So, I listened to a $1Million Dollar System

So, I listened to a $1Million dollar system.

A somewhat local dealer had an event that showcased the Dan D’Agostino Relentless Epic mono block amps, Relentless Preamplifier, Wilson Audio Chronosonic XVX speakers and subsonic subwoofer. Along with the Transparent cabling, HRS stands, DCS Dac and other accessories I estimate the total cost to be over $1Miilion.

I was able to sit in the front row center. The speakers estimated to weigh over 700 lbs. were toed in quite a bit towards the listener.

The demonstrator played a lot of obscure music that centered on some very deep bass. I must admit the bass was quite impressive.

Eventually (reluctantly) the demonstrator played a few tunes that I requested, and I was quite surprised.

With this million-dollar system the music sounded quite dull, the rep called it “mellow”, but to me it was dull. There was no life to the music, limited highs and zero music coming from the extreme left- right.

For instance, I use the Linda Ronstadt track “Blue Bayou” as a reference. Within this track at about the 40-60 second mark there is a mandolin that plays in the extreme left channel. On many systems that information is buried deep into the mix. However, systems with high resolution can play it clearly. Unfortunately, with this million-dollar system I could not even detect it.

So why is it? Can the Wilson speakers be adjusted in such a way as to accent the bass and attenuate the mid-treble? If so, why would they demonstrate that way? Were the speakers too toed in? Or was it because there were about 10 people in the room (btw, a large room) which muted some of the speaker’s energy? Whatever, I was NOT impressed.



Yup. That is why I decided against buying that system. Glad you confirmed my decision!

One would think that a "Big Time Wilson Dealer" would have training from Wilson regarding setup of their product line for demonstration. 

I had Wilsons and Transparent for close to 10 years, 10 good years. I also had a subwoofer. I auditioned large Wilsons with Peter McGraw and each time the feeling you get is that there is music in front of you, not speakers. Same feeling I got last Year at the Montreal audio show with large Raidhos + simaudio amps . Close to a million $.

My impression on your experience is that the subwoofer was overpowering the speakers. This is how you can get mellow or dark balance. Wilsons set up can bring a very realistic soundstage, but not change the sonic balance or flavor. 

I have Transparent Ultra cables on one system and Luna Red on the Raidhos X3. No lack of high frequencies on either.


First, they are box speakers,so you lose.  Second, the room is more important than the system, so I have no idea what that was.

Try some Maggies with quality ARC gear and play that same tune.



Thanks for all the comments thus far. I have never owned the Transparent cabling, but it’s hard to imagine that they are designed to limit the "air" (life) in the music.

I was also wonderin’ since the Wilson speakers have infinite adjustments in aiming the mid, tweeter units perhaps that was way off. But, again with the Wilson dealer and the rep’s available that is hard to believe they could screw it up so badly.

It would have been interesting though to have been able to hear the speakers with a different amp, or the amps with different speakers.

Something was clearly wrong.

I guess I can use this opportunity to tell my wife how much money my system has saved us...