My Wilson Journey...

slowGEEZR

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2010
1,269
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Round Rock, Texas
#1
Steve asked me to post some photos of my setup and talk a little about how I got to where I am in my Wilson journey. So, now that I've gotten off my easy chair and taken some photos, I might as well begin.

The first time I heard Wilson's was at a dealership near Washington DC, back in 2005 or 2006. I thought they were jammin' but never thought twice about owning them, as I thought they were pricey and I wouldn't get the boss's approval. Here we are, along with our cats upon our first Wilson encounter.
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/Audio/i-qrNqGm4/0/XL/576103_10151282601759447_922058696_n-XL.jpg

But, I got a little ahead of myself, let me start over...
I have always enjoyed music and can still remember standing with the guys, waiting for the school bus back in '63, listening to the girls giggling over the new fab four from England. Being the musical snob I have always wanted to be, I blurted out one of my first of many ill thought out predictions. I said, “Yeah, they're ok, but they'll never replace Elvis!”. I then held up my mighty “6 transistor” radio (no lousy 2 or 3 transistor radio for me) and blasted an Elvis tune to drown out their Beatles song. The guys and I got a big kick out of that.

I guess I've always been an audiophile in the making. I blame my Dad, as he always had big band music playing at healthy volumes in our home. I remember him teaching me how to use the tonearm on his Dual turntable (1019?) correctly and how to wind the tape on his Akai reel to reel and listening to the music flowing via the Scott amps and Bozak speakers. No Victrola in a box in our house! I knew that someday, I'd have a great home system, too. The Vietnam War came along and I joined the Air Force and was (fortunately) sent to Okinawa. I bought a Pioneer surround amp, four Pioneer 901 speakers (15 inch woofers!) and other gear. Then, one day I heard Bose 901's and bought those, too. My journey had really begun. That is, until I discovered that I really enjoyed riding motorcycles on the race track! For the next twenty years or so, my true hobby was motorcycling and audio took a back seat. Eventually, I returned to audio after hearing some Martin Logans. I purchased some Aereus (Aerei for plural?) and was quite happy until I heard those dang Wilsons!

Fast forward to retirement and moving to the Austin, Texas area. I met Casey, of ne plus ultra, via a Porsche Club of America buddy. This friend owned Wilson WP7's and I thought they sounded fantastic. Casey made me a deal I couldn't refuse on some WP8's and I have been smitten with their qualities ever since. To me, they sound like real music, real life, not “prettyfied” like some other brands. I listen to live music weekly and I think Wilson's sound more like true life than other brands. One thing I have noticed is that the WP8's improve with every improvement I've made to my system. I am still somewhat stunned by how their character changed for the better when my Ayre QB-9 was upgraded to DSD status. I have been able to clearly hear changes brought about by different cabling, too. They respond very well to room treatments and clearly let me know when I had too many bass traps! I have used tube amps and transistor amps, but my favorites so far are my Pass Labs amps. Ok, enough jibber jabber, here are some photos.

As you walk up the stairs to my media room, this is the view.
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-BkWHnTd/0/X2/DSC01900-X2.jpg
All of the treatments are GIK. I got the front center wall treatments at RMAF when the guy from GIK yelled out into the room, that the first $150 gets them. The room is 15.5 ft X14.5 ft, so there is not a lot of space. It does open into a hallway and a bathroom, so I get good bass.


This pic shows the seating area. Cheap, but comfy. The bass traps are GIK.
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-73ML373/0/X2/DSC01903-X2.jpg

A couple of posters from my favorite Austin band, the South Austin Moonlighters.
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-KrLD6CT/0/X2/DSC01891-X2.jpg

I control the digital side with the iPad and iPod. Recommend this album, BTW.
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-qRc4pmH/0/X2/DSC01890-X2.jpg

A look towards the equipment rack. The 4 terabyte external drive sits behind the Ayre and is the only thing I can hear from the listening seat. When it is putting music into RAM, I can hear it spooling up. This lasts about ten seconds until the music starts and is user definable, that is, I can define how large the memory cache can be.
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-wHkk3h7/0/X2/DSC01894-X2.jpg

XP – 20...
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-xpdQLRn/0/X2/DSC01895-X2.jpg

Ayre, Mac Mini, PPP...
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-cvQ4dSs/0/X2/DSC01896-X2.jpg

TTW Gem II Copper...
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-BhhMpFv/0/X2/DSC01897-X2.jpg

One more look at that copper platter...
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-Hgwrxt3/0/X2/DSC01899-X2.jpg

BAT VK-P5 and disconnected Scout...
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-mKwjzGd/0/XL/DSC01898-XL.jpg

One of the XA100.5's on SRA platform...
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-zTkXdZz/0/X2/DSC01901-X2.jpg

I keep my vinyl and CD's, etc in the adjacent bedroom...
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-QrPHWDQ/0/XL/DSC01906-XL.jpg
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-7t78CmV/0/X2/DSC01907-X2.jpg
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-GQdHPNG/0/XL/DSC01905-XL.jpg

My fabulous Wilson Audio Watt Puppy 8's!..
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-XBvwXpv/0/XL/DSC01902-XL.jpg
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/My-Audio-System/i-GdRVBjK/0/X2/DSC01893-X2.jpg

An older picture, showing the color better...
http://slowgeezr.smugmug.com/Music/Audio/i-x79NFBw/0/XL/DSC01651-XL.jpg

So, that about does it. I've got tons of photos of old gear and such and will be happy to answer any questions. See you at RMAF!
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
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#2
Great read! Great speakers...the 8s are my favorite of the Watts. What cables are you using? I am curious about both your signal and power cables.
 

slowGEEZR

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2010
1,269
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Round Rock, Texas
#4
Great read! Great speakers...the 8s are my favorite of the Watts. What cables are you using? I am curious about both your signal and power cables.
Thanks. My cables are nothing special price wise, but after listening to many different cables they are what I have settled on for a while. I'm using some twenty year old silver audioquest balanced interconnects from my DAC to the preamp. I bought them from a friend after comparing them to much more expensive interconnects, which they soundly (pun intended) beat. The rest of the balanced interconnects are all Mogami microphone cable. I tried some $20K interconnects to my amps and they were better, but I wouldn't spend that much for the difference in sound. I got a much better return by upgrading the DAC! I absolutely love my speaker cables and would compare them to anything I've heard. They are made by Douglas Cables, here in Austin. The build quality is also as good as anything I've seen. The power cables I will probably upgrade when I get around to it. I'm currently using very inexpensive Pangea power cables. I did hear an improvement when I swapped in some $6k power cables to the amps, but not $6k worth! I am interested in possibly going to an all Shunyata power cable system in the future. My tonearm cable is a DIN type made by Steve Huang in Toronto. I have sent them back to him to get them fully shielded, as my BAT requires shielded cables. I had forgotten that when I originally purchased the cables. With my VPI Scout, I used shielded Straightwire Maestro II's and recommend that interconnect for RCA connections.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
63
#7
Great stuff, Slowgeezer, Thanks for that.
 

jfrech

VIP/Donor
Sep 3, 2012
1,586
15
38
Austin
#9
Some awesome photography too ! Didn't realize you live close by, I'm in Dripping Springs....

I used to own WP8's also...really awesome speaker, and I know Casey @ Ne Plus Ultra does a incredible set up and dial in...congrats and what a great story

Love the cat pics :)
 

rsorren1

Active Member
Sep 6, 2013
282
32
28
Dallas area
#10
Steve, thanks for sharing. Great pictures and beautiful room / set-up. I previously owned W/P8 in that color! Another Austin-ite! You have quite a few WBF members your way whose systems I've heard and yield spectacular results: JFRECH, GSHELLY, BABYBEAR.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
63
#11
Steve, thanks for sharing. Great pictures and beautiful room / set-up. I previously owned W/P8 in that color! Another Austin-ite! You have quite a few WBF members your way whose systems I've heard and yield spectacular results: JFRECH, GSHELLY, BABYBEAR.
TX has more than a few serious audiophiles...there is also Albert Porter who is still finetuning his system having gotten Grande Utopia EMs and a whole slew of Stillpoints, PAD and Allnic toys...
 

slowGEEZR

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2010
1,269
5
38
67
Round Rock, Texas
#13
Some awesome photography too ! Didn't realize you live close by, I'm in Dripping Springs....

I used to own WP8's also...really awesome speaker, and I know Casey @ Ne Plus Ultra does a incredible set up and dial in...congrats and what a great story

Love the cat pics :)
Thanks John! You may not remember, but I visited your place with Lenny, back when you had the Maxx 3's. I absolutely loved your system then and bet it must be incredible now! Yeah, Casey did a wonderful setup for me and is a genuinely good guy.
 

slowGEEZR

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2010
1,269
5
38
67
Round Rock, Texas
#14
Steve, thanks for sharing. Great pictures and beautiful room / set-up. I previously owned W/P8 in that color! Another Austin-ite! You have quite a few WBF members your way whose systems I've heard and yield spectacular results: JFRECH, GSHELLY, BABYBEAR.
Thanks, rsorren1! Yeah, I've heard John's Wilson system, (though not his Rockports!) Gayles Alexandria's and Arnies' Rockports Arrakis. Killer systems all! Gayle and Arnie have been to my home a few times, too, though not John, yet. We have quite a few audio guys here and I regularly get together with many of them, as we alternate holding audio meets to listen and BS!
 

slowGEEZR

Member Sponsor
Sep 20, 2010
1,269
5
38
67
Round Rock, Texas
#15
TX has more than a few serious audiophiles...there is also Albert Porter who is still finetuning his system having gotten Grande Utopia EMs and a whole slew of Stillpoints, PAD and Allnic toys...
You got that right and a lot are in the Austin area. I've got three friends, who live nearby, that built their own systems and they are outstanding! One buddy designed and built his own DAC, preamp, amps and speakers, while another built his amp and speakers from someone else's design, while the other one designed and built his own pre, amp and phono pre! Other friends have various speaker brands, Wilson, Usher, Martin Logan, etc.
 

sbo6

Active Member
May 19, 2014
818
49
28
Round Rock, TX
#18
Nice system, slowGEEZR. Maybe sometime I can come over for a listen? :)
 

MadFloyd

Member Sponsor
May 31, 2010
2,428
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Mass
#19
Great thread and beautiful pics, thanks for sharing!
 

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