Wilson Watt Puppies Demo for Az Audiophile Society!!! Thumbs UP!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 41 Old 10-30-2002, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Anyone got $22,000 for a pair of Watt Puppy 7.0?? Better yet, ad another 10 grand to also get the Wilson subwoofer to go with it!!!!

Anyway, last night, at Esoteric Audio in Scottsdale, we had our monthly Az Audiophile meeting, hosted by Gary Hjerpe, the local Wilson (and Theta) dealer; and with guest speaker John M. Giolas, Director of Marketing, Wilson Audio.

John gave us a nice presentation explaining how the Wilson Watt Puppy 7.0 are easily the largest sonic improvement of any Watt Puppy yet!!!

For specs on the new 7.0 Watt Puppy:

http://www.wilsonaudio.com/products/...ppy/index.html

They have more paint colors and finishes for these speakers than any car manufacturer for exotic autos. Amazing!

Did you know the Watt Puppy is the most/best selling speaker over $10,000 per pair??? IT IS per Wilson Audio!!! Meaning that even speakers at $10,000 or $11,000 per pair don't sell as many as the Watt Puppy.

Sensitivity is 93 dB - lots of Wilson customers use tube amps!!!

For a comparison of the 7.0 to the 6.0 Watt Puppy:

www.wilsonaudio.com/technotes/index.html

Each Watt Puppy weighs 170 pounds!!!!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #2 of 41 Old 10-30-2002, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Esoteric Audio's demo room is a moderately sized room and hardly a good sounding room. Its hard to do this in a retail outlet unless you spend big bucks and Esoteric didn't. Frankly, I've heard many other demos in this room and not been markedly impressed, and I wasn't necessarily expecting that much. Maybe eight months ago we had a meeting with a demo of the Wilson Sophia, and talking among club members I think the review was sort of mixed. But last night, it seemed everyone was pretty impressed!!!!

The Esoteric Audio system included but not limited to:

Theta Casablanca 2, but only Superior DACs
(in my experience, Xtreme DACs would have significantly improved the sonics of the redbook CD in stereo that we demod)

Theta Voyager DVD/LD/CD player as digital transport using either Single Mode Optical or AES/EBU digital (not sure which).

Two Theta Citadel mono amplifiers.

Tranparent interconnects and cabling, I think probably the Reference line.

An API Power Wedge Ultra or two for some front end component power conditioning.

And of course a pair of Wilson Audio Watt Puppy 7.0s and the Wilson Watchdog subwoofer.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
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post #3 of 41 Old 10-30-2002, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Wilson Audio's CD stereo playlist for the session"

Sonatas for Violin & Piano #1 (Wilson Audio CD)

Tutti #4

Kodo Mondo Head #7

Jack Johnson Brushfire Fairytales #2

Shawn Colvin: A Whole New You #11

Essential Bob Dylan #2

Steve Earle/Townes Van Zandt/Guy Clark Together @ The Bluebird Cafe #5

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post #4 of 41 Old 10-30-2002, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I can only say that I have never heard the system at Esoteric Audio sound so very good!!! And seemed everyone else felt that way, too. During the demos, there was hardly any talking, everyone listening, moving to various positions to compare how it sounded, too. When a demo is so so, there's lotsa talk and Gary Hjerpe yelling for us to shut up. But this didn't happen this time. HAAAAA!@@@@@@

Anyone who follows my posts knows that I consider myself more qualified to review sonics from a home theater standpoint!!!!! But when it comes to stereo, the bottom line for me -- AM I MOVED! Do I want to stay and listen!!! Does my gut imagine that the vocalist and instruments are in front of me!!! And this demo is a resounding YES to all!!!! Just a really nice demo, in frankly not to my mind a very good sounding room. And just think - change the Casablanca 2 to Superior DACs, or use a top quality redbook CD player with volume control direct to the amplifiers, and WOW! IT would even sound better. And it sounded so good that it didn't need to sound better!!!

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post #5 of 41 Old 10-30-2002, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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John Giolas discussed how due to the speakers' adjustable time alignment, etc. how they can be wide or short apart and yet sound fantastic with no hole in the middle. And they were pretty wide apart and there wasn't any hole at all. These speakers are great for music and would be great for high end home theater! No question about it!!!

Also interesting is that although technically the speakers sound best at the "sweet spot", quite frankly, they sounded wonderful no matter where I sat or stood!!!! Again, a real high mark not only for stereo, but in particular for home theater.

Now our host, Gary Hjerpe, is so disappointed I didn't order a pair. But I don't have the bucks right now. Stock market ain't too hot, is it? And I have other obligations. But if I could afford the bucks, at say $20,000 per pair speakers, these speakers would be totally serious contenders, and I'm sure I would totally luv them in my dedicated home theater room. SO if you
folks want to set up a slush fund for new speakers for me, heck, that's be great! (FAT CHANCE!)

I'm hoping John Giolas of Wilson Audio will be my Special Guest soon at the AVS Special Guests forum. Stay tuned!

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post #6 of 41 Old 10-30-2002, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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More notes: The 7.0s are about 40" high. For some of us with front projectors, that means some of us could actually fit it in front and beneath our front projection screen - I could - as a center channel speaker! WHOAAA!

Of course, Gary Hjerpe, Esoteric Audio owner, emphasizes that with their stereo imaging, why have a center channel? Bottom line is for home theater, so any seat in the room is a good one, a matching center channel is indispensable! But if you don't have the extra bucks, and just can afford the stereo 7.0 pair, it would still sound great for you in the home theater "sweet spot" and likely acceptable in other positions.

Oh - and the cones/spikes!!! Don Hoglund and I have weeks ago discussed this very issue. Don has done subjective testing of different metals, brass too, and thought aluminum sounded the best for cones.
Well, the 7.0s come with special proprietary aluminum - steel cones.
You will not want to replace them!!!

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post #7 of 41 Old 10-30-2002, 08:52 PM
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Steve, you just broke a record (six posts in a row);) I had to break in before you put it out of sight, like Dimaggio's hitting streak.

Nick :cool:
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post #8 of 41 Old 10-30-2002, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nicholas
Steve, you just broke a record (six posts in a row);) I had to break in before you put it out of sight, like Dimaggio's hitting streak.

Nick :cool:
Who had the old record??? (Me maybe?)

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post #9 of 41 Old 10-31-2002, 09:04 AM
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Now I figured out how you have over 7000 posts. You posted your long message spread out between 6 posts in two forums...I'm going to start doing that :)

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post #10 of 41 Old 10-31-2002, 10:01 AM - Thread Starter
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You are a bit slow in figuring out, aren't you??????? Now Nicholas, he knew it all along!

Actually, there is a benefit to not making one SUPERLONG post. First, sometimes forum software gets too busy, you post all that stuff, and then you lose it! If you think I want to get in the habit of having to report something it took me a long time to write, then you're nuts.

At least I don't make my posts by once sentence posts like some folks I know. HAAAA!

Can we get back to the subject at hand. And Mark, you can always stop by Esoteric Audio in Scottsdale, hear them for yourself, and post your observations, too.

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
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post #11 of 41 Old 10-31-2002, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Bruzonsky
[At least I don't make my posts by once sentence posts like some folks I know. HAAAA![/b]

Huh?

mark

Top Home Theater's I hope to see: The Bland's
Art's and my buddy Steve Bruzonsky! And Oneobgyn if I ever make it to NorCal!
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post #12 of 41 Old 10-31-2002, 07:04 PM
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Steve. These new watt/puppies are really a terrific pair of speakers. They are indeed heads and shoulders above the last version, which are a very fine set of speakers in themselves.

The trick to making them sound great in a room is to place them at two points in the room chosen to evoke the least room resonances. This makes a night and day difference. The speakers are extremely non resonant and to let them shine one does not want room resonances to mask what these speakers do best.

I go back with David Wilson and his wife, Sheryl Lee, many many years and have had every set of watt/puppies ever made in my store. I was Dave's lawyer many years ago. I actually co-owned a pair of Wilson Whams many years ago too. An ex business partner (who remains a very good friend) who is blind gets to enjoy them now. I would love to have a pair of the new Watt/puppies in my home.

The sub is fantastic. It blows all other subs I have seen away. Both for theater and for adding low low bass to two channel without coloring the sound. The sub is more awesome than the watt/puppies in my opinion.

Yeh. I am a dealer. I am biased towards Dave and his wife too.
But I have opinions and personal preferences. I am a straight shooter.
It just doesn't get much better than the new watt/puppies and the sub.

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post #13 of 41 Old 11-01-2002, 05:07 AM
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I was so impressed by the 7's seen at the NYC show that i got a pair in dark titanium color, replacing my old 2-3's, which i had had for 8 years. They are amazing; I am most impressed by the clarity and definition of the low and midrange. the sub is about the size and cost of a small SUV; I'm happy with the REL stadium which works very well with the wilsons.

sounds like steve is going speaker shopping!

john
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post #14 of 41 Old 11-01-2002, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by jlm
sounds like steve is going speaker shopping!
I WISH!!!!@@@@ This hobby is like gambling. For now, I'm holding the line!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
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post #15 of 41 Old 11-02-2002, 12:09 AM
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What tweeter are in the Watt 7.0s? Are they still Focal?
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post #16 of 41 Old 11-02-2002, 09:44 AM
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What in the Watt? :)

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post #17 of 41 Old 11-02-2002, 04:39 PM
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The tweeter is a Focal Titanium 120 series, and the midrange is tha Scan Speak 8545. The Puppy woofer was a Dynaudio 21w54 but Wilson say it has changed, although it looks like another Dynaudio.

Steve
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post #18 of 41 Old 11-02-2002, 06:04 PM
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I can verify the sound quality of the Watt Puppy. A friend has had the 5.1 and the 6.1 (for about a month). He upgraded to the Maxx. If anyone's interested, he has his system up on the net.

He's had to tweak quite a bit to get the correct sound, but he thinks that he' accomplished it with the current set-up (plus a separate subwoofer amp which was recently added).

He now a Wilson only man. His link is http://homepage.mac.com/imacdoyou86/PhotoAlbum5.html

This is for those of us who can only dream about such a system. I'm not an expert, but if you want to duplicate this system, I can put you in touch with his stereo "dealer" (in all meanings of the word. This is a true addiction).

Read about the Sony Rootkit fiasco. http://www.boingboing.net/2005/11/14...stomer-te.html
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post #19 of 41 Old 11-02-2002, 10:43 PM
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Steve,

Could you comment on the height of the soundstage. I have tried to use my WATT 3/Puppy 2 speakers several times in a HT configuration but the relatively low soundstage height simply does not sound "right" and always sounds like it's lower than the screen. Even in a stereo setup the height is my main beef with the WATT/Pyppies. I wonder if the new 7.0s are significantly better.

My Linaeum 9s are fantastic on each side of the screen. The sound stage is both wider and much higher.
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post #20 of 41 Old 11-02-2002, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Carl, the demo was of a half dozen music CDs. It was a really nice and impressive demo. But it I had the bucks and was serious about the 7.0s,
I'd be going back with a stack of DVDs and multi-channel CDs to do some serious listening. I thought I heard some serious potential for some great sonics for home theater - but that's an initial impression and I'd be hesitant to get all gung ho unless I demod them more for that purpose. And as I don't have the bucks handy to spring the 7.0s for a multi-channel home theater system, I ain't goin' back to demo more as I'm afraid I just might like what I hear!!! Gary at Esoteric does have an In Focus projector and screen setup in that room. So come visit us here in the Phoenix area.
You can demo Gary's setup, and of course demo mine, too!

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post #21 of 41 Old 11-03-2002, 06:13 AM
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Like jlm, I had Watt/Pupp 3/2s, too, and more recently Watt/Puppy 6s. The System 7 that jlm now has is even better. Really, really superb. But unless I missed it, I'm surprised no one has mentioned running them with tubes, as God intended.

After buying and selling a Levinson No 335, and then a pair of No. 436 mono-blocks, I finally paired them with a BAT VK75SE which was just sublime. But I would also recommend strongly a VAC 70/70 (Andy Singer's brilliant choice when he was a Wilson dealer), and a number of others. The VAC 70/70 has always been my favorite amp with these speakers -- there's a special synergy going on -- but the deal I could get on the VK75SE was better, and it was by no means a slouch.

By the way, you haven't heard how good your W/Ps are until you hear them with a true DSD recording. They really do far exceed the capabilities of most in-home/dealer playback systems one might hear.

Carl Brinkman,

Short of tilting or raising them upward somehow, this was always a problem with the older W/P series. It really annoyed and distracted me with music (there wasn't much home theater then!). Singers just seemed too short. It forced me into seriously considering X-1s (there wasn't a MAXX then either) to solve the problem at the risk of considerable financial and spousal harm (they're beyond huge!).

You might want to call Sound Anchors, the metal stand people. They may be able to build a speaker stand that will raise the speaker and improve image height for you, as it does for the B&W Nautilus 801s and 802s that they build stands for. Bass will probably be better, too, just as a bonus.

Or, consider a set of W/P 6s or the new System 7. Image height on these series is much improved. My guess is the adjustable time alignment system of the Watt 6 and 7 is what did the trick.
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post #22 of 41 Old 11-03-2002, 02:47 PM
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my amp is the BAT VP-6200, an excellent five channel solid state. I don't forsee going with tubes, but you never know...even Wilson demo'ed his 7's with solid state at the ny show.

john
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post #23 of 41 Old 11-03-2002, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by PF
But unless I missed it, I'm surprised no one has mentioned running them with tubes, as God intended.
WOOPS!! I did ask John about using tube amps since the speakers are 93 dB efficient. John replied that many customers luv the Watt Puppies with tube amps. Absolutely!!!

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post #24 of 41 Old 11-04-2002, 01:58 AM
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Unless I am mistaken, Dave Wilson used VTL tube amps in pentode mode in NYC.

Solid state choice for me would be Spectral.

BAT 75SE is superb. I use that myself on my Vandersteen Model 5's at home.

I would like to take a pair of Wilson 7s home. I would pair them with a Spectral. So I guess this means my personal BAT 75SE and Vandersteen 5s are available.

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post #25 of 41 Old 11-04-2002, 09:40 AM
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Dave Wilson uses both tubes and solid state from what I understand.

I've seen pictures of his home system that incorporated the ARC Reference tube preamp with solid state mono-block monster Levinson 33s, and I've heard him demo specifically with ARC Ref 600 tube mono amps on the West Coast at a Stereophile show (S.F., I think) , and previously with cj Premier 8 tubed monos at Sterophile in NYC (a combination also used by Mr. Wilson at Sound By Singer at an audio meet-and-greet night), just to name two among many other tube front end/Wilson speaker combinations that have been heard at shows (Nagra, CAT, Jadis, VAC, and VTL are some others tubed units I can think of that stand out).

This year at HE2002, Wilson's were used with VTL tube amps for not the first time. At CES in January, he had transistor Spectral DMA 360 monos prominently displayed with the Sophias, but played a gotcha on everybody by driving them with a cheapo solid state $650 Parasound amplifier. In the VTL room at CES, it was mega tubed VTL MB-750 Reference Monos (what amps!) driving the W/P 6s. He also supposedly has an $85K (!) single-ended Ongaku flea tube amp for his personal use that drives Wilson speakers nicely. They'll even work well with OTLs, as I've heard for myself (exploding Futerman's anybody?).

Interetsingy for solid state fans, when he introduced the W/P 6s at the Stereophile show in L.A, if memory serves, he used a set of Wadia Power DACs witha full Wadia font end, of course. I've had more than one dealer tell me that he has voiced Watt Puppies in the past using a quite modest Spectral DMA90 solid state amp. I know a couple of industry insiders who swear by the Wilson/Spectral components combination, but it rarely works in the systems I've heard because the best expensive Spectral gear is so demanding of proper set up. That's not to say it can't be done, and done sensationally, but be prepared to spend beaucoup dollars on gear and room treatment at full retail to have a stellar dealer do the set up -- of which there are precious few in North America, less than half a dozen I would say. Frankly, very, very few dealers can handle and are committed enough to keep going back until it's absolutely right, in my opinion. But if you do get it right...!

On the other hand, you can just about throw any very good tube amp at a Watt/Puppy 6 or System 7, position the speakers fairly haphazardly, and still get pretty good sound. Not what the speaker is capable of mind you, but a reasonable facsimile -- without even trying really. And if you do try, and who wouldn't at these prices, and you've got a top amp like my favored VAC 70/70, well, it's sheer Nirvana.

But no matter what you do, feed 'em a pure DSD recording - or top notch vinyl -- to see what it is you've really paid for!
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post #26 of 41 Old 11-04-2002, 10:39 AM
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I've heard and appreciate what these speakers can do, but I'm always amazed how each revision seems to get rid of, amongst other things, an existing "mid-bass hump". Read every review of a watt/puppy revision and one of the first things mentioned is the fix for an existing mid-bass hump. Given they fix it on every release, are they really hearing a change on this frequency range rather than an "elimination" ? BTW, every release also fully transforms and elevates the speaker into a whole new level. Now I don't doubt there are audible changes, but once again, are we hearing absolute improvement or simply changes ? (FYI, no flame intended here)

Sergio Rivera - "It can always look better."
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post #27 of 41 Old 11-04-2002, 06:13 PM
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I started with W/P 3/2s, and went all the way up to W/P 6s, and I assure you each new generation materially improved in every way on the previous one. The jump from the 5.1s to the 6s was especially large. I haven't spent enough time with the System 7 to say the say the same thing, but in time a consensus among audiophiles will certainly develop about how much of an improvement the newest generation represents.

Nonetheless, I heartily agree with you about the repetitive mid-bass hump thing. I've heard precisely the same thing over and over from dealers from one Watt Puppy generation to the next. My uneducated guess is that because the prodigious bass drivers in the Puppy are necessarily so close to the floor and have such tremendous output, reflections make achieving flat bass response a somewhat insurmountable problem. It plagues other speakers like the B&W Nautilus series, too, hence the well known Sound Anchors speaker stands specifically designed to raise the N802s and N801s off the floor.

...At least until now, of course, with the new System 7 which completely eliminates the bass hump, as one dealer told me! Hmmm.
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post #28 of 41 Old 11-05-2002, 08:32 AM
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Hump is gone. You really have to trace the series history to see how the hump got there in the first place and why it really could not be eliminated until the present series. Remember the Watt existed for a long time until it was mated to a Puppy. As Sheryl Lee Wilson said you do not want to get a Puppy (a tiny tots best friend:)) for a tiny tot untill the tiny tot is old enough (Wilson Audio Tiny Tot (WATT)). Well the cabinet size and height had a lot to do with the hump. Then the hump was tamed over the years without really addressing the root cause. The new series designs it out rather than tames it.

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post #29 of 41 Old 11-05-2002, 01:29 PM
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Has anyone compared Watt Puppy system 6 with 7, yet ?? I heard system 6 last year, and it sounded stunning. I wonder how much and in what respect the system 7 offers over system 6 in terms of sonic improvement.

Desperately in pursuit of the perfect image....
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post #30 of 41 Old 11-06-2002, 07:13 AM
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ShePearl,

It's still the same family sound, just more and better. More, tighter bass. Better, airier treble (hard to believe). More image height. More transparency. Even better midrange (again, hard to believe, until you hear it). The latest issue of HiFi News magazine which isn't on the newstands here but should be available in England now is scheduled to review the System 7 (most likely Martin Colloms, who has used various W/P iterations including the W/P 6 in his reference system, will do the review)

I have personally not done a direct comparison, however, but am going from memory, never a good way to compare, as I'm sure you know.

As for which to buy, as always that depends on your financial position. The W/P 6 is not upgradeable to the System 7, and resale values of the W/P 6 have fallen. If you can afford it, the System 7 is the better speaker. But the deals on the still very good W/P 6 are getting hard to resist -- a pair bought in the U.S. should cost you much less than $10K. Forget often ridiculous asking prices you may see. It's what they are actually trading for that counts, and having offered a pair for sale recently for a friend, I can tell you it was an enormous struggle to get $9K.

The sonic competition from the Sophia is fierce, too, and that isn't helping W/P 6 resale values at all either.
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