Paint crack Wilson Sophia 2


I bought a pair of Sophia 2 second hand one year ago. They are now 3 years old. Yesterday a line crack suddenly appeared in the line between the bottom section of the speaker and the mids / top section. The crack follows the exact line between the two sections. It seems to me that the speaker has been put together by two parts, and painted afterwards. And due to vibrations of some sort, the paint has cracked up. You have to take a close look to see it, but the second hand value has detoriated. Any similar experiences out there?

I presume I have to repaint them at a custom shop. I have some friends who are one of the best in Europe, so we will be fine. But, annoying though. And the question remains, why did it happen?

Cheeers, ToffenG
I would contact Wilson as they would want to know and may offer to repair it. Unless the speakers have been knocked over to cause this separation, it is obviously a mfgs. defect.
More common than ya think..Wilson has paint issues that are well documnented
A friend of mine had that very issue on his Sophias. The speakers were still under warranty though, and he got a brand new pair of Sophias, with no question asked. The warranty on Wilson speakers is 5 years, so check out if your pair is still under warranty.
Have they been kept in a constant temperature environment?
Turning back the heat in your weekend cabin (to save a few Euro when you are not there) would seem a likely cause.
Is it affecting the sound, that's what I wanna know
I have a feeling it wont affect the sound but that's kinda discouraging to see those little cracks in the beautiful body of the Sophia IIs.
I had the same thing happen to a pair of Sophia 2s that I had purchased in the fall of 2007. They were demos and were probably a year or two old I would guess. I originally thought it was an adhesive line from the frisk that is used to cover and protect the speakers during shipping. Upon closer inspection (the cracks were exceptionally small) I found it to definitely look like the paint was cracking. I called Wilson Audio directly and explained what I was seeing, and the fact that is was isolated to only one speaker at that point. The gentleman I spoke to was extremely kind and helpful, and he asked if I thought I could capture the cracking on some digital photographs and email them to him. With some creative lighting and "Twister-like" contortions to be able to get the cracks to show up, I snapped a few pics and immediately emailed them to him. Within 20-30 minutes of receiving my pictures he contacted me, informed me that they had received a defective batch of the phenolic resin used for that part of the cabinet construction (M material) a couple of years ago (they use M and X material both on the Sophia) and the cracks were actually where the M material panels were delaminating/separating, and not just cracks in the paint. I voiced my concern over repairing and repainting of the speaker, and whether or not it would be affecting my other one that had been fine to that point. He squelched my concerns instantly by telling me that I would have no worries about the repair or the paint finish, because they would be destroying the defective speakers and would be building me a brand new pair from the ground up. Suffice it to say, I saw this as the epitome of customer service. There is no doubt that they could have reused my drivers, crossovers, ports, Puppy Paws, and other miscellaneous accessories, but NOOOO, they would have no part of this. It was a brand new pair of speakers and any changes that I wished to make if I so desired. I did "so desire" and had the new speakers painted in the gorgeous Porsche Macadamia Metallic, instead of the standard black that I previously had. It was a new color for Porsche, and a new color for Wilson that had only been used one time before the build of my Sophia 2s. The very first pair of Wilson Audio speakers painted in what had now become almost a signature color that is being widely used to showcase their new products from Maxx 3s, to Sasha W/Ps, and even the new Polaris Center. That first pair was a pair of Alexandria 2s that were custom painted for a gentleman in Hong Kong. I do have the first pair of Wilson Audio speakers produced for the United States, and the second pair in the world. I know, book whoopdy doo, but it is kind of cool to go to their website, go to CES 2010 blogs, go to dealer open houses and see that very color being widely used today, when a year ago it was almost non-existent.

If I were you, I would take the time to contact customer service about the defects you have experienced and see if there is anything that can be done to assist you, even though you are not the original owner, and I feel pretty certain that they are not under warranty. I could not, nor would not ever try to speculate on what, if any action they may or may not take, but it would not hurt to ask. I would also approach the topic more with the "honey approach" rather that the "vinegar approach" if you know what I mean.

Good luck to you, and happy listening to a great speaker even if you have to live with hairline cracking that may never get repaired, get any worse, or maybe not even be noticed if you don't point them out to visitors. Mine were so minor that it could have easily been missed.

Feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way.

This is why Wilson charge what they charge. It's not just the technology, but all the other factors (fair living wage, benefits, exemplary customer service)that comprise their business culture.
Lenny, I totally agree with what you are saying, but I will also add that these speakers are built here in the USA, paying American wages, using the best materials, paints, components, etc. I haven't toured the factory, but have been told first hand that if I did go through it to see how their speakers are constructed, I would not be able to fathom that they could sell them for as little as they do. The person who made that statement also had been through the Bowers & Wilkins factory as well, and made the same comment concerning the 800 series line. A lot of it is the factory, the technology, the training, the expertise, and many other intangible things that contribute to the price of anything. Sure you have drivers that are outsourced, but you also have changes made, resistors and such that have ridiculous tolerances, and so much more than what could ever meet the eye. All of this doesn't come free or cheap.

I am in a customer service business and it's amazing that people can get in their head an idea of what the components or parts cost, and then think that if they add a few hours of what their idea of an hourly labor rate is, that if the company is charging any more than that, they are ripping people off. In the case of my business, it's not just the parts and the labor, but it's the salary and benefits paid to the employee, the retirement, the matching contributions, the unimaginable healthcare insurance premiums, the vehicle he drives, the parts that are stocked in the parts room and on that vehicle so that they can get their repair done immediately and not be inconvenienced. It's also the building they go back to, the utilities, the taxes, the overhead, the workman's comp, the social security, the specialty tools, the training and certification, the continuing education, the thousands and thousands of dollars to have your ad in the 10 different yellow page books that are available, so that when they need your service they can find you. It goes on and on and on! Those costs have to be fairly distributed or we will not be in business when you need us.

Fortunately we are not in the pharmaceutical industry where billions are spent on R & D, clinical trials, jumping through hoops to try to get approval through the FDA in less that 5 years, and then the massive marketing campaigns, the free samples, the free meds to people who can't afford them, and of course the pretty blondes, and sexy brunettes that are calling on the physicians, wining and dining them, gifting them to get them to write the prescriptions for their version of the medication, instead of the other company. Have you ever looked at what you and your insurance provider are paying for those 30 or 60 pills that are a 30 day supply? I take several prescriptions monthly for health problems and some of them are in the $300 to $400 a month range. I will average over $200 a month just in co-pays alone. I'm not happy about it, but I have no choice. Take the meds, or face the alternative.

People want to complain because a company charges X number of dollars for a speaker, when I have yet to see someone marched into a Hi-Fi store at gunpoint and forced to buy WIlsons, B & Ws, or anything else. Even the very special boutique speakers that make Wilsons and B & Ws look like the blue light special from K-Mart! They are more than welcome to go to the big box store and buy from the shelf, or they can go the the Bozo store at the local mall and plunk down $3000 or $4000 for something that they are psyched into thinking sounds good, when you can put the entire system in your microwave oven and hide it. Hooray for jewel cubes if that is what turns you on, or perhaps all you have space for, but don't compare them to "real" speakers, even the big box units that are particle board, and chinese drivers. I personally think that for the most part speakers are like high performance engines, "there is no substitute for cubic inches!"

Do I wish that Wilson Audio speakers were a fraction of their current cost? Sure I do! If the do cut them down to half price, something along the way is going to get cut right along with that price and then people will really have something to complain about.

If you don't like the product, don't buy it. It's just that simple. I have found for many years that it is so conveniently easy for people to dislike, and even hate what they can't have. I can't have a new Ferarri, but that doesn't stop me from loving them and appreciating them, even if they don't perform a bit better than a Z-06, or even a ZR-1 Corvette, but yet cost two to ten times more, depending on which models you are comparing.

The bottom line is, people will pay for things they want to own, whether it's the best choice, the best value, the cheapest, the most expensive, or whatever. Part of the experience of ownership in higher-end products is the ownership experience as a whole. It's the way they are treated from the first meet and greet, all the way to a warranty claim.
Very well said. I agree.
Hello ToffenG

I read the post and I'm in the same situation.
How do you solve this problem ?
Contact the Wilson in the US or local dealer?
You had warranty or was the first owner ?

I will follow the "Vwfast4me" advice and send to Wilson direct some photos with the fissure but the problem is I'm from Europe and could be difficult to send back the Sophia's ...

Thank you in advance

Since it was second hand nothing was to do. However if I was to upgrade they should tell the dealer in Scandinavia to give me a favourable price on a pair of Sophias 3. I still have the Sophia 2 and going the turntable track first. A friend of mine who is a car dealer told me that he know a guy specializing in car paint:)

Cheers Toffen
I am in Taiwan . I bought this pair from Audiogon. Crack line happened few days ago.
I contact Wilson audio by email and Facebook but no response.
My serial no. 3053/3054 built on Mar 2009 accroding thier record.
In Taiwan there is W/P dealer but they said only responsible for Tawian sold. 
What shoud I do ?

Contact Wilson for a consultation.
In Taiwan, the delaer  will replace the new cabinet for you but I bought them from  USA directly. The Taiwan dealer could not do this service for me. The wilson audio could not face to customer directly , must be via local dealer ,  It really gave me a lot of trouble.  The cabinet crack is quality problem. Now I suffer a lot.

This can happen to any object glued together, what happening is that the two cabinet parts expand/contract differently from heat and or moisture.  The effect of this is that the paint will show hairline cracks.  It has nothing to do with lack of quality.  It would not matter what kind of glue or assembly method is/was used it would still happen.  

This of course becomes a lot more visible on a smooth surface like the side of the Wilson cabinet where the upper part of the cabinet bends inward and there is no facet or other visual distraction.

Best of luck