WP7 to 8? Worth the move?

I have loved my WattPuppy7's since 2003, more now than ever. Years have rolled by and now 2 models later I am considering a move to the 8. It's not possible for me to hear them around here so I am trying to get some input on how much of an impact this would have. I could wait a few years for some Sasha's to hit the used market but mine will be worth less so I'm also looking at financial considerations. Dollar wise, a move from 7 to 8 seems logical in the current market which also could help a future step to Sasha but sonically would this be worth it? I have also heard comments that the 7 is, overall, a better!?I know many of you have compared and moved from 7 to 8 and even to Sash so I'm hoping you can help me gain a little clarity here.
Hi Richard,

I owned the 7's for more than a year but have also listened extensively with the 8's at numerous shows and at dealers. The 8's are clearly more refined in the treble and have a less sharp upper midrange, which to me makes a lot of positive difference. Some that like that character in the 7's might term the 8's as "darker" but I did not care as much for the older Wilson sound, preferring the Sophia and Sophia 2's to the Watt 7's, 6's and 5's... Clearly the latter were more dynamic and athletic sounding--but in my opinion also less coherent.

With the 8's, Wilson continued the trend of pulling back what I felt was a slight upper bass prominence--obvious in the 5's and 6--less in the 7's and gone in the 8's. Overall you have a more coherent, pure sounding speaker system that emphasizes the fundamental harmonics of tone and texture rather than previous designs that favored the "attack" and timing elements in sound. Don't get me wrong, the 8's are still WP's but with a purity and seamlessness missing from the 7's--imo of course.

Low bass articulation and weight was also improved, so in my opinion the differences were all positive and noteworthy. Others may not agree, but I find the 8's sound a lot closer to the MAXX 3's than the 7's. If necessary, I could go back and live happily with the 8's or even Sophia 2's. The 7's were less of an ideal match for my listening preferences,


Shunyata Research
many thanks for the detailed and helpful response grant. it is just the information i am seeking and will be extremely helpful in my process. sounds like you fell the 8's are worth the move without hesitation.
I had a pair of Sophias and then WP7's, and have heard the 8's at Brooks Berdan here in SoCal. I agree with Grant's assessment of the difference in sound. To my ears, the Sophias have better driver coherence, the images are more robust, and they aren't quite as lean-sounding as the WP7. The WP7 clearly had more midrange and treble detail, were more dynamic, and the bass was better in every way. The WP8 I heard being driven by VTL tube amps sounded as though the WP7 had been taken toward the Sophia with more coherence, more robust sound, but with a tighter and more extended bass, and a less aggressive treble. If the WP7 has an achilles heel, it is aggressive treble. BTW, I heard Sophia 2's being driven by an inexpensive VTL amp, and IMO, the best sound I have ever heard from a Wilson speaker, including Maxx 2's and Alexandria 2's. You might want to seek these out also, as well as some Maxx 2's that are going for a pretty good price these days. Overall, if you like WP7's I cannot imagine how you wouldn't like the refinement found in the WP8. Whether it is worth the price upgrade is the question.
thanks rlawry...i strongly preferred the 7 over the sophia and the sophia2 which is a bit of my hesitation. i do not find the treble aggressive at all in the 7 and would not care to hear it softened. i have read many comments similar to yours that report the treble to be softer in the 8 hence some of my concern. maxx2's are out of my range and i would probably go sasha if i was stepping up that high. my room is pretty small. thanks for the input!
i will disagree with the others---the 8 is evolutionary, not revolutionary. it was really made because of the EU lead issues from what i have read. soundwise, a little less tipped up in the treble and a little better integration of drivers. but not worth the premium you will pay in the used market i feel.

having heard the 7,8, and Sasha---Sasha is your true upgrade. or even better Maxxs.

fwiw- both the 7 and 8 have tipped up treble in Sphile's measurements. its due to the breakup pattern of the Focal tweeter he uses.

My comments were not about whether the change was worth whatever cost there might be, I assume that is up to the individual and his budget. Nor did I intend to infer there was anything "revolutionary" going on, just some nice refinements that made the WP 8 a lot more even sounding and listenable--to me

Based on my familiarity with the 7's and a lot of listening with the 8's the differences struck me as rather obvious. The 8's seemed more refined in the upper octaves, more even in the bass and more coherent--which are important aspects of performance in my listening.

Of course, the Sashas are yet another step up, coming extremely close to what I value most about the MAXX 3's--improved scale, great overtone structure and still more coherence and refinement through the top octave. Maybe my hearing is not all it should be at 47, but I don't hear_any_ treble non-linearities in my set up. Everything seems in its place.


i really put zero merit in stereophile measurements as i am only concerned with how they sound. i am 47 too so i must be suffering from the same hearing ailment grant has, not hearing the "tipped up" treble. many thanks for all the comments so far. it's a big decision for me as i have lived with these speakers longer than any piece of gear.