Wilson Sasha, SF Amati Anniversario, Thiel CS3.7

Hi everyone,
This coming Tuesday, I'll be auditioning the Sasha, Amati Anniversario and the Thiel CS3.7. How do these 3 products differ in their sonic character? Any thing I should be on the look out for? My musical taste is quite varied although I listen a lot to jazz and full orchestral pieces. Thanks guys.
All three are great speakers. I am a big Thiel fan but the Wilsons sound great too. If your electronics are ulta high end /over 50K go with the Wilsons/Under 50K go with the Thiel. Piano and voice are especially detailed on the CS3.7s
Build your electronics around your speakers, not your speakers around your electronics.
agree with unsound.
One thing I would be on the lookout for in an audition is what amplifiers are being used with the particular speakers. Unsound is absolutely correct that you get the speaker that sounds best to you, but if you have a low-powered tube amplifier and the speaker you're listening to requires a powerful solid state amp to sound its best, you'll need to factor the possibility that you might have to buy a new amp into your buying decision. Perhaps the dealer giving the audition has a number of amps that you could listen to with the speakers in question. In addition, if you have space or placement constraints in your listening environment, you might take note of where the dealer has the speakers placed in the room, how far from the walls they might need to be, how big a room is used, etc.

Otherwise, I would bring my favorite discs/records with me to the audition, not necessarily the best sounding but the ones I love to listen to, and see how they sound on the speakers. Each of these speakers is an excellent one, and each will have its strengths and weaknesses and its own particular sound. Rather than trying to analyze different aspects of the presentation from the speakers, I'd suggest that you just try to listen for the one you feel sounds right to you, that connects you best to the music. That's really what you want, when you come down to it.
In my honest opinion: Wilson Sasha
Thanks guys for the replies. Yes, I intend to upgrade my speakers and amp together. I will be auditioning these three at 2 different dealers. At the first dealer, I will be listening to the Thiel CS3.7 paired with Parasound JC2 pre and JC1 power amps.

At the 2nd dealer, I'll be able to compare head-to-head the Amati Anniversario and Sasha. They will be paired with ARC Ref 3 preamp and Ref 210 monoblocks.

As for my listening space, it's 18 feet wide and 30 feet long. So I don't think I'll have any space/placement constraints.
I have demoed the Thiel 3.7 a number of times and I feel they are one of the best buys in high-end audio. I have demo the Sophia for a few hours but only heard a few songs on the Sasha.

What the Thiel have that make them stand out is they have a very wide ever dispersion. This gives them a very solid sound stage and imaging. It also makes them some what more flexible than many speakers as far as placement goes. The other nice thing about having a wide even dispersion is you can use less toe in (if you have a wide room) which will make the sound stage wider than if they were toed in.

They are also time alined and this will translate to more accurate timbres. But you need to sit 8-12 feet depending on how far your speakers are apart.They also have razor flat tonal balance.

As for the Wilson line (again I have very limited time spent with the Sasha) you will gain bass punch, slam if you will but you will give up other things to get there. They will not be time and phase alined (once you have it you will always want it). The Watt Puppy 8s (Sasha?) dispersion is also not as even though out the frequency range as the Thiel's. You often here people say 0.5" either way can make a break a wilson from being good to outstanding...

In the end all the speakers you listed are VERY good and it comes down to personal preference. The Thiels are the best buy IMO but I could see why someone would choose the Wilson... They have more body and an slight inner warmth that the Thiel 3.7s lack. Thiel are nothing but the truth like it or not.
Time-align in the Thiels is a kind of a "myth". Yes, they are time aligned, but ONLY for one, defined distance from the listener. Move closer to the speakers, or away from the speakers, and you loose the time-align. I'm not sure if Thiel gives the exact distance at which the speakers are time aligned - probably not, since they do not want to scare the customers.

Sasha on the other hand is true time aligned, since you can adjust the tweeter/midrange driver distance to the listener by tilting its upper module.

I'm not a big beliver in time-align myself, just wanted to give some more details, since you went so far in describing the allaged technical superiority of the Thiels.
I think the Wilson is a better engineered product!
The Thiels are time aligned starting from a distance of eight feet. Thiel recommends seating distances between eight and twelve feet.
Valid point about the adjustable head, I always just thought it was just to adjust the tweeter angle based on seating distance. I just assumed that since wilson does not seem concerned with phase he would also not be concerned with time alinement.

Argyro, "I think the Wilson is a better engineered product!".

Please explain your thinking. Wilson is no chopped liver but Thiel has a number of well document innovations over the years.
Part of Thiel 3.7 white paper
Well, it certainly seems like you'll be hearing the speakers with top-flight amplification that is well-matched to the speakers, and your room dimensions should be fine for the three. I think you'll get a good idea for the character of each of the speakers--then let your ears decide.
James63, to answer your question "The Watt Puppy 8s (Sasha?)" - The Watt/Puppy 8 and the Sasha W/P are different. Sasha's are the next generation of the W/P.
Wilson speakers do a great job of revealing your electornics and cables. IMO they sound very Hi-Fi-ish and unpleasant with solid state. I heard the Sasha's on tubes and they were very good, I later heard them with solid state and didnt like them.

You might also want to listen to the Avalon Indra - very nice.

My guess is you will prefer the Amati or Sasha's over the Thiel, but some of that might be the electronics you are hearing.

Good luck-
Wilson speakers do a great job of revealing your electornics and cables. IMO they sound very Hi-Fi-ish and unpleasant with solid state.

That very much depends on electronics. Wilsons sound great with Pass XA or Dartzeel SS amps. Those are just two combinations I personally tried, but I bet there are many, many more available.

That beeing said - the best I have heard was the combination with a SET amp. Not because Wilsons need tubes to sound good, but 'cos SET amps IMO sound better than transistor amps. Of course, YMMV.
SET amp for Wilsons? I thought they are quite tough to drive. Speaking of SET amps, I forgot to mention in my original post that I will be listening to the Sasha, Amati and Thiel CS3.7 using the Avantgarde/SET combo as my benchmark because they have made the biggest and most profound impression on me thus far. A SET amp is ideal for the Avantgarde because of the latter's sensitivity rating of 104dB with a nominal impedance of 8 ohms.

I will also audition the Avalon Indra but I'll have to take a one hour plane ride to do this. I will be listening to the Indra together with Spectral DMC-30SS pre and DMA-360 monoblocks. Yummy!
Looks like you are in for a good time. I am looking forward to reading your impressions.
Wilson uses high order crossovers that require putting the mid range driver out of phase with respect to the tweeter and woofer in order to compensate for the ridiculous phase angle created near the crossover point. This destroys harmonic content of timbre, by design. Why anyone would accept this is beyond me. It must be the paint jobs.

Thiel has always used 1st order crossovers which cause the least phase angle distortion and hence preserve the most harmonic content of timbre. For some of us that matters.

Wanna preserve the harmonic content of timbre? Then it's a no brainer.

you must be more knowledgeable about speaker design than a man who has successfully marketed the best selling high end speaker over $10,000 K. His speakers continue to earn raves all over the globe.

Did you stay at a holiday inn last night ?
information provided by Stevecham about wilson audio designs is absolutely incorect. not a part of it but all. I would not rush to make any theoretical claims or statemens while you didnt measured transfer function or nearfield measurements of separate drivers on actual design. I did this and if you also we both know that its not high order slopes. no need to provide desinformation for customers.
Disclaimer- I am not asociated with Wilson audio, neither their customer
"In the time domain, the W/P8's step response on the tweeter axis (fig.10) is basically identical to that of the W/P7, with the tweeter and Puppy woofers connected in positive acoustic polarity, the WATT midrange/woofer in inverted acoustic polarity."

John Atkinson of Stereophile: Watt Puppy 8 measurements
Again, just to make sure everyone is clear on this: The W/P 8's are not Sasha's. The Sasha is a different design with many new modifications from the W/P 8. For this reason it was called something different (Sasha) instead of "W/P 9".
Yes I am very aware that the Sasha is the new model. I heard them at a well setup quiet dealer's show room, not a show in a hotel... The difference stated on Wilson site are larger cabinet volumes (both upper and lower) and the use of the midrange driver from the MAXX Series 3.

There is nothing stated about the electrical system and based on Wilson history little changes from model to model except slight tweaks based around new drivers used. It is very safe to say that the methodology to the cross over network from the Watt Puppy 8 to the Sasha have not changed.

The name change has nothing to due with the redesign but more marketing. I believe Wilson is feeling the pressure from brands such and Magico to keep an updated line. This can be seen because the Sasha is the first new Wilson speaker to cost less than the older version. Also statements like below seem to be a direct stab at Magico. Statements that insinuate they USED birch ply and metal but have found something better.... in the end the Sasha is more Watt Puppy 8 than not... and sounds pretty darn good.

"The cabinets were constructed of Baltic birch plywood and metal-hybrid baffles. By the time he had conceived and built the first WATT in 1985, Dave was looking for materials that could exhibit much better damping while achieving greater rigidity than wood, mdf, or aluminum For the WATT, he chose a mineral-filled acrylic compound. The WATT was immediately acclaimed for its inert, low-resonance cabinet and uncolored sound."
Wilson uses high order crossovers that require putting the mid range driver out of phase with respect to the tweeter and woofer in order to compensate for the ridiculous phase angle created near the crossover point. This destroys harmonic content of timbre, by design. Why anyone would accept this is beyond me. It must be the paint jobs.

Stevecham - with all due respect, but you obviously know very litte about speaker design, since what you have just said, is simply not true. I'm sure many AgoNers with technical expertise rised their eyebrows reading this.

There is no 'right' and 'wrong' in choosing drive units electrical polarity (polarity, not phase, since the phase of a drive unit is not constatnt, and changes at the unit's freq extremes). It all depends on filters you use, drive units you use and the distance of the respective drive units to the listener.

Ergo, you cannot say that connecting the midrange driver in opposite electrical polarity to the tweeter is 'good' or 'bad'. It all depends.
Listen to MAGICO MINI 2 or V3 BOTH GREAT!!