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System #538 (Renaissance ESL 15A)

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

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James

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1. James Dorland
2. Sudbury, Ontario Canada
3. Renaissance ESL 15A
4. 2017
5. No mods
6. Bryston BCD-1 CD Player
Schiit Yggdrasil DAC
McIntosh C2300 Pre-Amplifier
Sanders Magtech
Teo Audio Interconnects
7. Third set of Martin Logans (Aeon, Ethos). Everything else is just sound from a box.

20180525_234441.jpg
 

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sleepysurf

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... They don't sound quite right yet. Trying to get a Sanders amp and see the difference, or more power. They could also need some more break-in time I guess.
The woofers need at least a couple hundred hours to fully break in. Have you run ARC yet? If so, you might need to run it again after full break-in. Looking at your Mac amp specs, it should have sufficient power. However, the Sanders might indeed handle the stats lower impedance better. Keep us posted!
 

Northy

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From one Canuck to other, welcome aboard. I like your screen. Which concert is that? Netflix has got a concert by Hanz Zimmer. I suggest everyone to see it - outstanding audio/video quality and the musicians are just terrific and a few are also eye candy!!!
 

James

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Diana Krall - Live in Rio

The screen is a paint on by Goo Systems. Great Product! My screen is around 12'X6' and is cost me around $500 CAD. Boy does it ever make a difference.
 

James

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I ran the Arc Correction yes. The speaker sound sweeter all the time. I'm Demoing the Sanders amp, Teo Audio interconnects, Audioquest OAK speaker cables and Audioquest Thunder Power cables this month. to try and figure out the issue. Also room placement, trying the golden radio today. I don't think Martins need to be that far from the back walls, but I guess we'll see.
 

James

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The top end sounds choked off... Not a clear and dynamic as they should be... I've been told that the way Mcintosh handles power can adversely effect the panels, so I thought I'd give the sanders amp a try. They give a $500 discount for being members of this site and also provide a 30 day trial period. So when I get it here we'll see. The local Audio store is pushing cables so I thought I'd try that too. Trial no actual purchase. I've bought a lot of stuff from them over the years so they are good to me. I've never been a believer in the difference cables make. Initially the speaker cable made it worse but after running it for a but the sound came alive again. They've let me try many over the years. Placement did a lot today for opening the sound but not quite there yet. Great stage, no sparkle. I tried a Naim CD player and hated it. I think my source it good enough so at the moment I'm fixated on the power Amp. I'll A-B the fancy cables once the power amp gets here.
 

sleepysurf

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Interesting! My Expression 13A's certainly have a sparkling and clear top end (driven by a C-J 350 SS amp), so the 15A's should certainly provide the same (or better)! I would expect the Sanders amp to deliver adequate current and bring those panels to life!
 

James

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Ya, Mr Sanders informed me that the Mcintosh Wreak havoc on the Higher end of ESL speakers and that his was specify designed not to do that. I'll take his word for it as he invented the speakers in the first place. Which conveniently enough was what I was hearing. So Mr. Sander, take my money and show what you have. I'll post my results next sunday likely.
 
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bikerneil

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I anxiously await your review of the amp and its impact on your sound quality.

I am considering an upgrade a new tube amp, so I want to hear what you think of the Sanders.

Personally, I share your feelings on over the top $$$$ cables (but you can get shot for admitting or saying this on this forum :) ).

Your system is beautiful.
 
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JonFo

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I find the sweat spot volume wise is when I feel the panel is "saturated", if that comes across right. Not loud, but "Saturated".
Hi James, first, nice system, thanks for sharing.

From your description, what you are likely hearing is partially the amp artifacts, but also a big dose of room ringing. From the pic, you have no room treatments visible behind or to the sides of the speakers, so the reflections from the front and side walls are going to be super strong, and at the distances I see in the pic, will cause strong comb-filtering. If the rest of the room is reflective, then the back-wall reflections will contribute to resonances that build up and ring at certain volume levels.

A large panel ESL can put out a lot of volume before distorting itself, so when the room is ringing, it's uncomfortable and limits the peaks at which one can listen. But once a room is treated and ringing mitigated, you can actually play much louder than prior without the fatigue caused by resonances.
I go into a lot more one the topics of room acoustics and treatments in this thread (and in many others) : http://www.martinloganowners.com/~tdacquis/forum/showthread.php?t=6931
 

tsmooth

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I agree 100% with the addition of room treatments, and IMO that would be the place to start before other changes. I had the same complaints before my DIY panel project and there exsists many cheap options you can trial before larger room treatment investments. Many people purchase insulation or other sound absorbing materials and place it at the first reflection points (like OC 703). Also, speaker placement is paramount for great sound (distance from panel to rear/side wall, using flashlight technique to make sure panels are toed in correctly). Since you have legacy products I assume you know some of this already and sorry if these recommendations sounds basic. After these changes in my system and re-running the EQ, I would need about 6-8 dbs more to achieve the same volume in the sweet spot, but with a whole new level of detail, clarity, and soundstage. Look for previous posts from JonFo, I would call him the resident expert in the subject.
 

James

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Alright, Sander Amp Yes, Cables No. if it is due to the increase in power or not, but I can say I notice a difference in the upper register with the sanders amp. The most noticeable is the effect it has on a cymbal attack or sharp quick upper register "airy" sounds.
I hear recording hiss of some records were as before I did not. The panels seem to be more sensitive, the sound is more natural.

I should point out that I am a semi-professional Jazz musician on the side. I play with a live band in gigs around 4 or more times a month. So I feel I have a good grasp of what a band should sound like on the stage and in front of it.

As for the Cables.... I can't tell power and speaker cables anyway, regardless of amp. After this test I took my first set of rough, un-shielded brass speaker cable and made a good connection and those seem to sound the best right now. They are the right length, no excess, they sound good. I let the others settle, un-moved, tried loud, tried quiet, warmed them up, off the ground.... Nothing. Not to my ear anyway. I will try one more time.

As for the Teo Audio Cables I'll have to post on those later.
 

James

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The paint works really well. The screen is 6'X12' A screen of comparable performance would be a fortune. The paint is specially formulated for projectors. ScreenGoo.
 

Scumurculum

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Ya, Mr Sanders informed me that the Mcintosh Wreak havoc on the Higher end of ESL speakers and that his was specify designed not to do that. I'll take his word for it as he invented the speakers in the first place. Which conveniently enough was what I was hearing. So Mr. Sander, take my money and show what you have. I'll post my results next sunday likely.
For what its worth, I have the exact same amp (McIntosh MC302) powering a pair of Prodigies, sounds utterly wonderful: extended, coherent, transparent etc....

That said, as compared to other amps, it is not as forward in the upper resisters. I have tried other amps such as Gryphon Diablo and larger Musical Fidelity amps which I found a little hot (bright) for my liking.

To be honest, I am also a little skeptical about any statements of incompatibility between Macs and electrostatics.

Sanders' whole shtick about how his amps are really the only ones truly suitable to drive stats seems like a bit of marketing hyperbole to me.
 
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James

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I'm not certain without a more direct comparison between a higher powered amp and the sanders. I do recall noticing a difference between the Bryston 4B2 and the Mac, brighter like you said. I thought it might be power as well. I do seem to get more of the space with the sanders than what I recall with the Byston. Everything is more difficult at this price point. The gains per dollar become less and less. Also more difficult to get all this stuff in the same room for trial...
 

James

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Mr Sanders also seemed on the level. He told me if I didn't hear a difference, send it back and he'll refund me the whole amount. I asked him if I should consider his pre-amp as well, he said " no, the one you have is fine, you'll never hear the difference"
 
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