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Martin Logan Shower Cleaning PDF

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thepogue

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Washed my Prodigy panels in '15 and it gave me a 30% improvement overall (had one channel slowly losing db's over a 5-year span). After two years I had someone rework them (wash and recoat) the panels. Here's a link to the shop that did the work. http://www.justrealmusic.com/content/about_us.htm I'm still running the panels w/o issue to this day. My sense is that I have a slight deficiency in one panel (or in one ear) which I've corrected with a solid EQ in the system. At 60 years old.....I'm guessing it's my last wash or rework. If I go it again I'll probably bet two new panels. Long and short of it all....jump on it and wash away when you're at the point you can't enjoy the panels as is.....you've got little to lose.
 

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hifiaddiction

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Thought I would add my feedback to this. Bought a pair of Aerius i electrostatics last week... sound was instantly disappointing, seemingly dull and base loaded. Sound coming from front and back of electrostatic panel, but volume was very low. So, I took the plunge (literally!) and stripped down the speakers (super easy) and took them to the shower. I decided to retain the shower head but set it on its most gentle setting. I then sprayed the panels, both front and back from an angle (45deg) not straight onto them, in order to reduce the spray 'impact' onto the panels and to focus attention on removing debris from behind the metal grills. The water coming out of the panels was noticeably dirty. I spent a good few minutes doing this. Before they went in the shower I also noticed that on both panels, one of the grills on each panel had come 'unstuck' along its length from the opposite panel and the mylar sheet. The sheet was still tensioned against the one panel, so had not lost tension as far as I could tell. Once the panels had fully dried I made sure the edges of the grills were scrupulously clean before then using very good quality clear tape to 'pull' the two grills tightly together again, as per when they were originally assembled. I used small two inch sections of tape and pulled each tightly from one side to the other. This seemed to do a good job. So, after leaving the panels for a couple of days I reassembled, not really expecting a great deal of improvement... how wrong was I! While I cannot tell you what they sounded like when new, they are night and day different from when I received them. Having thought I would have to junk them, they sound epic and my next job is to rub down and re finish the wood retaining strips. This is a stunning solution if your speakers are tired. BTW, in my depression before embarking on this, I emailed a company in the Netherlands about rebuilding the electrostatic panels who have now come back - while possible, they want to complete speakers and will charge over 1000euros... more than I bought the speakers for! Thank you.
 

hifiaddiction

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Thought I would add my feedback to this. Bought a pair of Aerius i electrostatics last week... sound was instantly disappointing, seemingly dull and base loaded. Sound coming from front and back of electrostatic panel, but volume was very low. So, I took the plunge (literally!) and stripped down the speakers (super easy) and took them to the shower. I decided to retain the shower head but set it on its most gentle setting. I then sprayed the panels, both front and back from an angle (45deg) not straight onto them, in order to reduce the spray 'impact' onto the panels and to focus attention on removing debris from behind the metal grills. The water coming out of the panels was noticeably dirty. I spent a good few minutes doing this. Before they went in the shower I also noticed that on both panels, one of the grills on each panel had come 'unstuck' along its length from the opposite panel and the mylar sheet. The sheet was still tensioned against the one panel, so had not lost tension as far as I could tell. Once the panels had fully dried I made sure the edges of the grills were scrupulously clean before then using very good quality clear tape to 'pull' the two grills tightly together again, as per when they were originally assembled. I used small two inch sections of tape and pulled each tightly from one side to the other. This seemed to do a good job. So, after leaving the panels for a couple of days I reassembled, not really expecting a great deal of improvement... how wrong was I! While I cannot tell you what they sounded like when new, they are night and day different from when I received them. Having thought I would have to junk them, they sound epic and my next job is to rub down and re finish the wood retaining strips. This is a stunning solution if your speakers are tired. BTW, in my depression before embarking on this, I emailed a company in the Netherlands about rebuilding the electrostatic panels who have now come back - while possible, they want to complete speakers and will charge over 1000euros... more than I bought the speakers for! Thank you.
I might add that I did a final rinse with pure distilled water after the shower water, in order to reduce any dry residue.
 

wgirwin

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W
I might add that I did a final rinse with pure distilled water after the shower water, in order to reduce any dry residue.
Wow, am I glad you posted this. I have had sparking issues that vacuuming only makes worse. I have been encouraged to do the shower with 'Simple Green' cleaner and soft makeup/paint brushes. I have been anxious about the water and cleaners, but this post helps a lot. ML has not responded to requests for replacement panels (or at all for that matter), but I know they won't be cheap. My panels look good from close inspection. My sparking issue suggests that the grill panel insulation coating may have problems, but I definitely do not want to open up the sandwich - that probably will kill it. I need to try some form of shower cleaning as you did. If it works on one and stops the sparking, then showering the other one should keep them balanced. Any comments on cleaning solutions or brushes?
 

hifiaddiction

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Wow, am I glad you posted this. I have had sparking issues that vacuuming only makes worse. I have been encouraged to do the shower with 'Simple Green' cleaner and soft makeup/paint brushes. I have been anxious about the water and cleaners, but this post helps a lot. ML has not responded to requests for replacement panels (or at all for that matter), but I know they won't be cheap. My panels look good from close inspection. My sparking issue suggests that the grill panel insulation coating may have problems, but I definitely do not want to open up the sandwich - that probably will kill it. I need to try some form of shower cleaning as you did. If it works on one and stops the sparking, then showering the other one should keep them balanced. Any comments on cleaning solutions or brushes?
I didn't touch the panels with anything other than water. No soap or any contact with brushes etc. There's a comment on arcing further back in this thread that might be relevant.
 

RAH

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Wash first with neutral temperature water. Once the dust is removed then give final thorough rinse with distilled water. Please do not use any cleaning liquid. Please do not use brush on panel.
 

mentorron

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Does anyone know why the old panels need washing by so many users? I would never be able to tell if they still sounded exactly the way they did 20 years ago. NO heavy dust and don't smoke, live in NW suburbs. Even my hearing has deteriorated. Have tinnitus hissing in my ears at about 10kHz frequency, so can't hear above that. I can see some dust on the lower half of the woofer cones. Debated about getting a newer CD player with a Wolfson DAC, but can't justify the expense at present. See list of electronics below.
Hi-fi system 4 email.jpg
 

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wgirwin

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Does anyone know why the old panels need washing by so many users? I would never be able to tell if they still sounded exactly the way they did 20 years ago. NO heavy dust and don't smoke, live in NW suburbs. Even my hearing has deteriorated. Have tinnitus hissing in my ears at about 10kHz frequency, so can't hear above that. I can see some dust on the lower half of the woofer cones. Debated about getting a newer CD player with a Wolfson DAC, but can't justify the expense at present. See list of electronics below.
View attachment 20730
If the panels are stretched/tensioned on the sides, how come the panels opening up on the edges don't ruin the panel? After finding/being sent to this forum I was ready to shower my panels, but then I caught the separation issue and, sure enough, my started that too. Clamping them is like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. From the comments here It seems as if that doesn't matter as much as I expected. Are the panels tensioned by the curve around the rear panel?
 

BigGuy

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Wow, am I glad you posted this. I have had sparking issues that vacuuming only makes worse. I have been encouraged to do the shower with 'Simple Green' cleaner and soft makeup/paint brushes. I have been anxious about the water and cleaners, but this post helps a lot. ML has not responded to requests for replacement panels (or at all for that matter), but I know they won't be cheap. My panels look good from close inspection. My sparking issue suggests that the grill panel insulation coating may have problems, but I definitely do not want to open up the sandwich - that probably will kill it. I need to try some form of shower cleaning as you did. If it works on one and stops the sparking, then showering the other one should keep them balanced. Any comments on cleaning solutions or brushes?
"Vacuuming only makes (it) worse" may be due to residual electrostatic charge on the panels. Remove power from the speakers and let sit overnight to discharge before vacuuming.

If you use a brush, move across the panel without poking. (IIRC, Martin Logan indicates that a hole poked thru the film will not impact performance but still need to be careful.) I have used an upholstery attachment on a "shop vac" for years without issue.
 

wgirwin

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"Vacuuming only makes (it) worse" may be due to residual electrostatic charge on the panels. Remove power from the speakers and let sit overnight to discharge before vacuuming.

If you use a brush, move across the panel without poking. (IIRC, Martin Logan indicates that a hole poked thru the film will not impact performance but still need to be careful.) I have used an upholstery attachment on a "shop vac" for years without issue.
Power off for 2 days at last try.
 
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Hi fellow Martin Logan enthusiasts,

I’m just done washing my left ReQuest stator but also wanted to check the electronics. After removing the hex screws, the back panel simply won’t come off. Is there a trick to get it out? Ah made it! :)

Electronics looks marvelously fresh for its age. Has anyone swapped some of the caps for better ones?

thanks, Michael
 
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Chops

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It amazes me that as many times as it's been mentioned in this thread about not using detergents and brushes, people still do it despite all of the warnings.

Also, has it ever crossed anyone's mind that the improvements you hear after rinsing the panels could simply be the fact that you're creating new, fresh contact points on the wires going into the front connector for the stators once you reassemble the speakers? If those connections were slightly loose or corroded, simply tightening those connections could make a world of difference (depending on the severity on said connections).

My SL3's were built in January of 1998. They have sat 3 years unused. Before firing up again recently, I removed the rear panel just to have a look at everything and "re-seat" all of the connections as well as reconnect the crossovers as I had bypassed them a few years back to run the SL3's fully active with a digital crossover and a couple amps.

Long story short, the SL3's are back to factory stock, are 22 years old, are all original, and sound great. The panels sound to be operating at 100% with zero loss of output or top-end "sparkle".

It might be wise, short of going to the extreme last ditch effort of hosing down the panels, to just go through the speakers and re-seat all of the screw down connections, both inside the woofer enclosure where the crossover/power supply is as well as above the woofer on the front baffle where the ESL connects to the terminal strip there. You might just be surprised at the results and skip the risk of possible panel damage.

Basically, this is the same concept of getting behind your stereo equipment once a year or so and re-seating all of the interconnects on the gear as to not have corrosion/oxidation build-up and have fresh clean connections.
 

Robert D

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I asked Russ at ESL repair his opinion on washing the panels and he told me that he didnt think it was a good idea. If I remember right, he felt like even just using water could wash some of the coating off of the diaphragm.
 

hifiaddiction

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I asked Russ at ESL repair his opinion on washing the panels and he told me that he didnt think it was a good idea. If I remember right, he felt like even just using water could wash some of the coating off of the diaphragm.
I've no doubt that he's probably right and there is indeed a risk. But I can also say that the improvement was not slight when I washed my panels, but utterly astonishing. I had a pair of speakers that were not listenable and only good enough to sell on as parts. I now have a pair of speakers that sound sensational. Even if I only get another year out of them before they perhaps fail again, it's more than I had.
 

Robert D

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I've no doubt that he's probably right and there is indeed a risk. But I can also say that the improvement was not slight when I washed my panels, but utterly astonishing. I had a pair of speakers that were not listenable and only good enough to sell on as parts. I now have a pair of speakers that sound sensational. Even if I only get another year out of them before they perhaps fail again, it's more than I had.
Good point, if its that bad then there is little to lose.
 

Tosh

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If the panels are stretched/tensioned on the sides, how come the panels opening up on the edges don't ruin the panel? After finding/being sent to this forum I was ready to shower my panels, but then I caught the separation issue and, sure enough, my started that too. Clamping them is like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. From the comments here It seems as if that doesn't matter as much as I expected. Are the panels tensioned by the curve around the rear panel?
Diaphragm tension runs top-to-bottom only. If there were tension along the curve, the diaphragm would 'saddle.'
 
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