You pay for it and you get it...


When it comes to large speakers, IME what you get far more than any other attribute, is the sense of scale...which is what seems to delineate the best large speakers from the best small speakers. As an example, yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to the new Wilson Sabrina X’s and the new Wilson Alexx V’s. While both speakers are from the same manufacturer, and both employ what looks like some of the same drivers, this is basically where the similarity ends. The big Wilson is about seven times the price of the small model! So, besides a much larger cabinet and a few extra drivers what do you get for your money...the answer is SCALE!! This is something that unless heard, is a little hard to fathom. The small Sabrina X’s do most things well..and I was very impressed by them, far superior across the board to the original model Sabrina. The Alexx V’s in a very large room ( which is also a MAJOR requirement for them to work their magic, and if one does not have this I believe then this is the wrong speaker for you) are able to throw a sense of scale that has to be heard to be believed. This is what you pay for with these large speakers, and in the Alexx V’s case, what you get. The frequency response of the larger model is not that different in the highs..and in some extent I think the midrange resolution was similar, but the bass is where it’s at...and this is where I think the sense of scale and enormity comes from. On paper, the smaller model can drop down to within probably ten Hz’s of the larger model, yet in a room of commensurate size, the little Sabrina X’s will never be able to portray the scale of the Alexx V’s. This aspect seems to apply to all large speakers in large room vs small/middle size speakers in large rooms.
Question is is it even possible to get scale with a smaller speaker in any size room, so far I have not heard this...anyone else?
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While I agree that larger speakers do scale better, in Wilson’s case I prefer their smaller speakers (DAW) as the big ones suffer from incoherency. 
Keithr, I think you have made a generic statement about Wilson’s that isn’t really the case anymore . If you get a chance to hear the new Alexx V, I think you will retract your post.I would agree that the big Wilson’s from just a few years back were as you described, but IME, this is no longer the case.The horrible Focal ringing tweeter is now long gone, replaced by an excellent tweeter that is smooth and extended. The new cabinets and ability to exactly adjust the drivers is a big plus. Only issue is the ongoing upwards pricing spiral. Plus, a few are an absolute bear to drive, requiring careful amp matching. 

Actually there is a way of achieving the “large scale” of very large speakers with “bookshelf” sized speakers with subwoofers.

contuzzi has touched upon an interesting point:

<<How high up are the midrange drivers on the Alexx V in comparison to the Sabrina?>>

Small two-way speakers usually are set up so the tweeter is at ear height, ~41” or 42” (they are typically on 24” stands).

However, if the speaker is raised so the tweeter is centered higher, say, 55” to 62”, (roughly equidistant between the floor and ceiling or a little higher), AND it can play at increased volume levels easily without compression, and is crossed over at 80 hz to an asymmetrically placed DBA system (like, say, the Audiokinesis Swarm), you can get that “large scale”.  I’m doing this right now with a pair of Danley GO2 8CX (P.A. speakers) that contain a single 8” B&C coaxial driver in a 22”x12 ¾” cab, set up so the driver center is 60” off the floor, with 4 subs in a distributed bass array, in a 30’x18’x 9’ room. It’s coherent, effortless and has a “scale” comparable to the Chronosonics I heard at DW’s house.

 


@nationalbar  Intersting post. I am not sure you are talking about dynamic expression vs. scale, but if you can get large scale in this way, I would think it also has to do with your very large room. Essentially what you are describing is creating the same aspect of a large floor stander by utilizing the individual parts as a whole. The x-over and other aspects of the integration would seem to me to be a problem, but if you have considered this and adjusted for it....
Bigger is better!  I have been listening to some enormous (to me at least) speakers for the past 2 days and they’re nuts.  50” tall and 18” deep...

There are definitely things that big speakers do that smaller ones cannot, even with a sub.  I never cared for subs with stand mount speakers and am now wondering if I’d prefer subs with larger speakers more.