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Auditioned the Stage Today

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Rich

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I stopped into my local dealer today to see if they had decided to stock the Summits yet, so I could audition them. They haven't (bummer being in a small town). But they did have a stage on hand in a home theater setup, paired with the Vistas and a Depth, all driven by Anthem equipment. I hate to say it, but I was underwhelmed.

It was a short listening session, not a true in-depth audition, and I know how much setup and room can affect sound, but the Vistas, Depth and Surrounds all sounded fine to me. The Stage, however, sounded very thin and almost tinny. There was no depth to the sound coming from the center channel at all. I have heard bookshelf speakers with a more full-bodied sound than I heard from this speaker. It didn't integrate at all with the Vistas.

I was listening to the movie "The Fifth Element" which I have watched dozens of times and know very well. I watched enough of it to know that it wasn't just the effect of a particular scene. I came away very disappointed and wondering if I need to start looking for a used Theateri or go JonFo's route and build my own. :eek:

Has anyone else had this experience? Has anyone made a side-by-side comparison of the Stage with the Theateri? I'm hoping it was the setup and not the speaker.
 

DTB300

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Rich said:
It was a short listening session, not a true in-depth audition, and I know how much setup and room can affect sound, but the Vistas, Depth and Surrounds all sounded fine to me. The Stage, however, sounded very thin and almost tinny. There was no depth to the sound coming from the center channel at all.
This is the same way I felt when listening to the Cinema..thin, tinny, just not up to the task. But again like you said, setup could have been an issue with it, and maybe more break-in time is needed. But it is sad to hear about the initial sound issues with it. Hopefully it was setup or new-ness of it...

I was listening to the movie "The Fifth Element" which I have watched dozens of times and know very well.
Ah yes...The Fifth Element...What a classic movie for demo...seems to be everywhere you go. BTW...Great movie IMO....

I came away very disappointed and wondering if I need to start looking for a used Theateri or go JonFo's route and build my own. :eek:
JonFo needs to start mass production of his Center Channel!!!!

Has anyone else had this experience? Has anyone made a side-by-side comparison of the Stage with the Theateri? I'm hoping it was the setup and not the speaker.
Again your visit sounds like my experience between the Cinema and Theater. I hope that my local ML dealer gets in the Stage soon so I can also listen to see what it sounds like.

Dan
 

attyonline

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Thanks for sharing your experience. Your impressions support the concerns that a few of us have expressed for the last few months since the Stage was announced. I am hopeful your impressions were the result of matters other than design, but we will have to see. The fact that ML took so long to bring this speaker out, allegedly based on the fact that it was no better than a Theater, may prove to be true. When you have thousands of engineering hours and research money into a project, at some point you have to either eat the loss or make it the best you can and put it into production. I suspect that is what has happened with the Stage. If I was buying another center today to replace my Cinema it would be a Theater at this point. I suspect a larger, less compromised center is in the future for ML.
 

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Rich said:
The Stage, however, sounded very thin and almost tinny. There was no depth to the sound coming from the center channel at all. I have heard bookshelf speakers with a more full-bodied sound than I heard from this speaker. It didn't integrate at all with the Vistas.
I am going to blame that partly on the POS external power supply. That’s exactly how I felt when Martin Logan released the Theater i with the external power supply. The sound became so thin and hollow.

I have been tweaking on my Theater center channel and have placed it on a stand close to ear level and about 2 feet from the back wall. I upgraded the power cord to a PS Audio statement, and added Aurios 1.2 isolation bearings under the stand. All this has added up to a center channel that sounds as good if not better than my Ascents do, and I still have more tweaks planned.

There is potential in these center channels you just have to spend the time to get them sounding right just like placement with your main speakers. Throwing them in a spot in the room and expecting them to sound good usually doesn’t work without careful placement.

My 2 cents. ;)
 
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jmschnur

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The problem is that one is more restricted in the placement of hte Center. Angles can be varied and perhaps distance can be played with a bit but center is is center.

Joel
 

ml360

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I bet it was the crappy set up at the store(was it tweeter or magnolia)and the electronics used.
 

Rich

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ml360 said:
I bet it was the crappy set up at the store(was it tweeter or magnolia)and the electronics used.
Actually, it was an independant audio video store that specializes in installing home theaters. Martin Logan is one of the few speaker brands they carry. It was set up in a dedicated home theater demo room. There was nothing obvious that was wrong with the setup that I could tell. And as I said in my earlier post, it was hooked up to Anthem gear and the Vistas and Depth sounded good in that room. I'm wondering if Zip3kx07 might be on to something re: the external power supply being a problem.

That settles it -- I must go back in for a more in-depth audition of the Stage and I will ask lots of questions and report back my findings.
 

Reverb

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Rich said:
I'm wondering if Zip3kx07 might be on to something re: the external power supply being a problem.

That settles it -- I must go back in for a more in-depth audition of the Stage and I will ask lots of questions and report back my findings.
A C7 power cable to an external transformer and a bazillion feet of 22guage cable to a coaxial DC jack equals crap! The IEC cable was the better solution, less connectors and cable involved. Martin Logan believes it doesn’t make a difference because it’s only about 5 watts going into the speaker. Personally I think a well-shielded power cable can do wonders. As an experiment I took the stock power cables that came with my ascents and wrapped them in aluminum foil and plugged them back into my power conditioner to see if it would make a difference. Yes! there was a difference and it was not a subtle change, but very noticeable, most noticeably the size and with of the soundstage.

I believe the internal power supply and IEC connector on my theater center channel give me an advantage over the newer center channels, and that ML took a step backwards with the release of the external power supply. If ML does release a center channel that blows away the theater with an external power supply then I will shut up and buy one, till then I am keeping ML Theater center.

If someone was brave enough, you could try adding shilding to the inside of the external power supply, replacing the 22guage wire with a larger AWG shielded cable, and a high quality C7 cable going into the box like PS Audio’s power punch cable with the C7 connector.


Some people may agree with me, same may disagree, I might be right I could be wrong. It’s just a teary of mine.
 

attyonline

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I find this idea that shielded power supplies and/or power cords can affect the sound of Logan speakers hard to understand. What technical reason exists to explain this phenomenon? Others have the same experience as Joe?
 

JonFo

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Rich said:
...
I came away very disappointed and wondering if I need to start looking for a used Theateri or go JonFo's route and build my own.
I had a sense that the Stage might not be that big a step up over the Theater, so I dove into the design and construction before it released.

I do have a left over SL3, any takers?

DTB300 said:
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JonFo needs to start mass production of his Center Channel!!!!
...
Dan
Mass production would require a steady source of used SL3's, but then I'd get two centers for each pair ;)
Not that there would be many takers at $6 to $8K.
Then there’s this requirement that you have a $2K to $5K acoustically transparent screen. This route is for the seriously committed (or in need of being committed, as friend noted when he saw that thread).

Remember, my center has as much in parts cost as a Stage costs retail. Then there is the little detail of labor. I could sell kits, yes, that's the ticket, Kits :cool:
 
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Tiberium

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I find this idea that shielded power supplies and/or power cords can affect the sound of Logan speakers hard to understand. What technical reason exists to explain this phenomenon? Others have the same experience as Joe?
I doesn't, rapping foil around a power chord will do nothing. Even funnier is the fact that most if not all ML speakers do not use a ground for the AC power. When I took apart my ascent i's the chord and connector have a ground but inside the speaker there is no ground to be found.
 
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Tiberium

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If you have that much interference inside your home it would also affect every part of your electronics.
 

Reverb

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Tiberium said:
I doesn't, rapping foil around a power chord will do nothing. Even funnier is the fact that most if not all ML speakers do not use a ground for the AC power. When I took apart my ascent i's the chord and connector have a ground but inside the speaker there is no ground to be found.
I am sorry you will have to forgive me I am burning the candle at both ends, I am still up since yesterday so I am a little slow right now. But what does a Martin Logan not using a ground and shielding on a power cord have to do with each other? Were you trying to make a point here? :confused:
 

Reverb

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Tiberium said:
If you have that much interference inside your home it would also affect every part of your electronics.
You know what they say Tiberium, ignorance is bliss. :rolleyes:


You do realize that every electronic device puts out its own electromagnetic field right?

You can go down to your local lowe’s or Home Depot and pick up a device for about $20.00 called a noise sniffer. This device is used to test a wall outlet for the percents of electricity. If you run the sniffer within 6” of your stock power cables (the same one you probably have your audio cables next too) the sniffer will light up like a Christmas tree.

Shielded power cables keeps the EMI in and RFI out. And limiting any interaction with your audio cables and system in general. But you know that right?


See here for more info on this trick.
http://www.psaudio.com/account/tips.asp?
 
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Tiberium

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But what does a Martin Logan not using a ground and shielding on a power cord have to do with each other? Were you trying to make a point here?
I am saying that anything other then some kind of AC power conditioner will do nothing.

Shielded power cables keeps the EMI in and RFI out. And limiting any interaction with your audio cables and system in general. But you know that right?
If your AC power in your home was that bad it would affect everything from your TV to your phone. If you have clean power coming into your home you can not improve upon this and the extra 4 feet of basic power cable is not going to affect the power in anyway. Ever see the AC power cable inside the speaker? Look at how long the power cable is before it reaches your house so the extra little bit makes no difference.
 
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Cherian

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Shielded cables will keep EMI and RFI out but these frequencies start at 150kHZ to 2GHz. How would frequencies this high affect audio quality?
 
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Tiberium

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Shielded power cables keeps the EMI in and RFI out. And limiting any interaction with your audio cables and system in general. But you know that right?
So the ultra low voltage that the ML's use some how amplify the "bad" stuff? I guess the washer and dryer must dirty up the whole block.
 
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Tiberium

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Shielded cables will keep EMI and RFI out but these frequencies start at 150kHZ to 2GHz. How would frequencies this high affect audio quality?
Don't bring science into a cable debate because that would be wrong. If people think that these "magic" tweaks make a difference fine but don't start talking jibberish to other members.
 

Reverb

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Tiberium said:
Don't bring science into a cable debate because that would be wrong. If people think that these "magic" tweaks make a difference fine but don't start talking jibberish to other members.
Magic? Jibberish? Now your just Troll'in.
 
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