Newport 2015: Sunny Components presents Wilson Audio and Audio Research


by Rafe Arnott

darth-vader-faceWilson Audio makes speakers that remind me of Darth Vader.

Since I’m a huge Star Wars fan, this is a very good thing, and every time I see a pair of Wilson’s Sofia or Sasha, or in this particular room’s case, the big Alexia, I smile secretly to myself and with my throaty inside voice say “the Force is strong with this one…”

I’ve written previously about my little crush-like feelings towards the Wilson Audio Sasha 2 speakers, (which fronted Danny Keay’s Einstein-powered set up at T.H.E. Show) and that little crush carries over to Sasha’s big sister Alexia ($52,000 US).

Mind you, I did not get to hear the Alexia being fed vinyl, (the gorgeous Spiral Groove SG-2 with Orotofon Cadenza Red – $22,000 for TT, arm and cart – was not spinning while I was in the room.

THEShow_LOGO2015I had to settle for zeroes and ones, but what I heard was deeply satisfying.

Sunny Components out of Covina, California was driving the big Wilsons with a breathtaking rack of Audio Research hardware.

The power plants were a pair of floor mounted 250 watt (KT 150 tubes!) Reference 250 SE monoblocks ($34,000 US pair), over on the HSR MSX and RSX racks was the AR Reference 10 preamplifier ($30,000 US), the AR Reference 10 Phono ($30,000 US), the AR CD-9 ($13,000) and the beguiling MSB Diamond DAC ($43,000 US).

Cabling and power supply duties fell to Transparent.

The sound was just effortless, and while it might of lacked that last bit of organic texture I thrive on from great vinyl rigs or reel-to-reels, it was punchy, jammy and the bass and midrange were lush and gorgeous.

The Wilson are another one of those great speakers that IMHO just play what their being fed, and the AR gear was spoon-feeding those big Alexias a lot of tasty tubed goodness.

I know some people just don’t go in for Wilson. Whatever. I find them incredibly transparent and they can really juice with the right compliment of equipment and source.

So, if you’re not a Wilson fan perhaps you just haven’t had a chance to hear them properly fronted with a synergistic, analog-source system.

If you have and you’re still not convinced, I’m going to have to quote Vader and say “I find your lack of faith … disturbing.”

Proud to sponsor Part-Time Audiophile and The Audio Traveler at THE Show in Newport 2015!

About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream


  1. Thank you for a wonderful write up on our room ! This being a new venue and a new room for us. ( we had 6 rooms and the responsibility of 6 rooms ) it was quite a ambitious undertaking to pull this off. Everything in this room added to the texture and sound from the speakers to the ARC Electronics, the DACS, the Racks and above all the cables. We are truly fortunate to display the best in our stores too ! You should come and visit. It will blow your mind !

  2. Up to about 2007-2008, I rarely appreciated Wilson’s presentation. Since, then, it’s the exact opposite. Their show demos are superb and enjoyable. Wilson improved over time, and now make a superior product.

    As John Marks said years ago, no one will ever again possess the market position enjoyed by Wilson Audio. It’s not hard to find stand mount monitors priced over $20k today. But when Dave had the audacity to release the $3500 WATT in the 80s, the audiophile world shuddered. (Of the many WATT models I disliked all except the last few, but that’s a different story.)

    Same as the rest of us, Dave’s not getting any younger. I wonder who will be the face of Wilson Audio without Dave, and how Wilson prepares for that day.

    • FYI, Dave Wilson brought his son Daryl into the company a few years ago so he has someone to take the reins. Apparently Daryl has been closely involved in their designs lately.

      The speakers Wilson has been producing over the last few years are much more relaxed and musical than previous versions.

Comments are closed.