Martin Logan Repair and/or Rejuvenation?

I just sold a pair of Martin Logan Sequel II's to a fellow Audiogoner. One of the ESL panels had slipped down about 1/2 inch a long time ago, but did not affect the sound, (at least I did not notice it). I did put that in the ad, and the buyer knew about it.

I shipped the speakers from California to Texas via truck shipping.

When the new owner hooked them up, he noticed that one of the panels (of course, the one that had slipped) sounded a few db lower than the other panel. He said it was really noticable when the panel was run without the woofer hooked up. (The speakers are bi-wired, so this is easily accomplished, although it was something I never did, as I never really noticed it, and neither did my wife or my audiophile friend.) However, I will not call him a liar, as he seems honest, and it is possible, I suppose. (I am not sure how or when this db drop off happened. It might have happened during shipping (he does not think so though), or it may have been a pre-sale condition (This is his hypothesis, I don't think so). Either way, I am willing to help him resolve the problem, including reimbursement of part of the sales price.

My question is this: Have any of you Martin Logan ESL owners ever had this type of problem with a panel?

If so, is there a quick and easy fix or repair?

Or is replacement of the panel the only viable solution to the problem? (This is his solution). I worry that if we replace one panel, that given the age of the speakers (15 years old) that the other panel will then sound different.

I have read/heard of a couple of ideas which range from reasonable to pretty outrageous:
1. Vacuum the panels. I have done this in the past, although it has been years, as general maintenance. (This was originally suggested by a ML tech.)
2. Detach the panels and put them in the shower with warm water running over them to completely clean them.

I know the first idea is reasonable, but does that second solution sound viable? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciately by both me and the buyer!
My Quests had to have both their panels replaced from the originals about 3 years ago. This was just a function of time, atmospheric conditions, etc. When I first detected a raspy sound quality, I called ML and the suggestion was made to first eliminate any problem with electronic interfaces. I sent them off to the factory, they were fine, and they also did some upgrading. Cost was not expensive. That narrowed it down to the panels which I replaced. I guess what I'm saying here is that it may be an idea to eliminate a less costly alternative before panel replacement. All that could be lost is the cost of a possible cleaning and upgrade which would be in the buyer's best interests anyway. I would call ML and ask for Jim Powers, the service manager. He is very helpful and is the best source of answers to the questions you raise. Good luck!
Might be time for replacement. As Ken said--call and ask for Jim--he's very helpful.
My manual does say something about vaccuuming the panels in situ after unpluggin' them for 24 hours or so.

I'd definitely check w/ML before sticking the panels in the shower. Do not, under any circumstances, use soap, however. The panels are charged and soap (even aerosol detergents) can cause the charge to magically disappear!

Don't mess around with these speakers. Just call Martin Logan, their service department is very helpful. They can give you assistance and help you diagnose your problem. They have even been known to send out parts to avoid you having to send speakers to them for repair. Hope this helps.
I would like to take this opportunity to give Martin Logan their due. This is a fantastic company, I thought I had a problem some years back. I talked to some one at Martin Logan, the dude told me to send him the crossovers.
This was About 6 years after I bought them. Martin Logan replaced both crossovers for FREE even though they did not find anything wrong with the old ones, but it made me Happy!!!!!

I also know that you can up-grade your
Sequel II's to SL3's very reasonably from ML.
This would be a worthwhile upgrade for anyone who has a pair os Sequel II's considering their age.

Mine still work Great,I am the original owner bought them new in 93 from Howard in Ft. Lauderdale. When the time comes I believ I will opt for the SL3 upgrade,new woofers and pannels.
Every 6 months it's a good Idea to unplug them and give them a good vacuum.
Just to make you feel better, electrostatic speakers, from left to right channel, can vary in output audibly, regardless of slipped panels.
The conditions surrounding the output of the speakers may be more noticeable in his room because of his set up, and or a slight difference in the amp he is using. I am sure that all the astute audiophiles out there know that a slight difference in the bias from one channel to another can effect the sound.
Your best solution as an honest seller is to call Martin Logan, and solicit their help. They can replace panels etc as necessary, and if you tell them your plight they will be very helpful and gracious, and maybe even help in pricing.
Gayle Sanders is one of the good guys, as is the entire team at ML. Knowing you are in a bind will give them some motivation to help as much as possible. Of course they are so helpful you don't need any leverage.
In the interim ask your friend to switch the speaker leads, interconnect cables etc, just to make sure there is no other fundamental flaw in the system. Then tell him that variances in the output are not that uncommon with ESL's anyway.
Good Luck,
Larry R. Staples
Sure are a lot of problems with martin logans I had problems with 5 of the 8 pair I have owned .I dont think I would want a speaker thats off in sound presure levels .The electrostatc speaker is still a fragile beast .I think we will be reading more about there problems due to the large sales of M/L to newbies.Hope Iam wrong
I think replacing one will lead to the problem with the other speaker sounding weak. I have been told my ML, remove the rear plate, inspect both the coils under the large circuit board. Both coils should be bright pink, NOT brown. If one or both are brown they need replaced. Clean the panels, cant tell you which method works, and inspect coils. If that does not fix them I would replace both panels at the same time. Just purchased used set of ML sequel 2s and am having the same issue.
all good advice...

and you all should be visiting here:

MartinLogan Club
It is interesting that I am getting action on this thread after five years!

FYI, I ended up sending the buyer some cash to pay for a new panel. (I am not sure if there was a problem or not, but since I like to think I'm honest and have integrity, I decided to do what I felt to be the right thing.)

I never heard back from the buyer, so apparently replacing one panel solved the problem.
Sorry for taking your thread with a friend's problem. The thing is that I sold him a pair of ML Scenario two years ago or so, and one of the speakers started to make such a noise when it was started, but after a while it disappeared. Whatever, today this speaker doesn't perform any sound. Do you know what's the cause involved in this failure? Regards and thanks in advance.
The panels on my SL3's are 16 years old. Mine were checked with a voltage meter and the voltage had dropped significantly. The conductive material simply wore over the years. I know someone who re-coats them for $300.00.
Never give your panels a shower, thats a myth. Recoat panels, Crescendo capacitor upgrade in every stage of the crossover and ML replacement woofers. $1600.00 dollars and WOW, very special sounding on tube gear.
I would suggest replacing the panels with new ones. Martin Logan still supplies replacement panels and they are not really expensive. Maybe you could agree to split the cost with the new buyer of if the buyer won't agree, to avoid problems, take them back, refund the money, repair them with new panels and sell or keep them. They would be basically new speakers. I don' know, selling equipment is tricky for people. I try to stay on the up and up with people, but whenever you sell some equipment that has an issue, you open the door for subjective hearing and complaints.

I hope it works out for you both.

Thank you for your insightful opinion. I think enjoy them for awhile or maybe for another 15 years! Will keep you posted on my listening.
This is why I left ML speakers- eventually you have to invest in replacement panels. If your gonna buy used ML's.....might as well expect the possibilities of replacement panels .

Buyers dont take for granite that the sellers ears as good as yours. Ive found MANY issues with used speakers past owners never heard. Even during demo's at there houses.

Jim Powers is simply awesome though, and ML offers first rate service.
Sorry for my bad spelling above.
Kaspn3, can you please let me know who you know of that does this?

Thank you so much,

cnhls at yah00 d0t com
Panel Recoating for $300 - Kaspn3, can you please let me know who you know of that does this?

Thank you so much,

cnhls at yah00 d0t com
I have the Odysseys and also had one panel slip down about one half inch. I called Martin Logan about this and they sent me two clips to keep this from recurring after I got the panel back in place. The trouble is that I have been unable to get it back where it belongs. I leaned the speaker back and placed a support under the panel and let it back down hoping that if it was left under this pressure for awhile, it would eventually return to its normal location. It's been two days and hasn't moved a millimeter. Any ideas?
I'm responding to my own thread because the issue of the slipped panel is in the process of returning to normal. My "fix' is working; the constant pressure created by the weight of the cabinet on the tranducer portion of the panel as described in my previous post, has resulted in its very slow but, seemingly certain return to its normal position. I've been using the speaker for the 3 days that it has taken so vibration of the panel is possibly a contributing factor.

This problem is not an unknown one, hence, the repair clips, but I hope this approach to solving the problem will be helpful to others. I had talked to Chris Cosgrove at ML and will forward this to him.
I am having a problem, both of my scenarios stopped producing any sound from the panels. I live in a distant island with no reasonable repair facility? Any idea as to problem?
Nutting, I've never owned the Scenarios but have used 6 different models of ML's Over the last 35 years and am now using the Ethos. I don't remember exactly how the Scenarios are constructed but assume them all to be similar. If your panels have slipped significantly the possibility exists that the speaker wires could have separated as they are only held in place with double sided tape, I believe. It's not likely, IMO though, because the mass of those panels wouldn't be enough to break that joint and it also seems unlikely that they would both fail at the same time. Do they have fuses? I assume that would have been your first thought.

Another problem that I've had is several step up diodes in the high voltage circuit were fried. A pain in the neck to replace because they are installed on a circuit board but a package of diodes cost less than $2 from radio shack.

Call Martin Logan customer service; they are very helpful and nobody could know their speakers better. The bottom line may be, because repairs to them can get pricey and used ones have become very reasonable, to replace them.