I have decided to purchase a very clean pair of original Sophia's.  I have been able to audition them with my amp.  The results were much to my liking.  Very coherent from top to bottom and a significant improvement from my current speakers.  At some point I will need to replace the diffraction pads (both top and bottom) which are available from Wilson (They have started to deteriorate from age).  If anyone has done this on their own...I would like to know how cumbersome it was.  There is a how to video from Wilson involving using denatured alcohol to dissolve them but I'm not really sure I want to tackle it that way.  Any suggestions?


An easier way that completely avoids damage to the drivers is simply remove them. The only caveat there is if the leads are soldered. Not sure if they are or not on the Sofias. Doubt it. It will make the process much simpler and less likely for an expensive oops moment.

I haven't opened a pair of Sofias but I have worked on other Wilson where the driver terminals are soldered. The leads can be quite short and substantial, so desoldering/resoldering the drive units is not a trivial task. It needs a powerful iron and care not to put too much heat into the drive unit. It's a two person job to do it properly.

You could unscrew the drivers and pull them out somewhat without the need to de-solder. You’d have to have something to support them while being elevated from the enclosure. Personally, I really don’t think it’s necessary. As a precaution, you could apply painter’s tape on the inside of where the driver is recessed making a circular wall to help keep any solvent from dropping down. You should still use the method I described earlier to totally avoid any issues.

You created another thread about changing resistors. For peace of mind, you could replace what’s in them currently (so you have a baseline of how old they are), but a strong recommendation NOT to start rolling various resistors thinking they might increase sound quality - total waste of money! This should only be done as a last resort due to room integration issues with this speakers. WA has spent countless hours optimizing the best resistors for you already. I say this from my own personal experience (hint - the sound only ever got worse).