To say Wilson Audio Specialties Inc. of Provo, Utah has been on a roll in recent years is something of an understatement. The company’s recent output has been success after success after success. Whether it’s a wholly new venture (like the Alexia) or a revised version of one of the company’s existing models (such as the Duette Series-2), it’s as if the company can do no wrong.
All of which left us thoroughly unprepared for the Sabrina!
The Sabrina is the new baby of the Wilson range. It’s a surprisingly small, elegant three-way, rear-ported floorstanding loudspeaker. Although it looks like none of the existing Wilson range (if anything, it looks like an inverted and extended version of the company’s Alida surround loudspeaker), it also looks like it could only be a Wilson Audio loudspeaker. There is a commonality of form and line, akin to very different architectural designs from the same architect. I happen to think it’s also one of the more elegant designs from the firm, like a streamlined Sophia, and is small enough not to dominate a room. Those of us without the joys of a dedicated listening room approve!
In a way, the basic componentry for any high-end loudspeaker is like describing a singer by their shoe size. This is especially relevant in the Sabrina, where a bald description of the technology has almost no bearing on the end result. So, the fact it has the company’s own 25mm silk dome tweeter coupled with a 146mm pulped paper midrange cone and the 208mm paper woofer cone found in the Alexia is almost unimportant. However, the cabinet is built predominantly from Wilson’s proprietary X-Material and finished in one of three standard and two premium ‘Wilsongloss’ colours. Sabrina is single-wired at the bottom of the rear of the cabinet, with two rear-firing ports – one slightly above the axis of the tweeter and a larger one below the bass driver. The loudspeaker delivers a nominal impedance of four ohms, with a rated 2.53 ohm minimum impedance at 139Hz. This kind of precision sounds like hyperbole, but Wilson can specify the speaker this way because it fine-tunes every crossover by hand to get the speaker to an extremely tight specification tolerance of ±0.2% in the crossover network. It also has a claimed sensitivity of 87dB. In other words, it should be a fairly easy loudspeaker to drive, unless you are using relatively basic chip amps or a small SET amp (neither of which have the horsepower when dealing with lower impedances). Wilson recommends a 50W amp as a bare minimum, and this seems a sensible starting place.