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CLSIIz improvements?

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kotedo

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Hi!

I am new here and new to owning an electrostatic speaker, so please don't kill me for asking the same dumb questions.

The Red/Black Cable #1 Question:
I see that it is strapped to the music sensing cable; does this affect the sound quality?
Could I bypass the switch for improved signal quality?

The Red/Black Cable #2 Question:
Does this wire carry the music signal?

Extra Questions:
  • Is this ML CLSIIz stock or has it been modified? I am the third owner.
  • I understand that the artfully woven cable that's connected to the panel carries the sound signal. How good/bad is that cable?
  • Can you explain why there are two transformers?
  • How can I tell that the speaker is actually creating the needed electrostatic field from the AC plug and not just from the power amp?
  • Is there a way to bring up the impedance to not drop into the amp melting ranges of below 2 Ohms?
  • Does anyone have the electric schematics of this speaker and is willing to share it?
And finally a question for (hopefully) other SpectralAudio fans:
  • Is a DMA-90 "good enough"?
    • if not: Which DMA-??? is a perfect fit for this speaker?
I do love the tonality and the speed of the speaker, I am just wondering what can be done to give it a bit more efficiency.

Thank you for reading/answering and

Happy Listening!

--Kai
 

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roberto

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Hola Kotedo,
1) no, it is just for turn on the bias for the stat panels. There is no important audio signal there.
2) Why do you want to do that? Those caps are high quality.
3) There are three transformers. At the left, where the voltage ladder is, there is another transformer. The other two are connected in parallel, and this is because ML believes it is better to use two. These are the step up audio signal transformers.
4) To me, it looks an untouched factory made.
5) At the top, there is a white connector with cables color blue, black and red. The red carries the bias (circa 2800V DC are there), don't full around. The blue cable is the front stat, and the black is the rear stat.
6) Just touch the red cable and get the shock. Then you will realise that it is an electrostatic speaker.
7) If you find how to bring the impedance down, tell ML. The electrostatic speaker is like a big capacitor, and the frequency rise, the impedance drops like a brick.
8) Do some search about the diagram, I do not have it, but you will get here, because I do know that some members do have it.
9) This particular model loves high current or high power amps. The minimum is 200 Watts RMS per channel. (Route Means Square)
Happy listening!
 

kotedo

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Thank you @roberto for your insightful information.

I do have another question regarding the CLSIIz:

What type of amplifier would you pair with the CLSIIz, one that
  • produces a higher current
  • produces a higher voltage
with it?
 

roberto

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I am a tube lover...this is the kind of power amp that I use along my CLXs and was also mostly tube amps that I been using lately. I have been into the SS world long time, I am now back to my roots, tube gives to my ears only love.

Let your ears decide. My liking could be not yours. I had tried most high end brands, like Krell, Mark Levinson, Aragon, Classe, Bryston, PS Audio, as I recall. Now I am married with Conrad Johnson in tube gear. My ears are very happy with the results. Try it, you might like it too, as I do.

Happy listening!
 

Chops

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I had tried most high end brands, like Krell, Mark Levinson, Aragon, Classe, Bryston, PS Audio, as I recall. Now I am married with Conrad Johnson in tube gear. My ears are very happy with the results. Try it, you might like it too, as I do.

Happy listening!
I do love me some tubes! As much as I'd love big powerful tube amps, it's just not in the cards for me financially. Although I do have tubes in my preamp which still gets you that wonderful tube sound.

I use SS amplification, and in the past used Aragon, McIntosh, Audio Research, Musical Fidelity, PS Audio and a few others. Some amps were with a pair of Magnepan's, other amps were with my SL3's. I have to say, for overall price and bang-for-the-buck, my current amp is doing an excellent job pushing my SL3's to any volume level I wish effortlessly, and sounding great as well. I honestly have never heard these speakers sound better with great sound stage width and depth, imaging and refinement.
 

roberto

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Hola Chops,
If your ears are that happy, you must keep them that way. It is good to know that you are in love with your SL-3. To my ears, one of the best models that ML have ever produced. The deep bass notes and the coherence with the woofer and the stat panels. Them came the Ascent and the Ascent I...but my heart was with the SL-3 like yours.

Yes, lovely detail and resolution. Great stage with tons of depth...a truly high-end product. If you want to try a little things that I did to improve their performance, just PM me...

Happy listening!
 

Robert D

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I do love me some tubes! As much as I'd love big powerful tube amps, it's just not in the cards for me financially. Although I do have tubes in my preamp which still gets you that wonderful tube sound.

I use SS amplification, and in the past used Aragon, McIntosh, Audio Research, Musical Fidelity, PS Audio and a few others. Some amps were with a pair of Magnepan's, other amps were with my SL3's. I have to say, for overall price and bang-for-the-buck, my current amp is doing an excellent job pushing my SL3's to any volume level I wish effortlessly, and sounding great as well. I honestly have never heard these speakers sound better with great sound stage width and depth, imaging and refinement.
What amp are you running now? Is it a class a/b like my Aragon? What happened to your Aragon? Wondering what the durability is like on them. Ive been using mine now for about 5 years.

Sounds like you prefer your new amp to your Aragon. Im using the 8008, 2 channels dual mono.
 

Lightloopy

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I think the SL3 is a phenomenal speaker/bargain and gave me 20+ years of joy. It sounded different with every amp put in the chain. I hit the jackpot with used VTL MB 250's( Full Triode). I am trying desperately to keep them alive. As Chops says- 200+ watt tube amps are pricey. I just picked up a used CLSII w/ 30 yo panels. Huge difference between a 75 watt tube amp and the VTL's.
The 75 watt plays but is like a candle in the wind.
 

Chops

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What amp are you running now? Is it a class a/b like my Aragon? What happened to your Aragon? Wondering what the durability is like on them. Ive been using mine now for about 5 years.

Sounds like you prefer your new amp to your Aragon. Im using the 8008, 2 channels dual mono.
It's in my sig... The Emotiva XPA-2 Gen 2. It's built like a tank, weighs in at 75 lbs, is measured at well over 500 watts per channel at 4 ohms, and is 2 ohms stable. Effortless power and sound with loads of dynamics (as far as electrostatics are concerned) and offers a really detailed, tactile and refined sound with excellent sound staging.

I had the Aragon 2004 MkII years ago when I was running Maggies. I never had any issues with mine and it sounded great. After a few years however, I acquired my father's Klipsch Cornwall II's, which I then modified (disconnected the horns in them), ran a Rane active crossover, used a pair of Altec Lansing 511B horns and 908-8b drivers. I used a McIntosh MC250 for the woofers and another MC250 for the horns. Come to think of it, I still have those horns.
 

Chops

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I think the SL3 is a phenomenal speaker/bargain and gave me 20+ years of joy. It sounded different with every amp put in the chain. I hit the jackpot with used VTL MB 250's( Full Triode). I am trying desperately to keep them alive. As Chops says- 200+ watt tube amps are pricey. I just picked up a used CLSII w/ 30 yo panels. Huge difference between a 75 watt tube amp and the VTL's.
The 75 watt plays but is like a candle in the wind.
The most powerful tube amps I ever had were integrated amps, a Consonance M100SE which I preferred with 6550 output tubes, and a Cary Audio SLi 80 with EH KT88's, both rated at around 45 to 50 watts per channel.
 

Chops

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Hola Chops,
If your ears are that happy, you must keep them that way. It is good to know that you are in love with your SL-3. To my ears, one of the best models that ML have ever produced. The deep bass notes and the coherence with the woofer and the stat panels. Them came the Ascent and the Ascent I...but my heart was with the SL-3 like yours.

Yes, lovely detail and resolution. Great stage with tons of depth...a truly high-end product. If you want to try a little things that I did to improve their performance, just PM me...

Happy listening!
Hello Roberto,

I agree 100% about the SL3's. My brothers were over last night and I played a couple albums for them that they chose, and all three of them mentioned how holographic the SL3's are, the amount of stage depth and center image size they have, and the very natural sound to instruments and vocals they convey.

I just might be interested in what you have to say about any sorts of tweaks/improvements for the SL3's.
 

ATK

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sanders Magtech amp. If you don’t love it send it back. Call roger he will send it to you to try and even pay shipping both ways. But you won’t send it back.it’s that good.
 

Brad225

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Kotedo, welcome to our group.
I can send you the schematic for the CLSIIz if you send my your email address.
An EE friend of mine made changes to mine when I owned them that had a very noticeable improvement in the clarity and detail of the sound.
He changed out the caps and some resistors. He found that many of the small diodes that are all grouped together had broken solder joints. He eliminated the traces on the circuit board and did point to point wiring with hight quality wire. Changed the binding posts and wire to them. The transformers were fine. I will look for a picture of the interface after he did the work.

Be sure to get them up on stands or go off the deep end as I did and build new frames that raise the panel. You can find them in one of the links on my member page or at the bottom of this post. Notice how much the Neolith looks like the design of my frames. Not saying they copied me just we went in the same direction.

My opinion is CLS speakers are painfully revealing and not for the faint of heart. They will reveal any weakness in your system. Like Roberto I am a tube fan but you need to chose what makes you happy. The more quality power you give them the happier they will be.
 

kotedo

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Kotedo, welcome to our group.
I can send you the schematic for the CLSIIz if you send my your email address.
An EE friend of mine made changes to mine when I owned them that had a very noticeable improvement in the clarity and detail of the sound.
He changed out the caps and some resistors. He found that many of the small diodes that are all grouped together had broken solder joints. He eliminated the traces on the circuit board and did point to point wiring with hight quality wire. Changed the binding posts and wire to them. The transformers were fine. I will look for a picture of the interface after he did the work.

Be sure to get them up on stands or go off the deep end as I did and build new frames that raise the panel. You can find them in one of the links on my member page or at the bottom of this post. Notice how much the Neolith looks like the design of my frames. Not saying they copied me just we went in the same direction.

My opinion is CLS speakers are painfully revealing and not for the faint of heart. They will reveal any weakness in your system. Like Roberto I am a tube fan but you need to chose what makes you happy. The more quality power you give them the happier they will be.
kotedo@icloud.com is my email address.

My system is SpectralAudio, DMC-20/DMS-20 pre amp and a DMA-90 power amp.
I have tried to contact someone, Russell, I think, who can refurb my panels. I have not heard from him at all. Too bad.
In the meantime I hauled my other pair of ESL's into my listening room, Aerius-i, and they are doing phenomenally well with the system.

The CLSIIz are in need of some TLC.
 
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Lightloopy

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Hi Chops,
I sold my SL3's to a friend and he says he just grins from ear to ear every time he listens to them. That's what it's about in the end. He say I can buy them back anytime -but I would never do that. He is just having so much fun.

Kotedo- you may have to get in line and order a pair of (pricey) replacement panels from ML like me and Robert D.
 

kotedo

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Hi Chops,
I sold my SL3's to a friend and he says he just grins from ear to ear every time he listens to them. That's what it's about in the end. He say I can buy them back anytime -but I would never do that. He is just having so much fun.

Kotedo- you may have to get in line and order a pair of (pricey) replacement panels from ML like me and Robert D.
Yeah, I have informed my wife about it. Her reaction was along the lines of, "Christmas is coming". :)
So, I'll give it another shot and see if I can mess fix them up, or I need a new pair of panels straight from ML.
 
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