Many of you shared my sadness when we heard of David Wilson’s passing. I have known David since 1988, when he came to Toronto to set up a pair of WAMMs. I was just a kid, full of excitement to meet one of the legends in my beloved industry. David was very kind. He asked my opinion about cartridges I’d heard or owned, and took sincere interest in my thoughts about the Apogee Scintillas I owned previously. When I told him I had sold the Scintillas for a pair of WATT with Rosewood side panels, his eyes lit up. He regaled me about how the WATT came about, and how its success astonished him. I was privileged to help him with the WAMM set up. To this day, after selling many of the best speakers in the world, the sound of the WAMM is deeply etched in my mind as one of the most magical, lifelike experiences. David’s careful and logical methodology of setting up the speakers also made a huge impression on me. Each step led to a more transparent, more involving result. There was no guessing in placement of the enclosures, the alignment of the modules, or the adjustment of the crossover. He used recordings he made so the sound was intimately familiar.
This reliance on using music he knew became the backbone of Wilson Audio’s research methodology. Always comparing the speakers to the original, David and his team made many of the most accurate speakers. He relied on scientific research, methods and his ears. He cared little about the popularity of driver materials, always keeping his eyes on the end result – does it sound like the original event?
David’s son, Daryl, has been involved with the company since he was a child, learning every aspect of the company. He’s been directly responsible or heavily involved in designing the company’s speakers over the last decade, including helping David with the WAMM Chronosonic.
To honor his father’s memory, Daryl designed the Wilson Audio Sasha DAW, a fitting tribute since Sasha evolved from the iconic Watt/Puppy. Sasha DAW is at once recognizable as a Sasha, yet it shares not one part in common with its predecessor. Everything is improved, every detail upgraded. Sasha DAW uses technology learned from the WAMM Chronosonic project, David’s last creation, his Magnum Opus.
I have no doubt the Sasha DAW will be a stunning success, sonically and commercially. I even suspect that this may be Daryl’s best work to date. A son’s homage to his legendary father. David’s creations greatly influenced the speaker world. Thanks in large part to him, speaker designers today pay attention to enclosure materials and resonance control. Time alignment is more common, and many speakers can disappear, throwing a big soundstage with sharp images. Transparent, neutral speakers are the goal, instead of the “West Coast, East Coast, British Sound, or German Sound” etc.
I invite you to hear them when the Sasha DAW arrive sometime in November. Let’s celebrate the life and achievement of one of our own, one who raised the bar, created a successful business that employs many people directly and indirectly, one who was a true and gentle man. David Wilson