ESL X vs Vantage

MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum

Help Support MartinLogan Audio Owners Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-known member
Feb 15, 2006
Reaction score
Both are around 5k new but Vantage was almost 20 years ago. Considering inflation of 60% from 2005, is the ESL X as good due to better design assuming the parts must be cheaper? I've been very happy with my Vantage's for 15 years but... you know...someday :)
Might be splitting hairs on this one.

Your Vantage has a single, but powered, aluminum cone 8" woofer, and has a slightly larger panel area.

The ESL X has dual, but passive, paper cone 8" woofers.

If your Vantage speakers are still rockin' and sound great, I can't see changing to the ESL X as being a difference worth the effort and cost.

However, the Classic ESL 9? This could be argued to be where the Vantage would have evolved to, albeit without self-powered woofers.
I've been very happy with my Vantage's for quite a while and plan on keeping them till death do us part. Really just an open ended question about ML in general as to design advances versus costs. ESL 9 makes sense. Only a bit more in price new but you have to add an amp. If my Vantage's bit the dust tomorrow (not likely) ESL 9 might be a good replacement.
Your Vantage speakers seem to have the same generation panel tech, so nothing to be gained in that respect by buying a new model, assuming comparison with similar size panels.

It seems that the ML models made in the mid 2000's have the same tech as current models in the panels. There might be some differences in crossover design, and maybe the parts being used. So you've still got a great speaker, even when compared to new models!
The Vantage was my dream, but the budget only allowed Aion i. I'd think the EXL X is the replacement of that whilst the 11a must be the closest to the Vantage. However, the ELS X sounds a step up to the Aion i in my ears. I was aiming at the ELS 9 but a combination of price/design/sound made my opt for the ELS 9. And the fact the impedance drops to 0.8 Ohm against ELS X' 1.6 Ohm the nominal being 4 Ohm and 6 Ohm respectively. Finally i add a sub so in the end of the day i do not hear a difference (maybe i would in an A/B test). The day you need to change let your ears deciede (and go for the 13a 🙂).