Launched almost nine years ago, the original Duette was a combination of entry-point and Swiss Army Knife for Wilson Audio. The standmount two-way was designed to work in as many ways as possible (vertical, horizontal, in free space, against the wall, or, on off the stands) and – although it achieved these tasks admirably, feedback from end users, dealers and distributors alike showed you can have too much of a good thing.
The Duette Series 2 is the response.
Although the original Duette brief may have been more universal, the majority were placed close to or up against a wall – a classic 2pi (or boundary) placement. In the process, it sort of rationalises the starting place of the Wilson line. Instead of the jump from the Duette to the Sophia, we now have a Duette for those wanting a high-end boundary speaker and a Sophia for those after a free-space loudspeaker After this, however, it’s free space all the way.
Boundary loudspeakers were fairly common sights in UK homes in the 1980s, but gradually the pendulum swung toward free-space placement. However, at the same time, house prices soared and new builds were constructed ever smaller. This is possibly less of an issue for many of our American readers, but increasingly we are seeing high-end systems being installed in rooms that can be as small as 8’ (roughly 2.5m) wide and 10’ (approximately 3m) deep, and it’s impossible to use a loudspeaker designed to sit 3’ from the rear and side walls unless you intend using them as really big headphones. By designing the Duette Series 2 for boundary use, it can be used in exceptionally small rooms with comparative ease.
The Duette Series 2 retains some common concepts with its predecessor; both are two-way designs with an external crossover, and the most casual of glances will see the family resemblance. However, in reality the Series 2 shares very little with its forbear, and benefits as much from the R&D hours logged to develop designs like the Alexia as it does from the original Duette.