The new Wilson Audio Sabrinas have been here at KJ West One for just over a couple of weeks now. They are, in my opinion, the best looking Wilson speaker to date, with a smooth, simplistic design. We have been running them in since their arrival but I was still yet to really sit down and truly evaluate Sabrina, and most importantly try to answer the question that everybody wants to know about these speakers:
Have they managed to maintain the Wilson Audio sound despite their compact design and lower price point?
We had set up the Sabrinas for a demo with both Audio Research and Naim equipment. So once the audition was over, I grabbed my chance to test them for myself. I brought in a few of my favourite demo CDs and let the analysis begin.
As I mentioned, I find these speakers to be the best looking of the whole range. Some people can find the larger Wilsons like the Alexandria XLFs to be a bit too ‘robotic looking’ for their tastes. This is certainly not the case with these speakers; the cabinets are extremely easy on the eyes. Sabrinas can easily integrate into a variety of different interiors, whether it be a minimalist studio flat or a comfortable family room. Like the rest of the range, the Sabrinas have the classic Wilson finish quality and are available in a variety of colours.
The principle of Sabrina was obviously to design a speaker that could appeal to an audience who either could not afford the larger models like Sasha or Alexia, or do not have the space for them. Wilson Audio claim that they have designed for simplicity, not for compromise. They looked at which elements were the most critical and then used their best materials on those. Which happened to be the baffle and the bottom, which are both manufactured using Wilson’s ‘X material’.
Sabrina features 3 drivers. An 8’’ woofer, a 5’’ mid-range driver and a soft dome tweeter. All three drivers are positioned very close to each other (a lot closer than on the larger Wilson models). This is designed to improve the seamlessness of the sound.
I played a variety of different styles through the Sabrinas from Martha Wainwright to Radiohead to Bob Dylan and I must admit I couldn’t find a style in which Sabrina did not excel.
What’s most striking to me was how well the bass was controlled. This has always been a trademark of Wilsons and certainly Sabrina is able to hold its own in that respect against the others in the range.
The in-house designed soft-dome tweeter has been used by Wilson on a few models now, it was first used on Alexia and then Sasha (previously Wilson incorporated Focal tweeters). Since its inclusion it has been extremely popular amongst Wilson fans and the addition of the soft-dome tweeter on Sabrina is an excellent move. The high notes are fantastically crisp and clear and the separation is exceptional. I listened to Radiohead’s No Surprises and the combination of the highs and bass in the intro was up there with the best that I have heard.
Another feather in the cap of Sabrina, is the size of the soundstage it is able to produce. When set up correctly, you are able to forget there is a pair of speakers in front of you, and start to feel a stage instead.
So, going back to the original question. Does Sabrina sound like a Wilson speaker? The answer is an emphatic yes. There is the natural and open sound with the breath-taking dynamics that we have come to expect from Wilsons, and if paired with a neutral and clean power, the results are amazing.
If you close your eyes, it really is hard to comprehend that the sound you are hearing is coming out of a £14.5k speaker in a cabinet of Sabrinas size. This is certainly a speaker that punches well above its weight and offers a sound well above its price point.
Wilson Audio set out a clear, defined goal for Sabrina and from what I have heard; they have succeeded in producing a product that achieves exactly what it was designed to do.
If you are interested in hearing these speakers for yourself, please get in touch and book a demonstration.
Reviewed by Lewis Prince
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions on the Sabrinas.