AVS Club Gold
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: L. A. . . . . . . . (Lower Alabama)
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These were built in May 2000, so they are approaching 14 years old.
I purchased them from a dealer who used them in his home, and whom I met on August 7, 2009 to pick them up.
The panels were separated from the bass modules when I got them, although we both were on an SUV to make sure we had room. I hauled them to my office on a trailer, wrapped in several soft blankets.
They sound great... ask Wayne Myers (AudiocRaver over at Home Theater Shack, who is one of our lead reviewers), he has heard them critically in my home.
The panels have been well taken care of and yes I do clean them with a soft cloth and a vacuum on a regular basis.
They have been in my dedicated home theater room since I got them, which is an extremely sealed room... and there is no need for me to cover my speakers when I am not in there, although that room sees me for a few hours every week. This is a room that gets zero outside light and very little dust, 9" thick walls, double solid doors to enter, and they stay shut 24/7. It has its own A/C system that is heavily filtered. No smoking here at home and no animals in that room.
They are at my office in Troy, AL. If you want to come down and take a listen, I will take an CD player and integrated amp to my office and set them up for you to listen to... I will provide a couple of songs to show off their imaging and soundstage, you bring whatever music you like to listen to. You can try before you buy, and I can 100% assure you that there will be absolutely no hard feelings if you decide not to buy them. You can come listen and think about it for a few days, come back and get them if you end up deciding you want them.
FYI... several of us from HTS had a nice tech talk with Roger Sanders of Sanders Sound System when we were at RMAF this past October. He uses the same material that ML uses in his electrostats... he use to work with ML and Innersound. He explained that as long as these speakers are kept in a typical home, that the membrane would last a lifetime and then some. Despite what some individuals would have you believe, they do not need replacing, which is one of the reasons he places a lifetime warranty on his speakers. You can even punch a hole in them and it does not change the sound. I believe ML had that on their site where they have tested panels with numerous holes that made no audible difference. If they are exposed to too much sun they can turn to a yellowish color. If they are exposed to too much humidity, the metal panels could eventually rust and cause some issues. But other than for cosmetic reasons, panels rarely need replacing. You could buy new panels for these and blind A/B test them, you won't notice a difference. If you take care of them, they will be with you forever and sound just as good as they did when new.