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OK, that was a mouth full. The short answer is: adjust the speakers' pitch for best image clarity. The slightly uneven wall issue really had me thrown though until I got mirrors and lasers involved. Details!
Your attention to detail and willingness to investigate is remarkable and inspirational. I think any manufacturer of a good speaker would be lucky to have you review it, because you're going to wring every ounce of performance out of it. You're not going to give up and just call it a mediocre speaker because you don't get good results after half an hour of fiddling.

In my reading of threads about projectors, I have come across many instances of people trying to get their projectors to square up to their on-wall screens, and the culprit is often that the wall is not level or square itself. So this is apparently not uncommon in construction, and for a dipole speaker this will have a significant effect on performance. It's good to know how sensitive these things can be to such issues and to be able to identify what the problem might be.
 

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Believe it or not Wayne, that is another reason I put heavy boards under the Logans and put long sharp drywall screws through the boards, that way I can spike the board to the floor, and adjust the pitch of the speaker by changing the drywall screws in the board. I start with the boards flat and add the speakers with their feet tight in. Then I can adjust the speaker and the board beneath much easier. It does raise the speaker a short but so your 31" may change but I think you will like the sound more.
Yes, it makes even more sense when you explain it that way. I am dealing with carpeting over concrete, so have to work with sharp spikes that go completely through the carpeting to rest on the concrete for stability. The drywall screws might still work for that, and allow adjustment, but would not be as stable as your method of course. Another possibility is a heavy tile of some sort just resting on the carpet, or small stone slab. Still thinking.
 

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Bkeeler10, Savjac: Attention to detail, it seems, is that rabbit hole we never intend to go down until some matter of necessity - " why does this not sound right?" or " why can I not repeat the results I had before?" - forces us to dig deeper. We end up with sleepless nights, headaches, interesting tales to tell, and hopefully better sounding systems as a result. Hopefully.

The hard part for me is boiling it all back down to a fairly simple process. Not quite there yet, but working on it.
 

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OK, that was a mouth full. The short answer is: adjust the speakers' pitch for best image clarity. The slightly uneven wall issue really had me thrown though until I got mirrors and lasers involved. Details!
Wayne,

Without breaking the bank, which laser would you recommend? One that measures?
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Wayne,

Without breaking the bank, which laser would you recommend? One that measures?
I like the Bosch DLR130 (order DLR130K for Kit), $89 at Amazon. The laser is aligned within the case so you can put the rear end or side or back up against a surface and get a perpendicular / parallel beam for alignment. Uses AAA batteries, not a power hog at all. Mine is about 5 years old and going strong, almost zero sign of wear, even the push buttons barely look worn. Could not live without it.
 

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I like the Bosch DLR130 (order DLR130K for Kit), $89 at Amazon. The laser is aligned within the case so you can put the rear end or side or back up against a surface and get a perpendicular / parallel beam for alignment. Uses AAA batteries, not a power hog at all. Mine is about 5 years old and going strong, almost zero sign of wear, even the push buttons barely look worn. Could not live without it.
My buddy at work said he has this exact model. He's gonna let me borrow it to see if I like it. Thanks for the feedback.
 

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Bkeeler10, Savjac: Attention to detail, it seems, is that rabbit hole we never intend to go down until some matter of necessity - " why does this not sound right?" or " why can I not repeat the results I had before?" - forces us to dig deeper. We end up with sleepless nights, headaches, interesting tales to tell, and hopefully better sounding systems as a result. Hopefully.

The hard part for me is boiling it all back down to a fairly simple process. Not quite there yet, but working on it.
Absolutely, no question about it that once bitten this hobby becomes a quest or a rabbit hole to use your terms as they seem much more accurate. I used to think of it as an adventure until the first time I threw something in frustration many years ago.

But what also occurs, is repeatable knowledge that once learned cannot be unlearned. Setting up equipment now has a starting point and one can refine from there. Sleepless nights and headaches are surely a problem that occurs with some regularity and I am going through that now after inserting an all tube amp into the system. Things change some for the better and some for the not so much better and ohhh yes, I have some stories. Sometimes the fixes are so easy yet pass us by because of how easy they are.
I was doing some set up tests the other day using my regular gear connected to my JRiver/computer and being told what to do via ipod touch. All of a sudden everything went quiet, dead quiet in the middle of a song. I was shocked and scared, brand new amp just blew up...ahhhhh. After going through the check list of things, I was flummoxed, turned the amp off, rebooted the computer, etc etc and still nothing. So I grabbed the ipod and went to connect it to the charger and noticed that somehow the volume slider went to zero. I do not know how, it just did it, simple as that, the volume got turned down. Son of a gun, now I know when something happens, look first to the easy stuff and then the expensive stuff.
 

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Amazing review! The time and effort put forth is very evident. Well done.

After awhile, it became clear that any limitations were going to be at volume levels far above any I wanted to cauterize my ear nerves with.

Quite possibly one of the best lines I've ever read in a review. Wish I had said that... :T
 

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I was doing some set up tests the other day using my regular gear connected to my JRiver/computer and being told what to do via ipod touch. All of a sudden everything went quiet, dead quiet in the middle of a song. I was shocked and scared, brand new amp just blew up...ahhhhh. After going through the check list of things, I was flummoxed, turned the amp off, rebooted the computer, etc etc and still nothing. So I grabbed the ipod and went to connect it to the charger and noticed that somehow the volume slider went to zero. I do not know how, it just did it, simple as that, the volume got turned down. Son of a gun, now I know when something happens, look first to the easy stuff and then the expensive stuff.
Had to laugh, because I have done exactly the same thing with my foobar2000 server and Android-pad remote. Had me thrown for awhile, too.
 

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While editing a couple of last typos, I added the following sentence in the Conclusions section:

"The single 8-inch mid-woofer driver could possibly hold back the truly bass-hungry listener and a big room with high-volume requirements might lead one to consider a large-panel MartinLogan hybrid model, but neither of these areas was ever a problem for me."
 

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While editing a couple of last typos, I added the following sentence in the Conclusions section:

"The single 8-inch mid-woofer driver could possibly hold back the truly bass-hungry listener and a big room with high-volume requirements might lead one to consider a large-panel MartinLogan hybrid model, but neither of these areas was ever a problem for me."
Excellent call on this, I found in my room, that the bottom end while good was not all that it could be. When I brought them into my big room and put them a bit closer to the wall than I normally would, the bass was overwhelming. So absolutely, this will be very room and placement dependent, but I would recommend folks read your review again to drink in the information about placement and what the trade offs are.

For me, the brilliance of the mid range on through the stratosphere was considerably better than what was available from the smallish woofer. They are a wonderful speaker, can go very loud, if I remember correctly Martin Logan told me that they recommend several days of break in at 90+db and they do it. I do wish they had a bit more punch in the lower registers although in truth, this will be very room dependent.
 

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Savjac:

Wow, just implemented the solid base idea for the ESLs, and what a difference it makes! My ESLs are on carpet glued to a concrete basement floor, not easy to screw into with screws as you mentioned, so I bought a pair of 12x16 ceramic tiles to put them on. The floor has s little slant, too, so for a temporary trial I stacked tightly spaced stacks of index cards, using a level, so each tile has a dense, solid, even base. Add the speakers, align, EQ, and...

The improvement is so exciting, I've been listening for the last 3 and 1/2 hours. Wow, the bass is crisper, tighter, more solid, feels more present, authoritative. The effect on measurements will be interesting, when I get to them. Clearly, some of what is mentioned here implies frequencies higher than those normally associated with a bass port, so I am very interested in seeing exactly what is different.

Thanks again for the great tip. I will report back when I have more data.
 

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Excellent AudiocRaver, I am glad I could help. Actually what makes me most happy is that you tried this suggestion. Many folks would consider me a nut ball but there are some very inexpensive tweeks that can truly add to the enjoyment of your system. Thank You for giving it a try and enjoy.

When it comes to the drywall screws I found that sometimes to get them to set in place, I used a small rubber mallet and tapped the screw head until I heard it make contact with the floor, once done the threads remain in the wood and can be easily changed.

If you like the ceramic tile, there is an easy upgrade to that as well, they make pointed cones with a flat sticky side on a threaded rod so they are also adjustable. I have used them and yes they do work, I even have a set that I am not using now should you wish to try them.

Good Listening.
 

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Can we get some pics of the solid slab tweak? My ML EM ESL's are just on regular plywood (I dunno, not a construction guy lol) and carpet with the stock spikes with the rubber numbs removed (I think I still have them...). So would I just buy the slabs, stick them under the speakers and then put the rubber nubs back on over the spikes? I think I've seen people do that and then spike the slab to the carpet too.
 

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I have not tried the marble slab but when using wood, cut a single or double thick piece of 3/4" mdf and drill 4 holes near the corners that are a bit smaller than the wood screws you will use as spikes. The wood screws should be long enough to penetrate the wooden slab, the carpet and with a bit left over for adjustments so ensure the wood is level on all four sides. A spirit level would be good to use before the speakers are placed atop the wood, and make sure that the wood base is nice and level and the screws are tight to the floor. Once done with that, screw the spikes on the bottom of the speakers all the way in and carefully place them on the wood. I made the wood bases large enough so you can change the angle of the speakers in the horizontal plane a bit as needed.

Its that simple.
 

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The marble slab was mostly a fast way to get something solid under the speakers to hear the improvement it would give. In retrospect, I should have taken the time to get wood cut to the proper size and gone that route. The marble slab demonstrates the bass improvement, but I have not found a good way to tie them down so they don't move around if they get bumped.

With the wood piece, it sounds like screwing into the carpeting with the tip of the screw against the concrete slab would give pretty good stability. I will be implementing that in the near future.
 

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Here is a rough photo of how they sit on boards. These boards have not been painted and the speaker will look crooked in the photo due to some angles of it but there are four long course thread drywall screws in each of the corners of the board. I drilled pilot holes first and then ran the drywall screws almost all the way through. I then put a spirit level on the board to get it flat in all directions and then the speaker was placed atop that. I kept the spiked feet on mine so theoretically there is double isolation but i am not sure that helps or not.

 

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Thanks for the pic and the previous reply. I figured it would be something that simple but I like to visually see things. :nerd: So your drywall screws are the spikes for the board into the carpet? I use a sub crossed over at 80hz would this mod make much difference for me? Most of the bass seems to be from the subs anyway. I've been meaning to play with the rake a bit by buying some hockey pucks and put the them under the rear spikes. I've seen this before over at MLO I think.
 

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Conceivably it should work as the woofer in this speaker goes up quite a bit above 80hz. It is kind of a cheap project, maybe $5 or so and worth experimenting with.
 

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Great review and it is nice to see someone who is willing to go through such lengths and also write about it.

I do have a few points of discussion or comments about your article.

I could not find any measurements about dimensions for speaker placement.
I am not familiar with the term Sharp Reflections, what do you mean by this? Are these early reflections?
Example 3 suggest taht placing the speakers close to the side walls could work. Have you tried this?
Example 4 doesn't make much sense since there are no (Sharp) reflections point in the direct path between speaker and LP. You mentioned a follow up post about using the slats. Have you been able to post that?
With example 3 you mentioned later on in the article that this setup produces big variations with small differences in placement. Could you not compensate that by changing the angle of the reflection panel?
You speak about pitch and roll in the article but roll would suggest turning the speaker around the front to back axis.

From all article that I have read about Martin Logan speaker I have found this one the most informative and the sound stage that I am chasing after myself, but my room is pretty narrow only 133in in width while ML recommend placing the speakers 96in-108in apart and at least 24inch from the side walls.
 
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