Wilson Speakers & Reviewers


I've been reading a lot of reviewer system lists over the years.

Why do a lot of them end up with a Wilson Speaker

They do not appear to be the most resolving.........
Or is it Peer pressure ? Or magic ?



Wilson have great mid range and warm bass. They are beautifully finished. The last word in speakers perhaps not but like Mcintosh, Wilson are highly desirable for their sound and look. You often see Wilson or B&W paired with Mcintosh - highly musical and enjoyable and look great. So I would say they are “magic” in terms of their overall sweet spot - aesthetics and overall sound.
If you had stopped at your second paragraph I would consider this a serious question.  But you're really not serious.  Threads along this line have appeared repeatedly and they are not particularly informative.  Please search the archives.
“ magic” was not the correct term

are they the “ sweet spot” is a much,  much better description 

It is a serious question 

engineers like me , suffer with the written word

It’s really a question that just invites speculation with no grounding. A waste of time with the trappings of typical trolling-not so veiled insinuation.

Because, obviously, "a lot of them" end up with many other brands as well.

A better question might be ’Why do many people prefer Wilson?’
Well, I have only sat in front of Wilson a few times and the last time was probably 2 or 3 years ago, but I have watched model introductions and have looked them over... 
It is fair to say that Wilson is Always a "Safe Choice"... Might not be the language that they would like to hear, but
Wilson uses time alignment technics across all models
Wilson uses proven crossover design across all models
Wilson uses quality drivers across all models
Wilson uses quality cabinetry across all models. 
Just looking at their production technics,  you should be able to sit in front of any Wilson model and that speaker if put in a decent listening environment will be a nice sounding speaker.  
I'm sure that one might not as detailed as another or one might have a better sound stage than another etc.  But overall,  these are well thought out, well performing speakers. 
Best bang for the buck, probably not,  but you can bank, if you get something from Wilson's current line,  you'll have a nice product. 

Wilson has been around for a long time, they were one of the pioneers in the ultra-high-end segment so developed a name for themselves early, and they spend a lot on ad buys and show presence so they keep their name and products out there.  

I heard better sounding speakers at AXPONA, but I was very impressed by their Sabrinas.  
Well, I'm sitting in front of Wilsons right now, and for about the last 8 years.  Sophia model 2's.  Prior to buying the Sophias, I was always a B&W guy - many pairs, several I still have - and the Sophias replaced 802 S3s in my main listening room (802s still in my home office after my DM1600's died).  I've never been impressed with the various iterations of the W/P (until Sasha - which I do love) as they, while very detailed, have a hollow sounding midrange to my ears, and are finicky to set up correctly.  Ditto with the Max lines, so I never considered Wilson until I demo'd the Sophias.  Loved them immediately - and couldn't afford the Sashas...sigh.  The strengths with all Wilsons are dynamics, imaging, and ability to play at very high SPLs without any congestion at all.  Not the best speaker for low volume (quiet) listening IMO, they need a bit of power to open up.

I've always run them on Meridian amplification, as I did the B&W 802s.  First with bridged 557s, then one in stereo when one died, and now with a G55 bridged after the other died.  I did try a number of Class D amps before the G55 and found some harshness / hardness in the vocals at higher SPLs that didn't manifest with the same amps and the 802s.  Not the easiest impedance curve.
I did not like the "Wilson sound" at all up to and including the Watt Puppy 6. They sounded hollow in the midrange as kiethahughes says above. But I loved the change in sound first appearing in the Sophia (which were my first Wilsons) which was warmer and more natural than the WP6. The WP7 (my second Wilsons) also had the newer, more natural, but still reasonably transparent  sound (although not the very last word in transparency), followed by the Sashas (my third) and now Sasha2 and Alexia2 (my fourth). I think the Alexia v2 was a big step up the transparency ladder but is unmistakably Wilson--natural, front stage yet dimensional and dynamic. Wilson makes a great product WHEN SET UP CORRECTLY. Set them up in a random fashion--and lose at least 60 percent of the characteristics that make them so popular.

It’s a great question.  

They are undoubtedly great speakers.   No question.  
But we have to be open to the idea in any industry that there is a symbiotic relationship between ‘influencers’ and manufacturers’ marketing departments.   A friend of mine works in the music industry.  He has a pair of £10k speakers and an £8k record deck, both donated to him.    And he isn’t even a prolific blogger.    

I work in marketing.  If I was marketing a known great product that I knew significant influencers wanted to own I would sure as hell ensure they owned it.   
Because of reputation, looks, and people believing that they have to sound good due to their price.

I’ve talked to many people who demoed their lineup, and all said they much prefer the KEF Blades and Revel Salon2/Studio2, and the measurements back that up. 

“why do do people( reviewers) prefer Wilson?”

Yes, that is even a better question 

The thing I noticed is all the reviewers (appeared to ME) went thru a boat load of speakers , before ending up with Wilson

Wilson appears to be an end game....

there have been been a lot of good comments......

Frozen, the industry has many storries sometimes a reviewer does fall in love with a product, sometimes the product is sold to said reviewer for a tiny fraction of its retail or wholesale cost.

There was a famous reviewer who magically was caught selling tons of donated uber expensive flat cables for years that he was promoting. Do you think he paid for those cables?

We know a famous Brooklyn audio reviewer who has tons of a particular company’s amps and preamps that are on never ending extended loan. ie free. The reason is simple he mentions those amps a lot as that is what he tests with.

Wilson are no more destination speakers than Rahido, Rockport, Magico. or any other well designed pair of speakers. The same conversation can be applied to cars is a BMW more of a destination auto than a Mercedes or an Audi or a Lexus or an Infiniti?

One thing that may color this conversation is if the reviewer did pay money for said product even if it was a fraction of its retail or wholesale price if that reviewer is thinking about how easily it will be to turn over that product, and pocket some money than a Wilson would be easier to move than lets say a pair of Estelon loudspeakers as more people know the Wilson product than the Estelon. If you don't think that some reviewers think this way then you don't know many reviewers. 

We are not saying Wilson makes a good, or bad product but in this industry Wilson is a very recognizable brand so they are way easier to turn if you want to.

Sound and preference is a matter of taste there are guys here who love their Wilson’s, or Magicos, or Rockports or whatever.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
There must be 150+ reviewers in U.S. and Canada. Besides Michael Fremer and Marc Mickelson, I'm not aware of *any* writer that uses Wilson. They know better....
I bought a set of Maxx II's from my dealer, that were demos. Couldn't afford them otherwise. I have a couple of Krell EV 600's pushing them. I've had them around 6 years and have loved every minute. They're not hard to set up. You want them towed in, so you can just barely see the inner sides. They have bass that will kick your butt and clear sounding mids and highs. Their crossovers are their weak link, if you're not careful. You have to remember the correct process of turning on and off, your preamps etc, or you may blow them. I love mine and have no plans to replace them. I had some Martin Logan Monoliths before. They too were good, but with the Wilsons, you get that forward driving sound that only a conventional driver can provide. Great imaging and soundstage. 
@jonnie22 - I"m not aware of caring what 'audio writers' like or dislike in speakers.  I base my purchases on what I like, not what they like. 
I was never that taken with the WP systems, certainly never enough to be tempted to buy a pair, and remained happy with my large Vandersteens for many years despite the complexities of separate bass crossover, multiamping and wiring.  Then I heard a pair of Grand Slamms well set up and had an 'aha' moment that I kept in mind for some years before buying a pair of Maxx 2s like handymann.

Unlike him, although I have lots of beefy power amps on hand (Classe, Roland etc.) I have been powering mine with tubes (CJ Premier 11a) and find it to be an excellent match (although I do switch in the Roland for AV use).

I also agree that given that a significant part of the purchase price ow Wilsons is, like Montblancs and Rolex, attributable to advertising bling, buying used is the best way to go.
keithahughes: Ken Kessler, writer for HiFi News, had the same for many years. And now uses stacked LS3/5A’s and it was a "revolutionary" advance for him.

It’s not just reviewers -go to any speaker thread (on the web) and you’ll see very little support for Wilson. Even on this (pro) Wilson thread, the brand is struggling.

There is better sound, if you simply seek and find out....
I love my Sabrina’s as well.  Proper set-up is key.   I’m using Levinson amps, and I’m happy with the combination.

@handymann  I must completely disagree with you. I too have the Max 2's and they were a real PITA to set up. Lucky for me I knew the hassle expected, as I have had WP's before(and still do), and knew what I was getting into in regards to placement. My experience with Wilsons is that for  them to sound their best, placement is CRITICAL. I spent a lot of time with the Maxx's to optimize placement, and due to the weight of them (as opposed to the WP's) on a carpeted floor, it was a difficult task. That being said, once I found the "sweet spot" for them, I am very happy.


@wspohn - Agreed.  I picked up my Sophias as store demos (~61% of new price) when the model 3's came out. $17K just wasn't in the cards, and is just too much IMO for speakers.  That said, Wilson is hardly the industry leader in ridiculously priced audio jewelry.  There are people who spend as much on speaker *cables* as my Sophias cost...

@johnnie22 - you miss the point entirely. I'm not pushing Wilson speakers (as I said, their W/P line prior to the Sasha don't appeal to me at all), or making any claims about the "quality" of their sound, or their value against any other brand, merely giving *my* own preferences.  What you or Ken Kessler prefer has no relevance to, or affect on, my preferences, nor should mine affect yours.  Frankly, if one needs "support" from some "authority" for one's audio choices, as you seem to, then sound is not the primary basis of those choices.  I was simply sharing my experience with Wilsons in response to the OP, not foraging for audiophile approbation.

And you're apparently operating under the false assumption that I haven't listened to other speakers, and so am ignorant of the choices available. Sorry to disabuse you of that rash assumption, but I spent a number of years listening to many, many speakers before buying the Sophias, and sound and $$$ were the only deciding points.  I listened to my B&W 802s for 20 years before making the move, and have been auditioning "high end" speakers for well over 40 years.

@gpkid - I've yet to hear the Sabrinas - glad you enjoy them.  Nice to see Wilson design something a bit more accessible to more folks (i.e. sub $30K!!).  Yes, for all the Wilsons I've heard, setup is more critical than most brands, and - at least in my setup - the sweet spot is smaller than I would like, but in the sweet spot, bliss...they have just the presentation/sound that *I* like.  They ain't going anywhere!
I too have the Max 2's and they were a real PITA to set up. Lucky for me I knew the hassle expected, as I have had WP's before(and still do), and knew what I was getting into in regards to placement. My experience with Wilsons is that for them to sound their best, placement is CRITICAL. I spent a lot of time with the Maxx's to optimize placement, and due to the weight of them (as opposed to the WP's) on a carpeted floor, it was a difficult task. That being said, once I found the "sweet spot" for them, I am very happy.

Agree that set up is critical for these speakers, but didn't think it was a huge deal to do despite the fact that dealers take courses and charge you to come out and expertly set them up.

The manual that comes with the speakers is well written and detailed on the matter of set up and if you have a friend with a laser level/range finder as I did, there is no big problem getting the angle of the head unit correct as well as the distance to the listener's head within a centimeter or so.

At something like 450 lbs. per speaker, believe me, they don't move around once they are set up!

I haven't heard a lot of speakers that better them but would love the opportunity to listen to them on the same system using a couple of speakers I have heard that are very, very good, including the Magico S5 and the Vandersteen 7.
keithahughes: I don’t buy on opinion, I just don’t want to be odd-man out....

As someone who used to defend Wilson, I was getting knocked-down in forums. So I went on a search and came to the same conclusion as ’gpgr4blu’ above. Compared to other brands, Wilson’s freq. response was not accurate and tonal balance out of whack.

(2) others above -’mzkmxcv’ and ’tutetibiimperes’ echo these thoughts.

It seems people who like Wilson are simply not aware of other brands -like Emerald Physics, Spatial or PureAudioProject horns. Or Tekton. Or Devore O-series, or, or , or....
@jonnie22 - " ...I just don’t want to be odd-man out...." this is what I was referring to.  Unless you are afraid to accept your *own preferences* as valid on their own, why on Earth would you care about being "odd-man out"?

Did you miss my acknowledgment that Wilson has a "house sound"?  No speakers have a *flat* frequency response - none - and each has a particular sound based on the trade-offs each make, and their priorities. 

"It seems people who like Wilson are simply not aware of other brands -like Emerald Physics, Spatial or PureAudioProject horns. Or Tekton. Or Devore O-series, or, or , or.... "  yet another attempt to dismiss other's ***PREFERENCES***  as merely ignorance. Why are you so afraid to accept that some people like Wilsons *because* they sound as they do?  Why the need to denigrate others as ignorant rubes?  Were you bitten by a Watt/Puppy as a small child?
Yes, I was bitten, as a WP-6 owner. And as I remember (the 90s and 2000s), the back pages of Stereophile were LOADED with people selling their Wilson’s.

I reported what I heard -in line with others here, but you refuse to acknowledge that.

Yes, other opinions matter, just to make sure I’m not hearing things. With so many variables in our systems, it's the right thing to do.

@jonnie22 - I don't take any issue with you reporting what you heard, just with reporting what you *assume*, yet cannot possibly *know*, i.e. that "... people who like Wilson are simply not aware of other brands...".   Such statements simply demean people who have, indeed, heard many, many brands, and still prefer their Wilsons.  You don't like them, fine, no problem, many don't.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on the subject of making one's own sonic preferences contingent upon other's opinions.  I'm afraid the concept of "making sure i'm not hearing things" doesn't make sense to me in this context.  I hear what I hear, that's what is real to me.  I can't perceive what *you* or anyone else perceives, in the way you perceive it, but even should my preferred sound drive the audiophile masses screaming from my listening room in horror, it would have no affect on my perceptions, and certainly wouldn't make my perceptions *wrong*.  In the context of personal enjoyment, perceptions cannot be wrong, by definition.  To me, that's the right thing to do.


I've auditioned virtually every high end speaker available in the US market over the past 20 years--and some have come close to the overall Wilson presentation for me for various reasons (Eggleston, Rockport, KEF, Revel, Vandersteen, YG, Lawrence Audio, Raidho) and others have proven superior to me (MBL) but require a much bigger investment in ancillary equipment to be driven properly.
However, I'm with other writers who utilize Wilson as their reference in addition to those mentioned above like Jacob Heilbrunn, Jason Victor Serinus, Edgar Kramer, Anthony Cordesman (one of 2 references) and manufacturers like Audio Research and Dan D'Agostino both of whom used Wilsons to voice their equipment (although ARC currently uses mainly Sonus Faber for obvious reasons ). Wilsons are by no means everyone's favorite and I understand the reasons why anyone could prefer any of the above brands and many more. BUT--they are a popular choice in the high end among audio reviewers and the buying public and like all popular choices, they will be subject to sometimes intense criticism by those who prefer other brands. That's life.  
Cordesman, for several years now, said that Legacy are the best speakers he’s heard. And never mentions his references, so we don’t know what he’s using.

Kramer is not U.S./Canadian based -the area (of reviewers) I was referring to. But we can add Serinus and Heilbrunn to the two I mentioned. So that’s 4 out of about 150.

But even here, were Wilson’s ever good ? Didn’t Fremer last year say the Alexx was "easily the best" they ever made ? That means all before were "easily the worse".

That means Heilbrunn, Serinus and Fremer suffered for years WITHOUT KNOWING until the Alexx !!

And that was my situation. As WP-6 owner, *I* didn’t know they were sub-par, in sound. Until I heard other systems (carefully) that opened my mind. Usually in high-end, if someone doesn’t own a brand you have, they say, "don’t own ’em. but they get good reports and (maybe) sounded good at a few shows", etc.

But Wilson is one of a few brands (in the history of high-end) to have detractors. Zu did early on too, with their deviances from tonal neutrality. But there aren’t many others.

Finally, things change. In the current ’buzz’, horns, waveguides and Tekton are hot right now. Any cone-speaker of the past -not just Wilson, are an endangered species, IMO.

     I had WP 8 for a couple years.  Set up was CRITICAL, when they say every 1/2" counts they mean it.  I also found that I needed "mellow" equipment and cables to counter the dynamic, forward presentation.  They could be considered bright with bad silver cables and edgy gear.  Once all of the appropriate ancillaries were in place I found that music was dynamic, detailed and fun to listen to.  They had great imaging and pretty good depth.  Music was nicely detached from the speakers.  I never tried them with tubes, but I think they would have been really nice.  I loved them for a couple years, but I came to the conclusion that they were too forward (un-natural) in the presentation.  I switched to a Magico S5M1 which resolves a little more detail, sounds more neutral (to me) and are much easier to set up, but they don't have the dynamic slam of the WP8s even with the 10" woofers vs the 8".
@firefightingrob - That's kind of my experience with Magico speakers as well.  My local dealer sells Mac, Wilson, Linn, Magico, Sonus Faber, Meridian, Wisdom, Maggies, Martin Logan, Totem, and MBL so comparisons are fairly easy to do (albeit in different rooms).  Magicos (I believe I've only demo'd the Q3 and Q5, no S series) IME do nothing wrong - they seem very neutral and balanced, and do most everything very well.  I think they may be too neutral for me, and seem to lack some of the excitement I get from my Wilsons, though I could live happily with them - out of my price range however.  I've listened to most if not all of the W/P iterations except the 8, so I really can't opine on that particular model, but your description pretty much agrees with what I hear from the 7s.  My Sophias are less dynamic than W/Ps, but more balanced and not *as* forward to my ears, and not quite as critical for setup.  I've lived with mine for 8 years now, and remain happy with them. 

Unlike some, I don't suffer from audiophilia nervosa, and as long as I'm happy with how my system sounds - which I am, I feel no compelling need to change it (well, after 20 years with my 802s I did feel a bit of itch...).  Nor do I worry that "I could be missing out on the Grail", that *true* audio Nirvana is just one more change, one more tweak, more _____ away.  That pathway, IME, never leads to satisfaction.  

IMO, when it comes to speakers, you can get *objectively* better speakers up to a point, but once you achieve full range performance, relatively flat frequency response, with real life SPL capability, then "different" is really what you get with different brands and technologies, and "better" becomes entirely subjective. I've never met a dipole I could live with long term, for example (even the Radialstrahler mbl 101 X-treme - though my God what dynamics!!! - for a measly $250K last time demo'd them), yet many feel only a dipole can sound realistic, while they sound unrealistic to me.  I'm right...and they are right.

I really  have no idea why some folks feel compelled to be either rampant fanboys, or haters, of specific brands (ok, well, maybe Bose), and refuse to accept that an individual's preference is inviolable, and requires no external justification.  Oh well, happy listening with your Magicos!

it it sounds like a “Ford vs Chevy” debate, minus the beer( maybe not?)

You all have interesting perspectives 

Some more viament than others

     I do tend to agree...once you get full range and relatively flat freq........it becomes a preference
     I also think marketing is a big part of it, to

Merry christmas 
( we just a finished 8” snowstorm)

FWIW I have listened to Wilsons many times but only in store and show environments. I like what I hear, and I completely understand why others would love them and own them. I haven't wanted them after hearing them, but I find I often stop in and listen to them when I'm looking at other stuff. So they remain compelling even to someone who isn't captivated enough to own them. That, in itself, is commendable.  
@frozentundra - Dude, 8" of snow?  Two words; Move South!  Too cold for my blood - supposed to be 95F here tomorrow ;-)
As for being vehement, I am, but only insofar as defending one's right to a preference, and pointing out the folly of relegating dissimilar preferences to simple ignorance on the part of the holder.

@astewart8944 - Wilsons can definitely grab your attention.  For some, the attention doesn't wane, but for many others it does. A buddy of mine came over when I bought my Sophias and he was really impressed (his speakers at the time were B&W 804s), so much so that he had to go out speaker shopping.  He came home with Sonus Faber Cremona M's after auditioning them side by side with the Sophias.  He and I think both are great speakers, we each could live happily with either, we prefer a different one.  That's why I've been clear that I'm not promoting Wilson speakers, or making any claims of their superiority or inferiority relative to other speakers.

There are a great many very good speakers out there that I'd be satisfied with - many if not most are more than I paid for mine, and more than I'd choose to spend.  But there are many (e.g. Paradigm Studio 100 V5, Triton 1, etc.) that provide an incredible amount of performance for reasonable money as well. Each to their own.
Cordesman uses the Legacys and Alexia 1s as his 2 references. Check out his reviews of both.
I doubt that Wilson is or will be in trouble as mentioned herein being left behind by higher tech speakers companies. If they continue to move forward as they have on their mid priced Vyvette among others they will be just fine. It defines musicality and pure listening pleasure. It’s built so well that I never consider the cost just pleasure provided. 
Crazyeddy:  It’s true, they were a pita to set them up out of the crates, but my dealer put them together.  I have had them spiked, but put them back on their casters, so I can easily reposition them, as I’m constantly experimenting with their placement.  However, once they’re assembled, they’re easy to move. I agree-1/4” either way, makes a huge difference, but most speakers are that way. I’ve done a lot of moving the upper portion, as far as the vertical axis goes.  It’s a labor of love though.  How large is your room and have you finally settled on a particular position, concerning distance from the walls etc?  Did you set up the upper portion, as the book recommended?

Handyman: Yes, I followed the correct upper cabinet set up as outlined in the manual. It didn’t seem right to me, so I tried different angles, but quickly went back to factory recommended settings. I guess the good folks at Wilson know what they’re doing ! LOL. It took me quite some time, maybe 2 months or so, of position tweaking to get that sweet spot that works for me. I jacked them up and removed the casters/installed the spikes. The problem now is the difficulty in trying other speakers, as the Maxx’s are just so heavy and hard to move. I do bring my Watt Puppy’s out every now and then, and place them beside the Maxx’s, and listen to them for a few days, but the placement is far from optimum. I just have to live with it, I guess. I do have a picture of the Maxx’s placement in my room, on my "Virtual System" if you care to have a look. I did not see any pictures on your profile. Wouldn’t mind seeing how you have yours placed, if possible. You also mentioned that yours are easy to move on the casters, once assembled. I assume that they are on a solid floor? Mine are on a thick pile carpet, and even with the casters, are still a real bear to move around.

Handyman: Forgot to ask, have you ever had resistor issues? I have replaced the 5.8 ohm A LOT!! I do tend to drive them pretty hard after a couple of beer though :)  Cheaper to replace a resistor than a driver !!
Reviewers might need a speaker that works with many amps?

I think there are a couple of reviewers that use DeVore, it's not only Wilsons.
Crazyeddy:  Yes-I’ve replaced my crossovers numerous times, until I learned not to shut off anything, “upwind”, of my amps first.  You know - power amps off first etc.  I also learned that all resistors are not necessarily blown.  I have been able to salvage one or two of the four set assembly and make a new set of four, using some of the old ones.  What is your source for new ones?  Also, I have Berber carpet.  The speakers are not very hard to move around on it.  I’m need to post some pictures of my room.  
Handyman. Yes, I have managed to salvage some of the individual resistors in the cluster as well. You are correct; not all of them test faulty, and it's easy to salvage the good ones to make another group. 
Handyman: I buy directly from Wilson. I have tried to source them directly from Caddock, but they are proprietary to Wilson.
Handyman - your set up is similar to mine


I have also kept them on the casters for fine tuning.

Set up is greatly helped by having a helper with a laser that measures distance and the Wilson tables.
Crazyeddy:  I get my from Caddock. They will sell u the same resistors, in value, but u have to solder longer leads on. The first replacement set I bought from Wilson were around $60. The last set I priced, thru my dealer were around $160+. You are buying from Wilson direct?  What's the price for two sets of 4?  
Handyman: I pay $20.00 US per resistor, so it ends up being $160.00 plus shipping (about $20.00) Now, as I live in Canada and our dollar is worth less than the paper it's printed on, I get killed on the exchange, and cross-border fees. I think it ends up being around $300.00 Canadian, when it's all said and done. What do you pay from Caddock? I looked on the Caddok web site, but could not find a suitable resistor, and the part number on the supplied resistors from Wilson come to a dead end on the Caddok site. How are you finding the proper 5.8's from Caddok?
Crazyeddy  I spoke with a rep and explained what I was doing. He too said he couldn't sell me the same resistor package as provided to Wilson, but was able to sell me individual resistors, with short leads. They came in a hard plastic holder all lined up together. I ordered 16, to be sure I had plenty on hand.  I'm not at home now, but can provide u with the part number if u want it. Sorry it took me so long. I missed your last question. 
Handyman: Yes, please send me the part number when you can. I'm at the point where I would like to order some, and if I can save some $$, that would be great. What are you paying for each individual resistor, or group of 4 ?
Crazyeddy:  Part # is MP821-5.80-1%  $14.95 each + shipping.  Not a huge savings, but still...

Handyman: Thanks. I'll give it some thought. I would have thought there would have been a more substantial savings buying direct from Caddock.

I'll probably re-order from Wilson, as I don't like the idea of introducing more heat from the soldering that necessary, if I have to extend the leads in order to be able to get a full cluster.