Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy System 8

I like real sound with good presence and texture.
I like ease and good fluency in sound.

System Setup:
Krell Evolution 505 SACD/CD player
Krell Current Tunnel (KCT) Preamplifier
Krell FPB 400cx Power Amplifier
Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy System 8
Transparent Cable Reference Speaker Cable 3m
CAST interconnect 1m from Source to PreAmplifier & over 10m from PreAmplifier to Power Amplifier
Shunyata Research Python Helix Powercord Two Set (each 2m) for Source & PreAmplifier
This is my Review about sound of wilson with krell
Before Reading this review i should to say i like sound of krell in CAST Mode. i like their sound signature and if your taste differ with me i don't recommend you to read my review.
Demo Started at 11:10 am in Mr.Rahmani Showroom and Finished at 8 pm. Nine hour Continous Listening Session helped me to write about sound of system. I was familiar with sound of Wilson loudspeakers and Krell amplifiers like Sophia, System 7, MAXX, FPB 750MCX , …
I know good review need long listening sessions and ideal condition but I spend all of my experience to write carefully about what I heard.
I think system was installed over it’s 80% real performance and if acoustic was not ideal but there was no critical problem for listening.
Widths of room was more than 6m and distance between speakers was near 2.5m. Listener ear distance to each speaker was 3m and speakers were 1m far from back wall. Length of room was 5m.
Wilson System 8 needed larger and better acoustic space to expand it’s soundstage and fill the room with breathing strings. Wilson gives you an integrated sound in near field and there is no need to place 3way speakers over 3m from your ear for accessing integrated sound. It’s near you and friend of your ears.
We know sound has elements that audiophiles and reviewers speak about them like Transparency, Immediately, Coherence, Texture and … Reviewers user these terms to describe sound of system and each term refer to one element of sound.
I think when I listen to music through an audio system, I forget the system and have one special sense during listening that it’s result of system ability to satisfy my hearing sense. System ability in joining listener to music and satisfying him means system musicality.
I want to speak about this unique sense at first then describe elements of sound. Some reviewers write more about elements and less about this sense but I think this sense is so important in long listening session and I listen to music for enjoying not analyzing the sound. If all elements of sound be in high level of fidelity but the sound dose not satisfy me I prefer less fidelity with more musicality. Satisfying this unique sense is result of compatibility of sound with our hearing sense.
System designer knowledge and experience about human hearing is most important factor in designing components for reaching maximum musicality. Our ear is more sensitive to some parameters like midrange texture and less sensitive to some like frequency extension. This sensitivity vary with type of music but this variation scale is not very large and our hearing has a taste that tell us about it’s priority of sound parameters.
When system played over 8 hours I had no sense of fatigue and I listened disc after disc with greet sense of relaxation. Ultra natural fluency of sound gave me sense of “freedom”. It’s not easy but I try tell you about this sense with words.
I listened to “Tourghe” in “night, Silence, desert”(Shajarian music album) and music lift me to an special space that I forget life. Sense of deliverance, exhilaration was result of joining me to beauty of music. I never forget moments I spend with Wilson though it was short.
"Freedom" is the word I select to tell you system left me alone with music and music showed me all of it’s beauty and charm. Wilson never destroyed or modified music delicateness in relation of me and music.
Now I try to write about sound by short expressions to give you an overall view. Upstream was neutral and pure with ultra natural fluency. Liquidity (in CAST Mode) with Great sense of ease and power was evident in upstream sound and Wilson rendered this sound with greet sense of analogy, openness and silky smooth texture.
One of parameters that was different in this system was sound fluency, I sensed no stress and no force in sound and it was very quiet and safe to my ears.
Sound helped me to imagine fluency of stream in my mind. I wanted to analyse and review the sound but system lifted me to hearing music. Passion of music was high and I listened to many records.
Listening to “Rain of Love” (Naser Chashm Azar) , the sound in Track 5 (Passion of Love) was a new experience to me because Wilson rendered this track with passion. Midrange texture was good and ability of system in micro scale helped listener to enjoy more in listening sessions. System rendered music with soul , delicateness and naturalness. Wilson was a winner in capturing music magic and krell supported it with it’s neutrality and natural fluency. Do I need more? NO.
You may want to know more detail about sound of Krell/Wilson and I recommend you to listen to Wilson before reading my review. I believe reviews are poor in describing our sense about sound though many of us enjoy reading reviews.
Digital Source was Krell EVO-505 and I it had not digital signature of most CD players and was more close to analog. Evo 505 rendered both low and high quality records very smooth and easy on my ear.
Sound was open, extended and sweet with no sense of forwardness or compress. Timbre of strings never changed in higher frequency and there was no sense of dryness or hardness in skin of sound at higher frequency. Sound was more on analog side and had scale in mid/high frequency as like as low frequency with sense of air around strings.
Like all good digital players EVO 505 had enough detail and resolution in both CD and SACD mode but these details were not in face of listener. There was no sense of force and stress in sound of krell EVO 505, it was liquid, natural and lifelike with no drawing listener attention to him. Good AC power is so important for digital playback and Shunyata helped EVO 505 to be more kind and friendly in rendering music.
I think in high resolution playback AC Power is a critical element and it has so effect on texture and smoothness of sound. Long listening sessions shows importance of good AC Power for audio systems. Good AC power help digital to be more close to analog in rendering music.
Krell upstream was not on warm side and it was very neutral and revealing but it don’t mean krell have hardness in micro or remove soul of music, no it was neutral and natural in both micro and macro but
more on macro in comparison with other solidstate designs. Krell never shifted elegance texture of midrange to thickness though it had not richness and euphony of single ended tubes. It was more on truth rather than beauty.
Krell was not mechanical in micro and macro dynamics. It was neutral with greet sense of timing, control and low frequency power. Krell CAST System had no electronic character and rendered music with ultra sense of ease and natural fluency. CAST helped the sound to be more free from system . Transparency, Palpability and immediately were acceptable but for reaching maximum potential of system we needed shorter and better cabling.
I think one of most important factor in listening enjoyment is sense of music closeness to us that we describe it with Palpability and immediately. Tubes have simple and shorter signal path that help them to render music with better sense of Palpability and immediately but high power solidstates with more amplification stage and more complex circuit need more attention in system matching in this area.
I think short cables help better sense of Palpability and immediately in powerful solidstate designs. when one designer try to give better sound in macro we should be careful in setup and matching it for getting best micro.
I like sense of reality in sound and I never liked exaggeration in euphony and warmness. I like solidity, bone and dynamic in macro scale with natural and delicate texture in micro with sense of vibrancy and reality. Poor solidstate designs destroy micro for macro but good solidstate designs in matched setups protect music in low level information and harmonic richness with full control on macro. I like krell but we should be careful in matching it with other components for balancing sound parameters. Bad records never sounded fatigue and forward and just had not soul and elegance of good records. Good records rendered delicate with lifelike vibrancy.
If you need more bloom and warmness you can setup krell with a warmer preamplifier like VTL but I prefer krell in CAST mode with entire krell upstream because the CAST system have superb neutrality, awesome timing, dead silent background, ultra sense of dynamic and control with just very little in reduction of Palpability and immediately in sound. I like CAST more in rendering complex music in loud, Very stable with great sense of ease with no loss of openness, timing and control. Cables restricted ability of system in some area like transparency, air and depth of soundstage. I think CAST Interconnects should be less than 2m and speaker cables in this setup should be less that 1.5m.

Sound of Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy System 8 :
Analog, Textured, kind and honest with large scale soundstage.
Wilson had big and free floaty soundstage and this large space sound creation make music more listenable. More sense of live music is the result of Wilson large soundstaging. Wilson filled room with lifelike presence of strings and projected strings in very wide sweet spot in room. Sense of breathing of strings in room was very delightful. Each string had his place in soundstage with no sense of coming from two loudspeakers. Wilson Speed, punch, macro dynamic and sharpness in macro scale with sensual and emotional Sound in micro scale helped me to listen to wide range of music. Persian classic music and rock music both rendered lifelike and listenable. Wilson never lost excitement of rock music with softening or reducing punch and dynamic of strings. Dynamic and energetic strings rendered live and energetic and sensual vocal rendered emotional and sweet. Some loudspeakers have more dynamic in macro but less musicality in micro and some have less dynamic in macro but more musicality in micro, I think Wilson system 8 balanced this parameter to my taste and rendered music very good at both micro and macro scale. I think the truth in krell CAST matched with beauty in Wilson. In my idea matching is the most important factor in Hi-Fi. There was no sense of exaggeration in sound of Wilson in
every respect and Wilson was quite suitable in long listening sessions. Wilson system 8 is a 3way dynamic driver design but It’s hard for professional listener to guess Wilson crossover frequency because the sound of each driver is fully compatible and coherent with sound of other drivers and there is no sense of discontinuous in sound of Wilson at crossover frequency regions. I like continuous ambience field of single driver loudspeakers and this parameter is so important in designing 3way dynamic drivers. Wilson was the most coherent loudspeaker I have ever heard in 3way dynamic driver designs. Three parameters are important in coherency of sound in 3way dynamic drivers design, first is the evenness of soundstage shape and dimension in drivers, second is evenness of tonality and timbre of strings in drivers and third is smoothness of sound in transition from crossover frequency region. Listener should not sense sound come from 3 different source and soundstage should be coherent and pinpoint. Wilson is as coherent as my ear expect from a loudspeaker. Coherency plus large sweet spot have a key role in enjoying music in room. Go near then go far or move in right or left, you still hear same strings with no change in place or tonality and this is result of large sweet spot that let you enjoy more. Wilson have good ability in disappearing and let music come to your room without sense of projecting from two loudspeakers. Solidity, purity and openness of Wilson system 8 tweeter sound was very evident and strings at high frequency even at loud rendered very easy , stable in soundstage and natural. Separation of strings in complex music was as good as my ear expected from a 3way loudspeaker and sense of breathing each string in it’s location was so enjoyable to me. Sound was analog, natural and textured with no thing that force listener to turn down the volume or left the ribbon chair. Passion of music was on high and sense of freedom was the ultimate result of listening to music with Wilson krell CAST. Music was deeply connected to me and I had no sense of fatigue after 8 hours. I think Mr. Dave Wilson design approach is based more on listening experience and less on electronics measurements (more subjective) and if no thing is ideal we can be in a good location from ideal. Balancing sound parameters to our hearing sensitivities is the art of a loudspeaker designer. Wilson is not perfect as no component is perfect but in my taste Wilson system 8 is the most musical 3way dynamic driver loudspeaker I have ever heard. Hifi parameters were as good as my ears expected and musical parameters like midrange texture were near ideal and overall sense of hearing music with Wilson system 8/ krell CAST fully satisfied me. Wilson in comparison with my loudspeaker (Dynaudio) in midrange reminded me The van den hul “The Third” speaker cable (Full Carbon) in comparison with other speaker cables. I listen more to vocals like shajarian albums and Wilson ability in rendering midrange texture of vocal strings was high. Wilson soundstage was a little rounded and bigger than others like dynaudio and in bass area it’s less extended, fast and transparent than it’s bigger brother Wilson MAXX. Wilson have zero box effect and it’s soundstage is so stable with great silence. Wilson dynamic range was good and background materials never blured by foreground material in low level volumes. Sound in low level volumes had dynamic and vibrancy with so little sense of decreasing in harmonic richness. At high level volumes Wilson managed dynamic strings very good and listenable with no sense of stress. I think crossover circuit was superior because in high level sound I detect no decrease in sense of sound solidity. About restriction of this system I should say system could have alittle more Palpability and immediately with greater sense of presence and bass extension but Wilson system 8 is not a cost no object product. I have one recommendation to Mr. Dave Wilson and it’s giving external crossover option for their loudspeakers. I think Using crossover in low energy domain (Analog crossover between pre and power or Digital crossover on DSP) and using monoblocks with short speaker cable will increase sense of Palpability and immediately in sound.
In the final i enjoyed music but i believe this sound can be improved more in micro scale.
(About Krell i highly recommend to listenning it in CAST mode in all Krell systems)
I have heard WP8s with CJ equipement and PCS digital front end............nice. Very real. My only gripe was the room a little to small. I imagine in a 20 by 20 ft room the WP8s would be able to stretch its legs and soundstage like nobody's business. I am sure there are speakers out there that sound similar for a lower price. But at that moment,those custom painted Porsche Red WP8s were the best speakers in the world.
I Like W/P 8 more than MAX and Alegxandra.
It developed many years and i think it's quite good for long listening sessions.
very natural , easy and lifelike sound.
I think i need no more for listening
Great Review and thanks for taking your time to share it with us. Makes the hobby even more fun. I really love my W/P 8's also, but be ready for all kinds of replies. Even some that hate the Wilson sound.

GerryM5 (member system)

Amir, normally WP8s are set up to have a small sweetspot. Did you tell the dealer during the Wilson setup to widen the sweetspot? I have talked to a dealer in Dallas who stated WP8s have some of the biggest sweetspots for a two channel speaker.
Wgerman, I tried to place it and it had good sweet spot but the room had not enough space to fill the room with breathing strings.
Wilson has very very good sweet spot in both vertical and horizontal

Gerrym5, every body have a taste and i think the only important thing is our taste not other opinion about components. enjoy
I find the world of the WP8 interesting....it was the speaker that I stronger considered going to after the Sophia2s...but I just couldn't get comfortable with the musicality of the 8s...I actually preferred the continuity/wholeness of cloth that the Sophia 2 offered...but ultimately went in another direction...I am not a Wilson hater...love lots of things they do...but the more I focused on the music....rather than the reproduction of sound...led me away from Wilson...if I was to return...it would either be the Sophia 2...or Maxx2...not the WP8

John, I think W8 is better than MAXX and Sophia in some respect that finaly i prefer It to MAXX and Sophia 2.
Tell me about your listening condition when you listened to W8?
W8 need over 400 hours for break-in and is so sensitive to setup. it need careful matching to room and other parameters.

Good Stuffs need more care for giving it's all potential.
Amir57bs, clearly I was being too defensive about people that might just "bash" on Wilson Audio speakers. Negative opinions are fine. I generally like more detailed discussion, positive or negative, not just the bashing. That's all. And, look how wrong I was - no negative or bashing postings so far.

In this month's Stereophile, Wes Phillips review on Hansen Audio's Prince V2 speakers has a good discussion on comparative strong and weak points between the Prince V2's and W/P 8's. Its the best explanation by example why many people don't care for Wilson Audio tweeters. That's Wes's (others) taste - their right. BTW, I really like the Hansen's too, but I'm very happy with my W/P 8's with Lamm 2.1's.

Gerrym5, I agree you and i like the logical space that all share their view with no bash.
I just like Wilson 8 and i will be happy if any body tell me about weak and strong points of WP8.
I sold my Sophia 2s to guy....who just to make sure also bought a pair of WP8s....he ended up keeping the Sophias...for approximately the same reason the I deleted them off my list...and if I was doing Wilson I would have kept the Sophia 2s...or the Maxx 2s...which in all listening seemed to be an upgrade over the 8s...an excellent speaker...just too much intrusion for my space....I think the 8s are a sideways retune from the 7s....and if you look at the one guy who measured them both...Atkinson of Stereophile...from what I saw the 7s were significantly better....but perhaps I wasn't interpreting the data correctly..
Hikejohn, I believe the most important rule is side by side comparison and i never compared sophia 2 with system 8 in A/B/A state.
i never listened to sophia 2 (i listened to sophia 1) and in my opinion W8 mid/high is more natural , more open, more relax and w8 was in another class.
I recently heard w7 with mark levinson setup.
w7 is good but in my idea w8 is more organic with better macro dynamic and more neutral mid. w8 in my opinion has very very good high in comparison with w7. extended , open and easy to my ears. w8 had better integration in mid and high with more accurate transition from mid to high.
again i say i never compared these units side by side and i agree my opinion can be change with comparing them side by side.
Your sonic comparison between the WP7s and WP8s is difficult to dispute. I recently listened to both, side-by-side, on the same system, with the same program material, in one of the great listening rooms in the country. I acknowledge all of the differences that you described. However, like Hikejohn, I feel that the WP8s are not the most emotionally engaging musical transducers. In fact, despite the undeniable superiority of the WP8s over the WP7s in smoothness, extension and resolution, I consistently found myself more involved with the music when listening to the WP7s. I found this to be particularly true with vocal material, and female vocals most consistently. The spine tingling rush elicited by listening to certain Anna Netrebkho, k. d. Lang and Sarah Vaughan recordings that seem so inevitable when listening to the WP7s did not happen with the WP8s. I find this very difficult to understand at an intellectual level but its as clear as can be for me at the emotional level.

Perhaps, I should mention that none of the other people that have listened with me during these sessions seemed to share my responses. Everybody else felt the better sound of the WP8s connected them at least as well with the music. So, what does this mean? Certainly it suggests that the enjoyment of recorded music is a pretty complicated process. It also suggests that better sound may not always yield more musical enjoyment. It most emphatically suggests that everyone has their own aesthetic sense and that this, in the end, is the most important factor governing our enjoyment of recorded music.
Siliab, Thanks So

I agree you, every body has own aesthetic sense.
In my idea taste is so important.
many of my friends love mark levinson warmness but i prefer krell cast and many like listening to wilson with Lamm but i like to listen wilson with krell evo one and two.

about W7 i need a good space and A/B test condition to write my view but i think dynamic driver speakers sound more lush when they work more.
I guess sound signature of Dynamic driver loudspeakers change across time and they reduce sense of solidity and fastness but increase sense of liquidity and lushness.
I'm not sure but may be in your A/B test W8 needed more time for full break-in.

You may be correct about the relative amount of play-time on the drivers being a factor in this comparison, although the pair of WP8s I listened to had many hundreds of hours on them. Interestingly, it didn't seem to me that any difference in liquidity or lushness were the factors that led me to favor the WP7s. In fact, I'd say that the WP8s were more liquid and no less lush than the WP7s.

Although my powers of description are probably not up to the task, I would like to say that the thing I was reacting to was more of the sense of being within the acoustic bubble with the singers and musicians with the WP7s. The picture drawn by the WP8s was more detailed but slightly more remote, as if the acoustic bubble extended right up to where I listened but stopped there. This was a sensation that I've also had with various Kharma speakers, which are fantastically detailed and lush, but just don't captivate me. I didn't perceive this as a deficiency in imaging or soundstaging, which were absolutely first rate through the WP8s. Perhaps it was some artifact of the dynamic envelope of the WP7s that I was reacting to, where the music seemed to project further into the room. Or, as you've suggested, it may just have been a lack of time on the drivers of the WP8s.

Anyhow, I fully understand your enthusiasm for the WP8s. They are marvelous speakers.


I agree maybe your view be right and my guess be wrong but in my experience the satisfaction factor is vastly dependent to system ability in micro scale.

I think transparency and presence of the sound are parameters that will improve across time. both are system ability in micro scale. even internal wiring of loudspeakers affect on these parameters and in my experience cables need over 300 hours for full break-in.

I had an eye opening experience this week end with replacing my 6M Nordost Valhalla with a 6M Stealth Indra. Everything was more open, transparent, natural and made my W/P 8's sound incredibly more beautiful and more musical. I was shocked and can't explain it. I'll give more details later on with LP comparisons.

Dynamic Driver Loudspeakers need good and transparent upstream in comparison with more transparent electrostatic loudspeakers.
I think WP8 is little less transparent and immediate than quad 2905 and in upstream we should choose immediate and transparent electronics.
choose smaller than 1m interconnect and smaller than 2m speaker cable. shorter Cable increase immediately , presence and deeper soundstage.

Excellent advice Amir57bs for almost all situations, but not for my situation with the speakers between our living room and dinning room. You present two thoughts. One, shorter ICs are better than long one. I agree generally, but I can't do it here and live with the results. Please look at my system photos. A short IC cable would mean that my audio equipment, with all the cabling (an unsightly mess IMHO), would be visible right in the middle of those two rooms. A choice had to made - the 6M IC between front end equipment and the mono amps/speakers works best for our life style in our home. You may have another situation where short ICs are possible.

BTW; Your Quads are one of the top word class speakers - I like them a lot. Many of us have owned Quads and really liked them.

I had Crosby Modified Quads in this exact area. They sounded world class on female vocals and generally small works. I couldn't play a lot of my record collection through the quads at appropriate music levels without short comings becoming enjoyment limiters. Even transparency suffered with bigger music selections in my room. Larger electrostatics and other bigger speaker where not a visual option. Your Quads may be better for you and other in various situations. For me in my situation the W/P 8's really out perform the Quads in my home.
I think 6m cable will kill soundstage depth , air and immediately.
please test your system with 1m cable.
I think your idea will change.