As many readers know, the Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy speaker system is an enduring high-end audio icon (indeed, CES uses a silhouette front view of the Watt/Puppy as its symbol for high-end audio exhibits). The original Watt (Wilson Audio Tiny Tot) was designed as a small, very high performance, 2-way “location monitor,” and was the first speaker Dave Wilson designed. Later, recognizing a need to turn the Watt into a full-range system, Wilson developed the companion Puppy subwoofer system (so named because everyone knows a Puppy is a Tiny Tot’s best friend), and an audio classic was born.
In many respects, then, the Watt/Puppy is the loudspeaker that put Wilson Audio on the map. And with over fifteen thousand units sold, spanning eight generations of products, it is an undeniable high-end audio success story—the best selling speaker system in its price range of all time.
But, as of May 15, Wilson Audio announced that it has raised the bar by introducing a next-generation successor to the Watt/Puppy System 8—one that is sufficiently different from its forerunners to have earned an entirely new name: Sasha W/P. Wilson explains that the Sasha W/P represents a significant rethinking of the Watt/Puppy concept—one geared toward incorporating many of the technical advancements seen (and heard) in the much more costly Wilson Alexandria X-2 Series 2 and Maxx 3 speaker systems.
Advanced Design Features
The Sasha W/P is said to improve upon the performance of the Watt/Puppy System 8 by introducing a large number of design changes, as outlined below:
- An all-new midrange/tweeter enclosure: the new enclosure incorporates a distinctive new shape and applies new construction materials. Sidewalls of the enclosure use Wilson’s X-material but are up to three times thicker than in the Watt/Puppy System 8. The Sasha W/P baffle introduces an all-new material said to surpass Wilson’s previous M4 material in terms of reducing “measurable and audible noise and coloration in the midrange.”
- A revised bass module enclosure: the re-shaped enclosure is larger (i.e., has greater internal volume) and allows for deeper bass extension (-3 dB at 20Hz).
- A new midrange driver: according the Wilson, the Sasha W/P uses “a simplified version of the remarkable new cellulose fiber/paper composite midrange driver developed for the Alexandria X-2 Series 2.”
- A new tweeter: a Wilson press release on the Sasha W/P simply states, “Sasha employs the tweeter from MAXX Series 3.”
- New woofers: relative to the woofers used in the current Puppy, the woofers in the Sasha feature magnet structures nearly twice as large, which are said to “retain the impact and dynamic shading of the original design, but increase the overall speed, agility, and linearity of the bass.”
- Revised and relocated crossover networks: in previous Watt/Puppy systems crossovers were located inside the midrange/tweeter enclosure, but in the Sasha W/P the crossovers have “been relocated to an isolated, reinforced chamber in the rear of the woofer enclosure.” The Wilson press release adds, “to account for the different acoustical signature of the Wilson’s midrange driver and to exploit its ultra-high resolution, all crossovers have been modified and improved.”
All This And A Price Reduction, Too?
Interestingly, though the Sasha W/P is significantly more sophisticated than the Watt/Puppy System 8 that it replaces, it will sell for $26,900/pair—slightly than the price of the outgoing Watt/Puppy System 8. Wilson explains that the price reduction is made possible by leveraging the increased efficiencies of its new manufacturing facility.
As this is written, Wilson has not yet updated its Web site to include a Sasha W/P product listing, but within a few days more detailed information should become available at: www.wilsonaudio.com.