With the Wilson Benesch Glass House still warm from our 5-day residence, our team, along with the 180-kg per channel Cardinal Loudspeakers have returned to our HQ in Sheffield.
The first port of call as ever is to thank all those who attended. Each year we greet many familiar faces and this year many of those faces greeted us in return with a wider smile than ever having experienced the sonics presented in this years setup. But also we would like to extend our gratitude to Jerry Lewin, Tony Revelle, Gay Brown and all the Team at Audio T for organising another fantastic Sound and Vision Show. The show will be 27-years young next time around and remains without doubt the leading exhibition in the UK.
Cardinal UK Premier
The Cardinal Premier was, by some way, the most exotic demonstration Wilson Benesch has assembled for the Sound and Vision Show to date – being the UK Premier of our latest flagship loudspeaker we felt it was important to share a really special experience with our audience. The Premier UK Review of the Cardinal arrived immediately prior to the Exhibition. Roy’s review like the product is reference quality and it informed the system setup.
The Wilson Benesch Cardinal is as impressive from a sonic perspective as it is in pure engineering terms – and that’s really saying something. Here we have a product where innovation and execution are perfectly in accord with purpose
- Roy Gregory, Cardinal Review, HIFI+
The Cardinal loudspeaker was joined by two Torus Infrasonic Generators with dedicated Torus Amplifiers wired in stereo and crossed over at 33Hz. In turn each Cardinal was bi-amped by a dedicated “power amplifier”. The Cardinal Isobaric Tactic-II System and lower mid-range Tactic-II with one dedicated half and the upper mid-range Tactic-II and the Semisphere Tweeter for the other half. This arrangement provided dedicated power and control to the important elements of the Cardinal design and separated the Troika arrangement according to the most delicate bandwidth associated with the upper mid range and tweeter frequencies which the ear is most sensitive to.
Reference System informed by the Cardinal Review
Traditionally Wilson Benesch present a guest amplifier in the room each year. Our selection is usually informed by synergy within the design philosophy of the two products, in particular we pay special attention to unique designs that have often taken a very different approach, rejecting the status quo. This years choice was no exception to the rule; a choice that was made all the more easy by the fact that this was the same set of amplifiers used during Roy Gregory’s two-part review of the Cardinal.
The Siltech Saga amplifiers are truly class leading and are a totally new amplifier concept. Consisting of two P1 Current Amplifiers setup in stereo, fed by the battery powered C1 valve control amplifier and the battery powered V1 amplifier which uses tubes for variable voltage gain. These together form – kind of – the SAGA equivalent of a regular power amplifier. Its a very interesting approach, those interested can read a little more here, I have been reliably informed there is a full review in progress.
At the front end was the Wilson Benesch Full Circle, complete with the Nanotube Tonearm and the Carbon Cartridge. With digital front end supplied by the dCS Vivaldi DAC, fed by the Aurender Reference Music Server.
All cabling requirements were provided by our long term partner Clearer Audio. The excellent Silver Line Optimus Reference was fitted throughout the chain, from interconnects to power cables and conditioners. More information about these Reference quality cables can be found via the links to all our partners below.
A New Setup
Regulars will have noted we opted for an entirely new room layout. Bordered along the rear wall by a huge black 6-meter long temporary wall loaded with rockwool and neatly finished with a bold white Wilson Benesch logo. The presentation was sonically the most impressive achieved to date. We have been very grateful for all the positive feedback received, both personally and via our twitter feed. Many have asked about the system architecture, with a fair few queries about the combined cost of the setup in the room this year. The latter part I will leave to you, but here is the full system list.
Full System List
Wilson Benesch Cardinal Loudspeakers
Wilson Benesch Torus Infrasonic Generator x 2
Wilson Benesch Torus Amplifier x 2
Wilson Benesch Full Circle Turntable
Wilson Benesch Nanotube Tonearm
Wilson Benesch Carbon Cartridge
Wilson Benesch Full Circle Stand
Siltech SAGA (Structural Amplifier Gain Architecture)
SAGA C1 Battery Powered Valve Control Amp
SAGA V1 Battery Powered Valve Voltage Gain Amp
SAGA P1 Current Amp x 2
dCS Vivaldi DAC
Aurender W20 Reference Music Server
Stillpoints Racks x 2
Clearer Audio Silver-Line Optimus Reference Interconnects
Clearer Audio Silver-Line Optimus 110 Digital Interconnects
Clearer Audio Silver-Line USB Interconnect
Clearer Audio Silver-Line Optimus Reference Speaker Cables
Clearer Audio Silver Line Optimus Power Cables