Wilson X1/Grand Slamm: Still Improving after 20 years!

May 30, 2010
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Portugal
Are you talking theoretical or practical? Have you actually heard the Alexx driven by an SET in the 30 watt to 45 watt range?
Both theoretical and practical. For theory you have the Stereophile measurements. As I listened to the Alexx sometime before the review, we tried it with the Audio Research REF 150 (4 KT120's push pul, 150W) that I owned at that time and it could not drive them properly, although it could easily drive the XLF's. We moved to Momentum's to listen to them.

Believe me, the Alexx needs real power. As said in Stereophile measurements "The impedance is specified as 4 ohms nominal, with a minimum magnitude of 1.5 ohms at 2.85kHz." This kills any 30W SET - electronics can not make miracles. Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content...-loudspeaker-measurements#CAwkhjum4o31HBpd.99
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
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Both theoretical and practical. For theory you have the Stereophile measurements. As I listened to the Alexx sometime before the review, we tried it with the Audio Research REF 150 (4 KT120's push pul, 150W) that I owned at that time and it could not drive them properly, although it could easily drive the XLF's. We moved to Momentum's to listen to them.

Believe me, the Alexx needs real power. As said in Stereophile measurements "The impedance is specified as 4 ohms nominal, with a minimum magnitude of 1.5 ohms at 2.85kHz." This kills any 30W SET - electronics can not make miracles. Read more at https://www.stereophile.com/content...-loudspeaker-measurements#CAwkhjum4o31HBpd.99
You are mistaking me for someone who is seeking to be persuaded of something.

Lamm lists the ML3 Signature as having an output of 30 watts into a four ohm load.

Einstein lists the Silver Bullet OTL as having an output of 45 watts into a four ohm load.

I have heard the Alexx driven by the Einstein twice at significant length, at the home of a reviewer. It sounds fantastic and is very dynamic. Thirty watts is not quite 45 watts, but the system is in a room which is about twice the size of Steve’s room.

I stand by my suggestion that the Alexx is an interesting option for Steve.
 
May 30, 2010
15,505
714
113
Portugal
You are mistaking me for someone who is seeking to be persuaded of something.

Lamm lists the ML3 Signature as having an output of 30 watts into a four ohm load.

Einstein lists the Silver Bullet OTL as having an output of 45 watts into a four ohm load.

I have heard the Alexx driven by the Einstein twice at significant length, at the home of a reviewer. It sounds fantastic and is very dynamic. Thirty watts is not quite 45 watts, but the system is in a room which is about twice the size of Steve’s room.

So I stand by my suggestion that the Alexx is an interesting option for Steve.

I remember reading your review of the Alexx played with the Einstein Silver Bullet OTL - I was particularly interested as the Alexx's are in my probability list if the future XLF replacement becomes too expensive and I love OTLs ...

The Silver Bullet OTL lists 80 W/12 Ohm , 65 W / 8 ohms (45 W / 4 Ohm) . It is a complex OTL with feedback that can drive low impedance speakers. The ML3 is a classical SET, that should be used in the non feedback mode, having high levels of distortion above 20W at the 4 ohm tap and high output impedance - up to 1.9 ohm. Measurements are not an indicator of sound quality, but they can tell us a lot.

So I stand by suggesting that the Alexx is not a good candidate to Steve's room, particularly now that he sold the subs. Perhaps if Steve had faith in such system he would have already changed ... but 4 dB lower sensitivity and less than half the impedance are not promising.

I do not want to persuade anyone - I post for the pleasure of participating in WBF and presenting my opinions about subjects that I have some experience. Anyway I would love to have opinions from Lamm and Wilson dealers, perhaps they have real field experience on these matters.
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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:) LL21,
The jumpers finally arrived yesterday and was able to install solo, but it was difficult keeping all together in the tight space.
First chance to really audition w/b tonight BUT looking for your opinion on the way I ran the jumpers (2 on each speaker w/Wilson copper plate).
The jumpers are labeled directional which is my quandary. Using the Wilson color id, red and black terminals, I oriented them, arrows, from black to red terminal on the jumper block.
Is this OK? How did you do it?
Thanks, Dave
Hope you are enjoying your system...this is the photo of the back i took from when it was setup in the other house. Current setup is the same.
Cannot recall directionality and will see if there is any back there when i get a chance to peek.

Wilson TA Ref XL Jumpers.jpg
 
Apr 20, 2018
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OKC,USA
LL21,
THANK YOU..
FYI, I was able to critically listen to the 2 jumper/Wilson block combo last night for about 4 hours. It was a step back from 'before' and my wife, acute hearing, confirmed it. Lacked the definition and depth before jumpers. Today, I took off one jumper, leaving one per speaker with the Wilson copper block, and all is well again = wonderful. I only had time to listen for about an hour, wife too, and know that it is as good as before and very possibly better - at least it sounded so revealing and natural (at least as close as I've ever heard anywhere before).
We'll settle in with it tonight and forward for a good evaluation without the intensity. :)
Thanks again, Dave
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
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LL21,
THANK YOU..
FYI, I was able to critically listen to the 2 jumper/Wilson block combo last night for about 4 hours. It was a step back from 'before' and my wife, acute hearing, confirmed it. Lacked the definition and depth before jumpers. Today, I took off one jumper, leaving one per speaker with the Wilson copper block, and all is well again = wonderful. I only had time to listen for about an hour, wife too, and know that it is as good as before and very possibly better - at least it sounded so revealing and natural (at least as close as I've ever heard anywhere before).
We'll settle in with it tonight and forward for a good evaluation without the intensity. :)
Thanks again, Dave
Hi Dave,

Great stuff...I have done TA Ref XL jumpers by themselves, copper busbar by itself...and then combined. I then upgraded to the highest level TA and did the same. I found combined is the best for me...but i have never done only 1 connection.

...which ones did you connect with the jumper?
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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Hi LL21,
I used level 5 jumpers from AntiCable.
http://anticables.com/jumpers#!/Level-5-Signature-Jumpers/p/83895022/category=3461121
Now a confirmed improvement and thanks to you.
Dave
Fantastic! I remember Martin Colloms very kindly wrote to me when i was seeking advice about trading in my speakers at that time for the Wilson X1s (at no cost other than shipping!)...and he said he felt that electronics at that time (2008?) had not caught up to what the X1 was capable of. He wrote:

"...The X1 was a tour de force...and remains a top class, very dynamic , very low distortion speaker which gets better with more modern electronics. My ratings were based on the sources available at the time. If [your current speaker] is a Yamaha grand, the X1 is a concert grade Bosendorfer, plus some !..."
 
Apr 20, 2018
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LL21,
I am actively exploring adding a sub(s) to augment the X1s in a relatively large open living room because I feel the bass lacks matching balance/authority vs. mid/upper range presentation. Because of the need for matching speed/quality to the X1s requires a top level sub(s) I was hoping to get by with one due to the expense. Most of what I read advises two or more. My thought is that the Slamms have 15" woofers and could be counted as having 2 and another, maybe in an opposing back corner/wall would be a third BUT am told that is a fallacy and the Wilsons do not count, i.e. it takes two subs and that "One sub is worse than none".
I write you as it appears you are successful using a single Velodyne DD18+.
Is that correct and are you satisfied. How have you positioned/integrated a single sub advantageously?
Thanks for any advice given,
Dave Beauchamp
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
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Hi Dave...great stuff!

A few comments:

1. Absolutely would agree that the 15" cones should be considered part of the main full-range design, not subwoofer territory. While i cannot recall in what hertz range those cones are performing...i would not class them as being driven within the X1 design as genuine SUB-woofer signal range.

2. In my own personal views of setup...NOTHING is perfect. EVERYTHING has pros and cons. The key is to max out on pros and minimize the cons. Sometimes you get no deterioration and only benefit...which is great...but still never PERFECT.

3. With that in mind, I find the single Velodyne DD18+ sub to work extremely well for 3 reasons:
a. I happen to be able to place it well within a reasonably large room...a good fundamental start
b. It is incredibly adjustable with 8-bar equalizers, phase control, crossover, volume, low-end roll off control (for sub-15hz problems), etc, etc
c. It is just big (no not rotary big but big)...and with a servo-control (3000 per second?), it is very tight and controlled while really driving serious air...someone said nearly twice the earlier generation 18" Velodyne sub??? Having owned both, i could actually believe that though i cannot say i have ever measured it

4. Would 2 Velodyne's work better? As long as I could handle the complexity of 2 subs being set up and properly intergrated...sure...and probably more so for 4 or even 6. The trouble is...it takes up a lot of real estate and starts to make the X1s into a 4-tower...fun for me, not so much for my wife.

5. As for how I did it with one:

See the 3 things above. In general, by placing it in a reasonably good spot (and frankly the only spot i could think of before we moved into/renovated the house)...i was off to a decent start. By then working over hours of the adjustments (manually), i got to a good position...and then literally over MONTHS, i would (perhaps 1/week, eventually 1/month) make a tweak here or there based on an album where i felt something was off and the album was allowing me to finetune by ear a bit here, and a bit there.

And now i dont touch it at all. Is it perfect? Nope...but i think for my skills/patience level, doing one works super well and i dont have the 2x-4x complexity of setup issues, space issues. And all day long, i would keep this versus having none.

Hope that helps and feel free to ask away. If i can be helpful, happy to do so.
 
Apr 20, 2018
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Hi Dave...great stuff!

Hope that helps and feel free to ask away. If i can be helpful, happy to do so.
LOYD,
That is a very very great help and encouragement.
I will begin with one and work diligently toward optimization for an extended period before committing to a second and appreciate your offer of additional advice as I go down that road. Of course my room is different than yours but is relatively large, well furnished and open. I too, have only a couple of possible good placing options for sound and WAF approval BUT I do have that.
Thank you again and this is what is great about this WBF.
Dave
 
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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,935
143
63
LOYD,
That is a very very great help and encouragement.
I will begin with one and work diligently toward optimization for an extended period before committing to a second and appreciate your offer of additional advice as I go down that road. Of course my room is different than yours but is relatively large, well furnished and open. I too, have only a couple of possible good placing options for sound and WAF approval BUT I do have that.
Thank you again and this is what is great about this WBF.
Dave
Enjoy! And do update as you get underway.
 
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