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IIA's to IIZ's: Worth it???

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karma

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HI All,
First post here. So, hi. I'm looking forward to exchanging ideas with you all.

I have a specific question for you CLS vets. I have what were original CLSII's which have been since upgraded to the A version (pretty simple upgrade). Now, I am comtemptlating replacing my panels with new ones from ML. I'm also considering upgrading to the Z power supply/electronics box. In other words, upgrade my CLS IIA's to CLSIIZ'z.

I am totally in love with my current panels. But, I have noticed that the right speaker has lost a fair amount of sensitivity. The imballance can be balanced out with a balance control on a preamp. I would estimate the difference in sensitiviy between the the two is the left channel is about 3dB louder than the right or about a factor of twice. Other than that, the speaker sounds fine. But, I thought, this might be a good time to do a general upgrade.

By way of a little background, I drive the panels with a Audio Research D-250 MK II Servo tube power amp. I love my basic frequency balance but I think the extreme high frequncies, say 7.5KHz up, could be a bit more brilliant. Perhaps the less severe high frequency impedance characteristic of the IIZ's will help the D-250 with those frequencies. Any thoughts on this?

One feature of the IIZ power supplies that I really like is the automatic power up feature. Currently, I unplug my panels to keep them from gathering dust. As I understand, the IIZ power supply will go into a power down mode if it hasn't seen any audio activity after certain period of time. This is a very attractive feature to me.

Here are my questions; Should I,

1) Leave well enough alone and do not touch the speakers.

2) Replace the panels but keep the current power supply box

3) Do a full IIZ upgrade.

In general, what do you all think? Is this a worthwhile exercise? Why???

Thanks, Sparky
 

lugano

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Hi Karma,

forget about number 3 - the CLS II to IIz upgrade is no more available - I already questioned Mr. Power from ML about that. Repaneling is a good idea, IMHO, something I'll do ASAP. I also compensate the high frequencies losses (and the whole room) with an equalizer, instead of merely using a balance knob. (Please note that my panels are 16 years old...) Purists might disagree, but I get my daily share of sonic nirvana, and that's what counts for me :D
 
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roberto

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karma said:
HI All,
First post here. So, hi. I'm looking forward to exchanging ideas with you all.

I have a specific question for you CLS vets. I have what were original CLSII's which have been since upgraded to the A version (pretty simple upgrade). Now, I am comtemptlating replacing my panels with new ones from ML. I'm also considering upgrading to the Z power supply/electronics box. In other words, upgrade my CLS IIA's to CLSIIZ'z.

I am totally in love with my current panels. But, I have noticed that the right speaker has lost a fair amount of sensitivity. The imballance can be balanced out with a balance control on a preamp. I would estimate the difference in sensitiviy between the the two is the left channel is about 3dB louder than the right or about a factor of twice. Other than that, the speaker sounds fine. But, I thought, this might be a good time to do a general upgrade.

By way of a little background, I drive the panels with a Audio Research D-250 MK II Servo tube power amp. I love my basic frequency balance but I think the extreme high frequncies, say 7.5KHz up, could be a bit more brilliant. Perhaps the less severe high frequency impedance characteristic of the IIZ's will help the D-250 with those frequencies. Any thoughts on this?

One feature of the IIZ power supplies that I really like is the automatic power up feature. Currently, I unplug my panels to keep them from gathering dust. As I understand, the IIZ power supply will go into a power down mode if it hasn't seen any audio activity after certain period of time. This is a very attractive feature to me.

Here are my questions; Should I,

1) Leave well enough alone and do not touch the speakers.

2) Replace the panels but keep the current power supply box

3) Do a full IIZ upgrade.

In general, what do you all think? Is this a worthwhile exercise? Why???

Thanks, Sparky
Hola Sparky and welcome to the club. I am also another CLSs freak...just love them...regarding your question, I have the CLSIIZ, and they are more resisitive in impedance aspect than the other CLSs models, in other words, they are more easy to drive. The sound is about the same, all CLSs are great sounding speakers. Your amplifier probably would like more the CLSIIz better. And yes, they have sensing power supply, when the signal is present at the binding posts, they will turned on and when they have about 5 minuts or so without any signal, the power supply goes to sleep...I am very happy with them, and also have one of the very first models and love they way that they sound too...harder to drive only...it is a good idea to change the stat panels, specially when you have imballance in level...hope this can help...happy listening,
Roberto.
 

Jeff Zaret

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Sparky,
I also have CLS's. I have the CLSiiZ's but I bought them used from the original owner who had them upgraded from CLSiiA's to CLSiiZ's. I believe Lugano is correct and the upgrade to the iiZ's electronics is not longer available but to make absolutely sure contact Jim Power at ML, jpower@martinlogan.com. Now having said that, the only difference I am aware of between the "A" version and the "Z" version is the change to the electronics, like Roberto mentions. There may have been a few upgrades or mods within the electronics beyond the "sensing" but I am not aware of those.

As far as new panels, I would recommend them based on what you described. I recently replaced mine (within the last year) and there was a nice difference in sound. Well of course since the panels are now new and not 16 years old. :D It did take about a month ~40 + hours of playing to break them in. They are not the new Xstat configuration but they do use the new processing and technology of the new panel construction. At the time I purchased them, they were $890.00 USD for both panels.

I hope this helps and good luck

Let us know


Jeff :cool:
 

enilsen

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karma said:
I am totally in love with my current panels. But, I have noticed that the right speaker has lost a fair amount of sensitivity. The imballance can be balanced out with a balance control on a preamp. I would estimate the difference in sensitiviy between the the two is the left channel is about 3dB louder than the right or about a factor of twice. Other than that, the speaker sounds fine. But, I thought, this might be a good time to do a general upgrade.
I karma, I can relate to your problem with the imbalance between the two speakers. I spent a lot of time researching the causes of this. There is a very simple test to see if it is due to problems with the diaphragm and the conductive coating.

Take a RCA cable and use it to assist in transferring some of the static charge from one area of diaphragm to where it is weak in sound. The strongest charge on the diaphragm is at the bottom right hand corner where the high voltage bias wire attaches to the bias metal strip.

The RCA connectors with a smooth tip will fit thru the perforated stator and just touch the diaphragm. The static change is about as strong as the charge created on the surface of a old TV and will not zap you.

This test is done while the speakers are playing and you should notice a difference in brightness upon contact with the RCA connector to the affected area. i.e. One RCA connector held in place at the bottom right hand corner of the diaphragm while the other RCA connector to be touching the affected area on the diaphragm.


More about fixing weak sounding panels in this link.
 

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