Pretty Maids All In A Row

Like everything else audio, precision and patience pay dividends and simply throwing a laser plumb line in the vague direction of your speakers ain’t going to cut it. Two things are essential precursors to firing up the laser: firstly, you need to check that the speaker cabinet is set absolutely level (a good opportunity to check the spikes/diodes for adjustment and tightness); secondly, you have to get the laser exactly perpendicular to the front baffle of the cabinet. The easiest way to do that is to measure and mark the centre of the cabinet’s bottom edge. Then, with a large piece of white paper or card, draw a line exactly down its middle. Lay that on the floor butted up against the spikes with the central line aligned with the centre point of the baffle and away you go. If the laser plumb line runs along the line on the paper, you know that your laser is set perpendicular to the speaker’s front baffle. Like I said, not hard, but a little bit of care to start with makes the whole process easier and more effective – and that means better sound.

At this point you might well ask why you don’t just stick the front spikes in the middle of their troughs and the rear spike in the middle of its step? Try that and you’ll soon discover why the troughs for the front spikes and the width of the steps allow such lateral adjustment. The various resin, cellulose and fibre materials used to construct Wilson cabinets simply do not machine with the same precision as a material such as aluminium. Get everything aligned properly and then take a look to see where the spikes at the rear of each module are sat on their steps; $100 to a bent hat pin some or all of them are going to be off-centre. That adjustment latitude is there precisely to allow fine-tuning of the vertical array. It’s just that over the years, that bit of the process or that section in the manual got forgotten.

So, if you own a set of Wilsons, make some time, grab a laser and take a look. You might be surprised/shocked to see what you find. Recent experience with various Wilson models ‘in the wild’ suggests that this is one set-up nicety that is almost always overlooked. Even if those modules started out firing straight-ahead, they probably aren’t anymore!