How do you know if your panels are going out?

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18000rpm

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FYI in one of the videos ML says that they tested by poking holes into the panels in a few places and even that did not affect the sound.

Washing my panels did not noticeably improve the sound for me. And from most reports even if successful the panels do not sound perfect like new panels, nor do they last long. It just buys you a bit of extra time before you inevitably need new panels. That's why I decided to try having Russ Knotts refurbish them.

Here is what he does (I believe it's okay to share this since this is the first info he sent after I made an inquiry):

Reconditioning of the Martin Login panels both panels or 1 pair (NOT NEW PANELS FROM ML) must be done at the same time. Warranty is 90 days for labor and materials, if you want new replacement panels you must go to Martin Logan.

This is what I do. I first test the panels to make sure of the problem and they can be reconditioned. If so I next carefully separate the front stators from the back of the panels, Then I do a total panel cleaning removing contaminants from the panels and diaphragm along with removing any old ML diaphragm coating, remove old tape and do minor repairs to the diaphragm if needed. Next I coat the Mylar diaphragm with my proprietary conductive diaphragm coating which will not burn off like the ML coating. The coating also should last much longer then the ML coating. My diaphragm coating is light gray in color and has more of a stained glass look to it unlike that of the ML which is a clear see through coating. I then install a new copper corona conductor to the diaphragm and repair or replace broken or loose stator wires. Next I reassemble the panels for the testing phase which is running SPL measurements and do a burn in test on both panels. Last I test each panel's output and balance if they pass within our specification the panels then ready for packing and return shipment. Turn around time is about 4 to 8 weeks depending on my current work load. I only need the panels shipped for the reconditioning process.
 

roni44

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FYI in one of the videos ML says that they tested by poking holes into the panels in a few places and even that did not affect the sound.

Washing my panels did not noticeably improve the sound for me. And from most reports even if successful the panels do not sound perfect like new panels, nor do they last long. It just buys you a bit of extra time before you inevitably need new panels. That's why I decided to try having Russ Knotts refurbish them.

Here is what he does (I believe it's okay to share this since this is the first info he sent after I made an inquiry):
Did you have Russ refurb your panel? if you did, how does sound?
 

Robert D

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Well, I know now for sure that after 20 years your panels definitely dont put out much volume. I hooked up some old definitive speakers I have and ran Audyssey on it with my Marantz. The level for the Definitives, running through the same 200 W dual channel Aaragon, came out to be -2. The center channel Martin Logan Theater i was set at 0. The surrounds and Atmos I have all were set down around -5 or so.

The Prodigy speakers were set all the way up to the max +12 to achieve the same loudness. With Audyssey EQ off the Prodigys sound dull and base heavy. Im going to have them refurbished. Really looking forward to how they will sound when done.

I looked at my Theater i and it was made in 2004, so it is 4 years younger than my Prodigys. The panel on it still sounds fine I think. Having those tweeters on it might mask it some though, not sure. Not going to worry about having its panel redone.
 

Robert D

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Took a few weeks but I heard back from ML on the cost for new Prodigy panels.

"We custom build these panels to order here. They have a lead time of around 14 weeks.
We don’t require any money down, just a go ahead from you to put you on the schedule.
They cost $2,855.00 for the pair shipping and handling."

Having mine refurbished, so hopefully I wont need to do that.
 

mikerodrig27

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So it has been quite a while since someone last posted in this thread. However, I am very curious to hear of the results that you guys had with the refurbishment.

Robert D
18000rpm

I hope you guys had great luck. I am thinking of selling my Requests to try to avoid getting stuck with a bill for new panels (eventually) but if refurbishing them is an affordable option... The film is in great shape.
 

Robert D

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I agree Robert D, I'd love to know the results here and if Russ still offers this service and how much.
The new panels are great! I should have just done that from the beginning. Highly recommend it. It's like having new speakers. These were built in 2000 too, so 22 years old now. Prodigy.

As far as Russ, I'm betting he is still doing the work. He wasn't able to do mine because of all the double sided tape they used, and he figured there was a very big chance that the mylar would tear while trying to pull apart the panels. He sent them back to me.

I've still got my old panels lying in the basement.
 

mikerodrig27

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Interesting. Okay. It sounds like refurbing existing martin logan panel film is a no go. Too bad, It sounded like a neat idea.

Thank you for getting back!
 

Robert D

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Interesting. Okay. It sounds like refurbing existing martin logan panel film is a no go. Too bad, It sounded like a neat idea.

Thank you for getting back!
It works on some but not others. You'd have to ask Russ. Some models use the tape differently. He keeps busy doing them I know.
 

mikerodrig27

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I got a response from him. It looks like a very detailed response outlining what he does. The price is much more reasonable than purchasing new panels.
 

Robert D

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I got a response from him. It looks like a very detailed response outlining what he does. The price is much more reasonable than purchasing new panels.
Yes, the price seemed fair to me. I just know that my Prodigy panels are put together with too much adhesive to separate. Hopefully yours will be ok. Be sure to tell him what model you have.
 

JonFo

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I just know that my Prodigy panels are put together with too much adhesive to separate.
Adding the data point that the Monolith III panels from the early '90's are the same. I tore the mylar and had to fight like heck to separate the stators. Of course, it did not matter in my case, as I only wanted the stators for decorative purposes.
 

Robert D

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I think people use a solvent to weaken the tape. Pretty cool room!
Russ knows his stuff pretty well and never mentioned using that himself, but its been awhile and maybe I have forgotten. He called me to tell me the bad news, about how he figured that chances were very good that my mylar would tear when he tried to separate it. He said he would still do it if I wanted to try, but I just said no. He seemed to agree that I did the right thing. I could have sworn that he was talking like the older panels were easier to separate. Mine were built in 2000. Maybe its more or less what model the panels are.

It was a bit frustrating for me because I had made a 7 hour or more round trip drive to take the panels to him. He didnt expect the panels to be like that. I then had to have him mail me back the old panels.
 

mikerodrig27

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Mine were built in 19999. Hopefully it won't be a problem. I am going to milk them for a little bit I will be moving to a new state. After I get settled into the new place, I will likely send them out.

Too bad on the drive. What a pain.
 

Robert D

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Mine were built in 19999. Hopefully it won't be a problem. I am going to milk them for a little bit I will be moving to a new state. After I get settled into the new place, I will likely send them out.

Too bad on the drive. What a pain.
It was cool getting to know Russ a little better and meet him in person. He is a very unique guy. We talked on the phone a lot too. We share some common interests for sure.
 
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