Perhaps a new CD Player would make a bigger difference and more of an improvement in your system then the Sasha's.
It is never fair to totally blame speakers for not providing the sound you are looking for.
If you can step up here, I think you will regret. The Sasha's give you more of everything. Wilson has a lineup here for a reason.
Now they all sound great. And better ancillary's with sophia 3's vs current gear with Sasha's is another route. The Sasha's will be a little less forgiving of other system weaknesses. Is your system page up to date? Some bass traps in the corners maybe, do you have better power cords?, what about a better transport? Cables...etc Those Sophia's are good, they'll let you hear it all...
I have heard the Sophia 3 and Sasha's numerous times at my dealer....same set up.
3 different opinions and that's what makes this "hobby" fun. I have listened to Sasha's but in a very expensive system. I asked the question to hear different perspectives, with the realization that I need to make the decision.
Psjulian and Jfrech,
I went from 2s to 3s and I think it was worth it, but now I'm questioning if the Sasha's are 15K better. Why 15K, because I can sell my Sophia 3s for 10K and still would need an additional 15K. Lots to think about.
There is no definite answer whether the Sasha is $15k better than the Sophia 3. I echo Branislav's advice.
A friend owns the Sasha. He told me prior to owning the Sasha he was at the dealer listening to the Sophia 3. He was about the pull the trigger when the dealer showed him the Sasha. Once he listened to the Sasha he knew he would be getting this one. He said although the Sasha was an overall better speaker, the Sophia-3 comes pretty close to the Sasha's performance. Whether it's $15k better, no comment.
So smitten with the Sasha, he got himself a second pair of Wilson for the living room just recently, the Maxx 3.
Agree with Jfrech. Perhaps you should invest a few $K in treating your room, primarily bass treatments in the corners, rather than $15K in speakers. You already have world class speakers. This may sound counterintuitive, but that will result in a much more expansive soundstage, more transparency with better articulation as well as much smoother and lower reaching bass.
Did you work directly with Rives to design your room treatment. My priorities are for the speakers to disappear, if it's a good recording... image depth, width, height, with spacing between instruments. I was wondering if the Sasha's would provide a significant upgrade on my priorities given all other things are equal. Will room treatments affect my priorities as much?
I have found that the lister/room/speaker relationship is far more important than which speaker one has, especially if you are comparing two very good and similar speakers from the same manufacturer. Get the room, speaker location and listening seat right and improvement should be huge. You can do that for less than the $15K and the results will be better, IMO.
The Sashas are worth the extra $ IMHO if you have the electronics to drive them. Quite a bit better than Sophia 3s in all areas, but especially dimensionality, soundstage, separation of instruments and reproduction of frequency extremes. Of course, the Sophia 3s are excellent and are not as demanding of ancillaries.
The ex-wife part is funny! I don't pay alimony, I don't have tons of money. I have a hobby that I love. I save and sacrifice to get my toys. If money wasn't an issue, I would buy what I wanted and that would be the end of it.
I use the Apollo as a transport and have it going into a Audio Research DAC7. I believe in investing in speakers first and build around them. I have heard differences between cables, amps, preamps, etc...however I submit from my experience you get the speakers you want and match the components to your speakers. I can't do everything at the same time; therefore my thought was speakers first.
Your mind seems made up. I think in this case your not going to be happy after your purchase of the Sashas for a long time and many many upgrades!!! Why not enjoy and upgrade your current system with the Sashas in mind??? I'd start with the transport, then ASC 16" tube traps in the corners. I tried GIK 244 and the ASC worked a lot better for me. I think you'll find getting a tighter well defined bass and cleaner mids without bass smear will let you hear how good the Sophia lll is.
Many people saying very similar things here, I would listen especially concerning treatments!!! People like Jfrech and his vast experience with Wilson products this is knowledge not a guesstimate!!!!
My mind isn't made up. I posted the question as a means to provide food for thought. I think Audiogon, when members provide advice that's really meant to help, is a forum for brainstorming. The feedback has help me consider more cost effective ways of improving my sound. As a matter of fact I just went on Rives website and will contact them tomorrow. I just thought going from Sophia IIIs to Sasha's would provide the greatest sonic impact.
What transports would you recommend?
I recommend you post your question on the Wilson Audio forum, or at least search the archives. There have been many posts about your topic and many have written about their experiences of going from Sophia 2 to Sasha. You will also find lots of information about partnering equipment and set up.
Of course only you can decide and I encourage you to listen for yourself.
Your system is well balanced as it is. The recommendations for acoustic treatments are excellent, by far the best sound improvement per dollar investment you can make. As far as changing speaker go, the real question isn't whether you would spend an incremental $15k, but whether you're prepared to spend an incremental $40k plus upgrading source, cables and amplification? If you just can't live without the Sashas and money is not a big concern, then go for it. If you have to save up for the purchase(s), then most likely Wilson will have introduced a new upgraded version or model and moved the performance bar even higher and pricier and would you be happy with the Sashas then?
I would also be concerned that if the Sophias aren't disappearing after the dealer set them up in your room that the Sashas won't disappear either in that room.
Thanks for all the advice. Based on the feedback I will look into room treatment and a better transport. I haven't heard significant differences with transports and would appreciate a place to start below 4K. I've already had home trails of Transparent Audio Ultra, Kimber Kable, and I concluded that Silver Cable provided me more of what I wanted.
I had them set-up by a really good dealer in Austin, TX. They completely disappear and have great imaging. I'm just trying to see what I can improve.
If you live in Southern California go to Brooks Berdan in Monrovia, CA. If not give them a call they are experts on Wilsons and would be happy to discuss the differences in the Wilson lineup. Both speakers are good but their is more to be had with the Sashas. They are more open and have better detail. Happy Holidays.
I worked directly with Art Noxon at ASC (Acoustic Sciences). Since my room is close to square with an odd shaped bay at the rear, there were still a couple of modes at 32 and 62 Hz that the traps were unable to smooth sufficiently. That's why I bought the PARC. My dealer came over with Rives' room correction software and a real time analyzer and was able to reduce those modes significantly. All of this will certainly improve those attributes that you deem important.
By the way, do you live in Austin and is the dealer to whom you refer Ne Plus Ultra? If so, then we have a lot in common. Drop me a note and if you'd like, arrange to come over and listen.
I heard both and considered the Sasha at my home after trying Sophia IIIs to get a little more bass. After considering the possible need for extra amplification and cable I choose to go with 2 JL-113s subs instead. I spent less than i would have to swap up to Sasha and got way more extended and quality bass. I am extremely happy with speaker set-up. Marc
I agree that Sasha's are great; however it's about putting a system together. I have a concern about my amp being able to get the most out of Sasha's. I plan on taking my amp and preamp to a dealer to make sure they are capable of driving them. I don't want to get Sasha's and be required to upgrade my electronics. In the mean time I will try room treatment and possibly a sub.
I know Sophia 3s are great speakers. My priorities are spacing between instruments, imaging, and soundstage. I submit Sophia's perform these task well. My delima is how best to spend 10-15K? If Sasha's are significantly better at performing my priorities than Sophia's, will changing cables and/or electronics get me to Sasha's? I plan on at taking my amp and preamp to listen to Sasha's next week. I'm curious to hear the Sasha's with my electronics.
If you could stretch your budget a little, I would recommend to getting the Sasha (anchor first) then build system/room around it.
Earier this year, my brother was staged to buying the Sophia3/REF110. It was practically a two months back-forth affair to the dealer--whereby their demo system too slowly evolved. Finally, after gotten used to sound of Sasha driven with the then new ARC REF150, he blew his budget and went for it--Along the CD8 and REF5. I found that this synergy to be very well complimentary and sounds real good. So much so, that I got the amp for myself too--and I'm not so much of a Wilson nor an ARC fan prior.
Another option to look at also is probably trying out the REF150 first in your current set-up. I would guess that this move too would push the performance envelope of your Sophias quite a bit further, positively, much in ways that you prioritized. Good luck.
I'm currently looking at all of my options. I'm going to contact my local dealer tomorrow and set-up an appointment to hear the Sasha's with my current electronics. Hopefully during my visit I will have the opportunity to compare my equipment to other gear. My challenge is trying to get the most "bang for my money". I honestly love my current system. I just want to see how much it will cost to hear significant differences regarding spacing between instruments, soundstage depth and width. The other question I have is what change in equipment provides the most cost effective way to improve what I have? Time will tell!
I think you will get much better results by addressing your room first. Hire a pro, get some treatment, place the listening seat and speakers then worry about upgrading. The cost/benefit ratio will surprise you, IMO.
In the last year, I have spent about $3K on Jim Smith and room treatment and another $2.5K on isolation and my system improved far more than the last time I threw $10K upgrading components.
I used to think that buying a new preamp or cable would make be all I needed to by happy with my system. Then I learned that the room and isolation are just as important or even more so. Well, that was my experience anyway.
Just took a re-look at your system page. Your room (new?) looks kind of bare. Which in this case, yes--basic first, the many suggestions to doing room treatment first would seem to be most logical/justifiable. Only after that's been properly addressed, then the 'anchor', 'support' and 'tuning' parts would make more sense.
Peterayer: >>I learned that the room and isolation are just as important or even more so.<<
I agree 100%. Acoustic treatment, as called for by system setup within the room, and a decent rack for vibration isolation are key. I believe swapping gear is a waste of time (and possibly money) until you get these right.
If you can create a simple line drawing of your room with equipment and furniture placement (I used Visio) many of the acoustic treatment vendors will give you a complimentary consult on products and placement. Use a mirror or the reflective mylar strip from ASC Tube Traps (aka Optical Alignment Kit) to find reflection points. It is actually quite simple. This is fundamental 'aural infrastructure' stuff. PS: Don't forget the ceiling.
I went with RealTraps and SRA and they've paid huge dividends. Sorry don't mean to sidetrack yr thread. Fwiw, my pick was Sashas.
When auditioning speakers for my new system, I found that the Sashas paired with an Audio Research 200 wpc integrated amp sounded great - up until about 80 on the volume control, when the ARC just didn't have the power reserves to handle recordings with substantial bass. So I think your concern about adequate power is legitimate if you plan to play them loud, and that taking your gear to the dealer to see how well it drives the Sashas is an excellent idea.
But although I went with Revel Salon 2s due to my particular room circumstances that required a more forgiving speaker, I will say that the Sashas are outstanding speakers and I think noticeably better than Sophias, especially in a larger room.
Re my initial suggestion to getting speaker first is none other than that from previous experiences, different speakers usually do require different treatments--optimally.
If modular units--still ok, you might just need to add, subtract, or simply move them around. However, if fixed/built into room--then not so easy, more headache should you later decide to switch speakers. Hence for me, whenever possible, always better to get a fixed on designated speaker first, then specifically treat room around it. As in your case : what Sasha requires might differ from that of Sophia's.
But at the end, either ways, whether it be room/speaker first--some corner bass traps, front wall, and sides' first reflection absorb/diffusers are basic essentials which will definitely reap benefits in almost any room.
Also, if you go modular--your ears, with some dealer's help (basic measurements) can do, no need Rives etc. Only if you plan on built-in ones incorporating some sort of room re-design, then those pros will come in handy, ime.