In celebration of the fifth anniversary of the establishment of Audio Element in Pasadena, California, Proprietor Brian Berdan debuted the brand new Wilson Audio Sasha DAW, and hosted two days of festivities, demonstrations and live musical performances for industry manufacturers, reviewers, clients and fans on November 2 and 3, 2018.

Brian has been well-known and extremely highly-regarded in the high-end audio industry for many, many years.  He is as genuinely knowledgable, experienced, friendly and charming as anyone I have ever known in this industry!

Audio Element is a large, beautiful audio salon with smaller systems in the front of the store and a large, purpose-built listening room toward the back.  This is where Brian introduced the Sasha DAW, the newest iteration of the Sasha.  This Sasha DAW was designed by Daryl Wilson, son of David A. Wilson, in whose honor the loudspeaker in named.  Brian is widely known in the industry as being an excellent set-up man, and although the Sasha DAWs arrived just three days before the event, Brian’s system was already sounding great.

The Sasha DAW enjoys numerous improvements over the prior model, including a redesigned woofer module, a new upper module, improved cabinet materials, the same exact tweeter and midrange driver which are utilized in the top-of-the-line Master Chronosonic, a new group-delay mechanism user interface and new binding posts.  The Sasha DAW is basically a brand new loudspeaker.  Think of it as a smaller version of the Alexia Series 2.

Listeners in attendance suggested that the new Sasha DAW sounded very close to the sound quality of the Alexia Series 2, and represented a particularly good value point in the Wilson Audio line-up.

For sources Brian could select from a dCS Bartok DAC for digital and two vinyl playback systems:   an AMG Giro SE 5th Anniversary turntable with AMG 9WT tonearm and Koetsu Black cartridge, and a Grand Prix Audio Parabolica turntable with AMG 9WT tonearm and Lyra Delos cartridge.  The electronics chain consisted of the VTL TL-6.5 Signature phono stage, the TL-7.5 Series III line stage preamplifier and VTL MB-450 Series III monoblock amplifiers.  VTL Siegfried Series IIs hulked in the background.

We played on the Grand Prix system "Bird on a Wire" by Jennifer Warnes, Famous Blue Raincoat (Rock the House Records/Classic Records).  (I know this is a digital recording.)  The sound was detailed and transparent, but I heard a tizziness or brightness on the triangle and a thinness in Jennifer’s voice.  When the track ended I asked to what cartridge were we listening, and I was told it was the Lyra on the Grand Prix set-up.  A-ha! Except for the Etna SL my ears have found Lyras a touch bright and a little bit thin-sounding in every one of over a dozen systems in which I have heard them.  The Lyras have wonderful sonic attributes of drive, energy, detail, transparency and dynamics, but they are not my cup of tea.

Next we listened to my “Pictures at an Exhibition” on The Power of the Orchestra, Rene Leibowitz, RPO, Chesky RC30, with the Koetsu on the AMG.  That combination is my preference!  “Pictures” sounded fantastic, with great transparency and natural detail and dynamics.  Soundstaging was excellent as always in this listening room.  The audience was very happy to sit and listen.  Several people commented on how great the Chesky version of this recording sounded.

During the event I had the pleasure of meeting Bill Peugh of Wilson Audio and Angela Cardas of Cardas Audio.

On Saturday night Brian entertained his guests with two live musical performances!  All participants had a wonderful time helping Brian celebrate this fifth anniversary!

If you are visiting Southern California you must visit Audio Element and meet Brian and his wonderful wife, Jennifer!


Brian Berdan
Audio Element
117 East Union Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

Ron Resnick - Mono and Stereo Senior Contributing Reviewer

Woofers: Two – 8 inch (20.32 cm)
Midrange: One – 7 inch (17.78 cm)
Tweeter: One – 1 inch, Dome (2.54 cm)

Sensitivity: 91 dB (one watt at one meter at 1kHz)
Impedance: 4 ohms / minimum 2.48 ohms @ 85 Hz Minimum Amplifier Power: 25 watts per channel
Frequency Response: 20 Hz –30 kHz +/- 3 dB room average response

Overall Dimensions
Height: 44 3/4 inches (113.67 cm)
Width: 14 1/2 inches (36.83 cm)
Depth: 22 15/16 inches (58.26 cm)

Overall Weight
Weight Per Channel 236 lbs. (107.05 kg)
System Shipping Weight (approx.): 710 lbs. (322.05 kg)