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Thread: Martin Logan Shower Cleaning PDF

  1. #31
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    Hi Guys,

    I bought an used Ascent i couple months back and not too impressed with the sound. The mids are muddy and separations are poor. I tried vacuuming but result is the same, next I took my chance on washing the panels. The result is fantastic! I got sparkling clarity on mids and highs. It's so musical and evolving after the shower. Do give it a try if you already tried everything else.

  2. #32
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    How often should this be considered? What about in smoky environement's? We have a chimeny that has a poor initial draw so there is a few times during the season we start off a bit "smoky" in the in the room.

    Can any gentle cleaning agents be used? Or just water? RO over well water?
    Martin Logan Vista, Stage, Descent, Marantz 7701, Parasound 2205a, Technics SL1210 (KAB mod - soon to be sold), VPI Classic 2 with SS Zephyr, XBOX ONE

  3. #33
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    I mustered up the courage to do it. I dismantled my 2002 Aeons and... showered... the panels in my bathroom. >_<

    The speakers have been in the family for 12 years now, and I wasn't around to attend to their care for most of that time. I'm certain they have been hit by unattentive cleaning services spraying lemon pledge, boisterous pets, and twelve years of dust and pet dander accumulation. Thankfully no smoking. They had lost the magic somehow. Not that they sounded bad, just average. We picked them out at the audition room because we liked their sound the best, even though we had the budget for more expensive models. I remembered the first time we brought them home and turned them on, the experience was transcendent. But now they just sounded like decent full range speakers. A little pile of dust was clearly visible smack in the center of each hole in the metal grill. I found myself considering electrostatic headphones when I realized how crazy I was being-- I hadn't tried everything to revive the Logans yet...

    Now that I have deflowered the aeons and gained knowledge of their insides, I have to compliment ML on the quality of their engineering. At first I thought I would have to disconnect the panel wiring inside the woofer enclosure. I removed the screws and gently pried off the back plate to discover a beautiful series of components in neat little rows, masterfully soldered together. But what was this? The panel wiring leading to the fist sized transformer came out through a sealed hole in a block of wood? I fumed loudly to myself at this setback until I discovered the convenient access door on the front of the enclosure behind the LED light. You see years of experience with poorly designed consumer electronics led me to expect the worst... kudos to ML for putting a separate access point to disconnect the panel wiring!

    I brought the removed panels into my shower and sprayed them liberally with warm (~37 C) water, front and back. When I was done, I rinsed them off with cold RO-treated water (dissolved solids 78 PPM) just to ensure no development of any kind of film or scum from my hard well water. I gently manipulated them to let as much water run off as possible, before moving them on to the bed to towel them off. I dried them for four hours under my ceiling fan and with a hair dryer which I very carefully modulated the heat of. By now the panels were mostly dry except for the regions underneath the clear plastic pieces on the rear of the panels.

    I moved the panels back to the speaker enclosures and mounted them. I noticed that one of my panels was beginning to separate a little bit, which made me very scared that I had destroyed them. I don't know if they are designed to do this, or whether the water wash had weakened the adhesives. Once I got the side rails on, they looked fine though. They were as clean as the day they came out of the box. I proceeded to vacuum out as much water as I could and generally gave them a final once-over. I couldn't restrain my curiosity anymore... I just HAD to know if I had destroyed them, especially after reading a warning on this thread not to wash the back of the panels (OOOPS). I plugged them in, knowing they were still carrying some water...

    I plopped down in my sweet spot couch, hit the play button, and prepared for the worst. What I heard absolutely took my breath away. The magic was back. Not simply the ineffable clarity and resolution of a hi-fi sound system, but the eerie sensation of the musicians' presence in the room with you. An invisible wall of sound brought to life before my eyes, as though the back wall fell away into outer space and was replaced by a recording studio. An illusion so powerful, yet delicate, that simply holding my hand up in front of my face was enough to break it. The Martin Logan magic was back, as if I had brought these speakers 12 years back through time.

    I reluctantly turned my system off after listening for about 10 minutes, concerned that any conductivity due to water still on the panels could push the electronics past their limits. This procedure is no joke. It really works, if you have years of accumulated dust on your mylar this will refresh them like they're brand new again. I auditioned the speakers before and after and the difference was clear. It also fixed what appeared to be a channel imbalance, with centered signals appearing to come a little left of center. Now they're dead center again. I don't have any experience with other ESLs but this is a very worthwhile procedure to revive your MLs before you think about selling or replacing the panels.

    I'm back in sonic heaven again thanks to a little warm water. If any problems develop I'll report back in this thread.
    Last edited by silentplummet; 08-08-2014 at 07:16 AM.

  4. #34
    Junior Member Bimotarich's Avatar
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    I rinsed both panels... one is still nearly dead... one now is about half back to life... hmmmm time for new panels... ouch indeed as they seem to have dramatically hiked the price...

  5. #35
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    are there an instruction of how to vacuum the panels anybody?

  6. #36
    MLO owner/operator TomDac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnny View Post
    are there an instruction of how to vacuum the panels anybody?
    Leave the speakers unplugged from the electricity outlet overnight.

    the next morning, take your vacuum cleaner hose attachment and hold it directly up to the panel and slowly move the hose over the entire panel, paying special attention to the spars (the spacers between the mylar and stator.) Do this for the front AND back of each panel. Some use the brush attachment, but I prefer to just take my hose and put it right up to the stator.

    You may see the membrane being sucked up towards the hose against the stator.. This is OK and won't damage anything.

    You should do this every couple of month or so, depending on your environment.
    Tom D'Acquisto
    MartinLoganOwners.com owner/operator
    ML Owner from 1988 to 2015 (Sequels, reQuests, Summits, Cinema)
    Currently MartinLoganless
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    ick HERE to see my ML systems of the past.


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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomDac View Post
    Leave the speakers unplugged from the electricity outlet overnight.

    the next morning, take your vacuum cleaner hose attachment and hold it directly up to the panel and slowly move the hose over the entire panel, paying special attention to the spars (the spacers between the mylar and stator.) Do this for the front AND back of each panel. Some use the brush attachment, but I prefer to just take my hose and put it right up to the stator.


    You may see the membrane being sucked up towards the hose against the stator.. This is OK and won't damage anything.

    You should do this every couple of month or so, depending on your environment.
    Thank you very much for the instruction Tom

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomDac View Post
    Leave the speakers unplugged from the electricity outlet overnight.

    the next morning, take your vacuum cleaner hose attachment and hold it directly up to the panel and slowly move the hose over the entire panel, paying special attention to the spars (the spacers between the mylar and stator.) Do this for the front AND back of each panel. Some use the brush attachment, but I prefer to just take my hose and put it right up to the stator.

    You may see the membrane being sucked up towards the hose against the stator.. This is OK and won't damage anything.

    You should do this every couple of month or so, depending on your environment.
    Thanks Tom

  9. #39
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    Thanks Tom. I've done it but always apprehensive of using direct hose to panels.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  10. #40
    Super User M15's Avatar
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    My CLS have lost 90% of their former volume and audio quality. The transparent mylar is no longer transparent since it is covered with dust. Their 27th birthday is in December this year. They have never been repaired or showered. Since new panels for CLS1 are 3k pair, I plan to first use shower tap water to revive them. I will post to let everyone know the results of shower cleaning.

    Please if someone with knowledge let me know the following:

    Is it okay to wash with tap water the back side of the panel?

    Should the water temperature be neutral or lukewarm? Will not the warmth in water weaken adhesives
    used in the panel?

    The panel block connector clearly needs to be removed in order for the panel to be separated from the wood frame, however the block connector has no visible screws. How do I open the block connector to take out the black, green and red wires without my destroying it in the process?

    Many thanks for any help that may be forthcoming in this regard.

  11. #41
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    As I understand it, aside from cleaning off contaminants which condense or settle on the diaphragm itself, an important reason for showering is to dissolve and remove any caked-in conductive crust that can build up long term in the spacers' foam pores, and which would cause HV leakage from diaphragm to stator and low output. Mainly this grime or crust is on the top edge surfaces of the foam spacers on the front side, so that's where one should focus.
    No need for warm water. Tap water should be fine.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tosh View Post
    As I understand it, aside from cleaning off contaminants which condense or settle on the diaphragm itself, an important reason for showering is to dissolve and remove any caked-in conductive crust that can build up long term in the spacers' foam pores, and which would cause HV leakage from diaphragm to stator and low output. Mainly this grime or crust is on the top edge surfaces of the foam spacers on the front side, so that's where one should focus.
    No need for warm water. Tap water should be fine.
    Thanks for responding. I will pay special attention to Spacers. Please do you know if its safe to shower the back of the panel?
    Last edited by M15; 09-08-2015 at 02:45 PM.

  13. #43
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    Yes, showering the back is as 'safe' as showering the front. But still, showering should be used only as a last resort, ie not as regular maintenance. Ensure they're totally dry before reconnecting.

  14. #44
    Super User M15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tosh View Post
    Yes, showering the back is as 'safe' as showering the front. But still, showering should be used only as a last resort, ie not as regular maintenance. Ensure they're totally dry before reconnecting.
    Tosh, many thanks for your precious words of advice.

    Tomorrow morning two technical employees of Martin Logan retailer will visit my house.
    They will remove the panels from the wood frame. I can only pray that they know how to open the block connector without damaging it. After finishing their work they will leave.

    I will then wash the panels. Let them dry completely and then later call the same individuals to fit the panels back into the frame. While the panels are drying I will with wood polish, polish the wood frame too.

    By the end if the CLS are revived more than 80% I shall be a very happy man.

    Whether they are or are not revived I will post the results in this thread.

    Once again Tosh I really appreciate your kind help.
    Last edited by M15; 09-08-2015 at 02:46 PM.

  15. #45
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    You're welcome! I look forward to hearing about your progress!

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