System #357 (SL3)

MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum

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sb6

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P1010117.jpg My system:
1. Member Name: Steven Bonamo
2. Location: Round Rock, TX
3. ML Model(s): ML SL3
4. Year Purchased: 2010
5. Mods/Changes: no mods
6. Associated Electronics:
2 channel listening:
Carver M1.0T amplifier with MkIIo2 mods
Carver C11 preamplifier
NAD C542 CD player
Media PC: HP Compaq 6005 PC with Meedio + Firefly IR remote
Martin Logan SL3 speakers
Home theater system:
Marantz SR4002 7.1 surround receiver
Pioneer DV-333 DVD player
Toshiba 32A52RZ 32" LCD TV
Dell 3400MP DLP Projector
Dahlquist PDQ12 sub
Custom built rear surrounds (2 x 5.25 woofer subs, 1 dome tweeter)
Infinity Video 1 Center channel speaker

Other components attached:
Scientific Atlanta cable/DVR box
Nintendo Wii

Cables - Primarily Monster interconnects and speaker cables (I know, time to upgrade!)

7. Comments and/or stories about your Martin Logan experience:
I heard MLs way back (maybe 10+ years ago?) and fell in love with them. I then heard them again about 3 years back at a Tweeter store. I ended up buying a set of used Carver ALIIIs which I used up until a few months ago. I traded up for the ML SL3s and am in love with the sound. The Carvers were great, but the MLs have better clarity, detail, tighter bass, provide more accurate mids and the looks are an added bonus. My goal is to purchase an ML sub to compliment the MLs, but there are a few things I need to get first (better PC audio card, external DAC for PC digital out, higher quality interconnects/speaker wires etc). Getting there!

Oh - I know the pics is not the greatest, and I have already made some additions to the component list. I will update ASAP.

July 2010 update:
Sound treatment: DIY absorbers 2: 2x4 front wall, 3: 2x2 rear wall behind seating area.
Speaker cables: AudioQuest Pikes Peak BiWire

April 2011 update:
Sound treatment: Added 2 absorbers to front wall (total 4 now), added 2 bass traps front wall corners, added 2 absorbers front ceiling corners.
Cables: DIY silver interconnect with Eichmann Silver RCAs, changes power cords for SL3 to AudioQuest NRG-2, Wireworld Starlight USB cable for DAC.
Component changes/additions: Switched out Carver C-11 preamp for an Opera Consonance MKII tube preamp, added HRT Music Streamer II DAC, added ML Grotto sub with PowerLink power cable.
Short term upcoming changes: Upgrade 2nd Carver M1.0T amp and run as mono blocks, add bass traps in rear corners, add absorbers on side wall, add some wall art!!

7/20/10 Upgrades:
- HP PC - multimedia server with Meedio
- AudioQuest Pikes Peak Biwire speaker cables
- DIY absorbers: 2: 2'x4' on the front wall, 3: 2'x2' on the back wall, 2: ceiling/corner on the front right an left, 1: 2'x4' Bass trap -front right.

1/21/12 Major Upgrades:
- Burson Audio DA-160 DAC
- ASL DT mono block amps (re-tubed with EH KT88s and a mix of NOS tubes for driver/splitter front end 6SN7GTs)
- Summits!!

Absolutely love the Summits, especially with tube power for the panel + 2 x ice SS amps for the woofer. Time for a little $ break and plan to do smaller tweaks (tube rolling in preamp, upgrade power cables for MLs, better amps stands, more sound treatment etc) and will eventually look toward the ever-expensive but awesome sounding vinyl gear. Never ends! ;)

April 2013 update:
Too many changes to list (tube rolling, added extra breaker/power line, cables, BC DAC3, M&K subs, treatment, etc, etc). Sounds great until you hear other systems with $25K and up speakers! Still continues to improve as I continually upgrade.....
 

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Bernard

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Hi! Welcome! I have a pair of SL3's, and really like them.

It looks like your speakers are toed OUT, or is that an optical illusion?

How far are the speakers from the front wall?

Others will tell you that imaging will improve if you move the equipment and TV from between the speakers.

Have fun here.
 

sb6

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Thanks!
I need to send more pics of the entire room and you'll see that I'm space confined to pushing them out away from the center rack. I do plan on upgrading to a larger TV and mounting it on the wall as I'm concerned about all the sound bouncing around behind the set. The speakers are about 1.5' from the back wall and the room is about 18' deep and wide. Also, as far as positioning, it must just be the picture, because they are actually toed inward according to the light setup technique (~33% of the panel reflection from the listening suite spot).

I'll add more pics in a bit so you can see the total setup and the ML team can comment/ make recommendations which I very much appreciate!

--SB
 

wallacefl

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Welcome...still have a soft spot for the SL3...was my first ML speaker and at that time I used Carver amps( m1.5 and Pm1.5 ) like you...very :music:
 

sb6

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Thanks to all.

Latest update - After hearing Slowgeezers' (Steve) system, I got the bug to make some changes!:rolleyes:
First up - Sound treatment. I went the DIY route (Owens Corning 703 - 2") and installed 2: 2 x 4' absorbers on the front wall and 3: 2 x 2' absorbers behind the listening area which is a couch that backs right up to the rear wall. First impressions are better overall clarity, but it also revealed how muddy the low end is. The plan is to install at least 2 bass traps to help with this and then reassess.

2nd was speaker placement. With the "core" absorbers in place, I found that the MLs seem to sound best about 4 1/2' from the front wall and about 8' apart. Will adjust as necessary as more sound treatment gets added.

The next step was to bring the cables up to par with the MLs. I had been using regular monster cable bi-wired and cheapo interconnects. I got a great deal on a biwired pair of AudioQuest Pikes Peak speaker cables. Let me say that before the A - B speaker cables comparison, I did not expect to hear much of a difference. Boy was I wrong! The cables were well worth the (discounted) price I paid. The bass is much tighter and articulate, mids and highs unbelievably clearer and the sound stage opened wide up. Also, the MLs sound more "cohesive" than before. I never would have guessed speaker cables would have made that much of a difference. Live and learn. I'm working on interconnects now and will attempt a DIY pair first (silver wire, Eichmann Silver RCAs). I'm hoping to achieve similar gains with interconnects as I have with speaker cables. I send this note a happy man! :D
 
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sb6

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7/20/10 Upgrades:
- HP PC - multimedia server with Meedio
- AudioQuest Pikes Peak Biwire speaker cables
- DIY absorbers: 2: 2'x4' on the front wall, 3: 2'x2' on the back wall, 2: ceiling/corner on the front right an left, 1: 2'x4' Bass trap -front right.

I wanted to ask whether the ML members felt that it might be necessary for side wall treatment? I'm reading that electrostats in general are more of a concern on the front/back wall due to potential comb filtering, but not so much on the side walls. So far, my treatments are on the back and front walls only. Thoughts?
 

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sb6

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Steve - call me; maybe you can stop by this weekend if you are free.


As far as first reflection point - I think I have it pretty much covered. As I understand it, MLs have a radiation of ~30 degrees horizontal and almost non vertical. So the side walls should be less of a problem, it's more the rear speaker radiating that's the problem, I believe. I've got absorbers back there and behind the seating area.
 

sb6

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March 2015 update:
Usher BE20D speakers, Wells Audio Innamorata amp, Esoteric D-03 DAC/CD/SACD player, DIY CAPS-like media PC, 5TB external eSATA storage, DIY birch ply rack, all DIY absorbers and diffusers, JPS Aluminata speaker cables, JPS Superconductor 3 interconnects, Audioquest Diamond USB cable, Shunyata and PSAudio PCs, Stillpoints, other assorted goodies...

Media room-front wall2sm.jpg
media room-back wall-sm.jpg
Audio rack-sm.jpg
Usher BE20D-sm.jpg
MR doors-sm.jpg

With this current setup and recent changes, couldn't be happier. Of course, changes are always in the works. Next up - xover upgrade....
 

slowGEEZR

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Guys, this is one fantastic sounding system. I've watched and listened as his system migrated from the ML SL3s to the ML Summits, to the Ushers and all the equipment and room acoustics changes. Every change was for the better. This current setup is absolutely convincing and musical, with one of the best soundstages I've heard. Congrats Steve, on achieving a fantastic audio system.
 

sb6

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Guys, this is one fantastic sounding system. I've watched and listened as his system migrated from the ML SL3s to the ML Summits, to the Ushers and all the equipment and room acoustics changes. Every change was for the better. This current setup is absolutely convincing and musical, with one of the best soundstages I've heard. Congrats Steve, on achieving a fantastic audio system.

Thanks Steve. BTW, yours is far from shabby especially with the new TT!
 

slowGEEZR

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Thanks Steve. BTW, yours is far from shabby especially with the new TT!

I've been listening to it all day. It's fantastic! I used a USB microscope to realign the cartridge and it went from great sound to exceptional. Who'da thunk that such a small adjustment would have made such a difference?
 
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