Martin Logan Tweaks / Upgrades


Hi!

I read an article before with tweaks or ways to improve the sound of Magnepans, but I can't find any advice or ways to upgrade Martin Logan speakers. 
I have the Martin Logan Vista's. They sound amazing and they definitely dont need tweaking, but I love messing around with hardware haha. If ever I decide to try and tweak my speakers, are there any recommended tweaks I can do? 

Also, do replacing the original ML power cords for the speakers do any good? Does that make the sound quality out of the speakers better or should I just stick with the original power cords? 


Thanks,
Shawn
shawnpmathew
Shawn,

In honesty there will be little to gain by swapping the cables to your Vista’s. They draw such low current.


Open the box and trash the junk crossover parts and use reasonable audio grade substitutes.  An inductor, a resistor, and 2 caps are what you need.   
Best tweak I made to all my ML's was to just lightly wedge a 1/2" diameter dowel rod from the back of the top of the speaker to the back wall with blutack on each end (to hold it in place) to make the ESL panel ridged, as it does flap around in the breeze a bit back and forward, did wonders for the imaging/placement and depth visualisation.

Cheers George  
You might try the Synergistic Research  XOT. You can borrow a pair from the cable company. I have a pair on my Summits and they did improve the sound quality not by a lot but is was noticeable. I believe the go for about $450.
I agree with johnsonwu.

check out this site for some ideas:
http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/

For those who value time alignment, don't bother with this nearly no-cost mod. Lower the front spikes and extend the rear spikes so you can make the panel vertical. Read about that on the Martin Logan Owners website many years ago; did it and loved it and that is where they have been for many years. I did change the power cords and found a minimal change. However, I did it at the same time I changed all power cords in the system so I can't really isolate the affect it had on the speakers. 

George, that's an interesting tweek. Not exactly the most aesthetic thing to do to a beautiful speaker though.

BTW, I have Vantage's.
Thank you!

@johnsonwu - What audio grade substitutes do you recommend? 
And is there a manual or a diagram that I can follow? 

"....to make the ESL panel rigid, as it does flap around in the breeze a bit back and forward..."

Seriously? That might be true if you have them set up in the back yard and during a windstorm....!!!

Shawn,

Rebuilding crossovers can be done, at cost. Getting a schematic from ML is unlikely so you'd have to figure it out from your existing networks, and replicate that, but you would need to rebuild the whole thing. My ML Spire project is on the MLO Page linked above, and plenty more can be done, but you may as well just put that money into a better ML model such as a used pair of Spire or even Montis / Summit.
Regarding the rake angles referred to above, tipping the speaker up to vertical does impact on the sound but it can very quickly become unbalanced and fatiguing, myself and several other have settled on a panel angle of 87-88*. Placing the speaker on an aftermarket isolation base can bring improvements also, such as Max Townsend's stands.

My Spire rebuild:
http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?9600-Spire-with-External-Crossovers-amp-Electr...

Ack's Odysseys rebuild:

http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/showthread.php?12761-Modifying-the-Odyssey-crossover-my-adven...

I have CLX and the have a vertical brace from the base along the entire outside edge of the panel, so the 'dowel' tweak makes sense to me.  

I also suggest/agree adjusting vertical angle makes a significant difference in the sound.  You need to experiment with the angle based on your taste, listening height and distance from the panels.

The MLO site has several schematics for the X-over (I doubt you will get anything from ML directly, I have tried)
http://www.martinloganowners.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?77-ML-Schematics

Here is a link to some upgrades for CLXs that I have participated in (not the model that you have, but the concepts still apply)
http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/planars-exotics/179196-martin-logan-clx-mods.html


pokey77
George, that's an interesting tweak. Not exactly the most aesthetic thing to do to a beautiful speaker though.

No it's no Mona Lisa, but it's the single most improving tweak you can do to a pair of ML's. 
It's like having great two way bookshelves and sticking them on the worst wobbly stands. Then hearing them on the most solid rigid one you can get.

The first thing you'll notice is the image, then the depth and the dynamics.

ML's ESL panels wobble back and fro way too easy, even my Monoliths which have a frame all the way round.

Cheers George 
@ps68 - I rather not upgrade my speakers because I got a FANTASTIC deal on these (got them on craigslist in perfect condition for a fraction of the retail price at only a year old). Finding another deal like that on ML speakers will be very rare haha. And this is a recent upgrade from what I had before - B&W CM8's. 

Also, your setup looks awesome!!! 


@georgehifi - I will try your suggestion of mounting it down somehow to it doesn't move. 

@ddzstereo -  I will also look into your panel angle suggestion. That should help me out as well. Thanks!


And here's a biggie I forgot about. In case you don't know.

Darken the room, sit in you listening chair and shine a torch from the top of your head to each speaker so you get the reflection of it in the panel.
Each panel the refection should be one third from the inside edge and at mid panel in height.

Then do the dowel/blutak trick.

Cheers George