Newport 2015: Sunny Components presents Wilson Audio and Audio Research







by Rafe Arnott

Wilson 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.

I 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!