Wilson Audio has announced the upcoming release of an all-new loudspeaker system.
As it was, the predecessor, ALEXX, already nipped at the heels of the bigger siblings and offered astounding performance well beyond its size and price class. The successor was designed as a whole new loudspeaker instead of upgrading from an existing model.
Considering the new technologies that will be introduced with this new model and the inclusion of benchmark developments that we saw in the game-changing Chronosonic XVX it promises to be an even more remarkable performer.
About ALEXX V
When it came time to upgrade the Alexx®, Daryl Wilson wanted to be sensitive to where research and development had brought Wilson Audio over the past five years. The decision was made that a fresh look at the Alexx was in order, so Wilson Audio’s R&D team approached the Alexx V as it if were an all-new loudspeaker. They took elements that clearly worked in the original design and began to apply the myriad of technologies generated by Wilson’s R&D since the advent of the Alexx. Following major launches of the WAMM Master Chronosonic®, Chronosonic XVX®, Sasha DAW®, and SabrinaX®, Alexx V joins a very special family of groundbreaking loudspeakers designed and handcrafted especially for music lovers and audiophiles alike.
The original Alexx loudspeaker, launched in 2016, quickly gained critical acclaim throughout the industry. Alexx benefited from several elements developed during the five years Wilson Audio’s founder David A. Wilson, and his unwavering R&D team brought to life his magnum opus: the WAMM Master Chronosonic. Now, five years after the monumental accomplishment of the WAMM, Alexx V builds upon the original Alexx’s success by offering a completely re-engineered performance envelope without greatly increasing the footprint. Comparing the overall size of Alexx V to the original, Alexx V is only 1” deeper and 1” taller while maintaining the same width.
Each and every component of Alexx V has been re-evaluated and significantly improved. The launch of Alexx V represents a cumulative approach to loudspeaker design, something that Wilson Audio has been steadfast about integrating since the very first location monitor that Dave built almost five decades ago. Incorporating the latest technologies, engineering efficiencies, and material sciences, Alexx V has improved upon the original Alexx by giving, yet again, a higher level of resolution (both temporally and audibly). Finally, Alexx V incorporates Wilson Audio’s latest design language which started with the WAMM Master Chronosonic. The open gantry design not only allows for more structural rigidity and setup flexibility but also provides a more free-flowing organic look and emotionally expressive sound.
ALEXX V DRIVERS
Continuing the Midrange – Tweeter – Midrange (MTM) design geometry of the original Alexx, our engineering team has spent considerable time advancing key components of the loudspeaker’s sound characteristics. Every baffle angle, at every module position, has been refined. The time-alignment accuracy of Alexx V is much closer to the XVX, giving this system the ability to recreate micro-detail one would expect from a much larger system.
The different sized lower and upper midrange drivers allow for more careful tuning of the frequency band, which, when combined with the latest manufacturing advances, gives a greater degree of accuracy and adjustability. The incredibly fast and resolving 5.75” mid-woofer used in the original Alexx, TuneTot, and SabrinaX, carries over for Alexx V. With the midrange band managed by two dissimilar sized drivers we opted to leverage the incredible advances of our Alnico (Aluminum, Nickel, Cobalt) QuadraMag® design. This 7” mid was originally developed for XVX Chronosonic and has a warmth, beauty, and texture that brings to life all the elements in your favourite recordings. The QuadraMag driver combines four separate magnets, arranged in an innova$ve quadrature geometry, further enhancing the delicate intricacies of the all-critical midrange reproduction quality.
Behind the midrange drivers, internal wave diffusers have been integrated to further aid the resolving power by dramatically increasing the settling speed of the system. This creates a more lifelike reproduction of midrange tone, expression, and accuracy in these remarkable midrange drivers.
When it came to the tweeter, the R&D team once again considered all available options. Fundamentally, the integration of the tweeter and midrange is an absolutely critical element to sound reproduction. Countless hours were spent examining areas of improvement. After careful and methodical consideration, the R&D team decided to build an all-new tweeter system. Therefore, Alexx V features an entirely new Convergent Synergy Carbon (CSC) tweeter, which builds upon a modified version of the previous Convergent Synergy motor while embracing an outstanding and intricately innovative rear-wave chamber. This carbon fibre design is completely manufactured in-house using several 3D printers. The sonic results of this tweeter development cycle have been nothing short of dramatic. The CSC offers far greater and more linear high-frequency extension while providing unprecedented ambient retrieval and superior harmonic detail.
Wilson Audio originally developed the 10.5” and 12.5” woofers in conjunction with the WAMM Master Chronosonic. These state-of-the-art bass drivers incorporate Wilson Audio’s latest thinking into accurate and musical low-frequency reproduction. Carefully optimizing the Alexx V enclosure, the internal volume has dramatically increased by sixteen per cent compared to the original Alexx. The net result is that Alexx V features almost the same internal woofer volume as the Chronosonic XVX, which in turn allows for much deeper low-frequency reproduction, faster transient settling, and an overall increase in bass resolution.
THE ACOUSTIC DIODE
The Wilson Audio Special Applications Engineering® (WASAE) Team has always approached the challenge of vibration mitigation from a scientific perspective. Once the science surrounding the elements to be deployed is acutely understood, the art of the project can begin.
While designing the Pedestal®, a very effective tool used under audio equipment, the objective of this device was to isolate the equipment chassis from vibrations entering the gear from the surface it’s installed on.
Wilson Audio has successfully employed extremely precise laser vibrometer testing equipment for well over a decade and a variety of other analysis systems previous to these tools. Valuable data collected from this equipment during dozens of product development cycles, including the R&D of Pedestal, gave the WASAE Team greater insights into the complexities of vibration management under loudspeakers. Putting to use their industry-leading understanding and material measurement database, the Team set the lofty goal of improving upon an element of the loudspeaker that traditionally has been very good for Wilson Audio.
Loudspeakers interact with their environment in two primary ways. First, with pressure originating from the driver’s diaphragm and second, the vibrations directed into the floor from the enclosure through the speaker’s footers, or “spikes.” The first is what audiophiles and music lovers hope to experience in its most powerful, engagingly elegant, and intimately emotional ways when their system is turned on. The second is the area of exploration, and the primary focus, of this amazingly functional Acoustic Diode system.
An improved spike system would have to minimize vibration from the enclosure going into the ground while simultaneously diminishing unwanted vibrations from being transmitted up into the enclosure. We have seen and scrutinized many ways the interface of loudspeakers to the floor are addressed. Many companies simply develop spikes to isolate the loudspeaker from the floor. These methods with elastomeric materials, ceramic bearings, and a wide variety of other designs can allow the loudspeaker to move in parallel with the drivers. Unfortunately, these micromovements can sonically present themselves as smearing, colourations, and various forms of distortion during musical playback. These artefacts can add an effect to the music that may be initially interesting and possibly exciting. The reality, however, is the fidelity of the recording has been altered.
To remedy this, direct coupling to the floor is needed while, at the same time, not providing an easy path for vibrations to be injected into the ground.
Building upon the research and development of Pedestal, the Special Applications Engineering Team is excited to announce the Wilson Audio Acoustic DiodeTM (AD Spike for short). At the heart of the Acoustic Diode is our proprietary “V-Material.” This superior constrained layer damping composite is unsurpassed in vibration absorption and resonance control.
Energy from the enclosure migrates into the V-Material where it is faced with the effective damping properties of this efficient material. The mass of the loudspeaker concentrated onto the very small ends of the spike tips results in significant levels of PSI that prevent detrimental vibrations from travelling upward into the footer. Those vibrations that do travel up the spike are absorbed by the mass of the Acoustic Diode and have to travel through the V-Material to have a chance to influence the enclosure. Keeping the spike and threaded post separate prevent a direct path for vibrations to travel, or interplay, and are therefore dissipated and absorbed in either the V-Material or the footer housing.
This distinctive design, combined with advanced vibration-mitigating materials, provides the best of both worlds; a solid base from which the drivers can launch as well as preventing the transmission of energy from the floor to the loudspeakers.
SEPARATION IN THE ASSEMBLY
A machined V-Material insert is an inset into the robust austenitic stainless-steel diode housing. A stainless-steel post is then threaded into this exclusive V-Material, never touching the diode component. On the bottom of the diode, a spike is threaded into the diode housing, but it does not couple with the V-Material insert. Once the Acoustic Diodes are installed into the loudspeaker, only the V-Material section of the diode comes in contact with the bottom of the loudspeaker.
Alexx V is an extraordinarily adaptable design. Carrying over elements from its larger siblings, such as the XLF reversible woofer port and independently adjustable modules, allow this system to be elegantly tailored to your listening room. These tools built into the DNA of Alexx V allow for greater ease of installation into a wider variety of listening spaces, thus permitting the listener to truly experience the depth and ability of this system.
The open architecture gantry first launched with WAMM Master Chronosonic, followed by Chronosonic XVX, has now found a home with Alexx V. Not only does this benefit the overall appearance of the loudspeaker, but critically, it also enhances the overall rigidity of the entire upper module section and minimizes pressure trapped behind the enclosures, resulting in greater fidelity. Easier access to the upper modules makes for quick adjustments. Similar to our innovative lighting solution (Sono 1TM from Coolfall®) featured in Chronosonic XVX, Alexx V has an illuminated cross brace at the rear of the gantry which aids in speaker module setup and time-alignment fine-tuning.
Alexx V features unique and exotic materials that have been tested, developed, and refined exclusively for Wilson Audio over the course of roughly fifty years. Methodically utilizing mixed-materials, in pursuit of obtaining the highest performance, has long been a fundamental aspect of each Wilson loudspeaker.
A variety of carefully chosen materials have been implemented in this distilled design. The latest version of X-Material, extremely monotonic and damped in its response, is found throughout the woofer, gantry, and upper modules. S-Material is tightly coupled to each midrange and provides a neutral and natural surface from which music can launch. First used in the Chronosonic XVX, our latest and most remarkable sound-vortex V-Material is strategically nested into interface locations for superior vibration control. V-Material behaves like a vibration absorber and has been put in the structure between the woofer module and the gantry. V- Material can also be found in our new, carefully engineered, and high performing Wilson Audio Acoustic DiodeTM spike system. X, S, and V-Material, combined with carbon fibre, austenitic stainless steel, and aerospace-grade aluminium, are artistically and judiciously blended to make cutting-edge audio and industrial art.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALEXX & ALEXX V
Our engineering team went through each of the cri1cal sub-systems found in the Alexx® and upgraded, or re-engineered, many of its components. Here are the highlights:
- Inspired by natural elements found in Utah one quickly sees more svelte lines in the Alexx V like the XVX. The exposed “skeletonized” architecture allows an airy and openness currently only found with the WAMM Mater Chronosonic® and the Chronosonic XVX®. Given the open architecture gantry design, the gantry grilles are seamlessly attached via embedded magnets, allowing for quick and simple installa1on and removal. Alexx Vs overall size is only 1” deeper and 1” taller than Alexx Series 1 (same width as Alexx Series 1).
The new 7” Alnico QuadraMag® developed for XVX finds its way into the Alexx V. This driver is tonally rich and musically exquisite.
New AudioCapX®-WA capacitors are now used throughout Alexx V crossover and are uniquely wound at Wilson Audio® to our extremely 1ght tolerances. These custom capacitors now add a new dimension of low-level resolu1on.
All new Convergent Synergy® Carbon (CSC) Tweeter rear-wave chamber is 3D printed in-house with carbon fibre. The development of this unique design is a greater high-frequency extension, more linear frequency response, and better harmonic detail.
- First pioneered with WAMM Master Chronosonic, Alexx V features our latest cable management system. Aiding not only the overall visual aesthetic of the speaker’s rearward look but this cable management system also offers an altogether superior solution to achieving the perfect length of speaker cable for each of the upper modules as they are adjusted for correct time-alignment. Included in this refined design is the illumina1on cross-brace with a custom made Sono 1 Coolfall® light for ease of installation in dark environments.
- Alexx V is an extraordinarily adaptable design, including the XLF reversible woofer port and independently adjustable upper modules. Greater ease of installation into a wider variety of listening spaces allows music lovers to truly experience the ability of this system. Every driver is now better aligned and more on-axis with the listener which provides outstanding micro-detail and the time alignment accuracy is tighter at all listening positions.
- All X-Material enclosures with V-Material nested in strategic locations (top of the woofer, in gantry cross-brace, and in the new Wilson Audio Acoustic DiodeTM Spike). Vibration control and upper module isolation akin to what is found in the Chronosonic XVX provides amazing settling between the notes.
- Introducing the Wilson Audio Acoustic Diode. An all-new spike system
launched with Alexx V, which has been completely upgraded from our standard spike system, and features a novel combination of austenitic stainless steel and V-Material. This coupling system was created by Wilson Audio’s Special Applications Engineering® (WASAE) division and has superlative vibration management that reveals far greater dynamic nuances across the entire frequency spectrum.
- The custom-built Wilson Audio binding posts, first appearing in Sasha DAW®, have now also been integrated into Alexx V. Both banana plug termination and traditional spade connections can be used with this binding post. This premier binding post offers a clean signal path with an upgraded and larger contact surface area.
- There have been several crossover changes. With fewer components now in the signal path we fine-tuned and modified the system for better Impedance and Sensitivity measurements — From a minimum impedance measurement of 1.5 ohms (Alexx) to 2.0 ohms (Alexx V) and +1dB more sensitive than Alexx Series 1.
- Gold lugs, which are a superior electrical conductor, are featured throughout the entire product. Some places they can be found are within the crossover, connector plate contact points, and resistor connections.