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I purchased these speakers as a demo pair from a Wisdom Audio dealer and I am the original owner. Very well cared and have provided flawless operation. The speakers are not perfect and I attempted to show some of the flaws in the photos. In general the flaws are minor and not visible from the listening position (and many times not even up close until you are right on the speakers). One of the grills has a very slight indent which I could not translate into a photograph. I have more pictures I can send to any interested party. You can see how they looked in my room.
Last price when available new was $11,500 per the dealer from whom I purchased them.
Disclaimers and other erata:
A couple of things to start with.
1) please read the entire ad as I try to anticipate and answer potential questions in the ad. If you ask me something which can be answered by reading the ad or going to the above URL, I may not repeat that information
2) The best source of information are copies of the reviews I have included as text below - I collected this info when I purchased the speakers. Otherwise, there is always google.
3) Regarding shipping estimates, these are heavy (see the spec's below) and will ship crated. Total weight will be probably over 400lbs. They should ship on a pallet and you would need lift-gate service on delivery most likely. I would estimate a Roadway delivery to the east cost to be around $350-400 door to door just for reference. Some cost can be saved if you pick them up from a Roadway terminal. As an alternative, I can drive them to meet anyone within a day's round trip from my zip 65203 (about a 300 mile radius max) which will save some $ but I would need make some arrangements and we would need some lifting help to get them off the truck and onto/into your vehicle.
4) With regard to shipping: I will not ship USPS unless the sale will be considered FINAL. I will insure for the selling price to protect all involved and delivery will be confirmed.
5) I am responsible ONLY for shipping to the address you request (if Paypal, only the verified Paypal address). If you are overseas and have me ship to a US address only to then ship it yourself to some-where-else-stan, I will not be responsible for ANY shipping damage that occurs beyond the destination you request (believe it or not, this has happened to me). Fees, tariffs, duties, etc. are the sole responsibility of the buyer. If you are getting ready to accept the package in your home overseas and find the import fees are too high then refuse to sign for it so it ends up on my doorstep with another shipping payment due in order to collect it back (yes, this also happened to me), you agree to forfeit any refund.
6) Local pickup is always a plus and I will immediately discount $250 for cash and carry.
7) I am very busy with my occupation so don't be insulted or discouraged if I do not respond immediately. If you don't hear, try again (I get hundreds of emails daily so I can miss an email once in a while).
Smoke free, pet free and handled with the utmost care. What you see is what you will get. RATED appropriately given the marks depicted. The woofer surrounds look brand new as can be seen from the pictures. I have never altered the gear, any picture, changed, modified or subjected these speakers to any use other than as intended. Driven by one of 3 amps: a Classe' CA 301, a Pass X350 and a Wyred 4 Sound MC only. They come equipped with a single pair of binding posts.
Rest assured that your buying is safe - check my feedback elsewhere (Audiogon under the same handle ‘jgm’ and on eBay where my handle there is jgm2541). If there is a problem, I will make every effort to remedy it. If you have no feedback or recent negative feedback, please check with me first. I had sold almost exclusively on Audiogon and more recently on eBay and here but I am not selling as many things these days due to a lack of effort on my part, thus, my feedback here is less extensive.
I ensure the unit(s) to be fully functional on arrival. If anything is DOA, call me ASAP and I will remedy it ASAP. If you contact me sometime later (like a couple weeks - which has happened) after you've had the unit(s) and want your money back because something blew, I will be unsympathetic. In general, I feel a 48-hour turnaround time is adequate to identify problems that require my immediate attention.
Please don’t ask me for my lowest price – make your best offer and I will accept, counter or reject, which will make it easier on both of us. I am always willing to negotiate and if I like your offer, I will get back to you. Lowball offers will be politely ignored as will any inquiry for my lowest price.
I accept Paypal (paypal fees are negotiable depending upon offer - the lower the offer, the greater the coverage of paypal fees on your behalf) and certified bank check (after it clears), and of course cash.
From Wisdom Audio's website:
NS-27 Freestanding Speaker
The NS-27 is a versatile and compact high performance design. A fraction of the size of our Adrenaline models, it possesses the essential sonic attributes of our larger models in a flexible format. As always, performance begins with transducer design and here the NS-27 shows its heritage. It incorporates our latest generation neodymium planar-magnetic drivers, employing a three inch, wide dispersion tweeter and a 24 inch, low thermal compression mid range driver for outstanding power handling and dynamic range in this critical frequency range. Low frequencies are addressed through a proprietary, down-firing, 12 inch underhung low frequency regenerator, identical to that used in our Adrenaline and Infinite series systems.
Unlike our other models, the NS-27 does not have to be bi-amped and is designed to be driven directly via one channel of amplification, as with other passive crossover designs. Its efficient and low thermal compression transducers allow for a remarkably dynamic presentation, characterized by the extraordinary detail and natural timbre of the planar-magnetic drivers and an articulate, natural timbre bass response.
The NS-27 is an excellent choice as a main speaker or surround speaker for larger Adrenaline systems. Its sleek and refined appearance will fit into any décor, retro or modern. For those who appreciate the sonic character of Wisdom’s larger multi-amped systems, the NS-27 is an ideal alternative.
Neodymium Planar: 3" x 3" planars, 3" x 24" planar
Planar Configuration: Point source
Low Frequency Regenerator: One underhung 3" coil LFR/channel
Low Frequency Magnet Weight: 32 lbs. each channel
Frequency Response | +/- 3dB: 18-25,000 Hz
Horizontal Dispersion: Over 100 degrees
Vertical Dispersion Configuration: Point Source
Sensitivity 1W/1M Equivalent: 90dB
Nominal Impedance: 4 ohms
Minimum Impedance: 3 ohms
Crossover Type/Points: Passive, 250 Hz, 8 KHz
Max. Power Handling: 300 watts
Recommended Amplifier Power: 50-300 watts
Complete System Weight: 2-piece system / 400lbs approximate
Dimensions: 53" x 16" x 22"
Weight: 135 lbs.
Review Stereo Times:
Taken from: http://www.stereotimes.com/speak120105a.shtml
Wisdom Audio NS27 Loudspeaker
It Knows Music
Very few loudspeaker builders carry the pedigree of big, bold, beautiful speaker design like Carson City, Nevada based Wisdom Audio. Tom and Debi Bohlender started the company in 1996 as they began to build speakers for dedicated audiophiles. They carefully designed systems that combined planar and dynamic driver technologies, combined with excellent cabinetry and gorgeous wood finishes. Hard to believe but their very first designs, known as the “Adrenaline” loudspeakers (the M-50, a monopole design and the D-75, a dipole), were actually sold out of the back of a Ford F-350 pickup truck for $20,000! (You can probably make up your own story about what you can buy from the back of a pickup truck for $20K. Lord knows I have.) But 280,000 miles and at least five sets of tires later, Tom and Debi moved into their current manufacturing and design facility in Carson City, Nevada. Today, Wisdom Audio is one of the most admired loudspeakers companies in the business. Their product offering is composed of three lines: the “Adrenaline Series” (which also includes a home theater line), the “Infinite Series,” which includes the cost-no-object ($600K!), 160 inch tall, 3,800 pound “Infinite Wisdom Grande” system, and now the “Neo Series” (Keanu Reeves would be so proud).
The “Neo Series”
In 2003, Wisdom Audio developed the Neo Series loudspeakers, in an attempt to bring a more affordable product to both the two-channel and multi-channel marketplace. The Neo Series incorporates Wisdom’s drivers into a point source speaker design and also offers a modular in-wall system with accurate signal reproduction for every audio environment.
I first saw and heard the NS27 as part of a end-of-the-show-day home theater demo in the Wisdom Audio room at HE 2003 in San Francisco. Their room featured a system of all Wisdom Audio components including a pair of mono amps and digital source components. Everything was connected with cables from an exciting new company called Soundstring Cable Technologies. The guys from Soundstring were enjoying showing off these new Wisdom speakers, which were painted a really cool looking metallic blue. They threw on a DVD demo disc and proceeded to show the speakers ability to play at ear-numbing volumes and reach subterranean bass levels with movie soundtracks. These things had a great big bold look and an even bigger, bolder sound. At the time, I was told that they were primarily designed for home theater but were still refined enough for music.
Like all Wisdom speakers, the NS27s have been engineered from the ground up, using components that are designed by Wisdom. They use a 24” planar driver and a 3” planar tweeter (photo right) combined with a 12” downward firing woofer (the same woofer used in the more expensive Adrenaline series). Despite their monolithic size these are very efficient speakers that can be driven by even modestly powered amplifiers such as the Opera Audio Consonance A120 hybrid integrated amp.
During the 2005 CES/T.H.E. Show, I visited the Wisdom Audio room and found myself engaged in a lengthy yet pleasant conversation with Wisdom’s amiable David Livesay. We talked about all things audio but mostly about all of the wonderful things that the Wisdom speakers are capable of. Now I’ll admit that I have been a huge Wisdom fan since I first saw their ads for the original Adrenaline speakers nearly a decade ago. But their systems have always been largely out of my price range so my appreciation of them has always been via show demos. So I was thrilled when I heard that the NS27s were intended to be Wisdom’s attempt at a more affordable speaker … well at $11K it was a nice try anyway. But I had already reviewed a few speakers in that price range so I wouldn’t have to muster up too much courage to ask for a pair to review. But my conversation with David took an even more interesting turn as it was revealed that we both used to work for the same company, Amoco Oil (now unfortunately known as BP). It turns out that Livesay used to manage the implementation of Amoco’s first computer based network called PROFS (professional office system). This extended our conversation even more to the point that I almost forgot about what I was really after. Then suddenly, I was drawn to a nearby room where I heard one of my favorite recordings, Eva Cassidy’s Live At Blue Alley. To my delight, the system was comprised of the NS27s being driven by the excellent Edge Electronics G3 integrated amplifier. I was amazed at the level of midrange transparency that such a big speaker could achieve and a more than fair amount of bass added to the music’s sense of realism. I finally asked Livesay about the possibility of reviewing a pair and to my surprise, he easily said, “sure.” That made the show for me.
Tall, Dark, and Handsome
When the speakers finally arrived at my house I knew I was going to have some major splainin’ to do to my better half. The speakers were brought into my garage on a wooden palette bound bind metal straps. The whole package stood about six feet tall and about four feet wide. Even though I already knew their size I faked shock and indignation … and I blamed Clement Perry. “I can’t believe Clement would have these folks to send me something this big!” I complained. She paused took a deep breath and then gave me … the look. Those of you gentlemen with spouses or girlfriends reading this know what “the look” is so I won’t go any further. Then she slowly walked into the house and calmly said, “I hope you don’t expect me to help you get those things into the house.” No, that job belonged to my buddy Craigy-G Fitzpatrick.
I had already put in a call to Craig who thankfully came by to help me unbox these behemoths and get them set up in my listening room. This proved to be much more of a chore than I thought because the grill panels which run the full height of the speakers on the front and both sides can easily pop out of the grooves that they slide into and putting them back in looks easier than it is. The units I received were furnished in a beautiful piano black. Their footprint is oval shaped and they stand about 53” tall including about a 1” thick top panel and bottom panel. Built into the bottom panel is a 12” underhung woofer with a massive 32lb(!) magnet. A single set of gold-plated speaker posts are located near the bottom-rear of the cabinet and heavy-duty cones with pointed tips finish off the NS27s elegant looks. In fact, once they were out of the boxes and set in place, their looks even met with the approval of you know who. “Ooh, those look nice. Can I put one of my plants on top of it?” The battle continues.
Music Maestro Please
Having just recently gotten back into vinyl, I find myself discovering all sorts of great music in used record stores and even at estate sales and garage sales. The latter is where I came across an unopened copy of Leonard Bernstein’s soundtrack to West Side Story [Columbia]. Bernstein’s orchestra performs track five, “Dance At The Gym” with a raw power that the NS27s convey nicely allowing the size of the soundstage and orchestral scale to sound realistically huge. The downward firing woofer tricked me into believing that a subwoofer was present even though I knew one was not. I previously spoke of the systems transparency when I heard it at the Show and it was made even more apparent while listening to Richard Beamer sing “Maria”.
Another soundtrack that I’ve long been found of is from the movie, Love Jones [Sony]. This is a modern-day urban love story that uses both contemporary and classic jazz performances as a backdrop. Case in point is Duke Ellington and John Coltrane’s “In A Sentimental Mood” which Lorenz Tate uses to seduce Nia Long. Trane’s melancholy sax has a holographic quality thanks to the NS27s planar drivers. Track seven is Trina Broussard’s cover of the late Minnie Ripperton’s classic, “Inside My Love.” This is the best performed of the newer tracks and comes through the Wisdom’s in a way that puts the musicians, not to mention Ms Broussard’s voice into the room. This is very engaging stuff and what makes our hobby worthwhile.
But least I not forget to mention that I did in fact watch some DVDs through these speakers and yes they do a marvelous job of rendering wonderful aural images. Particularly on Zhang Yimou’s House of Flying Daggers [Columbia Tri-Star] where each fight scene caused me to make some sort of involuntary spasm as daggers often seemed to fly right by my face. What really bolsters the films rather simple story of a tragic love trilogy is the breathtaking cinematography and an awesome soundtrack from Shigeru Umebayashi.
But please don’t get the wrong idea about these speakers these are not great home theater speakers that aren’t too bad on music, these are speakers that are imminently faithful to both music and sound.
The Wisdom Audio NS27s are unlike any other Wisdom speaker. They combine many of their larger more expensive siblings’ strengths, transparency, strong bass performance, and realistic stage scale, and does it in a physically and financially more manageable package. On top of all that, these things are flat-out gorgeous. Highly recommended!
Upon completion of the Wisdom NS27 review I asked Dave to send them along for another opinion. I too was held captive by the sound of these near-affordable transducers at last years CES (if $11k can be considered affordable). First things first, it is nice to see Wisdom selling loudspeakers some audiophiles can afford. At one previous CES they were showing a system that stood about 14 feet tall and listed for about $1,000,000. Nice to see they've redone their size and price structure. At $11k, the NS27 is a fraction of the cost, size and weight. Warning: these are not lightweight loudspeakers by any stretch at 135 lbs a pop. Careful not to dent the grills since they're not removable. My luck would have it that I did remove the grill attempting to shimmy them into the corner of my living room without scratching my hardwood floors (that were just sanded and waxed only one week prior). The floors weren't harmed but it took me some time getting those grills back to their seamless look. After moving these around with no help I seriously entertained getting back to the gym.
Okay, I got to admit I am smitten by the amazingly small - but incredibly dynamic and punchy - NuForce 8b monos amplifiers. Shucks, they, upon first hearing them, had everyone scratching their wigs. Frank Alles was spot-on in spilling the beans their abilities. I'm sure their size had a lot to do with it, but they really surprised everyone who heard them perform with these pleasurable planars. Like David slaying Goliath, to control this loudspeakers down-firing 12" woofer is no easy task for any amplifier but the NuForce seemed to enjoy themselves at respectable volumes (you don't want to turn them up too much or they too will lose steam, lose control and distort). No matter the source of music; Jazz, Blues, R & B Soul or Classical, the NS27s provided a sense of realism that only planar loudspeakers can with dynamic punch and authority that would make many audiophiles who spent more on loudspeakers/amp combos jealous. The NuForce amps on their own will give most nay sayers brain-cramps trying to figure out how these little terrors from tiny town do what they do.
Historically, planar drivers have been known to just love voltage and nothing provides this better than tubes: enter the deHavilland 845-G amplifier. At a modest 30-watts per channel, these babies kept me up until the wee hours supplying a level of musicality that very few amplifiers exceed. Granted they didn't sound as tight in the low-end as the NuForce, but they do provide a level of musicality and overall satisfaction (synergy) 845 tubes bring to the table no matter the situation. BTW, this combo had me reminiscing on a love affair between my Conrad Johnson Premier Fours and Maggie 3.3s back in '93 or thereabouts.
Needless to say, I am enchanted by this new Wisdom NS27 loudspeaker. I like the idea behind the science of their big money designs trickling down into this product that will have a hard time qualifying as affordable at $11k. Alas, that is once you hear them.
Review #2 from the Audiophile Voice:
The Audiophile Voice
Vol. 11, No. 4
ADDRESSING THE requirements of a broader range of consumers, Wisdom Audio has developed the NS-27 or better known as the Neo. Originally launched in 2004, the Neo is a free-standing, three-way hybrid loudspeaker that combines a thin-film planar mid-tweeter using a neodymium magnet with a dynamic woofer to provide many of the attributes of Wisdom’s imposing Adrenaline series loudspeakers at significantly smaller outlay of cash. After a decade of commercial production, the House of Wisdom has produced a series of ever more imposing eye- and ear-catching products. Yet for some years I have queried founder Tom Bohlender about his potential plans to scale-down the best attributes of his larger series and give us non-trust fund types (guys like me and Editor Gene) an ample helping of thin-film planar magnetic performance, while retaining the punch of dynamic drivers in the low frequencies. And, naturally, Tom had to do it with a single cabinet per channel. Well, Bohlender has given us his Neo system and I have to say that the Neo introduction does amply round out from the life of offerings from Nevada’s House of Wisdom. Read on, Gentle Reader, and see if you are not persuaded. Or better yet, go listen to the Neo at some convenient dealer, for then I am certain you will then agree.
Unique in appearance, the Neo’s oval cabinet tower is designed so that it can perform two sonic tasks very well. It can form the basis of a multi-channel home theater system or it can be a “stand-alone” speaker, to be judged more purely on its own merits, by the two-channel purist. This is not the first time designer Bohlender addressed a wider spectrum of consumers with these scale-down techniques. A few years ago, he launched the very capable Baby Adrenaline. These used 50-inch high planar units that were mounted atop a pair of low frequency units. Yet the Baby was still a fairly costly multi-element system that didn’t necessarily fit the objectives of potential owners of the thin-wallet variety. The current “NS” line begins with four in-wall planar-magnetic drivers (designed as optional companions to the Neo’s multi-channel A/V adaptability), all three inches in width and in lengths up to 24 inches. Pricing for this series begins in the $3,000 to $4,000 range. While Wisdom basically thinks of this NS series as inwall units, they may alternatively be mounted on-wall. From my experiences with them in such applications at past CES shows, this “surface-mount can be quite effective. The growth of home theater and of multi-channel video and audio has driven the development of the NEO and its associated purpose-designed series of neodymium planar drivers. Rounding out the line is the Infinite Wisdom Grande, the firm’s flagship at $600k, a system that might serve a good size auditorium. The Neo, which fills the middle, is priced at $11,000 per pair, stands 53 inches tall on an oval platform that measures 16 by 22 inches. They are pretty imposing in their own right, especially in the gloss black livery that came to me for review; silver finish is also an option. The curved fabric on wire-mesh reinforced grilles, which typically should remain in place during listening, encapsulate the cabinet and are secured with robust composite plastic frames. Each Neo features two vertically positioned 3 by 3-inch planars for the top frequencies, handling the frequencies up to 25 kHz. A 3 by 24-inch planar covers the midrange in between the passive 250-Hz and 8-kHz crossovers.
The Neo is primarily a front radiator in the mids and treble, yet due to cabinet design, there is a sufficient amount of rear-radiated energy and this enhances the ambiance. Mounted in a sealed sub-enclosure, the 12-inch down-firing, under-hung woofer has a 32-lb. magnet structure; it covers the bass down to 18 Hz. (Wow!). Even though not touted as true subwoofers, these drivers do produce bass that is readily perceived and often felt at higher dB levels. While I have heard and felt deeper bass from systems with 12-inch woofers, those systems typically had separate dedicated amplifiers boasting hundreds of watts of power.
There is 1.25 inches of clearance between the face of the woofer and the floor, and in my experience, these drivers function best when working against a solid surface instead of thick carpet. I solved any bass constriction issue by temporarily standing the spiked speakers on 2 x 2-foot plywood sheets; with this simple addition, the bass tightened-up to an acceptable level. The cabinets feature three non-removable spikes (with small adjustable tips) that couple the 135 lb. Neo’s to the surface extremely well. The Neos are shipped in palletized crates by commercial truck, and if you have some “buddy” help, they are not that difficult to unpack. A touch of caution when handling: The under-hung woofers are mounted very near the bottom edge of the cabinet, so be careful not to poke your fingers into the drivers. Otherwise you should be ok when setting up or moving these fellas. A single pair of quality speaker terminals is provided; bi-wiring is not supported. The Neos vertically radiate as a point source dispersion, and have a horizontal pattern greater than 100 degrees which supports a very reasonable amount of off-axis listening. In comparison, Wisdom’s larger and more costly M-50 and M-75 models offer “Line Source” horizontal radiation patterns of up to 130 degrees with pairs of separate-cabinet, low frequency regenerators (subwoofers in layman speak). Of course, for set-up and calibration, you’ll need Wisdom’s electronic Brain crossover which is now highly automated. The Brain typically serves multiple power amplifiers. Wisdom has offered its own solid-state power amplification for a few years to excellent effect.
At Last, The Sonics
All of the technical basics aside, how do the Neo’s sound? First off you need to take into account that the manufacturer recommends at least 100 hours or more of continuous break-in to loosen up and settle down to this loudspeaker. However, once you’ve done that, I think you will agree with me that the Neo is likely the most neutral you’ve auditioned. Specifically, the integration of the mid/treble planar-magnetic with the woofers is as near seamless as you’re ever likely to experience; this is no easy trick to achieve. The thin-film planar-magnetic (neodymium) drivers are not true ribbons nor does Wisdom claim them to be, yet they offer clarity, dynamics and extension similar to the best ribbons. These Wisdom units also appear less finicky to drive with real world amplifiers than ribbons are, especially in the mid-frequencies. With a listed nominal sensitivity of 90 dB and 4-ohm nominal impedance, these specs place the Neo in the “midrange” of efficiencies and supports use of mid-power amplifiers, either tube or solid-state, with sufficient dynamic current capability. My own experience with the Neo supports this “no problems” scenario for amplification; setting up the speakers facing straight-ahead, I employed both solid-state and vacuum tube amps. In my “best case,” a 100-wpc Cary V-12 “R,” running in ultralinear mode, achieved the best balance of power performance and mid to upper band clarity and dynamics. A Pass labs X-150 solid-state unit also did an admirable job.
The openness and coherence of a planar-driver loudspeaker can become addictive. Newcomers to the sound of this technology (even though it has existed for a number of decades, yet is still challenging to implement) are often surprised by the huge size and openness of the soundstage that can be achieved with the best recordings and the near 3-D presentation of the recording venue. If you like a lot of “air” and the sweep of big orchestras or operas, you’ll likely find this loudspeaker on your short list. This is not a timid loudspeaker about throwing a big soundstage. As with any highres loudspeaker, good recordings come across really good, and the culls sound worse than expected, some times outright crummy. While it has relatively high sensitivity and robust woofer, if the Neo is paired with a quality medium power amplifier you will be able to move a lot of air and achieve 80 to 90-dB SPL levels in larger rooms without strain any place in the system. While Wisdom did tell me with certainty that the Neo is a multi-application loudspeaker, I was so very satisfied listening in just the two-channel mode throughout the audition, I never got around to applying it to a home theater system.
Whether reproducing a small jazz ensemble, a complex violin concerto or even a full-scale opera, the flexibility of Wisdom Neo loudspeaker quickly becomes apparent. I dug out many favorites such as the rare and stunning Freddie Hubbard LP Back to Birdland (M & K Realtime RT-305), classical novelty favorites from Reference Recordings disc featuring the Minnesota Orchestra, Showcase (RR-907 CD) and the delicate and ethereal vocals of Radka Toneff and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Odin CD-03), among others. All were presented in full flower with the Neo’s impressive dynamic range and depth of field.
If you’re into spacious sound fields, delicate detail and robust bass, this is likely a good loudspeaker candidate for you. Not inexpensive, yet the Neo does deliver the goods in dynamic performance, that is, you will never feel that you got less than you paid for. When called upon, these loudspeakers can really rock on, something that is not always the case with many highend loudspeakers. After living with this loudspeaker for an extended period, I feel Mr. Bohlender has succeeded with this latest creations.