Better than they have ever been. Anyone disagreeing is looking at the old models with nostalgia goggles.
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I have the older Monoliths with the "newer vapour deposited clear coating" esl panel which is what the Neolith use. And nothing ML makes save for the Neolith comes close. The linear power supplies and xovers are far superior quality to the newer stuff. quality poly caps, air core chokes ect ect. so is the "exterior" build quality. The ESL panels on the old ones were held by a frame solid, not flapping around in the breeze (say goodby to solid imaging) useless to spike these new ones they still flap, they need a support bar ala Quad https://www.stereophile.com/images/717quad.bac.jpg
I have the ESL11A’s and love them for me the staging is awesomeYeah!! pvmike, brace the top of the esl panel to the back of the bass box so it becomes rigid and doesn’t move back and forward, then come back and tell me just how much better the sound staging and imaging becomes.
Have your cake and eat it too. Sanders Model 10. There is no modern ML speaker that can keep up with these. Sanders designed the ML curved panel before he left to start his own company. www.sanderssoundsystems.com He is a fascinating guy. Very opinionated and usually right. The model 10 is the best hybrid electrostatic I have ever heard. The next step up would be a Soundlabs speaker.
...The ESL panels on the old ones were held by a frame solid, not flapping around in the breeze (say goodby to solid imaging) useless to spike these new ones they still flap...This is nonsense. The current Masterpiece line has a new panel frame which is ROCK SOLID. Even my older Summits had minimal "give" in their "air frames", vs. the (slightly) wobbly Aerius i’s, which were composite wood.
The new models also have superb integration of the woofers with panel, plus ARC (Anthem Room Correction) for optimizing overall bass response for the room.
Actually, Roger Sanders *DOES* claim to be the inventor of curved electrostatic panels in the late 70's (see his FAQ page here), but he subsequently decided that flat ESL panels sounded better. Gayle MARTIN Sanders (along with Ron LOGAN Sutherland) were the co-founders of Martin-Logan. I believe their first ESL, the Monolith, actually featured a flat panel, but they subsequently embraced the curved approach. Both approaches have their merits.
Sorry but "You are full of it and talking nonsense" sleepysurf.
To the other esl owners
The "slightest" wobble back or forward will effect the image/depth perception, that’s why we spike/blu-tac two ways to solid stands, so there is no back/forward, and do the same with floor standers. Also why Quad did it to their’s, even though they have a substantial frame and large spiked heavy platform https://www.stereophile.com/images/717quad.bac.jpg
As the micro detail can get smeared, if they ever so slightly move backward if the driver or esl-panel is trying to push back and forwards, instead of the driver/panel energy being projected into the room, it’s waisted moving the ever so slightly shaky panel instead.
I’ve done it with my ML Monoliths with a brace to the back wall so there’s no back/forward movement, and the image and depth perception was sharpened and increased dramatically, .
I had a very enjoyable conversation with Roger Sanders about a pair of Eros and the amp/xover. I kinda seems I should buy them and sell my 10T's to finance two new panels. The pair I'm looking at are the Mk1 and he stressed strongly I replace the panels if they weren't already. That is a 2000$ min investment. For 500$ I can get the Eros w amp. I REALLY miss the image and natural tonality of panels... I can really "hear" the tweeters on my 10t's. wondering if I should recap the xovers in the AA's?
I need to agree with George, as I owned MLs, and set up many pair. And the problem becomes worse as you raise the spl. I am glad he spoke about " smearing of details ", as any loudspeaker that rocks back and forth will give up much of this. I found this to be a problem with the factory supplied supports and stands of most Maggies as well. Enjoy ! MrD.
I have a pair of Martin Logan Summit X's, driving them with a solid state McIntosh MC-2255 amplifier with great results. As a by the way, I have a pair of Apogee Duetta II's (bought new in 1987, rebuilt by Rich Murry of Minden, Nevada, in 2008), driven by a Roger Sanders Preamplifier and two of his Magtech monoblock amplifiers. Really great sound! I really have no opinion about the merits of flat ESL panels or curved ESL panels.I'll let you gentlemen debate the issue. I just let my ears decide and I have two great systems.This has been a lifelong hobby for me, with great enjoyment.