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Wilson Chronosonic - why?

Wseaton

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I'm looking ay these things and reading reviews, and walking away scratching my head. No, it's biased envy towards the people that buy them. These beasts do address shortcomings in multi driver designs with time alignment, and I've heard older Wilson's back in the audio showroom I used to work at, and they were very good. Wilson designs. particularly the larger ones have very little shortcomings. (and you pay dearly for that)

My issue is the design doesn't make sense compared to the problem it solves. It's like pushing a multi engine airplane with a single massive engine in the tail and using multiple mechanical transmissions to turn props in the wings. Plus, your engine is supplied by a 3rd party and you don't know the specs.

Large, multi driver designs can deliver superb dynamic transients, but can be problematic with trying to keep all those various drivers with different radiation patterns and often driver materials cohesive. Either or, your Xover design starts to get absurdly complex and begins to create it's own problems. The Chrono's have absurdly low impedance, right? That kind of allows us to reverse engineer the driver circuit and how Wilson attempts to circumvent crossover issues of this sort.

Ok, fine, but why do this? Just actively drive each driver module with it's own built in active amp, centralize an active crossover. which would allow you to tune that driver with parameters far beyond just moving the driver on a single axis. The degree of tuning with such a system, provided that's the intent would have to dwarf a passive design that slides drivers on rails. Sit back with your smart phone and tweak away.,

And the best part is - you control the whole system. I just can't wrap my head around having the large and complex a loud speaker and very $$$$ only to have to couple it with somebody elses amp.

I'm not picking on Wilson here, nor the people that buy them. Again, I love the sound of Wilson's I've heard in the past and their build quality is next level. It just seems with my limited knowledge of audio design that my concept would beat the Chronos at their own game, and likely cost a helluva lot less.

Comments? Ridicule?
 

Blumlein 88

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Because in this class of product, the customers just won't have active. Many believe a passive crossover is inherently better, plus you get to select your amps for the sonics you prefer. Such people think a passive anything is better than an active anything. The idea all active circuits have a sound. I think the early WAMMs had a built in EQ and amp for the tweeters and mids did they not?
 

Justdafactsmaam

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I'm looking ay these things and reading reviews, and walking away scratching my head. No, it's biased envy towards the people that buy them. These beasts do address shortcomings in multi driver designs with time alignment, and I've heard older Wilson's back in the audio showroom I used to work at, and they were very good. Wilson designs. particularly the larger ones have very little shortcomings. (and you pay dearly for that)

My issue is the design doesn't make sense compared to the problem it solves. It's like pushing a multi engine airplane with a single massive engine in the tail and using multiple mechanical transmissions to turn props in the wings. Plus, your engine is supplied by a 3rd party and you don't know the specs.

Large, multi driver designs can deliver superb dynamic transients, but can be problematic with trying to keep all those various drivers with different radiation patterns and often driver materials cohesive. Either or, your Xover design starts to get absurdly complex and begins to create it's own problems. The Chrono's have absurdly low impedance, right? That kind of allows us to reverse engineer the driver circuit and how Wilson attempts to circumvent crossover issues of this sort.

Ok, fine, but why do this? Just actively drive each driver module with it's own built in active amp, centralize an active crossover. which would allow you to tune that driver with parameters far beyond just moving the driver on a single axis. The degree of tuning with such a system, provided that's the intent would have to dwarf a passive design that slides drivers on rails. Sit back with your smart phone and tweak away.,

And the best part is - you control the whole system. I just can't wrap my head around having the large and complex a loud speaker and very $$$$ only to have to couple it with somebody elses amp.

I'm not picking on Wilson here, nor the people that buy them. Again, I love the sound of Wilson's I've heard in the past and their build quality is next level. It just seems with my limited knowledge of audio design that my concept would beat the Chronos at their own game, and likely cost a helluva lot less.

Comments? Ridicule?
Everything you are saying makes perfect sense. The marketing problem here is active circuitry is impure in the eyes of many of their customers. Imagine doing a digital active crossover? End of days!!!! And a much better less expensive speaker
 

Keith_W

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My issue is the design doesn't make sense compared to the problem it solves. It's like pushing a multi engine airplane with a single massive engine in the tail and using multiple mechanical transmissions to turn props in the wings. Plus, your engine is supplied by a 3rd party and you don't know the specs.

I love your analogy, it made me chuckle :)

There have been a few attempts at physical time alignment, the other major proponents were Duntech / Dunleavy and Vandersteen.
 

Galliardist

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Everything you are saying makes perfect sense. The marketing problem here is active circuitry is impure in the eyes of many of their customers. Imagine doing a digital active crossover? End of days!!!! And a much better less expensive speaker
I'm sure that if Wilson did that, they would buy in a cheap crossover and charge a fortune for it, just as they are with that Dayton Audio based subwoofer.

After all, it would be in an XYZ material box to suppress something or other, and have one or two components replaced for marketing sound purposes, wouldn't it?

Ultimately, the secret is to wait just long enough for other companies to have their new tech described as "improved" or "nearly as good as"... then jump in with your version, and proclaim loudly that you have fixed the final problems (ideally ones you have made up yourself that "can't be measured").
 

Justdafactsmaam

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I'm sure that if Wilson did that, they would buy in a cheap crossover and charge a fortune for it, just as they are with that Dayton Audio based subwoofer.

After all, it would be in an XYZ material box to suppress something or other, and have one or two components replaced for marketing sound purposes, wouldn't it?

Ultimately, the secret is to wait just long enough for other companies to have their new tech described as "improved" or "nearly as good as"... then jump in with your version, and proclaim loudly that you have fixed the final problems (ideally ones you have made up yourself that "can't be measured").
I doubt we will be finding out anytime soon. They seem to be completely committed to all analog passive crossovers using the most expensive components.

I know it is totally anecdotal but I have heard various incarnations of Wilson speakers at shows and dealerships many many times over the years and I have disliked them every time except 2 years ago at Axpona when they had the very first WAMMs that Dave Wilson himself owned. That actually sounded pretty good.
 

somebodyelse

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Reminds me of Pass explaining the reason behind his analog active crossover for the LXmini - a certain subset demanded it instead of the MiniDSP.
 

ahofer

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Frank Dernie

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I'm looking ay these things and reading reviews, and walking away scratching my head. No, it's biased envy towards the people that buy them. These beasts do address shortcomings in multi driver designs with time alignment, and I've heard older Wilson's back in the audio showroom I used to work at, and they were very good. Wilson designs. particularly the larger ones have very little shortcomings. (and you pay dearly for that)

My issue is the design doesn't make sense compared to the problem it solves. It's like pushing a multi engine airplane with a single massive engine in the tail and using multiple mechanical transmissions to turn props in the wings. Plus, your engine is supplied by a 3rd party and you don't know the specs.

Large, multi driver designs can deliver superb dynamic transients, but can be problematic with trying to keep all those various drivers with different radiation patterns and often driver materials cohesive. Either or, your Xover design starts to get absurdly complex and begins to create it's own problems. The Chrono's have absurdly low impedance, right? That kind of allows us to reverse engineer the driver circuit and how Wilson attempts to circumvent crossover issues of this sort.

Ok, fine, but why do this? Just actively drive each driver module with it's own built in active amp, centralize an active crossover. which would allow you to tune that driver with parameters far beyond just moving the driver on a single axis. The degree of tuning with such a system, provided that's the intent would have to dwarf a passive design that slides drivers on rails. Sit back with your smart phone and tweak away.,

And the best part is - you control the whole system. I just can't wrap my head around having the large and complex a loud speaker and very $$$$ only to have to couple it with somebody elses amp.

I'm not picking on Wilson here, nor the people that buy them. Again, I love the sound of Wilson's I've heard in the past and their build quality is next level. It just seems with my limited knowledge of audio design that my concept would beat the Chronos at their own game, and likely cost a helluva lot less.

Comments? Ridicule?
As long as Wilson dealers recommend whatever eye wateringly expensive amp they represent as an ideal match and vice versa the “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” business model is very profitable.
Thats about it.
Decades ago Meridian tried selling active speakers to high end buyers and failed.
 

chelgrian

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As long as Wilson dealers recommend whatever eye wateringly expensive amp they represent as an ideal match and vice versa the “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine” business model is very profitable.
Thats about it.
Decades ago Meridian tried selling active speakers to high end buyers and failed.
The odd thing is that basically all high end studio speakers are active and that crowd are at least as barking mad as the high end audiophile crowd.
 

restorer-john

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Decades ago Meridian tried selling active speakers to high end buyers and failed.

DSP-5000 series was probably a bit before its time, eh?
 
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Wseaton

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The odd thing is that basically all high end studio speakers are active and that crowd are at least as barking mad as the high end audiophile crowd.
I wouldn't disagree with that, but, there's one difference. As neurotic as the studio crowd is and dripping with caffeine from their pores they tend to have picky ears and and aren't interested in the color of cables or unobtanium wrapped interconnects. :)

Again, I always liked the sound of Wilson's, but personally I though Thiel did a damn good job with time alignment and weren't that far off...at least at normal DB levels. Certainly a lot cheaper.

Actually, line array speakers do the whole time domain thing with multi driver in arenas and high end movie theaters already.

My own opnion is it's the active crowd that doesn't market right. There are some astonishingly good two ways that Amir has reviewed, and I would dare say many tested better than TuneTots. TuneTot owners would fix the equalization weaknesses with different cables or a bigger amp. Who's arguing I'm wrong? lol.

I know a lot of business owners and sub < 50 yr old guys with money, and they wouldn't get caught dead wasting money on big analog speakers and amps that require a dedicated circuit. They go through the turntable phase, but then back to tech. I seriously think a floorstanding multiway that's all active, and looks nice would be a success, and if engineered right would beat the chronos at a fraction the retail price. Flip a switch on your phone and you can emulate a Di Apolito or anything you want.
 

fpitas

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if engineered right would beat the chronos at a fraction the retail price
I agree, but it still wouldn't be considered "high end" by those ignorant of the science. Just go to Audiogon and see what reaction you get ;)
 

Anton D

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I'm looking ay these things and reading reviews, and walking away scratching my head. No, it's biased envy towards the people that buy them. These beasts do address shortcomings in multi driver designs with time alignment, and I've heard older Wilson's back in the audio showroom I used to work at, and they were very good. Wilson designs. particularly the larger ones have very little shortcomings. (and you pay dearly for that)

My issue is the design doesn't make sense compared to the problem it solves. It's like pushing a multi engine airplane with a single massive engine in the tail and using multiple mechanical transmissions to turn props in the wings. Plus, your engine is supplied by a 3rd party and you don't know the specs.

Large, multi driver designs can deliver superb dynamic transients, but can be problematic with trying to keep all those various drivers with different radiation patterns and often driver materials cohesive. Either or, your Xover design starts to get absurdly complex and begins to create it's own problems. The Chrono's have absurdly low impedance, right? That kind of allows us to reverse engineer the driver circuit and how Wilson attempts to circumvent crossover issues of this sort.

Ok, fine, but why do this? Just actively drive each driver module with it's own built in active amp, centralize an active crossover. which would allow you to tune that driver with parameters far beyond just moving the driver on a single axis. The degree of tuning with such a system, provided that's the intent would have to dwarf a passive design that slides drivers on rails. Sit back with your smart phone and tweak away.,

And the best part is - you control the whole system. I just can't wrap my head around having the large and complex a loud speaker and very $$$$ only to have to couple it with somebody elses amp.

I'm not picking on Wilson here, nor the people that buy them. Again, I love the sound of Wilson's I've heard in the past and their build quality is next level. It just seems with my limited knowledge of audio design that my concept would beat the Chronos at their own game, and likely cost a helluva lot less.

Comments? Ridicule?
It's an end of the pool I can't play in.

I can't criticise Bugatti, Patek Phillipe, or Petrus, really, either. It's a world beyond me.

This speaker has cool tweakable features, so I appreciate that, but otherwise it doesn't really exist, to me!

I guess it's an experiment people can buy?

I'd like one, if it were 99% off! :D

That is so much money, can't wrap my head around it.
 
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chelgrian

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I wouldn't disagree with that, but, there's one difference. As neurotic as the studio crowd is and dripping with caffeine from their pores they tend to have picky ears and and aren't interested in the color of cables or unobtanium wrapped interconnects. :)

Again, I always liked the sound of Wilson's, but personally I though Thiel did a damn good job with time alignment and weren't that far off...at least at normal DB levels. Certainly a lot cheaper.

Actually, line array speakers do the whole time domain thing with multi driver in arenas and high end movie theaters already.

My own opnion is it's the active crowd that doesn't market right. There are some astonishingly good two ways that Amir has reviewed, and I would dare say many tested better than TuneTots. TuneTot owners would fix the equalization weaknesses with different cables or a bigger amp. Who's arguing I'm wrong? lol.

I know a lot of business owners and sub < 50 yr old guys with money, and they wouldn't get caught dead wasting money on big analog speakers and amps that require a dedicated circuit. They go through the turntable phase, but then back to tech. I seriously think a floorstanding multiway that's all active, and looks nice would be a success, and if engineered right would beat the chronos at a fraction the retail price. Flip a switch on your phone and you can emulate a Di Apolito or anything you want.
I guess that is the market the KEF LS60 is going after but I'm old fashioned and like wood veneer so even though I am their target market in other respects I'm not going to buy them due to their looks.
 

kemmler3D

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Just actively drive each driver module with it's own built in active amp, centralize an active crossover. which would allow you to tune that driver with parameters far beyond just moving the driver on a single axis. The degree of tuning with such a system, provided that's the intent would have to dwarf a passive design that slides drivers on rails. Sit back with your smart phone and tweak away.,
a floorstanding multiway that's all active, and looks nice would be a success, and if engineered right would beat the chronos at a fraction the retail price. Flip a switch on your phone and you can emulate a Di Apolito or anything you want.
Yeah, you mean the LS60? :D I sure hope it's selling well, otherwise we risk KEF not supporting it long enough...


They just DSP a perfect impulse response in, and you also get the benefit of good dispersion characteristics because of the coax drivers, I imagine the chronosonic off-axis response looks like the ceiling of a cave...

I'm not sure the wilsons would sound "worse" IRL but you certainly don't need all that fuss and expense to get good performance.
 

fpitas

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HeadDoc12

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DSP-5000 series was probably a bit before its time, eh?
Meridian is still around, but currently YG Acoustics is attempting to carry the torch of high end active systems. The Vantage 3 Live is kind of the Kef LS60 on steroids, and sells for around $65K US. That is actually the affordable model; the XX Live is clearly their go-for-broke statement active setup, and I can't even find a price (but I assume it is well above what Beolab 90s go for). Would love to hear either of them.
 
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