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 book shelves. 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 its 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 lea st 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 mid range/wooferd river 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 cross-over. This "system" approach has several advantages. First, applying the design strategy used in our larger floor-standing loudspeakers, the cross 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 enchancing resonance control and the stability of the entire platform.
New Tweeter Design
The Duette Series-2's tweeter performance is enhanced by the inclusion of a rear wave chamber, which is sourced from the Alexia's Convergent Synergy Tweeter. The CST chamber effectively attenuates the spurious energy generated at the rear of the driver that would otherwise leak out of the acoustically translucent dome.
This aspect of tweeter design is largely ignored by other manufacturers, but is key to maintaining time coherence by nearly eliminating out-of-sync high-frequency diffraction originating behind the tweeter's dome. Reducing these artifacts greatly lowers the noise floor, and results in much higher treble resolution. Detail naturally emerge from a grainless, black background.
The Duette Series-2's enclosure is the latest product of extensive laser vibrometer testing. Wilson's engineers were able to perfect all aspects of the enclosure design using this sophisticated advanced in materials testing. Enclosure-wall thickness has been increasing in strategic locations. Internal bracing is more robust. The enitre enclosure, including the internal braces, is constructed from Wilson's proprietary X-material, an extremely well damped and ultra-rigid composite.
The choice was made to configure the Duette for vertical placement only, enabling the engineers to introduce time alignment into the now slanted front baffle. The front baffle, now built from midrange-enhancing S-material, is raked back 10 degrees, properly aligning the tweeter and the woofer in the time domain. The myriad benefits of correct time alignment include transient speed, harmonic beauty, and soundstage resolution.
If the Duette is destined for shelf placement, special, furniture-friendly threaded spikes are installed into the bottom of the enclosure. These replace the Magnepods and spikes of the outgoing model. For floor placement, the Duette is bolted to its new stand. By design, the ideal method of mechanical grounding and resonance control is implemented for each of these two modes.
Finally, an all-new grill geometry makes its debut on the Duette. Great attention was paid to the grill-gram shape in order to lessen acoustic interaction from diffraction.
New Crossover Design
The Duette Series-2 is configured soley for near-boundary placement, whether near a wall on its stand, or on a credenza or book shelf. This has eliminated the need for two separate resistor and umbilical settings, which, in the original model, facilitated conventional placement out away from walls. The focus could be turned to perfecting the cross over for excellent time-alignment and linearity - for near-boundary installations. When placed near a boundary, the Duette Series-2 even outperforms so-called super mini loudspeakers designed to be placed out in the room in a tradtional audiophile configuration.
The crossover is housed in either the separate Novel enclosure for shelf placement, or as an integral part of the Duette stand. Either way, the Duette provides listeners with all the qualities that have become hallmarks of the Wilson sound: natural timbre, dynamics, lifelike soundstaging, and beautiful rendering of harmonic expression.
Pricing and Availability
U.S. MSRP Duette/Novel— $17,500
U.S. MSRP Duette/Dedicated Stand— $19,900
First shipments for existing orders are scheduled for August 1, 2013. Please place orders for demo and sell-through needs as soon as possbile to reserve your shipment position. The orders will be filled and shipped on a first-come, first-serve basis. Demo orders will be the first priority so all of Wilson's dealers and distributors can begin showing the Duette Series-2. Customer sell-through orders will be scheduled after demo orders have been filled. Check with Jerron Marchant for specific ship dates for your order.
Nominal Impedance: 4 ohms/minimum 4.35 ohms @ 160 Hz
Sensitivity: 92 dB @ 1W @ 1m @ 1k
Frequency Response: 33 Hz – 21 kHz +/- 3 dB, Room Average Response [RAR]
Minimum Amplification Power Recommended: 20 watts/channel
Woofer: 8 inches (19.63 cm) Material: Hard Paper Pulp
Tweeter: 1 inch, Dome (2 .54 cm) Material: Doped Silk Fabric
Height: 18 1/2 inches (46.99 cm) w/o spikes
Width: 10 1/2 inches (26.66 cm)
Depth: 16 1/16 inches (40.82 cm)
Height: 11 5/16 inches (28.73 cm)
Width: 4 3/4 inches (12 .07 cm)
Depth: 9 5/32 inches (23.28 cm)
Dedicated Stand with Built-in Crossover
Height: 21 7/8 inches (55.56 cm) w/o spikes
Width: 11 7/8 inches (30.16 cm)
Depth: 18 3/4 inches (47.63 cm)
Woofer (Rear Ported)/ Tweeter (Sealed):
Material: X-Material with S-Material Baffle
Weight Per Channel Uncrated:
Duette 45 lbs (20.41 kg)
Novel Crossover 24 lbs (10.89 kg)
Stand 65 lbs (29.48 kg)
Wilson Audio Specialties
2233 Mountain Vista Lane
Provo, UT. 84606