Wilson Sasha W/P amplifier pairing

I acquired a pair of Wilson Sasha W/P speakers this year. They’re Series 1 Sasha’s. Now trying to find great mono blocks to power them. My other system has Harbeth Speakers and a Pass Labs amp, I love the combo and can listen for hours without fatigue. I’d really prefer something warm and non fatiguing for the Sasha’s. 

Amps I’ve tried so far:

Pass Labs X350 - too bright and forward, etched vocals, not a lot of sparkle but plenty of authority

Pass Labs INT-30A - much better all around than the X350 but still too bright and forward. Not nearly enough power for Sasha. End result is too cold and thin

Bob Latino ST-120 - this is a $1200 kit tube amp I built. 60WPC. This amp was surprisingly kind of magical with Sasha.  Never fatiguing and full bodied. Unfortunately it went up in smoke because I can’t solder.


Mono blocks I’m considering:

Audio Research Ref 160M

Lamm 1.2 Reference

Pass Labs XA100.8


Preamp is a PrimaLuna EVO 400. Rega RP3 with Exact cart. Denafrips Ares II DAC streaming Roon via MicroRendu. Any advice welcome. 

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Try pro built tube amps like Quicksilver.

I learned how to solder pro according to NASA specs.  I can't do it any more either. 

Although I’m not a Wilson user I am partial to Audio Research because I use it (GS-150 amp/REF6 Pre) so I wouldn’t try to steer you away from trying ARC. I’ve also heard Wilson’s run with VTL (MB-200, 450 and Siegfried), D’Agostino and Naim’s massive NAP-S1 ($75K+) and those presentations were very good as well.

Happy Hunting!

I owned the Sasha series 1s with ARC Ref 150s before my current Alexia 2s with ARC Ref 160 monos. I also had the Sashas in house with the D’Agostino Momentum 250S. I heard them many times at my dealer who often paired them with the Lamm 1.2s.

You can’t go wrong. Note that Marc Mickelson of the Audio Beat uses the Lamm 1.2s with Wilson as his standard system. Many dealers and component manufacturers display Wilson with ARC as do websites--see the French speaker company Triangle’s website and video tours of the Audio Research factory.

So---my subjective impressions:

Lamm is very rich, more bottom up and very refined ,mid-hall presentation. I almost purchased them. There are simply no faults to this amp.

ARC is more transparent, has better highs (but not at all fatiguing) and presents in a very colorful, not colored, manner.  Sort of like technicolor on a big screen. The listening seat is more front of the hall and the sound is writ large with tremendous width, depth and layering. The speakers disappear. You can more easily separate each instrument in the mix.

I prefer ARC and especially the Ref 160 monos. But I can also say that the Lamms and even the Ref 160S will do a great job with the Sashas. I would urge you to try to hear both ARC and Lamm--but at least one or the other to know if you can fall in love. If you don’t, look elsewhere.


Surprised any of the Pass amps mentioned sounded bright and forward; my W/P6 sound great with my Pass X250. Maybe there’s something else going on in your system or room. Have you played with speaker placement and room treatment? Will note that before I added dedicated circuits to my system my Pass sounded just a little light, but on dedicated circuits it opened things up, fuller more relaxed, effortless with no fatigue whatsoever.

Try Pass Labs XA point 8 series of amplifier.  Never heard anyone describe Pass as bright. 

......correct me if I am wrong, but I do recall Dave Wilson showing as well as owning his speakers with Nagra equipment. It would seem to me based on the sonic characteristics of those two companies it just might be the match you are looking for.   

@gpgr4blu excellent summary. You've actually experience all of these amps so I really value and appreciate your opinion. I'm leaning Ref 160M since I know I won't have issues getting them serviced, plus they're gorgeous, auto bias, longer tube life, etc.

I've heard some people have had issues getting Lamm's serviced (they claim they can't get a hold of anyone). Vlad was a genius but since his passing this year I worry about customer support. Their website has been "under construction" for some time. That said, I've heard nothing but good things about the sound.

@adg101 maybe bright isn't the best descriptor. More forward and top heavy. I applied a 1.5dB rolloff above 14kHz via Roon and that helped. I've treated first reflections with GIK panels after consulting with them, that helped tremendously. But remember, I'm coming from Harbeth's, so going from zero fatigue to some fatigue seems like a stark difference.


I got a chance to audition a lot of amps with Wilsons in general, especially when I was buying my integrated.

Here is the opinion I have for amplifiers I've heard with Wilsons:


Top Tier:

  • D’Agostino
  • Luxman
  • Ayre


  • ARC (modern not old)
  • Parasound
  • IcePower based Class D

Just no:

  • Pass
  • Mark Levinson

Also want to recommend the Luxman preamp which does an excellent job of showing off Wilson’s from top to bottom.

I would highly recommend Gryphon. I’m driving a pair of W/P 8 with a Diablo 300, by far the best they’ve ever sounded 

Luxman is certainly a contender. Anyone ever mono blocked a pair of M900U’s?

D’Agostino and Gryphon seem out of reach but I’ll consider. 

op look at zesto eros  amazing build quality musically neutral great bass low noise very flexibile and extremely reliable.


sounded as good as a 40k cj amp we had previously.

dave and Troy

Audio Intellect NJ.

Zesto dealers


@audiotroy Every Zesto room I heard at Axpona was amazing, it not only sounded great, it felt right on an emotional level. Along with the ARC Ref / Vandersteen bookshelf room, I really got tube fever. 

Try a pair of Pass 60.8 - unless your room is large and/or you listen at high volumes.

You have the option then to put the money saved over the 100.8s into a better preamp.


I have the Sasha 1's.  It is easier to say what I have tried which does NOT drive them.  PS Audio, Classe, Hafler do NOT drive the bass driver which can dip down to below 2 ohms.  I purchased a used set of Rowland monoblocks and WOW!.  They came alive.  I have heard the new Sasha DAW's on D'Augustino's and was not wowed.  I went to LMC in Scottsdale who has both the D'Augs and Burmester - the Burmester's were very very good.  If I did not have Rowland I would do that one.  Have fun with your Sasha's - there really is no other speaker like them that I have heard.  

Last Sunday I visited some local audio show (here in Brussels). There were two rooms using Wilson speakers. One made use of D’Agostino amps, the other had bigger model Wilsons (Alexx?) driven by a full fledged Nagra system, in a very big room.

The D’Agostino driven Wilsons were warmer, had great bass, but (in that room at least) poor imaging

The Nagra system was very transparent and dynamic but definitely BRIGHT. Well, over defined and tilted up at the highest frequencies. I enjoyed it, because I enjoy hearing everything there is on a recording, but a lot of people I know who visited that room didn’t like the sound at all.

I have nothing but respect for the Wilson Audio brand but I have to say, I believe they’re not for everyone, and I would suspect you might have a hard time adjusting coming from Harbeth!

If Pass is sounding bright, you may want to consider selling the Wilsons. I am a big Harbeth fan as you are, and I’m not sure Wilson and Harbeth lovers can get along. I have heard them sound good with Lamm, but that’s a lot of money to throw at a speaker that isn’t clicking with your tastes. Also, when some people say “bright”, they actually mean “harsh”, which to me means a honky, annoying midrange, which can be difficult to get rid of. If you’ve got the money, time and inclination go ahead, but it may take a lot of all three.

@plaw which Rowland model do you have?
@chayro that’s what I’m afraid of. I’m going to try better amps and see where I end up. In fairness, I haven’t given the Sasha’s the amps they deserve yet. Front end is also pretty entry level. If that doesn’t work I’ll be trialing some Harbeth M40’s. 
@yoyoyaya I’d love to try Pass .8 series but I think I’m ready for tubes. The PrimaLuna EVO 400 is a great preamp. Stereophile and TAS reviewers both asked to keep the review sample as their reference preamp. Take a look at the internals. 

@op. I'm familiar with the preamp. As regards being ready for tubes, the Sasha W/P is a very demanding in terms of its' modulus of impedance.  Do try to audition  a quality class A transistor amplifier and a comparably priced tube amp with your loudspeakers before making a decision.

@audio_bidder I have the Rowland Model 7's - but I am looking for the 625s2 if I can find one used.  I spoke with someone who sold one and he went with the new Rowland 725 Monos which he said were slightly better than the 625s2.  Maybe you have a dealer around that will let you take one home and hook one up.  Nothing like them that I have heard.  You should be able to find some used older Rowlands pretty inexpensively - you will have a pretty sweet system with the Sasha 1's  I think the thing I heard most was a dynamic slam and an intricate soundstage - I know it does not seem that these things can go together but they did.

If Pass is sounding bright, you may want to consider selling the Wilsons


That isn't the speaker's fault ... 🤣

Seriously though, Pass is one of the most speaker dependent amps I know of, and that's the best way I know of not to derail this conversation. 

The tweeter in the Sasha 1's is the older inverted titanium tweeter.  It is good but can be a little harsh/edgy with some material and in some set ups.

How do I know?

Because i have owned W/P 7's for 17 years (same tweeter).

Didn't really recognize the edginess until I bought Magico A5's and Joseph Audio Pulsar 2 Graphene's.  The tweeters in both are superior to the older Wilson unit, lower in distortion and yet more transparent.

The Wilson needs a slightly warm amp but something that can handlle low impedence.

Good luck!


I brought home a pair of ARC REF160M mono blocks to power the Sasha’s. Wow!!! These amplifiers are a wonderful match. So much more musical than the Pass INT-30A and Pass X350. Tone and timbre are beautiful. They are relatively lightweight (about 60 lbs each) compared to SS designs which is a big plus for me. Not to mention I think they are a contender for best looking amplifier ever. If there’s any downside, they might not have as much low end slam as the best SS amps but are certainly no slouch. I think I slightly prefer triode mode. 



I brought home an Audio Research Reference 160 to compare to my Pass x350s. After seconds I realized I would not have to put the Pass back in for comparison. I immediately told my dealer… sold. There was no comparison.


I have had the privilege of having both a pair of Ref160m and a Ref 160s for the last year. Wow, either are incredible amps. Detailed, musical, and natural with power. Never going anywhere else.

Agreed. Peter McGrath recommends this on ARC (and other) amps. I did it with my Ref160Ms and Sashas and now with my Alexia2s. It works.