Updated: Oct 8, 2018
It is very difficult, even daunting, to update a classic. The physicians’ maxim of Primum non nocere (first do no harm) certainly applies here. An overly ambitious and inexperienced designer, in his zeal to advance the product with the “latest and greatest technology,” can inadvertently sacrifice the very qualities at the heart of the original’s intrinsic appeal. There is a certain wisdom and introspection that is inherent to all great designers. They know when real advancements are possible, and eschew the temptation to incorporate change for change’s sake. In the end, all great product designs are a deft admixture of art and science, technology and tradition, theoretical research and empirical testing.
Dave Wilson, who led the design for the original Alexia, embodies all these qualities. He was able to consolidate a large portion of his formidable experience and cumulative knowledge into its design. The result was a relatively compact loudspeaker that possessed the musical accuracy and resolution of its much larger siblings. His design process simultaneously built upon what he’d previously assimilated from industry-leading research and development combined with his then latest thinking on loudspeaker design and technology. He drew much of his inspiration and a fair amount of its technology from the Alexandria XLF, Wilson’s flagship at the time. When it was finished, the Alexia possessed much of the XLF’s unique combination of musicality and resolution, but in a much smaller and more domestic-friendly form factor.
Since its launch in the Fall of 2012, Alexia has been one of Wilson Audio’s most successful products, surpassing all sales forecasts. With a footprint not much larger than the Sasha W/P, the Alexia completely redefined what audiophiles thought was possible from a relatively compact design.
Daryl, Dave’s son and onetime protégé, understood what his father had created in the Alexia.
As is true for all great specialty companies, Wilson has not stood still. Since the Alexia’s introduction, Wilson’s technology has continued to evolve and advance in the areas of drivers, crossover analysis and design, time-alignment accuracy, and composite materials research. The last several years have been particularly fruitful for Wilson, led primarily by the research and development for the WAMM Master Chronosonic. The Master Chronosonic dramatically advanced the art of believable music reproduction. And, in turn, the Alexx, which was developed by Daryl Wilson alongside the Master Chronosonic, has itself profoundly advanced music reproduction in its respective category.
Daryl was eager to incorporate some of these same technologies and strategies into the Alexia platform to further advance its remarkable musicality and resolution. But, at the same time, he was determined to be vigilant in maintaining Alexia’s salient appeal. He thoughtfully examined every angle and scrutinized every curve. Every structural element was considered. Each of the crossover components—even the layout of its constituent parts—was assessed. Each of the metal mechanisms—large and small—were carefully examined for possible improvements. At the end of the design process, nearly everything in the Alexia has been reworked for the Series 2 with an eye toward more elegantly following the underlying technological function responsible for the original Alexia’s intrinsic musical rightness.
Daryl’s process, like his father’s before him, honors past accomplishments while, at the same time, employs Wilson’s latest cutting-edge technology. In many ways, this defines what we have come to call The Wilson Way™.