Expression 13A's --Music Room

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

Pauliepaul

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Hi ..This is my music haven. I am thinking about adding a pair of REL S/812's in the future. To me, the system sounds great but the subs intrigue me. Truthfully,I am fearful of subs and properly integrating them and I certainly do not want to "smear" the sound. The system is very transparent ,detailed and tight. But ...no risk,no reward. Hmm?

Martin Logan 13A loudspeakers
Krell Duo 300XD Amp
Audio Research Ref 6 Preamp
Project Xtension 12 Turntable w/ Palo Santos Cartridge
Parasound JC+ Phono Preamp
Meridian 803.2 Signature CD Player
Esoteric X03 SE CD Player
Auralic Vega DAC with Bluesound Node 2i used as Streamer
Cardas reflection Speaker cables and Interconnects
Nordost Blue Heaven Power Cables
GIK Room Treatment
 

Attachments

spkrdctr

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2017
Messages
284
Reaction score
130
Location
Clearwater Florida USA
That is the only sub I would recommend from REL. You want a sub to dig very, very deep. Any sub that has great output down to 20hz is a good sub. This of course is only attainable by the top tier subs made by the few that engineer a good product. You will have (as all subs do) extreme output in the 40 to 80hz range but that is not what you need. It is the 20 to 40 that you are paying the big bucks for. That takes a powerful amp, great engineering and a desire to produce a very good product. Good Luck, I know you will not be disappointed. :)
 

bikerneil

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 3, 2011
Messages
88
Reaction score
7
Location
Carlsbad, CA
Beautiful room, love the treatments - but I gotta believe those ML's need to be pulled farther away from that front wall. I have a very similar setup and I have spent hundreds of hours playing with my speaker locations, dialing them in using a laser and my speakers are about 48" from the front wall. You can waste thousands of dollars on cables, cable risers, and other crazy useless items when the simplest improvement in sound is free - SPEAKER LOCATION.

Love the room!
 

Pauliepaul

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Thanks for the replies !
spkrdctr, I am inching closer to pulling the sub trigger . Still deciding.

bikerneil. How is the bass in your room? My speakers sound great where they are and the bass is "tight" and defined but you don't actually "feel" it. The bass doesn't "envelope" the sound. Hence the subwoofer contemplation. Do your speakers provide this 48" out? Without the wall reinforcement? I am open to suggestions so I will give your positioning a shot! Thanks!
 

Hear Here

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
126
Reaction score
17
Location
Portsmouth, UK
Certainly 13As must not be placed too far forward from the back wall - or other speakers that project as much energy backwards as forwards for that matter. In my room 13As were a disaster and I sold them after a short time. However they were 12 ft and 15 ft forward of the wall behind them - and the wall is at an angle - and the wall is floor-to-ceiling glass. A real disappointment as I'd been hankering after MLs since I first listened to a pair in a London showroom 3 decades ago! My take on MLs is that 5 to 7 ft is about right - back wall to panel distance. I decided to stick with horns as they are much less fussy of distances from walls - but still benefit hugely from careful placement.

Incidentally, have you found that Anthem room correction was helpful? It certainly should balance the bass such that a sub really shouldn't be necessary apart perhaps from home theatre listening.
 

ttocs

Well-known member
MLO Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
432
Reaction score
102
Location
Highland Park, IL
I agree with the room comments, very nice! I'd love to hear your take on what it sounds like with and without those corner traps. I can't find any before/after actual measurements anywhere.

Speaker Placement provides by far the biggest benefit to the sound system. It's not "instant gratification" in the sense that you can flick a switch and hear the difference, but it can be one of those things where when you get it right you KNOW it! I used the knowledge gleaned from a video I watched about speaker placement which got me to what I now enjoy. Centerline of the stats is 30" from the front wall, and they are extremely toed-in such that the flashlight reflect about 1/5 from the OUTSIDE edge of the panel, and I'm sitting in an almost perfect equilateral triangle. I've experimented with gong nearfield which works well, but keep moving back to current setup simply for movies and sharing the experience in a wider seating arrangement.

My room is a multi use room. The Left speaker is in the middle of the wall and I use one absorption panel a few feet to its left to tame some reflecting that hits a wall another 10 feet away. The Right speaker is in a corner with absorption on the first 3 feet of the front and right walls. The ceiling is cathedral with a low pitch and gains height as it goes from the front wall, like an auditorium, which is probably why it's such an easy setup in a lot of ways.

Bass is unique to each room and setup within the room. Previous layouts resulted in extremely poor, one-note bass with a huge boom at 55Hz I couldn't avoid with the seating. Now, things are much better after removing a couple walls. See? Easy!

My friends used to go up to the subwoofers to see if they were on and active, only to find they were not. That was with different subs and different sub locations.

For the last few months I've been using four new ML 1100X subs in stacks of two, one stack for each Expression. Dynamics are excellent! Bass is quick, accurate, and effortless. I "wanted" subs because of the volume of air in the large room and I figured using more woofers together would let them all work less, making the ensemble more efficient. I did not expect the dynamics to improve as much as it did. Plus, the soundstage is wider. The setup is what Rel suggests with the stacks outboard of the Main speakers and almost touching, although, moving the subs more rearward of the face of the Main speakers did not prove to be the best arrangement for my setup, so the subs are pretty close to being even with the fronts of the speakers.

I've been distracted by other things lately, but I need to tackle a null from 60-70Hz that is quite deep that only appears when both fronts are playing mono bass. It's flat above and below. I know what I'm going to do, just need to implement, maybe this coming weekend. I have a ML 800X sub in the back of the room that is only used for my LFE group, and its sole purpose is to eliminate that null. There is 5 subwoofers, two stacks of two, and the single at the back. The bottom two subs and the back one are tied together into a separate channel that is only for the .1 LFE channel for movies. It works so well I want to incorporate that fifth sub to be used for the Fronts, but those are all connected using the Speaker Level connections so I need to be creative about how to go about it. I've got ideas, but until I try them I won't know if things will workout.

Meanwhile . . . . . Piano has never sounded this good before! And, low volume music sounds wonderful, don't need higher volume to achieve a pleasingly full sound. Using subwoofers or even more subwoofers doesn't equate to "more bass", but it can result in "better bass". Since I don't know how to measure better bass I'm stuck with explaining what it means to me. The bass shows up in the right amount for the volume level being used. It's not like turning up a bass tone control and adding bass everywhere, and it doesn't "sound" as ear bleedingly loud to get the amount of bass I was seeking all along, but it's there. I'd like to use the word "enveloping", but it's not quite that, but it is close. What it has lots of now is impact!, which most often is probably associated with something loud, but in this case it also means the little delicate subtle sounds which now have more impact.

Sorry for the long diatribe, but, suffice it to say, I'm happy with the results of adding subwoofers.
 

spkrdctr

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2017
Messages
284
Reaction score
130
Location
Clearwater Florida USA
Speaker Placement provides by far the biggest benefit to the sound system. It's not "instant gratification" in the sense that you can flick a switch and hear the difference, but it can be one of those things where when you get it right you KNOW it! I used the knowledge gleaned from a video I watched about speaker placement which got me to what I now enjoy.

Ttocs, this should be pinned so everyone reads it when they start on the forums! I also posted asking for the link to the speaker placement class.
 

Pauliepaul

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Here Here,Thanks for your input! I have found that the Anthem Room Correction helped by tightening , defining and isolating the musical bass lines. It doesn't ( at least my room) "add" bass. It integrates and separates bass notes and makes listening more enjoyable. I believe that this is the intention of the device.
In that regard it works ,for sure.
As I was reading your post you brought up something I always wondered about. What do happy Martin-logan owners switch to if they ever decide to convert to a conventional speaker or horn speaker? Obviously,your particular situation dictated the change and I am happy it worked out for you! Electrostatic sound is like a drug and it's tough to give other types of speakers a chance. I am intrigued by a few dynamic speaker brands: Focal,Magico,Sonus Faber etc.
I fully understand that there are sacrifices to be made in each type.
So what do former Martin Logan owners gravitate to? And why?


ttocs, thanks for that well written scenario! The centerline of my stat panels are also 30"from the rear wall (actually 30" from an acoustic panel) and 36" from the side walls.
My flashlight beam is actually on the "inside" edge of both panels. In other words, on the side of the speakers closest to the rack in the middle of both speakers. About 5" from the edge of the panel. By the way, my room was a DISASTER without treatments. UNLISTENABLE. ZERO/VAGUE centerfill .
I was basically forced to control the room with treatments or find another hobby. As I installed panel after panel,I did not try the sound little by little , I installed 27 panels all at once and then held my breath that the problem would be solved. MIRACLE!
Thanks for joining the discussion!
 

tonyc

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2005
Messages
691
Reaction score
2
Location
Waco, TX
Gorgeous room and system! Before you buy REL subs listen to the ML BF 212. It mates seamlessly with my ML Summits. Also mated well with my Aeons. Can download a file to match to any ML speaker extant. It is even tonyc proof!
 

ttocs

Well-known member
MLO Supporter
Joined
Aug 10, 2014
Messages
432
Reaction score
102
Location
Highland Park, IL
What do happy Martin-logan owners switch to if they ever decide to convert to a conventional speaker or horn speaker?

So what do former Martin Logan owners gravitate to? And why?
Top of the list for me is the Alta Audio Alec speaker. It's a 2-way speaker that has plenty of bass, quick and accurate sound which I have always gravitated toward, nice design, can fit into smaller spaces more easily, and strangely has an appetite for amps like what I'm used to for stats - like Krell for example which is what was driving the pair I auditioned.

As I installed panel after panel,I did not try the sound little by little , I installed 27 panels all at once and then held my breath that the problem would be solved. MIRACLE!
LOL!
So, the shotgun approach! Throw everything at it - but obviously not randomly! - and see what becomes of it! Glad it worked to your satisfaction, but it looks like it would be difficult to be a step backward as it looks like everything is in the right spots.
 

Pauliepaul

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
ttocs,..lol...no I didn’t just randomly hang all the panels . I browsed around looking for a possible solution for the room issues. I came across GIK and was satisfied with what I read on their website . I called them and spoke to one of their consultants and I sent him photos ,diagrams and measurements of my room and how I intended to set it up. He got back to me in a few days with a choice of multiple plans/ packages and price levels to improve the room. He instructed me where to place the panels and what type of panel for each section of the room. So it wasn't exactly pot luck! ..lol...GIK Acoustics ..highly recommended .
 

Brad225

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 15, 2006
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
58
Location
Wesley Chapel, Fl
Great room PP. I'm sure it is a pleasure to listen to music in it.

What ever direction you choose to go with subs they will elevate the sound you have.
 

Pauliepaul

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
2
Brad225...thanks for the compliment. Thankfully, I completed the room just prior to the pandemic. Right now,I am looking forward to trying out my Ortofon 2M Mono SE cartridge to play a stack mono's I had stashed.
 

Hear Here

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2017
Messages
126
Reaction score
17
Location
Portsmouth, UK
Here Here,Thanks for your input! I have found that the Anthem Room Correction helped by tightening , defining and isolating the musical bass lines. It doesn't ( at least my room) "add" bass. It integrates and separates bass notes and makes listening more enjoyable. I believe that this is the intention of the device.
In that regard it works ,for sure.
As I was reading your post you brought up something I always wondered about. What do happy Martin-logan owners switch to if they ever decide to convert to a conventional speaker or horn speaker? Obviously,your particular situation dictated the change and I am happy it worked out for you! Electrostatic sound is like a drug and it's tough to give other types of speakers a chance. I am intrigued by a few dynamic speaker brands: Focal,Magico,Sonus Faber etc.
I fully understand that there are sacrifices to be made in each type.
So what do former Martin Logan owners gravitate to? And why?


ttocs, thanks for that well written scenario! The centerline of my stat panels are also 30"from the rear wall (actually 30" from an acoustic panel) and 36" from the side walls.
My flashlight beam is actually on the "inside" edge of both panels. In other words, on the side of the speakers closest to the rack in the middle of both speakers. About 5" from the edge of the panel. By the way, my room was a DISASTER without treatments. UNLISTENABLE. ZERO/VAGUE centerfill .
I was basically forced to control the room with treatments or find another hobby. As I installed panel after panel,I did not try the sound little by little , I installed 27 panels all at once and then held my breath that the problem would be solved. MIRACLE!
Thanks for joining the discussion!
Of the 4 DSP systems I've tried, the best has been Anthem with Martin Logan, but this is because the system adjusts only the amplifier built into the bass enclosure - it therefore has absolutely nil effect on the panel. 3 other systems I've tried (RoomPerfect, Dirac Live and MARS) have all slightly adversely affected the higher frequencies despite (with Dirac) the DSP is designed to adjust only sub-500 Hz. I've concluded that all DSP systems that are applied to full-range amps (even those that adjust the bass only) take away a little of the life and excitement factor of the music. I put this down to the additional signal processing that DSP requires.

Regarding other speakers that rival ML for sound quality, I'd put forward good quality horn speakers such as Avantgarde. I'm on my 3rd pair having started with new Unos is 2002, 2006-vintage Duos in 2019 and now new Duo XDs. The last 2 in particular are fabulous speakers that have some features shared with panels - very fast, highly detailed, crisp and exciting to listen to. By contrast horns are highly sensitive (my XDs are 107 dB) whereas electrostatics are insensitive. Also horns are a much easier speaker to drive as their impedance is sympathetic to amps of all types. My earlier AGs were 8 ohm, the XD is 18 ohm. They can play very loudly with valve amps of a just a few watts, eg 6 watt PX-25 valve SETs. I bought my new Expression 13As when I still had my original Uno speakers, but the unanimous opinion of listeners was that the Unos sounded better despite Anthem improving the MLs. It was unfortunate that when I asked here on this forum of opinions regarding the suitability of MLs in my room before buying them, no one warned me that they would not sound good - on the contrary a couple of regular contributors here said my room would be great with them. Sadly, despite 3+ months of running in, position and tilt adjustment (and the distributor taking DSP readings and applying the filter) the speakers sadly just didn't sing. I'm sure that in conventional rooms MLs are brilliant speakers that take a lot of beating. It would seriously worry me if I bought any speakers that would require significant room treatment. There are many speakers that require very little, eg my horns that are very directional so can be placed any distance from rear and side walls within reason.
 

Russr

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 20, 2020
Messages
51
Reaction score
23
@HH - it wouldd've been interesting to see if the Pre/Pro ARC implementation in the Anthem AVMs might have had a beneficial impact (thought the dipole/room config would require time-shifting on individual channels).

I remember reading somewhere that the Anthem ARC cuts off at 3K (I think... not sure).

OP - Great room!

HH - niiiice view!

Russ
 
Top