Seeing the installation of the big MBLs in Jonathan's house was so interesting that I've put together a series of photos showing the recent set up of the Wilson X-2 Alexandria Series 2 in my listening room. Most of the photos were taken by Daryl Wilson.
The X-2 crates ready for unpacking. I uncrated all the components and moved them into the listening room before Dave Wilson’s arrival. Moving nearly one ton of loudspeakers myself was made possible by the clever design. The bass cabinets are on casters, and can be rolled out of the crates. The casters are later replaced by spikes (see later photo) once the correction speaker positioning has been determined. The “wings” that support the midrange and tweeter modules, the modules themselves, and the crossover cover are heavy, but manageable.
The X-2 components ready for assembly. All the components are protected by a plastic film that is removed after installation is complete.
The “wings” that hold the midrange and tweeter modules can be seen on the floor.
The X-2 bass cabinets with “wings” attached, ready for installation of the midrange and tweeter modules.
Dave Wilson and his son, Daryl, install the X-2’s midrange module.
The regular listening seat was temporarily moved out of the way and substituted with a movable chair to find exactly the right listening position.
Dave Wilson adjusts the X-2’s midrange module. Each upper module moves on two axis—forward and backward for time-domain alignment, and on the vertical axis (tilt up and down) for optimal driver dispersion. Wilson holds a patent on this “Aspherical Propagation Delay” technique. The settings are different for every listening distance and listening height. The mechanism that realizes these adjustments is executed with amazing precision.
Dave Wilson begins to characterize the system’s performance. Wilson has extremely detailed notes on every single loudspeaker set up he’s done, going back decades, all in multiple 2” 3-ring binders. His approach is the antithesis of “move the speakers until they sound good.” Rather, he has developed a precise and repeatable formal methodology that allows independent adjustment of specific sonic qualities.
Once the loudspeakers are in approximately the right location, the long process of fine adjustments begins. The marks on the tape allow repeatability and provide reference points.
The last step is to replace the casters beneath the speakers with spikes. Wilson’s custom-made jack makes this easier than it sounds.
First listen to the completed set up.