Wilson Audio Alexx V Loudspeaker Page 2

There's a truism which states that any seasoned listener usually knows, within the first few bars of a familiar recording, the measure of a hi-fi system or component. This manifests itself in the realisation that, over a half-century, my first impressions rarely change unless there's something amiss, or if the product has not been run in completely and improves over time. With the Alexx V, I was hearing textures and air and bass extension which I had never before experienced from the Kodō title. And that was immediately apparent – in mere seconds in PM's listening room.

What rendered it so revelatory was something I anticipated, based on all those years listening to Wilson speakers. The utter lack of cabinet-induced coloration and the total absence of any dissonant resonances graced the drums with a presence and an authenticity that delivered frisson after frisson of uncanny realism. It was due in no small part to these massive towers simply disappearing with the facility and thoroughness of a well-designed dipole, an electrostatic of Quad ESL-57 calibre, or a seasoned micro-monitor like the LS3/5A.

Drum Drama
Such panel-like transparency and openness can be found in the best of that genre, but the Alexx V's bass extension? The weight? The palpable mass enjoyed by the largest of the drums? The attack, and smoothest, most consistent decay of each note? Old hands might wonder how you control so much wooferage, how they betrayed no flabby, vague softness, while at the same time eschewing aggression or dryness.


Rear-mounted protection and tuning resistors for the mid and treble drivers are now illuminated, for easy access and visibility. The high-pass mid/treble crossover is also mounted inside the upper section of the bass cabinet

Whether it's the drivers themselves, the enclosure material, the crossover or, more likely, a combination of all three, the Alexx V blended all of the desired properties of deep, realistic bass into a perfectly convincing whole, and that's using the most challenging percussion recordings I can name this side of the Sheffield Drum Record. Suitably amazed, I wanted to hear every track in my arsenal of 'money shots'.

Up To Eleven
Instead of feeding more tests to challenge or simply discern the Alexx V's refinement, I went the other way. Turning the wick up to threshold-of-pain levels, I put on 'Glad All Over' from the remastered The Dave Clark Five's All The Hits [BMG BMGCAT408CD]. I am talking Blue Cheer/Kiss loud and arguably the stompingest hit the British Invasion yielded over a half-century ago, a bombastic masterpiece so well-recorded and so dynamic that you soon forget it's mono.

Wilson's Alexx V simply got on with the job, handling decibel counts that would have destroyed other speakers, while sacrificing absolutely none of the finesse I'd heard moments before via Kodō. Both are drum dominant, yet worlds apart, The Dave Clark Five's performance filling the room as did the drummers from Japan – and not just the space between the speakers. Nothing was buried by the stomping of the dominant percussion, the sax in particular stealing pride-of-place.

This speaker, as gracious and refined as it was designed to be, is deliciously a Jekyll-and-Hyde affair. It rocks like you will not believe, but with composure. What I had to keep telling myself is that its granddaddy thought honky-tonk piano to be shamelessly racy, and drew the line at The Everly Brothers. But founder Dave passed on to Daryl a need to reproduce without flaw the frequency extremes, the softest and the loudest sounds, dynamic swings, and a three-dimensional soundstage. The miracle? The Alexx V transformed a mono track where the meter's needle barely flickers. It was like a Rolls-Royce had mated with a Boss Mustang.


Drawing on the XVX and WAMM Master Chronosonic, the Alexx V combines a new 1in CSC tweeter with 7in and 5.75in mids in a highly adjustable cabinet system. The 10.5in and 12.5in woofers are housed in a separate cabinet

From the ridiculous to the sublime, and I just had to hear Lou Rawls and Dianne Reeves charming each other on the title track from At Last [Blue Note CDP 7 91937 2]. This is, despite peerless musicianship from pianist Richard Tee and tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine, all about the voices. Rawls' guttural rasp, like a honeyed version of Louis Armstrong, and the soaring vocals from Reeves, who forges power with grace. I could hear the generational change in the midband from the smaller, three-year-old Sasha DAWs that coddle me every day in my own room, to something warmer here, even more involving and, yes, exquisitely revealing.

Pure Magic
Like his father, Daryl values the retrieval of the finest detail and its role in creating a fully satisfying sonic event. 'Subtle' isn't enough of a description to help you appreciate the manner in which the Alexx V reproduces nuances in voices. It worked magic on Keb' Mo's ultra-delicate 'The Times They Are A Changin'' from Peace – Back By Popular Demand [Okeh/Epic EK92687], then rose to the opening scream of Johnnie Taylor's 'Who's Making Love' [Stax CD24 4115-2]. Juice Newton, Mel & Tim, The Staple Singers… Wilson's Alexx V, simply stated, has the magic touch.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
What the Alexx V represents, to this veteran Wilson listener, is the utopian midpoint between the WATT's focus and scale of the Chronosonic XVX. This enormous system delivers the soundstage and presence expected of a coffin-sized construct, yet it produces detail and precision to rival any point-source. It's dangerous to say these words, but here goes... the Alexx V is the best damned speaker I have ever heard.

Wilson Audio Specialties
Utah, USA
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd
0208 971 3909