Wilson Audio XLF

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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So an update on the Gryphon Mephisto and Torus AVR16...after speaking with many owners of this EXACT combination, I played a hunch and it worked! All back in action. I hope it stays...been working perfectly for approximately 6 hours straight no problems with some powering on and off to test. Here is the story:

- The Gryphon has inbuilt protection circuitry to avoid turning on if it senses the voltage is too low
- After a while, I started thinking about the fact that the Gryphon was on standby fine but did not power on with the Torus...but powered on fine straight into the wall (ie, not broken)

- Was the Torus (made for UK with UK plugs) really calibrated to put out too low a voltage (235V in a 240V market?)

- My hunch was that because the Gryphon had just come off a truck and perhaps a full day or so of no power...it capacitor banks were empty...and between slightly lower voltage and nothing in the capacitor...when we first plugged it in...it needed the wall at 251V to really kick start it.

- So when after a couple of months and speaking our local dealer, I plucked up the courage to replug the Gryphon into the Torus...it was on the hunch that if I moved the cables across efficiently (ie, within 10 minutes), there would still be more than sufficient capacitance in the Gryphon

- And whether that hunch was correct or not...it worked...the Gryphon turned on.

- Interestingly...when it did for the first hour the amps read 3.3 amps (out of 16 amps capacity on a regular steady basis)
- But I remember that originally the Gryphon was around 4.2 amps...and NOW we also had the Velodyne in there (another 0.7amps)
- After a few hours, the Torus showed 4.9 amps...clearly something happens when you plug in the Gryphon and you let it settle in with power, capacitance, etc, etc...

And this is at the same volume (40-45db volume) so quite moderate.

All the benefits of Gryphon into Torus are back! Play on...hopefully it stays!
 

Ron Resnick

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I'm glad you figured it all out, Lloyd!
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Hey Ron,

Thanks...we still have a ground loop hum...not sure why now that the Zanden, Robert Koda, Tripoint, Sub and Gryphon are ALL plugged into the Torus. Really odd.

That said, due to the Robert Koda Ground Float switch and a Jensen Sub-isolator for the Velodyne, the ground loop hum goes from 65db (ie, super loud) to 35db (right in front of the cone) whereas the ambient room noise is 25-29db so a much more manageable result...but would still love to get it super-quiet.

The good news is that with this now in manageable shape...we can FINALLY get around to finetuning the XLFs which have not been calibrated since they were installed last summer...we will be waiting a few more months most likely until things are safer. But at least we have finally reached that point!

And THEN it is on to exploration of super-subs!
 
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Ron Resnick

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That sounds like a very good plan!
 

microstrip

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Hey Ron,

Thanks...we still have a ground loop hum...not sure why now that the Zanden, Robert Koda, Tripoint, Sub and Gryphon are ALL plugged into the Torus. Really odd.

That said, due to the Robert Koda Ground Float switch and a Jensen Sub-isolator for the Velodyne, the ground loop hum goes from 65db (ie, super loud) to 35db (right in front of the cone) whereas the ambient room noise is 25-29db so a much more manageable result...but would still love to get it super-quiet.

The good news is that with this now in manageable shape...we can FINALLY get around to finetuning the XLFs which have not been calibrated since they were installed last summer...we will be waiting a few more months most likely until things are safer. But at least we have finally reached that point!

And THEN it is on to exploration of super-subs!
Great. But the ground loop must be reduced to 0 dB. The problem of using bandaid type resources :) is that we do not research to know what is the real source of the ground loop and then it is harder to completely eliminate it. A 35dB hum would drive me crazy!
 

LL21

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Great. But the ground loop must be reduced to 0 dB. The problem of using bandaid type resources :) is that we do not research to know what is the real source of the ground loop and then it is harder to completely eliminate it. A 35dB hum would drive me crazy!
I hear you Micro...but until Pedro gets here from Absolute Sounds, there is very little chance I will be able to solve this on my own...all components are now plugged into ONE source. That is supposed to eliminate any ground loop hum. If i play the Gryphon by itself (everything OFF)...or if the ground float switch is OFF...it is super loud.

But now at least I can barely hear it from 26 feet away which is where I work when the system is on. Remember...35db is having the meter right up against the cone (not at my listening position). By contrast, when the music is playing, then the music is 45-55 db at my listening position. Again, not perfect, but manageable.
 

microstrip

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I hear you Micro...but until Pedro gets here from Absolute Sounds, there is very little chance I will be able to solve this on my own...all components are now plugged into ONE source. That is supposed to eliminate any ground loop hum. If i play the Gryphon by itself (everything OFF)...or if the ground float switch is OFF...it is super loud.

But now at least I can barely hear it from 26 feet away which is where I work when the system is on. Remember...35db is having the meter right up against the cone (not at my listening position). By contrast, when the music is playing, then the music is 45-55 db at my listening position. Again, not perfect, but manageable.

Do you still have hum when the power cable of the subwoofer is disconnected?
 

LL21

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If I disconnect both ICs from preamp to Sub...the Wilsons are SILENT.
 

DSkip

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I'm just seeing this thread so..... Congratulations! I have tremendous respect for Wilson speakers and hope you get all things sorted so you can start truly enjoying them.
 

LL21

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Thank you! They are remarkable speakers...having gotten the hum down quite low, I am really starting to appreciate what they are truly capable of...
 

microstrip

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If I disconnect both ICs from preamp to Sub...the Wilsons are SILENT.
No, I asked if you keep the IC's from preamp to Sub and take the power (mains) cable from the subwoofer.
 

LL21

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No, I asked if you keep the IC's from preamp to Sub and take the power (mains) cable from the subwoofer.
Hi...thanks. Let me try that.
 

LL21

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No, I asked if you keep the IC's from preamp to Sub and take the power (mains) cable from the subwoofer.
So I unplugged the powercable of the Sub (but not the ICs)...and then turned on the Gryphon...and there is no ground loop hum. There is still a residual buzz from the tweeters which sounds like something different but it is quite quiet in comparison with the 65db ground loop hum which is gone.

Now here is what is interesting...I actually have a Jensen 2RR sub isolator hooked up to the Sub which is supposed to eliminate this...and while it does help a bit...it obviously did not eliminate the hum. I have a 2m-2.5m IC going from the isolator to the Sub...when ideally the manufacturer says it would be not more than 1m...would that make any difference?
 

XV-1

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May 24, 2010
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Hi Lloyd

bummer you are having problems with hum. do you really need a sub woofer with the XLF's? Is it silent if you don't use the sub?

The biggest difference I noticed when I got the Dag pre was the silence - the cj was never noisy but the Dag is on another level - and I use phono as well.

Hopefully you get the system bugs sorted soon

cheers Shane
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Hi Lloyd

bummer you are having problems with hum. do you really need a sub woofer with the XLF's? Is it silent if you don't use the sub?

The biggest difference I noticed when I got the Dag pre was the silence - the cj was never noisy but the Dag is on another level - and I use phono as well.

Hopefully you get the system bugs sorted soon

cheers Shane
Good question...at this level of buzz, yes the sub is still absolutely a must have. The sense of atmosphere, space, the sense of the venue are hugely beneficial. And the buzz at 35 db with the measuring tool literally next to the speaker foam means that at seated position 26 feet away while you can hear it if the room and outdoors are silent...you cannot hear it if it is a particularly windy day outside, or there is ambient noise from the street.

The key if course still to get it to ZERO hum because the speaker really does throw up another level of effortless detail and nuance...even if you disconnect one interconnect so ONE speaker is silent, you can tell the difference.

I will try again tomorrow to root it out...but in the meantime, having now got the Gryphon and Torus working together well...I am enjoying all of the benefits that provides.
 
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LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Hi Lloyd

bummer you are having problems with hum. do you really need a sub woofer with the XLF's? Is it silent if you don't use the sub?

The biggest difference I noticed when I got the Dag pre was the silence - the cj was never noisy but the Dag is on another level - and I use phono as well.

Hopefully you get the system bugs sorted soon

cheers Shane
Hang on a second...did I know that you also now have the D'Agostino HD? Congrats! That is big news! Having switched to the Robert Koda K15EX (Super Ground)...I also can say that super silence is truly special. When did you get the D'Agostino?
 

sbnx

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Mar 28, 2017
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Hello Lloyd. Since when you unplug the sub from the wall the ground loop goes away that indicates exactly where the issue is. I believe you stated this but is everything is plugged into the Torus including the sub? If this is the case then I think I would buy (or make) a relatively inexpensive ground wire and connect from the plate amp on the sub to the Torus.
 

XV-1

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May 24, 2010
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Hang on a second...did I know that you also now have the D'Agostino HD? Congrats! That is big news! Having switched to the Robert Koda K15EX (Super Ground)...I also can say that super silence is truly special. When did you get the D'Agostino?

Hi Lloyd

just got it before Xmas, so early days. was waiting impatiently for a used one to come up in Australia - never happened - thru an audio buddy, one came along that had been recently updated to HD status in Europe in 240 volts so took the plunge. the most un SS like hifi piece I have ever heard - truly organic with that bass control Dan is famous for. I luv the tone controls to insert whenever I feel the desire depending on the recording.

It matches my S250 that was upgraded from a S200. This will keep me happy for a while :)
 

LL21

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Dec 26, 2010
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Hi Lloyd

just got it before Xmas, so early days. was waiting impatiently for a used one to come up in Australia - never happened - thru an audio buddy, one came along that had been recently updated to HD status in Europe in 240 volts so took the plunge. the most un SS like hifi piece I have ever heard - truly organic with that bass control Dan is famous for. I luv the tone controls to insert whenever I feel the desire depending on the recording.

It matches my S250 that was upgraded from a S200. This will keep me happy for a while :)
Patience and discipline! Congrats and clearly well worth the effort. Enjoy! I agree that SS has advanced in the last several years thanks to the incredible work of some very talented designers, bringing even long-term CJ preamp owners (20 straight consecutive years for me?) along the new journey.
 

barryr1

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Aug 12, 2019
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Hi Everyone,

With Steve and Ron's most excellent tech/software upgrade to the WBF Platform last week, I was [finally!] able to search "XLF" in the WBF annals...and found we did not have a dedicated thread! So I thought given that there are a few owners here, and many Wilson owners who also have heard them, I would start one.

WILSON JOURNEY BEGINS 2008
My own history with Wilson began with an unexpected listen to the Wilson X1/Grand Slamm Series III powered by a pair of Krell Evo Ones, an ARC Ref 3 preamp and TA Reference cabling. An astounding performance that really opened my eyes to what the effortlessness of scale and dynamics can really do to recreate a performance. I never forgot that introduction when at the time I was enjoying the intimate sound of Sonus Faber Guarneris and a big Velodyne DD18 sub.

When I did a half-day shoot-out with the Guarneri and the Quad 2805 and 2905...I found myself so impressed with the Guarneris in comparison...I very nearly kept them (until I spied the SF Strads in the middle of the main showroom)...and that led to my next major upgrade. On the day I bought them later that week or so...I specifically remember saying to the owner of the store...the SF Strads are an amazing reference speaker...the only one I would upgrade to would be the X1/Grand Slamm.

...and one year later he called me with a 16-year old pair in near-mint condition that had showed up and at a price that allowed me literally to just swap speakers...that was 10 years ago and the evolution of minor, mini-tweaks and adjustments to fine tune this remarkable now-26 year old speaker are chronicled here:

https://whatsbestforum.com/threads/wilson-x1-grand-slamm-still-improving-after-20-years.15530/

ENTER WILSON XLF - 2012

Since then, I went on to listen to systems with the mighty Rockport Arrakis, the Genesis 1s, the 4-tower Tidal Sunrays, the YG Acoustics Anat Ref IIs, the Focal Grande Utopia EM, multiple X2 Series 1 and 2s...nearly all of these in the same demo rooms I had grown accustomed to over the years. And of all of these, the Arrakis stuck with me all those years...the ONLY other speaker that kept me thinking about it was the Wilson XLF. We first heard it in 2012 and revelled in its newfound alacrity, power, effortlessness, nuance (not just in the treble).

Not the equal of the Arrakis in unlimited scale, effortlessness...but so nuanced, its ability to portray organic detail from the sources and amps was spectacular and truly a level well above its original incarnation the X1...and finally, it was also so finely adjustable by a super-maven like Pedro of Absolute Sounds UK. Whenever I thought about getting the Arrakis, it always occurred to me whether I might (in some small, small way) miss the opportunity to enjoy the 20-year newer, more rigid, more capable, more powerful, more detailed, quieter, more nuanced version of the original X1/Grand SLAMM...roughly 7 generations later if you could include X1 Series 1, 2, 3 the Level V, the Alexandria 1, 2 and then XLF 7.

WILSON XLF - 2020

As the arrival of the new generation of Wilson flagships took off, the 8 year flagship came to end, and we had the opportunity to acquire an 'as new, full 5-year warranty' pair painted new to our choice but at a price that worked for us. We took it. (Turns out rumor has it that this pair might have been Transparent Audio Founder Karen Sumner's personal pair. Cool. She has presumably gone up to the XVX.)

In comparison with our 26-year-old X1/Grand Slamm, the XLF is truly more inert, more capable, more effortless, quieter and more refined. It is also far more powerful and propsulsive while also being more delicate. But it never strays from the original 'ethos' that was born in the X1: effortlessness, scale, dynamic capability...and supremely adjustable to finetune to room variances and of course personal taste. And always in the hands of a professional.

A few notes:
- Every internal surface of the XLF (that you can see) is covered in acoustic material so as you get near that part of the speaker (behind the adjustable modules for example), your ears almost feel like they are popping because the sound deadens.
- Every corner and edge is specifically mitered, rounded, smoothed and THEN generally covered with a thin elastomer material where it makes contact with another surface
- Every insertion peg is covered in an elastomer material before it goes into a screw hole
- The solidity of the unit is far greater than the X1 where I was constantly driving greater rigidity, mass damping to reduce vibration-induced 'noise'
- The weight of the XLF is some 20% or 100+lbs heavier than the original X1/Grand SLAMM
- It also has a 13" and 15" combination for bass (vs the X1s 12" and 15") and 2 x 7" midrange cones (vs 2 x 6" for X1)

Standout Listening Notes?
- Super quiet noise floor
- Far more resolute
- Greater detail, dynamic range and ability to parse out fine gradients in microdynamics and shading
- Overall, the picture produced by the XLF is far more resolute than earlier incarnations...the rigidity certainly feels like a big part of it, combined with tighter tolerances on manufacturing design and quality of parts

Tweaks?
- We utilized the Stillpoints Ultra 5s on the feet
- We also discovered that putting HRS Nimbus Couplers on the back of the crossver box...stacking 3 Stillpoints Ultra 5s on top and then placing 16kg (so total of 20kg or 45lbs) of Artesania damping plates. In this way, you keep all the original decay, delicacy of the speaker...but now also find that cymbals and certain high-intensity notes in the treble find far greater palpability and solidity of form...while bass also becomes tighter and more resolute

We drive them with the Robert Koda K15EX Super Ground Preamp combined with the Gryphon Audio Mephisto (175 Watts Pure Class A...doubling all the way down to 0.5ohms 5600watts peak) so a LOT of on tap power. And the XLF is genuinely enjoying the extraordinary power.

Look forward to hearing from fellow owners.
 

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