Wilson Audio Maxx 3 arrived


Well-Known Member
May 9, 2015
Cologne, Germany
After many years without speakers from Wilson Audio, I had the chance to buy a Ferrari Red Pair of Maxx 3, so I did.

My former experience with Wilson Audio were mainly with the smaller speakers, as personally owned Cube, Watt Puppy 3.1, 5.1, 6, 7, 8 types.

At friends homes I had the chance to listen to Maxx 1 and Maxx 2 (but that time, I was not too convinced from the Maxx models)

In Germany you only can rarely find the bigger models, even dealer demos are rare.
Only chance was (still is) on High End Fairs/shows with all the constraints to find the only "best" place to listen to the Wilson Audio speaker on Demo.

In 2015 we moved houses and since than I can use 2 x 60sqm listening rooms, one for stereo, one for Homecinema.

As both rooms are in an old house (from 1856) some acoustical constraints are given, but now with the integration of some room treatment
I can enjoy them for listening music. Since than I am trying to find a good speaker system, fitting into the main listening room, with nearly no parallel walls, 6 big windows, 4 doors, soft rear wall and soft roof as well.

Unfortunatley panels do not work at all, no dipole possible :-(

Best so far was the YG Anat II Reference Professional , as the bass system was active and adjustable. All horn systems tried were a good compromise
(BD- Acoustic Reference, Zingali Client Name Evo 1.5 and hORNS Universum III)
but good not fill the room with the bass energy I like and prefer, even the addition of a Velodyne 1812 subwoofer was not fully satisfying, as the coupling frequency needed to be to high, which made the different amplifiers too clear, sound was not "integrated".

So I remembered my time with Wilson Audio, in my former solid wall room they even had very often too much bass at all...

But it was clear to me, that it must be one of the bigger Wilson Audio towers to try.

Remembering all the different Wilson Audio speakers I heard, I still can remember the performance of the Maxx 3, which was one of the best speakers for the asked price I heard, specially comparing with the current Wilson Audio prices (Alexx in Germany is 140.000,-eur) .

So I started looking for a used pair of Maxx 3 to meet my given budget.

It took some time to find a pair, for obvious reasons the Maxx 3 is rare in the markt, the next step up in the Wilson Audio portfolio will become a really more expensive one.

But ready for Christmas fun on 22'of December a pair of beautiful Ferrari Red Maxx 3 arrived.

It took a day to unpack and to install, but as I did some preparation work (as identifying the neutral zones, preparing amps and cables) we had a first result soon.

The speakers are now placed like 8 to 10ft from side and rear walls with a 15 ft listening distance.

As the manual is showing a table for 14 and 16 ft, there was (still is) some room to try different adjusting, specially , as my ear hight is below 3ft.

Not mentioned in the table is the reference of total speaker hight, using the roller casters, using spikes in different length..., all is changing a lot of the way to place the speaker.

But now a good level of room integration is given, so I could start to compare my two currently available amplifiers. Both were driven from the Koda Takumi K10 G2 with XLR cables. The VTL S-400 did a very good job, for me it became clear, that the amp likes the Maxx 3 and the other way around. I never heard the VTL amp so fast and easy going, the impedance match between the S-400 and the Maxx 3 was working properly.

But the Boulder 1060 had the much better speaker control and , to my surprise the better tonal balance in my room. The Koda K10 seem to give the Boulder Amp enough energy in the lower mids, that the combination is just right, Koda plus VTL plus Maxx 3 can sound easy a little too fat.

But may be this observation will change, after having listened to the Maxx 3 more days (or weeks). I always feel biased from the system before,
and when changing speakers I try to make them sound alike..., instead of accepting the different character and to built the other components supporting this character I try too often to change the character in something I know from before.

The first impression of the Maxx 3 is simple. This is not a horn :)
So the presentation of the music is not that crystal clear and not sometimes jumping into your face.
I love for example horn instruments on horn speakers, so you might understand, what I miss.

But what did I get?
Much higher resolution, higher level of details, but without kicking all the information out loud...
The sound is much more integrated, cannot be seen as separated into Horn section and bass , which was my problem before.
My horns systems so far were all too small, so they all had no horns bass.
Listening to Maxx 3 makes music for me (at the moment) much more enjoyable , as I am just listing to the music and not to the compromised performance of an individual driver.

With my last Horn speakers, I started to love Ortofon SPU , Koetsu and at last the Shun Mook Cartridge, now with the Maxx 3 my vdh Master Signature is back on the SME 3012 R , as it fits the Maxx 3 perfectly.

So for the most music I am listening too, the Maxx 3 is the better compromise.

But for my old Jazz Vinyls , some rare Jazz monos, I will establish a horn System in my second room, to still have horns on horns :)

A pair of hORNS Opera Beryllium Edition are arrived on Christmas as well, but this is another story in another section of the WBF.


Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
Beverly Hills, CA
Congratulations, shakti! What a wonderful Christmas present!

“I love for example horn instruments on horn speakers.” I agree! I agree! I agree!
Likes: shakti

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