Repanelling ML Clarity's

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roni44

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Hi neil5m,

Thank you so much for sharing your re-paneling process :bowdown:. I live in Taiwan and recently gotten a pair of Clarity shipped from Japan. Luckily, mine pair has been perform flawless and sounds even better after a quick wash. I'm in the process of replacing original feet that comes with the speaker, from your photo, I can't quite make out what do you use? would you mind sharing? does the slate improves the sound? I have tile flooring?
 

Jazzman53

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Hi JonFo, thank you very much for your kind words and apologies for the delayed reply. I've learned so much going through forum posts from you, Roberto, Tom, etc. which made it possible for me to at least try and improve my ESL's.
Unfortunately just last week, my toddler son proceeded to poke two holes through the Mylar, thankfully no damage to the sound or quality. A month on, the licron crystal coating works well with no loss of highs even in high humidity and wet weather.
Congratulations on your excellent rebuild and thread. Empowering, isn't it?

You needn't worry about the Licron Crystal-- it's very durable. The only time I've heard of anyone having a problem with it, it was thinned down with a solvent and wiped on, in an attempt to further reduce it's thickness. I don't know why anyone would take such a risk because it only adds 2 microns when sprayed on in one wet coat per the can instructions.
 
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neil5m

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neil5m,

Just wondering - as per above your orginal spars were 0.6mm (rear) and 0.2mm front and finally you used spars with more thickness (front spar 0.2mm -> 0.6mm).
What is the reason for this? As this triples stator-membrane distance I would expect some audible effect resulting in lower SPL. Can you please let me know how this sounds comparing to orginal ones?

rgds
-jacek
Hi jacek

From post#19 (you refered to post#11 above), this is what I actually did:

Rear Spars: Tape+Spar+Tape = 0.2mm+0.6mm+0.2mm = 1mm
Front Spars: Tape + Spar + Tape + Tape = 0.2mm+0.2mm+0.2mm+0.2mm= 0.8mm
NOTE: When I took apart the panels, it seemed that the front stator was only 0.6mm away from the diaphragm. I took a chance at adding an extra 0.2mm layer of tape to make it a total of 0.8mm. On testing, it worked well, no problem.


So I compromised and did a 0.8mm for the front (instead of 0.6mm) and 1mm for the rear. My rudimentary reasoning (in hindsight) is that the tensioned Mylar tends to indent slightly between two spars and not remain in line. See the second picture in post#33. It seems like it curves towards the rear stator when under tension. Maybe that curving action evens out the distance. I did not notice any difference in sound quality compared to the original.

(updt Mar2020: I've reverted back to 0.6mm as I learned the distance affects SPL)

If anyone knows the answer, pls let us know!
 
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neil5m

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Hi neil5m,

Thank you so much for sharing your re-paneling process :bowdown:. I live in Taiwan and recently gotten a pair of Clarity shipped from Japan. Luckily, mine pair has been perform flawless and sounds even better after a quick wash. I'm in the process of replacing original feet that comes with the speaker, from your photo, I can't quite make out what do you use? would you mind sharing? does the slate improves the sound? I have tile flooring?


Hi Roni, Glad to know your Clarity sounds good. I especially like this model as the NAC tweeter compensates for any fidelity loss when you aren't sitting in the sweet spot. Makes it family friendly. I use ML Spikes. Picked it off some website, possibly OregonDV. If you have tile flooring, use wood or spike pads underneath the spikes. I haven't noticed any difference between having them on the grey slate tile or wood floor. I used the tile because the spikes damaged the wood floor.

What I believe made a difference was replacing the old internal power supplies. One failed and I replaced both. That I would say did make a difference to sound quality (less laid back sounding). The new internal power supply has a different layout compared to the older one. I also stuffed the bass port with heavy sponge which made bass more punchy and less confused.

I use the Claritys with a Parasound A23 power amp which anyway has excellent damping and an Anthem MRX710. I've put a Rock-grotto upgraded MF X-10D tube buffer between them with Russian Voskhod 6H23N tubes courtesy Mike (of Rock-grotto). This tube buffer with the Voskhod has made a HUGE difference to quality and musicality. I've been able to pump up the upper bass and improve voices with Amperex tubes to improving overall presentation and clarity with the Voskhod tubes. The experimentation never ends, so stopped with the Amperex and Voskhod. Am happy.
 
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neil5m

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Congratulations on your excellent rebuild and thread. Empowering, isn't it?

You needn't worry about the Licron Crystal-- it's very durable. The only time I've heard of anyone having a problem with it, it was thinned down with a solvent and wiped on, in an attempt to further reduce it's thickness. I don't know why anyone would take such a risk because it only adds 2 microns when sprayed on in one wet coat per the can instructions.

Absolutely, this was empowering and educative at the same time! I first read your DIY page and from that got the guts to DIY. I've quoted your research on Diaphragm/Stator Spacing & Span Between Support Spacers in my post#5. You are an inspiration!

The Licron Crystal is still going strong. Glad I made the effort to source it. It couldn't be shipped to HK being classified a hazardous good. Even Couriers refused to carry it. The trading co I got in touch with in China literally passed along a network of people in China to a contact who hand carried across the border between China and HK!
 

jacek-k-wawa

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Hi,

Thanks for your reply.
I was struggling a bit with proper thickness of spars for my Summits. When I measured thickness of original spars I recovered from my panels I got 0.8mm for rear and only 0.2mm for front. This is thickness of plastic 'core' of the spars, completely cleaned from any glue remains. Together with glue film that perhaps gives somewhere around 0.4mm for front and 1mm for back spars and this is what I achieved in my re-foiled panels. Was a bit skeptic about such small distance mylar to stator but have not noticed any issues related to mylar hitting stator, even for high SPL. I guess for such small gap the key factor is to have stators that exactly keep their original curvature and physical 'flatness' without any deformation which are quite easy to get while you apply some force for panel disassembly.

I also noticed that mylar tends to lay-down in between spars towards to back stator. As per my experience the only solution for this is to use as little as possible or not at all horizontal tension while you stretch membrane, but sometimes it is difficult to get rid of wrinkles without this.

rgds
-jacek





Hi jacek

From post#19 (you refered to post#11 above), this is what I actually did:

Rear Spars: Tape+Spar+Tape = 0.2mm+0.6mm+0.2mm = 1mm
Front Spars: Tape + Spar + Tape + Tape = 0.2mm+0.2mm+0.2mm+0.2mm= 0.8mm
NOTE: When I took apart the panels, it seemed that the front stator was only 0.6mm away from the diaphragm. I took a chance at adding an extra 0.2mm layer of tape to make it a total of 0.8mm. On testing, it worked well, no problem.


So I compromised and did a 0.8mm for the front (instead of 0.6mm) and 1mm for the rear. My rudimentary reasoning (in hindsight) is that the tensioned Mylar tends to indent slightly between two spars and not remain in line. See the second picture in post#33. It seems like it curves towards the rear stator when under tension. Maybe that curving action evens out the distance. I did not notice any difference in sound quality compared to the original.

If anyone knows the answer, pls let us know!
 

roni44

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Hi Neil, thanks for getting back to me, I will ask OregonDV if they ship international and use disc underneath to be safe. For music, I do not sue NAC at all, and since I'm only doing 2ch music and movies, during movies I'm too lazy to get up and turn on the NAC.

Saw your post for replacing power supplies, how much was it shipped to you if you don't mind sharing. I might do the same stuffing sponges or possible dynomat the entire cabinet.

Currently I'm running Clarity with Primare A30.1mkii with Oppo 205 as source and DAC. Speakers about 2.5ft away from the back wall and about 7ft apart. I have adjust the speaker's raking angle perpendicular per recommendation here, I do believe sounds better compare to factory original angle, but I think do lose tiny bit of soundstage.
 

neil5m

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Hi Neil, thanks for getting back to me, I will ask OregonDV if they ship international and use disc underneath to be safe. For music, I do not sue NAC at all, and since I'm only doing 2ch music and movies, during movies I'm too lazy to get up and turn on the NAC.

Saw your post for replacing power supplies, how much was it shipped to you if you don't mind sharing. I might do the same stuffing sponges or possible dynomat the entire cabinet.

Currently I'm running Clarity with Primare A30.1mkii with Oppo 205 as source and DAC. Speakers about 2.5ft away from the back wall and about 7ft apart. I have adjust the speaker's raking angle perpendicular per recommendation here, I do believe sounds better compare to factory original angle, but I think do lose tiny bit of soundstage.
Hi Roni, The power supplies cost US$95 each with shipping approx US$25. If your speakers sound good already with strong mids, highs and good voicing, I suggest spending the money instead on a standard tube buffer and tubes instead. That would make a bigger difference to sound quality. You have a great amp already.
 

roni44

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Hi Neil, regarding to power supply, I think I will order together with new panel when the time comes (wondering how much improvement for new panel esp. with gen 4 panel). While I enjoy Oppo 205, but the built in DAC for 2ch somehow doesn't sound that musical to my ear, therefore, I am looking into new DAC and tube buffer per your suggestion. I'm not sure if you ever visit review33.com from HK, once a while, ML do show up for sale at a very attractive price.
 

Wildcat Rudy

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It was interesting to read about the failure of the original brush-on fluid here. I have that kit from ER Audio but never have had time or patience to deal with this. (I posted a few years ago in this thread about my Sequel IIs.) I would have been a bit cheesed off, had that coating failed on me in only three years. We do have humidity here, so this was not good to hear. So I'm glad I actually put this off and didn't bother with all the work, and it makes my decision easier to dump these out at the curb on trash night--nobody local wants these.
 

neil5m

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I share your feelings Rudy. Even the Licron Crystal coating is affected by humidity though much less than the ER Audio. As a consolation I keep the NAC tweeter always on to add highs to the music, else it sounds dull. On dry days, the sound is much better. It has to do with how the charge is affected by humidity and I guess also how the coating is applied. ML says they do it such that the coating binds at a molecular level. I would love to get a new set of panels and see the difference, but that would mean I'd have the most expensive pair of ML Clarity's out there....nah!!
 
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neil5m

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It was interesting to read about the failure of the original brush-on fluid here. I have that kit from ER Audio but never have had time or patience to deal with this. (I posted a few years ago in this thread about my Sequel IIs.) I would have been a bit cheesed off, had that coating failed on me in only three years. We do have humidity here, so this was not good to hear. So I'm glad I actually put this off and didn't bother with all the work, and it makes my decision easier to dump these out at the curb on trash night--nobody local wants these.
I'd suggest selling the parts individually - power supplies, crossover, panel etc. Would be takers.
 

neil5m

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It was interesting to read about the failure of the original brush-on fluid here. I have that kit from ER Audio but never have had time or patience to deal with this. (I posted a few years ago in this thread about my Sequel IIs.) I would have been a bit cheesed off, had that coating failed on me in only three years. We do have humidity here, so this was not good to hear. So I'm glad I actually put this off and didn't bother with all the work, and it makes my decision easier to dump these out at the curb on trash night--nobody local wants these.
Hi Rudy, it seems the Licron Crystal coating has failed too. Its been a little over a year and I have to bump my preamp (Anthem MRX710) nearly +10db treble -6db bass and +10db level on the fronts for it to sound "ok". Pretty much means the coating is failing. Really frustrating. Am seriously considering buying a pair of panels or redoing it myself but this time with pre-coated polyester film. I've come across a few, much too thick, but lets see who will get back. One is ESD Films made by Vampire Optical Coatings in Ohio and the other called TMF300 by SciCron Tech in Texas. The Vampire film seems good, correct thickness etc. The Scicron TMF300 is perfect but I have to wait to see if they have the correct thickness (6-25microns). If none of them work out then I guess i'll replace with the ML panels or junk them.
 

neil5m

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Congratulations on your excellent rebuild and thread. Empowering, isn't it?

You needn't worry about the Licron Crystal-- it's very durable. The only time I've heard of anyone having a problem with it, it was thinned down with a solvent and wiped on, in an attempt to further reduce it's thickness. I don't know why anyone would take such a risk because it only adds 2 microns when sprayed on in one wet coat per the can instructions.
Hi Jazzman, it looks that the Licron Crystal coating has lasted a little over a year and is now failing. I have to really bump up the preamp for the panels to sound just ok and still muffled. Visually the coating looks fine. Its happened to both speakers so I assume it cannot be the electronics and has to be the coating on the panels. If i rebuild the panels, this time I will use pre-coated mylar. It is available but not easy to source due to thickness and quantity. Else I've read that metallised mylar may also work though visually is not appealing. Hoping to hear some of your thoughts. I'll ask JonFo too about increasing the voltage. Maybe that would help.
 

neil5m

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First, thanks so much for all the detail in this this thread. That's an impressive amount of effort put into preserving / improving your ESLs.

Good to hear the whistling sound diminished/went away, as it could be leakage.

Well done!
Hi JonFo, quite disappointing to note that the coating on the panels seems to be failing. Its muffled and I have to really bump up the treble and lower the bass as well as room correction for it to sound ok. Is it possible that over time the Licron Crystal characteristics have changed and possibly higher panel voltage is required? If so, I have the schematics of the board from ML and wonder if any of it can be modded to increase the voltage safely. Looking for your input and permission to send you the schematics. Thanks.
 

JonFo

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Hi JonFo, quite disappointing to note that the coating on the panels seems to be failing. Its muffled and I have to really bump up the treble and lower the bass as well as room correction for it to sound ok. Is it possible that over time the Licron Crystal characteristics have changed and possibly higher panel voltage is required? If so, I have the schematics of the board from ML and wonder if any of it can be modded to increase the voltage safely. Looking for your input and permission to send you the schematics. Thanks.
If the coating is failing to conduct the bias voltage as efficiently as before, then yes, increasing the voltage *might* improve volume, but possibly at the risk of causing an even more rapid degradation in the coating. So probably not worth the effort to mess with the bias voltage electronics.

Do you have an electrostatic charge meter? And do you have baseline metrics for recently made vs now?

Here's an old thread on input voltage changes and impact on panel output, it has a discussion of an Electrostatic Voltmeter and HV changes that might be helpful: http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?4703-More-Volts-More-better-sound/page2

Double-checking that the problem is not the HV electronics is also recommended. Maybe something in them is going, so do measure (carefully).
 

neil5m

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If the coating is failing to conduct the bias voltage as efficiently as before, then yes, increasing the voltage *might* improve volume, but possibly at the risk of causing an even more rapid degradation in the coating. So probably not worth the effort to mess with the bias voltage electronics.

Do you have an electrostatic charge meter? And do you have baseline metrics for recently made vs now?

Here's an old thread on input voltage changes and impact on panel output, it has a discussion of an Electrostatic Voltmeter and HV changes that might be helpful: http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?4703-More-Volts-More-better-sound/page2

Double-checking that the problem is not the HV electronics is also recommended. Maybe something in them is going, so do measure (carefully).
Hi Jon, I don't have an electrostatic charge meter. Checked online, they are expensive. Instead i've ordered for a surface resistivity meter $20 which should give an indication as to whether the coating has changed (will take the panels apart). From the forum, the anti-static coating should be around 10^6 to 10^9 for ML's. The Licron Crystal coating is in that range. I have some of the Licron Crystal left, so will test a bit of that too as new.

I've also contacted PET and metallised PET suppliers from China. I'm looking for factory coated anti-static PET film with similar surface resistivity in 6um to 15um thickness. Instead of spray-on anti-static, this would be easier. I checked on PET with an ITO coating and high transparency but the thinnest they have is 25um. They suggested I use an aluminium coating (metallised) instead with high transparency which would come in 6-10um. In fact one of the forum members has successfully repanelled his Logos using metallised Mylar. He had to play around with the stator distance to prevent sparking but it worked. I will use clear polyimide tape to insulate the stators from the metallised mylar wrap around.

Should this not be successful, then I've read about Statclear A50 which the manufacturer says is also used by ESL makers : https://www.electroguardpaint.com/statclear-and-esl-audio-speakers/ I'll look for the acrylic base instead of polymer base (Licron crystal is polymer based). Not sure how important the base is.

Any other suggestions which do not require too much work are welcome!
 

roni44

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I share your feelings Rudy. Even the Licron Crystal coating is affected by humidity though much less than the ER Audio. As a consolation I keep the NAC tweeter always on to add highs to the music, else it sounds dull. On dry days, the sound is much better. It has to do with how the charge is affected by humidity and I guess also how the coating is applied. ML says they do it such that the coating binds at a molecular level. I would love to get a new set of panels and see the difference, but that would mean I'd have the most expensive pair of ML Clarity's out there....nah!!
Quotation from ML for new set of Clarity panels is 833USD plus S&H, :(:(:(
 

neil5m

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Quotation from ML for new set of Clarity panels is 833USD plus S&H, :(:(:(
Yeah, expensive. Was about to make the purchase but with the coronovirus in HK hurting the economy, better to save up!

I'm checking around for factory coated (static dissipative) Mylar with surface resistivity (SR) between 10^6 and 10^9. The SR number is what I got from the forums. This supplier is based in Taiwan, but it looks too thick from their spec. Maybe they have thinner film.
https://tw1017762468.fm.alibaba.com...lm.html?spm=a2700.12714957.0.0.71f67a31pXVitA

I also ordered a surface resistivity meter. Was cheaper than buying an electrostatic field meter.

I'll open up the panels and check the SR of the coating to see if/how much it has dropped/risen. Maybe the charge is just not travelling from the copper strip to the diaphragm. Read somewhere about coronisation of the copper strip along the edges hence charge not travelling where the coating meets the copper strip. Will report back once I start.
 
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neil5m

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Neil Woods of Edson Electronics (Electroguardpaint) is kindly sending me a sample of their Statclear coating. He said "Statclear sits at around 10(7)-10(8) but usually at 10(7). Once on it does not deteriorate. We have examples sprayed onto glass windows in our office which are showing the exact same reading as when they were first applied 4 years ago". It is water based so can be wiped off with a wet cloth. I will coat the diaphragm with Statclear and check the surface resistivity. Would be interesting to see how a water based coating would behave in high humidity conditions of Hong Kong.
 
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