For Immediate Release
Wilson Audio Announces WATT/Puppy System 8 – A New Floor Standing Loudspeaker
Provo, Utah (May 22, 2006) – Wilson Audio will formally introduce to North America its new floor standing loudspeaker, the WATT/Puppy® System 8, at the Home Entertainment Event held in Los Angeles, June 1-4. Room: Salon 219.
This year marks the twentieth year since David Wilson built the first WATT®. The original WATT was built as a tool; Dave needed a high-resolution location monitor for his acclaimed recordings. The WATT was never intended as a commercial product but as an extremely informative and accurate evaluative instrument for the recording process. The result was nothing short of revolutionary. Later, the WATT was paired with a dedicated woofer; the combination WATT/Puppy® has become a high-end audio icon. In the intervening years, literally thousands of music lovers, recording engineers, audio reviewers, and audiophiles have acquired and used WATT/Puppys, prizing them for their ability to unravel the beauty and nuance of recordings.
The past five years have been extraordinarily fruitful for the Wilson Audio design team. Time-domain jitter reduction, strategic use of new enclosure materials, and new drivers are among the myriad of technologies developed, each of which advance the state-of-the-art of music reproduction. It’s safe to say – in the years following the introduction of the original WATT/Puppy – that Wilson Audio has conducted more research and development in the field of loudspeaker enclosure materials, on the effects of Propagation Delay Correction™, and on other important speaker design parameters than any other company in the industry. The design team at Wilson knew it was time to apply some of these new technologies to the WATT/Puppy.
Wilson Audio introduces the WATT/Puppy System 8.
It has never been Wilson’s philosophy to follow market-driven technologies – most recently the audio industry’s obsession with exotic, wide bandwidth tweeters. Instead, Wilson Audio has always pursued technology that supports its design goals, ultimately judged valid only by a truly musical end result. In the MAXX Series 2, the Wilson design team, headed by Dave Wilson, rigorously compared existing technologies, including many exotic materials such as diamond. While these designs proved interesting and performed well in some, but not all parameters, Wilson ultimately chose a different path more suited to our vision of musical beauty and truth. The result included a much-improved tweeter, which made its debut in the MAXX Series 2. Subsequently, this same technology was successfully applied to the Sophia Series 2. The System 8 uses the tweeter from the MAXX Series 2. The resulting improvement in the System 8 is at least as profound as in the MAXX Series 2. Since there is less time-domain distortion and diffraction originating from the tweeter, high frequency noise and grain is reduced. The tweeter features lower audible and measurable distortion. Transients and overtones emerge from a deep silence devoid of mechanical artifice. Details resolve from a velvety, black background. The perception of air and extension, combined with sweetness and listenability, far surpasses any other design on the market.
The Wilson engineering team’s ongoing research into the causes of time-domain distortion have lead to many breakthroughs, including adjustable propagation delay arrays featured in WATT/Puppy, MAXX, and Alexandria. During the development of Alexandria, Wilson discovered that the interaction between the high and low pass filters created group delay noise they dubbed “crossover jitter.” Dave and the engineers have discovered the cause of this deleterious interaction within the crossover. The breakthrough technology that reduces jitter generated by all crossovers was in part responsible vast sonic improvements in the Series 2 MAXX and Sophia. The resulting reduction in noise allowed Dave and the design team to hear further into the loudspeaker, detect and parse out problems previously obscured. This crossover strategy is now employed in the System 8. The transition from midrange to treble is much more coherent and seamless – smoother. Transients are more cleanly delineated, starting and stopping without audible overshoot and grain. Bass linearity, impact, and speed are improved. Transparency and dimensionality in the soundstage is expanded. The System 8 has much greater tonal beauty, but also exhibits greater resolution – much like the MAXX Series 2.
New Cabinet Structure:
In compliance with European Union requirements, the use of strategically placed lead ingots in the WATT cabinet has been discontinued. This regulatory mandate inspired a new combination of X material (prized for its lack of coloration and resonance) and M material (prized for its midrange clarity) in a sophisticated internal bracing configuration. The System 8 sounds more effortless, has greater transient impact, and achieves added tonal beauty and purity as a result.
The R & D as to how to replace the strategically positioned lead ingots in the WATT resulted in profound improvements in the structure. New geometries in the internal bracing & structure, with new combinations of X and M material improve the rigidity and inertness of the cabinet.
Recessed Diffraction Pad and Alexandria-Style Pin Grill:
Introduced in the Alexandria and subsequently employed in the MAXX Series 2 and Sophia Series 2, the austenitic stainless steel pin system ensures non-resonant and reliable grill attachment. The diffraction pad, which previously sat atop the WATT/Puppy’s baffle, is now recessed flush with the façade. WATT/Puppy’s shape is enhanced taking on a more finely sculpted and integrated profile.
Price: U.S. Retail – $27,900.00
A fair price, based on the actual cost of goods sold, has always been a significant component of Wilson Audio’s culture. Wilson continues this tradition by pricing the System 8 using the same relationship to Wilson’s cost versus retail price as it did on the System 7. The increase is a reflection of the cost of the improvements made to the System 8 as well as price increases of materials, parts, and even shipping (attributed to increased energy costs) over the past four years since the introduction of the System 7.
First shipments for existing orders are scheduled for the third quarter, 2006. 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 serve basis. Demo orders will be the first priority so all of Wilson’s dealers and distributors can begin showing the System 8. Customer sell-through orders will be scheduled after demo orders have been filled. Check with Jerron Marchant for specific ship dates for your order.
Wilson has a long tradition of supporting and protecting its loyal constituency of clients’ investment in Wilson products. Because of massive changes in cabinet structure as well as the material being used in the construction of the enclosure, it is not possible to upgrade System 7s to 8s. As it has done in the past, Wilson is offering an upgrade/trade program for the WATT/Puppy 8 that is priced progressively based on date of purchase.