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A pair of 22 year old SL3's and a lot of Schiit...

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Chops

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As the title says, I'm running a mint pair of SL3's that were built in January of 1998, and they are still performing flawlessly as ever. I've owned them for around 5 years but stopped using them a few years ago because no matter what gear I used or if I bypassed their crossovers and ran them totally active, I could not get the right sound out of them, nor could I get a proper sound stage and imaging from them. Some of the issue was in fact the gear, but the biggest issue were the rooms I had to work with.

Now that we are in a house of our own finally, and I claimed full rein of the main room (family room) of the house, I am actually getting somewhere with these near six foot tall beauties. The house was built in 1951 and is solid with heavy plaster walls and ceiling, and natural oak floors that we had resurfaced before moving in. I always wanted an accent wall, so we decided on a coffee brown color and light grey for the rest of the house, and pure white gloss trim. We also sanded down and refinished all of the hardwood doors throughout the house.

Also, because this house is so old, the only grounded outlets in the entire house were in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. Before I installed my PS Audio Power Port socket, we had an electrician come in and run a dedicated ground to the existing outlet on the wall where the system resides.

I won't going into detail about the system as I have everything listed in my signature below. I will say though that I run a variety of NOS tubes in the Schiit Freya+ preamp, although at the moment, I threw in the stock JJ 6SN7's that came with the preamp. They only had about 30 hours on them before I put in my first set of NOS tubes. I just put the stock tubes in a couple days ago and have had them running 24/7 since to get some hours on them. They actually don't sound half bad at all.

As you can see, I have a pair of Aegir Class A Continuity amps, running them in mono, which they are rated at 80 watts @ 8 ohms. Though it doesn't mention it anywhere on their website nor in the owners manual, there was a paper provided at a few shows when these amps debuted that stated that they were also capable of 160 watts into 4 ohms mono. It must be true because I've been powering the SL3's this way for the past couple of weeks. The amps don't run any hotter than normal, they don't distort at all, and sound damn good with these speakers. Only thing is, if I play them just a touch too loud with peaking hitting around 97 - 98 dB, the amps will shut down. When this happens, I just have to flip the main switch on the back panel of the amps, wait a second then flip them back on and everything is perfectly fine. I'm just chalking it up to the fact that the little Aegir amps can't handle the impedance swings while in mono mode and go into over-current protect mode. Makes sense. So I am actively looking for a replacement amp or amps, and I think I might have found one. Trying to work out a deal as we speak, but I'll just leave it at that for now.

And lastly, some pics of the setup as it sits...









 

Chops

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Well, since no one else will post here, I'll go ahead and post a little more.

An update in fact. Schiit Aegir amps gone, replaced with a 22 year old Roksan Caspian Mk I amplifier. The Polk Audio PSW505 subwoofers now replaced with my JL Audio e110 subs after sitting in the closet for the past few years with faulty amps, just repaired. Still tweaking them as I just got the amps back today, installed them and got them in the system.





 

Chops

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Would work on room treatments next. Nice looking system.
Thank you Tom. I plan on doing some room treatments eventually. Almost did a few months back, but then life got in the way.



 
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Mirolab

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What a fun looking system! I too have a pair of SL3's that I swap in & out on occasion.
With your handiwork, can I assume you refinished those oak trims? They don't look like the stock color.
Mine are still golden oak, and look great in my room.
I see 4 cassette decks, and what looks like a DAT deck. What, no CDs in sight??

I agree with previous poster..... some rear wall diffusion/absorption would likely improve things. Unless it's already amazing enough for you.
 

tsmooth

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That's some near field listening. Do you usually listen with door open or closed? How much does that change the sound without the first reflection point? Have you listened with just a chair or smaller couch in the room (not a L shaped sofa)? I enjoyed your story about the progression as we have also changed houses and equipment over the last 15+ years. Enjoy the new place.
 

Chops

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What a fun looking system! I too have a pair of SL3's that I swap in & out on occasion.
With your handiwork, can I assume you refinished those oak trims? They don't look like the stock color.
Mine are still golden oak, and look great in my room.
I see 4 cassette decks, and what looks like a DAT deck. What, no CDs in sight??

I agree with previous poster..... some rear wall diffusion/absorption would likely improve things. Unless it's already amazing enough for you.
Thank you. You're the second or third person to say something about the looks of the trim on the SL3's. That is actually the stock 22 year old walnut trim, still in mint shape. And yes, four cassette decks and a DAT recorder (the infamous Panasonic SV-3700) , which is out of the system at the moment. Once I get a decent rack for the decks in the back of the room, I'll put the DAT recorder back there with the cassette decks. CD's? What are those? LOL No, oddly enough, no CD's, or at least no way of playing them. All of my CD's are stored away in the closet.

Eventually, I'll get some treatments on that front wall behind the speakers to start out with. Then grow from there. Room treatments is one thing I have never done before, but I plan on doing it in this room.


That's some near field listening. Do you usually listen with door open or closed? How much does that change the sound without the first reflection point? Have you listened with just a chair or smaller couch in the room (not a L shaped sofa)? I enjoyed your story about the progression as we have also changed houses and equipment over the last 15+ years. Enjoy the new place.
Yeah, it pretty much is near field listening. The SL3's are 7' apart at their panels' centers, and I'm 8' in front of them. The door is typically open. For very critical listening, I'll close it, but honestly there isn't much difference in sound with the door open or closed. It may actually have a little more effect on the bass in the room more than anything else. It really doesn't do anything as far as I can tell with 1st point reflections, as there should be little anyway since these dipole designs such as stats, open baffles and such don't have much sound to the sides.

The seating arrangement in this small room definitely stinks. This love seat and couch are way too large for the room, but it's what we have for the moment, though there are plans on replacing them with something nicer, more comfortable, and a bit smaller. Not much we can do about it right now though. And no, sadly never had just a chair or the love seat by itself in here.

And thank you for the kind words!
 

Chops

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Just reinstalled the IsoAcoustics iso-200sub isolators under the JL's. Man, putting the subs on these and getting them off the suspended wood floor, it's like the subs gained a solid 3+ dB of output below 30 Hz, now easily pumping out very usable output below 20 Hz. I actually had to turn the gains down a touch. Apparently, the suspended wood floors soak up a lot of that low frequency energy. I listened to the Greyhound soundtrack (Tom Hanks movie) the other day with these subs, and there was plenty of deep bass, but not like now. Now it's really deep.








And of course, my "little" music girl, Charlie.

 

BDH55

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Chops, just curious but it looks like your SL3's are on spikes with some discs underneath to protect your floors. With the improvement you've seen using isolation under your subs, have you tried isolation under your main speakers? I'm really curious about this, but I've got a different situation sitting on heavy carpet and pad, over concrete slab. Hope I didn't miss your previous comments on this...
 

Robert D

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Man, you have a big cat too! We have 3 sphynx cats, the breed with no hair, and one weighs nearly 16 pounds now. You can see all his belly flab when he rolls on the ground!
 
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Chops

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Chops, just curious but it looks like your SL3's are on spikes with some discs underneath to protect your floors. With the improvement you've seen using isolation under your subs, have you tried isolation under your main speakers? I'm really curious about this, but I've got a different situation sitting on heavy carpet and pad, over concrete slab. Hope I didn't miss your previous comments on this...
Those are the stock adjustable spikes. They're actually quite neat as the bases are big cones, yet the adjustable spike itself is almost like a pointed water droplet shape.

I haven't tried any isolation under the SL3's. To use something similar to what I have under the subs, the SL3's would be way too unstable and wobbly.

I would love to get some of those IsoAcoustics Gaia III footers, but not for the prices they want for the darn things. For $400 for two sets, they can keep them. I don't have that kind of cash flow coming through here. LOL



Man, you have a big cat too! We have 3 sphynx cats, the breed with no hair, and one weighs nearly 16 pounds now. You can see all his belly flab when he rolls on the ground!
Yeah, she's a beefy girl, but she's still sweet as all get out. Her brother is even heavier, but he doesn't look "beefy" like her. We have six kitties in all.

 

Robert D

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That's a lot of cats! Do you follow Jackson Galaxy's rule for litter boxes? The number of cats plus 1. So we have 4 liter boxes. Sucks, but seems to work.
 

BigGuy

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Those are the stock adjustable spikes. They're actually quite neat as the bases are big cones, yet the adjustable spike itself is almost like a pointed water droplet shape.

I haven't tried any isolation under the SL3's. To use something similar to what I have under the subs, the SL3's would be way too unstable and wobbly.

I would love to get some of those IsoAcoustics Gaia III footers, but not for the prices they want for the darn things. For $400 for two sets, they can keep them. I don't have that kind of cash flow coming through here. LOL





Yeah, she's a beefy girl, but she's still sweet as all get out. Her brother is even heavier, but he doesn't look "beefy" like her. We have six kitties in all.

Do you also have a dog to herd them? ;)
 

Chops

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That's a lot of cats! Do you follow Jackson Galaxy's rule for litter boxes? The number of cats plus 1. So we have 4 liter boxes. Sucks, but seems to work.
We actually have two large triangle shaped boxes that have worked out great for the six mews. Gets scooped out twice a day, full cleaned every weekend, and zero mess or odor issues. Friends and neighbors come over and can't even tell we have cats.


Cat pictures. Isn’t that what the internet was made for?
LOL! Pretty cats you have there.
 

Robert D

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Im wondering if anyone here has ever had their cat climb their Martin Logan Electrostats.
Any tips on keeping the cats from climbing the panels? (Outside is keeping them out of that room)
I had cats climb the grills of some of my other speakers that were not electrostat, but they don't mess with the prodigies.
 
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