DENVER (PTA) — The team at Wilson Audio gave us a sneak peek at their new Chronosonic XVX loudspeakers, along with a system showing us the iconic Sasha DAW pair with VTL, Shunyata, Grand Prix, Roon and dCS. The room was so good, that I persuaded Tyler Hall of Wilson Audio to go against his better intuition, and take our entire “Under Forty Party” up to the room for top-secret-late-night-encore. The listening session with the Sasha DAW’s will appear in another article, coming soon. For now, let’s talk about the new Chronosonic XVX.
It’s not often you walk past a pair of Wilson Audio Sasha DAW’s in search of something more interesting. But that is exactly what happened on Friday of the Rocky Mountain International Audio Fest. If I were to repair my standing with Wilson Audio for my opening sentiment, I’ll say this — “the only thing ‘more interesting’ than a Wilson speaker, is a bigger Wilson speaker — how’s that for run-and-gun diplomacy?
It all starts with the Wilson Audio WAMM, the last full speaker design of the now departed Wilson Audio founder, Dave Wilson. As if being a first-ballot unanimous audiophile hall-of-famer inductee wasn’t enough for Dave Wilson in his twilight years, introducing a redesign of the original WAMM only further cemented his contribution and image to the Mount Rushmore of loudspeaker designers.
The Wilson Audio WAMM as spectacular as it is, is a behemoth in every sense of the word. Architecturally it’s a challenge to house even here in the US, and then more so abroad. Enter the slightly smaller — but still massive — Chronosonic XVX which follows in the footsteps of the WAMM design.
The Chronosonic XVX is Daryl Wilson’s design, even though it builds on the WAMM architecture — and while shrinking in some fashions, it even seeks to improve or refine a few features of the larger brother.
The most interesting feature of the Chronosonic XVX is it’s $329,000 pr USD price tag. Which in comparison to the $750,000 pr USD street price of the WAMM, puts a big ole’ grin on many of us inside and out of the Wilson Audio fanship. With the lower price does come a few engineering compromises that do equate to this “value version” of the WAMM being less articulate in some regions, as is evidenced by the four-driver array found in the new Chronosonic XVX versus the WAMM’s five-driver array, and larger size.
However the ability to tune the new Chronosonic in the time domain is just as precise as the larger WAMM, if not even more. The new Chronosonic can be tuned within a finite adjustment tolerance of two microseconds. A quick look at the A-to-B “Alignment Reference” scale located on the rear apparatus of the Chronosonic tells the tale. Amplifier group delay got you down? Don’t worry, tune it out in time.
X-Material is cabinet panels are used throughout. New for the Chronosonic is a new V-Matierial that was developed very recently and only found in the new speaker. V-Matieral used in the Chronosonic embodies vibration control and is implemented between the woofer cabinet and gantry structures to help eliminate unwanted vibration interferences between the upper and lower driver systems. In the case of drivers specifically, the same tweeter developed for the WAMM carries over to the new Chronosonic. The same four-inch mid-range driver found in the WAMM comes along to the Chronosonic as well. What is different however, the new 7-inch mid-bass drivers. While the WAMM was the last complete loudspeaker Dave Wilson worked on, it was the mid-bass drivers used in the new Chronosonic that are the last “thing” Mr. Wilson worked on. Woofers remain identical between the two sibling loudspeakers, however the enclosure size varies. Cross-flow ports all around, to allow custom loading of the bass. On top, the Chronosonic uses only a tweeter and adjustable attenuator for room ambiance. Whereas the larger WAMM uses a tweeter and midrange for the same duties.
The more you dig into the new Chronosonic, the less it comes across as just a smaller WAMM, but more Darryl Wilson’s compact reimagining of the WAMM design and feature set.