Wilson Maxx II problem

I have a pair of Wilson Maxx II's that I have thoroughly enjoyed, until a couple of days ago.  I developed a crackle in one of my woofers.  The replacement cost is over $1K for the woofer.  I'm told, the woofer is specifically designed to the crossover, in the particular speaker, that's why I can't simply replace it with a used one, from another Maxx.  Does anyone have any suggestions, for a replacement woofer, other than shelling out over a thousand bucks?  Here's some component info:  I'm running krell KV-600 monoblocks as my power, and Aesthetix Calypso as my preamp.  The Krells are rated at 1200 watts into 4 ohms, which is what the impedance is for the Wilson's.  The Calypso tops out at 88 on the "dial", and I usually top out at 62, but the other night I went to 67.  I don't have a graph, but I would think I was well under 1K wattage.  I have always been told, that a driver can take a lot of power, as long as it's clean.  Did I simply put too much power in, or should I put an oscilloscope on my amps?  Is there another option, besides shelling out a thousand bucks, and still have the speaker match it's original specs?
Are you sure it’s the woofer and not the cables, preamp or the speaker crossover?

First, swap amps. Does the crackle follow the amp?

It’s also worth swapping woofers. Make sure the crackle follows the driver.

If the stereophile review is correct, and this is a partly carbon fiber composite woofer, then I’m pretty sure it was exclusive to Wilson. However, while you are swapping woofer’s it’s worth looking for a part number. :)


Wilson also embeds their crossovers in goop making it impossible to fix them, so if it’s not the driver, you are truly in the thumb screws.

One stupid thing to look for is the dust cap. Dust caps may come unglued. Inspect them to make sure they are still completely attached.


$1K for a woofer replacement on a $45K list speaker seems like a bargain to me. Doing anything other than a factory authorized change on a speaker of this calibre will destroy any resale value. When I blew a woofer on my Magico V3s (result of a ground buzz played at full volume) I recall it ran about $1.5K. In my case I blew the thing out completely so all it made were farting sounds 😀

I'm afraid you have to suck this sort of thing up as part of the cost of ownership on these brands
:(  I'm sure it's my woofer and I agree-the replacement price is in line with the cost of the speaker.  Was just hoping for another solution.  Any others out there will a comment?
Not really.  I mean the luckiest you could get is that the crackling is caused by a bug or other trash getting stuck inside that you could blow out, but that's highly unlikely. I'm actually surprised by the way you are describing the sound, that's why I suggested so many ways to diagnose it.

If you are absolutely sure it's your woofer, take it out and look for a model number and look online for a replacement.

Actually one of the best ways to diagnose that woofer is to take it out completely and hook your amp directly to it. You won't hurt it (unlike a tweeter or mid!) and make sure you hear the same problem. Of course, keep your volume control reasonable.


Has anyone ever heard of a woofer being matched to a specific serial number and crossover?  I would a think a Wilson 13" woofer, would be the same, whether it was going in a Maxx II or any number of Maxx III's.  To me, that's like saying a cartridge is matched to a predetermined tone arm-I mean one particular arm, not just any of the brands same model number arm.  Or, an interconnect, being matched to a specific preamp by serial number.
I don't think that's what they are saying.

What they mean is that the specific characteristics of the custom Focal woofer can't be recreated by an off the shelf driver, so you must buy Wilson's since they are the only source.

In other words, no other Focal 13" (or whatever size) would match the crossover.


Send the thing to Bill Legal at Miller Sound, he will make it as new again. Probably for less than $100   


Best of Luck


Peter, you read my mind. Cheers,
I would agree with many of the comments above. One thought I had would be to disconnect the woofer to eliminate the noise. Do the same with the other speaker. You might find you like  the sound. If so you could find yourself listening to them for years to come. If of course you were or are considering a new pair then no other option then to purchase a new one. Really no options but to purchase one from Wilson. The efficiency has to be spot on along with the speed of the driver or you will not enjoy the sound. 

As a side note I had a customer who had a pair of Vandersteen 5's and never could listen to the woofer which even though it was powered and adjustable was just to much and not cohesive. 
Thanks Peter.  I will be moving soon, so I'm going to get it done, while I'm otherwise occupied.  I can still play it at 3/4 power and hear any problem, so I will keep it down, while I'm waiting.
Get a woofer from Wilson don't play around.
Sub/woofer integration is a monster, so bass limited speakers often play better in room than larger.

Bass traps, eq and room design are our friends.


I would check every aspect of why this driver failed. It is not at all common for a driver to fail under normal conditions. I am not familiar with your source components but is there a "gain" adjustment? If so, if the gain is set too high this can blow a driver. I had a friend who blew JBL driver after driver until he realized that the gain on his pre-pro was set close to max. It I believe you are correct when you say that a driver should be able to accept considerable amouns of "clean" power -I have LInn Accurate speakers and the fronts each receive 600 watts of power. As I said, I would get to the source of why the driver failed or I believe you will be replacing drivers until the cause is determined. Hopefully this is helpful and good luck. BTW, sounds like a nice system.
It sounds you have a lot of money in your system....for ME, I'd spend the 1000 dollars and do it right.  It would be back at Wilson by now.
Luckily for me, the damage isn't that bad. I can listen at normal to moderately high volume levels, before it starts to break up. I have as much time as I need, to research all scenarios.  I'm still waiting to hear back from Wilson, to find out how much power the speaker will actually handle. Once I get the driver replaced, sure don't want a repeat of the failure.  
I own the same speakers.
Don't mess around - send the driver to Wilson and get it checked out and repaired or replaced!  Might be a simple issue.....
I've learned a lot , although it be through other dealers who took time to talk to me.  The woofer is matched somewhat to the crossover network  I didn't really understand at first and being from Missouri,  I had to be shown or I this case taught.