What if there was a loudspeaker that could stand toe to toe with the likes of Wilson Audio's Sasha W/P, Revel's Salon2 or even the legendary Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond - yet did so without taking up an inch of floor space - would you be interested? Of course you would. That's precisely what Wisdom Audio has done in the creation of their L75m on-wall loudspeaker. Priced at $8,500 each plus the cost of the SC-1 system controller ($6,500), the L75m is Wisdom's largest, single chassis on-wall loudspeaker designed to do battle with some of the biggest names in the audiophile speaker business.
The L75m is a 76-inch Planar Magnetic Hybrid Loudspeaker that features a 48-inch planar magnetic line source that covers the midrange and high frequencies, leaving the bass to its four woofers. The L75m measures 76 inches tall by seven inches wide and six inches deep and weighs a hefty 69 pounds. The L75m sports an aircraft grade aluminum chassis that is finished in Wisdom's standard charcoal grey, which is more or less whitish-grey in color, similar but not identical to some of Apple's core products. The L75m has a reported frequency response of 40Hz to 20kHz with an impedance of four and a half Ohms for the planar section and three Ohms for the woofers. The reason Wisdom gives two different figures for the L75m's impedance is because the L75m, like all Wisdom speakers, must be bi-amped; however each section won't require Herculean-like power, thanks to the L75m's sensitivity which is 95dB for the planar section and 91dB for the woofers. I should mention that Wisdom does offer a line of amplifiers, which mate beautifully with the L75m but are sold separately. Of course the L75m requires the use of Wisdom's 7.3 channel SC-1 controller, which houses its electronic crossover as well as a tweaked version of Audyssey's MultiEQ XT room correction software, on all 17 output channels in order for them to work properly. The SC-1 controller retails for $6,500, which brings the total cost of a two-channel system featuring a pair of L75m on-wall speakers to $23,500 - a lot of money for sure, but well within the realm of reason for anyone considering a pair of 800 Diamonds, Sasha W/Ps or Studio2 loudspeakers.
In terms of sound quality the L75m are unlike any on-wall loudspeaker you've heard and arguably unlike any floorstanding loudspeaker you've heard too, for they possess the coherence of, say, a full-range electrostatic coupled with the bass of a traditional dynamic speaker with the dynamics and ease of a fine, high sensitivity loudspeaker. Hybrid? Absolutely, only unlike other hybrid loudspeakers the L75m manages to sound seamless in its presentation. The L75m's midrange and high frequency performance is sublime, possessing tremendous texture and subtlety that simply begs belief. Bass is taut and textured and plunges deep enough for most, though for truly full-range sound you'll want to add a subwoofer, which subsequently Wisdom can offer to you. What's truly amazing about the L75m is how dynamic they are, able to start and stop on a dime in ways that would embarrass many speakers costing multiples more. Also, the seamless nature in which the L75m present the sound is nothing short of addictive and the soundstage these on-walls are capable of producing will have you scratching your head in disbelief. Even at high volumes, I'm talking hearing damage high, the L75m on-wall loudspeaker is simply unflappable, capable of peaks in excess of crazy without distortion and/or compression.
Read about the high points and the low points of the L75m on Page 2.
• A price tag of $8,500 should buy you a lot of things and one of the biggest on the list is build quality, for which the L75m exceeds expectations. The aluminum cabinet is as inert as I've encountered over the years and the lines and attention to detail are simply fantastic. The assembly of the drivers themselves is also a testament to Wisdom's commitment to absolute quality.
• The L75m are perfect complements to the rest of the Wisdom Audio line, be it their freestanding, on-wall or in-wall models, allowing you to mix and match and grow your system as your needs change and budget allows.
• Wisdom's ability to custom finish the L75m's aluminum cabinet to meet any and all customer specifications is a huge plus.
• The L75m sound every bit as good as many of the best in the audiophile speaker community regardless of their price and/or makeup, yet do so without taking up valuable floor space - something that is bound to be a hit with many audiophiles' significant others.
• The L75m's ability to play at virtually any volume yet still retain their addictive musicality is nothing short of phenomenal and one of the key factors that make them one of the better all-round loudspeakers available today.
• Installing a pair of L75m on-wall loudspeakers isn't as simple as, say, installing a pair of Paradigm on-walls and should probably be left to your local Wisdom dealer to ensure everything goes off without a hitch.
• It's true that the L75m's require Wisdom's SC-1 controller, which does add a bit to the overall bottom line. However, the SC-1's $6,500 retail price is more than likely a one-time cost for it can handle 7.3 channels of audio or any permutation thereof, meaning Wisdom Audio speakers, such as the L75m, become more "affordable" as you add on.
• The L75m are not the thinnest on-wall loudspeakers on the planet. If you're looking for a truly flat speaker to complement your uber-thin LED HDTV, then I suggest you look into Wisdom's in-wall speaker designs, which just so happen to be identical to their on-wall ones.
Competition and Comparison
With a retail price of $23,500 for a stereo pair, the L75m don't really have an on-wall competitor, for most on-wall loudspeakers tend to cost between $300 and $3,000 - a far cry from twenty plus thousand dollars. Instead I believe the L75m compete favorably with the likes of Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamond Loudspeaker, Revel's Salon2 Loudspeaker and Wilson's new Sasha W/P loudspeaker, all of which cost about the same but are floorstanding designs. For more on floorstanding loudspeakers please check out Home Theater Review's Floorstanding
Loudspeaker page and for more on on-wall speakers please tune to Home Theater Review's On-Wall Speaker page.
There's no denying the L75m are among, if not the most expensive on-wall loudspeakers currently available, which may or may not make them fair competition for other on-wall loudspeakers. That being said, they are extremely competitive with many of today's top-flight floorstanding speakers, only the L75m manage to compete without occupying a single square foot of floorspace - something even the biggest names in the business can't claim. If you're looking for floorstanding speaker performance but don't quite have the room for a pair of 800 Diamonds or Sasha W/Ps, then I strongly urge you to audition a pair of Wisdom Audio L75m on-wall loudspeakers.