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Floorstanding Speakers

Wilson Audio’s WATT/Puppy Loudspeaker Has Been Reborn: High End Munich 2024

From $38,500/pair, Wilson Audio remasters its WATT/Puppy loudspeaker for 2024 in celebration of the company’s 50 year anniversary.

Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Loudspeaker (2024 model) in black, red and silver

If you are old enough to remember the original Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy, there will be a rather serious case of nostalgia with this announcement from the Utah-based manufacturer.

I remember listening to the fifth iteration of the award-winning loudspeaker in a suburban D.C. hi-fi store during my college days at GWU and lamenting that I would never be in a position to afford the loudspeaker and stack of Krell and Linn Audio components driving the system.

The significance of the WATT/Puppy for North American audiophiles was enormous.

In 1974, Dave Wilson took that first step alongside his wife, Sheryl Lee Wilson, when they started Wilson Audio Specialties on a workbench in their garage.

Dave Wilson Building Series 1 Watts
Wilson Audio Founder, Dave Wilson Building Series 1 Watts

Dave recognized early on in this sonic voyage, as an active recording engineer, the need for a portable studio monitor that spoke the same resolving language as his original WAMM (Wilson Audio Modular Monitor). After years of Sheryl encouraging and convincing Dave of the potential importance of this small speaker concept, Sheryl changed the course of Wilson Audio, and the audio industry, forever.

Dave passionately dove into development without consideration for cost. His focus was exclusively on performance and functionality for the ultimate portable studio monitor. Thus, the WATT (Wilson Audio Tiny Tot) was created. This small yet formidable loudspeaker did more than just provide accurate audio feedback on location; it was so impressive at audio shows that Dave and Sheryl had a hard time keeping up with orders.

Wilson Audio has evolved over the last five decades from the workbenches found in cramped garages to a custom-built 46,000 sq/ft manufacturing facility. In the relentless pursuit of excellence that defines Wilson Audio, every craftsperson carries on in the unwavering journey of continuous improvement, guided by the beacon of “Authentic Excellence.” Each progressive step builds upon the foundation laid by our predecessors, paving the way for the exceptional.

Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Loudspeakers (Old vs New)
Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy Loudspeakers (previous vs. new on right)
Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Loudspeakers Rear (Old vs New)
Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy Loudspeakers (previous vs. new on right)
Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Loudspeakers Side (Old vs New)
Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy Loudspeakers Side (previous vs. new on right)

Honoring Legacy, Embracing Evolution

Introducing a remastering to one of, if not the most, iconic loudspeaker designs: The WATT/Puppy. Inspired by the original WATT/Puppy’s legacy, the development of this instantly recognizable design began with a hopeful vision: to create a WATT/Puppy that would honor the original designer by utilizing current technologies and innovations refined for more than 50 years. Simply put, to build a WATT/Puppy that Dave Wilson would have built if he had the resources then that Wilson Audio now has.

Forged from the union of tradition and cutting-edge technology, The WATT/Puppy epitomizes the culmination of expertise and passion by a guild of more than 60 craftspeople with an average tenure of more than 11 years. Wilson Audio’s highly skilled team have systematically honed their talents to a level that sets the standard in the audio industry. Every element of The WATT/Puppy has been refined, improved, modernized, and elevated from the original. Handcrafted with meticulous precision, this long-awaited return of the king stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment to audio excellence.

Wilson Audio’s pursuit of sonic excellence over half a decade has led to significant developments in time-alignment accuracy, enclosure material performance, capacitor construction breakthroughs, and driver technology advancements which all loyally serve the music.

Wilson Audio White Dwarf vs. Watt/Puppy Rear Upper Section Front
Wilson Audio White Dwarf vs. Watt/Puppy Rear Upper Section
Left: 1st WATT Prototype “White Dwarf” (circa 1985) | Right: 50th Anniversary WATT (circa 2024)

Material Science

The original WATT/Puppy underwent a total of eight evolutions from 1986-2011. These eight iterations utilized a variety of materials, each strategically integrated and available during their respective development periods. Each evolution of material usage pushed the boundaries of what was achievable in loudspeaker capabilities at the time.

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In the early years, Puppy enclosures employed a laminated 60-lbs version of High-Density Fiberboard (HDF), while the WATT incorporated Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA). Thirteen years after the retirement of Series 8, The WATT/Puppy now is
constructed with the most refined materials. X-Material for overall structural integrity found with the internal bracing and external enclosure configuration. S-Material for midrange coupling to the front WATT baffle. V-Material for the top of the Puppy, serving as the vibration-sink and damping interface for the WATT. This amalgamation of materials results in an enclosure that is inherently inert.

Each of these unique materials is meticulously chosen for its specific performance characteristics, whether in the realms of vibration control or sound reproduction. This commitment to material excellence is one of many elements that ensures The WATT/Puppy delivers the best audio quality possible for this relatively compact design.

Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy in Spearmint with Parchment Gray Grilles
Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy in Spearmint with Parchment Gray Grilles (9th generation, 2024 model)

Deliberate Design in Every Detail

The WATT/Puppy is a current take on an iconic shape. Recognizable angles carefully sculpted with the current hands and tools that build every Wilson Audio product. Very similar in overall size to the original WATT/Puppy, the new content in The WATT/Puppy has been decades in the making.

The rod handle on the rear of the original WATT was initially designed in 1985 as a practical way for David Wilson, founder of Wilson Audio and a recording engineer at the time, to transport his custom-made studio monitors to recording sessions. This functional and robust handle has since evolved for The WATT/Puppy. The current design is stylized for a secure and comfortable grasp at any angle. Similar to the original WATT handle, the new handle effortlessly supports the weight of the WATT during transportation and installation.

Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Spike Track
Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy Spike Track

Found on the rear of the WATT is an adjustable spike which allows for the most precise alignment in the time domain found in any version of the WATT/Puppy platform. Also included in this product is the Wilson Audio Multi-connector binding post.

This hardware features options for both spade and banana plug speaker cable connections and is apart of our flagship models, including the Chronosonic XVX, Alexx V, Alexia V, and Sasha V. Additionally, the WATT module rests on proud sitting spike track hardware, directly installed into the V-Material top plate, greatly reducing vibrations from the woofer cabinet to the WATT enclosure.

Access is made easy to the resistor panel found on the back of the Puppy and includes quick-release thumbscrews for the tweeter and midrange resistors allowing for effortless maintenance and value customization. An integrated bubble level on the top of the Puppy ensures effortless leveling during the installation process.

Wilson Audio Medallion 50 Years
Wilson Audio’s 50th Anniversary limited-edition medallion.

Finally, Wilson Audio’s 50th Anniversary medallion was created to commemorate five decades of Authentic Excellence in sound reproduction and craftsmanship. Available exclusively throughout 2024 on The WATT/Puppy during Wilson Audio’s historic 50th celebration, this limited-edition medallion is a badge of honor for this remastered iconic design. The color of the medallion corresponds to the color hardware chosen for The WATT/Puppy.

Whether Clear or Black hardware is selected, the medallion will mirror that finish. Additionally, a unique Red medallion will exclusively accompany red paint variations chosen for The WATT/Puppy, making this version the rarest of them all.

These enhancements, along with many others, represent a blend of aesthetic
refinement, functional innovation, and unwavering commitment to excellence and
authentically set a new benchmark for the WATT/Puppy family tree.

Driver Technology

Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Speaker Drivers

Wilson Audio’s early years of speaker design utilized materials and construction methods that were popular at the time. Drivers throughout the company’s history have been made with a variety of components: fiberglass, aluminum, polypropylene, and titanium diaphragms, to name a few. The engineers at Wilson Audio are constantly developing, researching, and evaluating material options, including exotic and trending materials. A thorough set of evaluation protocols yields results for each devise under test, with the most important parameter being whether the sound is believable and natural. Each of these driver iterations must represent an authentic step in creating a system that contributes to audio fidelity.

1” Convergent Synergy Carbon (CSC) Tweeter

When Wilson Audio introduced its cutting-edge and complex carbon fiber rear-wave chamber technology in the Convergent Synergy Carbon (CSC) tweeter it allowed for smooth and linear high-frequency extension. Superior harmonic detail emerged from the soundstage and the overall result is a significant improvement in sound quality and ease of listening.

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Originally developed for the Alexx V, the CSC tweeter is also integrated into the Alexia V and Sasha V systems. This delightful coated textile dome tweeter naturally and seamlessly blends with the AlNiCo midrange and dual woofers it is paired with.

7” AlNiCo Midrange

Wilson Audio has integrated its beloved 7-inch AlNiCo (Aluminum – Nickel – Cobalt)
QuadraMag midrange driver developed and used in the Chronosonic XVX, Alexx V,
Alexia V, and the Sasha V. This refined technology produces a tonally rich and exquisite sound in the audio band that the human ear is most sensitive to, resulting in a truly engaging listening experience. The AlNiCo QuadraMag driver is renowned for its exceptional ability to settle and maintain linearity resulting in greater depth and dimensionality.

The WATT baffle is composed of a unique blend of materials that create a highly stable and low-resonance coupling surface for the mid-range driver; the effect enhances the sonic beauty and bloom of the QuadraMag.

Twin 8″ Woofers

The WATT/Puppy uses the same drivers found in the Sasha V. This includes the same nimble and articulate 8” formed homogenous cellulose composite woofers. These woofers have been designed to deliver an agile low-frequency response, ensuring an audio experience that is both impactful and precise.

Point-to-Point Connections

Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Rear Blonde Silver Satin Back Angle

Wilson Audio’s proprietary AudioCapX-WA capacitors are uniquely wound in-house to meet extraordinarily tight tolerances. This process enhances low-level resolution, revealing the subtle nuances of sound reproduction with remarkable clarity and depth.

Elevating our commitment to sonic purity, we have developed a new copper version of the AudioCapX-WA capacitor, a similar design initially unveiled with the esteemed Sasha V series. This iteration has been further refined with copper end-spray and gold leads, ensuring that high-frequency micro-details are rendered with exquisite resolution.

Additionally, our new woofer capacitor has also been reengineered with lower inductance. This thoughtful approach ensures that low-frequency (LF) information integrates seamlessly with the mid-range material resulting in a cohesive and emotionally engaging soundstage that provides rich sonic texture.

Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Dark Walnut Metallic Satin Upper
Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy Dark Walnut Metallic Satin

The multi-section RelCaps found in all Wilson Audio loudspeakers are crafted at Wilson Audio using custom state-of-the-art machines and hand-finished. This proprietary process produces some of the most accurate, complex, consistent, and sonically superior capacitors available.

The WATT/Puppy’s crossover is composed of world-class components (inductors,
capacitors, resistors, connecting cables, hardware, etc.) and are passionately handmade at Wilson Audio. Printed circuit boards, when used in loudspeakers, inherently dynamically compress the sound. Wilson Audio avoids this sonic issue by taking the time to painstakingly handcraft and join each component with point-to-point connections.

At Wilson Audio, our relentless pursuit of acoustic perfection is reflected in every
component we craft. The meticulous development of our capacitors is just one example of our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what is possible in high-fidelity sound, ensuring that every note, every beat, and every harmonic is delivered with an authenticity and emotional impact that transcends the ordinary.

Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Dark Walnut Metallic Satin Rear Angle
Wilson Audio Watt/Puppy Dark Walnut Metallic Satin Rear Angle

WATT/Puppy Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 89 dB
  • Impedance: 2.87 ohms @ 86 Hz
  • Frequency Response: 26 Hz – 30 kHz +/- 3 dB Room Average Response [RAR]
  • Height: 41.34 inches (105 cm)
  • Weight: 160 lbs (72.57 kg)
  • WATT/Puppy US MSRP:
  • Standard Finishes: $38,500
  • Upgrade Finishes: $40,500
  • Custom Finishes: $42,500
  • Premium Pearl Finishes: $44,500

For more information: wilsonaudio.com

Continue reading more stories from High End Munich 2024.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Asa

    May 10, 2024 at 7:42 pm

    Fascinating design. It seems that building speakers this way has a commonality with other higher-end speakers also with high costs.

    Interesting creative man and his extended bio is on their website.
    Sad that Dave died from cancer in 2018. Interesting that Tekton and Wilson are both in Utah.

    https://www.wilsonaudio.com/people/david-wilson

  2. Joseph Gadberry

    May 11, 2024 at 11:14 am

    No specs?

    • Ian White

      May 11, 2024 at 9:57 pm

      Joseph,

      This is all they have provided so far.

      WATT/Puppy Specifications:

      Sensitivity: 89 dB

      Impedance: 2.87 ohms @ 86 Hz

      Frequency Response: 26 Hz – 30 kHz +/- 3 dB Room Average Response [RAR]

      Height: 41.34 inches (105 cm)

      Weight: 160 lbs (72.57 kg)

      WATT/Puppy US MSRP:

      Standard Finishes: $38,500

      Upgrade Finishes: $40,500

      Custom Finishes: $42,500

      Premium Pearl Finishes: $44,500

      We await more from them.

      Best,

      IW

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