Editor's Note: As mentioned in my Superphonica introduction here on Computer Audiophile, I said I wanted to grow CA and take it to the next level. Part of this growth will come from hiring additional writers. Today marks the first step in our longterm business plan, as we publish the first article from Danny Kaey.
I was introduced to Danny a few years ago by our mutual friend Maier Shadi of The Audio Salon in Santa Monica, CA. I've spent time with Danny on several occasions since then and we've shared our mutual love of music in many conversations. Danny is not only a smart guy with excellent knowledge of HiFi, but he's a great person (the great person part is most important to me). Most of Danny's listening these days is done through a turntable, but he is no stranger to the digital side of our wonderful hobby. Danny's career at Apple Inc. demands that his knowledge of all things digital remains sharp. I look forward to reading Danny's perspective on all things HiFi, right here on CA.
Please welcome Danny to the CA community, he is excited to join us.
- Chris Connaker
Announcing the Wilson Audio TuneTot
Question: how often does Wilson Audio announce a new speaker? Answer: not very often. Except today of course. Since I first heard of this, all new design, I have genuinely been biting my tongue not to spill the beans. Wouldn’t want to spoil an early Christmas and all. Fact is, Wilson Audio has been on a roll these past few years. Alexx, Sabrina, Yvette, Alexia Series 2 - undeniably, that’s a whole lot of development, engineering and design time over just the past two, three years. Add to that all other work associated with a new speaker launch and one quickly sees the Herculean effort needed to accomplish such feats. Fortunately, Wilson Audio isn’t just any high-end speaker manufacturer, so if anyone could pull this off, my wager would be on precisely the Provo, Utah based team to do so.
What makes these developments even more praise worthy is that during this time, Dave Wilson retired and the reigns of the company were handed over to his son, Daryl Wilson. No stranger to the company’s business, Daryl had been his dad’s sidekick since before he was even a teenager. Things always come full circle. In the case of this all new loudspeaker, this circle spans a giant ark, since Wilson’s latest is in many ways a direct descendent of Dave Wilson’s very first speaker built exclusively as a location monitor for his now legendary recordings. What came next was genuinely historic in the world of high-end audio: the WATT / Puppy speaker system which across all of its iterations is by far the single best selling high-end loudspeaker of all times. To those who perhaps are reading about Wilson Audio for the very first time, the who, the WATT, refers to Wilson Audio Tiny Tot. As mentioned, it was born out of necessity: Dave Wilson needed a reference quality monitor for his location recordings and nothing available on the market proved worthy for the challenge.
Today’s speaker landscape looks rather different than back in the 70s, Wilson Audio literally having given birth to the concept of a very high-end, very high-quality loudspeaker system. Competitors have come and gone; yet, undeniably, today’s high-end speaker market is larger and more segmented than ever before. New technologies, manufacturing and materials sciences, have enabled speaker designs that are quite literally able to transform your own personal listening studio into a full scale musical nightclub. Listening habits have also grown and changed significantly: with dramatically increased fundamental wealth across the globe since the 1970s, HiFi aficionados have grown accustomed to having not one but sometimes even two or three different “systems” to enjoy their favorite music. A “main” living room or dedicated listening room setup has been augmented with an office or even bedroom system. Whereas there are obvious choices to be had for any of these secondary HiFis, in Wilson lingo, even Duette is quite a large loudspeaker. Was it genuinely possible to scale the Wilson sound of say Alexx, Alexia, to something even more compact, even more potent in a small space? For such a speaker to make sense, it would have to bear all of the hallmark technologies Wilson Audio is famous for: time alignment, phase coherence, advancing both materials and manufacturing sciences and of course built to Wilson’s incredibly demanding and high-end standards.
Just how much can you shrink such extraordinary high expectations? How far could you take this model? Where would this road lead to? Well, friends, the wait is almost over and it’s time for the cat to come out of the bag: please welcome Wilson Audio’s latest and most compact loudspeaker to date, TuneTot. Based on what I know today, and what I will be able to share May 10 and beyond, I genuinely feel this to be a breakthrough speaker in more ways than it would speak to just us, the initiated HiFi aficionados. TuneTot is by no means entry level: it is a genuine Wilson Audio loudspeaker built for a new generation of HiFi. With that, Frankie can say no more. Tune in to the Tot next Thursday, May 10.
More on the Wilson Audio website - Wilson Audio TuneTot