OK, this is too wierd and this is what I get for buying new equipment. I think my brand new Ascent i's came with a turntable filter installed, meaning, they introduce "pops" and "snaps" on some recordings, usually when I'm listening to high vocal notes. I first thought that it may literally be static that made it onto the digital transfer from old tape but the same "snap-crackle-pop" manifested on a brand new CD recording. I've only heard this on three recordings and I can perceive it from across the room. The listening volume is low so I doubt if it's an issue of over-driving the panels. Could these be the dreaded results of dust? The manual claims that such noises are "common" and that "All electrostatic speakers are guilty of making odd noises at one time or another." I mean, if the speakers are guilty and we condon such behavior aren't we enabling the speakers? And what sort of example does this set for box speakers? If the upper-class ESL's are permitted such sonic transgressions won't other speakers have a right to develop their own peculiarities? Or am I getting off the subject? Hey, you don't think that these Ascent's are gonna turn into giant Claymores, do you?