The larger P2.0 floor standers in Precision White finish deserve the best conditions and so I proceeded to the main setup. Here, I use a CH Precision C1 DAC directly to a CH Precision A1.5 power amplifier. The sources used for this test are the Antipodes CX music server and the Aqua La Diva CD transport. As speaker cables, I used Jorma Design Trinity as well as FoilFlex.
The P2.0 is labeled as a 2,5-way speaker. As with the P1.0 stand mounters, the tweeter uses a second-order crossover. Here, the midrange unit is directly coupled to the amplifier while the bass driver uses a first-order crossover.
Although the main system is cleaner and more neutral than the other system, the sound of the P2.0’s was clearly fuller and more sonorous. The bigger cabinets and different driver arrangements result in a more voluptuous sound that I initially experience as less transparent than that of the P1.0. There is not only deeper bass but also a lot more of it. But that’s not exactly stunning news – bigger cabinets with more drivers often have that effect. What the P2.0 also brings to the table is a frequency response of 34Hz – 24kHz +/- 2dB on-axis which is pretty impressive for a speaker of its size.
Thinking of it now, it seems clear that the direct amp-coupling of the midrange driver, which eliminates all passive filter components in the process, has real benefits for the sound. This probably has a lot to do with the P1.0 and P2.0’s lively and exciting sound.
The Foilflex speaker cables worked very well with the P2.0’s
Like the P1.0’s, the P2.0’s are transparent yet colorful although I kept feeling that the P1.0’s were ultimately more neutral. In order to test this, I set up the stand mounters in the main listening room to make direct comparisons.
Vocals are well-focused with really good depth and positioned in a wide soundstage. The slightly forward character in the upper midrange makes that the speakers are so effectively communicative irrespective of their full-bodied sound. They are particularly strong with percussion and wood instruments and as a result, for instance, violins and piano sound convincing and involving. They’re very lyrical, too.
For me, the 21K-Magicos and 30K-Logans are the current kings of resolution and transparency and neither the P1.0 nor the P2.0 come across as quite as refined as these. Then again,
But I must admit to being biased in this regard what with my decades-long living with various planar and ribbon speakers. Indeed, precious few dynamic speakers have a similar sound and those that do cost an extra arm or leg. Also, as I experienced a couple times too many, refinement is a dangerous property. Too much of it can also kill the spirit of the music. This is something that absolutely does not happen with the Wilson Benesch speakers. Both the P1.0 and P2.0 actually sound considerably more lively and energetic than both the Logans and Magicos. Indeed, the Wilson Benesch Precision series loudspeakers have a massive fun-factor.
The P2.0’s bass may be voluptuous, it is also forceful and with an even-handed output and no peakiness. This is important to note because some bass-reflex designs have the tendency to excite one or more of the remaining room modes that I know I still have, in spite of center-room speaker placement and the copious use of bass traps. The worst offenders in this respect were the Wilson Watt/Puppy 8’s that I liked a lot for their liveliness but had to get rid of due to relentless bass issues in my room. The Kromas that I got after that were considerably more well-behaved and both the Magicos and the Logans are pretty much perfect in terms of bass linearity. Of course, both have no bass-reflex ports and the Logans actually use partially dipolar, partially bipolar woofers devised precisely to battle unwanted room interaction. That the Wilson Benesch P2.0’s are so well-behaved even in my less than ideal room is a real plus since precious few rooms will actually be acoustically ideal.
Thinking back of the Watt/Puppy 8, the P2.0’s have a presentation that has some parallels with the Wilsons. Both are lively, upbeat and communicative and with both designs, high-pitched forceful female vocals can be slightly more spicey than utterly neutral. But it’s never to the point that it bothers me and in both cases, this serves to further attribute to the “live” character of the presentation.
After I finished the bulk of my assessments I let the P2.0’s play while doing other things and walking around the apartment. At this point, I noticed that the speakers remain pleasant to listen to and sound good also when I’m in the other room. It’s an involving yet easy to listen to sound.
The main listening room measures 5 by 7 meters with the speakers positioned almost midway the 7-meter depth. Right in front of the speakers, the listening space extends one meter to the right and many meters to the left meaning that the speakers breathe freely.
In the much larger main listening room the P1.0’s sound understandably less full in the bass and they also don’t seem to extend quite as deeply. This is completely in line with their design and it clearly illustrates the case for using small speakers in small listening areas and larger ones in larger areas.
But even when accounting for the loss of bass due to the lack of beneficial room modes, this direct comparison further substantiated my feeling that the P1.0 and P2.0 are voiced slightly differently. The stand mounters do indeed come across as slightly more neutral while the floor standers sound a little fuller than strictly neutral.
Of course, not having to produce the deepest bass at full strength also has less potential to engage any room modes. Still, having heard more than a few speakers in this room, and with the system in various positions, I think I have a very good handle on what can be attributed to the speaker or to the room.
In any event, the P1.0’s go plenty loud and don’t feel underpowered even in this large space and they actually sound very realistic with acoustical or small-scale music. Where the added value of the P2.0’s becomes entirely clear is when playing strongly bass-driven music. Electronica with strong low bass content such as Yoshinori Sunahara understandably has less energy in the lowest notes. The P2.0’s, however, absolutely LOVE low-frequency content and they pump out everything I throw at them with gusto.
The Precision Series speakers metal front, rear, top and bottom parts are available in Precision Black and Precision White with the option to select from a large range of finishes for the side panels of the speakers.
These are the most interesting options but if these are too “out there” there’s also plain white or black
Very interesting are the “Nero” and “Grigio” finishes that very closely resemble leather but with their super-hard surfaces are nearly indestructible
The Wilson Benesch Precision Series captures a large part of the essence of the Wilson Benesch sound at a more accessible price point. Both the P1.0 and P2.0 deliver a sound that is solid, dynamic and powerful as well as vivid, open and communicative. But in the true spirit of Wilson Benesch, they combine their energetic delivery with a pleasant smoothness and a hint of warmth to make for an easy to listen to yet always engaging performance.
Part 1 – Part 2