A New X Factor – Wilson Audio now manufactures its smallest floorstanding speaker entirely from the superior “X-Material”. Does the SabrinaX deliver the sonic experience of our hi-fi dreams?
In tests with its “laser vibrometer”, which makes the slightest vibrations visible, the development team had determined that the X-housing had considerably less resonances, thus offering the chance for an even cleaner, clearer and more structured performance. That was far from all, however. On top of that, the SabrinaX received the “Convergent Synergy Tweeter” in the latest “Mk5” version, which is the same tweeter as in Wilson Audio’s ultimate WAMM Master Chronosonic. Going even further, another addition is the freshly created 20-centimeter woofer from the also recently introduced, almost twice as expensive Sasha DAW – which made us quite ecstatic in the review you can read here–, featuring two of them per speaker, in comparison.
Of course, the SabrinaX is much less complex. For example, its cabinet consists only of one piece instead of two like that of the Sasha DAW, which allows for precise phase corrections with regard to the listening position. In comparison, the Sabrina drivers recede with increasing frequency position in the baffle, which is slightly tilted backwards, and thus compensate for the differences in impulse rise as well as the runtime to the ear.
Another important detail Wilson considers lies in the specially developed capacitors for the crossover, also manufactured in Provo. Here, especially for the ambitious Chronosonic XVX, a long time was spent experimenting with materials and winding techniques as well as other parameters before the final result was available. The SabrinaX benefits from this experience by receiving capacitors precisely adapted to its needs. By adapting and including technologies and parts of the top models in smaller types, these are imbued with “Flagship DNA”.
In fact, the keyword of “flagship DNA” takes on a whole new meaning when listening to these speakers. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that the considerably more elaborate and more expensive Sasha DAW was standing and playing in an almost identical location.
Certainly, the bigger model had presented the front-to-back relief of the Red Norvo Quintet’s “Saturday Night” a bit more vividly and distinctly, but what we heard from the SabrinaX was not that big of a difference: a stage realistically drawn up in every direction with the hearty, differentiated beats of the vibraphone, the audience babbling in the distance and both committed and controlled musicians playing anything but narrow. No doubt, Wilson Audio succeeded in transferring essential capabilities of the Sasha DAW to the SabrinaX.
This impression was reinforced further afterwards. The guitar intro in Marika Cailly’s “Les Petits Cafés”, which was as charming as it was striking, had the right tight “twist”, while the voice came with the correct mixture of smoothness and a slight tartness. With Beat Kaestli’s “Day In Day Out”, recorded completely unpretentiously by Chesky Records, the American speaker showed what a high degree of resolution and light-footed noblesse it is capable of. Did the Sasha DAW present the immensely natural, lightheartedly gliding title even more floatingly and naturally? Did it push the guitar as well as the cornet even further to the left of the base, as only particularly phase-true speakers are able to do? Perhaps, but the SabrinaX seemed so convincing, holistic and cohesive that its relationship to the outstanding Sasha DAW was more than obvious.
It helped that all parts of the sound image also fit together organically and perfectly complemented each other, which also led to the fact that the spatial spectrum the speakers – which are all but large – produced opened upwards and hardly seemed to be capped. This may be due to the slightly upward radiating drivers, in addition to the tonal coherence and precisely placed, crisp dynamics which result in a convincing clarity of reproduction. Thus, the densely woven, sometimes mountainous, and yet fanned out sound collages on Tears For Fears’ reissue LP of their mega-selling album “The Seeds Of Love” with its flood of details flashing like raindrops in the sun is turned into an enchanting listening experience.