Panel life

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May 27, 2005
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Do the panels tend to have a somewhat fixed lifespan that's quite time (age) related? Or does replacement need come about mainly due to actual working hours, pollutants, abuse, etc.?

What I'm getting at is - is a panel in a stored speaker w/very few miles on it, still living on borrowed time simply due to it's age? Is there much merit to little playing time, if the speaker is a bit older (Aerius, specifically).

Thanks guys.
I would think it has more to do with playing, pollutants, abuse, etc than sitting. Now having said that it also depends on how they were stored. In a hot musty attic or a very damp basement probably does not help but stored in a somewhat climate controled environment would be better, i.e. a house. This is a tough call, like why do the same make of car's paint fade differently or at all. There are alot of variables here.

I think what you are hinting at is "if I buy a used set of ML's that are "x-years" old how long can I expect the panels to last?

To answer this, and if I could acurately, I would be investing heavily in the stock market. :D I would look at the obvious first, the actual age of the speakers then physically look at them and then inquire how or what type of music was played on them. Another clue would be the equipment that was also used. All of these should at least give you a starting point.

I would then ask any of us here or ML why they were discontinued or "rev'd". Having said all of this, the good news is you can more than likey get a new set of panels and they will have a five year warranty on them.

If it was me, I would ask tons of questions and then decide.
As a side note I bought both of my pairs used. ;)

Thanks Jeff,

It's definitely in my nature to ask 'tons o' questions' - appreciate the response.
Hi KEC - I feel a little responsible for this concern of yours, so here is what I can offer on the topic. My brother has a pair of Aerius that were played much less frequently than mine, and his second set of panels are on their way out (non-smoking environment). I gave my Aerius' away to a family member when I got my Ascents, and they seem to be getting darker all the time (original panels). Both pairs of speakers are 12-13 years old. So I'm not sure that frequency of use is directly related to lifespan.

When panels start to go, they seem to lose sparkle, air, and the higher frequencies. Washing can restore some life, but the trend continues. It is a gradual process that is not always obvious. My personal theory is that the first sign of panel morbidity is when humidity changes cause obvious changes in the sound. Having said that, I'm sure that many ML owners have 12+ year-old panels that are still going strong.

I agree with Jeff that it is very hard to answer the question about storage vs use. My approach would be to ignore the information that the speakers have been stored, and treat them like any other 10-14 year-old speaker - be prepared to replace some of the components. I still think that a $1000CDN pair of Aerius, even adding the possible cost of new panels is a hi-fidelity deal.

I'm based in Calgary which means next-to-no humidity. It's unbelievably arid here - on the average. It's so dry, I catch my dogs using moisturizing cream.

Anyway, undeterred - I think my interest is keen if I can get the price ($1500 Can) down somewhat. Otherwise, I think my interest is keen enough to keep looking!
I just replaced my CLS panels because of two issues. First of all I purchased them from the origianl owner a year ago. These were new in November 1990. They were the original panels so that makes them almost 15 years old! One of the panels developed a buzz which was opne of the stiffeners that had come loose but I could not tell which one and the other one was "fuller" in sound. This is what SkySaw was referring to in his post.

Expect/plan for some additional cost :eek: and but it is an investment and will bring you hours of joy! :D