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Thread: SL3-eXtreme Center channel speaker – a design and build story

  1. #31
    Super User JonFo's Avatar
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    Default Frequency responses

    Here is the measurement of the SL3 ESL panel alone. The dark blue and dark green traces are with the 1 Ohm resistance in-line. The cyan trace is the response with the re-configured switch bypassing the 1 Ohm load. As you can see better high end response, but a nastier load on the amp. Not that it’s a problem for the Sunfire.

    Also, this FR is way smoother than the Logos. Guess a new Panel and an active X-over help
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    Last edited by JonFo; 12-31-2008 at 06:21 AM. Reason: spelling
     
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  2. #32
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    Default Mid-Bass Line Array frequency response

    Here is the measurement of the Line Array at 2 meters. It l looks really smooth way past crossover points along with a good low-end extension.

    The Extremis driver is often used as a woofer in other designs, so it does really well here.

    With the power handling of six drivers and the throw characteristics of a line-array, this should mate very well with the ESL.
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  3. #33
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    Default Mounting

    Now that the testing is over, time to put both units together on the mounting board that is now routed, sanded and painted. It was pre-drilled for the IB locations and screw-holes countersunk.

    Here is a shot of the units being screwed in. Of course, it’s all upside down for now.
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  4. #34
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    Default Inserting ESL Drive board

    With the units screwed to the mounting plate and the plate screwed to the Infinite Baffle, we are now ready to wire this puppy up.

    First, we take our re-engineered ESL drive and backing plate and hook up the ESL panel wires. Then slide the drive board into the slot under the SL3. Looks factory stock once it’s all in.
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  5. #35
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    Default Done!

    All the wires hooked up, the new DriveRack 260 cabled in and a baseline config thrown in (using parameters outlined in the first few posts), she’s ready for some music!

    And some glory shots, so here come a few.

    First, a three quarters view showing the new SL3XC mounted onto the Infinite Baffle. You can see the Monoliths and my equipment room rack on the left.
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  6. #36
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    Default

    A full frontal view
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  7. #37
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    Default

    From above
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  8. #38
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    Default Time for some measurements

    Now that glory shots are done, time for some measurements.

    BTW- the strip of lighter stuff on the bottom of the ESL panel will be masked out with black felt later. I was in a rush to hear the sucker

    I'll post back later with measurements and listening impressions.

    But here’s a preview: I played over an hour of music last night as soon as it was running, and I was very, very happy. Can’t wait to tune it, so I’m off to do that now.
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  9. #39
    Junior Member raphant69's Avatar
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    Hi Jonathan,

    great job you've done here!
    I was wondering about the stator on your SL3 panel. It seems to have the transparent "clear spares" on the last photo. Does that mean that new replacement panels benefit of these new spacers?
    I'm waiting for new ones for my Sequel II's and don't know if I'll have the old black spacers or new the transparent ones.

    Once more, congratulations for your project.

    Raphaël.

  10. #40
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by raphant69
    Hi Jonathan,

    great job you've done here!
    I was wondering about the stator on your SL3 panel. It seems to have the transparent "clear spares" on the last photo. Does that mean that new replacement panels benefit of these new spacers?
    I'm waiting for new ones for my Sequel II's and don't know if I'll have the old black spacers or new the transparent ones.

    Once more, congratulations for your project.

    Raphaël.
    Yep, that's a clearspar ESL panel.

    Seems the SL3 /Sequel panels are now coming that way.

    However, my new Monolith panels are NOT clearspar. I'm bumming about that, as the SL3XC will be behind the screen, but the Monoliths are visible (duh!, they're huge) I'd have rather had clear on those panels. Oh well.

    The measurement difference between old and new panels is significant. I'll document later. Don't wait, order new panels for those Sequel's.

    Oh, and thanks. This has been waaay more work than I bargained for. My plans to also do woofers and panels on the Monoliths had to take a back seat to this challenge.

    But it’s been worth it, very much so. As I sit here listening to the Sting ‘Sacred Love’ album in SACD, my jaw keeps hitting the keyboard …

    Drum dynamics like I’ve never heard in my rig. The vocals (which are almost 100% anchored in the center channel) are now razor sharp, and they are the same volume as the L/R at ‘high’ (avg 90db) volumes.

    Tweaking the DriveRacks for phase and levels has the bass even tighter than ever, that big Infinite Baffle is the bomb as well. It keeps up with the Martin Logans like nothing I’ve ever heard. Tight, accurate and ‘infinite’ in depth

    It’s hard to believe it will soon get even better with the new Monolith Panels and the woofer change
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  11. #41
    Junior Member raphant69's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm happy to see you're enjoying so much your system because after all, it is the most important thing in all that we do.
    I confirm that I'm waiting for new stats for my Sequel II's.
    At this moment they must be on a boat in the middle of the atlantic ocean, between USA and France.
    I think that they're gonna improve my listening pleasure a lot.
    I was also wondering about changing woofers but don't know if it's worth. Or maybe upgrading with aluminium ones...
    Anyway I plan to remove the nextel and make a black gloss piano finish on these boxes. Like you I used to build speakers before I bought the Sequel II's and I know how proud one can be enjoying DIY stuff. What is interresting in ML's for DIYers (but also for fixing) is their modularity. For example, with two DIY bass towers with 6x10" drivers and 4 monolith stats, one (who has a big room!) can easily built a kind of cheap statement that would give great results.
    I have a question you might could answer to:
    Do you know how could I remove the Nextel from the Sequel II's boxes, as far as it is an uncommon product? (nobody knows about it here in France)

    Best regards from France
    Raphaël.

  12. #42
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by raphant69
    I'm happy to see you're enjoying so much your system because after all, it is the most important thing in all that we do.
    ....
    I have a question you might could answer to:
    Do you know how could I remove the Nextel from the Sequel II's boxes, as far as it is an uncommon product? (nobody knows about it here in France)

    Best regards from France
    Raphaël.
    Hi Raphaël,

    Yes, sitting here enjoying some Jacques Lousier playing Bach on SACD. Very clean transients and great attack on the drums, which attributable to the Monoliths and the Line Array.

    To build a mini-statement, I'd just add another set of Extremis Line array to each Monolith and be done. That would be fine in my 16x28 room.

    As for how to remove the nexel finish, I’m not sure. My SL3’s had some chips on them that peeled back pretty easily. I’d think prying it off with a putty knife should be possible. However, it might involve a lot of sanding.

    Also, the base material is MDF, so work accordingly.

    But it should be possible to strip down to primer (which is white) and start back up from there.

    BTW- Some of the best things come from France, like my wife ;-)

    Salut from someone who lived for a few years in Strasbourg,
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  13. #43
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    Default Final Front Shots

    Some additional shots of the screen going on, as we took measurements both before and after the screen is up.
    Most of the measurements are with the screen up, as that’s how it will be used, and we also want to adjust levels and EQ for the screen losses.

    Note the Diffusion panels behind the ESL on the front wall. Those help mitigate the rear wall reflection straight back into the ESL. They also smooth the horizontal dispersion characteristics by ‘spreading out’ the rear wave. I’ll point out the specific effect of this in the measurements.

    Here is one more long shot from the seating position:
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  14. #44
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    Default Screen Up animation

    And here is an animation of the front view. First is the bare system, then the black acoustically transparent masking which is required to cut the light spill through the screen. Otherwise, even with 18% grey walls, the light bounce from behind would affect the on-screen image. Also, that big metalized ESL panel is mighty reflective as you can see in some of the shots, so we need to tame its light reflections.
    Finally, the Screen itself is up. It fills the entire space between the monoliths (80” wide plus frame).

    Last edited by JonFo; 02-08-2014 at 06:47 AM. Reason: Update URL
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

  15. #45
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    Default General Comments on process

    Getting into this process is not for those who are unwilling to invest the time and effort to master tools, techniques and learn.
    The results have been amazing, but the price paid is high.

    When we fork over hard earned cash to Martin Logan, this is what we are paying for, their expertise and many, many hours of testing, measurement, prototyping and evaluation.
    The only reason I went down this path is that they don’t make a speaker to my specs.

    Also, while I am a firm believer in the benefits of active crossovers and multi-amping, it also introduces complexity into the equation.
    I calculate I have more than 85 controls per channel I can adjust. The sub has a 12 band parametric EQ with 4 main controls per band for another 48. Just for the speakers along the front, we are facing more than 300 adjustable parameters. And the interesting thing is that many of them interact a good bit. Cabling is another huge deal, as between the Meridian processor and the amps there are more than 50 cables (thankfully, most are Balanced interconnects) and 10 devices. So getting them all right is both a science and an art.

    I’ve spent more than 30 hours in the tuning process over a period of a few weekends. The wife is sick of test tones, as I’ve run hundreds of those. Frankly, I’d rather hear music myself now.

    That said, here goes a raft of posts on measurements, the process and the results.
    We will compare the SL3XC against the prior Logos as well.


    2008 – 2012 period update: While still complex to tune, the system has vastly simplified with the upgrade to a DBX DriveRack 4800 handling crossover duties for all the front channels (L/C/R/Sub) in one box.
    Additionally, the replacement of the Meridian gear with the awesome Denon AVP-A1HDci pre-amp with Audyssey Pro room correction has made the tonal and timing match across the system near perfect. Imaging is on a totally different plane than before, its incredible how these large speakers just disappear and all you hear is a focused soundstage managed by whatever the mixer of the recording intended.
    Last edited by JonFo; 12-09-2012 at 04:38 AM. Reason: note on gear changes from '08 on.
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

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