Wilson audio system 7


I have a nac102/nap180 combination with an LP12 and some quite old Dynaudio Contour speakers. I’ve noticed at higher volumes playing guitar based music the high end is rather bright/harsh. I’m assuming (maybe wrongly) that it’s due to the speakers and so was looking to upgrade. I’ve seen a pair of Wilson Audio System 7 used speakers at a really good price, but was wondering if, even at a good price, I’d still be wasting my money?

With a NAC 102, I would first be looking at a NAPSC (~£100 Second hand) and then a HiCap to get the best out of your pre. The HiCap was a game changer for me when I had a 102/140

The WATT/Puppy is a very high end speaker and unless you were able to get a 552/500 I wouldn’t even consider them; the 102/180 would be hopelessly outclassed. I’d be looking at an 82, Hicap and 250 to get the best from your Dynaudios.

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Thanks for the advice, I’ll look into that.

Thanks. Just confirms my thoughts that although I maybe spotted a bargain my money would be better spent elsewhere!

Hi Crsm-

   Like many things in high end audio, only you can answer some of the key questions here.   The Wilson Watt Puppy Series 7 were certainly a great and iconic speaker.    For some Wilson fans, this was the best model from the whole long, storied arc of product development at Wilson under the Watt/ Puppy umbrella.   If you have heard and loved this speaker, it could certainly become the anchor to a much higher performance system for you.    Although a NAC 552 and NAP 500 would be a wonderful chain of electronics for any speaker, when we sold the Watt/ Puppy 7's regularly in NYC, the most popular Naim electronics packages to partner with a pair of Wilson's were those which started with the NAC 282, Hi-Cap 2 and NAP 250.    Higher end Naim packages were even better, of course, but I don't believe you would necessarily need to assemble Naim's best electronics of that era in order to be able to enjoy a Wilson speaker.    

    If you have not heard a Wilson speaker in person, I would urge you to seek out a good dealer.   It may well be that a modern Wilson speaker would be both easier to drive and more to your tastes than even one of Wilson's best legacy models.     

    Good listening, 


Hi Bruce, thanks for the advice. The dealer who has a used pair for sale is local so maybe I can give them a listen, but it sounds like I should also be considering upgrading my amplification. I need to see if I can physically make room in my hi-fi racks for something like a hicap.


Keep in mind Watt/Puppy 7’s are almost 20 years old. Also they have the old inverted Focal Titanium tweeter. New Wilson’s are way better.

I had DYN contour 360 at one time, I thought the highs were a little too high for me on delivery. Was running with Supernait, FC, LP12. A hicap on my SN made the highs stand out more. I have since switched speakers, and no issue. It may come down to front end with SN being close to the 202/200 combo in one box, and the speaker model.

As for watt puppies, too old, as others have stated, and I consistently see where those style of speakers are constantly getting upgraded, drivers switched and so on, you never know what you are going to get. They are always dinged or damaged too, very heavy.


Crsm, the Wilson have an excellent reputation. I have heard some before and they are very good at what they do. However, they are also a hard loudspeaker to drive and I suspect a 180 will suffer at its hands. If you can stretch to its natural partners (Audio Research and Dan D’Agostino era Krell), then I’m sure they’d be happier! Best of luck.

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Martin M,
I should have clarified, and totally agree, a new watt puppy, Sophia, or Sacha line of Wilson audio speakers sounds stunning with the right amp, my reference was to older models that have been passed around. And yes, they are hard to drive.


Thanks again for your advice. As I sort of expected, with my current amps the Wilson’s aren’t a good idea even if they are a bargain. I don’t really want to upgrade my amps (except maybe as suggested, to add a power supply) as that is a slippery slope!
There are a plethora of ex-dem/used speakers around my price point (GBP 5K) to replace my Dynaudio Contour 1.8’s and obviously it’s impossible to demo all of them so maybe I should start by ruling out ones I should avoid.

I tried and fell in love with the Wilson’s many years ago because of the neutrality of its sound. In my hifi set up, they are the one thing that will stay so I recommend everyone to try them and see if they are to your liking. I started with a 202/200 set up which has been upgraded over time.

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