SL3 resurrection attempt

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gwyko

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I recently got my SL3's out of storage and I am looking forward to enjoying them again. One of the two seems to be working as it should - at least is making full range sounds - but the other is not. When I plug it in the little red light comes on but it does not seem as if the stator is getting power - the faint sounds it makes seem exactly the same whether the power cord is attached or not.

I have tried all the normal user troubleshooting I can think of with the power itself - different outlets - different power cords and the like - so it isn't something super obvious like that, unfortunately!

I have emailed Martin Logan and while I await a reply, I just wondered if anyone here has had experience with such a problem and generally invite any feedback on what might explain this problem, if there is any "easy fix" etc etc.
 

MickyP

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Maybe check the panel connections. You might be able to see them if you remove the woofer grille, else you'll have to remove the panel. Quite often they drop and the grille chomps a wire.
 
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gwyko

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Hey! After more troubleshooting everything is FINE! (Except maybe my previous trouble shooting!)

I swear I tried different outlets, different power cords, eliminated the basic things I could think of. But I must have had some missteps because when I stripped it all down and tried again with different everything, both speakers are working!

Could possibly still be some sort of loose connection inside. Then again, it may have been nothing more than me just not getting the power cords I was trying to seat properly into the IEC socket on the speaker - some seem to sit in there better than others. Maybe that is all it was!

For the moment I am content to say the problem is resolved!

Thanks for all feedback!
 

JonFo

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Good to hear you got it going again.

But don't discount a possible loose connection somewhere. There are lots of connection points between the rear terminals and the panels themselves.
 

gwyko

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Jonathan - very good point. It does "feel" like it could be something along those lines and I'll have to keep watching out for a recurrance. Up to now I have never had to take them apart, so I am reluctant to do so unless truly necessary!
 

gwyko

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Well, last night I had another incident where that same speaker went silent (silent in the stator only, just like before). What preceded this? I swapped out a source component and mildly altered how things were plugged in. I did not move the speaker; I did not change the wiring going in to the speaker. But I did plug the power for the speaker in differently - such that both speakers essentially shared one outlet (with an adapter; I was running out of outlets). After some further rearranging I got it to work again. Could it be something about the amount of power that the speaker draws and some sensitivity to what outlet it shares with other things? I could do some further troubleshooting but haven't yet.
 

JonFo

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This is sounding more and more like an issue with the power cord, or the EIC power inlet on the SL3. The good news: this is dirt simple to solve.

First, replace the power cord with a known working, newer, one.

If you still have the issue, then time to pull off the electronics panel from the SL3 and replace the EIC connector on it. That will require re-soldering the leads to the new Inlet, but it's just wires and no sensitive electronics involved, so even a newbie should do fine.
See my SL3XC build thread (link in my sig) for pics of the SL3 electronics panel.

On an SL3 (and other non-powered Gen1 models) the power draw is <5W, so negligible demand, any old power cord will do.
I always giggle when folks post pics of expensive power cords on non-powered models, a total waste of money performance-wise. But maybe worth it to them for the bling-factor.
 

gwyko

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Yes indeed the back panel of the SL3 says “maximum current draw 0,1 amp”. Barely a trickle! Should just use a battery!!

But... I am here to report that I have found a power cord that seems to mate up more firmly to the socket and all has been well for some good little while now.

one thing I have learned is that relying on the little red light on the front to tell if power is attached or not is notas helpful as it might be. I guess it lights when power is supplied and when a signal arrives. But it continues to glow for some time (at least in some circumstances) even when power is removed. Indeed the panel itself continues to put out sound for a while even when power is removed.

the upshot is it can be a little bit hard to know when your (my!) power cord is or isn’t actually attached.

it would be nice to have a little power indicator on the back next to the IEC connector which would simply show whether it is or is not getting power ... but now I am picking nits.

what does the little red light indicate anyway?
 

Bernard

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On an SL3 (and other non-powered Gen1 models) the power draw is <5W, so negligible demand, any old power cord will do.
I always giggle when folks post pics of expensive power cords on non-powered models, a total waste of money performance-wise. But maybe worth it to them for the bling-factor.
Jonathan, re your giggling (hard to imagine, lol!), on a recommendation from Moon (the MLO member, not the Reverend), I replaced the power cords on my SL 3s with two dedicated Foundation Research LC1 line conditioners, which resulted in a very noticeable improvement in sound. And yes, I do appreciate that a line conditioner is different from a power cord.
 

MickyP

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Re above, in my earlier SL3 ownership stages, I purchased some 'special' mains cables (read 'expensive'). Sadly I thought they sounded naff (very poor), so returned them for a refund, but they DID make a difference to my mind, or ears... :)

Clearly cables polarise opinions and witchcraft is involved. If you buy on a trial or return basis, it's not a big gamble if you want to experiment.

* Just to add I had tried a handful of streamer cables and even a silly expensive one (over £1000) and preferred one of the cheaper ones - expensive does not mean good, nor does the reputation of the manufacturers count for much in what is a very personalised environment. Hmmm, I huddled into the corner and used a £4 cable from ebay to good effect. Later, more confident, I took the plunge and tried a £15 cable from a different manufacturer. It knocked the socks off everything before. Me = very pleased. So I guess it's what suits your system and ears. Cables are a lottery, but worth exploring if you purchase on a trial or return basis.
 
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gwyko

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Way back in the years when these SL3s were in daily use in my living room I did have them hooked up with some *relatively* fancy power cords. They were super short and quite thick, making them tricky to manage. My current thinking is they probably didn't really make a sonic difference but it was kind of fun to look at these serious looking devices!
 

JonFo

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what does the little red light indicate anyway?
Good to hear it's resolved. The light indicates that the diaphragm high-voltage circuit is energized.
So it's off until the music-sense circuit triggers the HV board to 'turn on' and it energizes the diaphragm. Since there is very little current draw, even once the power cord is removed (or the music-sense cuts power), the light stays on until the circuit drains, which can be several minutes.
 

JonFo

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I replaced the power cords on my SL 3s with two dedicated Foundation Research LC1 line conditioners, which resulted in a very noticeable improvement in sound. And yes, I do appreciate that a line conditioner is different from a power cord.
Heh, true, an LC network on a power cable will potentially mitigate power-line harmonics.

And note: It's not that I think any power or cord will do. But once the cord meets rated specs for current/voltage, anything more is wasted.
But feeding it good quality, filtered power is always going to help. Note that I run the most complex power subsystem around, and use that balanced (technical) power to feed my ESLs to good results. Balanced power mitigates any common-mode noise that might want to creep in anywhere along the power system, including the wiring inside the cabinet.
The power cables on my MLs are the original factory cables, which are nothing special, but they work.
 
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