Took a brief drive to see the LMC Home Entertainment showroom in Scottsdale, AZ this weekend to demo the Focal Kanta’s and Sopra2’s, and well as the Wilson Sabrina’s and Yvette’s. Quite the place, many listening rooms with all sorts of gear. (most of it unaffordable to me!)
After spending almost two hours there listening to the speakers that I came to listen to, and a couple more, I was lucky enough to get my personal demo of the Wilson WAMM Master Chronosonic loudspeakers. They have them set up in a small “theater” style room, with three tiers of seating. I started to sit down in the first row, and he blurted at me: “Second row, center chair!” (guess that was the “sweet spot”!) He started playing the same songs that I had requested in the other speakers demos, and WOW!! Never heard anything like it in my life, as close to “live” as I have ever heard. Just unbelievable!! Listening to “Thanks to You”, I closed my eyes and Boz Skaggs was right there on the stage!! The salesperson ducked out of the room to take a phone call and I was able to sit there for about 15 minutes listening. Absolutely the thrill of a lifetime. He came back in and I asked how much the speakers cost. $850,000 for the speakers and subwoofers. $1,500,000 for the entire system that I was listening to. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all the way home.
Did the $1.5 mil include the room?
I had the opportunity to tour Boulder Amps in their new facility a few years back, and had a similar listening experience (JL Labs Stella Grand Utopia’s) . When they built the facility, the slab for the listening room was poured first and was kept isolated from the rest of the building. The room itself (trapezoidal construction) was a “room within a room” separated by an air space from the outer wall. You entered through an airlock type of passage.
Nope, from what I understood, the 1.5 million was just the equipment; $685,000 for the speakers, $165,000 for the subs and $650,000 for all the rest of the components, including those HUGE power amps on the inside of the subs)
A demo equipment deal of a lifetime is in the making (but probably still not for moi)
When you’re told the price is another reason it’s called WAMM!
Did you also listen to the Yvettes?
(I own Yvettes)
Yes, I did - very, very nice speakers, but definitely at the high end of my budget at this time!
What was your impression of the Kanta vs the Sopra?
Well, it was kind of hard to compare them, since they were in separate rooms (one was small with carpet and the other was larger with tile & an area rug), and also had different amps driving them (the Kantas were driven my a McIntosh and the Sopra 2’s were driven by a Naim) However, I will say that the Kanta’s were surprisingly close to the Sopra 2’s, in my opinion. The Kanta’s seemed to have quite a bit of bass for their size, perhaps due to the front and rear ports. The Sopra 2’s sounded a little bright on the high end at times. Definitely like the look of the Sopra 2’s better, and the pair that they had on demo had a custom “chameleon” color; changed color when you looked at it from different angles, very cool. (see below)
Ok–I get it.
but, you can have this gorgeous house for $850K or these speakers. But if you pick the speakers, you have to use the toilet at the Shell station…
You lucky guy! I wish I’d heard it!
I recently talked to someone who frequently gets into houses with such installations. He said when you buy this speaker, three colleagues from Wilson factory will build up the stuff at your home.
I think the very first Wilson design of the large ones in Goldmund style was much better looking.
That paint is called “flip-flop” due to the color change with different perspective.
For some reason, I though the WAMM Master Chronosonic was not going to be available for demos at dealers and that it was a limited run for insider customers. I also thought I read that they were sold out before production began.
I think I am incorrect on both points but would someone clarify?
Yeah, it is important to have your priorities straight.
And it helps if you bring your own roll of TP because single ply ain’t what dreams are made of.
Interference pigments, to be precise.
Brutally expensive, some costing $100’s per lb. But, hey, this is high end audio, right?
Thanks for the link to the science behind the paint. The sign painter that I used to use said that it could cost hundreds of dollars for a mixed pint of certain colors. I didn’t read the article yet but I think there are some required undertones be applied as part of the process. It was a big hit on custom cars when it first became available.
Yep. All true.
They belong to a class of pigments known as “effect pigments.” Metallic pigments are actually flakes of aluminum and are completely opaque. Iridescent pigments are mica flakes coated with a thin (microns) layer of titanium dioxide and give a pearl or with layers of iron oxide to give gold tone or copper effects, but are translucent.
Interference pigments ore the ones that produce the “color travel” or “color flop” effect and are made much the same way but with multiple refractive layers on the base flake.
A good example of a green/gold flop is the ink used on US currency. The gold number in the lower right-hand corner of 20’s and up will flip green of viewed at a very low angle.
If you think flip color automotive paints are pricey, security inks are completely off the chain.
Thanks again for the explanation. There are a lot of very well educated minds that hang out here. It’s nice to be in such good company.
From what he told me at the showroom, they have the only pair available for demo in the world. (I checked on the Wilson Audio website and that appears to be true) I also did some research and it looks like there were 70 pairs produced, not sure if that means all of them were sold. (damn, it would be disappointing if I decided to pull the trigger and they were out of stock! )
I found a review on the Sopra 1’s that said the “chameleon” paint color was a $2,000 upgrade, so I’m guessing it would be at least double that for the Sopra 2’s, yikes!