SL3 upgrade

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sam

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Hello all,
I have been using SL3's for over 6 yrs and love them. I am beginning to explore an upgrade for them.
I have the SL3's connected to a vandersteen 2Wq, which provides a substantial improvement.
the main concern is the the SL3's sound a little thin and would like to find something with more substance.
I mainly listen to hard bop and bop jazz, mid 1950's-mid to late 1960's. Mainly vinyl some digital.
I love the sound of electrostatics so that would be my first preference however I am open to suggestions.
Thanks

Sam
 
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gaffman

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Sam,
I have a couple of questions about your system.

1. What are you using to power your ML's? A receiver or an amp/pre-amp combo?

2. Are you running your outputs through the Vandersteen sub and then into the ML's or are you running outputs to the sub and ML's seperately?

Carl
 

Jeff Zaret

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Sam,
gaffman is right. A little more details. Also have you vacuumed the panels lately? Bi-amping, bi-wiring? :confused:

I was told when I just purchased my new preamp that I would lose a lot if I ran to the sub first and then back out to the amp. My configuration sounds wonderful and I am running everything full with no frequency cut off. I have Sequel II's but I am running this now through my CLSiiZ's. My Sequels I use for rear channels. :D

Jeff
 

jjqiv

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What is the rest of system, the room size and speaker placement?

I have very similar taste in music and the same speaker. My system used to sound a thin. I wouldn't say that now:

Speakers
Main: SL3 (five feet out from front wall, 2 feet from the sides
Sub: Klipsh SW10 (10” sealed with passive radiator)Room: 13x20x8

Amp: Aragon 8008X5 (bi-amping SL3's plus running Cinema)
Preamp: Audio Research LS2B (Hybrid)

Turntable: Clear Audio Champion Level 1 Table
Tone arm: RB 300 Arm, Expressimo Heavy Weight, Quint wiring
Cartridge: Clear Audio Virtuoso Wood
Phono Stage: EAR 834P (Hot Rodded, upgraded Caps/Resistors,
One coupling Capacitor removed and hand biased)
Record Cleaner:VPI 16.5

Cables
Pre to Amp: Bear Labs XLR /Wireworld Polaris
Panels: Wireworld Polaris II
Woofers: DIY Plenum Speaker Cables
Phono to Pre: Analysis Plus Copper Oval

Power Cond: Monster 2000 (for sources and ML's)

Shelves etc.
TT on Wall Shelve with 3" Cement Slab
Pre, Phono, DVD, DAC on Maple Butcher Blocks or MDF with Inner tube, Brass Cones
 
S

sam

Guest
Here is my system
CD player CAL audio 2500
pre amp ayre k5x
amp ayre v5x
TT-rega P9 with AT OC9 cartridge(had karat before)
phono stage ayre p5x.
The vandersteen connects to my arye binding posts on the amp with 75 ohm resistors. I did try a number of different resistors, these sounded the best.
Cables are cardas, I think they are all cross.
Mostly a balanced system except for my CD player which only has RCA analog outs.

I do vacuum my panels
My speakers are about 3-4 feet off of the back of the wall.
I have fantastic soundstaging and the bass is very articulate.
What I mean by thin, is that i have heard some of the vandersteen speakers, both the 1's, 3's and the 5A's . The difference seems to be the vandersteen has more weight to the sound. The SL3's have a more elegant sound. I am partial to the electrostatic sound for the same reasons everyone here likes them but a little more weight would take it up a notch
Thanks for all of the quick replies

Sam
 
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jjqiv

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Sam

Did you hear the Vandy's in your system? I am not familiar with Ayre. I have heard the AT OC9 is great cart for the money but it can be a little thin. It might not what your systems needs. In that price range, I think the Denon 103R might be a better cart for your system. I think the Karat was probably a warmer, fuller cart? I haven't heard one and heard there sound can be kind of variable. I am probably going to get a Shelter 501 in the near future. I was listening to a Shelter 90X today (with Avalon's and Air Tight amplification). WOW!

When I upgraded my cartidge from an Aurum Beta S and the tubes in my pre (Sieman's) and phono (Mullard's) it added some needed weight to the sound of my system. Bi-amping helped a lot as well.
 
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sam

Guest
I listened to the Vandy's in a very similar system, all ayre. The Karat was a very good cart and would say comparable to the AT cart.
The thin sound I describe is similar with the CD player or the turntable and is definitely a function of the speakers.
I guess part of the thin sound my also be a function of my room, which unfortunately I can not do anything about since it is multifunction and have pushed the limits with the WAF.
I had at one point placed pieces of fiberglass throughout the room to try to figure out what gave the best acoustics. My wife came home and really thought I had gone off the deep end and was in the "padded room". Needless to say I could only get away with minimal acoustic treatment
The speakers are biamped through the ayre, however they really do not need to be because I have a powered subwoofer in the system, V2WQ.

Thanks

Sam
 

jjqiv

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No, it is not necessarily the speakers.

It could be a mismatch with the Ayre equipment and the speakers. ML's are very revealing of the signal they are fed. If you just upgrade to new/bigger ML the mismatch/problem might still exist.
 

Peter_Klim

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sam said:
I listened to the Vandy's in a very similar system, all ayre. The Karat was a very good cart and would say comparable to the AT cart.
The thin sound I describe is similar with the CD player or the turntable and is definitely a function of the speakers.
I guess part of the thin sound my also be a function of my room, which unfortunately I can not do anything about since it is multifunction and have pushed the limits with the WAF.
I had at one point placed pieces of fiberglass throughout the room to try to figure out what gave the best acoustics. My wife came home and really thought I had gone off the deep end and was in the "padded room". Needless to say I could only get away with minimal acoustic treatment
The speakers are biamped through the ayre, however they really do not need to be because I have a powered subwoofer in the system, V2WQ.

Thanks

Sam
"I guess part of the thin sound my also be a function of my room, which unfortunately I can not do anything about"

If that is true, then be careful if you decide to purchase the Vandy's. Can you demo (or return) them at home 1st before you make a purchase?
 
S

sam

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The overall sound has improved because of the improved cartridge however the same quality of the sound is still there. I am pretty sure it is a function of the speaker.

Sam
 
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EricE

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I have the same experience with my Aerius i's and to a smaller extent the Quest Z's. I compair them to my brother-in-law's PSB Stratus Silver's the overall weight is not the same. I'm sure the PSB's are a little exagerated in the lower mids to give it that nice bloom but it could also be the sound differences between cone speakers and electrostats.
 

jjqiv

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I looked into Ayre on the net. Your amp get some great press. Your system is all solid state though. ML's like tubes :) . Maybe you could bring home a demo tube pre or phono?
 
S

sam

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A few issues
1) maybe it is a difference between cone and electrostatics, I think this is probably the answer after viewing all of these posts and others on this forum. I guess what I am trying to find out is in all of the Martin Logan line if you go up the tree does the body improve? the SL3 with the 2wQ has excellent bass response so that is not an issue as you go up the tree. What are the improvements going from an Sl3 to the Prodigy's or the new line. Does the prodigy throw a deeper and wider soundstage or does it also add a weight that the Sl3 does not have?
2) ML's like tubes. I did look at tubes and seriously considered them. The line I looked at mainly were the VTL's. The VTL's were beautiful with excellent response, I liked the Ayre better. I also, hate to say this(please no flames kidding ) but if I am going to pay this much money on a non essential life item I do not want to deal with issues related to tubes. i have gradually upgraded my system and I can say for sure the better the amplifier the better the SL3's sound. I am essentially saying the Ayre amplifier is fantastic
Thanks
Sam
 

Jeff Zaret

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Sam,
I upgraded my preamp to tubes and that was an amazing change for me in sound and greater body. I have a SS amp that has a lot of power to spare. I am using it on my CLSiiZ's I did not have the change to hook them up to my Sequel II's but I would image it would be the same there also.

Just my 2 cents

Jeff
 

jjqiv

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1) Since logans are so revealing, I would rather listen to a smaller logan with a great front-end then a larger logan with a mediocre front-end. Once the front-end is up to snuff, then I would consider climbing the tree. Personaly, I will eventually upgrade to CLS's. I see them going for less than SL3's. That could be an upgrade without a real cost.

2) There is very little hassle in using a tube preamp or phono stage. The tubes last for a very long time. Plus, you can roll tubes in and out to adjust the sound of the unit.
 
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EricE

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I also went from smaller Aerius i's to the much larger Quest Z's to gain some body and weight to the sound. At the same time I also went to a BAT VK-3i tube preamp so I can't fully say that the change in sound was all in the speakers but it was a big change for sure.

Actually compared to Stratus Silver's the weight/body is still not the same but then again the Silvers might be too mid bass bloated.

I guess it all depends on the sound that you are looking for and always hearing what different people have for their systems.
 
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