Removing LEDs For Improved Sound

MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum

Help Support MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

Dan Osib

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2005
Reaction score
Years ago when I purchased my Moth Monoblock Power Amps I noticed the LED light on the front of each case was not working. However, I was blown away by the sheer cleaness of sound they produced so I forgot about this niggle for a week or so. Eventually I had the amps shipped back to the manufacturer to replace the existing non functional LEDs with a set that worked. When I got them back and played music through them again I noticed a slight shoutiness/distress in the sound quality when the volume reached 12 o'clock or higher. This flaw was not audible before the amps were sent back, so I assumed that the manufacturer had damaged them in some way. I complained to them via telephone and they assured me they had only replaced the LEDs and nothing else. Still I was bitterly dissapointed and gave the amps to my brother and instead turned to using a cheap Arcam power amp in my system. A few years passed and I took the Moth amps back from my brother to see if the shoutiness had subsided, it hadn't. Then I had the idea of removing the LEDs altogether so I snipped them off at the circuit board. WOW!! the shoutiness dissapeared and my system could now go louder without the distortion or distress it had with the LEDs in place. You see an LED saps on some of the important electrical current from the power supplies of an amp to light it up, resulting in less than optimal sound quality. The result is a slight audible distortion when the volume gets high. Try removing the LEDs on Martin Logans for a slightly cleaner sound also.
Last edited:
Dan, though I do like the idea,
LED's only draw about 20mA, so I disagree about the power usage.
You may find the circuit that drives the LED isn't designed very well,
and this introduces noise or distortion into the amplifier, which would explain the cleaner sound after the LED had been cut off the circuit board.

I find LED's more of a visual distraction myself. :cool:

Just my 0.02 cents,


i bet you can't even messure the voltage that the led is using, it seems a little unbeliveable but if you say so it must be. it seems like a lot of trouble to take the led out of the logans, so i will pass. thanks for the input.
Actually you are right and wrong. Just because the voltage use of the LED may not show up in measuring equipment doesn't mean the distortion is not there. The most important piece of measuring equipment is your ears, and they hear this problem. If you think it's just me you'd be wrong as my friend who runs a hifi store here (The Hi-Fi Company) also could hear it. He also noticed the shoutiness/distortion disappeared after the LEDs had been removed. As well as members of my family.
Last edited:
I like these kinds of Threads,
As they expand our preconcieved ideas of what should work, and what doesn't.

I myself, do believe that small changes to equipment can result into big sound improvements.

I will have my Quest speakers apart to replace the Stators within the next couple of weeks, so I will be looking to improve the sound as I go.

Hopefully this will prove a good step up in performance. :cool:

Keep the constructive comments comming, as they create healthy opinions ;)


i belive you, as you say the ears are the true story, happy listening.

I do not think the Quests have any LED's to take out.... :confused:
That is true Eric, For my Quest, but my Aerius i's do. ;)
But there are plenty of other areas to look at.

Capacitor replacement,
Removing the Circuit boards and replace with Hard Wiring.

Internal wiring replaced.

Hmmm, What else, we will have to see.

lexor said:
i bet you can't even messure the voltage that the led is using, it seems a little unbeliveable but if you say so it must be. it seems like a lot of trouble to take the led out of the logans, so i will pass. thanks for the input.

Just to straighten this quote up... Led's require at least .7v to forward bias and produce light. This is easily measured on a multimeter and while it shouldn't affect a high output signal, if introduced to your low voltage inputs, it could cause distortion, though you'd think manufacturers wouldn't be that careless.

My CLS does not have any led's. No wonder they sound so good ;)