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Empty Vessel

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Greetings, I could ask these questions of the dealer but I have more faith in the knowledge here.

I've bought some ML Impression 11a, an upgrade from previous ML Vantage I had for years. They sound fabulous. The main question: They seem to be at idle until they get a music signal, but the practical consequence is I miss the first second or so of music then POP and I have amplified sound. So I stop and start again. Is this normal? Any suggestions how to avoid this?

Also there is lots of crackle and noise on shutdown (several seconds later). Vantages did this too but these do more. Funny there is no reference to this in the manual.

Power amp is an Adcom 555ii, not sure if this is relevant but it completes the picture.
Cheers all.
 

JonFo

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They seem to be at idle until they get a music signal, but the practical consequence is I miss the first second or so of music then POP and I have amplified sound.
That is normal, and a function of the 'Music Sense' circuits in all ESL's since the early '90's.
They keep the diaphragm powered down until a signal is detected, then they engage the voltage to energize the ESL.
This is so they do not attract dust when not in use.

Just play a bit, then restart the track. I usually do that anyway as I fiddle with volume or other settings before settling in to listen.

Also there is lots of crackle and noise on shutdown (several seconds later). Vantages did this too but these do more. Funny there is no reference to this in the manual.

Power amp is an Adcom 555ii,
I had one of those back in the mid-90's, and I did not get that crackle on shutdown when driving my Sequels. Given its age, it's likely time to re-cap that amp.

Or better yet, get a better one, those were decent for the day, but much better designs are available now.
I'm not familiar with your options in AU, so all I'll say is look for one with specs that double the output with every halving of impedance. So if 200wpc @8 Ohms, then it should deliver 400wpc @ 4 Ohms and 800wpc @2 Ohms. Surprisingly few amps can do that.
 

Empty Vessel

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Hi. Thanks for the informative reply. I'm looking at amps now and understand the impedance / power issue. Anthem has a new one (MCA 225) but specification info is limited. You'd imagine the family relationship would mean it is adequate to the job. Cheers.
 

Tosh

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Regarding the crackling noises, the amp is a red herring! But yes, you should be using a much nicer sounding amp on the top end.

In the Ascent'i' manual it is written:

Popping and Ticking Sounds, Funny Noises
These occasional noises are harmless and will not hurt your audio system or your speakers. All electrostatic speakers are guilty of making odd noises at one time or another. It is the result of airborne contaminates (most notably dust). Vacuuming is recommended.
These noises may be caused by dirt and dust particles collecting on the speaker, by high humidity. Dirt and dust may need to be vacuumed off. Please see the FAQ regarding vacuuming.
 
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