Wilson Audio Introduces the All-new Alexia (Offical Press Release Information!)

Lildebs888

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Wilson Audio Introduces the All-new Alexia

Alexia began with a series of simple questions: What would happen if we merged the time-domain accuracy of the Alexandria XLF with a form factor similar to the Sasha? Could we design a compact speaker that rivaled the coherence, musicality, and resolution of our bigger speakers? As Wilson’s engineers began development of Alexia, they quickly realized that as seemingly simple as these ideas were, their real-world implementation, if possible at all, would require all of Dave Wilson and his team’s resources, ingenuity, and engineering expertise. They faced difficult challenges from the beginning: How to split a Sasha-style single upper module into two, fully adjustable modules for the midrange and tweeter, without introducing resonances and instability to the platform; how to substantially expand on the dynamic performance, resolution, and bandwidth of our existing compact loudspeakers; how to incorporate the necessary complexity of XLF-like time-domain adjustment while retaining the essence of Sasha’s beautiful and compact form. Many ideas were tried and then abandoned. Solutions to seemingly impossible problems presented themselves, and yet another model or prototype was built. But, in the end, after over a year of research and development, the Alexia project is complete.

We are very pleased and excited to introduce the all-new Alexia.

Beautiful Form Born of a Complex Function:

Alexia is a truly modular system. Where Sasha is a two-module platform, with the midrange and tweeter drivers mounted in the same enclosure, Alexia’s midrange and tweeter are each housed in their own custom-designed module. The decision to engineer a totally modular platform introduced several design challenges related to maintaining a compact and cosmetically elegant superstructure. The MAXX and Alexandria employ a separate ladder housing to support their respective upper modules and to facilitate time-domain adjustability. It was decided early on that the ladder approach was incompatible with the desired Sasha-like form factor. After evolving through several iterations, the final design incorporates the tweeter module’s support system and propagation delay adjustment within the structure of the midrange module.

Alexia’s upper two modules are capable of very minute adjustments in the time-domain. Aspherical group delay technology, first implemented in Wilson’s flagship, Alexandria, has been incorporated into the Alexia design. To realize the complexities of both driver-axis tuning and time alignment, the midrange/tweeter assembly uses a combination of a captive spike and three additional spikes of different lengths, which in turn rest on a ten-step alignment block borrowed from the Maxx. The entire two-module assembly also moves fore-to-aft, along eight positions. The tweeter is separately adjustable in its relationship to the midrange module and, in turn, to the entire loudspeaker. A complex milled aluminum cross member is mounted above the tweeter module. It is a physical extension of the midrange module, bridging the open area along its upper section. The cross member serves two important functions: it enables exceptionally precise adjustment of the tweeter along ten separate steps; and, it provides an enormously rigid brace, adding strength and stiffness to the already very low resonance midrange module.

By way of comparison, the Sasha features a total of four spikes, which serve to rotate the single upper module to four separate positions. In contrast, both Alexia’s tweeter and midrange modules are adjustable independently, both moving front-to-back, accounting for the time alignment of each driver. Additionally, Aspherical Group Delay technology allows the modules to be rotated for optimum axis performance. All of which means Alexia can be adjusted in hundreds of different combinations to accurately accommodate a nearly limitless variety of listening configurations. The exact location of both upper modules is based on the specific geometry of each room and the location of the listener. Each module’s position is precisely specified in the provided owner’s manual. The Alexia’s measured time-domain accuracy surpasses all previous designs with the exception of the remarkable Alexandria XLF, which it equals.

Alexia’s form factor is similar to the Sasha W/P, even sharing its room-friendly footprint. It is just short of ten-inches taller, most of which is dedicated to greater volume in the bass enclosure. Alexia is much more ambitious and complex, inheriting much of its technology and overall sonic personality from Wilson’s flagship, the Alexandria XLF. The complexity and sophistication of the Alexia’s modular system yields huge dividends. Chiefly, it allows for far greater propagation delay adjustment, which, in turn, results in greater transient accuracy, tonal beauty, spatial retrieval, and musicality.

New Woofers:

From the beginning, Dave Wilson’s design goal with Alexia was to marry the performance and technology of his larger designs to a more compact and room-friendly platform. When it came to bass performance, he had two priorities. First, build upon the unprecedented speed, tunefulness, and agility of Sasha, and second, add the authority and weight that have, in part, made his large speakers legendary. This meant developing new drivers specifically destined for Alexia.

Anyone familiar with loudspeaker design will tell you it’s very difficult to design an enclosure and crossover that incorporate two different woofer diameters. But, engineering challenges aside, there is no better solution for combining speed and authority. In Alexia, the challenge is heightened given its compact enclosure volumes. Dave Wilson and Vern Credille, Wilson’s lead acoustic and electrical engineer, decided the solution was two new, purpose-designed drivers. Alexia’s new eight and ten-inch woofers serve all the design requirements of Wilson’s two-diameter woofer strategy.

Dave and Vern first successfully implemented the offset-diameter, two-woofer design in the X-1 Grand SLAMM, a speaker notable for, among many other things, its remarkable transient bass speed, dynamics, and authority. The driver strategy has been used in Wilson’s large speakers ever since. Alexia is the first Wilson compact loudspeaker to employ this strategy.

Woofer Enclosure:

When compared to Sasha, Alexia’s woofer cabinet has over eighteen-percent greater volume. This accounts for most of Alexia’s ten-inch height increase over Sasha. The Alexia’s larger enclosure volume was designed to perfectly accommodate the new low frequency drivers. Wilson used the latest laser interferometry to optimize wall thickness and the placement of strategic braces. The Alexia’s woofer enclosure walls, built entirely of Wilson’s proprietary composite, X-Material, are also thicker to better account for the woofer’s greater energy and output. Alexia’s woofer enclosure joins the long legacy of ultra-resonant designs.

XLF Midrange Driver:

Alexia features the same cellulose fiber/carbon composite midrange driver used in the Alexandria XLF. During development of the Alexandria X-2 Series 2, Dave immersed himself in the study of the experience of live music, culminating in a visit to the Musikverein Concert Hall in Vienna, Austria. Since then, Dave has made a yearly pilgrimage to the Musikverein. Along with satiating his abiding love of music, the trip serves to recalibrate his ears. Listening to exquisitely performed music serves to remind him of his ultimate goal: the believable reproduction of the unamplified musical event. He is not just focused on the sound of live music, but also the numinous experience he feels when listening to a great performance. It is through an empirical comparison of the live event to the same music played through his loudspeakers that has driven many technological breakthroughs at Wilson, not the least of which is this remarkable midrange unit.

Midrange Enclosure:

Wilson’s proprietary composite, S-material, first developed for the Sasha W/P, is used in Alexia’s midrange baffle. When combined with Wilson’s X-material, used in the balance of the mid module, measurable and audible noise and coloration in the midrange are minimized.

New Convergent Synergy™ Tweeter:

The original Convergent Synergy tweeter was introduced in the Alexandria XLF. The driver is the product of Wilson’s design team. Having rigorously explored a variety of exotic materials, such as beryllium and diamond, Dave concluded that while each of these materials had some virtues, none ultimately met his musical requirements. The Convergent Synergy tweeter’s dome is made from silk-based fabric. Dave’s design requirements of ultra-low distortion and very robust power handling down in the lower part of its range are beautifully met with this driver. It has exemplary off-axis dispersion characteristics in both the frequency and time domains. The noise floor is lower. Because of its low moving mass, its response extends to beyond 33 kHz. Perhaps most importantly, it synergistically adjoins Wilson’s midrange driver, the two together presenting a contiguous sense of tonality.

The latest iteration of Wilson’s remarkable Convergent Synergy™ tweeter now finds a home in the Alexia. The new version of the tweeter was designed to account for Alexia’s single-midrange geometry (as opposed to the two-midrange configuration of the XLF). This iteration of the Convergent Synergy tweeter retains the overall linearity, lack of grain, dynamic contrast, resolution of micro detail, and (from a technical point of view) its measured linear frequency response and very low distortion of the original design.

Price:

U.S. Retail—$48,500

Availability:

First shipments for existing orders are scheduled for mid-November of 2012. Please place orders for demo and sell-through needs as soon as possible to reserve your shipment position. The orders will be filled and shipped on a first-come, first-served basis. Demo orders will be the first priority so all of Wilson’s dealers and distributors can begin showing the Alexia. Customer sell-through orders will be scheduled after demo orders have been filled. Check with Jerron Marchant for specific ship dates for your order.

Launch At the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest​

Please join us in room 2030 for a demonstration of Alexia

New Video:

In conjunction with Alexia’s press release, we have released a new video that explores Alexia’s development process. (I will add a link to it here on AA)

Measurements:

Nominal Impedance: 4 ohms / minimum 2 ohms @ 80 Hz

Sensitivity: 90 dB @ 1W @ 1m @ 1k

Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 32 kHz +/- 3 dB

Minimum Amplification Power Recommended: 20 watts/channel

Drivers:

Woofer: 8 inches (20.32 cm) Cone Material: Paper Pulp

Woofer: 10 inches (25.4 cm) Cone Material: Paper Pulp

Midrange: 7 inches (17.78 cm) Cone Material: Cellulose/Paper Pulp Composite

Tweeter: 1 inch, Dome (2.54 cm) Material: Doped Silk Fabric

Dimensions:

Height: 53 1/4 inches (135.29 cm) w/spikes [Variable]

Width: 15 1/4 inches (38.74 cm)

Depth: 21 1/8 inches (53.70 cm)

Enclosure Type:

Woofer: (Rear Ported) X-Material

Midrange: (Rear Vented) X-Material/S-material baffle

Tweeter: (Sealed) X-Material

Product Weight:

Weight Per Channel Uncrated: 256 lbs (116.12 kg)
 

Lildebs888

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Alexia Anthricte Brown Brick-9.jpg Alexia Anthricte Brown Brick-13.jpg Alexia Anthricte Brown Detail-2.jpg Alexia Anthricte Brown Detail-14-Edit.jpg Alexia Hermes Seamless-6.jpg
 

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Alexia Hermes Seamless-29.jpg
 

Lildebs888

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Alexia Hermes Seamless-40.jpg Alexia Portrait Location-194-Edit-2-Edit.jpg Alexia Seamless-280-Edit.jpg
 

Lildebs888

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All new Alexia video!

Alexia - Concept To Reality

Alexia began with a simple question: What would happen if we merged the time-domain accuracy and driver technology of the Alexandria XLF with a form factor similar to the Sasha? But as Wilson's engineers began development of Alexia, they quickly realized that as seemingly simple as this idea was, its real-world implementation, if possible at all, would require all of Dave Wilson and his team's resources, ingenuity, and engineering expertise. In this movie, we follow the journey of Wilson's engineering team, led by Dave Wilson, as they labored to bring the all-new Alexia to fruition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZVX4oTB8_g
 

Lildebs888

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Lildebs888

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Deb

Thanks so much for the info and glad the speaker will have a presence at RMAF

You're welcome, Steve! I had been told it MIGHT go to RMAF, but I didn't want to say anything until I was 100% sure. Now I can say - YES, they will be at RMAF! :)
 

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DaveyF

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Deb, I'm very curious as to what you feel about the new silk dome tweeters in your father's speakers. I have several female friends who have listened to the old Focal titanium dome that was in the Wilson line and just couldn't get comfortable with it. One actually stating that it was way way too bright for her. She also could hear it ringing and really disliked that. OTOH, none of these ladies had any problems with the silk dome that my speakers utilize. Since I am of the opinion that you ladies have a better ability to hear into the upper frequencies than us guys, therefore the question.
 

Lildebs888

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Deb, I'm very curious as to what you feel about the new silk dome tweeters in your father's speakers. I have several female friends who have listened to the old Focal titanium dome that was in the Wilson line and just couldn't get comfortable with it. One actually stating that it was way way too bright for her. She also could hear it ringing and really disliked that. OTOH, none of these ladies had any problems with the silk dome that my speakers utilize. Since I am of the opinion that you ladies have a better ability to hear into the upper frequencies than us guys, therefore the question.

Well DaveyF, I am obviously not a doctor, so I cannot give you any scientific research to prove or disprove your theory. However, I can tell you that I do tend to be the one between my husband and I that will catch very high frequencies which leads me to believe that you might be on to something here.

For example, when his computer monitor is on standby, every time the power light on it flashes - it makes this very high frequency beeping sound. It drives me through the roof! I have to turn it completely off, or it starts physically hurting my ears. However, he has yet to hear it.

Another example was today actually. We got home from a nice Saturday drive, and when I walked into the bedroom I heard a very high frequency ring in the room. I called my husband in who did not hear it until I walked around and found it to be the DVR box. He had to be right next to it to hear it.

Now I don’t know if my hearing is normal or more sensitive than the average women, but I of course I would LIKE to believe that I inherited some of my father's abilities… ;)

To answer your question, though, on my female opinion/preference of the silk dome tweeter: Yes - I do prefer the silk dome over the titanium dome tweeters. But... that also could be just personal preference which plays a huge role in this question. ;)
 

DaveyF

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To answer your question, though, on my female opinion/preference of the silk dome tweeter: Yes - I do prefer the silk dome over the titanium dome tweeters. But... that also could be just personal preference which plays a huge role in this question. ;)
Thanks, Deb. Could you maybe give me your reasons why you prefer the silk dome. I'm sure you're right that personal preferences do play a huge part, but I have noticed some fair consistency in my lady friends and their preference for this type of driver.
 

Lildebs888

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Thanks, Deb. Could you maybe give me your reasons why you prefer the silk dome. I'm sure you're right that personal preferences do play a huge part, but I have noticed some fair consistency in my lady friends and their preference for this type of driver.

Sure, DaveyF. Just keep in mind that this is my own personal opinions based on my own experiences. I understand not everyone will agree with me, and that is ok. So, for what it is worth - here's my 2 cents.

In my own experience (with my older WATT/Puppy 6's), a few times I have found them to be a tad bright (but this could be due to my husbands desire to play music and movies at ungodly levels - hence the possibility for needing a hearing test, Steve ;) ). To be fair to my wonderful speakers - they are older, and driven by my modest equipment. Both the Alexia and XLF are FAR superior systems, and I have only heard them driven by top of the line gear. They, needless to say, kick my little W/P's tail in every way (no pun intended)!!

I have yet to hear any brightness from any Wilson speaker using the silk dome tweeter like I have experienced a few times with my W/P's . I also agree with my father's description of the new silk dome tweeter as being more musical with better dynamic contrast.

Now don't read between the lines here. I am not saying I don't like Titanium dome tweeters. My all-time favorite speaker, the WAMM 7a, was a breath-takingly beautiful sounding system. They were so emotionally stirring that they brought me to tears while listening to one of my favorite requiems. No other speaker to date has ever had the type of emotional impact on me. That being said - the WAMM's used titanium dome tweeters.

The speakers I hope to upgrade to, the Sasha (cannot go bigger than the Sasha because of room and screen constraints) is an absolutely amazing sounding speaker! I have wanted Sasha's since their release! It too uses a titanium dome tweeter.

So do I prefer the sound of a silk dome tweeter over a titanium dome tweeter? I have enjoyed both! if I HAD to pick one or the other: it would be the silk dome tweeter.

Would I buy a speaker with a titanium dome knowing I prefer the other? Absolutely! No question about it!
 

Lildebs888

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For example, when his computer monitor is on standby, every time the power light on it flashes - it makes this very high frequency beeping sound. It drives me through the roof! I have to turn it completely off, or it starts physically hurting my ears. However, he has yet to hear it.

I should be fair to my hubby here! Let me rephrase this since made it sound like he is deaf.

I hear this sound the moment I go into the office. He does not notice it until I mention it. When I mention it to him, he listens and does end up hearing it. However, he has yet to catch it/hear it unless I say something first :)
 

Lildebs888

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This is fun to talk about, but it seems like we are going way off the topic of this tread. I would be happy to start a new thread for conversation such as this. I love discussing these things (as long as people are respectful of peoples opinions and their personal preference)

So what are your impressions of Alexia?

What did you like most about the video on the Alexia?

Which photo was your favorite, and which color did you like best?

I would love hear your feedback! :)
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
I'll go first

I haven't heard it so anything I say is mere conjecture. My response will be clouded by the fact that over the past 18 years I have owned 9 different models of Wilson speakers so I am quite familiar with the sound. I have heard the XLF (not under the best of setups) and feel I can comment about the silk dome tweeter

All cabinet colors are excellent Deb

I still like my Black Almondine which I gather isn't made anymore
 

Mosin

[Industry Expert]
Mar 11, 2012
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Well, first I thought Sasha would be a great turntable name to followup Saskia. Then, I thought of Alexia. I see the Wilson guys thought of that one, too. Drats! Naming a product isn't easy, you know? ...Seriously.

It is a good looking speaker, though. I'm sure it sounds good, too!

P.S. You Wilson guys have great tastes in names. :)
 

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