I will never forget begging Christopher Hansen like a kid who desperately wants an ice cream cone or some new matchbox car to order one of the first pairs of the Wilson "Grand SLAMM" speakers back in the early 1990s. Our salon was a leading Wilson dealer and we had a reference room that would be perfect for these insanely expensive (I think they were $67,500 at the time) reference loudspeakers. Through me selling more than my share of WATT Puppy version 3.2 speakers at the time and thanks to some favorable terms put forth to us by Wilson in the middle of a recession - we were the third dealer to get this new level of speaker. Assembly was a major process that three people spent more than a day on including opening upwards of 18 crates, positioning drivers and voicing the speakers in the room. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun.
• Read a review by Ken Kessler of the Wilson Audio Alexandria (v1) loudspeakers.
• Read a Jerry Del Colliano review of Wilson Audio's Thor's Hammer subwoofer system.
• Learn about Wilson Audio's Sasha WP- Loudspeakers here.
• Read about the ULTIMATE high end audio, reference level loudspeakers at AudiophileReview.com.
Today, Wilson has taken the Grand SLAMM concept and renamed it the Alexandra X2. The price is far higher at $158,000 and the speaker is greatly refined. It still stands tall as a conglomerate of many speakers assembled and voiced to match the needs of a room in order to get the maximum musical effect. David Wilson, Wilson Audio's founder, speaks of his experience listening to Mahler's Second in Vienna and how it inspired him to rethink his ultimate level speaker specifically in the midrange. He wanted more speed and even more accuracy for which he sought a new speaker driver manufacturer to work with Wilson Audio to help create a new midrange transducer which has now trickled down to other speakers in the Wilson line today. The Alexandria X2s have in reality replaced the highly customized WAMM system that was even more configurable and even more expensive however it came with Mr. Wilson personally flying to your listening room and tuning the speakers which no longer is viable on many levels.
Wilson speakers are truly a statement. The Alexandrias have a reported frequency response of just below 20 Hz to above 22.5 kHz which goes slightly above and below the threshold of human hearing. Alexandrias are physically large speakers but oddly and like their highly successful little brothers, the WATT Puppy (or Sasha WP) speakers, take up a pretty modest footprint considering their overall size. Colors for the Wilson Audio Alexandria start with any and every exotic car color you can dream of and go from there. Wives and designers alike rave about the color combinations for Wilson Audio speakers. Wilson's Alexandria X2 speakers pack tremendous power efficiency like most Wilson speakers which means you could power them with single ended triode tube amps if you so desired. The chances are you will be looking at more exotic and high powered amps from the likes of Krell (Evolution), Mark Levinson's No. 53, Halcro, Audio Research and or any number of other ultra-level power amplifiers.
Sonically, the Wilson Audio Alexandria present a musical experience the likes most have never heard this side of the Disney Hall or the Kimmel Center - perhaps even the Staples Center. Transient dynamics are second to none when listening to the Wilson Audio Alexandria X2s. These speakers present a tall yet accurate soundstage that is visceral like you would expect listening to a live musical event. Wilson X2s can make a small musical event like a string quartet or a jazz ensemble sound so intimate you wonder if you actually were in the room with the performers but where the X2s go to the next level is with large format music and bombastic movie soundtracks in the new HD audio codecs. Feed Wilson Audio Alexandria X2s high-resolution material for over-the-top dynamic content and prepare to be floored. Their bass performance means you could skip a subwoofer (but you won't - in fact you could buck up for the Wilson Thor's Hammer, which is about as big as a Sub Zero refridgerator) in your system. No matter what the musical content - you are in for an E-ticket ride with the Wilson Alexandria X2s.