Martin Logan Owners - Any problems with humidity?

In my quest to replace my current speakers and during my research I came across an ex-Martin Logan owner who complained that the speakers sound terrible when the humidity level is high, which is typical during summers here in Toronto. (We try not to use the air conditioner whenever we can opting for 'fresh' air instead.)

The other caution he uttered was that they can't be put in front of a window for fear that the direct sunlight will cause them harm in some way. I can see how direct sunlight might bleach the wood trim but for me this is no big deal and certainly not a deal breaker. I think he said that the sunlight breaks down the panel or glue somewhere . . .

Is there any truth to either or both of these warnings for current versions of ML speakers (e.g. Aeoni i, Ascent, Ascent i or Odysee)?

I would appreciate hearing from ML owners and your experiences.
if your concerned about light breaking down the panel (not sure if that is really founded) just have the windows tinted with a UV protectant film (this will help with the fading also)
I suggest you head over to and post this question on the forum there - I'm sure you will get some valuable info. I find that the best humidity level is around 55-60%, but they don't sound bad in higher humidity than that.

I've heard the odd thing about direct sunlight too, so I put blinds on my window. By the way, I'm also in Toronto (Markham actually) - whereabouts are you?
I live in Louisiana where the humidity can reach 100%. My Odysseys always sound great.
Hi, thanks for your responses thus far.

Ljgj -- just to clarify, do you mean to say that you do not use air conditioning in your home where your ML Odysee speakers are located and that they work fine in 100% humidity?

Esoxhntr -- I'll email you offline and maybe we can chatt as I live and work downtown Toronto.


i too am in toronto and in the summertime the humidity tends to mute the speakers IF the panels are dirty. i cleaned mine when the humidity rose to typical levels and they sprang back to life. louder than before even. the dust that collects on them soaks up the moisture and deadens the panels. cleaning fixes that. if you want to know how simple cleaning your panels is write me directly and i'll give a quick and easy explanation. wrt the other issue, keeping speakers, books, art etc., out of direct sunlight is always suggested.


I owned a pair for 11 years in a place with moderately high humidity with absolutely no problems. A friend stored his ML speakers in a garage for more than a year under conditions of extreme humidity (Washington, D.C.) and one panel went bad. Specifically, the wires that charges the panel corroded.

Summertime in the MidWest can dull the sound of MLs a bit...but over the long haul...smoke and/or cooking fumes can do some real harm.

If you ever look at buying these guys used...they need to be from a smoke free home..and hopefully were far enough away from the kitchen to not have had to deal with the oils and smoke that get into the air....if you can smell it..there are gases in the air that will become solids when they cool and come in contact with the panels on MLs.
I hove a pair of ML Clarity's and no problems so far. I live by the lake in Oakville where the humidity can be quite high in the summer but I did not notice a drop or change in perfomance. I clean them every 2 or 3 months with a vacuum cleaner (after unplugging them overnight) and they sound just as good as they did after breaking in.
The humidity issue, as far as my understanding goes, applies to significantly older models from Martin Logan (1993 and earlier) but not to the models that followed. I've never heard of the sunlight/glue problem, but then again I don't know what was used to drive those speakers nor what volumes they were pushed to. ?? Abuse can also cause the panels to come appart.
I'm in Ottawa, arguably the same weather as Toronto, and My Ascents sound great all year long. By the way, if you're in the market for some well maintained Ascents, mine may be up for sale soon!
Hi all,
Brimac - I'll contact you offline.

I called up Martin Logan and spoke to some product or sales specialist who had the following to say:
* humidity is really only a problem if you live at the equator otherwise just keep the ESL panels clean and I shouldn't have a problem.
* panel maintenance should consist of vacuuming the ESL panel at least twice annually and more frequently for humid weather conditions.
* sunlight and UV rays can deteriorate the mylar conductive coating but is very mimimal and would takes years of constant sun exposure.

Thanks everyone for your real-life experience. So to sum up, use window coverings if possible and keep the ESL panel extra clean during humid weather and everything should be fine.

Just as an aside note, ML will be discontinuing the selling of their Prodigy and Odyssey speakers on Dec. 31, 2004, so there should be some good deals out there with at least one local retailer trying to buy up some inventory and unload it at 30% discount . . . hummmm.