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Martin-Logans or?

 
Old 02-13-2012, 05:50 PM
  #1  
deilenberger
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Default Martin-Logans or?

I've been thinking of selling off my McIntosh ML-2C monster speakers - which are WAY oversize for the room I have them in (my home office) and replacing them with something a bit more svelt and perhaps better suited to the room.

Stopped off at BestBuy (yech..) yesterday and wandered around their audio listening rooms. One of the rooms had a pair of Martin Logan's playing that I really liked. It may have been the source material, it might have been the room, but the imaging from the speakers once I found the sweet spot was amazing. Don't remember the model - but it was one of the taller ones with the full height electrostatic panel. I believe these had a 10" or 8" woofer.

Wandered into the other audio room and there was another pair - different model, the electrostatic looked a bit smaller. These had the 8" woofer.

The pimply (NTTAWWT) sales droid finally wandered in (funny how they can ignore potential customers.) There was some crap playing that consisted of a thump coming out of a subwoofer in the corner, with wild distortion (not part of the "music") - he didn't seem to notice this (is he deaf already?)..

I asked to hear the Martin-Logan's with something other then thump. He asked what - I said "jazz" - and by the puzzled look he had no clue what that was. He asked particulars - I tossed a few Windham Hill names at him (figuring BestBuy had them) - and he wandered away.

He finally came back with Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" CD (a remastered-reissue).

So - he put it on (dunno what amp - when I asked he mumbled something), and I sat and listened. It sounded very good except some rasp on a few of the trumpet peaks. Not sure if the rasp was (1) speakers (2) amp (3) 1&2 (4) from the recording - which was from tape, I could hear the hiss.. Other then the rasp, I liked them. Asked the price and he mumbled something like $1,500 (I assume each, but we didn't get that far.)

I'm looking to downsize. I need more room in my office. I don't listen to music loud in the office, I use it much more as background, but I want good musical background. Like I said - the McIntosh's are a terrible match to the room.. it's about 9x15, and the speakers end up on one of the long walls.

Oh - it anyone is interested in the McIntosch speakers - I've got'm on Craigs list at the moment: http://jerseyshore.craigslist.org/ele/2849747516.html - I'm selling them for a bookshelf speaker price.. because I don't intend to lift or move them - buyer's responsibility.. (puppies are about 150lbs/each.)

So - opinions on the Martin-Logans? I am a long time electrostatic fan - dating back to my Janszen big bookshelf (2 ES panels and 12" woofer) speakers I had for about 20 years and my love for the KLH Model-9.

Or mebbe some of the smaller maggies?

For reference - speakers I've really liked:
  • The Janszens - rare items, wish I never sold them.
  • KLH 6's - I ended up making towers of the 6's and the Janszens - worked very nicely driven by a pair of Marantz 8Bs.
  • Celestion-Ditton 33's - lovely sound, especially with piano. A studio I worked in replaced the JBL monitors with these - and it was a big improvement.
  • KLH 9 (door size electrostatics actually made by Janszen) driven by a Marantz 8B.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:15 PM
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A.Wayne
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Then look at Sound labs or maggies 3.7 , closer to the ones you have listed vs ML's ....
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Old 02-14-2012, 01:55 AM
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A good friend (and composer) has the larger Majestic Sound Labs - he's now using 500W amps with them, but that's a bit more then I paid for my Cayenne, so that won't happen soon.. And they'd be a tad overwhelming for the room. The Sound Labs wall speakers do have a certain apeal, and would let me run them on the short wall..
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:37 AM
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martin logans' top end can sound harsh with low powered amps. even though they are rated as highly efficient in sensitivity, the impedance can drop down to 1 ohm in the top end. they need a high current amp. i was running mine with a 40 watt amp class a/b and the 'sweet spot' was a very narrow band. still, sounded nice though. i changed to 30 watts class a, and the soundstage is HUGE now. no comparison, the speakers just opened up.
the amp is very important.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by aussie jimmy View Post
martin logans' top end can sound harsh with low powered amps. even though they are rated as highly efficient in sensitivity, the impedance can drop down to 1 ohm in the top end. they need a high current amp. i was running mine with a 40 watt amp class a/b and the 'sweet spot' was a very narrow band. still, sounded nice though. i changed to 30 watts class a, and the soundstage is HUGE now. no comparison, the speakers just opened up.
the amp is very important.
+1
amp is critical. The electrostatics require a lot of clean power or they will crackle. I am not sure how efficient the standard best buy components are w/regards to logans.

I am a huge fan of Apogees-they are not made anymore but are a great deal on the pre-owned market. Not to put down Logans, I like Apogees better.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:13 PM
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Sounds like I might need to resurect my Marantz 8B.. it worked wonderfully with the KLH (Janszen) 9's.. which could cause all sorts of exciting behavior from lots of early solid-state amps (like letting the smoke out..)
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:28 PM
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Best Buy ML are the low end ML's.
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Old 02-15-2012, 01:54 PM
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Actually - the wall mount Maggie MMG's are starting to appeal to me since they'd solve my space problem completely. I could combine them with a sub sitting under my laser printer, and the entire speaker setup would be off the floor. I'm going to have to take a trip to Verona NJ where there is a dealer who carries the low end Maggies. From the reviews I've seen - since I wouldn't be listening to them at concert volumes, they might fullfil my needs just fine.

Last edited by deilenberger; 02-15-2012 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 02-15-2012, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Kevinmacd View Post
Best Buy ML are the low end ML's.
That's like saying a Boxster is a low end Porsche, it's still a Porsche.

They are the same Martin Logans on the showroom across town at a "high end" shop.

Do they do something special to Best Buy panels to make them suck compared to the rest? If so I would like to see specific dotumentation explaining this.

Sorry, but $2,800 each is hardly low end for a Martin Logan:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/MartinLo...&skuId=2768792

I think you are confusing these speakers with the ML Motion series......

Are the B&W speakers Best Buy carries also crap?

I suppose the Pioneer / Sharp ELITE line of TV's at Best Buy are also garbage compared to the Elite stuff at "boutique" stores?

Oh I forgot, it sounds better if you buy it at a speciality store...
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Old 02-15-2012, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Hacker-Pschorr View Post
That's like saying a Boxster is a low end Porsche, it's still a Porsche.

They are the same Martin Logans on the showroom across town at a "high end" shop.

Do they do something special to Best Buy panels to make them suck compared to the rest? If so I would like to see specific dotumentation explaining this.

Sorry, but $2,800 each is hardly low end for a Martin Logan:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/MartinLo...&skuId=2768792

I think you are confusing these speakers with the ML Motion series......

Are the B&W speakers Best Buy carries also crap?

I suppose the Pioneer / Sharp ELITE line of TV's at Best Buy are also garbage compared to the Elite stuff at "boutique" stores?

Oh I forgot, it sounds better if you buy it at a speciality store...
$2800 is low end for Logans. The CLX's are around $25K. Agree that the same ML's can be found at boutique stores. The truth is they usually sound better there. Not because of the gear, because of the people selling the gear. At a boutique store, the sales folks are (usually) way more dialed in about matching gear for a proper demo. At Best Buy not so much.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:20 AM
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My only point is you can do better on something else than Best Buy ML. Hacker your analogy is bogus. It's obvious you don't know the price points of ML's and probably never heard the full line.
Better go do your homework. Yes the B&W in Best Buy are the low end series! ML THEOS and ETHOS are much better than the ML at Best Buy, they are not the low end, but above the low end and sound a heck of a lot better.

U buy what you want, but i wouldn't buy the Panasonic or the Sharp TV's.
I would buy the Sony ELITE. Think you really need to to do your homework. Sharp has the AQUOS series, not ELITE
To satisfy your flippant attitiude, where you buy anything has no bearing on the final product!
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Old 03-01-2012, 03:21 AM
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This price? I should think about it.
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Old 03-01-2012, 01:18 PM
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I've kinda drifted toward the Maggie MMG's. Price is right, sound is excellent (if a tad directional), and I only have to do major rearranging of my office to make them fit and work. Will update as the project moves along.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:19 PM
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Did you go with the MMG's?
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:49 PM
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Went with Martin-Logan "Source" hybrids.. they actually work fairly well with my Marantz 140 amp (about 75W per/channel) - but I'm thinking about (1) lighting off the Marantz 8B tube amp to see how it sounds, or (2) getting a Carver FMT-45 (about 180WPC into 4 Ohms).

I have managed to drive the 140 amp so the clipping/protection lights started flashing at me..

Found a nifty spectrum-analyzer app for the Adroid phone, and it's accompanying pink-noise signal generator. Made a pink-noise CD and the room surprised me with how flat it is. Much better then I would have expected. I'm still going to be playing around with some absorption panels.. but I don't think I'll need near as much as I originally thought. It also seems to take the ML's some time to break in. The lows sounded tubby at first, but with about 25 hours on them the tubby is gone and they're surprisingly good for low frequencies.
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