WILSON AUDIO Sasha W/P

PW13.11.2012

Floorstanding loudspeakers

It is senseless to discuss the Sasha’s dynamics that are great in the typical Wilson Audio fashion. More importantly, the Sasha is capable of capturing the soul of the music and this happens also with not-so-perfect recordings, like Carlos Santana’s Love of my Life. On this cut, the guitar was weeping with such soul and emotions that the final effect was very moving.

 

Funkce a forma

72%
Ergonomie
78%
Zvuk
65%
Zpracování

I would not say there is a revolutionary change to the Sasha comparing to WATT/Puppy 8. There is no radical revamping, however, many small improvements pile up to a significant evolutional step up. Similarly to its predecessor the Sasha continues to be in principle a subwoofer base with a monitor speaker mounted on the top of it. Where Wilson Audio remains to be very effective is how inert to resonances their speakers are. The woofer base is once again milled from proprietary “X”material of varying thickness, whereas the top sections improves on W/P 8 with a new resin compound sandwich called “S” material. Wilson will not reveal its best kept secret, however, if you try to knock on the ‘wood’of the Sasha’s cabinets there is no sound whatsoever, they are stone dead.

One of the most important changes reported to the Sasha is moving the W/P’s crossover assembly to the woofer enclosure (behind a sizeable aluminum panel that can be seen from the back, attached by six screws) to free up space in the upper module that consequently allowed better optimization of sound pressure ratios in the enclosure.

Like the WATT/Puppy the Sasha is a two-piece assembly and the upper module can be adjusted for time-alignment which is the service you should receive from your dealer on purchase. The module connects to the the crossover with provided cables through binding posts (another six screws visible). The chamber of the Sasha’s tweeter is vented through a small port that is milled from solid aluminum (three screws).

The two polymer cone woofers of the Sasha are sourced from ScanSpeak. Wilson Audio upgraded their magnet assemblies to increase their speed and to improve seemingly unimprovable – the excellent bass of the WATT/Puppy 8. The output of the woofers that is specified to 32Hz minimum is further supported by a rear firing reflex port that is placed asymmetrically (three screws) and so are speaker terminals with single-wirable posts of Wilson’s standard. The midrange driver is a paper one, reinforced by cellulose fibers and is said to be derived from Alexandria X-2 speaker. The Sasha continues to employ Focal’s inverted titanium dome tweeter and this is the only thing that puzzles me – more on this later.

Nízké frekvence

Váha
86
Výbušnost
83
Artikulace
86

All the transducers are flush-mounted into the baffle with another 22 polished screws. Provided that the Sasha’s protective grilles are on, the speakers look astounding as Wilson Audio gloss finish is impeccable and newly designed gentle lines of the whole assembly add flair to it. When you look from the back or if you take off the grilles the refined nonchalance steps back and surrenders to brutal industrialism of 40 exposed screws. I believe that David Wilson should rethink the appearance to make blending his speakers with any room décor easier and to attract new customers, though the 15,000 pairs of the WATT/Puppy that were sold (including mine) are impressive number. The European customer is getting more and more demanding as far as audio design is concerned and macho color finishes derived from Mercedes, Bugatti, Lamborghini and other cars will not help. The grilles had to stay on during my review.

Čistota rozlišení

Detail
89
Vzduch
85
Transparentnost
78

In principle, good bass performance is more than just a capability of a speaker to reach to subterranean depths. The really excellent bass provides completely different type of insights: great transient speed, articulation, appropriate decay, harmonic richness and fullness and, to certain extend, also textural fabric. From the Sasha I did not hear phenomenal bass in terms of its weight - although the speakers went as low as to around 27Hz in the room, -3dB (measured by Audionet Carma software), there are many other speakers capable of doing so. What impressed me in fact was how complete the Sasha’s bass was. The acoustic double-bass in Patricia Barber’s Café Blue was produced with exceptional clarity that enhanced the sense of seeing Mike Arnopol plucking strings. The string vibrations were rendered with a spatially and temporally defined edge and the handover between the strings and the instrument’s body as well as individual notes decaying into background, were easily trackable. Add very complex harmonies that lend a sense of comfort and richness to the Sasha’s sound and you can easily end up at one of the finest examples of high-end audio low octaves interpretations.

Tonální věrnost

Témbr
75
Dynamika
84
Časování
79

the Sasha’s midrange is absolutely coherent and seamless, among the best I heard. It provides unveiled and clear resolution with truthful tonality and very complex harmonic textures. There is a definite shift from hyper-analytical to natural sounding, which means that the speaker does not draw attention to itself but rather to the music it plays. On Summer (Shirley Horn, I Thought About You, Live at Vine St.) you can hear every nuance of Shirley Horn’s subtle phrasing, you can track when she opens her mouth and her distance to the microphone and myriad of other details, but the Sasha never let the piece disintegrate to a handful of audiophile details – instead it puts everything in the right proportion, restores wonderfully the recording venue and lends to the vocals and music a sense of unity and cohesiveness.

Prostorovost

Trojrozměrnost
70
Šířka scény
87
Hloubka scény
90

Speaking about the “restoration” of the recording venue I was enthralled by the Sasha’s spatial perfection. It can easily sort out the complexity of Reference Recording’s Requiem and Five Anthems. Choirs and voices were transformed into multilayered soundstage with very articulate intonation, individual vocalists being firmly locked in space. The Sasha’s sonic landscape was deep and wide, but not super-deep neither super-wide, just perfect enough to be believable and lifelike.

Cena v době recenze:780 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

Finale Audio, Praha, tel. +420 221 014 604

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: Accuphase DP-78, Linn Unidisk
  • Amplifiers: Spectral DMA-250
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Music Interface Technologies (MIT) Oracle v2.1

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