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  • The Immersive Audiophile Update 5

     

     

    A quick update today. The system is coming together! A few weeks ago the Mytek Brooklyn AMP+ components all arrived. Yesterday, the eight Wilson Audio Alida and single WATCH Convergent Synergy center channel loudspeakers arrived. I know many Audiophile Style readers who've accepted delivery of Wilson Audio speakers at some point in the past, but I also know many who'd love to do so in the future. For those who've yet to put Wilsons in their systems, I'd like to give you a taste of the experience. 

     

    When the delivery driver called yesterday, asking if he was seriously supposed to drop off nine crates at my residential address, I assured him this had been done in the past many times. Fortunately, my 1940s neighborhood has alleys, behind the houses, wide enough to accommodate a full semi-tractor and 53 foot long trailer. Not only that, but at the end of the alley is a street wide enough to pull a big rig out safely. One driver broke his passenger side mirror off by hitting an electrical pole, but that's a long story for another time. 

     

    wilson audio alida truck crate.jpgThe truck arrived yesterday, right on time. I met the driver in the alley, to assist with the unloading of the crates. We usually unload crates with the help of a lift gate, then wheel them into my garage. Once the driver leaves, I work on moving everything from the garage into my house, then up into my listening room. If the crates contain speakers like my Alexias, I call Manny's Piano Movers, who for $375 make quick work of moving everything into my listening room. 

     

    The Alida and WATCH crates were manageable enough for me to handle everything by myself. I got a little concerned when the driver asked me what was in the crates and how long I planned to keep them in the garage. I told him, "it's just audio stuff for work and I'll have it all in the house by lunchtime." I'm unsure if the driver was going to call Vito Corleone to "help" me with the crates, but I wasn't taking any chances. 

     

    All speakers were packed in their own heavy duty wood crate to minimize the chance of shipping damage. Moving these crates into my house, unpacking the speakers, then moving the crates back outside, wasn't necessary. I avoided marking up my walls by uncreating the Alidas in the garage and carrying them into my house. 

     

    vertical wilson audio crates.jpgEach crate was sealed tightly by eight 3 inch wood screws through the top panel. My cordless drill made quick work of these screws, revealing perfectly packed and wrapped speakers, wall brackets, a metal mounting template, and a hardware kit with everything I need to mount the speakers. Wilson Audio has clearly been doing this at a very high level for a long time. The company has thought of everything. 

     

    As I write this, it just dawned on me that many Wilson owners may not even know about any of the aforementioned details. Wilson dealers always handle delivery and setup of every speaker. It's like manufacturers making the inside of their products as nice as the outside. The customer may never see it, but it's the right thing to do. Wilson customers, for better or worse, may only see and hear the speakers in their final listening position. At least they can appreciate the hardcover bound owner's manual that covers everything one could possibly need to know about the specific product.

     

    The WATCH center channel speaker is a bit heavier than the Alida, so I wheeled that crate into my house to get the speaker as close as possible to my listening room without carrying it. I managed to uncrate it and carry it up the 14 stairs without too much trouble. It isn't something I'd like to do on a daily basis, but for the readers of this wonderful community, I was willing to sacrifice my back :~)

     

    I have all the speakers in my listening room now, sitting in plastic wrap. In addition to this plastic wrap, Wilson Audio also applies a frisk on every loudspeaker. The frisk for my Alexias was white, but the company has not moved to an improved clear frisk. The frisk is a protective layer that's stuck on to every visible surface of the speakers, giving the incredible Wilson paint layer an added level of protection. I haven't unwrapped or removed the frisk on any speaker just yet. Perhaps I'm still admiring this audiophile haul, still in disbelief that this project is coming to fruition, and at the same time thinking about my upcoming trip to Munich. Do I mount the speakers before leaving or after Munich? Still thinking about that one. 

     

    To recap, all the speakers are here. My Wilson Audio Alexia Series 2 speakers for the front right and left channels, WATCH Convergent Synergy center channel, 8 Alidas (four surround channels and four height channels), and the Lōkē powered subwoofer. I have some serious work ahead of me. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it :~)

     

     

    Wilson Audio Atmos System.jpg

     

    wilson audio alida mount.jpg wilson audio Alida mounting bracket.jpg 

     

    wilson audio alida hardware kit.jpg wilson audio watch center hardware kit.jpg

     

     




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    Now that’s my kind of tax write off!  Are the finishes under the wraps in the orange/red to match your big Wilsons?  JCR 

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    9 minutes ago, jrobbins50 said:

    Now that’s my kind of tax write off!  Are the finishes under the wraps in the orange/red to match your big Wilsons?  JCR 

     

    I ordered the Alidas in Ivory with Parchment grills, so they would blend into the walls a bit better than the Sur Sang Rouge :~)

     

     

     

    1 minute ago, retro said:

     

    Only one sub then? Beginners mistake. Order three more..😇

     

    Everyone starts somewhere :~)

     

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    3 minutes ago, AudioDoctor said:

    Holy crap Chris!

    So, you’re saying you might want to stop over after all the work is done :~)

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    Just now, The Computer Audiophile said:

    So, you’re saying you might want to stop over after all the work is done :~)

     

    Afterwards, yes...  ;-)

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    I find it interesting that Wilson has elected to use wooden crates for shipping. Is that how your big Wilsons were packed as well?  My Revels came in flight cases. I didn’t hire Manny’s to move them (although Manny’s has moved my grand piano!), but it took three of us to move those flight cases to the lower level in our home.  Those Wilson Alidas in the ivory should look nice on your walls. Darn heavy for a wall speaker!

     

    And if you want my help on the setup, let me know and I will take the 20 minute drive up to your residence. JCR 

    F505A5E2-77DD-4BD2-B6FA-CE399B619F0D.jpeg

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    Wow, Chris! 

     

    I suspect you will have a lot of ASers show up who just happen to be "passing through MSP, and stopped by to say hello!"

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    1 hour ago, austinpop said:

    Wow, Chris! 

     

    I suspect you will have a lot of ASers show up who just happen to be "passing through MSP, and stopped by to say hello!"

    You’re always welcome to stop by Rajiv. 

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    @The Computer Audiophile A walk through video when its all done would be greatly appreciated.  Make it dramatic like opening up the door to your attic and walking up to your awe inspiring oasis 😉

     

    I don't think reviewers do enough justice with photos of their actual space with the product they're reviewing. Stock photos only go so far.

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    The best way I have seen this done is with a raised floor and route the cables in that space. I know that this could not be done in your space.

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    I wonder if there will be a version of ELP Brain Salad Surgery in ATMOS. I mean the original master was recorded in Discrete QUAD, so getting an ATMOS version might be easy from that, not sure. The other LP that I remember was recorded in QUAD was Queen's - Night at the Opera. Another LP worthy of mentioning.

     

    I have those two LP's on DSD, vinyl and, DVDA. The ELP Vinyl was part of my first vinyl buying trip. That and Jethro Tull - War Child. Who knew I could just throw caution to the wind. 🤣 The 2nd trip I bought A Night at the Opera.

     

    All I can say is now, thinking about it all....

     

    Im Not Worthy GIFs | Tenor

     

    Joking aside, it will be interesting to read what you think about it. I have a friend who has a phobia about surround sound and music. He thinks music is stereo only. I think it can be so much more. I HAVE enough speakers on hand 😇 and can do it in one brand also. I just need the processor/amp is all, I still have my 43" Pioneer Plasma screen (See I am a pack rat).

     

    This is fun to read about.

     

    Top 20 Newman GIFs | Find the best GIF on Gfycat

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    Brain Salad Surgery and Queen Night At The Opera are both already available in 5.1 surround.  A good number of the existing 5.1 mixes are the ones showing up as new Atmos mixes, such as The Doors albums, which just showed up this week on Apple Music spacial audio. JCR 

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    39 minutes ago, jrobbins50 said:

    Brain Salad Surgery and Queen Night At The Opera are both already available in 5.1 surround.  A good number of the existing 5.1 mixes are the ones showing up as new Atmos mixes, such as The Doors albums, which just showed up this week on Apple Music spacial audio. JCR 

    My superficial survey of previously released 5.1 recordings, especially those that were not even 5.1 originally, is that they sound inferior in Atmos.  Yeah, there are more "effects" but they are not improvements.

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    That's going to be some set-up. Though I guess when receiving such light speakers as the Alexas they don't need really good packing.:D

     

    My speakers came in similar wooden crates, but each crate can stand upright and has inbuilt castors and handles for movement. When opening the FRONT of the crates the speakers on a separate shipping dolly just roll out into the room.9_9

     

     

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    You are going to thoroughly enjoy multichannel.  I have ~550 albums in surround now and listen quite a bit to discrete 5.1 with an ITU layout embedded in my 9.1.6 theater setup.  I prefer to mostly listen without upmixers.  If you don't have Fagen's Nighfly in DSD 5.1 yet, get it ASAP.  It's a must-have and a perfect example of top-quality production in a restrained, but truly impressive multichannel mix. My buddy Kevin couldn't stop talking about it the next day after we listened.  

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    On 5/9/2022 at 6:01 PM, scintilla said:

    If you don't have Fagen's Nighfly in DSD 5.1 yet, get it ASAP.  It's a must-have and a perfect example of top-quality production in a restrained, but truly impressive multichannel mix.

     

    OK got it....    with ~ 550  do you have a few more must-haves for those of us just starting out ?

     

    thanks

     

     

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    Both Wish You Were Here and DSOTM are must haves.  If you like Gilmour, Rattle That Lock is a superb album on BD. Kind of Blue of course.  Thrak, by King Crimson is most impressive. Brothers in Arms. Gaucho. There are three Groove Armada SACDs that are superb. There are starting to be more 5.1 FLACs available.  I suspect that HD tracks will soon be adding more to their surround downloads, which are currently mostly classical releases.  It's a great time to be diving in...

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    well this is getting a bit complicated. I don't want to turn this into a software discussion, but for instance, I see Brothers in Arms was released as both a hybrid CD/SACD with multichannel and a DVD-A multichannel. The SACD on Discogs is around $20 while the DVD-A is $50+.. how can you find out if they are the same mix and if not, which is better... Are there any good websites that discuss the different versions of albums released in various formats?

     

     

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    the Steve Hoffman forums often discuss various releases.  I have the hybrid multichannel SACD of BiA (and have ripped it). I personally wouldn't opt for a PCM mix when a DSD one is available.  I think there is only one multichannel mix available of that album.  I have found different mixes for other albums.  And the Alan Parsons quad mix of DSOTM was never commercially available before the super duluxe release with a bluray, but many prefer it.  I'm quite happy with the Guthrie-authored version on the widely available SCAD though.  Hopefully there will be an uptick in the titles offered for download through HDtracks, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.

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