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MartinLogan Impression ESL11A panel & bias power supply replacement

MartinLogan Impression ESL11A
panel & bias power supply replacement
page one

MartinLogan Impression ESL11A panel & bias power supply replacement

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MartinLogan electrostatic speakers! Look through them, or perhaps marvel at the concept and design? All who own them know why we love them. That ‘out of the box’ non coloured, transparent, pick the instruments out of the air musical presentation that is so enthralling (once your room and overall set-up is sorted).We are also aware of the potential pitfalls of owning MartinLogan electrostatic speakers? To be brief, the main panel is constructed using mylar – which is stretched over a metal perforated frame. Mylar has a finite lifespan. There are various atmospheric conditions that will eventually cause this material to deteriorate, such as excessive dust, smoke, high humidity and direct sunlight for example.

I consistently have conversations with music lovers at hi-fi shows regarding their own individual choices for components. Such conversations can conjure a variety of facial expressions and emotions dependent on the specific component in question. When electrostatic speaker are mentioned, the reactions can be the look of the unknown, or fear, the look of love, or perhaps even envy if you advise you are an owner of ESL’s (especially MartinLogan ESL’s)!

Listening and experiencing music through any system should be a stress free pleasurable experience .When I purchase any component or accessory, I expect (or hope) I have made the right decision. I do expect value for money and to be treated fairly if things do go wrong (inside or outside of warranty).

Panel lifespan & recognising panel degradation (panel failure)

How long will my (your) MartinLogan panels last? Now that is the £2650.00 question (for me)! There are several reports of owners with older models of MartinLogan ESL’s (SL3 - prodigy and summit) for example, with original ‘first fitted’ panels lasting for twenty years plus. However, after discussions with retailers past and present, as well as many owners, the general consensus is ten – fifteen years average life for MartinLogan ESL panels. I note the panels for my Impression ESL11A’s had a production date (well I presume it is a production date) of August 2019. I purchased them from retailer Soundcraft, Kent UK in November 2020 from their demonstration stock. Soundcraft advised the speakers had hardly been used and spent much of their life in their dimly lit demo room. I had the speakers boxed up in their original boxes with new silica gel bags, stored in one of the bedrooms in my new home for at least two years while I rebuilt and refurbished my listening room. So you can imagine my shock when I started to hear the signs of panel failure in late September 2023.

MartinLogan Impression ESL11A panels

Though I use the term ‘panel failure’ above, I have never actually heard of MartinLogan panels completely failing (with complete loss of sound)!

I use the term panel failure to describe the recognisable stages of panel degradation, which leads to the loss of higher and midrange frequencies. This can culminate in the degradation and collapse of the music soundstage, basically making music unlistenable. This is usually a gradual process and can occur within just one speaker, however, the same usually occurs within the second speaker (with two channel set-ups) shortly afterwards.

As I have had previous panel experience of panel failure with a pair of MartinLogan Scenario electrostatic speakers, I recognised the beginnings of panel failure with my Impression ESL11A speakers at least six months prior to actually confirming the failure to MartinLogan.

Panel maintenance

With the above in mind, regular common sense maintenance of your ESL panels will help to keep them in good working order. I have a dedicated portable vacuum with a brush attachment. I vacuum my panels and wipe the grills and frames using a lint free soft damp cloth on a weekly basis. Some ESL owners remove the panels from their base units and wash them under a shower (I do not subscribe to this practise). I listen to music every day. However, if there were long periods of time my speakers were not in use, I would cover the panels using the tailor-made supplied covers. Of course, just like a Gremlin, do not expose the panels to direct sunlight.

MartinLogan Impression ESL11A Panel replacement cost.

At the time of writing, the cost of a pair of new panels for Impression ESL11A speakers in the UK is £2380.00 plus £270 shipping. After a detailed discussion with MartinLogan and PMC UK (Martinlogan UK distributor) my panels were replaced under the three year warranty. MartinLogn also provided replacement bias power supplies as the existing units could potentially be a cause of the panel degradation fault. These internal power supplies were also easy to replace as you will see in the following photographs and replacement description.


Use the links below to go to the MartinLogan Impression ESL11A panel
& bias power supply replacement page two,
or MartinLogan Impression ESL11A panel & bias power supply replacement page three,
or the MartinLogan Scenario Owner Experience one...

MartinLogan Impression ESL11A panel & bias power supply replacement page two (click to go to this page) MartinLogan Impression ESL11A panel & bias power supply replacement page three (click to go to this page) MartinLogan Scenario Owner Experience (click to go to this page)

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