Wilson Alexia 2

Any suggestions for electronics for these speakers. Something that would do them justice but moderately priced.  Is McIntosh a good match or is there something better in that price range?  Ie: Spectral, ARC, Krell.  Looking for bang for the buck but not cheat the speaker either. 
128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xcarey1110
Any high powered receiver will do the job. Dave Wilson did a demo with a receiver to show that the speaker is what mattered.
ARC, Luxman, D’Agostino, Gryphon, Sim Audio would all be good choices. Pass maybe. Mc wouldn’t be what I’d choose over any of the foregoing. Good luck. Great speakers. 
Insanely good speaker

I heard this very pair https://www.soundstageaustralia.com/index.php/reviews/84-wilson-audio-specialties-alexia-series-2-loudspeakers 
at length over time with many different amps using the same Total Dac/Lightspeed  front end.
The only two amps out of all the ones we heard that extracted the very best from these extremely hard to drive speakers, was the Parasound Halo JC1's and the Gryphon Antillion Evo. With the Gryphon Antillion being the chosen one over the Parasound if money was no object. I dare say that the new Parasound JC1+ mono's will close the gap.

Cheers George
I heard them a few times with the T+A HV series gear. The 3100 integrated amp was great on the speakers.
So anyone heard them with Mcintosh gear?  Don’t want a hyper detailed sound that isn’t musical. Yet I don’t want them to be veiled either.  Musicality is priority 

Any high powered receiver will do the job. Dave Wilson did a demo with a receiver to show that the speaker is what mattered.
Yeah, a receiver will "do the job". A Prius will "do the job" too, but I'm not a fan for obvious reasons. But your premise that the speaker is "what maters" is silly, A receiver will always be a sub par piece of audio gear targeted to the unwashed masses. If you want to hear what any speaker can really do, it's the last thing you'd want.


Mark Levinson or another nice big iron amp, with a full Tube pre and Transparent cables.

Not cheap, but it will get it done.
It is not my premise, just a restated the premise of Wilson Audio, the company manufacturing the speakers that were the point of the question by the OP.


I agree with your perspective but interestingly it was Dave Wilson himself who intentionally demonstrated his Alexia driven by a receiver. Seems odd given the known load characteristics of this speaker. Who’d be more aware of this than the designer/builder himself? Perhaps this receiver was particularly robust. It seems Wilson was trying to make the point that amplification is not that important. This goes against my experiences, amplifier quality/capability most certainly matters.


I use Boulder electronics for my Alexia 2s. I’ve heard them on Spectral, ARC, and Luxman as well. Spectral was very bland and ARC lacked the engagement. The Boulder electronics really his the sweet spot. I love this setup. 
Boulder, D’Agostino and AR are all good with Alexia's and Wilson speakers in general.  
Krell is fine as well with Wilson’s. Buddy has these speakers with high powered krell amp. Sounds wonderful. 
Wilson is to “ cool”: flat. (Macintosh to) For more harmony, use an European or Japanese amplifier: Ear, Hegel, Air Tight, Wavac , Jadis, Spec, Leben...sound will be more holographic an open. (It’s mine opinion)
I use a Parasound JC5 for my Alexia 1’s. Space realities don’t allow for mono’s. The rest of my system is Audio Research and SME. The JC5 is essentially the JC1’s distilled down to one unit. Sounds great. Excellent bang for the buck!
I recently heard these with three different amps: Naim, D’Agostino and McIntosh. Speakers sounded great on all three.  Dealer actually recommended a pair of the 1.2 kwh McIntosh monoblocks which I preferred as well.  I have the amps now waiting on the speakers.  The D’Agostino sounded great as well.  Both of these amps really opened up the sound at lower volume levels. 
I've heard Wilson with ARC Ref gear many times at shows and it's a fantastic combination.
I heard Alexia 1s, powered by Gryphon Mephisto for a long period of time.  I highly recommend the pairing.  

I own big Pass, Krell, Boulder and ML amps (all mono-blocks), was thinking of buying Alexia 1s...but, want to audition the 2s

Good luck, 
I tried the spectral but wanted something that draws you in to the music a little more. While the Spectral was very good in a lot of ways but You have do do the entire system and I didn’t feel I liked enough to make the commitment.  Something a little more organic. Gryphon sound like a good choice too. I’ll have to check it out. Checking out the Mac system as well 
I'm glad that you had the opportunity to hear Spectral and judge for yourself.  I understand your description. It's one thing to make sound (Even good sound by Hifi criteria). It's another thing to establish an emotionally communicating music listening experience. If you aren't drawn into the music performance,  keep looking/searching until you find it.
Many times. An all Spectral  system with Wilson presents an extremely accurate but, IMHO slightly antiseptic sound--unlike, say, D'Agostino, Wells audio, Lamm 1.2 (hybrid) or tubes (ARC, VTL, VAC, BAT) which are my personal favorites because they draw me in more than solid state.
OTOH, I love their cd player. 
I like tubes too I just figured that with the Alexia 2 id probably need amps with a lot of control so I though a solid state would be better for that reason. Anyone using tubes with the Alexia 2 ?
They are regularly shown at show with VTLs and the dealer in NYC shows them almost exclusively with VTLs.  It is a brilliant match.

Check out AVM.  Their Ovation 8.3s have a tube input stage with a high power SS output stage and have an amazing depth of sound.  It is kind of best of both worlds.  I just sold a pair of their flagship monos to a customer and am waiting on delivery.  
I find Wilson w/ VTL to be very dull sound (I ask my dealer to use his Ayre amps instead). I do like ARC w/ Wilson though.

For SS, I've owned Pass, Rowland, and Luxman recently on my YGs in comparison to my base Ampzillas - you can PM me for more information. 

You should really listen to the Alexia 2s with ARC Ref 160 monos. I have had in house in the past the Ref 250s, the D’Agostino Momentum S250 and now the ARC Ref 160 monos. The Ref 160 monos are the most musical and natural sounding amps that I have ever heard with Alexia 2s and I now own them. The ARC power supplies are monsters that enable the amps to grab and slam the bottom end as well as anything I have heard to date.
Please no Mcintosh. Agostino yes. The new integrated would be a very good fit. FWIW
Please no Mcintosh.

The ARC Ref 160 monos, ARC power supplies are monsters that enable the amps to grab and slam the bottom end as well as anything I have heard to date.
With high output impedance of .7ohm of the Ref-160’s into the Alexia’s .9ohm epdr bass they may sound good.
But surely not against the D’Agostino Momentum S250, or even a Gryphon Antilleon in the bass with these Alexia’s.

The Audio Research Reference 160M’s measured performance appears to be affected by the design team’s decision not to use a lot of loop negative feedback. It will offer relatively high levels of low-order harmonic distortion when the load impedance is less than the nominal output transformer tap.

Cheers George
Don't know how old this is, but I've been able to hear ARC, D'Agostino, Parasound, Ayre and Luxman with Wilsons.

ARC and Parasound were meh in very similar ways.

D'Agostino, Ayre and Luxman are my happy place.
In my home, the only difference in bass response between the Dag Momentum S250 and the Audio Research amps was the quality of the bass, not the depth or slam. The quality of ss and tube bass are quite different as is the midrange---but re slam--I could not tell the difference nor could an experienced recording engineer who sat with me during the evaluation. Stereophile measurements are important-but more important is what you hear when you hook things up. That being said, as I've said many times on this forum, the Dag amps are great and would be my solid state choice for Wilson.
In my home, the only difference in bass response between the Dag Momentum S250 and the Audio Research amps was the quality of the bass
That will be the output impedance of the ARC being 0.7ohm and the D’Ago being 0.2ohm this is 3 x the damping factor in favor of the D’Ago, the Gryphon is 0.02ohm 10 x better again than the D’Ago, and with even more current available.
The bass of the Alexia which is at it’s worse .9ohm epdr.
That’s why they’re so hard to drive to their best in the bass.

All this is reflected in what the reviewer and tester found with the D’Ago
Overall, the Momentum’s sonic personality, its high-frequency transients somewhat more relaxed, its bass performance ever so slightly less muscular
The output impedance was moderately high for a solid-state design, at 0.21 ohm at 20Hz and 2kHz
And that was on the Wilson Alexandria XLF’s
https://www.stereophile.com/images/113Walexfig1.jpg way easier to drive than the Alexia’s in the bass https://www.stereophile.com/images/1213Walexfig01.jpg

Cheers George
Hi George:
I read the Stereophile measurements and the review when they were published. I cannot speak about the Gryphon. I can speak about what I heard in my room. Measurements are helpful to determining how components may interact. Nothing beats actually listening.

Agree nothing beats listening. But to give what your listening to, deserves to have the best measurements to do the job properly, and get the very best out of the speakers yes?
Even a big Nad will work into them and sound fine, and if you didn't know any better you could very well say that's the amp for them.

So tot get a "base line of amps" that will do these great speakers justice, the test specs are the 1st most important to be considered, for the "base line of amps to listen to".
Otherwise you get some saying  things like Cary 805 monoblocks are a great amp get them!! 

Cheers George

Old thread, and comments are spot on. FWIW: own the Alexia 2s and had them on McIntosh stereo amp. Not offensive, but somewhat veiled. Moved to Pass X600.8s and a huge improvement. Heard both Boulder stereo and D’Agastino Progression monos and Momento monos (new release version) on them. Heard the ARC 160s, too.

And what they say seems true: the Wilson’s sound best IN MY OPINION on ARC for tube, and D’Agostino for SS. We liked the Momentum’s, stereo or monos work, well over the Progressions.


We will be upgrading in a bit to either ARC or Dags Momentums, most likely.

Just my two cents.



@carey1110 I would agree with the posters who have mentioned the synergy with ARC. Wilson excels with neutral-sounding amps, which is why they tend to pair up with ARC and Simaudio at the big shows. The dynamics are incredible and resolution is one of the best with these combinations. 

@yyzsantabarbara also makes a good suggestion with T+A. In full transparency, I am an authorized T+A dealer who paired the T+A HV series stack with Wilson Yvette. T+A is just a tad bit warmer than ARC and Simaudio, which resulted in a thicker, slightly darker presentation. It was wonderful, but different than what I’ve heard with the pairings above. Between the three (T+A, ARC, and Simaudio) it would come down to listener preferences. 

I would never on the other hand pair Wilson up with amplifiers that tend to be more on the bloomier side like Luxman or McIntosh, but perhaps other have had good experiences. Wilson are also quite current hungry. Some tube amps may drive them just fine (ARC especially), but in most cases you’re right in looking into solid state. 

Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss T+A pairing. 

Thanks guys I have moved up the food chain now to the Wilson Alexx V. Now my search is for this one but the synergy will be similar. If any of you know much about this one I’m open 

@carey1110 I sent you a PM. Apologies as I did not realize how old the thread was, but I shot some thoughts to you over the message. 

Paired my Wilson Alexia 2s with the new Krell i400… WOW!  Highs and midrange on another level, musical - smooth…. Bass is also very nuanced and deep.  Great fit for this speaker.  I came from a recapped FPB 300, and did a lot of listening between D’ago m400 and s250.  I400 was more musical and better bass. 

Wow that’s very helpful,  I’ve been considering this i400 myself. Haven’t heard it yet but plan to very soon. I had the Dag s250 in here but did blow me away enough to pull the trigger. Thank you for sharing. 

You could save a fortune and get a Hegel h590 for 6k. Will drive them perfectly. 

Someone posted on another thread that KRELL is releasing a trickle-down version of the i400 around June. I think the price was $13k.

I'd go with Parasound JC1+ mono.  I'm in the camp that many of the 40K-70k power amps don't provide the level of benefit commensurate to their price.  I run Classe Delta Mono's with my Alexx V's with great result.  The spec's on this amp along with the Parasound don't get much better. I think you might "hear" differences between these amps and their higher priced brethren but not necessarily "better" just different. 

I'm using my MSB Reference DAC as the pre which has an extra balanced input for my phono stage.  See my full system description.

No McIntosh.

These are good amps to choose: Krell FPB700CX / FPB750MCX, Pass Labs XA200.5/.8, Mark Levinson No.33

I'm currently powering my Alexia's with Conrad Johnson LP275M mono's fitted with KT120 power tubes. Those have the power and finesse to do the big Alexia's justice. From time to time, I  rotate them with my Bryston 24B-SST mono's. The low end grip they povide is quite astonishing, but for my overall taste I prefer the big CJ's. My old Levinson No. 23.5 does an admirable job as well, but I've become addicted to monoblocks over the years. Common to allo f these is my Aethetix Callisto Eclipse preamp. I really like the suggestions of those big Krell amps. I've had several Krell pieces over the years and find them to be first rate sonics and build wise.