The Obstinate Carolers
As a young teenager in Glendale, California, Dave Wilson lay in bed one Christmas Eve listening to
carolers in the street below. Baffled when the singers apparently refused to move on, he got up to
investigate. Thereupon he discovered the source of the music: a Klipsch loudspeaker set on a
neighbor's front porch.
It was the "aha!" moment common to every audiophile—the realization that reproduced sound
could fool one, however fleetingly, into believing it was the real thing.
Dave was so energized by the experience, he determined to learn everything he could about audio. He
moved quickly from the enthusiast magazines to primary tomes like Sound Reproduction by Gilbert A.
Briggs, founder of Britain's Wharfedale. From his study, Dave understood very early the importance
of non-resonant enclosures; one of his first experiments involved mounting drivers in a "cabinet"
made of rubber tires. He dabbled in electronics and eventually began making his own recordings. Dave
was impelled by a single aim: coaxing the emotional experience of live music out of boxes filled with
wires, cones, and magnets.
The transformation from obsession to career didn't follow a straight path. Dave's passion for music and
audio remained a potent hobby for many years while he went on to earn a living designing protocols for
testing drugs and medical devices.
The Schoeps microphone favored by Dave
for his audiophile recordings
Those were the golden years of the nascent high-end audio industry, when the community was small enough
that most of its members still knew (and often liked!) each other. Dave began producing a series of
highly regarded audiophile recordings of classical organ and chamber music under the label Wilson
Audiophile. During the same time, he wrote equipment reviews for The Abso!ute Sound.
Inspired by the work of John Dahlquist and others, Dave determined to create his own "statement"
loudspeaker, incorporating everything he understood about loudspeaker design. The legendary
WAMM (Wilson Audio Modular Monitor) incorporated many industry firsts,
such as Adjustable Propagation Delay. With the full support and participation of his wife, Sheryl Lee,
Dave Wilson began selling the WAMM alongside his records, and a new loudspeaker
company was born.