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CLS or Aerius I?

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Nickm

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Hi

I have a very nice sounding pair of Aerius I's, but a friend of mine has offered to sell me his original CLS in mint condition with boxes for $450. The catch is one panel has a static problem and probably needs replacing.

I have a Kinergetics sub. It's not the top of the line and can be a bit muddy. My amp has no problem handling either speaker.

I could use some knowledgeable opinions on a few questions.

Is it worth replacing the Aerius I's with the CLS?

Is there enough audio difference to prohibit replacing just one panel or do I really need to replace both?

Do I need to get factory panels or are other suppliers acceptable?

Any other ideas?

Thanx, Nick
 

Jeff Zaret

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Nick,
I have never heard the Aerius so I can not comment completely on that. I have a pair of Sequel II's that are most likely older than the Aerius but somewhat similar in design and they had the panels replaced a few years ago and they do still sound great so I do understand a bit of the sound you are used to.
I purchased a used pair of CLSiiZ's last year and there was a big difference in sound stage/ image of sound. It was bigger and amazing.

A few things you need to understand about the CLS's, first, if these are the "original" version they wil require some power. Not only wattage but an amp/receiver that can deliver a fair amount of current to the speakers. THe succeeding versions became more "amplifier friendly", i.e. requiring less to drive them.

Another item to be aware of is the CLS are not your "chest thumping" speaker. They produce low bass frequencies but not earth shaking. You may want to hold on to the sub as a compliment to the CLS's. BTW, I have a sub and it is a great match and worth it.

Now I understand that you can no longer get the electronic upgrades to the CLS's but that is not that big of a deal. It is nice to have but not to die for. The panels are still available and if you have to replace one I would recommend doing both. I believe they are about $895.00 USD plus shipping.

The "static problem may not be the panel it may be the eletronics and that can be repaired by ML. I would call Jim Power at ML and tell your issues. He a great guy and will honestly tell you what via troubleshooting and what it will cost if parts are involved. Used CLS's run any where from about $1600 to as much as $2500 or so. So $450is a nice price and if you have to invest a bit you will not be sorry.

I hope this help and let me know if you need any more advice. There are at least a few of us here who have CLS's or varying ages and configurations.

Good Luck


Jeff
 

Kaliar

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Hi Nickm,

According to info on this site, used prices for CLS are between $900 and $1100, in US dollars. So, 450$ for a mint set looks like a bargain !

Is it worth replacing the Aerius I's with the CLS?
I have read many times that the original CLS are considered to be amongst the best ML ever made ! One big caveat: it is also considered to be the most difficult to drive to its full potential... So the answer depends on your amplifier's ability to cope... If the answer is yes, you bet that the CLS are worth it !

Is there enough audio difference to prohibit replacing just one panel or do I really need to replace both?
I would not change only one panel. Too much risk of a big difference in levels between a new and an old one... I don't even know if ML sells panels other than in pairs...

Do I need to get factory panels or are other suppliers acceptable?
I have not heard of other suppliers than ML...

Good luck !
 
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Nickm

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Since both of the great comments above mentioned needing a strong amp, allow me to add that I have a Robertson 6010, 200W and very high current. It should more then comfortably drive a pair of CLS'
 

kach22i

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Perhaps someone should mention the room size and put that into the equation. The CLS needs a little bit of room, don't they?

I once heard the CLS at a dealers private listening room - a special/spatial experience.

I think the Aerius was the first M/L which could do all types of music justice, even Rock & Roll. However the CLS's can be a bit too euphoric and lack the meaty snap/slam/punch required for head banging. The music is so transparent that images and sound pressure waves seem to pass right through them before they have a chance to build up and be delivered with aggresive force.

What kind of music do you tend to listen to? This may be the deciding factor - the CLS does acoustic music and vocals as few others can.

The CLS is a definate upgrade, this is a good price (with some effort/work on your part). Tough call because the Aerius is so well balanced.
 

roberto

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I just love my CLS IIZ

Hola Nick. I am a ML dealer here in Costa Rica. Also, my heart is still in love with a pair of CLS IIZ. I had them all, because I'm working with ML since 1985 and became a direct dealer in June '87 and still are. All I can say to you is: 1) You can play them in any room size, but my liking is when I have set them up in small rooms. 2) Very narrow sweet spot, but the best to my ears over many ML different models and other great hi-end brands. 3) They love tube amps. 4) They need at least 3 feet from the back wall. 5) Rise them at least 12" from the floor. 6) takes time and a lot of critical listening tests for their's last floor position 7) Trust your ears, not specs!. 8) They love camera and small bands/groups/vocals/solo any kind of musical instruments. 9) They will show easy the quality of the recording and also the quality of your system (cables, components, etc.) 10) The best size, timbre, scenario, air between instruments and vocals, almost lacks of coloration due to not so too much bass energy available, but the best at the stage! and they go very deep too if they are setted right. Also I have many friends that use them with SS amps. To drive them it is like a match, because they are not easy to drive.
Go for them, and for the price that you are getting them , I will try to get a new set of panels and start to enjoy to listening the musician(s) making the music in your own room and not just hearing music.
Regards and trust your ears!
Roberto.
 

zaphod

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kach22i said:
Perhaps someone should mention the room size and put that into the equation. The CLS needs a little bit of room, don't they?
oh yes, they do need some room. at least 3 feet behind them, the distance to the listener is debateable, but i like to sit about 10 feet from them.

the big thing that i have found in today's world of HT is the width of the speaker. my room is 13' wide, and i can only have about 70 " betweeen them. and that is after moving the CLS to about 1' from the side walls.

this is making the screen purchase and configuration tricky.
 

kach22i

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zaphod said:
this is making the screen purchase and configuration tricky.
I think we will be seeing the speakers on the long wall more and more often for the reasons you have stated.

In my small room it's the only way things will work.
 

zaphod

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kach22i said:
I think we will be seeing the speakers on the long wall more and more often for the reasons you have stated.
i had my CLS on the long wall for a while, but the long window behind put sunlight into the listener's/viewer's eyes. just wasn't enjoyable.

the soundstage however was very enjoyable :)
 

kach22i

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Cool room layout links zaphod.

FYI: There are window treatments other than blinds and curtains. I 've seen wood shutters used on the inside (louvered doors) - very cool looking.
 

zaphod

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yes, but it was a decision between having sunlight in the room or a cave. i went for sunlight.

and after adding soft stuff between the fronts (thank you again Kachi) i have a great sound from the long shoot.
 
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EricE

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zaphod said:
the big thing that i have found in today's world of HT is the width of the speaker. my room is 13' wide, and i can only have about 70 " betweeen them. and that is after moving the CLS to about 1' from the side walls.

this is making the screen purchase and configuration tricky.
That is what stopped me from a pair of CLS II's when I first started the HT build. I have about 14'-6" and the CLS's would take up a big chunk of screen space if I were to keep them well away from the side walls.

I ended up with a 85"w screen with the Ascent i's and at least 2ft. from the side walls and 4-5ft from the front wall.
 
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Nickm

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I want to thank everyone for their insightful comments, but I think I'm staying with my old Aerius I's. Jim Powers thought the I's might be better for my home theater system, but the most important reason is that I'm in the process of starting a new business and dont expect to have the time fix the CLS'
 
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