Piercing midrange resonance with a pair of Scenarios... confused!

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fjhuerta

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Hello all!

I last posted here when the forum was on the old system... it's nice to see the new format!

Well, long story short. I used to own a pair of Scenarios, which I could never get to sound right. Today, I recovered them.

The speakers are in great condition. The thing is, they have some sort of issue in the midrange. It looks as if the midrange was exaggerated (around the vocal range) and when I listen to them at high volumes, I end up with a headache. The midrange is piercing and loud... it basically hurts.

Now that I have the speakers I'm thinking about what to do to fix the situation. My plan is as follows:

1) Disassemble the speaker, check the crossover.
2) Take the stator out, shower it.
3) Clean everything, reassemble the speaker.

Then, I'm thinking about using a Scott 290 tubed power amp with a tube pre, and see how it goes.

I'm wondering, though... is this midrange sound a characteristic of the Scenarios... can I do something about it???

Thanks!
 

roberto

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fjhuerta said:
Hello all!

I last posted here when the forum was on the old system... it's nice to see the new format!

Well, long story short. I used to own a pair of Scenarios, which I could never get to sound right. Today, I recovered them.

The speakers are in great condition. The thing is, they have some sort of issue in the midrange. It looks as if the midrange was exaggerated (around the vocal range) and when I listen to them at high volumes, I end up with a headache. The midrange is piercing and loud... it basically hurts.

Now that I have the speakers I'm thinking about what to do to fix the situation. My plan is as follows:

1) Disassemble the speaker, check the crossover.
2) Take the stator out, shower it.
3) Clean everything, reassemble the speaker.

Then, I'm thinking about using a Scott 290 tubed power amp with a tube pre, and see how it goes.

I'm wondering, though... is this midrange sound a characteristic of the Scenarios... can I do something about it???

Thanks!
Hola. Sometimes your problem is due to your power amp...when you play it loud, then sometimes the amp gets to its limit of power clipping at midrange only. I don´t think that you have a problem with them, IMHO I think that what you need is a bigger power amp. The sensitivity of the Scenario are less than 87 dBs/metter. Before you take it apart, try them with a bigger amp, and perhaps you had solved the problem. Remember, to get only 3 dBs louder, you need the double of the power that you are using...hope this can help...happy listening,
Roberto.
 
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SugarMedia

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It sounds like you have a very bright room. What have you done to dampen some of the reflective waves that might be confusing the clarity of your system?
 
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dyazdani

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I agree, I would look to your room as the first source of the problem. Harsh sound at high volume is very common in an untreated room.
 
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fjhuerta

Guest
The long story of my Scenarios...

Oops, I think I should clarify what the story is of said speakers...

I bought them from a local department store back in 2002 or 2003 (I can't remember). They were the demo model. Back then, I used them with a Harman / Kardon HK6650R integrated amp, and had the midrange problem. They were being used in an open room with a tall (9 meters) ceiling.

I talked about this with my dealer, who suggested an Adcom amp (the GFA 5400, 120W at 8 ohms, 200W at 4 ohms). The problem continued. Another dealer loaned me a SS 400W RMS amp, to see if this helped my problems. No luck - the midrange still was bothersome.

I then got a tube preamp (a Bottlehead Foreplay II) and gave the speakers to my parents. They kept them for some 2 years, until they heard one of my DIY speakers (coincidentally, one with the Bohlender Graebener tweeters - the ones used in the new generation of ML's), and asked me to change the ML's for them. The reason? "They are so strident we can't really tolerate them" (oops).

I had tried listening to the speakers in a treated room using Eighth Nerve panels, a huge open room, a small closed room...

I wonder whether this is a characteristic of the Scenarios, if the panels were damaged since I bought the speakers, or if, since they are the cheap Logans, the more expensive ones sound better... :confused:

BTW, I showered the panels yesterday, and I was very surprised to see how incredibly dirty the speakers were. I had to use detergent on the cabinets, and the cloth I used came out completely black.

The panels have one other thing I never noticed. They have black "dots" almost everywhere. I wonder - could they be damaged, or is this "normal"? The "dots" didn't disappear after showering the panels.
 

SugarMedia

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fjhuerta said:
The panels have one other thing I never noticed. They have black "dots" almost everywhere. I wonder - could they be damaged, or is this "normal"? The "dots" didn't disappear after showering the panels.
Black dots.... is it mold??

All I can say is that many of my friends have commented specifically on the mid-range of my system and said "it's the easiest thing they have ever heard on their ears. One went as far to say, 'it doesn't even sound this good at a Live event."

Also, I don't believe there is a "Cheap" pair of Logans out there, less expensive, yes. Gayle wouldn't dare have his name associated with a speaker that didn't pass certain tests that he deemed hi-fi for the given speaker.

Maybe you ultimately need to reinvest in new panels.

Good luck.
 
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fjhuerta

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SugarMedia said:
Black dots.... is it mold??



Maybe you ultimately need to reinvest in new panels.

Good luck.
I'm very worried about this. I had always dreamed about owning a pair of 'Logans, just because of their midrange magic. I have heard the new generation with the Bohlender Graebener mids and tweeters, and they still sound magical.

I'm starting to believe my speakers were abused while they were being used as a demo pair...

The little black dots I'm talking about... when I looked at the ESL panels while washing them, they looked like smudges... as if they had lots of dirt in them I thought washing them would do the trick, but it didn't. The dots are still there. Could it be possible that my dealer abused them, and the panels "zapped" and burned the mylar film?
 

DTB300

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fjhuerta said:
The little black dots I'm talking about... when I looked at the ESL panels while washing them, they looked like smudges... as if they had lots of dirt in them I thought washing them would do the trick, but it didn't. The dots are still there. Could it be possible that my dealer abused them, and the panels "zapped" and burned the mylar film?
When I cleaned my Sequel II's, they too had the black dots on them (as I bought them used) After having them cleaned at "Dan's ML Cleaning Service", the dots were still there, but less prominent. While the panels did sound better after cleaning - brighter and more open sounding, I still want to replace them someday with new ones. Problem is I just have to keep from purchasing other items for the system :D

BTW, I do not think they were abused, just old age on the panels.

Dan
 

Jeff Zaret

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As a guess, I am thining the "black dots" were dust particles that may have scarred the panel or discolored the panel. I do see them on my Sequel II's and have seen them on the CLSiiZ's. In my experience it was dust and vacuuming removed them.

It just may be time to decide whether investing in new panels or a new pair of ML's is the next step.

Good Luck and as always we are here to help.

Jeff :cool:
 
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beanbag

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I could think of a few possible causes:

Amp is oscillating. Check with a scope. You might have to run longer, more inductive speaker cables to fix this

Something is broken and rattling. Play a swept test tone to check for any resonances.

I don't really consider an 8th nerve room to be treated.

Maybe something in the electronics is broken, like the crossover?
 
F

fjhuerta

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beanbag said:
I could think of a few possible causes:

Amp is oscillating. Check with a scope. You might have to run longer, more inductive speaker cables to fix this

Something is broken and rattling. Play a swept test tone to check for any resonances.

I don't really consider an 8th nerve room to be treated.

Maybe something in the electronics is broken, like the crossover?
Hi!

I don't know about the amp oscillating, though I did use braided CAT5 wires (not a good idea with MartinLogans, I now assume). I'm now using PS Audio Statement speaker cable.

The speaker is fine. After dissassembling it, I didn't find any visible damage. The crossover was OK, too.

As for the 8th Nerve treatment... my wife won't let me try anything more visilbe than that. In a living room, where the MartinLogans will be used, acoustic treatment looks ugly, anyway.

Cleaning the 'Logans was an interesting experience, though. The speakers were far beyond filthy - they looked as if someone had used them in a garage shop. After washing the panels throughly and letting them dry, the speakers looked simply stunning - I had never seen them look so nice before.

I have been listening to them lately. They sound great. I don't know if the horrid midrange went away, but I think so!
 
F

fjhuerta

Guest
OK, after listening to the speakers for a while, this is what I found...

The speakers still have that annoying midrange "hootiness" or "resonance".

Some recordings have it, some don't.

The Ascents I heard at my dealer had the exact same sonic characteristic. They were using a big Rotel MC amp - I'm using a Rotel RB-1070.

Out of desperation, and a desire not to sell something I had wished for so long, I installed my vintage Scott 290 tube amp with my heavily modded Bottlehead Foreplay II preamp.

Well, I can now say most of the annoying midrange is gone now. I don't know if it's the wild impedance curve the reason why a tube amp could tame the Logans the way no SS amp could, or the relative lack of power (44WPC) of the vintage amp, or second order distortion of tubes... but my speakers now sound tolerable.

I'm beginning to think I understand the ML sound... it's clear, it's spotless, fast, incredibly detailed... but maybe there's too much of a good thing :) Sadly, I think these are not the speakers for me. After 3 or so years of trying, I'm ready to move on. This is not to say the speakers are bad in any way - I'm sure there's an amazing amount of R&D, and I'm convinced many people will love their bold looks and their sonic qualities - they are just not my cup of tea. It feels fine to finally admit defeat, I guess :)
 
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