New panels, sound the same?

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Shaftish

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If I buy new panels to my ReQuest's would they sound like they did when they were new or are the panels different in any way?
 

JonFo

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New panels will actually sound better than when the speaker was new, as they have improved some of the manufacturing materials and tolerances.
I was really impressed with the new Monolith panels I got, and even now, 16 years later, they are performing as well as when I installed them in 2006. Mind you, they are in a man cave with no windows, and I vacuum them regularly.

I'd recommend refreshing the caps in the crossovers at the same time to ensure that is not limiting performance from the major investment new panels represent these days (especially in the EU).
 

Robert D

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Yeah, when I got my Prodigy panels, Ron sent be some literature on that changes they've made. You don't get microperf though
 

JonFo

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microperf, what is that?
That is the new smaller perforations of the stators from the Gen2 panel series, such as found on the Summit.

Gen1 panels, like yours, had larger holes, and thicker stator panels, thus requiring larger panels for the same level of output as a Gen2, with the more efficient, smaller perforations.
 

Shaftish

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So, modern panels don´t have to be as big as they use to? I heard a piar of 11a, they sounded really good but small, much smaller than my ReQuest.
A new set of panels, will they have the same qualities as the panels in 11a besides microperf?
 

JonFo

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So, modern panels don´t have to be as big as they use to? I heard a piar of 11a, they sounded really good but small, much smaller than my ReQuest.
A new set of panels, will they have the same qualities as the panels in 11a besides microperf?
Correct, the new panels are more efficient thanks to about 50% more diaphragm radiating area per square meter as compared to the Gen1.

Overall physical size of the total ESL transducer does have an impact, as the Gen 1 typically has a full 4' length for the panel, resulting in a 72" tall physical speaker element, and the wider panel widths broadcast the sound from a larger percentage of the front stage.
They energize more room modes thanks to size alone, thus will sound different even if the smaller model is capable of the same output levels.

A comparable modern replacement for the ReQuest might be the 13.
 

JonFo

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Gen 1 typically has a full 4' length for the panel, resulting in a 72" tall physical speaker element, and the wider panel widths broadcast the sound from a larger percentage of the front stage.
This is definitely true in my HT, where my front soundstage is delivered from speakers that cover 39% of the width of the front wall, and cover a full 21% of that area in square meters.

So going from something where close to a quarter of the area of the front soundstage is radiating surfaces down to something significantly smaller, the presentation will also change significantly, even if pure SPL levels and such are equivalent.

BTW- that absolutely huge 21% of the front wall area is why my HT has a ton of acoustic treatments.
 

Robert D

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The Martin Logan information I received said that the replacement panels have a better coating aplied to the mylar film and some other minor differences. So the replacement panel will be slightly better than the original. I think Ron told me that they don't use microperf in the new panels because that would change the sound of the speaker and then the speaker won't be properly tuned.
 

Shaftish

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I don't think I can resist buying new panels haha. Even though they are expensive. As I see it, I get a "new" large Martin Logan for 5000 dollar, that is not bad.
 

Robert D

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I don't think I can resist buying new panels haha. Even though they are expensive. As I see it, I get a "new" large Martin Logan for 5000 dollar, that is not bad.
Here in the US I paid near $3000 for my Prodigy panels. Well worth it to me! I feel like a fool not doing it right away when I bought them in 2015. I didn't do it until 2020 or 2021. I can't remember which year! I'm leaning toward 2021. Lol.
 

Brandon Hartwick

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They might sound better, the technology really hasn't changed much over the years and they still operate in the exact same way. Old panels can degrade due to UV and other factors but if yours still sound good I wouldn't go run out and buy new ones, they're some expensive these days.
 

Shaftish

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They might sound better, the technology really hasn't changed much over the years and they still operate in the exact same way. Old panels can degrade due to UV and other factors but if yours still sound good I wouldn't go run out and buy new ones, they're some expensive these days.
The thing is that one of my panels have died. I have to do something haha.

Rebuild or a change to another set of speakers. I´m a bit worried about changing speakers, it took very long time to find my ReQuest that both me and my wife really enjoy.
 

Brandon Hartwick

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The thing is that one of my panels have died. I have to do something haha.

Rebuild or a change to another set of speakers. I´m a bit worried about changing speakers, it took very long time to find my ReQuest that both me and my wife really enjoy.
Well at this point nobody knows what you want better than you. Are you willing to experiment with something that might be a little different? Or do you demand something the same?

5 grand for new panels is too much in my opinion, but that's only my opinion.
 

Shaftish

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I agree with you. But that depends on what leage ReQuest are playing in. It is a large panel speaker, I don’t want to downgrade.
Maybe Summits for the same money are WAY better than rebuilt ReQuest, I don’t know.
 

Robert D

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I agree with you. But that depends on what leage ReQuest are playing in. It is a large panel speaker, I don’t want to downgrade.
Maybe Summits for the same money are WAY better than rebuilt ReQuest, I don’t know.
Yeah, if you can find some Summits for sale there that are lower priced than new panels then I would probably do that. You can then sell your Requests and recover some money that way too. I would get the serial number from the Summits to see how old those panels are. I think most should be good for anywhere between 15 and 20 years, deoending on the environment they have been in. My Prodigy panels were 15 years old and needed to be replaced. If you buy Summits that need new panels soon then youre right back in the same predicament.
 

Robert D

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They are from 2009.
So, in some years they need some attention.
Yeah, probably between 2 and 8 years, It is inevitable. Price out how much new Summit Panels will be for you to obtain and figure that into things. If the speakers are priced well, it may make more sense than getting new panels for your Requests. Youll have some time before the panels need to be replaced. Id certainly make sure that you listen to them before you buy them too, if thats possible.
 
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