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Wilson Audio TuneTot Review (high-end bookshelf speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 304 57.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 169 31.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 37 7.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 19 3.6%

  • Total voters
    529

DanielT

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I do recognize that setup :)

There's more than meets the eye though, let's see a view from above:
View attachment 175536
Behind the curtain is a huge damping panel. The other side has the same, a curtain with a damping panel behind it.
I'm way too close to the back wall, so there's a damping panel on that wall as well.
(hidden in plain sight disguised as a Led Zeppelin poster)

If you've got to deal with the room you have, so better make sure whatever speaker concept you pick can actually "work with" the room!
The room has been renovated recently and subs were added quite a while ago. All of it DIY, that's part of the fun for me.
View attachment 175538
The arrays do have filters in them making them act as a frequency shaded array, meaning only the center (ear height) drivers play full range.
If we look at how that translates to a 'Harman like' graph it doesn't look too bad:
View attachment 175539
Enough off topic though...
The point is: choose the speaker that works with the room...
Aha, those were your speakers. Now we can talk about speakers. This is what it should look like! Congratulations, well done! By the way, one of the coolest DIYs I've seen :)

They were by pure chance they became the ones I took as an example.

I am aware that line speakers do not fit in all types of rooms, acoustically but also aesthetically. One can, however, consider whether such a solution could be something to have.

Enough OT. :)
 
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lurkera

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These are not dedicated spaces as Genelec recommendation assumes. There, sure, you can try to optimize it but again, be very careful about assuming acoustic difference is the same as real distance.

So please don't throw theory at me. I know the difference and have set targets for testing that are reasonable and consistent across all the speaker I test.
Hi Amir, if you have some spare time, do you think you would be able to use an eq to quick and roughly make your Revel M106 sound like the TuneTot? The TuneTot is similarly sized to the M106 and when you mentioned it sounds larger, can this be replicated with an eq?
 

Rick Sykora

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What's not serious? How far do you think people pull out their speakers from the front wall on the average?

This is company marketing picture for this speaker:

TuneTot-105___responsive_2160_1558.jpg


Looks a heck of a lot less than 4 feet to me.

These make so much more sense to me now. ;) Thanks for sharing this pic...

They must be worth the asking price if they sound good for all those seating positions on the left!
 
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Holmz

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These makes so much more sense to me now. ;) Thanks for sharing this pic...

They must be worth the asking price if they sound good for all those seating positions on the left!

Depending on the intended audience, the marketing picture is missing ladies with glasses of chardonnay.
 

Vladimir Filevski

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Why it doesnt have that much effect below 200 Hz?
It will have effect below 200Hz, but in a wrong way - it will boost already big peak at 115Hz, which is bad. On the other hand, effect below 80Hz is negligible, because the roll-of is very steep (woofer is unloaded below bass-reflex resonant frequency and port output works against woofer's).
 

JRS

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What Wilson wants to achieve you see in post # 829

I find it exciting when Wilson says:
WSAE engineers readily detect even the tiniest enclosure vibrations - at the level of billionths of a meter,....

Hm, wondering what kind of measuring equipment they have?
Laser inferometry is my guess. Something like this has nanometer precision. The LIGO Observatory can detect movement of about 9e-21 meters by bouncing light down a tube 300x to see if the interference pattern has changed, and cross checked with it's sister 4000K=km away.

LIGO's Extreme Engineering

LIGO exemplifies extreme engineering and technology. LIGO consists of:

  • Two “blind” L-shaped detectors with 4 km long vacuum chambers...
  • situated 3000 kilometers apart operating in unison...
  • to measure a motion 10,000 times smaller than an atomic nucleus (the smallest measurement ever attempted by science)...
  • caused by the most violent and cataclysmic events in the Universe...
  • occurring tens-of-millions or billions of light years away!
A few of LIGO's most remarkable engineering facts are listed below.

Most sensitive: At its most sensitive state, LIGO will be able to detect a change in distance between its mirrors 1/10,000th the width of a proton! This is equivalent to measuring the distance to the nearest star (some 4.2 light years away) to an accuracy smaller than the width of a human hair.

World's third-largest vacuum chambers: Encapsulating 10,000 m3 (350,000 ft3), the air removed from each of LIGO’s vacuum chambers could inflate 2.5 million footballs, or 1.8 million soccer balls. LIGO's vacuum volume is the third largest in the world, surpassed only by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, and NASA's "Space Simulation Vacuum Chamber".

Ultra-high vacuum: LIGO's vacuum chambers may be the third largest of all vacuum chambers, but they are the second largest "Ultra High" vacuum chambers (the first being the LHC). The pressure inside LIGO's vacuum tubes is one-trillionth of an atmosphere (10-9 torr)--in other words, one trillionth the air pressure that you would encounter at sea level. It took 40 days to remove all 10,000 m3 (353,000 ft3) of air and other residual gases from each of LIGO’s vacuum tubes. This process was only conducted once. LIGO's vacuum tubes have endured this pressure for over 20 years.

Air pressure on the vacuum tubes: 155-million kg (341-million pounds) of air press down on each 4 km length of vacuum tube. Remarkably, the steel tubes that hold all that air at bay are only 3 mm (0.12 inches) thick.

Curvature of the Earth:
LIGO’s arms are long enough that the curvature of the Earth was a factor in their construction. Over the 4 km length of each arm, the Earth curves away by nearly a meter! Precision concrete pouring of the path upon which the beam-tube is installed was required to counteract this curvature.


 

JRS

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Cost No Object is the preferred term when price/performance is awful. ;)

The longer I've been in the hobby, the worst my price/performance gets.

Diminishing returns are cruel.
1640968399502.png

I suspect this is an absolute sort of maxima, from which all else goes downhill. The best we can is to find some local maximus in our respective drawer, each of which is more expensive and ultimately offers less bang for the buck than the last.
 

DanielT

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Laser inferometry is my guess. Something like this has nanometer precision. The LIGO Observatory can detect movement of about 9e-21 meters by bouncing light down a tube 300x to see if the interference pattern has changed, and cross checked with it's sister 4000K=km away.

LIGO's Extreme Engineering

LIGO exemplifies extreme engineering and technology. LIGO consists of:

  • Two “blind” L-shaped detectors with 4 km long vacuum chambers...
  • situated 3000 kilometers apart operating in unison...
  • to measure a motion 10,000 times smaller than an atomic nucleus (the smallest measurement ever attempted by science)...
  • caused by the most violent and cataclysmic events in the Universe...
  • occurring tens-of-millions or billions of light years away!
A few of LIGO's most remarkable engineering facts are listed below.

Most sensitive: At its most sensitive state, LIGO will be able to detect a change in distance between its mirrors 1/10,000th the width of a proton! This is equivalent to measuring the distance to the nearest star (some 4.2 light years away) to an accuracy smaller than the width of a human hair.

World's third-largest vacuum chambers: Encapsulating 10,000 m3 (350,000 ft3), the air removed from each of LIGO’s vacuum chambers could inflate 2.5 million footballs, or 1.8 million soccer balls. LIGO's vacuum volume is the third largest in the world, surpassed only by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland, and NASA's "Space Simulation Vacuum Chamber".

Ultra-high vacuum: LIGO's vacuum chambers may be the third largest of all vacuum chambers, but they are the second largest "Ultra High" vacuum chambers (the first being the LHC). The pressure inside LIGO's vacuum tubes is one-trillionth of an atmosphere (10-9 torr)--in other words, one trillionth the air pressure that you would encounter at sea level. It took 40 days to remove all 10,000 m3 (353,000 ft3) of air and other residual gases from each of LIGO’s vacuum tubes. This process was only conducted once. LIGO's vacuum tubes have endured this pressure for over 20 years.

Air pressure on the vacuum tubes: 155-million kg (341-million pounds) of air press down on each 4 km length of vacuum tube. Remarkably, the steel tubes that hold all that air at bay are only 3 mm (0.12 inches) thick.

Curvature of the Earth:
LIGO’s arms are long enough that the curvature of the Earth was a factor in their construction. Over the 4 km length of each arm, the Earth curves away by nearly a meter! Precision concrete pouring of the path upon which the beam-tube is installed was required to counteract this curvature.


That was interesting information! Interesting information in itself. Fascinating development in the field of physics.:D

However, if we take Wilson, not to fix a sensible frequency response on a pair of (expensive and small) speakers, but detect even the tiniest enclosure vibrations - at the level of billionths of a meter,...:facepalm:

Nothing new under the sun.
Matthew 23:24:
You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Edit:
I do not know if you quote from the Bible without being religious? I do it now in any case. :)
 

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DanielT

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It's probably no more strange than Wilson is creating speakers with a specific sound character:

Speakers with what listeners perceive as good transient ability usually have good sound pressure capacity, but not infrequently also an uneven frequency response, which exaggerates certain frequency ranges and thus appears to be more "dynamic". Wilson Audio's products are good examples of this.
I have not heard all their models, but none of the ones I have heard (Watt / Puppy in different versions, Sofia and Alexandria) have sounded odynamic. Usually, these speakers have a fairly high voltage sensitivity and a relatively low distortion, which is a good starting point for a dynamic sound. A prerequisite, however, is that the speakers are driven by a relatively current-capable amplifier because the impedance is usually low. An excessive midbas and some irregularities in higher registers give the illusion of a more dynamic sound, but only if you are inattentive.

.....
By the way, I have not heard a Wilson Audio creation that has sounded particularly good, regardless of price.
 
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prerich

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Apr 27, 2016
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I voted happy....because if it makes you happy and communicates joy to you....done deal. I know from radio wave modulation and signal multiplexing that a carrier wave is constant - it doesn't change until input or intelligence is placed on that wave...modulating the signal. Now you can hear as the carrier (constant) has been changed or modulated. I also know that my ears are not as good as my collection operator/analyst/supervisor days. The music hasn't changed, but other variables that I can't control (age and health) have. At this stage of life, if it sounds good to you and you can enjoy it ....what the hey...;):):eek:
 

AudioX3

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I don't think adding EQ to tame or fix a speaker should factor into the recommendations or panthers, but ok, maybe some tweaks is acceptable? But, while price up to some form of reasonableness can be taken out of the equation, lets say when $3k for a bookshelf speaker is "reasonaly" high end, more than 3x that of $10k, at that point for sure the price matters and should factor into recommendation or not.

With that, I emphatically voted headless panther, not recommended.

The concern I have, is Wilson can now say look Amir gave us a recommended, and I think reading between the lines and caveats, I think we all know no way in hell does Amir actually recommend this speaker. Therefore, I would recommend Amir reconsider his conclusion due to the misuse it could lead to.

(That said, it is IMHO, Amir has earned the right for sure from all of us to do whatever he thinks is right at the time. So no offense meant.)
 

pablolie

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My very personal key takeaways from this review and especially the reactions to it are:

(1) Naturally owners and fans will have a guttural reaction to whatever they passionately invested themselves in or are fans of. Try telling a Manchester United fan the teams sucks in their face. You know what I mean. Audio definitely has that element to it. :-D

(2) The dichotomy between measurements and the listening experience is long established. Deal with it. There are sooooo many occurrences of it it's not even remotely a surprise. Come on. Not just on this site. Many others where they try to level measurements with listening experience.

(3) Budget envy is a thing. We all know that with increasing spending comes focus on a carefully nurtured customer group (well I hope we all know). High end products main selling point is and had always been "perceived value". That is the foundation of market economy by the way. Read some Adam Smith. It's not material cost, it's about perceived value that sets the price. The concept won. Most of us make a comfortable living based on it. Our companies invariably charge customers more than is necessary to command a higher margin based on a variety of value props that are to a large degree artificial.

(4) My personal key takeaway is I wouldn't want those speakers, and that's that and requires no further discussion nor explanation. The facts were presented for everyody to make up their own mind, irrespective of whatever the effing panther final pose is.
 
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