(From the Wilson Audio press release)
June 21, 2013 -- The original Duette was Wilson Audio’s first Special Applications Engineering™ product. It was designed to offer the timbrel neutrality, dynamic contrast, soundstage depth and transparency of floorstanding Wilson loudspeakers—but do so in environments that are intrinsically hostile to all of those qualities, such as against walls or in bookshelves. It was given a dual personality so that it could succeed in a conventional audiophile application (placed out into the room away from walls) as well.
With Duette Series-2, our design mandate was simpler: create the best compact speaker. Period. Unlike it s predecessor, the Duette Series-2 is designed exclusively for near boundary installations, eschewing much of the complexity made necessary by the original Duette’s dual lineament. With simplification came greater ability to refine Duette’s mission—enabling it to be distilled down to a purely performance-oriented form.
An All-New Design
When it came time to redesign the Duette, the design team’s goal was to substantially increase Duette’s performance in the most commonly used applications. By eliding the least used configurations, Wilson’s engineers were able to more fully optimize those installation types that remained. Some of the flexibility of the original design could be traded for greater performance. It quickly became apparent that by following this path, the original Duette’s unique ability to be placed near a boundary could be greatly enhanced. It could possess all of the compelling musical qualities of Wilson’s conventional loudspeakers while installed in the most challenging acoustical environments.
Duette’s original configuration, with its separate dedicated crossover, the Novel, remains. This format is ideal for shelf and cabinet installations. Separating the crossover from the enclosure allowed the engineers to maintain internal volume—necessitated by the eight-inch midrange/woofer driver at the heart of Duette’s remarkable dynamic expression and bass extension. State-of-the-art inductors, capacitors and other crossover parts could be liberally employed without the impediment of the constrained space within the smaller enclosure. Lastly, it allowed for the electronic and mechanical isolation of the crossover elements.
New for the Duette Series-2 is a dedicated stand with an integrated crossover. This “system” approach has several advantages. First, applying the design strategy used in our larger floorstanding loudspeakers, the crossover is mechanically isolated in its own dedicated enclosure. Wire management is part of the design—the umbilical attaching the crossover to the Duette is integrated into the stand and hidden from view. The new Duette stand has other advantages: it is far more robust and massive than the stand it replaces. An impedance “path,” similar to Wilson’s large speakers, allows for vibrations to be guided away from the main enclosure and into the floor. The Duette is now bolted directly to the stand, further enhancing resonance control—and the stability of the entire platform.