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CAS4 – Best Debut Product Wilson Audio Duette Series 2

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Wilson Audio Duette Series 2 Speakers

The Duette Series 2s were in a great room on the second floor. I should mention one of the best things about this show was the great size of the rooms on the first and second floor as well as the corner rooms on the third floor. This was not a room I expected to like all that much. First of all in Maytag White I found these speakers quite unappealing to my eye. Then there was the fact that the amps were solid state.

I was wrong though, this room turned out to have some of the very best sound of this year’s CAS. The little Wilson speakers were powered by Ayre electronics, the source was the magical AMG ‘table and arm with a Benz-Micro Gullwing cartridge being played through an Aesthetix Rhea phono stage. Pricing starts at $19,900 with stands. The Duette Series 2 is designed strictly for being placed as near as possible to the rear wall; this is different from the previous Duette which included adjustments for free standing room placement as well. Like the old Linn Sara or Kan speakers Wilson has chosen to use the walls in the room as a known quantity that can be factored into the design, crossover and dispersion characteristics.

The Duette Series 2 had remarkable imaging and dimensionality. As reviewers we often say that the speakers disappear, but in this case the speakers and the wall they were right up against simply disappeared. It was interesting to me that several of the rooms I liked best had their speakers set up near or against the rear wall: both rooms with Audio Note E speakers, the Linn Audio room, the Burwell & Son’s room, and this the Wilson Duette Series 2 room. I should mention that there were still great sounding rooms with the speakers well out into the room. The first one that comes to mind was the Acoustic Zen room.

The new Duette Series 2 can’t get all the credit for the great sound in this room. I own the AMG turntable and arm so I know that a good bit of the credit has to go to the great table and the Benz cartridge as well as the Aesthetix phono stage. Still this was quite an impressive debut for the new Wilson speakers. Don’t misunderstand these aren’t just great speakers if you need speakers that go close to the wall; these are simply great speakers!

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