Brand new Masterpiece ESL 9 level difference in left right channel

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Ishaansuri

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Hi purchased a pair of ESL 9 July 2021..
Speakers performing superbly over the last few months of use. Driven on emotiva a300 via emotiva pt100, bluesound node 2, klotz cables and interconnects.

Speakers on solid couplers perfectly placed and imaged to a center imaging although a 2 inch wide spectrum. Speakers disappear on perfect imaging center vocals and focus.
Setup as per manual instructions, torch light and all :)

Noticed a recent shift in imaging slightly to the right channel from the listening position. Had to push the balance 2 click to left to control it. So I decided to do a bit of checking.

While pushing pink noise into the Speakers the left channel has around 1.5-2.5db lower levels than the right on a spectrum analyzer (1/3 octave linear). Also audibly the right is brighter and sharper than the left. Walked around the Speakers to audibly hear the difference to account for panel refraction. Still there.

Tried the below troubleshoot
Swap channels on amp
Bypass preamp
Try different source (shifted to inline avr via preamp into power amp)
Similar results.
Shifted to a ta-100

Later in the day I gave up and put the original stack and setup back as is and left it for a try again later.

Read someone has posted a similar problem with a pair of ESL X in Netherlands.

Can someone please advise what is going on ?
Happy to welcome your suggestions.
 

Robert D

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I would contact ML now to get it on record that there is probably a problem. Want to be sure for warranty reasons. Last year the best way to contact them was by email. Years ago they would pick up the phone, but it's a different world now.

My new Prodigy panels were off by about 1/2 a db. Being off by 2 db definitely seems like an issue, especially since it wasn't like that at first and it developed.
 

Robert D

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If you bought them locally, the store will take care of the problem for you.
 

Ishaansuri

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Thanks ..yes written to ML with the same text as above and also contacted the local dealer. He had visited and noticed the difference in representation on the Speakers and also the shift and need for a manual balance correction. Let's see what the dealer and ML come back with. Fingers crossed 🤞🏻
 

Robert D

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Thanks ..yes written to ML with the same text as above and also contacted the local dealer. He had visited and noticed the difference in representation on the Speakers and also the shift and need for a manual balance correction. Let's see what the dealer and ML come back with. Fingers crossed 🤞🏻
Report back to us when they figure out what is wrong. Id like to know. Its hard to believe that it is the actual panel going out, since it is so new. It must be some part(s) inside the speaker. There isnt a whole lot that can go wrong with a panel that fast is there? The speakers carry a nice warranty, so youre not out any money thank goodness. Just inconvenience.
 

Ishaansuri

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Report back to us when they figure out what is wrong. Id like to know. Its hard to believe that it is the actual panel going out, since it is so new. It must be some part(s) inside the speaker. There isnt a whole lot that can go wrong with a panel that fast is there? The speakers carry a nice warranty, so youre not out any money thank goodness. Just inconvenience.
Thanks Robert. Yes I will.
Agreed, I hear and feel there is a loss in midband frequencies due to some internal crossover or calibration issue. Doubt it's a physical panel concern. An external EQ or room correction would/could tackle or mitigate the issue but I'm using a pure stereo setup and intend to stay on stereo. It all comes down to ML service and their plan. I am in New Delhi India. They have a fairly active distribution here so hoping for the best.
 

Mirolab

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I've often wondered if a little bug could get between the stators and drain off some of the charge.
One summer I had tiny moth larvae get into 2 of my stove burners and make cocoons..... had to take the burners apart to get the gas flowing.
 

Ishaansuri

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Report back to us when they figure out what is wrong. Id like to know. Its hard to believe that it is the actual panel going out, since it is so new. It must be some part(s) inside the speaker. There isnt a whole lot that can go wrong with a panel that fast is there? The speakers carry a nice warranty, so youre not out any money thank goodness. Just inconvenience.
Hi so a small update. Dealer did come and listen and do all the troubleshooting I did. Noticed a difference in sound representation and dynamics of each speaker.

ML master distributor recommends changing the entire crossover board in the suspect speaker. They had suggested they will visit and remove the cross over from the good one and place it in bad one to see if the problem resolves. I am ok with a crossover replacement in the defective speaker however not too sure if they should open my good speaker.

Have asked them to bring a new crossover and new parts and open only the suspected speaker if they want to do such experiments.

What do you guys suggest? Is this the correct service approach on such expensive speakers. They are 3 months old and are like USD 10,000 a pair here.

Also ML has not responded to any direct support ticket I have sent on their website yet either. So it's left to dealer and local distributor to decide next path of action.

Your thoughts awaited :)
 

Robert D

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Hi so a small update. Dealer did come and listen and do all the troubleshooting I did. Noticed a difference in sound representation and dynamics of each speaker.

ML master distributor recommends changing the entire crossover board in the suspect speaker. They had suggested they will visit and remove the cross over from the good one and place it in bad one to see if the problem resolves. I am ok with a crossover replacement in the defective speaker however not too sure if they should open my good speaker.

Have asked them to bring a new crossover and new parts and open only the suspected speaker if they want to do such experiments.

What do you guys suggest? Is this the correct service approach on such expensive speakers. They are 3 months old and are like USD 10,000 a pair here.

Also ML has not responded to any direct support ticket I have sent on their website yet either. So it's left to dealer and local distributor to decide next path of action.

Your thoughts awaited :)
I would just rely on the dealer if you can. Mine has always taken care of me, although the last time I also communicated by email. Try to email Ron directly at ML if you want fast response. The email I see on my pc is [email protected]. Ron is usually really fast at getting back.

Not sure what I would do if I were you. I had a new Focus speaker with a problem that the dealer tried to fix. It was just a lose speaker terminal. They tried and couldnt fix it, so I ended up getting a new speaker. I took the old one in to the dealer and swapped it for a new one once it came in.

Im like you and wouldnt like them messing with the speaker that is good, but thats just me. I dont think you asking them to bring in a new crossover is too crazy of a demand, but it could mean that they would order in a new one and it isnt even the problem. Then they are stuck with a part they dont need and would probably have to send back. It might also take quite a long time to get that part in. I can see the reason for them using the other speaker to test because of those problems. Im sure it wont hurt the speakers.

If they try that and it doesnt work, they should most likely end up giving you a new speaker I expect?
 

Ishaansuri

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I would just rely on the dealer if you can. Mine has always taken care of me, although the last time I also communicated by email. Try to email Ron directly at ML if you want fast response. The email I see on my pc is [email protected]. Ron is usually really fast at getting back.

Not sure what I would do if I were you. I had a new Focus speaker with a problem that the dealer tried to fix. It was just a lose speaker terminal. They tried and couldnt fix it, so I ended up getting a new speaker. I took the old one in to the dealer and swapped it for a new one once it came in.

Im like you and wouldnt like them messing with the speaker that is good, but thats just me. I dont think you asking them to bring in a new crossover is too crazy of a demand, but it could mean that they would order in a new one and it isnt even the problem. Then they are stuck with a part they dont need and would probably have to send back. It might also take quite a long time to get that part in. I can see the reason for them using the other speaker to test because of those problems. Im sure it wont hurt the speakers.

If they try that and it doesnt work, they should most likely end up giving you a new speaker I expect?
Thanks! Well I hope it's just the crossover and I hope if it's not they don't suggest panel replacement as that would be a tricky one. I have asked them to consider not opening the second speaker let's see what they feel about that else will have to go down that route.

I will write to Ron thank you for sharing his coordinates. Shall take his advice on this as well. Will keep you posted on next stages.

Thank you for your advice as always.
Cheers
 

ttocs

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As can be seen in the attached photo, the electrics are outside of the woofer sections so should be as easy as removing the amps in my Expressions, meaning, non-destructive, nothing to open up. It's a tray of components below the woofer boxes.


Image from Martin Logan Masterpiece Classic ESL 9 info page.
 
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Ishaansuri

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As can be seen in the attached photo, the electrics are outside of the woofer sections so should be as easy as removing the amps in my Expressions, meaning, non-destructive, nothing to open up. It's a tray of components below the woofer boxes.

Thanks. Let's see what the dealer chooses as next stages. Have also received a response from ML support that they are discussing options with the distributor and dealer here. Fingers crossed 🤞🏻
 

Robert D

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As can be seen in the attached photo, the electrics are outside of the woofer sections so should be as easy as removing the amps in my Expressions, meaning, non-destructive, nothing to open up. It's a tray of components below the woofer boxes.

Nice! I dont think the older speakers are like that. Brilliant IMO. Only thing that would worry me is heat dissipation, but im sure they have that figured out.
 

barjohn

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The Classic 9 does not have the electronics in a tray because there is no built in amp for the woofers like there is on the 13A or 11A. I wish it were designed like that. I have a pair of Classic 9s.
 

ttocs

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The Classic 9 does not have the electronics in a tray because there is no built in amp for the woofers like there is on the 13A or 11A. I wish it were designed like that. I have a pair of Classic 9s.
Interesting. After reading your post I checked what is shown on the 11A info page and found that same image, very misleading to have that one on the Classic ESL 9 page.

It also sucks that it would be built so differently but be included in the same range of products. Yes, I get it that it doesn't have amps, but you would think that it would behoove ML to use the same method of placing the crossovers in bottom trays.

Thanks for clarifying.
 

Ishaansuri

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Have some updates for you. Doesn't sound very good. So dealer visited with tech team. ML support has been in touch with them, asked them to swap bias boards from each speaker see if the problem follows. It didn't. Swapped boards and crossover. Sound representation on the suspect speaker still stays the same.

So now the issue is the panel. I would assume this requires a replacement of the entire speaker and not a replacement of the panel. The speakers are 3 months old and barely maybe 100 hours of run time.
 

ttocs

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bummer

I know the 11A, 13A and 15A are sold as consecutive serial number pairs (mine are, and so were my Vistas), is this true for the Classic ESL 9 also? If so, does this mean they will exchange the pair for a new pair?
 

Ishaansuri

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Mine are a consecutive serial number pair too. I am unsure what is their intent at the moment. Will wait to hear from them. But I guess if they are a pair then it has to be a matched pair and consecutive serial numbers ideally yes.
 
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