RMAF12: Opening and the Wilson Audio Alexia

Gorgeous fall weather here in Denver folks. Crisp, clean-smelling air. What there is of it. Because, we are a mile up and, yes, I can tell. Water is fine, but breathing. Well. From this sea-level slug, the key seems to be breathing bigger. Big, even, deep breaths. As I hoof it through the Marriott like that stupid bunny.

If you’ve never been to Colorado, it’s like traveling on the flat of a knife blade, where “flat” is the operative word. Flat as a board. Flat as a sheet of glass. Flat as that knife — right up until you hit the wall of the hilt. Then it goes up. Straight. Up.

The Rockies dominate just about every view out of every window.

This year’s RMAF, as you know, has one hundred million demo rooms. My goal? Make it to every single one, albeit briefly, to get a quick listen, take a pic or two, and just keep swimming.

I actually started my day with a robust breakfast with Marc Mickelson and Paul Bolin of The Audio Beat, with hosts Galina & Wendell Diller (of Magnepan). Nice folks! Andy the Bear Regan from Cardas dropped by, and I have to say, there’s just an alarming number of really nice, kind, and interesting people in this business.

Speaking of interesting — Steve Holt from MIT was hamming it up on my way into the Marriott. My plan was to sneak in, get my badge and whatnot, and crash a few press-only demos. I figured, hey, why not? It’s not like I had anything else to do for the hour or so till the show opened ….

It just so happened, completely by accident, that I stumbled into the Wilson Audio debut of the new $48,500 Alexia. Shipping in about 2 weeks, the Alexia slots in between the Sasha Watt/Puppy and the Maxx. There’s a lot of trickle-down tech in here from the high-end speakers that I’m sure these fine gentleman (below) will tell you all about.

That’s Jonathan Valin and Robert Harley of The Absolute Sound, next to John Atkinson and Art Dudley of Stereophile, Paul Bolin and Marc Mickelson of The Audio Beat. Michael Fremer of Stereophile/Analog Planet sits next to Marc. Tough crowd.

David Wilson and his son Daryl gave a pretty sweet pitch, going over some of the finer design points, like the remarkable degree of configuration flexibility built into the tweeter array to support changes in time alignment, for one. The Alexia may be all new, but it’s built with the past in mind. The rear ports are situated at the same height as the Sasha — so if you were thinking of upgrading, you won’t necessarily have to worry to much about repositioning as the Alexia should be a drop in. Marginally larger, the Alexia is more sensitive (IIRC) and plays much more forcefully than it’s littler sib.

Also on hand were the staggeringly expensive reference-grade offerings from dCS — the four-box Vivaldi system.

I actually felt bad for Luke Manley, on hand for the demo, as all the other components were from VTL. But this was quite a debut, so none of that got talked about. Yeeesh. Anyway.

The sound in here was pretty startling. Very clear, good imaging, great detail, impactful bass. More than that will have to wait, but it was a good showing.