Brutal honesty pls

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Chippieboy

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Patrik, I just saw your posting. I too purchased a pair of Seque lI's from a Pawn Shop a few years back. I did hear them before the purchase but it was not a good test preview. Not a good preview as in a cashier's mp3 on their phone through a cheap flea market receiver. I was so excited that I got them anyway. They did sound dull just as you described. I washed them and they came to life. I ordered replacement panels from ML. A year later I rebuilt the crossovers. They still sound great. I did tear a woofer a while back but a good samaritan on this forum sold me his old woofers for the cost of shipping.
 

repman

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Larry you were and are accurate.

I admit I was ignorant about sequel2 panel price and therefore my statement was incorrect.

Thanks for clarification.
No worries , I just wanted to let the original poster the accurate pricing . coincidently I just inquired about a month ago so had it top of mind.
 

Dismayed

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Hi!

Since I always wanted to own a pair of ML and my budget are limited I bought a pair of ML Sequence 2 - fully aware of that they are very old and I didnt have a possibility to listen to them before I bought them.

Of cource when I listen to them, they are not very good. They sound "closed in" and plain boring, not what you would think of a pair of electorstate speakers. My small Dali Helicon 300 runs circles around them when it comes to quality of sound.

Now, my need to brutal honesty - Those of you that has owned generations of ML electrostate speakers(maybe even a pair of Seq2), would you say that Sequence 2 would sound good if they where new today? or has the evolution of speakers left them so far behind that even if I would try to restore them, they would sound pretty lame anyway.

I'm thinking about trying to wash the panels and check for corrosion in the electronics and if that doesnt help (or if the panels break) even buy new panels - but is it worth it or should I just try to sell them?

Im driving them with Krell KAV 3250 so I got power enough I would say.

Best Regards
Patrik
The first time I heard a ML ESL was several deacades ago. I drove home and told my wife that God must live in Kansas. So I'd expect that there is something wrong with your speakers.
 

Heyfey

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Hi!

Since I always wanted to own a pair of ML and my budget are limited I bought a pair of ML Sequence 2 - fully aware of that they are very old and I didnt have a possibility to listen to them before I bought them.

Of cource when I listen to them, they are not very good. They sound "closed in" and plain boring, not what you would think of a pair of electorstate speakers. My small Dali Helicon 300 runs circles around them when it comes to quality of sound.

Now, my need to brutal honesty - Those of you that has owned generations of ML electrostate speakers(maybe even a pair of Seq2), would you say that Sequence 2 would sound good if they where new today? or has the evolution of speakers left them so far behind that even if I would try to restore them, they would sound pretty lame anyway.

I'm thinking about trying to wash the panels and check for corrosion in the electronics and if that doesnt help (or if the panels break) even buy new panels - but is it worth it or should I just try to sell them?

Im driving them with Krell KAV 3250 so I got power enough I would say.

Best Regards
Patrik
I purchased a pair of Sequel II in 1990 and over the years replaced the woofers, panels, and capacitors (with Clarity Caps). I replaced them five years ago with a pair of new Theos and what surprised me the most was how similar, not different, they sounded vs. the twenty-five-plus year old, albeit upgraded and modified, Sequel II. One thing to be aware of in older MLs is the notorious "panel sag" that can actually break wires at the soldered connections to the panels. Contact ML for how to fix.
 

Tmort

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A pair of their new ESL 's are priced at $2500 now and I'm going to guess that the size of those panels are nowhere near that of the Sequel II.

Replacing them makes sense as long as the rest of the speakers don't need a lot of work.
ML saiid $700 to replace the smaller ESL panel, seems pretty steep to me.
 

Big Dog RJ

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G'day mate,

It would seem that prices for replacement panels should be fairly affordable, especially the vintage line... but is clearly not the case!
Even over here, down unda things of this nature are quite pricey regardless of model.

My very first pair of ML ESL's were the SL3's. Partnered with a Krell integrated amp and Krell top loading CD player, with some Kimber Select cables, it was mighty fine- Woof!

Years passed by and I sold them off to a chap who was actually upgrading from his Sequel II's. Once all set up, I went to his place for a listen, and both were fabulous! He was using a full line up of Classe' gear, monoblocks and preamp, including a Wadia and Meridian digital gear, that I also owned. So, sound wise, yes the the Sq2 should sound great, and the SL3 driven with a top line pre-power combination will be a step further.

Sounds like something is definitely not right with your Sq2's... looks like the previous owner didn't divulge every detail about the speakers. Also, you didn't audition before buying... that's like buying a car online without a test drive! Oh well, might as well deal with what's required in order to get these stats up to spec. One thing for sure is, they're definitely not up to proper spec!

Also just to add: if after trying out everything possible within your means, after all, not everyone has similar finances... and things don't work out more positively then don't spend more than they're worth! These are vintage, and they were probably sold for a reason... now that you bought them it's your baby to deal with. So unless they have sentimental value, there's really no point in spending over 1000s of dollars to restore them.
OTOH, say it were a pair of CLS stats and you wanted to restore them to the CLSIIz's that would make more sense, simply because those are full range stats, not hybrids.

I would agree with others who've advised on upgrading...As pointed out, t's better to save up and go for either ML's just discontinued line, which was the Reserve Line (Theos, Ethos, Montis & Summit-X) or if finances permit, go for their new line up (ESL Classic 9 or the ESL-X). Both these systems are a long way from the Sequel series or any other series. In terms of resolution, transparency, inner detail, build quality, materials and workmanship, it's a very long engineering stretch in upgrades at every angle imaginable in electrostatic speaker design. The overall performance of these new stats are far superior.

The decision is yours!
All the best, RJ
 
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18000rpm

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A few years ago ML basically tripled the price of replacement panels. That not only made the panels no longer a consumable item that can be replaced regularly, it made used ML speakers pretty much worthless since a new set of panels will cost more than the old speakers.
 

Brandon Hartwick

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A few years ago ML basically tripled the price of replacement panels. That not only made the panels no longer a consumable item that can be replaced regularly, it made used ML speakers pretty much worthless since a new set of panels will cost more than the old speakers.
They have the panels for the Aerius priced at $800 US for a speaker not even worth $1000 on the used market. It seems they're trying to price panels just high enough to try and push people to buy new speakers.

There are a few other options out there to fix broken panels but most of them require you to disassemble the old ones to install new film, not an easy task for many.
 

Robert D

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They have the panels for the Aerius priced at $800 US for a speaker not even worth $1000 on the used market. It seems they're trying to price panels just high enough to try and push people to buy new speakers.

There are a few other options out there to fix broken panels but most of them require you to disassemble the old ones to install new film, not an easy task for many.
The thing is, speakers with new panels are going to be worth more than just the price of the new panels. So if you have an old pair of Aerius speakers that's worth $700 on the used market and spend $800 to renew them with new panels, the new complete speaker is going to be worth more like $1000. People are going to pay more for speakers that have new panels.

With my Prodigy speakers, it was about $3000 for new panels. In order to reproduce the sound quality from those speakers I'd have to buy either 15a or 13a speakers at a cost between $16,000 and $27,000. No way I'm doing that. IMO, spending the $3000 was a fair fee for making my speakers sound like new. Another option would be to pick up some used Summits, but then I'm buying old panels again. When you buy brand new panels and install them on your own, you know what you're getting.

Even if 11A speakers sound as good as Prodigies, which I doubt, they cost $11,000 new. That's more than 3x what my new panels cost. The panels on the 11a are considerably smaller too. Compare the panel size of the Prodigy to the new ML models. Sure it doesn't have micro perf tech, but IMO sheer surface area of panels is going to trump that.

Looking at Inflation, the Prodigy priced at $11,000 back around 2000 would be over $18,000 today. Heck, inflation is near 10% right now in the short term. It's so bad that we have given up on trying to build a new home. So you have to not forget to figure in inflation.
 
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Russr

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I get the points being made, and frankly, I wish ML had limited the price rise to maybe 2X of "the good old days". I paid $500 for new SL3 panels in 2002. I'd happily pay $1,000 if I had to do it again, because (as stated above), I would get a new-sounding speaker. If I wanted to go totally nuts, I could replace bass drivers and crossover caps for not much $$$ at all.

Similarly, my Theateri has bad tweeters (bought 2nd hand), and the panel smells a bit tobacco-ish.For under a grand I could get new panel, 3 new tweeters and replacement Scanspeak mid drivers - for under a grand! Compared to buying a new center of similar capability for...$$$?

It WAS a bit of a kick-in-the-teeth for ML Owners when they sent panel prices so high. They should not lose money on panel replacement, but they shouldn't be after 200%+ profit either!

Just my $0.02
 

Robert D

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I get the points being made, and frankly, I wish ML had limited the price rise to maybe 2X of "the good old days". I paid $500 for new SL3 panels in 2002. I'd happily pay $1,000 if I had to do it again, because (as stated above), I would get a new-sounding speaker. If I wanted to go totally nuts, I could replace bass drivers and crossover caps for not much $$$ at all.

Similarly, my Theateri has bad tweeters (bought 2nd hand), and the panel smells a bit tobacco-ish.For under a grand I could get new panel, 3 new tweeters and replacement Scanspeak mid drivers - for under a grand! Compared to buying a new center of similar capability for...$$$?

It WAS a bit of a kick-in-the-teeth for ML Owners when they sent panel prices so high. They should not lose money on panel replacement, but they shouldn't be after 200%+ profit either!

Just my $0.02
Just look at how much the price on their new speakers has gone up since then. Heck, used car prices are up about 40% since Jan 2020.
 

Brandon Hartwick

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The material costs of the panels have not gone up that much, they're basically 2 sheets of perforated steel mesh with mylar sandwiched in-between. It's not magic, I understand companies need to make money but often times it seems that new panels cost more than what a lot of the speakers are selling for on the used market. Some people are fine with the pricing of the panels and that's ok, this is just my 2 cents.

When I get my hands on a spare set of panels (working or not) I plan on buying the rebuild kits from Australia. They start at about $70 plus shipping and even include a stretching jig, for that price I'll probably get a few kits.

This is the link

 

Robert D

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The material costs of the panels have not gone up that much, they're basically 2 sheets of perforated steel mesh with mylar sandwiched in-between. It's not magic, I understand companies need to make money but often times it seems that new panels cost more than what a lot of the speakers are selling for on the used market. Some people are fine with the pricing of the panels and that's ok, this is just my 2 cents.

When I get my hands on a spare set of panels (working or not) I plan on buying the rebuild kits from Australia. They start at about $70 plus shipping and even include a stretching jig, for that price I'll probably get a few kits.

This is the link

The kit would be worth a try at that low price.
 

Big Dog RJ

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Very true with regards to pricing... just seems to be out of reach for the majority and even the small market can't afford high dollars, unless they had high levels of disposal income.

Speaking of which, one of the primary dealers of ML managed to sell just two pairs of Neoliths, finally! The first one being the demo model sold and just one other. Asking range was around 160 grand! I guess if Alsyvox's entry model starts at 125grand, the Botichelli-X 200grand and the Carravagio 400grand. Not bad pricing at all, I reckon 😉 yeah right!

Looking at those prices, the new Masterpiece series seems to be a bargain! The question is how much more quality of sound and performance will 200grand and above offer?
I sincerely believe it's only around 25 - 30% in improvement. That small percentage is acceptable for some to divulge in such spend. I guess they have their reasons.

If you can get new panels to replace the old, that would be the best way to go. Buying new speakers altogether requires commitment and money. After getting a particular pair, if it doesn't live up to expectations then diminishing returns sets in. That's why most think that the more expensive the gear, better the sound. Definitely not the case!

Cheers to all, and keep enjoying those fine tunes! Woof!
RJ
 

Lurch490

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The panel replacement price definitely works in favor of the buyer and I used it as leverage when buying a pair. I picked up CLS-IIZs for $600. They were made in 1995 and are still working great. No sign of buzzes and rattles. From talking to the seller, it sounds like they basically sat unused since 2007. Clearly, I'm on borrowed time with them and I doubt they are performing as they should, but I'm enjoying them nonetheless.
 

Prefabfan

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The panel replacement price definitely works in favor of the buyer and I used it as leverage when buying a pair. I picked up CLS-IIZs for $600. They were made in 1995 and are still working great. No sign of buzzes and rattles. From talking to the seller, it sounds like they basically sat unused since 2007. Clearly, I'm on borrowed time with them and I doubt they are performing as they should, but I'm enjoying them nonetheless.
Congrats on a great deal. They’re worth double that. As for buying points: I agree totally; don’t forget shipping and packing costs BOTH WAYS when you tell the seller “It’s gonna cost more than what they are worth to have them repaired if they have a pair of panels!!
Remind seller MartinLogan pretty much insists you do both speakers if one has worn out from age.
Your closing pitch: “Nah, these aren’t worth anything but ill save you the trouble of driving them to the dump”.
 
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