ML Prodigy repair/refurbishment

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Optical

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I know this has been somewhat discussed before but I'm not sure how many people/places are still offering such services.

I'm based in the UK so shipping to and from the USA (or outside Europe) is not really feasable . . . although might be my only option.

They are 20 years+ old and one of the panels has started to lose sensitivity.

I've tried contacting various repair outlets including Shackman - Martin Loagan repair/service/renewal/refurbishment/modification

No response over three months+ of trying to get in contact though, I assume he/they have closed?
No where else seems to offer any kind of repair/refurbishment service that I can find.
New panels are over £4,000 plus shipping/VAT etc etc so that's pretty much a no go at this point.

Tried a few other places but no one seems to have an answer.

Just wondering if anyone has advice on what I should do from here!
I love them far too much just to let them sit unused.

Is there any way to make use of a similar/replacement modified/DIY panel for another model does anyone know?

Thanks in advance for any replies, much appreciated.

Cheers

Chris
 

JonFo

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Hi Chris, the panels are a wear part, and will lose output at high frequencies over time, even if perfectly cared for.

In your situation, where the replacement cost is exorbitant, I'd try all the tricks we list here, starting with a tear-down of the wiring to ensure you are not experiencing losses due to aged wiring/joins. Second, the crossover has capacitors that also might have experienced partial failure or are under-spec. But that might not be visible and would require pulling the boards and having a tech validate they work well.

But the best chance to recover some panel performance is going to be a shower. Martin Logan Shower Cleaning PDF
So start with that.
 

Optical

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Hi Jonfo,

thanks for your detailed response there.

I recapped the speakers a few months ago, direct replacement with identical SOLEN caps and checked all wiring/joints where possible.

One of the panels has, at some point, received a bodged repair as I can see a solder blob where it meets the stator/panel frame. I have also had to resolder this joint myself when the panel started to slide out when I was moving the speakers. A common problem I have read.

They have also been for a shower . . . haha.

I think showering them made a nice difference initially but the imbalance is still there and is causing some imaging issues in my room.

My room is fairly problematic acoustically and these are one of the few speakers that manage to overcome most of the rooms issues.

I'm leaning towards having to bite the bullet and do the panels. I know it's a large cost but so would be the endeavour of trying to find better speakers for my room.

I fully understand and appreciate the caveats of electrostratic ownership however repairing a mainstream pair of Quads would usually only set me back £1000 or so . . . .

Thanks again.
 

JonFo

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I recapped the speakers a few months ago, direct replacement with identical SOLEN caps and checked all wiring/joints where possible.
Ah, way ahead of me on the electronic refurbishment side. Good to hear.

I think showering them made a nice difference initially but the imbalance is still there and is causing some imaging issues in my room.
Are you sure it is a specific panel and not the positioning of the speaker in the room?

It sounds like the room is acoustically asymmetric. One can have a rectangular room, but depending on how the speakers are placed and, just as importantly, what else is in the room (e.g. heavy drapes on only one side), the soundfield of a dipole line array can become quite skewed. It's even worse if the actual room shape leads to an asymmetric layout for the stereo.

I see plenty of system photos with asymmetries that I can guarantee lead to lopsided soundstages. Many could be fixed with the right physical acoustical treatments, but WAF and livability might disallow those.

So make sure it is indeed a specific panel and not the room interactions.
 

Optical

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Ah, way ahead of me on the electronic refurbishment side. Good to hear.


Are you sure it is a specific panel and not the positioning of the speaker in the room?

It sounds like the room is acoustically asymmetric. One can have a rectangular room, but depending on how the speakers are placed and, just as importantly, what else is in the room (e.g. heavy drapes on only one side), the soundfield of a dipole line array can become quite skewed. It's even worse if the actual room shape leads to an asymmetric layout for the stereo.

I see plenty of system photos with asymmetries that I can guarantee lead to lopsided soundstages. Many could be fixed with the right physical acoustical treatments, but WAF and livability might disallow those.

So make sure it is indeed a specific panel and not the room interactions.
Your assumptions are correct regarding the room being responsible for some of the skewing, but the output from one panel is certainly lower.

If I swap the speakers around the low output is on the other side.

Also, there is an occasional whine/hiss from the centre of the panel.

I have extensive acoustic treatment behind the speakers and in the corners, I run dual stereo subs even in addition to the speaker's bass output.

Unfortunately, the lesser of all evils here is to slightly over-excite the low end or I experience a bit of 'suck-out' at the listening position, but ultimately it is fairly balanced.

With the volume turned up things do get a little overbearing, but most of my listening is done later in the evening and at fairly low levels.

I'm at peace with the fact my listening habits and setup seem to differ from most people's ideal. My preference is to have huge panels in an almost near-field setup so from where I am listening there are no holes in the soundstage and I can feel and almost touch the ambience. No, it doesn't work for all genres that well and by the design of cramming large speakers into smaller rooms, I know I'm creating further problems in a lot of ways, but that 'giant headphone' effect can be very alluring.

There are a pair of extensively modified ML Spire's here in the UK that I have my eye on actually. Not only would they match the room a lot better but they are significantly less in cost than replacing the Prodigy panels.
 

Brandon Hartwick

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Hey, go and check out ER Audio out of Australia, they sell DIY repair supplies for electrostatic speakers and are definitely worth a look if you're handy and have little to lose.

They sell a liquid you can spread across the diagraph to try and restore conductivity to the mylar. I'd highly recommend at least sending the guy an email as he's extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
 

Optical

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Hey, go and check out ER Audio out of Australia, they sell DIY repair supplies for electrostatic speakers and are definitely worth a look if you're handy and have little to lose.

They sell a liquid you can spread across the diagraph to try and restore conductivity to the mylar. I'd highly recommend at least sending the guy an email as he's extremely knowledgeable and helpful.
Wow that sounds incredible . . .

thanks for that info
 
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