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Brand new ESL-X's difference in loudness

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Rob83

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Last Friday I've bought a brand new set of ESL-X's from a local dealer here in The Netherlands. It's my first set of electrostatic loudspeakers ever so excuse me if I sound like a noob. What I have noticed after setting them up is that one speaker is noticeably louder than the other. Measuring with a decibel meter confirms there's a 1.5 dB(A) difference between the 2 speakers. I've already tried the obvious, swapping cables, swapping amps, swapping power supplies and swapping positions but there's no improvement. While the audyssey calibration on my Marantz SR7015 receiver managed to correct this and they absolutely sound great now I don't feel good about this. Also, I intended to use them with my tube amp in the first place which doesn't have a balance control. Is this expected behavior with those speakers that will go away after running them in for a couple of days? Or is this simply a case of a defective unit? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

roberto

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Hola and welcome Rob,

Swap the speakers, and leave the connections as they are now. The left to the right and the right to the left and have a listen. Is the same speaker with the same behaviour? If it is, talk to your dealer. He will help you with it. The ELS-X model are not matched pairs. One could be having what you are hearing. ML are very sensitive to unbalanced level channels.

Happy listening!
 

Rob83

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Hi Roberto,

I have already tried swapping the speakers from left to right. It’s still really noticeable. Even so much that without the corrections applied by audyssey the stereo image is completely ruined. I have already spoken to the dealer on Saturday. He will consult with the importer tomorrow.
 

Robert D

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Hola and welcome Rob,

Swap the speakers, and leave the connections as they are now. The left to the right and the right to the left and have a listen. Is the same speaker with the same behaviour? If it is, talk to your dealer. He will help you with it. The ELS-X model are not matched pairs. One could be having what you are hearing. ML are very sensitive to unbalanced level channels.

Happy listening!
Which level of speaker is the first to be a matched pair?
 

Rob83

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Just reporting back. Dealer came over to my house this morning with a new speaker. We did some testing by playing some music and swapping left and right speaker around. He noticed it as well. Finally we swapped the weaker one and suddenly we had a well impressive stereo sound. These things just keep impressing me! So long story short, problem solved. Just feeling bad that I have to get to work again because it’s so addictive to listen to music with these things.
 

roberto

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Hola Rob83,

Those are good news. Faulty contacts happens once and then...we are very happy for you!
Enjoy and happy listening!
 
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