Wilson Alexandria XLF drivers

mtoc

Banned
2015-12-28 4:57 pm
Folks, drivers on the XLF make me curious, of course they ain't the same as the commercial versions, but, you can't turn a dude into a gal.

Here's what I collected (i mean collecting information).
Tweeter: Scan D2904/710003 or D3004/6600, not sure which is the right one
Midrange: SB Acoustics SATORI MW16P
Subwoofer: is Focal, thanks everyone.
 
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eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
You'd be surprised. I think Wilson uses pretty much off the shelf with occasional tweeter case mods. Wilson spends very very little when it comes to tweets. He likes them cheap and ragged. Based on hole pattern, frequency response and some simulations I've done I believe his latest favorite tweeter is the $30-ish Vifa D27 here. By the way, not knocking Vifa for being inexpensive. The Vifa TX25 is an outstanding tweeter. The D27, meh.

Wilson seems to spend money in proportion to wattage, so lots of money (relatively) in the woofers, very little in the tweeters. It's not a bad organizing principle, but when you are looking at $100k+ speakers you'd think he could throw a little more money up on top.

However if you want to go that route of very large, modular construction and time aligned drivers instead of a Wilson clone I'd suggest Gravesen's kits such as the ATS-4 or many other designs he has there. Based on his measurements, and parts he uses I'm familiar with and discussion, I would expect any of Gravesen's kits to sound more accurate and musical.

Best,


Erik
 
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You'd be surprised. I think Wilson uses pretty much off the shelf with occasional tweeter case mods. Wilson spends very very little when it comes to tweets. He likes them cheap and ragged. Based on hole pattern, frequency response and some simulations I've done I believe his latest favorite tweeter is the $30-ish Vifa D27 here. By the way, not knocking Vifa for being inexpensive. The Vifa TX25 is an outstanding tweeter. The D27, meh.

Wilson seems to spend money in proportion to wattage, so lots of money (relatively) in the woofers, very little in the tweeters. It's not a bad organizing principle, but when you are looking at $100k+ speakers you'd think he could throw a little more money up on top.

However if you want to go that route of very large, modular construction and time aligned drivers instead of a Wilson clone I'd suggest Gravesen's kits such as the ATS-4 or many other designs he has there. Based on his measurements, and parts he uses I'm familiar with and discussion, I would expect any of Gravesen's kits to sound more accurate and musical.

Best,


Erik

30-dollar-ish tweeter in 6-figure speaker system? Nah, I won't buy them.

But those who'd be willing to pay $100,000 for a pair of speakers wouldn't care whether the tweeters is $30 or $300, I guess Mr. Wilson knows this very well.
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
Doug,

Well, I think Wilson and other brands like Focal and Bose are great companies to learn business sense from. Create perceived value, and sell based on that "value" not on the sum of the cost of the parts. Any one who wants to be successful in the so-called "high end" speaker business should take a long hard look at that model since it seems to work and no one I know has really found ways around it, though Lawrence Audio comes close.

Of course, then there's those of us who make what we like and need apologize to no one. :) That's DIY.

Best,


Erik
 

eriksquires

Member
2013-05-10 4:11 pm
30-dollar-ish tweeter in 6-figure speaker system? Nah, I won't buy them.

But those who'd be willing to pay $100,000 for a pair of speakers wouldn't care whether the tweeters is $30 or $300, I guess Mr. Wilson knows this very well.

I think they care, as Wilson is fond of claiming all of his speakers are cost-is-no-object designs. He's quite conscious of keeping his customers away from doing the math, hence the potted crossovers. He's not the only though, again. Other companies may happily show off some inexpensive tweak as being revolutionary while hiding crossover and driver construction.

But, << shrug >> I don't mean to beat up on Wilson, just analyzing his profit making practices. In that sense he's an iconic role-model.

Best,


Erik
 

Boden

Member
2010-03-02 9:29 am
Well, the High End game was not started by David Wilson, but he indeed took to whole show to a different level by multiplying prices by a factor 100. It started with Mark Levinson, who simply added a zero behind every price for audio equipment he brought to the market in the late seventies.

Whereas e.g. Quad charged $ 400 or so for its 33 preamp, Levinson charged $ 4.000. From then on audio-reviewers - most of whom could not tell a CFB from an EF output stage in an amplifier- did all the dirty work for these companies.

High End Audio is entirely based on snob appeal; many audio magazines have played a very questionable role in its development, to put it mildly. If it is expensive it 's got to be superior.

Regards,

Eelco
 

SMABB

Member
2012-10-17 2:34 pm
Denmark
My 2 cents worth of input:

I have been following Wilson Audio (WA), since the early days of WATT series 1, because I found Wilsons approach and obvious results with the WATT astonishing in 1988.

I do believe that there are multiple reasons for their choice of units, but it all roots down to the laws of principles, economics of scale and Intellectual Property.

Wilson always starts a project with the midrange. His preferred material of cone is paper, the only one not following this scheme was X1-Grand SLAMM which used polypropylene.

Diaphragms for tweeters used to be rigid; fiberglass at first followed by Titanium domes all of Focal manufacture. These were from the beginning tweaked at WA; focus area mainly rear chamber and thus back reflections on diaphragm.
Now WA has developed a soft dome in cooperation with Scan Speak. Again with great attention to the rear chamber.

Woofer choice was originally Dynaudio 21W54 for Puppy and Focal W-series for the larger speakers (WAMM excluded).

Since the arrival of WATT 5 Wilson have started a move towards closer cooperation with Scan Speak on midrange and later adding woofers upon unavailability of 21W54.

Today, this cooperation is constantly evolving within WA, while Focal is on their way out.
This move is rooted in IP as all loudspeaker manufacturers nowadays have special versions produced to fit design purposes. Originally Focal was only producing units, but have now converted to loudspeakers and is as such competitor to WA. Hence, the move towards Scan Speak, as WA have no intentions of sharing know-how with Focal.

By scale, WA is not a huge loudspeaker manufacturer, but a major brand.
Hence, they are limited in possibilities for having their own units developed, but rely heavily on chassis, cones, magnets etc. available.

My conclusion is, that the unit donors for the Alexandria XLF is:

Tweeters: Scan Speak Revelator (a soft dome and a rear firing ring radiator)
Midrange: SB Acoustics Satori with different chassis and magnets
Woofers: Focal W 13" and 15".

In the new Alexx WA have chosen two skip Focal woofers completely and uses proprietary Scan Speak woofers instead.
 

Lojzek

Member
2012-02-10 12:12 pm
Croatia
And the inverted Focal dome tweeter works quite brilliant once
the filter is right. I've had TC 90 TDX, sadly it has a foam surround
which eventually will disintegrate.

edit:For those who'd like to afford Wilson loudspeakers but clearly
can't do that, Troels is offering cheaper alternatives. Fair enough.
 
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My 2 cents worth of input:

I have been following Wilson Audio (WA), since the early days of WATT series 1, because I found Wilsons approach and obvious results with the WATT astonishing in 1988.

One of my email addresses I have been using for a long long time is WATTPUPPY at this dot that.
W/P was the first speaker that shocked me by detail and bass punch about 25+ years ago. I wanted to own one ever since. I now make much more money than I did at that time, but the price of W/P (now obsolete though) is still not in my comfort zone.
 
At £500 or so the focal dome blardy ought to work well!

I should note that Focal, via JMLAB has been producing complete speakers since the early 80s so the whole IP thing is bovine extract.

Those focal tweeters aren't £500 a pop and were competitively priced when their drivers were still available to the DIY market. The Be dome might cost that but afaik Wilson never went that route.

Focal/JMLab are the same company.
 

billshurv

Member
Paid Member
2014-03-01 11:53 pm
My bad, it's the Be ones that are eye wateringly expensive.

Edit I should have said 'via JMLab brand'. The missing word made it read wrongly. Now digesting Naim (well they say merger, but when one part is contributing 2/3 of the turnover...)
 
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