Sasha DAW Loudspeakers Overview
The Man Who Started it All
The original WATT began not as a response to a perceived market need. It was not the product of focus groups. Dave never intended it to be a commercial product at all. Dave Wilson designed the WATT in 1985 as a tool for himself. He was a recording engineer who needed a loudspeaker he could take with him to on-location recording venues, a location monitor that spoke the same language as his revolutionary and revered WAMM reference monitor.
In other words, Dave was literally designing the loudspeaker he wanted to own. There was a certain freedom this approach afforded Dave. He was not governed by business-school notions of market need. Without these considerations, he was unrestricted to design and build a loudspeaker that specifically fit his desire for a loudspeaker that was complete without compromise, crass cynicism, or commercial concerns of any kind. As a direct consequence of Dave’s pure intent and his idealistic approach, a masterpiece was born.
Later, the WATT was paired with a dedicated woofer module—the “Puppy.” The WATT/Puppy combo became Wilson Audio’s largest selling product and the most successful loudspeaker priced over $10,000 in the history of audio. The reason was simple: it was a truly compact, full-range loudspeaker that could fit easily in most real-world listening rooms while still offering the bass speed and extension, the dynamics, and musicality associated with much larger systems.
When Sasha W/P debuted in 2009, it heralded a name change in recognition of the comprehensive redesign of the WATT/Puppy platform.
The addition of W/P to the name was meant to signify the new loudspeaker was still part of an evolutionary chain that extended back to the original introduced in 1989.
With the Sasha W/P, the platform eschewed the modular, two speaker approach of the WATT/Puppy, and instead treated the loudspeaker as a single integrated design. Without this limitation, imposed by the fact that the WATT itself was designed as a standalone monitor, Sasha’s performance established a new elevated standard for what was possible for hyper-performance, compact monitors.
When it came time to upgrade the Sasha, Daryl Wilson was sensitive to what his father accomplished. In the wake of Dave Wilson’s recent passing in 2018, Daryl was all the more motivated to ensure the Sasha would honor his father’s achievements, and yet look to the future for an even greater level of performance than was possible when Dave designed the original Sasha.
An All-New Sasha
Daryl decided a fresh look at the Sasha was in order. He approached the Sasha as if it were an all-new loudspeaker, taking the elements that very clearly worked in its design and, at the same time, applying the myriad technologies generated by Wilson’s design team since the advent of the Series 2 over five years ago. The result is the largest upgrade in the history of the WATT/ Puppy and Sasha platforms.
Led by Vern Credille, the team designed a new woofer for the Sasha. Based on the 8-inch driver found in the Alexia Series 2, the new woofer was redesigned for the specific needs of the Sasha. When Dave designed the original Puppy, speed and dynamic impact were priorities, as well as optimizing the bass extension. He found that two smaller drivers allowed him to optimize both. This strategy has been refined over the years. The Sasha DAW represents the largest leap in bass performance since the platform’s inception and resets the bar in the areas of transient honesty and impact, linearity, and timbrel resolution.
To further augment bass performance, Daryl and his team redesigned the Sasha’s bass enclosure from the ground up. Thicker X-Material panels further reduce (the already vanishing low) panel resonances. Enclosure volume was increased by 13.3%, which allows
for greater bottom-octave authority and reduced distortion. The blades on the top of the module, where its companion midrange/tweeter rests, have been strategically redesigned with openings, which reduces cavity pressure in the space between the upper and lower modules. Finally, a new, ultra-low-turbulence port reduces already low unwanted wind-born noise.
For the design of the upper module, Daryl Wilson worked closely with Jarom Lance, one of Wilson’s mechanical engineers. Thicker panels throughout the module reduce resonance. An all-new pattern is cut into the inside of the enclosure, which mitigates internal reflections. Enclosure volume was increased by 10.2% for increased dynamic range and efficiency.
The midrange and tweeters are the same units used in the WAMM Master Chronosonic, and an all-new crossover blends the entire recipe together. Vern and Daryl worked to improve the frequency linearity of the platform. Already the industry leader in the
areas of ultra-low distortion and vanishing noise levels, the team found ways to reduce both.
In the end, the new design is the highest resolution, lowest distortion, and most linear loudspeaker in the history of the WATT/Puppy platform. It is easier to place in a wider variety of rooms than its predecessors. Most importantly, the Sasha DAW provides a remarkably direct conduit to the numinous beauty of music.
In recognition of the man who started it all, the Wilson team felt it apropos to dedicate this most ambitious iteration of the Wilson compact loudspeaker in its history to the visionary who first imagined it thirty years ago. Thus, the designation “DAW,” David Andrew Wilson’s initials.
The Best Materials
The material to which a driver is mounted provides the “launchpad” for cone excursions. Years of empirical listening trials and
materials testing, most recently with Wilson’s Laser Vibrometer, have shown that different materials provide optimum baffles for different drivers. Wilson’s proprietary composite, X-Material, is the ideal material for woofers and tweeters. The research surrounding the original Sasha led to the development of S-Material, designed specifically to increase midrange accuracy and beauty.
Wilson Audio remains at the cutting edge in the world of enclosure composite development. Using the most sophisticated test
equipment, not least of which is the human ear, Wilson’s team has raised the bar again with the Sasha DAW. The team’s attention to detail and nuanced approach to enclosure design contributes substantially to Sasha’s unique blend of resolution, dynamic contrast, timbrel accuracy, and musical beauty.
Since the original WAMM, designed in the early 1980s, all of Wilson’s loudspeakers accurately correct the individual drivers in the time domain. Like its bigger siblings, Sasha DAW is a modular design, which allows the drivers to be specifically aligned for each installation.
In the Sasha DAW, a beautiful and functional calibrated “staircase” facilitates extremely fine adjustment within the time
domain. For each installation, the midrange/tweeter module is adjusted in relation to the woofer drivers below, such that
the four drivers are precisely aligned for that particular environment…
In the DAW, Wilson has enhanced the user interface of the group-delay mechanism, which now features a knurled knob, enabling the adjustment to be facilitated without tools. Additionally, the woofer baffle is now angled back, which more correctly integrates the bass drivers with the upper module in the time domain.
Momentum M400 Monoblock Amplifier Overview
The M400 and S250 monikers give a clue to the power output of each amplifi er—but only a clue. Each amplifi er doubles its power into 4 Ohms and then again into 2 Ohms. This powerdoubling capability is the only guarantee that an amplifi er can deliver the correct power a speaker may require. The backbone of this power is a new custom-made, ultra-quiet 1,800VA linear transformer. Coupled to this power source is a discrete, balanced, direct-coupled output stage with high-tolerance output devices that are hand selected by our technicians. A critical element of any amplifi er output stage is circuitry known as the driver section. In the Momentum amplifiers, this stage is a fully complementary design, with individual transistors employed for the positive and negative halves.
Amplifier Continues to Lead
The original Momentum Mono Amplifier was the first product designed and manufactured by the company and the latest version, the Momentum M400 Amplifier continues to be an industry leader. The Momentum M400 Amplifier upgrade includes power and circuit enhancements and is available to all owners of the original Momentum Mono Amplifier.
The M400 moniker gives clue to a major part of the upgrade. Power output has been increased to 400 Watts into 8 Ohms. This is up from the original 300 Watts. The backbone of the power increase is a new ultra-quiet 1,800VA linear transformer – a 20% increase in size from the original. Coupled to this larger power source is a new output stage design that includes a number of major enhancements.
Innovative Cooling with Venturi Style Heatsinks
A critical element of any amplifier output stage is circuitry known as the driver section. In the new Momentum M400, this stage has been elevated to a fully complementary design. There are now individual transistors employed for the positive and negative halves of the musical signal. This change nearly doubles the current drive necessary to maximize the enhanced output stage that follows. The new output stage takes this increased drive to boost the open loop gain by the same factor of two. The result is a sound that is more authoritative, richer, and more expansive.
The final output stage features new output transistors that were originally sourced for the flagship Relentless Monoblock Amplifier. The high-output transistors used on the Momentum M400 are among the fastest available. Using 24 on the Momentum M400 they run at a blistering 69 MHz, permitting the Momentum to achieve incredible bandwidth. Each transistor mounts with two stainless steel fasteners—a rarity among ﬂat-package transistors—for maximum thermal transfer to the copper heat sinks. A capacitor/resistor network connected to the base of each transistor ensures stability even at high frequencies and with low-impedance speakers. Additionally, every output transistor is measured and only devices that match the required performance specifications are included in the production of Momentum M400 amplifiers.
As with all D’Agostino models, the Momentum M400 features discrete, direct-coupled balanced circuitry. employs the same chassis with a small aesthetic design change to the copper feature on the faceplate sides. Additionally, the meter now displays a scale appropriate for the greater power output. Current Momentum monaural amplifiers can be upgraded to the Momentum M400 performance level. Included in the upgrade is the new 400 Watt meter plate and all electrical component upgrades.
Hand-built and individually tested.
Each Momentum M400 monoblock amplifier is hand-built and individually tested in D’Agostino’s Arizona factory by our team of technicians and craftsmen.
Momentum HD Preamplifier Overview
Drive and Detail for All Music
The subtleties of voices were rendered with a lushness and richness that were simply unattainable previously. Full development of what has become the Momentum HD Preamplifier started immediately. Ultimately, the HD moniker was selected as it best describes the improvements achieved in the new model. The new HD signifies the high dynamic and high definition improvements that have been accomplished in this substantial upgrade. Beyond the input stage, the new Momentum HD Preamplifier incorporates advancements in the power supply, audio circuitry, and control sections.
Advancements in the audio circuitry, power supply, and control sections are incorporated in the new Momentum HD Preamplifier.
Balanced Circuits for Maximum Bandwidth.
Like the Momentum amplifiers, the Momentum HD Preamplifier uses a complementary balanced circuit topology for maximum bandwidth and low noise. Its audio circuitry is fully discrete, with no op amps or integrated circuits. A Zero-feedback design assures the most musical sound quality. Volume adjustment is made through a resistor network governed by an optical controller—the cleanest, most transparent possible method of controlling volume.
Detail and Richness Throughout the Musical Range
A completely new discrete differential FET input stage features two current sources per leg and an input impedance greater than 1MOhm. This ultra-high input impedance isolates the input stage and thus the entire audio signal path from external variables.
This new input stage started as an engineering exercise that delivered exceptional results. Fine-grain detail and delicate musical shadings are rendered with a lushness and richness that were simply unattainable previously.
Housed in a separate chassis for maximum isolation, the Momentum HD main power transformer is 33% larger as compared to the original Momentum Preamplifier. A unique winding technology, first employed in the Momentum M400 amplifier, delivers greater power output from the same footprint. Separate supplies power audio and control circuitry, so the control circuits are completely isolated from the audio circuits. Internal circuitry filters RF noise from the AC powerline and compensates for asymmetric power waveforms and DC on the main power line.
Taking advantage of the increased power supply capability, the output stages are now operating at a 36% percent higher voltage. The increased output voltage has opened up the dynamics on both the micro and macro level with contrasts striking in their speed.
Advanced Remote Control
Also new is the Bluetooth technology featured in the included remote control. The Bluetooth backbone extends the range of the remote by a factor of five and eliminates line of sight limitations that are inherent in IR remote controls.
Newly designed tone and volume control circuitry increases range and precision in both circuits.
The styling of the Momentum HD Preamplifier perfectly complements the Momentum M400 and S250 amplifiers, with copper accents matching the amplifiers’ unique copper heat sinks. The meter on the front face of the preamplifier indicates volume setting, polarity, and mute status. Front selector buttons illuminate indicating which input is active.
Existing Momentum Preamplifier owners will be able to upgrade to the new Momentum HD Preamplifier electronics enhancements.