Wilsons are the best speakers in the world

I don't think so.
For some reason many electronics manufacturers use them for shows. Why is that? 
To anticipate one kind of argument. First listen to Lamm/Wilson system and then Lamm/Kharma system.
It should be obvious that they use them because they believe Wilson speakers will result in their equipment sounding its best. Since “many” manufacturers use them, clearly many people share this belief.

If you like different speakers better, that’s great. Enjoy them.
There is no such thing as "a" best speaker. Wilson has become seen that way by some in the same way The Rolling Stones came to be considered "The best Rock 'n' Roll Band in the world" by some. That wasn't true either.
Nah, Queen is better with Iranian ancestry singer.
Problem is that they are unlikely to believe that about Wilsons. I got an idea. Why don't I ask Vladimir of Lamm and Dimitris of Ypsilon? Well, I can ask, question is can they answer? I doubt it, seriously doubt it. Vladimir is fond of Kharma speakers, don't ask me how I know it, but I do. Dimitris really likes Lansche. I share their taste. They do demo with Kharma and Lansche respectively but not always. There is so much of the usual BS in High-End.
Wilson make excellent speakers with extremely high quality build and finishes. They are widely available. A sort of Rolex of audio. They sound excellent and although they may not be of great value they are solid well built and keep their resale value. 

They sound much better than B&W to me and the pulp and paper and fabric dome drivers they used are better (to my ears) than ceramic accuton ones used on Kharmas (Kharma are great speakers too). 

Hard rigid drivers (polypropylene, metal, ceramic) will "ring" and this affects timbre and muddies details. I can hear it.
I agree that Rolex stuff, at least among watch geeks, are nothing special other than a decent mass produced (millions made every year) watch with great resale value (especially some older stuff). Also, I have metal drivers in my Silverline Prelude speakers and they certainly don't "ring," and, in fact, are reasonably flat in the high frequency area…non fatiguing for reasons known only to Alan Yun. I am planning to buy those $650,000 new Wilsons as they seem to provide the largeness one might need in home audio gear. I only have to sell my Silverlines for $649,000 and I'm ready to go.
There is nothing called "best" or "worst" speakers. It is all about:

1. the room they are in
2. people's preference
3. matching components
4. setups

In my opinion, unless you are doing a speaker swap with exactly the same system components untouched, it is impossible to determine if one set of speakers sound better than another. 

You are listening to way too many other items and factors also.

1. room

2. Components (including cables)

3. Voltage from the wall (quality)

I've heard the absolute top of the line Wilson speakers used in an all Audio Research system.  It finally impressed me.  I've heard the other Wilson speakers in the same system and was not that impressed.  It was nice, so don't get me wrong. however, the new top of the line stupidly expensive Wilson speakers in that system was magic.

However, recently I was purchasing a Audio Research REF 6 from Optimal Enchantment in Santa Monica, CA. (excellent place and owner) by-the-way, and the system was the second from the top of the line Basis turn table (really expensive), arm and cartridge, Audio Research REF 10 pre-amp, REF 10 Phono stage, REF 250 SE amps and Vandersteen Audio 7 MKII (I believe) speakers and this was the first time that I have ever noticed that the entire system absolutely disappeared. 

Now, I can't tell you if it was just the speakers.  Because everything else was wonderful.  I can tell you that it was only music, dimension, and space and the system was absolutely gone.  Never experienced this before.

But, this is why so many are disappointed when they purchase a new piece of equipment.  They didn't hear it in their home system, and so many things are different from when in the store.

it is tough. 

Those Vandersteens were nice. 

The top Wilsons I heard also were played with the top Audio Research pre, phono and REF 250 (not SE amp).  But, the turntable, arm, cartridge, cables and room were different in the other system. so who knows?

The Vandersteens cost about $70,000 (really high, but relative to the Wilson?) the Wilsons were what?  $300,000 or higher? 

Either way, all that was out of reach for me.  I was there for the REF 6, which also would have been unreachable, but for the Audio Research trade in/trade up program. 


When at their best, i think the newest Wilsons are top five or six. Along with YG Acoustics,  Magico, Marten, Kharma, Vivid.

This comment is correct: there is NO best speaker. 

It is about what YOU prefer most. And don't forget component matching.

I happen to like Wilson Sabrina's very much. I also like MBL very much as well. 
Everyone has a important  set of parameters they find important, 
And please remember unless same power cords, system cables 
Amp,preamp, source, even room  even the best gear I gave heard sound 
Not so good at show settings even Wilson's, Magico  and many others 
Some like cone speakers, ststs,planets, omni directional  open baffle  
And many other type . This topic is not winnable.
There are a Lot of fantastic speakers made . I heard the mid price ,for Wilson 
Alexx a excellent Loudspeaker on every parameter. The marten Coltraine-3 is also 
Great for $ 120k. Maybe next year, it would have too be one Exceptional year.
Myself in the $15k and under speaker New series Martin logan  which I feel so many things well.  When buying a new speaker your audio cables may or may not 
Need to be tweaked depending on their perspective to your speakers.
My point any new product in a Audio system does not guarantee system synergy.
Most people I have met in this hobby have no idea of what they are listening to, no idea of what real music sounds like, judge audio based on reviews and what others say, and think that a speaker that can play loud with powerful juke-box bass is great.  And everyone is entitled to their own opinion of what they choose to buy with their own money. That's the way it is, IMO.   
I don't think so!
I agree - They might be very good to great depending on your budget, but I have heard quite a few better @ almost every price point.
I do agree that they (Wilson) are the Rolex along with McIntosh of audio:
High profile & great re-sale value, But not in the top 10 of audio

This year 2017 axpona, I heard Austin Acoustic horn speakers ,750k the best speaker and system, I heard, It sounds truly live, It has no weakness. 
There is a pair of Marten Coltrane for $66.7k obo from the Netherlands, no need for $120k.
How do they sound? I have no idea and never heard them. They are Swedish, right?
Also, anyone heard big Gryphon speakers? Considering his amps, they should not be bad.
To answer your question, electronics manufacturers partner with Wilson because they think Wilsons will present their electronics in a positive light to many listeners, not all of them. I’m sure Wilson is only one of a number of speakers the electronics manufacturers would consider partnering with.

You dislike Wilson speakers. That doesn’t mean they are lousy speakers, it means you don’t like them. Everybody’s different and that’s good.

I don't dislike Wilsons, and if they were lousy speakers both Lamm and Ypsilon would pay zero attention to them.
Wilsons are popular speakers, and most buyers - I suspect- are not audiophiles but music lovers. They work for them just fine.
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Good point. It is hard to totally generalize. Wilson has its share of lousy designs as well as designs that are legendary like the Watt Puppy.

I would say to my ears the best sounding Wilsons are with pulp and paper woofers/mids and fabric domes.

I understand that not everyone is sensitive or focussed on timbral accuracy and to some the ringing from rigid cone materials is no big deal.
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Expensive speakers wow most people.  Bling factor.  The best speakers in the world to my ear, are the Canalis Allegra by Joachim G and A Perkins.
Wilson has captured a big chunk of the super high budget speaker market.  Whether or not they're objectively superior is secondary.  If high cost electronics makers want to sell to the high budget market they might as well use the speakers that those buyers prefer and are most familiar with. 
Right. Then both Lamm and Ypsilon should know that they might also lose part of their potential market, people with both money and ears. Frankly, I don't understand their problem, anyway, if they have it. They should be able to sell everything they make without leaving their offices. They are just showing off and socializing.
Any one of you need a gardener or something? I've got a pair of Maggie 1.7's we could set up next to the pool :)
I have been to RMAF and other big audio shows and frankly have never been favorably disposed to the sound of Wilson speakers.  Quite the contrary.  I find them as hard on my eyes as they are to my ears.   If I hit the CA Lotto big time, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I'd have the full panoply of MBL gear.  Speakers, electronics, the whole shmear.  Their ~$1M audio set up at the audio shows I have attend have far and away surpassed any other similarly priced systems I have heard.  I remember my jaw dropping in utter amazement when I first hears their Raidlastrater (sp) speakers, which I think are about $250K a pair.  The speakers absolutely disappeared into the room and the music simply hung in the air effortlessly.   

 In the meantime, I am ecstatic with the sound of my $2500 Spatial Audio Hologram M4 Turbo S speakers!   There are the best speakers I have ever heard in my system...  
@whitestix  I heard some big Wilsons (Max II?) about 8 years ago at a CES T.H.E Show. I attended all 3 days. Day 1, the system sounded strained, thin, unremarkable. By day 3, everything had settled down and sounded abso!utely real (The Peter McGrath master tapes MAY have contributed somewhat). 

In regards to MBL, I'm right there with you. In terms of an ultimate system, I've never heard anything that can get close.
You would have to own a pair of Wilson speakers in your system for some time to have a credible opinion (good or bad) I did just that as they certainly were not moving me at shows. I kept it affordable and got Sophia 2’s. They turned out to be very nice speakers for the time I had them, not the best but no complaints here. Show experience is almost useless and I’ve been to many over the years. The Sophia 2’s were light years ahead of the Spatials (M3 & M4 Turbo S) I used to sell. Sabrina’s are very nice with the right gear.

+3 on the MBL love but way out of my snack bracket.
It would be interesting to compare all MBL and all Gryphon systems. I think, Flemming of Gryphon recently came up with some monster $350k speakers. And his amps..well, everyone knows.
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The big audio shows are highly recommend for audiophiles to dip their toes into the water of all audio gear, modest and pricey.   I always wonder who the hell are these folks that can afford million dollar audio systems.  They clearly exist, but I don't know any of them.  I wish I did!
Audiomachina and GMA speakers can reproduce the original waveform by use of 1st order crossovers. The high order crossovers in a Wilson will not and so could not qualify as best speaker. They are not time and phase coherent. But to most listeners they sound very good.  
Wilson Audio philosophy is to not add "coloration" to the system, and they dont.  So any electronics manufacturer would be attracted to using them at shows because you would hear THEIR equipment.
Wilson (example Maxx 3) is fully capable of reproducing any signals thrown at it.  Unfortunately if you are throwing garbage it will reproduce garbage.
Inna, can you just not afford Wilson audio? Is criticism your compensatory behavior?  
Count me out. In the 90s I did extensive listening sessions with the then-top-of-the-line Wilsons powered by Krell Audio Standard amps ($25k monoblocs) each on its own 20-amp dedicated circuit. (I worked at a dealer and would listen after hours.) Wilsons are colorless all right, but uninvolving to me. No argument with those who like them, but I have never had the slightest desire for Wilsons since then.
The only Wilson Audio speaker I personally had the opportunity to spend a bit of time with was the Sophie II and I have no idea how that compares to others of the Willson lineup. They were being used in a friends home to audition several very nice power amps - tubed and SS. In his rather large room with a 20’ ceiling. As long as you sat dead center in the sweet spot, they sounded very real, with a huge detailed stage and did a very nice job at revealing subtle differences in each piece of electronics. Maybe it was just the room, but no matter how we arranged or tweaked the speaker position, if you moved even a few inches from the dead center sweet spot, the image shifted and the magic of the huge stage seemed to collapse. In my home, after a bit of tweaking, my little Maggie 1.7s do a very fine job at about everything (except deep base) and regardless of where you set, the image does not shift and the stage doesn’t collapse. If money and space were no object, I would prefer to have a set of well serviced Apogee, Duetta II Sigs. over about anything else I’ve ever had the pleasure to audition. Others on my favorites list would be the larger Martin Logans or even the Maggie 3.7i. and still love my old Quad ESL 63s. I guess if I had somewhere up of 100k to spend on a set of speakers (I don't) I think the Martin Logan Neoliths might also be high on my list. I guess I’m just a ESL/Ribbon kind of guy that has to live on a budget; but then to each their own...Jim

Yes the F cone is a fibrous fabric design. Excellent cone material. JM Lab are following well understood and proven design criteria while many manufacturers do not. Sandwich designs allow for shear mode damping if the internal material between the sandwich is soft - this works well.


The point I am making is about internal damping and the importance of "neutrality of the sound" as JM Labs puts it. Cones with high internal damping sound better to me as they reproduce timbre more accurately due to the lack of internal resonances to color the sound. I only mention pulp paper and fabric or doped fabric as two long proven examples that work and are highly damped internally. Flax is a fabric so I would include F Cones in my short list of better sounding transducers.

Of course you can use other materials to make a light internally damped diaphragm however Metal and Ceramic and plastic/polypropylene are popular but definitely poor choices for materials and the coloration that their ringing adds is very audible to my ears. Accuton had to add rubber dampers on their cones because the ringing was so bad!
When I spent time with Wilsons, the dealer had some pieces he played for me.  I thought they were fabulous but before writing a check, I wanted to hear MY recordings through the same system.  The next day I sat, listened, and left.....didn't do it for me.  They can be good, but you have to play their favorite recordings.
Mid to treble, Magico easily outshine them.

And, I still think Magico’s are cool sounding, but glass smooth.


stringren -

That is an odd thing. The place I listened to Wilsons would not let me bring my own music, but had lots of recordings which were mastered on Wilsons. Quite a neat trick I say.


Again, the only way to test speakers is to drive a large truck around containing an exact replica of your listening room and all of your gear inside. I realize it seems extreme, but I care about these things.
was at a hi-fi shop a while back and was listening to a set of watt/puppys.
they were playing jazz and classical cds thru aragon paladium amps
they sounded great
it was a quiet day so they said go to the cd rack and play what you want
out of the 50-60 cds there was only a steely dan cd
well ricki lost the number that day.
the quality came back down to earth
i would love to own a set of wilson speakers--any one of them
but to say the best...
theres lots of really good speakers out there
For the most part, I think people love to debate, argue, speculate, and try to dominate . . . but in actuality, it is all subjective to the person who puts down the money and takes it all home. Those with the most cash flow or credit like to think their money also buys them credibility and authority over the guys, who have less financial resources, but the great equalizing force is that money doesn’t buy natural physical gifts as accurate hearing . . . nor along with that, the exposure, nor the self-education, it takes to even approach the title of EXPERT of all things.

It is rather arrogant to boast of being the best, when there are so many other arguments and attempted efforts to be “king of the hill” by reason of more muscle or strategy, and thereby, dominating the rest of the competition out of the picture. But this doesn’t make one the “BEST” -- at least for any length of time when some younger, stronger buck takes your indisputable title away from you . . . at least not until the next one comes along who is stronger, etc. Bullying proves nothing as it stands beside arrogance and inflated egos.

I personally don’t see how anyone, aside from someone who came to monopolize the audio industry, could ever make a claim for being the best. One could claim the most expensive, but in truth, the other parameters are subjective at best -- even the so-called exacting measurements, taken under various circumstances and conditions, don't cement down such a claim as even they can be manipulated and falsely stated. There are absolutely too many variables to make such a claim until every combination was examined and unanimously agreed upon . . . and by the time that was settled, there would be how much more NEWCOMERS fighting for the title and back to the overwhelming frustration of being able to do all the combinations with an impossible unanimous agreement dominating the process all over again.

We all want -- even demand to be heard and be at the top of our game; however, truth be know, we are all as humans absolutely fallible, and as much as we don’t like to admit it, not everyone at all times -- not even the experts, can be right with all their theories and hypothetical indisputable calculations are right 100% of the time. Pride goeth before a fall . . . and an absolute perfectionist, if it theoretically could be achieved, would never be content, because they would know deep inside that just one more step of research or imagination could beat their indisputable position of being the “BEST” . . . and that position, in my opinion, not only is always open to debate, but is essential to the growth and progression of motivation, creativity, and invention. Without it, we would be stagnant.

Therefore, be careful when you claim being or having the “BEST” cause there is always someone or something just wanting and waiting, who not only have the desire to prove you wrong -- but the ability to do exactly that.

"For some reason many electronics manufacturers use Wilsons for shows. Why is that?"

If I was an electronics company, I would want to show with speakers that a) are going to sound good; b) are a well-known, well-respected industry benchmark and will help draw people to my room; and c) are not so unusual and exotic that nobody notices my electronics.