“Why did the Hifi Journalists cross the road?”

After a really long Friday at High End Munich 2015, a weary gaggle of the world’s Hifi press gather across the road from the MOC to be whizzed en masse to Starnberg, a small town to the south of Munich, and the stunning My Sound Hifi showroom.

We are here as the guests of Wilson Audio, who want to introduce us to the latest in their line of instantly recognisable loudspeakers, Sabrina, who is officially having her European debut.

Although Sabrina is smaller than her big sisters such as Alexandria and Sasha, Wilson say that she shares a lot of the same characteristics, being simple, clean and articulate.  Dave Wilson goes as far as to say she is ‘a real sweetheart’. SILSON_2

Walking into the MySound showroom is more like walking into a minimal but comfortable home.

It is beautiful, sleek and modern, just like Wilson’s loudspeakers.

Concrete wood and glass is the order of the day, with lovely furniture that is comfy as well as beautifully designed.

Candles and flowers give an intimate feel and, in case you were worried about how all that glass and concrete would affect the sound, there is ample room treatment in the form of artily printed and three dimensional panels on walls and ceilings. WILSON_4

We were welcomed by dirndl clad ladies (and little ladies…so cute, I am guessing the showroom owners’ daughters!) They brought us glasses of champagne and delicious canapés and we chatted to the other guys from the press ….it really did feel more like being welcomed into someone’s home for drinks and dinner than a trade event.

Drinks in hand we were invited to explore and listen to the new Sabrina loudspeakers.

Sabrina has the Wilson signature in her looks and her sound, she is quite diminutive (standing just under a metre tall, even in her heels) but you would still know who her family was if you passed her in the street…sonically she has that detailed and tight sound that is equally at home with classical and opera as rocking out.

Sabrina is paired with a PASS amp and (I can’t think what brand) CD transport….and boy, can this lil’ sweetheart sing! WILSON_3

I am not the world’s biggest fan of opera or classical music but this sounds sublime and handily, my new best friend, Jason from Stereophile, is there to tell me what we are listening to.

Suffice to say, Sabrina can knock the socks right off many a bigger speaker, she’s a tough little cookie who won’t take any hassle in the playground….I really like her, and she isn’t too pricey a date either, you can take her out for around £14,500 UK price.

There is a system in one of the rooms with Alexandria in charge, but we find our way into yet another room where Sasha (series 2), dressed in a sage green ensemble, is flirting with a Devialet….and Tidal.

Now, if you put me and my husband in a room with great hifi, wine and our choice of music a party will happen…its just basic science.WILSON_8

Sasha has even more oomph than her kid sister (but she is a more expensive date)…and she loves to party.  She seems to be very much into her electronica too, Tidal doesn’t carry all of the tunes I love but there is plenty to go at.

Rather than continuing with the Press schmoozing we break out the Daft Punk and are soon joined by some others who get our taste in music.

‘Contact’ from Random Access Memories is rapidly becoming a fave test track of ours, and Sasha does not disappoint as the music builds and builds….lesser speakers are just not fast enough for this track, which can become a messy disaster if not handled correctly.

There is a BBQ provided too so I run out to grab some deliciousness and then come back in to listen some more…..it is very addictive in this room!

We are there for the music so inevitably there has to be some Acid Techno….we introduce people who have never heard of Hardfloor to Hardfloor and, yeah, it’s good!

Sasha has great detail and she is fast enough to cope with whatever you throw at her….techno included …we do however get put briefly on the naughty step for ‘playing it too loud’, but all in all more people seem to dig our music choices than not.

All of a sudden though the party is over, we have to leave Sabrina and Sasha to tidy up as we board the bus back to Munich, to collapse into hotel beds and dream of beautiful high end speakers playing the tunes that we love.

It has been a truly magical evening and I am already looking forward to seeing our wonderful hosts again next year at high End Munich 2016.

Lin 

We sort of realised Hifi Pig had become part of the audio press furniture when we were stood sharing canapés and drinks around a small table with Ken Kessler (Hifi News and record Review), Jason Victor Serinus (Stereophile) and Alan Sircom (Hifi +) – I for one felt immense pride and not a small degree of humility given little old us and the assembled demi-gods of audio journalism.  WILSON_6

First of all the venue and what can I say? My Sound is everything that a high-end hifi showroom should – beautiful and with purpose built spaces to listen to the uber-fi electronics and loudspeakers. Serious money has been spent on MySound in Stamberg and it really does show. If I’m going to go out and drop a serious amount of money on audio then I want the experience to be perfect, from stepping through the door of the showroom to installing the product in the system. You wouldn’t dream of buying a £50K automobile from a scutty lot with a portakabin and so why should the experience be any different when buying serious hifi?

Wilson have got it right with Sabrina to my mind. It’s clearly a high-end item and it both looks it and sounds it. Like Lin has already said these loudspeakers are tight and dry in the bass department with detail and clarity throughout the rest of the frequency range. They’re relaxed and composed when they should be and have enough liveliness to appeal to the likes of Lin and myself who like to go a little louder. The top end is particularly detailed and yet silky smooth without any of the harshness you can get with some loudspeakers.WILSON1

With Sabrina Dave Wilson has managed to bring the lessons learnt from previous bigger projects and has condensed them into a smaller and more affordable package. What you are getting here is a good deal of the sound of the bigger models in the Wilson stable along with a healthy smattering of the technology, materials and lessons learned along the journey.

Of course, this is far from ideal listening conditions given the gathered throng but what I brought away from our brief time with the Wilson Sabrina was that this is a speaker I could live with long term at home…and I’m sure this will be a reaction many on the evening will have had. Yes, you will need serious electronics to drive the Sabrinas but you’re unlikely to open your wallet and spend this kind of money unless you have invested properly beforehand.

Measurements:
Nominal Impedance: 4 ohms / 2.53 ohms minimum @ 139 Hz
Sensitivity: 87 dB @ 1W @ 1m @ 1 kHz
Frequency Response: 31 Hz – 21 kHz: +/- 3 dB: Room Average Response [RAR]
Minimum Amplification Power Recommended: 50 watts/channel

Drivers:
Woofer: 8 inch drivers (20.32 cm) Cone Material: Paper Composite
Midrange: 5 3/4 inches (14.61 cm) Cone Material: Paper Composite
Tweeter: 1 inch, Dome (2.54 cm) Dome Material: Doped Silk Fabric

Dimensions:
Height—38 inches (96.52 cm) W/spikes: 39 5/16 inches (99.80 cm)
Width—12 inches (30.48cm)
Depth—15 3/16 inches (38.55 cm)
Enclosure Type (Rear Ported) X-Material Front Baffle and Bottom Panel

Weight
Weight Per Channel Uncrated: 94 lbs (42.64 kg)
Total Approximate System Shipping Weight: 222 lbs (100.70 kg)

Our thanks go out to the organisers of the evening, the guys at My Sound for looking after us so marvellously (and not complaining too much when we took over a room), the gathered throng for being so open and welcoming, David Wilson Jnr. and to Wilson for inviting us to such a prestigious event.

Stu

Read all our High End 2015 coverage in one place

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