New Ascent i Owner Needs Advice

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

output555

Active member
Joined
Oct 13, 2005
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Hi all,

I'm getting a new pair (actually, dealer demo) of Ascent i's next week and would like a little advice from those of you who have had your speakers for a while.

My questions are:

1. Proper set up? My dedicated listening room is 21' L x 14.5' W x 9' H. There is a pair of windows on the front wall (behind the speakers) and several pairs on the left wall (left-side of speakers). Pleated shades on all windows. Approximately where should I start placing the speakers to find the best position in the room? Best angles and toe-in?

2. Break-in time? I've read it can take upwards of 100 hours for the speakers to fully break-in. True? Best to leave them on 24/7 for optimum sound?

3. Power cord replacement? Anyone notice an improvement by upgrading the stock cords? If so, which brands have produced nice results?

4. Tweaks? Ones that really work--and don't cost my daughter's college tuition.

5. And this last one is totally ridiculous...I also have the chance to pick up a pair of used Wilson Audio Sophias at a fairly reasonable price. Do they totally outperform the Ascents? Anybody ever A-B the two? If so, what were your impressions?

Thanks in advance for your recommendations and help!
 

Dolfin

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2005
Messages
80
Reaction score
0
Location
Arizona, the armpit of hell.
1) Keep them away from the wall.. they need room to breathe. As long as you have slats covering the windows, that should be okay. At least 3 feet from the wall. Listening area should be about 1 - 1.5x the distance you put between the logans.

2) If they're dealer demos, chances are they're already fully broken in. I don't think it's necessary to leave them on when you're not listening to them.

3) Some claim benefit... but to be honest if you have some sort of in-line power cleaning, I think it'll be far more beneficial than new cords. http://www.richardgrayspowercompany.com/

4) I don't know.. :D

5) I don't know.. :D
 

Reverb

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
1,543
Reaction score
0
Location
Palm Springs, CA
1.) 8ft apart, 2 ft from side walls, 2 to 3 feet from back wall. That's a good place to start.

2.) anyware from 100 to 300 hours. I turned mine on in the morning and off when I went to bed.

3.) Yes I noticed a difference. Ps Audio, I like the Statements.

4.)A 20Lbs bag of steel or lead shot. It's for shotgun shell reloading, works grate at tightening up the bass.

Get a bag of shot and lay it over the top of the bass box of the Ascent, the point wear the box peaks up behind the panel. It works well at tightening up the bass. You will need two bags, one for each speaker.

5.) I have not A-B'ed them, I don't know? Sorry.
 
Last edited:
D

dyazdani

Guest
1) With that deep a room, I'd go ahead and pull them out a good bit (3-4 ft). Width depends on seating position, speakers should be equal, or a little closer togehter than the distance from you to the speakers.

Toe in: I have mine toed-in very little. I use the ML trick with the flashlight. Shine a light and make the bright spot 2-3 inches from the inner rail.

2) A demo pair should be on its way to break-in already

3) I bought replacement cords, not sure I hear much - IMHO money is better spent elsewhere

4) Saw the Spohia's and Ascents both in New Orleans, didn't get a chance to AB test
 

Craig

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
1,463
Reaction score
1
Location
U.S.
1. What they said. Although, you may want to leave the flat feet on the speakers until you narrow down the best position. Makes it easier to move them around and eliminates the potential of damaging the spikes from too much movement.

2. I bought a pair of demo Ascents and and later a demo pair of Odysesys and neither seemed to be broken in. Some dealers have too many speakers to leave them all (or even some) playing for extended periods and they most turn everything off when they close the store.

3. I've never bothered upgrading the power cords. However, I usually don't need 8 feet of cord and have swapped out for shorter cords. I think the components would benefit more from a power cord upgrade. I would recommend a power conditioner or at least a surge protector to help protect the speakers. The electrostats use power differently than components. Unplug a speakers power cord while its playing and it will continue to play for while.

4. Not really a tweak, but when you swap the flat feet for the spikes the bass should tighten up. Adding a silk (or real) ficus tree or some other decorative plant behind the speaker helps diffuse sound from the rear of the speaker and may improve your soundstage and reduce brightness (depending upon the characteristics of your room acoustics). You can also try adding a sound absorbtion panel or diffusor on the reflection point of your side walls if you find your speakers sound bright. The best tweaking may be experimenting with speaker location and adjusting room acoustics.

5. I've heard the Sophias but not A-B with Ascents. They were nice but are not as transparent as the ML Electrostats. I would expect the Sophias to perform a little better in the lower regions.
 

socialxray

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 12, 2005
Messages
273
Reaction score
0
Location
Apple Valley, CA
I have found that following ML's recommendations is pretty much the optimal placement. The sweet spot will be relatively narrow but the sound will be ethereal. More toe-in enlarges the sweet spot but the MLs start to lose their soundstage and depth and transparency.

I am very interested about how the Sophia stack up. I have always thought Wilson Audiuo was a bit of a marketing ploy. Just my impression without having ever heard them.
 

Robin

Well-known member
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
3,292
Reaction score
0
Location
Calistoga, California
Ascent i's...

Zip3kx07 said:
1.) 8ft apart, 2 ft from side walls, 2 to 3 feet from back wall. That's a good place to start.

2.) anyware from 100 to 300 hours. I turned mine on in the morning and off when I went to bed.

3.) Yes I noticed a difference. Ps Audio, I like the Statements.

4.)A 20Lbs bag of steel or lead shot. It's for shotgun shell reloading, works grate at tightening up the bass.

Get a bag of shot and lay it over the top of the bass box of the Ascent, the point wear the box peaks up behind the panel. It works well at tightening up the bass. You will need two bags, one for each speaker.

5.) I have not A-B'ed them, I don't know? Sorry.

output555,

Welcome to the ML Club!

I agree, exactly, with what Joe recommended above. On a side note, the Ascent i's are wonderful, beautiful sounding electrostatic speakers, enjoy them.

It is good to have you here. :D

Cheers

-Robin
 

output555

Active member
Joined
Oct 13, 2005
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
Thanks!

I appreciate everyone's expert advice and guidance. Please keep your comments coming!
 

Audio Pharaoh

Active member
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
ML Ascents...

output555 said:
I appreciate everyone's expert advice and guidance. Please keep your comments coming!
Congrats !

As a proud owner of the original Ascents here're my 2 cents..;)

-Break-in time is around 300 hours give or take depending on how much you play real music through them. I'd also suggest you use the XLO burn-in track 9 on repeat for a couple of hours daily. Being dealer demos, they may already be broken-in though.

-Having played with aftermarket power cords with my Ascents, I ended up leaving them with their supplied cords. During the past year, I have noticed they are so sensitive to everything that it was best to leave them as is to preserve their intended tonal balance etc..They do not need any tone controlling at all !

-I have come to love ML in general. I have good experience with Quad ESL, various ribbon based Infinities, ml Aerius I's, SL-3's and for me the Ascents represent one of the very rare values in loudspeakers today. Once you set them up properly, give them matching amplifications and cables, suitable room acoustics, you will never let them go. The only upgrade would be to a higher ML model..( Summits anyone?!..lol)..

-I don't know what amps you'll be using with them, but i don't advise using AV receivers, no matter how big they are. One of the BEST & SUPERB amp matches for ML's is Plinius with Siltech cables. I'm sure there are other 'BESTS' in amps for the Logans, but if you're tight on budget a Plinius 9200 integrated amps (used for around $2K) will give you real sonic bliss with excellent drive capability for that kinda money..:)

Congrats again and let us know how it goes ;)

Regards
AP
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
Audio Pharaoh said:
-I don't know what amps you'll be using with them, but i don't advise using AV receivers, no matter how big they are. One of the BEST & SUPERB amp matches for ML's is Plinius with Siltech cables. I'm sure there are other 'BESTS' in amps for the Logans, but if you're tight on budget a Plinius 9200 integrated amps (used for around $2K) will give you real sonic bliss with excellent drive capability for that kinda money..:)
I can second the use of Plinius Amps with ML's - I own the SA-102 and love the matchup with my CLSIIz's. If you get a chance to listen to some Plinius, make the time to audition them to see what you think.

BTW, like AP says about used 9200 - there are two on Audiogon now for $2300 & $2650, and I have seen SA-100, SA-250, SA-201, & SA-102 on and off over the past couple of months.

The user "kwr" on this forum also runs Plinius and can share his experiences.

Dan
 
Last edited:

output555

Active member
Joined
Oct 13, 2005
Messages
29
Reaction score
0
To AP and Dan

Thanks for the amp recommendations. I'm currently using a Mark Levinson 332, so I think current and power won't be an issue driving the Ascents. Also, just acquired a DK Design Group VS-1 Mk. II integrated as a possible alternative to the Levinson. All my cabling is either Music Metre or Luminous Audio--really nice sounding wires.
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
Sorry I forgot to address your questions in my amp reply....

output555 said:
1. Proper set up?
Play around with speaker placement. Some have given you some nice starting points, but could changed slightly or radically for your room.

2. Break-in time?
Just listen to the music and enjoy what you have. The panels will get better sounding over time as each of us have heard changes at different times in our speakers panel life from new.

3. Power cord replacement?
Some people replace, some don't. My feeling on this is Power Conditioning will be better money spent. There are threads on this here.

4. Tweaks?
DIY room acoustic changes - traps, panels, etc. Very cheap to make.

5. And this last one is totally ridiculous...I also have the chance to pick up a pair of used Wilson Audio Sophias at a fairly reasonable price.
I like the sound of Sophia's and heard them compared to Summit's. For me and my tastes, I liked the Summit's better with proper amplification. But the Sophia's were no slouch either. This is a personal preference for liking what type of speaker.

Dan
 
Top