Martin Logan 11a vs 13a

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Californtini

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Hello-
First post on this forum and new to all things related to good audio, though I have heard some great systems, so started to build one up (albeit super slowly). My question is I really like the martin logan speakers and mentally narrowed to the 11a or 13a. My current room is 14'x28'x8' tall and the speakers would be on the short end. However I may build out a new room that is 24'x28'x12' tall with speakers on short length. I have no genre of music, I truly listen to it all and enjoy it all and like now the ML render the sound. I am also not a huge bass fan.

Would the 11a be too small for the future room, would the 13a be too big for my current room. Right now anything would be an upgrade from what I have but looking to get a speaker set-up I'd be happy with for 4-5 years even if the new room ends up getting delayed. Appreciate the forum's thoughts.

Plinius SA103 amp, Monarchy NM24 pre, Linn Sondeck
 

JCollins

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Hi, I have a room circa 14' x 16' x 9' with ML 13a and 2 x ML BF210. While I would definitely benefit from some additional width and depth to the listening room, the set up works well within the room. I have the ML 13a 5' off of the wall from the back of the ESL panel and about 2' off each of the side walls and sit 10' back from the front of the speakers. In terms of your future room, I would certainly think the ML 13a would be the best speaker for the room.
 

ttocs

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The 13A would not be too big for your current room.
The 11A is definitely too small for the future room.
 

twich54

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The 13A would not be too big for your current room.
The 11A is definitely too small for the future room.
I tend to agree, my room which is similar to yours if I were to go back to M/L the 13a's would be my choice. Now if your listening position is less than 10' the 11a's could work along with a sub or two to help with the room volume.
 

jtucker

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You may have seen my post on A-gon:

In my old home, the listening space was very similar to yours, 22 x 14 x 10. I originally had ML ethos with the 9 " panel. I upgraded to Montis with 11" panels. They were perfect for that size room. My new home has a much larger living area, 18 x 28 x 12 and is open to other areas of the house. The Montis still do ok in that room, but I would rather have the 13's. Even the 15's would be better, but they are really huge, and at that price point, there are lots of alternatives.
 

Brazillnut

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I sell the brand and recommend the 13A for the larger room you are thinking of building. As long as you can get the panels about 5ft off the back wall and about 2ft off the front wall, you will be fine. I opted for the 11A in my system. My room is about 14 wideX18 longX8 high. I've had them about a week and really like them, though I know full break-in is still a few hours away.
 

msimanyi

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I may well be in the OP's situation soon - deciding on speakers for a large room.

Please forgive my ignorance here - what improvements result from the 13As vs the 11As? I know there's additional bass, but I have two BF210s (soon to be delivered) for my system, so I doubt the bass differences matter.
 

JCollins

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The bottom end with 2 x BF210 will be just fine. ML 13a are not required for the bottom end. It will just come down to the wider ESL panel on the 13a, which I can't really comment on whether it will make much of a difference to the size of the sweet spot, as I haven't compared/contrasted between the ML 13a and ML 11a.
 

Brazillnut

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The larger the panel, the more air is moved and the more dynamic the sound can be. People who mostly into vocals, chamber music and acoustic performances can get away with the smaller panels, but if you like big band music, orchestra and Rock music, the larger panel will be more dynamic and effortless sounding.
 

msimanyi

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Thanks for that description - it sounds quite useful.

For those who've heard both, is the difference "in your face" or more "if you go from the 13 down to the 11 you can hear it, but it's subtle"?
 

Matty

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I just spent the last few days in London demo listening to both the 11s and 13s
Monday 13s.
Wednesday 11s.
Thursday 13s again.

13s have even more clarity...if that's possible.
Clearer imaging.
Better away from the sweet spot area too.
The 13s are also more effortless.
As if the 11s push the bass at you where the 13s just hand it to you, giving more with less effort.
However, they both sound the same flavour....
The 11s sound amazing.
The 13s sound better.
Larger and more rounded
More impressive.
No question.

I wouldn't describe the difference as you suggest... either subtle or in your face... perhaps somewhere between those two.
However, the difference is clear as day.
More than enough to make me want the 13s after hearing both.
It's a big enough difference to be totaly aware of when listening to both.

I would be happy with the 11s.

However....

I bought the 13s.

If any London or UK members see this please message me...
I'd like Ark advice and amp matching advice....
 
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ttocs

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I agree with most of what Matty said.

The ease with which the 13A does its thing vs the 11A is probably one of the more apparent aspects of any differences. It's just so inviting to listen to.

And I'll repeat what has been said so far with regards to the 11A, it's a fantastic speaker! I bought a pair. Five minutes later I switched to the 13A. I just couldn't justify not getting the 13A's.
 

Robert D

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How about the 15A's? How do those compare to those 2 speakers? Are they that much better than 13s?
 

ttocs

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I've heard the 15A's a couple separate times but never in a comparison vs other speakers.

I would suspect that the 15A is a jump up in all things good, but the diminishing returns law comes into effect with the bigger jump in cost.

In the case of my room, the 15A isn't too big for the room, but, being that it's a multipurpose room, the 15A is too big for the area that is designated for a/v.
 

DaVinci Media

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I have had extensive experience with both 11 and the 13 as well as pretty much the entire Martin Logan line. If you had asked me to quickly and concisely talk about the difference as the panel gets larger I would basically say the larger the panel the easier it is to re-create what has been recorded. So if you're recording is very simple, not dynamic, not a lot of instruments, not an interesting/complex venue (or any of the other countless things are going to make a recording), The smaller panel and the larger panel will sound very similar. But as you up the complexity and information in the recording the larger panel allows a more accurate reproduction. I could probably pontificate much more about the differences of panels but in my humble opinion this really is the heart of it.
 

barjohn

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From a physics standpoint, it should be apparent that a larger panel has to move less to create the same sound level as it moves more air. The result should be greater dynamic range before reaching the limits of linear motion. On the other hand in a smaller room this level of sound pressure may not be needed and the larger panel occupies more physical space and tends to dominate the room visually. I have the Classic 9's in my open floor plan home and the open area including the kitchen is about 42'x21'x12' or 10,584 cu ft and they will play at levels way above that which I am comfortable with and above my wife's comfort level (lower than mine). I am using them in an Atmos configuration as I really like spatial audio and find it to be more realistic (in most cases) than 2 channel or 5.1 channel sound. I wouldn't mind going to the 11As but I don't think I would even consider much larger as the visual impact would take away from the other aesthetic aspects of the room including the fireplace, the Frame TV with art and the other art on the walls around the room.
 

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opus10no1

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Always interested to hear other people’s experiences.
I changed from B&W 802d’s last year and again the choice was 11a’s or 13a’s.
My room is about 24x14x8 and i like classical music, especially piano, big orchestral and opera
Preferably listening to large scale orchestral music from the conductors podium.
There is a 6’8” grand piano in the room as well so you get the picture.
I could not arrange a side by side demo of the 11’s and 13’s at my house and bought them ex-demo for a good discount.
I have never forgotten the SL3’s I had before the B&W’s
In my experience a good big ‘un always beats a good little’ un, within reason.
The treble is superb, the transients are just that with great delicacy and the bass deep, door shaking and only there when it should be.
I used the anthem room correction kit as the room response was a bit peaky as you see.
They are driven by an Audio Research Ref 75 SE with absolutely no problems.
The VDU meters never go above about 15-20 watts, whatever that means.
Unfortunately it’s having a blown capacitor and KT 150’s replaced as I write. You can see it in the image, dead centre bulging at the top and also it’s foil wrapping coming off.
Get yourself a good dealer- mine has loaned me a power amp ( class d of all things but it’s good )
Very hard to be objective as to how a system sounds as we all have different likes
The chap who delivered the ML’ S eyebrows met his hairline when I played the storm scene from Verdi’s Rigoletto.
Just like mine and my wife was impressed.
The sound was mediate, crystal clear and there was a storm right there in the room!
It’s taken me 50 years to arrive at this system and who knows what the future might bring.
This is as much money as the aforementioned lady will agree tho ( probably wisely) much like other writers
Good listening
Opus10no1
 

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