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What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades (Read 8366 times)
Majestic fun
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What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Jul 29th, 2013 at 7:15am
 
Ok - to follow on and see if we can help to wake up some interest
I am really curious to know what models people are using, and what have been their best upgrades or improvements?
You could (if you want to) include power amp upgrades, as this seems to be such an important aspect of the success of a good Soundlab system
Pre-amps and front ends really get down to personal taste, so maybe we don't go there yet; but tell me why a certain poweramp or type of poweramp really works with your Soundlab speakers

I will kick off

I have always loved electrostatics since i first heard the original Quads over 30 years ago. I bought a pair and restored them - oh the stress of tensioning panels with a hair dryer !!! But I followed the manual and it worked. But young family, lousy WAF, and they departed.
Many years later, I saw some M1's on eBay - WHAT were they !!!! The desire galloped back in.
Then I found Audiogon ! And I bought a pair of steel framed M1's - from Hungary of all places ! Steel frames had been made by an american owner - beautifully done! Needed loads of power - back to Audiogon, found a pair of Sanders ESL monoblocks. 1000w of dedictaed ESL designed power.
BUT.... I kept reading about Majestics$#^$%$&%* Dream on
Kept an eye on Audiogon, and sure enough, I now own a pair of 945's. Awesome ! But I have not yet had them to their full potential. My room has both pairs of Soundlabs !!! I really have to get around to selling the M1's... but I like them both

I really want to try valve (tube) amps just to see. I am looking at some Bob Carver Black Beauty 305's to tinker with.

But I really want to try the Toroid II and possibly the Hot Rod, and I was so looking forward to reports on here (see above post)

So, that is my system --- what is yours ?

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TWB
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #1 - Jul 29th, 2013 at 8:38am
 
"Ok - to follow on and see if we can help to wake up some interest
I am really curious to know what models people are using, and what have been their best upgrades or improvements?
You could (if you want to) include power amp upgrades, as this seems to be such an important aspect of the success of a good Soundlab system
Pre-amps and front ends really get down to personal taste, so maybe we don't go there yet; but tell me why a certain poweramp or type of poweramp really works with your Soundlab speakers"

Great post! Having owned M-2's, M-1's, Majestic 845 and 945PX's, both tube and ss electronics, Hot Rod bp's and heard the Torrid II's, I do have opinions! The Torrid II make a bigger difference than the Hot Rod. The bigger panels are  better. The PX is major. Electronics are very important, and my current Ayre KXR/MXR combo is the best ever. A pair of U-1PX's with the Consummate back plates are soon to arrive. I will update more later.

As Majestic Fun suggested, keep it coming!  Smiley
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Tom
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Paul Reale
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #2 - Jul 30th, 2013 at 11:07am
 
I have given this info in a number of posts; but here it is in one paragraph: I own a pair of M-1 PX's that have the new Toroids. After playing with the setup for a few months, I was unable to get a smooth contour ( I experimented with the green vs. the brown wire, and any number of R/C combinations). Presently, I am waiting for the hotrod sound boards, and they should arrive in about a week.
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Doug
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #3 - Jul 30th, 2013 at 8:24pm
 
I am still working on getting my first pair of SLs. I live in an apartment, wonder if M1's would be too big... and if M3's would be a better fit, my room is only 11.9x16.2 ....the 16.2 opens up into the dining room... so more air space in there.... Too bad my ceiling is not 105" high, so I could get some 945's Smiley! lol. What do you guys think.... any reason why M1's wouldn't work in my room? Anyone know what I should be able to get a new pair of M1's, or 2's or 3's for that matter from a dealer.... anyone know dealer cost of them Wink? I had a a nice amount of money saved up for the local audio show, and spent almost all of it, then heard the SL's..... D'OH! Ok, time to start saving for SLs.... I really need to sell off a bunch of stuff I have.... to find the SL purchase Wink
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TWB
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #4 - Jul 30th, 2013 at 8:55pm
 
Quote:
I am still working on getting my first pair of SLs. I live in an apartment, wonder if M1's would be too big... and if M3's would be a better fit, my room is only 11.9x16.2 ....the 16.2 opens up into the dining room... so more air space in there.... Too bad my ceiling is not 105" high, so I could get some 945's Smiley! lol. What do you guys think.... any reason why M1's wouldn't work in my room? Anyone know what I should be able to get a new pair of M1's, or 2's or 3's for that matter from a dealer.... anyone know dealer cost of them Wink? I had a a nice amount of money saved up for the local audio show, and spent almost all of it, then heard the SL's..... D'OH! Ok, time to start saving for SLs.... I really need to sell off a bunch of stuff I have.... to find the SL purchase Wink


What is your ceiling height? If you want to know the best price you can get on any particular model, talk to a dealer! That's where you should get the best price. Where are you located?
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Tom
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TWB
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #5 - Jul 30th, 2013 at 9:01pm
 
Paul Reale wrote on Jul 30th, 2013 at 11:07am:
I have given this info in a number of posts; but here it is in one paragraph: I own a pair of M-1 PX's that have the new Toroids. After playing with the setup for a few months, I was unable to get a smooth contour ( I experimented with the green vs. the brown wire, and any number of R/C combinations). Presently, I am waiting for the hotrod sound boards, and they should arrive in about a week.


What do you mean by R/C combinations? Green vs. the brown wire? "sound boards"? I assume you mean hot rod back plates.
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Tom
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Located in San Francisco and the N. California Wine Country, in the boonies!
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Doug
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #6 - Jul 30th, 2013 at 9:04pm
 
TWB wrote on Jul 30th, 2013 at 8:55pm:
Quote:
I am still working on getting my first pair of SLs. I live in an apartment, wonder if M1's would be too big... and if M3's would be a better fit, my room is only 11.9x16.2 ....the 16.2 opens up into the dining room... so more air space in there.... Too bad my ceiling is not 105" high, so I could get some 945's Smiley! lol. What do you guys think.... any reason why M1's wouldn't work in my room? Anyone know what I should be able to get a new pair of M1's, or 2's or 3's for that matter from a dealer.... anyone know dealer cost of them Wink? I had a a nice amount of money saved up for the local audio show, and spent almost all of it, then heard the SL's..... D'OH! Ok, time to start saving for SLs.... I really need to sell off a bunch of stuff I have.... to find the SL purchase Wink


What is your ceiling height? If you want to know the best price you can get on any particular model, talk to a dealer! That's where you should get the best price. Where are you located?


My ceiling height is 8.2' ..... I live in SoCal, in Ventura county...
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Paul Reale
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #7 - Jul 31st, 2013 at 5:04am
 
The toroid II has two possible wires to shape the contour: the brown wire and the green wire. Each one treats the upper registers differently. BY R/C combinations, I means the network of resistors and capacitors that are connected to the output. Normal setup would be 24uF/8 ohms vs. 36uF/12ohms. Sometimes there is also a choke.
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TWB
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #8 - Aug 7th, 2013 at 8:04pm
 
119 'views' and only 7 reply's! If we as a group of Sound Lab owners can't do better than this, the forum will die!  Cry

Please- contribute something to the forum!
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Tom
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Located in San Francisco and the N. California Wine Country, in the boonies!
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Paul Reale
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #9 - Aug 10th, 2013 at 9:55am
 
I have finally gotten my M-1 PX's sorted out and what I discovered is that by using the brown wire from the Toroid II, and connecting it up with the hotrod audio board, I get a completely smooth sound. If the brilliance control is replaced by a suitable resistor, the setup seems ideal to me. I run the bass control at -3 dB and the mids at 0.
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Tim T.
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #10 - Aug 17th, 2013 at 9:08pm
 
I have been a SL owner since the early 90s.  I have had just 2 different pairs, A2s and for a long time Auras.  I bought some of the first ones out.  Would love to get something better, but trying to get my boys through college without them having to go into debt at all, so that is my priority.

My Auras have a modified back plate although it has been so long I don't even remember exactly what was done.  The jumper settings have been bypassed, and I did have the panels upgraded a few years back.

Still love my Aura panels.
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Mark_M
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #11 - Aug 17th, 2013 at 9:19pm
 
OK  I'll join in.  I  have the Majestic 845s and love them!  Before these I had the M1-PX and the original M1.  I have always driven my Soundlabs with vacuum tube amplifiers.  Starting with Wolcott P-220 monoblocks I finally switched to VTL Wotans last year.  They are monsters but I will probably never part with them.  They respond well to vintage Tung Sol (USA) 6550s and selected matched 6350 and 12AT7s.

The only upgrade/mod I have made to the Majestics is the substitution of Stillpoints Ultra-SS feet.  It takes 10 of them and they are a bit pricey but as with everything in the "high-end" you can get discounts.  Certainly worth the investment.

The rest of my system is Aesthetix Callisto and IO, Audio Aero Capitole Mk2 fed by a mac mini running "Pure Music" and a Versa Dynamics 1.2 with the compressor from the 2.0.  Koetsu Coralstone cartridge and Purist Audio cables pretty much everywhere, including on the Majestics.

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ArtT
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #12 - Aug 17th, 2013 at 9:38pm
 
OK, my first pair of SoundLabs were the Renaissance Series, R1/R2 subwoofer, which Roger personally delivered from his factory in Utah to my home in Denver.  From there, I went for the first pair of A1s out of the factory (I was also a dealer at that time).  Sold my first pair and bought a second pair with design improvements, upgraded those once again, and finally upgraded them with the PX panels (with 90 degree dispersion).  Running them with Rowland 625, MG Audio cables, Rowland Aeris DAC, strain gauge cartridge based analog front end. Smiley
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Gregg
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #13 - Aug 18th, 2013 at 8:26am
 
Currently I own A3s ... Oak with white cloth.  These are an older pair with no updates or changes ... ever. 

I have found that updating Soundlabs is a chancy affair, the sound you get is sometimes not as good as the sound you had.  My experience with A2's to A2x's taught me this... loved my A2's hated the A2x's. 

This experience swore me off Soundlabs for years, but like a moth to the flame I couldn't resist another pair of Soundlabs (the current A3's).  They just sounded so right again.

I am running them with a Klyne preamp and a Threshold power amp.  I just absolutely love the combination.
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Paul Reale
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Re: What Soundlabs do you have, and what upgrades
Reply #14 - Aug 19th, 2013 at 8:43am
 
There is some truth in what you say. When I upgraded my M-1's to PX's the improvement was great. When I put in the Toroids II, I could never get the sound to be as smooth as before, when I was using my own combination of caps. and resistors. When I replaced my audio board with the Hot-Rod boards from Dr. West, the great sound returned and was much improved (after about 300 hrs. of burn in, the sound is still improving). I think that all of us from the home computer generation know too well that "upgrade" may not be that.
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