Ear Pain from ESL's.

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Robert D

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Like any class A/B amp, it does have some waste heat, but very little of it. The doc is not kidding when it states it runs cool to the touch (when idling). Even after a few hours of heavy use (action movie), it is barely warm.

I believe they run with a high class-A bias, so the first watt or two is sourced in class-A mode. But they maintain efficiency (and stability) by using ThermalTrack transistors, so they are always in their ideal operating temp.
How would you rate the sound quality they produce? Compared to say a highly ranked Pass Audio? I think the stereo amp they have is $7000, which is a bargain in comparison to Pass. The rated power is much higher too.
 

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How would you rate the sound quality they produce?
I rate it very highly, not only in my HT but every time I've heard the Sanders ESL speakers driven by the Sanders amp at a show, I come away impressed.

The sense of effortless power is there, as the system is playing louder than you imagine, as most people are used to distortion = high volume, so when there is absolutely no distortion, and yet the SPL levels are high, it's a bit unusual.
A fun 'trick' I play on newcomer visitors to my HT is to turn up the volume, let it play for a minute or two, then try and speak (if they don't initiate), and they realize we can't hear each other, yet it does not sound 'loud'. A good bit of that is also a room with well-managed resonances, revealing more about the speakers and amps.
 

msimanyi

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@JonFo Which of their models pairs best with the current 11a/13a/15a speakers?
I may be interested in one in the next year, after my “play money” recovers from buying the 15As.
 
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Robert D

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@JonFo Which of their models pairs best with the current 11a/13a/15a speakers?
I may be interested in one in the next year, after my “play money” recovers from buying the 15As.
Great question! I see that they have two and I cant really tell the difference between them. If i were to get a new amp I think I would get a Sanders. For now my Aragon is sounding great. It is only rated at 250/500 watts, wheras the Sanders are quite a bit highrer. That has me wondering if the Sanders would sound better. The Aragon is about 2x the price of the Sanders now though. Pass is a lot more expensive too. Do more $$$ always equal better quality and sound?
 

ttocs

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Do more $$$ always equal better quality and sound?
No.

I've had friends bring over amps costing much more than my bottom of the line Krell, and theirs just couldn't produce fatigue-free sound. And I've tried other amps costing much less than my Krell, and there was one in particular that was almost as good and only cost $1400 for the pair of mono amps, so, about 1/5 of what mine cost ten years ago.

Now, with that said, there is something that can make amps happier with low impedance speakers, AntiCables ZERO Autoformers. I got a pair for my tube amps and got much better high frequency response, but at the expense of lower output overall. Everything comes with a cost. But, I tried the ZEROs with my Krell amp and it was happier as well! It didn't need any help with high frequency response, but now the amp sounds sweeter, even with the increased high freq output. One way to try to explain it is with chimes, which now sound more real, "rounder" sounding, smoother. So far, the only negative thing I can say about the ZEROs is that when using the 2x taps the output is reduced by almost -3dB, but only below about 7000Hz, above 7kHz the output level is slightly increased. So, with my tube amps this makes the frequency curve pretty flat up to about 13000Hz, but with the Krell the frequencies above 7kHz actually rise a bit and even with that rise it sound sweeter, go figure.

My tube amps and Krell amp all run cooler when the ZEROs are connected.
 

Robert D

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No.

I've had friends bring over amps costing much more than my bottom of the line Krell, and theirs just couldn't produce fatigue-free sound. And I've tried other amps costing much less than my Krell, and there was one in particular that was almost as good and only cost $1400 for the pair of mono amps, so, about 1/5 of what mine cost ten years ago.

Now, with that said, there is something that can make amps happier with low impedance speakers, AntiCables ZERO Autoformers. I got a pair for my tube amps and got much better high frequency response, but at the expense of lower output overall. Everything comes with a cost. But, I tried the ZEROs with my Krell amp and it was happier as well! It didn't need any help with high frequency response, but now the amp sounds sweeter, even with the increased high freq output. One way to try to explain it is with chimes, which now sound more real, "rounder" sounding, smoother. So far, the only negative thing I can say about the ZEROs is that when using the 2x taps the output is reduced by almost -3dB, but only below about 7000Hz, above 7kHz the output level is slightly increased. So, with my tube amps this makes the frequency curve pretty flat up to about 13000Hz, but with the Krell the frequencies above 7kHz actually rise a bit and even with that rise it sound sweeter, go figure.

My tube amps and Krell amp all run cooler when the ZEROs are connected.
Looks like what you describe here:


Two different products.

Why dont more of our members talk about this? It sounds like a very logical thing to do. If it works well, I wonder why Martin Logan doesnt just put something like this inside the speakers.
 

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@JonFo Which of their models pairs best with the current 11a/13a/15a speakers?
I may be interested in one in the next year, after my “play money” recovers from buying the 15As.

These days, I recommend the Magtech models, as the improvements in the power supply make it a more versatile amp. But the regular ESL stereo will do a nice job with any of those speakers and save a grand. For the 15, maybe splurge on the monoblocks, but since all they drive is the panel, even the larger panel on the 15 will do fine on the regular Stereo models.
 

Robert D

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These days, I recommend the Magtech models, as the improvements in the power supply make it a more versatile amp. But the regular ESL stereo will do a nice job with any of those speakers and save a grand. For the 15, maybe splurge on the monoblocks, but since all they drive is the panel, even the larger panel on the 15 will do fine on the regular Stereo models.
How long have you owned the Sanders Amp/s? Wondering what their longevity/reliability is like.
 

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How long have you owned the Sanders Amp/s? Wondering what their longevity/reliability is like.
I've owned mine since 2013 and zero issues. I know ML member Rich has owned his Sanders Monoblocks for five years+ longer than I.

These things have a lifetime warranty, just send it back, and they'll repair it for free (you cover shipping).

They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee as well, and so far (that I've heard), no one has taken him up on that. If you get one, you will be keeping it.

Man, I sound like a sales rep, but honestly, they are fantastic products, so glad we have this option.
 

Robert D

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I've owned mine since 2013 and zero issues. I know ML member Rich has owned his Sanders Monoblocks for five years+ longer than I.

These things have a lifetime warranty, just send it back, and they'll repair it for free (you cover shipping).

They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee as well, and so far (that I've heard), no one has taken him up on that. If you get one, you will be keeping it.

Man, I sound like a sales rep, but honestly, they are fantastic products, so glad we have this option.
Wow! Lifetime? That's my kind of product. If I ever replace my Aragon I will most definitely get a Sanders. Wish I'd known about it back when I bought my amp. I've had my Aragon since 2015 and no issues. I can't complain.

I wonder how much the Sanders cost in 2015? Do you remember how much you paid? My Aragon 2 channel dual monoblock was $4200. It's only rated at 250 watts at 8 ohm though. That Sanders is 2x that.
 

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I wonder how much the Sanders cost in 2015?
The ESL amp was $5,000 in 2013, and had been at that price for a very long time. Looks like they recently (last 2 years?) raised it to $6K. Still worth it.

And used, they fetch good prices, and are as rare as hen's teeth, as no one wants to sell. I sure don't, and I know the used market because I'd pounce on any decent used deal so I can power my center channel with one.
 

Robert D

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The ESL amp was $5,000 in 2013, and had been at that price for a very long time. Looks like they recently (last 2 years?) raised it to $6K. Still worth it.

And used, they fetch good prices, and are as rare as hen's teeth, as no one wants to sell. I sure don't, and I know the used market because I'd pounce on any decent used deal so I can power my center channel with one.
Nice to see a company not price gouging. Thats a very steady and fair price.
 

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Nice to see a company not price gouging. Thats a very steady and fair price.
My usual comment about "one owner" companies. What happens when Roger goes away? Hopefully he has addressed this issue. If he has not, I would be very leary of future product support.
 

Robert D

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My usual comment about "one owner" companies. What happens when Roger goes away? Hopefully he has addressed this issue. If he has not, I would be very leary of future product support.
Good question. Im not sure how old he is. Im 52 so if he is about my age then I am probably fine,lol. I imagine he is a bit older now though.
 

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My usual comment about "one owner" companies. What happens when Roger goes away? Hopefully he has addressed this issue. If he has not, I would be very leary of future product support.
A fair point, but I believe this has been addressed with added staff (partner?), most order-related stuff is handled by someone who joined a couple of years ago.
As long as they have a going business, I'd expect them to honor the warranties.

At this point, it's a well-established small lifestyle business, and as long as they don't do anything crazy, it should be able to continue as-is. The sourcing of products is pretty straightforward, so it's mostly order-taking and support where the man-hours go.
 

Robert D

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A fair point, but I believe this has been addressed with added staff (partner?), most order-related stuff is handled by someone who joined a couple of years ago.
As long as they have a going business, I'd expect them to honor the warranties.

At this point, it's a well-established small lifestyle business, and as long as they don't do anything crazy, it should be able to continue as-is. The sourcing of products is pretty straightforward, so it's mostly order-taking and support where the man-hours go.
Do you have any ideas on how they get those amps made? Im going to guess its not in house, but sourced from somewhere, or do they actually produce them right there in their shop?
 

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Do you have any ideas on how they get those amps made? Im going to guess its not in house, but sourced from somewhere, or do they actually produce them right there in their shop?
Yes, well aware of how they are sourced. Like many boutique products, they start from a proven platform produced by a recognized industry leader, tweak the elements that meet their unique requirements (driving ESL loads in this case), and work with the manufacturer design team to integrate the changes. Then they place orders for custom-label versions. In the Sanders case, the front panel is bespoke, as is the labeling on the rear. The rest of the chassis is the same as the platform, and importantly, some of the interior cards are unique to Sanders.
Now, I'm unsure if they order fully completed assembled units, or if they get the parts and perform assembly themselves.

So they can keep ordering these for many more years, including replacement parts.
 

Robert D

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Yes, well aware of how they are sourced. Like many boutique products, they start from a proven platform produced by a recognized industry leader, tweak the elements that meet their unique requirements (driving ESL loads in this case), and work with the manufacturer design team to integrate the changes. Then they place orders for custom-label versions. In the Sanders case, the front panel is bespoke, as is the labeling on the rear. The rest of the chassis is the same as the platform, and importantly, some of the interior cards are unique to Sanders.
Now, I'm unsure if they order fully completed assembled units, or if they get the parts and perform assembly themselves.

So they can keep ordering these for many more years, including replacement parts.
Being a successful business, I don't imagine it just dying off. Someone will buy it someday. Looks like great amps to me.
 
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