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Old 7th November 2005, 09:27 PM   #1
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Question Martin Logan Panel Project?????

Has anyone ever taken a Martin Logan panel and converted it into a working ESL??

I have the opportunity to buy 2 prodigy panels. I call ML and they said that because they use propritary connectors etc., that it would be difficult to build one using their panels?
Can anyone offer up some experiance/advice on this.

I am waiting for this sites reply before I scrap the idea.
I thought this would make it easier since I didn't have to build the actual ESl now???
Help Please

Dominick in New Jersey

oh yea-he kept stressing that they wouldnt sell me any parts, but I can buy the needed parts elsewhere-right?
Thanks
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Old 7th November 2005, 10:38 PM   #2
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I don't understand. What are the panels if they are not ESLs?

Proprietary connectors? hah!

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Old 9th November 2005, 06:40 AM   #3
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Default Do you want to build a Hybrid?

Dom: I take it that you have found a set of panels only and want to build your own Hybrid is that correct? Or are you planning to run the panels full range? It's not quite clear from your request what it is you would like to do.
Running these panels full range is not a good idea as they were not designed to do that. Curious why you found a working set of panels only are you sure that they are functional?
If you plan to build frames and a sub boxes for the speakers I should think that the easiest way to make things work would be to get a couple of inexpensive sub plate amps and make the bass active. That way you do not have to design a crossover. It would be a good idea to insure that the panels do not run full range as they are not intended to do so and though they will if made to you will loose output level and increase distortion at louder playback levels. The easiest way to run your panels would be to buy a used set of Acoustat Mk 121 or 131 interfaces. That way you will get every thing that you need to do the job in one box. Step up transformers and high voltage supply that will connect directly to your ML panels and run right with no messing around.
Just to back track I would be leary of finding a fully functional working set of such pannels just lying around. If they were ok they would probably be in a set of speakers. That's not to say that it is not possible they are ok just not as likely. If you can get them for a very good price and if you are prepared to rebuild them (if necessary) then you have nothing to loose and a project in hand. I get the impression that you don't have a lot of hands on experience and no other parts or esl related equipment? If that is the case you might want to think about the size of a project like this. Really depends upon the price of the panels I guess. Used Acoustat 0ne plus 0ne's or Two plus Two's in working condition can be purchased for not a lot of money and can be modified till the cows come home. They will work for you right from the get go and take you a long way if you decide to experiment with them. Since they are cheap and have everything you need to play with you can enjoy them and learn a lot and if you do a good job modifying them you can probably sell them for more than you paid for them. Worth thinking about. Hope this has been of some help.
If you can get the ML panels cheap you might do so and hang on to them till you are set up to play them and check them out. There might be someone in your area who could at least test them for you. Remember that rebuilding them is a project and you may have to do so more than once to get things right if it is your first time at it so knowing if you are purchasing working or damaged panels is a big deal especially regarding the price. Once again the price will decide for you. There are those on this forum who might be interested in purchasing and rebuilding the panels even if they are dead. You would have to be able to package and ship them in one piece though. Regards Moray James.
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Old 9th November 2005, 07:33 AM   #4
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I am saying that I would have JUST the panel. As if I had bought a replacment panel without the rest of the speaker. No electronics or sub or cabinet.

But the panel has a special adapter piece to connect to the cabinet and electronics. I am sure that it can be bypassed, I just dont know how so I was wondering if someone did?

Or especially if someone has already started with a replacement panel and built a complete electrostatic speaker.
Dominick
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Old 9th November 2005, 08:32 AM   #5
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Default whatca got there?

He Dom: ok so you have the panels or can get them and they have some wires comming out of them? There ought to be three wires. One each for the stators and one for the high voltage supply. So if this three wire harness has some screw ball connector on it take your side cutters and cut it off and throw it away. You don't need the ML connector. If the connector is mounted directly to the panel with no harness then you will have to either find a way to make contact with the three pins (any way that won't short) or remove the connector and make new contacts with what ever kind of connectors you like. Not to be rude but if you are having trouble getting past a connector are you sure that you want to **** around with a set of valuable ESL panels in the first place? If the panels are really AOK and you can get them cheap do so and find a buyer who understands thier value. You can probably sell them for enough to buy a working set of Acoustats and be a happy camper. What's your goal here, to have a set of ESL's or to clone a set of ML's? There are sites that show home brew ML type hybrids and you could follow thier directions for bass cabinets and crossover. You will still need high voltage supplies and step up transformers to run the panels. That's why I mentioned the Acoustat supplies. The Acoustat Mk 131 is meant for a hybrid set up and would be a good first choice while the Mk 121 is a full range supply, both have high voltage supplies built in so either could be used in your project. Time to do some Google searching and have a look around. I have posted on this forum just about all the ESL sites that I have ever found you can have a lookin the archives for the links. I should think that if you really want to experiment and learn by playing around with some panels do it with some cheap ones of little value that way if you wreck them it is no big loss and they can be replaced for cheap. If you have some perfect ML panels save them till you are ready or sell them for some real cash> I don't imagine that ML give those things away. Don't know what else to say but good luck. Regards Moray james.
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Old 9th November 2005, 02:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response Morey,

Your right--I am not an expert. Just an avid audiophile who want to learn and want to evetually engineer my own designs. I am trying to start somewhere.
I currently have a full ML system and love them. What I am hoping to do is create a simple mount ESL panel-ONLY! No sub and no crossovers. Just a straight forward "lets make this panel work" project. I will use them in the bedroom probably.
The panles are in mint condition and are going for $600.00.

Maybe this isnt the project for me, but I am trying-you know?
I was thinking that with this websites help, I could acquire schematics and the like to manage my way through the project.
I have been reading a TON about electronics so I am ready for a project.
If you think this is more than I can chew--would you please point me in a solid direction. I dont have anyone to learn from is my problem. I am the only one I know that is into this kind of hobby.
I am in the military, so my buddies kill for a hobby!lol

Thanks,
Dominick in New Jersey

This is a pic of the panels

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 9th November 2005, 05:08 PM   #7
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Default go for it!

Dom: sometimes we need a little resistance in life to force our hand one way or the other. In your line of work you know the drill about going in with your eyes wide open and all your other radar turned up to high.
In the picture you attached I see a thick wire at the bottom of the panel with a connector. I take it that is the ML connector? Is so you will probably want to cur it off (and save them) in a way that will allow you to reconnect at some later date should the need arise (keep your options open). Go look on Ebay and Audiogon etc and find a set of used Acoustat Mk 121 interfaces. You might have to buy the whole speaker but thats ok as you can have a listen first and you can sell the used panels and frames. You can then connect the ML panels directly to the Acoustat interfaces and you are done simple as that. When you play the ML panels you will hear how they respond to level remember like I said they were not designed for full range and will roll off early. Since they have a small stator to diaphragm spacing you will not get away with much or any bass boost so what you get is what the panel can do. In your setup it should be fine though.
What else do you need? You seem to be on course at ease and carry on Picard out. Regards Moray James.
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Old 16th November 2005, 07:09 AM   #8
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Default Wot ya gona do?

Dom: what's cooking? Have you decided on a course of action?Let us know what you decide to do. Best regards Moray James.
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Old 16th November 2005, 01:27 PM   #9
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Morey,

Thanks for your concern. Well, I took your advice and with my tongue bit, opted for a smaller scale project from which I can hopefully build upon. Its the LM 4780 amplifier kit from this website:

http://www.audiosector.com/

Peter Daniel has posted the site on this forum before so you may be familiar with it. He said that it would be simple to build following the instructions and that all it needed was a transformer.
What do you think for a starter project? It is already on its way.

Can you recommend a transformer and why you recommend it?

You have been a great help...and probably saved me a ton of money as well.

I was also running this thread on spyderchat.com. They agreed with your advice. You can check it out if you want.

Thanks again,

Dominick in New Jersey
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