Wilslow Audio Prestige or Forte anyone

Hi Bertie,
I went to Wilmslow 3 yrs ago in boughton astly to demo all their speakers. I came out with their ex-demo home studio monitor, the one in the web photo's. I checked the Prestige while i was there (the ATC kits were away). I liked the realness, timing and punch of the HSM and absolute unflappability and clarity at high volume. My resounding memory of the prestige was sitting on a sofa with my mate, about 20ft away playing fleetwood mac, the dance. We kept upping the vol as they sounded sooo good, they inticed us to use more vol. In the end we looked at each other and smiled with huge grins, but when we opened our mouths to talk no sound came out, it was so loud! Unbelievable. I think they lacked the bass punch of the HSM, i also think they may lack bit of top end sparke, like ATC's, which means they do not make poor recordings unlistenable. You can get brighter speakers, although i know the system/cabling at wilmslow's demo room is not that top flight, so it may be worth a listen on your gear if you can get over there (recomended when parting with that much cash).
regards
mark
 

Bertie

Member
2002-09-02 10:42 pm
UK
Hi there, nice to hear your views, I'm very happy with the HSMs which I'm currently using with 2 pairs of Musical Fidelity X-A50s in bi amp setup and and MF X-Ray Cd.

Like you, the Prestiges absolutely bowled me over in their dem room so I guess I'd need to borrow them for a while to get a grip on the differance.

Having listened to a few very expensive speakers (like Lumleys at £6k, and Kef Referance at £2k) the Wilmslow stuff just knocked them senseless.

On the other ahnd the Wilmslow HSMs are very fine so am I looking in the wrong area when I think about upgrading the speakers?
 
Maybe.
One thing IMHO, that all the wilmslow gear does not offer is the really bright (edgy, relentless) trebble that makes the speakers dissappear and acoustic music appear in the room with you. Raising the hairs on the back of the neck stuff. This seems to be related to the way the speakers are voiced (tuned) rather than the the quality. It also happens to make less than excellent recordings virtually unlistenable. You can get this with the likes of naim speakers, even the bottom of the range, intro credo, etc. My personal solution to this is to have two systems, as covering all the bases (types of music) with one seems impossible to me.
Mark
 

Bertie

Member
2002-09-02 10:42 pm
UK
Just in case anyone is interested, after a demo I went and bought the Wilmslow Forte kit.

Cabinets are assembled, crossovers wired but I'm waiting on a friend who is a furniture maker who is veneering them in lovely bird's eye maple for me.

The kit's cost so much it seemed to me they deserved a very nice finish to make them look the part as well as sounding good.

Should be done for me shortly and I can't wait ot listen to them!
 

Bertie

Member
2002-09-02 10:42 pm
UK
By comparison to the HSMs, in a word, midrange.

The ATC mid in the Forte is fantastic and the whole thing sounds so effortless and natural with astonishing clarity. The bass is even better controlled and goes much lower.

Compared to the Prestige, well they're cheaper as you say and to my ears as good with arguably better integration of the sound. As an aside I think the look nicer, less industrial than the Prestige.

The other option I listened to were the Excelence which looked even better but didn't have the open and sweet midrange.

I'd strongly reccomend a listen, but if like me you want a nice finish rather than the iron on stuff, and can't do it yourself, then budget a reasonable amount for getting it done.

Mine are in real birds eye maple and look awesome but it cost em a few quid. Worth it in my opinion when you're looking at a kit of this price and quality.

I'll post a pic soon so you can tell me if you're as impressed as I am!
 

Bertie

Member
2002-09-02 10:42 pm
UK
Here is a picture of my new babies, well I'm very proud of them!
 

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Bertie

Member
2002-09-02 10:42 pm
UK
The Drivers are actualy Seas Excel tweeter, ATC dome mid and Scan Speak woofer. Good work identifying two of them. To quote from the kit spec....

"The key to this extraordinary open and natural sound is undoubtedly the Seas Millennium tweeter, a more, clear and detailed treble would be hard to find and it's compatibility with the ATC SM75-150 is nothing short of remarkable. With a smooth mid/treble transition which is seldom bettered, combined with the Scan-speak 25w8565-01 carbon paper bass unit, producing clear, accurate and precise bass at all listening levels, the Forté is definitely a hard act to follow."

Treble: Seas T25CF-002 Millennium
Midrange: ATC SM75-150
Bass: Scan-speak 25w8565-01


The crossover uses SCR caps in the bass / mid and Hovland Musicaps in the tweeter sections.

They're the best thing I've ever heard, and I've listened to a few expensive commercial speakers, glad you like them.
 

Bertie

Member
2002-09-02 10:42 pm
UK
The total kit with all drive units, crossovers, flat pack CNC cabinets and all hardware was about £1550 GBP plus whatever finish you want to put on them.

In my case the veneer was just under £300 pluf fitting it by a furniture maker who is a friend.

Not a cheap speaker, but who ever said the best was cheap!

Glad you like them, as they run in they're getting better all the time, and the chassis for my Pass Aleph 5 power amp is finished so they should be running later this week.

But that's another story, for another forum!
 

ShinOBIWAN

diyAudio Member
2004-02-25 9:13 pm
UK
Funny that this thread should be ressurected at this time.

I'm off down to Wilmslow next weekend with a couple of like minded friends to see what we can get for his money. I actually recommended the Forte2 since he really wants something with the ATC mid after hearing something I've done that incorporates it.

I'm really looking forward to hearing another design with the ATC simply to take notes and compare if I have a more competant implementation or not.

Should be a very interesting day. I'll pop back and post my thoughts afterwards.

PS. We'll be listening to the Forte 2 which has the new Seas Crescendo treble unit - another reason to be excited :)
 

NiToNi

Member
2004-10-06 12:25 pm
Malky Moo,

I am very interested in these speakers as well so please tell a little more about your impressions and what you thought were the main differences between them.

However, I am almost more intrigued (on paper, I have not heard any of them yet) by their new Centurion speakers with SS Revelator elements through out. Did you listen to them as well?

The only thing that puts me off (ah, too strong a word... worries me, is more like it) is the simple cabinets Wilmslow Audio seem to be using in their designs. There is very little info in their catalouge about the details of the cabinets (thickness, bracing etc), which I do not take as a good sign, and their cheap price also suggest to me that they are not made to the same standard as the drivers they house.

The same goes for the crossover networks, nothing about cutoff frequencies, slopes etc, just a long rant about the supposedly high quality components used.

IMHO, good loudspeaker design is not just about using the most expensive drivers available but about skill and thoughtful implementation, i.e driver matching, cabinet, filter etc. This is where I am worried Wilmslow Audio's designs will fall short although I would love to be corrected on this point by people in the know. The difference in presentation of philosophy and design development between Wilmslow Audio and say North Creek Music Systems is most striking in his respect, with the latter giving a much more solid and credible impression.

North Creek Music Systems
Wilmslow Audio
 

ShinOBIWAN

diyAudio Member
2004-02-25 9:13 pm
UK
NiToNi said:
The only thing that puts me off (ah, too strong a word... worries me, is more like it) is the simple cabinets Wilmslow Audio seem to be using in their designs. There is very little info in their catalouge about the details of the cabinets (thickness, bracing etc), which I do not take as a good sign, and their cheap price also suggest to me that they are not made to the same standard as the drivers they house.

The same goes for the crossover networks, nothing about cutoff frequencies, slopes etc, just a long rant about the supposedly high quality components used.

IMHO, good loudspeaker design is not just about using the most expensive drivers available but about skill and thoughtful implementation, i.e driver matching, cabinet, filter etc. This is where I am worried Wilmslow Audio's designs will fall short although I would love to be corrected on this point by people in the know. The difference in presentation of philosophy and design development between Wilmslow Audio and say North Creek Music Systems is most striking in his respect, with the latter giving a much more solid and credible impression.

North Creek Music Systems
Wilmslow Audio

Good points you've raised there.

The main problem with Wilmslow I believe is their website - its awefully late 90's and really need a complete revamp.

When you buy a Wilmslow kit your given comprehensive instructions and detailed diagrams but these aren't shown on the webpage because its naff and out of date.

I've spoken with Terry & Neil over the phone quite extensively in the past couple of years and they do a lot of over the counter sales. They certainly know what they are talking about when I've quized them.

I've only built one Wilmslow kit but I usually always buy my drivers from them.

Regarding the cabinets - I'd say they are adequate for the job rather than state of the art.

Neil and Terry also offer a comprehensive design service and will build any spec cabinets for reasonable prices.