RH in this months Absolute Sound gave the new Watt Puppy 7 his highest rating.
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Yes, They are both (WP/7&Sophia) outstanding. I have been searching for a speaker to replace my B&W N804s for 2 years. I belong to an audio club in Michigan and I travel to audio salons from New York to Colorado searching for a speaker that I could live with for a long time. At the clubs I have been exposed to some beautiful speakers from Sonas Faber (Amatis&Cremonas),Buggtussel,Royd. At the salons everything from Marten-Logan,Maggies(1.6&3.0),Vandersteen 5s,Quads,Aerial,Paradigm,Klipsh,Red Rose,Acoustats,Spendor, Harbeth,Revel,etc. I made friends with a reviewer here in Michigan and sat for hours listening to Kharmas. I ordered the Sophias thats how good they are. The WP/7s are even better. But not by alot. Even though the Wilson speakers are exspensive and people will nock them for that reason, they are just out&out the best sounding speakers my ears have listened to. To me dollar for dollar the Sophias are my speaker of choice. Outstanding in all areas. Please forgive me if I butchered some of the speaker models,I hope you and those who read this can understand it. Peace and Good Listening, Pat.
Harley's review also had a sidebar comparing the WP7 to the Sophia; I'll have to check it out at home tonight, but it was along the lines of very similar, not quite as refined but you're not going to be giving up much with the Sophia, if I remember right. Having heard all three in my dealer's showroom on a few occasions, I'd say that the Sophia is surprisingly close to the WP6, giving away just a little in refinement but not much else--no wonder they had to do a redesign of the 6. The WP7 is a step up, though, the first Wilson WP that I'd consider buying, as it manages to have a big sound (no more miniature orchestra) and surprisingly good bass extension, as well as a level of transparency and ultimate ease that the Sophia comes close to but cannot match, in my limited listening to the two.
I've heard the 6 and the sophia side by side. The 6 is a better all around speaker, better bass, better detail, better tranparency. The 6 retail price (around 20K) vs the Sophia around 11k, the Sophia is a better deal and put your money better electronics and cables. However, if you are buying used, the 6's are a steal around and below 10k. Used, you are much better off with the 6.
The RH article is available free online
I have listened to all three.
Wilson Watt/Puppy 6' - Excellent 20hz bass versus 30hz Sophia bass, older style brighter mid-highs, can be etched but not like the old 5.1's. You need to have listened to them then before buying them used (great deal)
Wilson Sophia - Mid range to die for and no hot tweeter, easier equipment load. increadible deal for a Wilson product. Setup is easier (no watt adjustments), except requires two people since speaker is one heavy unit. Or if you are buying New the Dealer sets them up for you!
Wilson Watt Puppy 7 - Mini Maxx's in my opinion, 3-4ohm load so require amplification that is cablable of it, 20hz bass which is tighter than the 6' (pretty amazing accomplishment)
I am waiting for my order for WP7's right now since that is what I ordered. I use to play the upright bass and the Sophia and the WP7's did this more convincingly, and the hotness of the older Wilson 5.1 tweeters use to turn me off about Wilson products, so the only real choice was Sophia or 7's.
I didn't want black (no matter how good the finish is) so buying them new was the only option.
I purchased a pair of 7's earlier this year and absolutely love them. I think the Sophia's and the 7's share the same sound signature with the 7's being a bit more defined with deeper bass extension. The 6's are great speakers as well but not as sweet on the top end. Depending on your electronic's, a used pair of 6's are a real bargain right now. A pair of Sohpia's mated with a Wilson Watch Dog sub would be stellar combo.
I think the Sophias are superior to the 6s in terms of driver integration, midrange, and top end. While the 6s may be more extended, the tweeter is hot, and the sophia integrates so much better. You give up a bit of bass, but the midrange is what separates these too imho.
I have heard the 7s on spectral equipment, but wish to hear the 7s on BAT equipment to give them a fairer shot. Spectral, while ultra clean and transparent, is far from musical imho, and made the 7s sound very hifi. From what I hear, the 7s are definitely a step up from the Sophias, but not necessarily worth twice the price.
I cam very close to buying Sophias, but ended up with Avantgarde Solos which costwise saved me a bunch of money and space. If I was willing to spend more dough, most likely the Sophias in cherry red or ferrari blue would grace my apartment.
Thanks guy, this is most helpful. As far as system matching is concerned, can anyone comment on synergy with the following components? It sounds like I should be careful about the hot upper midrange of the W/P 6, even though it is a much better value in the used market.
Merdian 508.24 CD player, ARC SP-11 MK2 preamp, Modified McIntosh MC240 amp (55WPC) or Mark Levinson 20.6 mono amps, top NBS cables. Thanks again for your very useful and focused responses.
I have owned the Sophias and now own the 7's/WATCHDog combination. I agree with Keithr regarding the 6 vs 7 comparison, but would add that the 6's upper bass was thrust forward in comparison to the 7's and the soundstage of the model 6 was much more central and less wide or layered.
In the context of my system, the 7's were demonstrably better than the Sophias in the realm of scale, soundstaging, micro dynamics, harmonic content and pitch differentiation. The improvement in these areas afforded by the 7's over the Sophias and 6's are not subtle, and were easily worth the extra money--to me.
And yeah, Ferrari Blue sounds cool....
That sounds like a nice relaxed mix of components, I have always found Levinson rather dry and do not think it would be a good mix, then again I feel the same way about Classe. Great CD Player (my friend has one, try to get an actual 508.24 not an upgrade.. if you have drawer problems the US service center is excellent and will resolve the problem).
Ferrari Blue! I ordered mine in Ferrari Fly Yellow.. can't wait to get them..
My encounter with all three of these speakers was enlightening in the extreme. I heard the WP6 first as line demos that were displaced in favor of the WP7. I had never before been gripped by reproduced music to such an extent. Entertained by my response, the salesman asked me if I wanted to hear something even better. He directed me to a room of identical dimensions where similar electronics were playing the WP7s. I was absolutely transported. Jimmy Scott was singing "All the Way" with all of the emotion wrung out of each note. I had an overwhelming emotional response. I left that store and embarked on a six month search for a repeat of that performance. Having carefully (and enjoyably!!!) auditioned nearly 20 systems featuring speakers in the $10k-$40k price range I was unable to equal or eclipse the response that I had to the WP7s. The Sophias "sound" very similar. However, they didn't whisper or shout nearly as convincingly as the WP7s. The WP6 was not as subtle a transducer as either the Sophias or WP7s, and made it less easy to immerse myself in the music. I'm guessing that it might be the extraordinary dynamic finesse of these speakers, throughout the audible spectrum that makes them so beguiling.
I've also listened to the Sophia's and liked their sound, and also noticed the bass roll-of at low frequencies. 2 questions for which some perspective would be appreciated: (1) would Sophia's mate well with a set-up of Levinson 27.5 (125 W/ch into 8 ohms) amp and 380S preamp?
(2) would a Velodyne HGS-18 subwoofer be fast enough to mate well with the Sophia's? the Martin-Logan Descent?
PLEASE IGNORE THE FIRST POST SINCE THE DIMENSIONS OF THE ROOM ARE ACTUALLY SMALLER WHEN FINISHED, MY ERROR....SORRY... Actual dimensions closer to 12 feet by 17 feet. If I put in dormers, the area around the sides of the speaker( if placed in front of the short back wall), will be wider (15-16 feet wide there)
I love the Wilson's but can't see myself spending the money if the room acoustics will not work under any circumstances or only with exhorbitant acoustic treatment/consultation.
I have my WP7s in a 13.5 x 17 foot room with one corner squared off by a fireplace, and two thirds of one of the side walls opening out into a much larger, reasonably well damped room. Because of the enormous amount of acoustic energy these speakers generate, I found that I had to treat the corners, walls and wooden floors to eliminate some harshness that obscured detail. About $600 bought me some inexpensive, but quite beautiful oriental rugs of various sizes from Ikea, which I put on the floor and mounted on the walls. Some inexpensive Roomtunes pillows (stuff I had from long ago and forget the price of) were placed into the corners where the walls meet the ceiling. This has banished all but a hint of echoslap that is intrusive only on certain opera recordings, played at tremendous volumes. I wouldn't be surprised if the full ASC treatment is more effective, but I'm very, very pleased with the current results. In summary, while I am no acoustician, I would predict that you could obtain some pretty spectacular results with the judicious application of absorptive materials to the walls and floor.
From the centerline of the front face of the speakers to the side walls is 2 ft., 6.5 in. They are 8 ft., 9 in. apart, centerline to centerline, and are 4 ft., 6.25 in. from the front wall. They are canted inward at approximately 32°. The listening position is 12 ft., 9 in. from the front wall. Ceiling height is 8ft., 2 in.