
If anyone wants the brochure, I'll email it, I didn't see it posted on their website just yet...
Would love to see the brochure. I'll email.
Wilson has done the silk dome thing before with the Duette I think. I also agree the move towards using a silk dome is a good idea for a host of reasons.
That would have been a good idea 20 years ago
Why the change suddenly? I thought Wilson fans cherish these magnificent highs :)
Maybe no soft dome tweeter available at the time was good enough ? Just a thought.
Yep, if Dave says so, it must be the case...
Agree with Elberoth...DW has always sought very, very strict technical capabilities. While silk dome tweeters of old had a sound many of us liked (incl me)...perhaps they did not meet the rigid dispersion, performance he was looking for. imagine that has changed over the years...and the silk dome tweeter (like SF Guarneris and Strads) have a beautiful natural voicing.
Possible reasons for moving to soft dome tweeters:
1.) Generally soft domes of today have much higher frequency response then the ones of yesteryears(try ~40Khz rather than 20Khz). They may not be as extended as the best diamonds or berylliums(60 100Khz) variety but those also come with their own evils.
2.) The best soft domes of today tend have lower distortion points than the best metal or diamond.
3.) The best soft domes tend to have wider dispersion characteristics at higher frequencies than metal or diamond due to the more rounded dome shape which helps in high frequency cancelations.
4.) The best soft domes tend to have lower resonance frequency points which determines where you set your crossover point. The lower your crossover point the better you transition to the midrange unit due to directivity issues that start to occur on the upper bands of the unit. You also want the crossover point to stay as far away from the resonant cone break ups that also occur in the upper frequency bands of the midrange unit.
- More imaging specificity
- Greater lower to mid treble clarity
- Loss of upper octave air and/or shimmer. Although this problem has been ameliorated by the addition of the rearward facing ScanSpeak Revelator super tweeter which has an extended frequency range to ~60Khz.
That makes sense...Wilson specifically notes the integration with the midrange driver...thanks for that. very helpful. And yes, Wilson has always had supertweeters in the back for air/shimmer. Originally 2, now 1.
Hi, Wilson also has a habit of migrating drivers from their top of the line downwards over time. I have Maxx 3's, wonder if a Maxx 3.1 or Maxx 4 is around the corner with new bass loading or diff drivers along with the new material used in the Sashas....
Based on the product timeline on their website, I don't think you'll
see an updated Maxx until this time next year.
Razmika - do I sense an irony here ?
I have owned speakers using Scan Speak 2010, 9300, 9500, 9700 silk dome tweeters (at the time considered to be the best), various electostats, the previous top of the range Scan Speak Ring radiator (the one with silver tip), Accuton ceramic tweeters (in Avalon Eidolon speakers) and now the Sasha, to my ears, the latest incarnation of Wilson tweeter is better than those (pls note that I'm specificly referring to Sasha/Maxx 3 tweeter, not earlier Wilsons designs).
Ofc, there is always a question of personal taste etc, so I'm not gonna say that 'it is the best'. But I think it is absolutely incorrect to state that it is 'good distance away from todays best'. This is simply not true.
Plus, please remember that it is difficoult, if not impossible, to judge the tweeter performance with no relation to the system in which the given tweeter is to be used !
Ribbon tweeter, for example, may be better at some freq (even Wilson used a bunch of them in the WAMM, remember ?), but then it needs to be crossed over much higher. That would probably mean you would have to use another, smaller midrange unit (like it was done in the WAMM, or you can see in Verity Lohengrin for example) or you would have to compromise the all important midrange ... you see, it is all a question of balance and a chosen set of compromises and design goals. There is no free lunch.
From what I undersood from my talks with Dave Wilson, he likes the tweeters with have low resonant freq and high power handling, which allows him to cross them over relatively low. That rules out all ceramic drivers (which also have other problems ...), and most silk dome ones.
I have asked Dave once, why they have used (then) top of the line Scan Speak Ring Radiator tweeter in the Alexandria as an 'ambience' tweeter. His answer was simple - because its cheaper than the titanium tweeter and gets the job done.
Same goes for the Duette monitors, which also have the Scan Speak silk dome tweeter (although this time the cheaper one, with wide surround but not the 'wave guide' tip).
So as you can see, Dave Wilson is clearly not someone living in his cave, he have used in the past and still uses various tweeter designs, including silk dome tweeters, but for various reasons preferes the inverted dome titanium tweeter over other alternatives.
Silk dome vs. Titanium dome...DW has finally seen and heard the light...enough said, IMHO.
I cant claim to know DVs thought process, neither am I claiming that this particular driver was used or was not modified, but the ScanSpeak Revelator R29 series is as close to idealistic as it gets for an ambience tweeter. Its output rises in the upper frequency band and it has rather high sensitivity(94.5dB @ 2.83v/1m) to match the Alexandria's. The only thing it has going against it is its increasing directivity at higher frequencies which is inevitable with most tweeters.
When it comes to well known soft dome brands(ScanSpeak, Seas, and Morel) their mid to top of the line models feature ressonance freq around 470Hz to 580Hz which is as low as it currently gets for 1" dome tweeters.
BTW Maybe I'm mistaken but I thought DV used electrostatic arrays instead on the WAMM?
some might take this the wrong way and others the right way, but other than the X-1's, my experience is that Wilson Audio's top of the line speaker (WAMM's and Alexandria's) seems to have so many good things happening all at once that IF there is something lacking it's too minute for me to hear. I for one have an organ recording that broke up the MAXX-2's bass drivers, but on the Alex-1's they sailed right through it. of course i couldn't afford either super-speaker, but the sense of limitless power, dynamic range, and frequency extension is certainly there. OTOH, Wilson can't quite deliver the ultimate experience for a lot less money (let's say $35K) which will forever be a disappointment.
The WAMM's did indeed have a 9 element electrostatic array for the "super tweeter" section.
i really think i should clarify my comment about Wilson being able to make a speaker that "does it all" for $35K. Wilson Audio is fairly unique in constantly experimenting with new materials and designs and the customer has to fund these efforts along with the actual product. the company has to charge accordingly while even testing and improving systems not yet ready for sale. and sometimes you can get your speakers upgraded but not always.
you do get the best dealer support around and i imagine if you're no longer satisfied with what you have you get special consideration if you want a newer model.
but i have to reiterate that the Alexandrias are astonishingly better than ANY of their other speakers and there is "no going back" in my opinion after hearing them.
whatever nits and issues may exist with the Wilson "sound" simply melt away as
you audition some competently recorded acoustic music. i can't quite understand
what accounts for this effect. but it makes you wish you had the money, end of story.
OTOH many other manufacturers are not quite as busy making newer speakers or reinventing current models, so you can get a very musical speaker for a lot less money comparatively. i personally had to settle for a really excellent speaker with a cabinet finish that could use some improvement compared to Wilson or Rockport.
but... the drivers, the crossovers, and the stiffness of the enclosure are pretty far up the scale of "really good", so i enjoy listening to them and frequently dust them off so they may look their "best" - at least from a few feet away.
When you say your experience other than X-1...did you mean you have compared Alexandria to X1 and found X1 lacking...or that you have not auditioned X-1? Thanks!
I own a second-hand pair of X1s which i enjoy...but am aware there is an upgrade to take the speaker up to Alexandria (entirely replaced tweeter and mids cabinets, crossover and wiring...plus damping for bass cabinet).
Thanks for any advice on X-1 if you have compared.
Hi, Lloydelee21, like all Wilson speakers the X1's underwent numerous improvements after the 1st model was introduced, and it's probably the 1st iteration that i auditioned. this was also around the period where the W/P-5.1 was also being offered. all i can say is that these were IMO some of the most clinical sounding speakers i've ever heard. in spite of their ultra-high quality they lacked the ability to convey the loveliness of the sound real instruments make.
it was also about the time i got to audition Sonus Faber Extrema speakers, which were almost impossible to walk away from (at the audio show i attended). indeed, a line had formed to wait for the middle seat in the room...
Hi French Fries,
thanks for that...good to know. I have heard Alexandrias and so have a good idea of how they sound, but have not done direct A/B in same room, exact same system. I did not hear as much of a difference but then again, i have a natural/warm system: Zanden, CJ, Gryphon (SS Class A) and Transparent Audio.
In any event, the good news is i have checked with Wilson and the Series V upgrade is expected to be around "for some time"...so that is my clear upgrade path someday! Thanks again for your insights. Very helpful.
I will be hearing the XLFs next week at their premier in Europe. Run with D'Agostino Momentums. Will be interesting to hear.
XLF's are being demo'd as we speak at Brooks Berdan, LTD in Monrovia, CA.
Powered by the newest version of the Siegfried Monoblocks........
No offence but, those are some wicked ugly speakers.
I heard Wilson XLFs powered by D'Agostino Momentums in February. Both Peter McGrath and Dan D'Agostino were on hand. Cables were Opus MM2 and the installation and positioning were impeccable.
Best rig I have ever heard in every way: truth of timbre, frequency extension, resolution, soundstaging, imaging, microdynamics, macrodynamics, low level resolution, live-level SPLs.
I also heard WIlson Alexandria X-2's powered by the VTL Siegfrieds a few years ago. It was the best I'd ever heard until the XLF/D'Agostino setup. XLF bested it in low end, weight, and definition. the D'Agostinos are my favorite amp. Now all I need is to come up with $50K. :)
thanks for that...good to know. I am almost more interested in hearing the Momentums as opposed to the XLFs. I too have heard the X2s...both the original and the Series 2. I run my X1s with Gryphon Colosseum, so i am intrigued by the D'Agostinos.
So i was (very kindly) invited to the introduction of the new XLF...superb room...D'Agostino Momentum monos...Kalista Ref CD player, ARC Ref 5SE preamp...Transp Opus MM2 Cabling throughout. On the face of it...a superb system and one to be reckoned with. Here's my view of the experience:
- Supreme 'density of signal'...greater by a 'meaningful margin' than Audio Exotics room in Hong Kong (Tidal Sunrays with 2 Tidal tower subs, 3 sets of Tidal Impact monos, Tidal Presencio, Stahl-Tek Vekian, Argento Master Ref cabling, Tripoint grounding/AC).
- This is where i think newer electronics have come a long way (and good speakers thought not necessarily 'the newest ones'...older SOTA is still amazing)...in being able to take the signal and through substantially lower noise floors, more exacting detail retreival...really are able to deliver a very strong, focused, concrete music signal. Older electronics...mainly digital...tend to deliver a 'weaker music signal'...almost like a flashlight where the batteries are getting low.
- On this system...it was like brand new lightbulb and batteries and flashlight. Very impressive.
- Better bass than i recall with X2 Series 2...but that's not a definitive statement because too many variables. What I CAN say for sure, is that this XLF will NOT replace any well setup X2 Series with a good sub. That is not close.
sound on tracks i know extremely well was 'a bit shouty'...which surprised me. I am going to give the system the benefit of the doubt and say there were probably more than a few new components...most likely the Ref 5 SE, as well as of course the speakers, and possibly the Momentums and speaker cables.
- By 'shouty' i mean that even on Amos Lee...on whom Norah Jones does background vocals so you get the idea...his voice felt a little like he was singing/shouting. And that was not the only track where i felt this touch of slightly raw overpowering force.
- Based on what i understand about the new tweeter, and what i already know about the X2, X2 Series 2 and likely the XLF mids, i might point at the Momentum monos which i have heard are 'slightly harder' than the stereo version. I am familiar with the Kalista, Ref 5 (non SE), Transp cables and the X-1, X2 series, so that is my guess.
i appreciate the opportunity to hear it, having heard the Audio Exotics Room last year with similar/same music. Feel free to ask/PM for any other observations.
When I heard the XLFs and Momentums, it was in the same room and the speakers were positioned in nearly the same place. David Wilson himself was on hand for that The only other variable was that the earlier Alexandria X-2 demo was powered by an all top line VTL signal chain. The XLF demo was D'Agostino Momentums plugged directly into a Meridian Sooloos.
I didn't detect any "shoutiness," but I also believe that this audio shop
is one of the very best at speaker positioning and system setup. I don't have your international broad frame of reference, but to these ears, the D'Agostinos are the closest thing to perfect amplification that I've heard.
I do want to go back and listen when the system has been operating for a little while longer...i wanted to share initial observations...very exciting...who knows? it could be the Momentums need more time.
INterestingly, i got a PM last nite from someone who made the same observation about 'shoutiness'...with the exact same electronics, but with another SOTA speaker.
In any event, i will go back undoubtedly to listen again with a few more tracks.
What was the cabling used in the XLF demo you heard? I heard 'em with Transparent Opus.
Same...Transp Opus! I went back briefly...same conclusion. Except that i feel more confident the system should be physically rearranged, and the amps may need to be substituted. i went back to talk with the Owners/Managers and shared some observations.
Interestingly...there was an industry veteran who is a senior guy at one of the revered names in audio...he happened to pop in for a listen and had similar comments while we were talking.
the equipment is amazing he said and capable of far more...setup was not ideal. His company is getting a pair of XLFs.