SL3's Auditioned - OUCH! What went wrong?
Last week I auditioned a pair of SL3s, and I wasn't prepared for what I heard. In a word - awful! I think there was something wrong with the setup (placement) and/or the driving electronics. I've heard ML's before - "casually" - at a friend's house, just playing, not a dedicated listening. The sound was "just there" - transparent, open.
This time, well, the sound had a lot of glare in the mid-range, the highs were barely there. No bass, which might have contributed to the perception of the mid-range glare. But when I moved around the room - yes, there was bass. The "sweet spot," or at least where I was sitting, was a void for the bass - none. I think the room was a little on the bright side, acoustically, though there was a throw rug on the hardwood floor and 6-7 leather upholstered seats (with some on a riser/platform since it was HT). There were also some sound treatments behind the speakers in the corners. The SL3s were perhaps 3 feet from the wall I was facing, and 2 feet in from the side walls.
Electronics - a Pioneer BRP thru a Sherbourn A/V (wasn't familiar with them, a google search shows they are a more or less dedicated and custom HT company but with some former Mc ties - Ron Fone). Don't know the models, nor where the D to A was taking place. Couldn't try vinyl, the seller's 'table was packed up in the basement (and I don't know if the Sherbourn had phono capability).
The owner told me he had them since 2004 or so, and he purchased them used - so I'm thinking they are close to 12-15 years old. Not sure when the SL3s went out of production?
So then, is this an indication the panels need to be replaced? Or just sub optimum set up and electronics? I need to go listen to some new MLs as well but am curious for your thoughts.