Wilson Audio SabrinaX Loudspeaker

hfnoutstandingFive years on and Wilson Audio's Sabrina earns its 'X' – an overhaul that raises the bar for compact floorstanders

Five years – that's how long ago the Sabrina was launched and five years seems about right before making a new version of any model as good as the original was – and remains [HFN Aug '15]. Rightly, the upgrade is comprehensive, not a mere facelift, which is reassuring if you're wondering why a £15k per pair model is now priced at £21,500-£23,000. As for the price span, it covers three standard or three deluxe 'WilsonGloss' paint finishes, which can be co-ordinated with five grille colours. Our review sample is pictured here in the 'upgraded' gloss Ivory.

The SabrinaX's main change can be found in its name, as the enclosure is now entirely composed of Wilson's X-material, the latest inert substance preferred by the manufacturer over woods or conventional composites. But that's just one aspect of the model change. CEO Daryl Wilson says that the primary difference – sonic, of course – is the gain in refinement achieved 'by incorporating what we've learned since the launch of the original Sabrina'.

Speedier Bass
Heady stuff, for that means trickle-down benefits from the Chronosonic XVX and Dave Wilson's swan-song, the majestic WAMM Master Chronosonic. The company has never been shy of pursuing cost-no-object solutions, but now we are entering an area best described as 'unapologetic'. How so? Daryl, like his father Dave, appreciates fine craftsmanship, whether in a pen or a car or a watch or a suitcase, and he 'gets' the luxury sector.


To that end, 'X' means, in addition to the all-X cabinet, improved bracing for better low frequency definition. The new tweeter is the Convergent Synergy MK5 from Wilson's flagship floorstanders, boasting more extension 'with better detail and airiness'. The 146mm mid is that of the original Sabrina, but the 203mm woofer is now the same as the Sasha DAW's [HFN Mar '19], to provide a 'tauter, speedier bass', I was told.

Further confirming that the changes are non-retrofittable, hardware revisions include a modified woofer port and the mid-port now replaced with a tuned vent, to open up the sound – and this is, for me, the most immediate and impressive initial realisation you will experience. But more about that later.

Fine Tuning
Wilson Audio devised new binding posts with an increased contact area for better coupling – I used 4mm plugs on the Yter cables, but you can use spade lugs or bare wire if you prefer. As expected, the spikes are massive, fully adjustable and come with discs to prevent damage to non-carpeted floors. You'll find them in the accessories kit with the necessary tools.

In the base of the speaker the crossovers now include AudioCapX capacitors with access provided to specialised resistors through a panel. These offer a modicum of fine-tuning while also adding a measure of safety, because they are designed to blow before taking out a driver, should a problem arise.

For many of you, this will be the best bit, as it was also the raison d'être of the original Sabrina. Take an LP sleeve and put it in the floor. Add a three-inch strip along the back edge and you have the footprint of the SabrinaX. Yup, it's only as wide as an LP at the base and barely deeper. Then, hold your hand 1m from the floor and you have the height. Yes, Wilson's smallest floorstander remains dinky. It even looks more svelte, attesting to the detailed refinement of the faceted, nay, sculpted enclosure the company modestly describes as 'slight aesthetic modifications'.

Wilson Audio Specialties
Utah, USA
Supplied by: Absolute Sounds Ltd
0208 971 3909