Sasha DAW vs Alexia 2

abeidrov

VIP Donor
Dec 17, 2015
316
42
163
Moscow
#1
I have just had 2 very exciting days auditioning the first pair of Sasha Daw in my country.
463875C5-5408-496C-B641-0BC72D6B3FC5.jpeg
They are definitely a big step up from my current Coincident Total Victory speakers. The bass, resolution, dynamics are all at another level. The speakers are new and maybe had just several hours of use on them, before they were brought to my apartment. As you can imagine, the first couple of hours the sound was not good at all. Then they started to ease up, and by the end of the first day the normal midrange started to appear. My 18 W Border Patrol SET amplifier drove them quite well, even the WA distributor representative were surprised and admitted it.
My only gripe about the speakers - the midrange still sounded a bit edgy and dry comparing to what I am used to. Maybe, it’s a break-in issue, or maybe it’s the speakers’ neutrality, and I must just get used to it?
Another question I have is the choice between DAW or Alexia 2? Wilson people told me, A2 is more adjustable and could be better adapted to my room. Is that true? Will I gain anything else apart from better adjustability and deeper bass, if I choose A2 over DAW? And finally, is A2 the same relatively easy load to an amplifier, as the DAW? A2 is less sensitive, the minimum impedance is about the same, but strangely enough, the minimum recommended amplifier power is 20 W per channel vs 25 W for Sasha.
Thanks in advance.
Aziz
 
Likes: CKKeung
Dec 17, 2015
316
42
163
Moscow
#2
Anyone? No experience with Sasha vs Alexia here?
 

tima

Industry Expert
Mar 4, 2014
1,683
1,179
230
the Upper Midwest
#3
Will I gain anything else apart from better adjustability and deeper bass, if I choose A2 over DAW?
I've had Sasha, Alexia v1 and Alexia v2. I've used Atma-Sphere MA-1s, Audio Research Ref 250s, a Berning ZOTL (can't remember the model off hand) and the Lamm M1.2s. The ARC and Lamm monoblocks are better suited. I cannot speak specifically of your Border Patrol 18W amplifier because I have no heard it. An 18W amp will play music and it may sound very nice but likely not deliver all of what you're paying for with the DAW or Alexia - imo.

That 'better adjustability' is better adaptability to a room and improved aural coherence plus all the other changes made to the Alexia v2 are signficant in terms of tonality, focus, clarity, dynamic authority, and an overall sense of more energy and vitality. You can read my coverage of the Alexia Series 2 here.
 
Likes: CKKeung

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
3,566
538
225
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#4
abeidrov,
First, 18W is not enough for the size room you seem to have. That can account for some of the harshness, as the amps will be clearly straining.
I'd use at least double that amount of watts, matter of fact, I did try an 30-something W Air Tight amp on Alexia 2 and it was really, really good, but in a large room, it would strain on the louder passages.
The Alexia 2 is slightly more efficient than the DAW. Because of the bigger cabinet size, I believe Alexia 2 will play easier, with deeper bass. The extra adjustability will allow for improved transparency and resolution as well. But do give it the speakers at least 100 hours for the drivers and crossover to settle.
BTW, why don't you try the darTZeel that's sitting on the floor there? :)
 
May 30, 2010
16,608
1,491
420
Portugal
#5
I owned the Alexia and find it a better overall speaker than any Sasha if your room can accept it. The scale, energy and dynamics of the Alexia are points that I consider highly and make it a "big" speaker. All depends on what you valuate more. A good friend owns the Alexia II and it was a worth improvement over the old model, but I would prefer an old Alexia to a Sasha II or DAW.

BTW, usually the main issue of 18W or in general low power tube amplifiers is not just power, but output impedance. As they usually have few tubes and low feedback they have high output impedance and are mismatch with Sasha's or Alexia's.
 
Dec 17, 2015
316
42
163
Moscow
#6
Thanks for the answers. I understand, that an 18 watt set amplifier is not an ideal match for either Sasha or Alexia. And, if I decide to go with Wilson, I will definitely look at other options.
I tried Sasha very briefly with Jadis JA 80, which is sitting behind Dartzeel on the photo. It’s a 60 watt push-pulll amplifier. Yes, bass was a bit better (more punch, better defined), but it all came at the expense of less lively midrange and HF. The same story was with Dartzeel, which was rather boring. And it also happened with PBN M2!5 and my own speakers. I guess a SET amplifier has some magic in the midrange, which is difficult to get with other amp types, but it certainly has some limitations.
 

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
3,566
538
225
San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
#7
One recommendation: you need to revise speaker setup when you change amps. A position that sounds good with one amp might not be the same with a different amp.
 
May 30, 2010
16,608
1,491
420
Portugal
#8
Thanks for the answers. I understand, that an 18 watt set amplifier is not an ideal match for either Sasha or Alexia. And, if I decide to go with Wilson, I will definitely look at other options.
I tried Sasha very briefly with Jadis JA 80, which is sitting behind Dartzeel on the photo. It’s a 60 watt push-pulll amplifier. Yes, bass was a bit better (more punch, better defined), but it all came at the expense of less lively midrange and HF. The same story was with Dartzeel, which was rather boring. And it also happened with PBN M2!5 and my own speakers. I guess a SET amplifier has some magic in the midrange, which is difficult to get with other amp types, but it certainly has some limitations.
IMHO if you want a lively midrange sound the Jadis to own with Sasha or Alexia is the Defy 7. Gayy Koh once told us about his preference of using two Defy 7's strapped for mono, something I feel guilty of never having tried. I once got a cheap used Defy 7 with the JPL - the best value for money I have ever had to drive Wilson's. French gaîté at its best!
 
Last edited:
Likes: bonzo75

abeidrov

VIP Donor
Dec 17, 2015
316
42
163
Moscow
#9
My “Dream Speaker” search has ended and I ordered a pair of Sasha DAWs. Now the dream amplifier search will start:).
 

analyzer

Well-Known Member
May 20, 2016
162
45
60
Torino - Italy
#10
Nice! I'm surprised that the Dartzeel combo has been considered "boring". It's among the very best ...:rolleyes:
I recognize in your system something familiar to me, the JA80 Jadis that I hear for the first time in the middle of '80's in a match against ARC and EAR... I think It"s still today an excellent power amp; I ignore if it will be a good partner with Sashas (the only friend of mine Who has Sasha2 drive them with Vitus SS-103).
And particularly I recognize my same linestage preamp, the Coincident statement, surprisingly good value for the Money... Do you tried It with other Power amps?
My best
Marco
 

abeidrov

VIP Donor
Dec 17, 2015
316
42
163
Moscow
#11
I tried both Dartzeel and Jadis with Coincident pre. No luck. Too much gain and distorted sound. Probably an impedance mismatch. The only SS amp that sang with my pre was CH A1. It has 2 impedance settings and adjustable gain. I only tried it with VSA VR-55 speakers and was very impressed. In my limited experience it is the only SS amp that could match my SET in musicality.
 

CKKeung

Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2011
1,961
1,205
240
Hong Kong
#13
I tried both Dartzeel and Jadis with Coincident pre. No luck. Too much gain and distorted sound. Probably an impedance mismatch. The only SS amp that sang with my pre was CH A1. It has 2 impedance settings and adjustable gain. I only tried it with VSA VR-55 speakers and was very impressed. In my limited experience it is the only SS amp that could match my SET in musicality.
Hello abeidrov,
Congratulations!

CH Precision A1 is nice but please consider the bigger and newer A1.5.
Your DAW derserves it!

BTW if you find CH Precision poweramps of your taste, please audition the Soulution poweramps too.
They are from the same camp.
:)
 

abeidrov

VIP Donor
Dec 17, 2015
316
42
163
Moscow
#14
Hello abeidrov,
Congratulations!

CH Precision A1 is nice but please consider the bigger and newer A1.5.
Your DAW derserves it!

BTW if you find CH Precision poweramps of your taste, please audition the Soulution poweramps too.
They are from the same camp.
:)
CKKeung, thanks!

A1.5 is already in Moscow and is waiting to be auditioned. But it will take another couple of months before my Sashas arrive.

I wonder, why there are so few pairings of WA and CH. It’s funny, but local WA distributor didn’t even know about CH Precision’s existence when I asked him:rolleyes:!
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,975
1,598
245
#15
Hello abeidrov,
Congratulations!

CH Precision A1 is nice but please consider the bigger and newer A1.5.
Your DAW derserves it!

BTW if you find CH Precision poweramps of your taste, please audition the Soulution poweramps too.
They are from the same camp.
:)
A CH A1.5 is a great suggestion CK, plus 1 on that.

Soulution I find still a different spirit to CH even though there are many similarities in topology.

CH would be one of the few SS I’d happily live with going forwards for speakers that aren’t SET ideal and the A1.5 could be a sweet spot in the range... and you can start stereo and leave room to build towards monos. Best of luck with the system abeidrov. Enjoy.
 
Last edited:

DeMarko

New Member
Mar 27, 2020
14
3
3
#17
I owned the Alexia and find it a better overall speaker than any Sasha if your room can accept it. The scale, energy and dynamics of the Alexia are points that I consider highly and make it a "big" speaker. All depends on what you valuate more. A good friend owns the Alexia II and it was a worth improvement over the old model, but I would prefer an old Alexia to a Sasha II or DAW.

BTW, usually the main issue of 18W or in general low power tube amplifiers is not just power, but output impedance. As they usually have few tubes and low feedback they have high output impedance and are mismatch with Sasha's or Alexia's.
Border Patrol S20 EXD EXS or just S20 EXD is a very different 18W single ended amp. Very different and special in my experience. I heard it on numerous occasions with Wilson Alexandria in comparison with other amps, SS and not, and it does drive them very well and with unbeatable naturalness on top of that. I can't say for other speakers and rooms, but in that system and in a relatively large room there's no doubt about it. The owner of the system has several amps and preamps to play with. Border Patrol S20 EXD EXS is his favorite amplifier in his life long hobby.

If you have a chance, do try it with your XLF. Takatsuki output tubes or Old/original WE would be the best by far. Other top tubes can be very good but are no match. I liked Wilson Maxx and Alexandria and if I had a top Wilson, I'd go for the single ended Border Patrol S20, not push-pull P20. At least it would be my top contender, yes I'm that impressed. In Border Patrol lingo EXD means extended package, EXS means excess, i.e. 2 mono block power supplies that are the heaviest and sturdiest I know of in commercial amplifiers (as opposed to one off diy experiments).
 
Last edited:
Dec 17, 2015
316
42
163
Moscow
#18
I wonder if anyone has had any experience with Pass Labs vs CH amplification and WA speakers?
 
May 30, 2010
16,608
1,491
420
Portugal
#19
Border Patrol S20 EXD EXS or just S20 EXD is a very different 18W single ended amp. Very different and special in my experience. I heard it on numerous occasions with Wilson Alexandria in comparison with other amps, SS and not, and it does drive them very well and with unbeatable naturalness on top of that. I can't say for other speakers and rooms, but in that system and in a relatively large room there's no doubt about it. The owner of the system has several amps and preamps to play with. Border Patrol S20 EXD EXS is his favorite amplifier in his life long hobby.

If you have a chance, do try it with your XLF. Takatsuki output tubes or Old/original WE would be the best by far. Other top tubes can be very good but are no match. I liked Wilson Maxx and Alexandria and if I had a top Wilson, I'd go for the single ended Border Patrol S20, not push-pull P20. At least it would be my top contender, yes I'm that impressed. In Border Patrol lingo EXD means extended package, EXS means excess, i.e. 2 mono block power supplies that are the heaviest and sturdiest I know of in commercial amplifiers (as opposed to one off diy experiments).
Thanks for your answer. I have used the XLF with the Lamm ML3 (30W SE, GM70) and the Marantz Project T1 (50W push pull, 300B+845) . In my system, using mainly the DCS Vivaldi plus Extreme as primary source I prefer the Marantz Project T1 - it copes better with the high dynamics of digital and its low coloration, showing more of the performance with many types of music. The Lamm ML3 is now available for sale at a price too low to be advertised, but the used high-end market is now frozen.

BTW, Border Patrol are not particularly attractive to europeans, as we are not able to listen to them easily in this side of the Atlantic.
 
Dec 17, 2015
316
42
163
Moscow
#20
Hello guys and ladies:))

I am still waiting for my Sashas, but hopefully now it’s a matter of weeks.

It’s a pity there is no experience with WA and CH here. What about Luxman? I‘ve found this video channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1RalNTbbkMouvaR0XhKIiA. Very interesting comparisons of Sasha DAW to Focal Scala, Dynaudio. Also with different amplification (Gryphon, Dan D Agostino, Pass Labs). There is a recent video of two Luxman amplifiers with Sashas. Any opinions about pairing WA with Luxman?

Thank you,
Aziz
 
Likes: sujay

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high-end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. A place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss existing and new audio products, music servers, music streamers and computer audio, digital to audio converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel to reel, speakers, headphones, tube amplifiers and solid state amplification. Founded in 2010 What's Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing