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Martin Logan and rock music

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macallan

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I am currently the owner of Klipsch RF-7s and I am considering a pair of Vantages in a second 2 channel only system. I have listened to Vantages at a local Tweeter and have mixed feelings. They were hooked up to a krell Kav400xi integrated and CD player, they sounded good but a little bright, actually brighter than my RF-7s. I did like the sense of space and the speakers disappear much better than Klipsch but i am worried that the may not be best for my type of music. I listen to lots of folk rock, ex. David Gray, Jack Johnson, Damien Rice and classic rock, Floyd, Zeppelin, Bob Marley, etc. I worry that alot of the positive reviews on the Vantages comes from jazz and classical fans. How do MLs sound with rock music? Would they be a better choice than B&W 803s? I know Krell is known for being somewhat bright but I think they make good quality stuff so that should not be the problem. They appeared to be set up properly, not to close to any walls. I did not have any of my own music and they played Seal for me, which sounds awful on any system. I know everyone hear loves ML, but i would like some honest feedback about how they sound with this type of music. And I hate when people say bad recordings sound bad, or ruthlessly revealing, every speaker advocate claims this about their brand to explain away any shortcomings. Visit the Klipsch, B&W forums etc. I want the MUSIC to sound good more often than not.
 

kirkawall

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macallan said:
I am currently the owner of Klipsch RF-7s and I am considering a pair of Vantages in a second 2 channel only system. I have listened to Vantages at a local Tweeter and have mixed feelings. They were hooked up to a krell Kav400xi integrated and CD player, they sounded good but a little bright, actually brighter than my RF-7s. I did like the sense of space and the speakers disappear much better than Klipsch but i am worried that the may not be best for my type of music. I listen to lots of folk rock, ex. David Gray, Jack Johnson, Damien Rice and classic rock, Floyd, Zeppelin, Bob Marley, etc. I worry that alot of the positive reviews on the Vantages comes from jazz and classical fans. How do MLs sound with rock music? Would they be a better choice than B&W 803s? I know Krell is known for being somewhat bright but I think they make good quality stuff so that should not be the problem. They appeared to be set up properly, not to close to any walls. I did not have any of my own music and they played Seal for me, which sounds awful on any system. I know everyone hear loves ML, but i would like some honest feedback about how they sound with this type of music. And I hate when people say bad recordings sound bad, or ruthlessly revealing, every speaker advocate claims this about their brand to explain away any shortcomings. Visit the Klipsch, B&W forums etc. I want the MUSIC to sound good more often than not.
Hi,

IMHO the best thing you can do is listen to the Vantages in your system and with the music you love to listen to. I have these speakers and find they play rock and other heavy music (electronica, garage, etc.) very well but they do sound different from cone speakers on this material -- I find that cone speakers tend to project or push sound at you while the Vantages simply present it (if that nakes any sense). This can make cone speakers sound more, well, dynamic on some material. But the Vantages with their powered woofers can have tremendous force and impact and I find them to be pretty even-handed with the music they play -- they can sound rough with rough recordings but they are unfailingly MUSICAL, so that even bad recordings are musically involving. There are all kind of myths about Logans and certain kinds of music/recordings. I simply don't find it to be the case that these are "classical" or "jazz" speakers and I've been using fairly modest (Quad) equipment to drive them. But I think that you MUST try these in your setup with your music in order to decide.

best,


k
 

Steve

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IMO, I foung ML speakers to lend themselves to more subtle music, so as Jazz, folk, etc. much more so that other speakers that I auditioned. I do not listen to a lot of classic rock anymore, but I'm happy with the way my speakers perform when I do. I strongly suggest that you take a cross section of your music collection the next time you go audition. Play the same tracks on the various speakers that you are considering, and the answer should become very apparent.





macallan said:
I am currently the owner of Klipsch RF-7s and I am considering a pair of Vantages in a second 2 channel only system. I have listened to Vantages at a local Tweeter and have mixed feelings. They were hooked up to a krell Kav400xi integrated and CD player, they sounded good but a little bright, actually brighter than my RF-7s. I did like the sense of space and the speakers disappear much better than Klipsch but i am worried that the may not be best for my type of music. I listen to lots of folk rock, ex. David Gray, Jack Johnson, Damien Rice and classic rock, Floyd, Zeppelin, Bob Marley, etc. I worry that alot of the positive reviews on the Vantages comes from jazz and classical fans. How do MLs sound with rock music? Would they be a better choice than B&W 803s? I know Krell is known for being somewhat bright but I think they make good quality stuff so that should not be the problem. They appeared to be set up properly, not to close to any walls. I did not have any of my own music and they played Seal for me, which sounds awful on any system. I know everyone hear loves ML, but i would like some honest feedback about how they sound with this type of music. And I hate when people say bad recordings sound bad, or ruthlessly revealing, every speaker advocate claims this about their brand to explain away any shortcomings. Visit the Klipsch, B&W forums etc. I want the MUSIC to sound good more often than not.
 

kach22i

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kirkawall said:
I find that cone speakers tend to project or push sound at you
How very true.

Some of the get in your face and anger everyone within ear shot aspect of heavy rock may not be there with an electrostatic speaker. However the detail and overall presentation can be outstanding, even with Rock. It just may not have that retro feel you may seeking. And by reto-feel, I mean really crappy speakers being over driven by really crappy amplifiers. There is something to be said for that, but I've somehow outgrown it - at least most of the time.

Try it in your home, with the material you have in mind - you be the judge.
 

aliveatfive

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The new ML line of speakers does a much better job on rock than the old ones used to. The dynamic range of the speakers with the powered woofers is much wider than the previous versions. The qualities that you mentioned that you did not like would be much more obvious on classical music than on rock.

Having said that, I suspect the speakers that you heard were either not properly broken-in or properly set-up. Poor listening sessions are frequently the result of those two vices. Many dealers do not take the time (in set-up and break-in) that these speakers require. They also require quality in front-end electronics. Pair them with cheap electronics and you'll wind up with a cheap sounding system.
 

macallan

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Thanks for the input and I agree that break in may have been an issue but the set up appeared to be correct. Also B&W owners claim that break in is a farce and that it is really the listener's acceptance that changes with time. Not saying that is true but it does make you think, speakers should sound good right away, right? I just wonder if anyone likes Floyd, Zep and Jack Johnson and thinks these (Vantages) are the best speaker. I have read articles that Wilson Watts can sound amazing with very modest priced amps. I know they are very expensive but the point is that the speaker should make the most difference. Over at the Klipsch forum people refuse to admit that the RF-7s can be harsh at high volumes. I own RF-7s and think they are great but do not have my head in sand about their limitations. I have tried different amps and positioning and this can be tamed slightly but the overall sound is pretty similar. My interest in the ML line is due to an audition years ago with a pair of Ascent's or Aeons (don't remember) and they were playing a solo female vocalist. It was amazing. I don't know the amps but it was tweeter so nothing better than B&K. I have yet to duplicate this experience and I don't know if it was the speaker or the type of music. I have visited Tweeter on several occasions and they never seem to have anything other than vocals or jazz on hand, which makes me wonder......
 

DTB300

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macallan said:
Thanks for the input and I agree that break in may have been an issue but the set up appeared to be correct. Also B&W owners claim that break in is a farce and that it is really the listener's acceptance that changes with time. Not saying that is true but it does make you think, speakers should sound good right away, right?
It is more the panels breaking in, that changes, and ML is the first to tell you about this with their product. Yes, the panels do improve over time and there are people here who have purchased new panels for their speakers and can also confirm this change. The initial sound is bright. Also the upstream electonics, cables, power, etc. can make the speakers bright. ML's are ruthless for revealing the upstream components or source.

I just wonder if anyone likes Floyd, Zep and Jack Johnson and thinks these (Vantages) are the best speaker.
No such thing as best....the only best is what you determine is best. Trouble is in this forum, we are sort of biased towards ML speakers :D

I have visited Tweeter on several occasions and they never seem to have anything other than vocals or jazz on hand, which makes me wonder......
Next time bring your own music to listen to. Also make sure they are running some of their best source components to listen to and not just some $200 cheap player. For that type of system, they should be able to accomodate you.

Dan
 

macallan

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Bringing my own CDs is the best idea and I agree that the idea of a "best speaker" is relative just wondering if any ML owners find that Vantages mate well with rock music. As for associated equipment I think this is way overstated in all forums. Like I mentioned before the Klipsch guys will argue until they are blue in the face before they concede that horns can be fatiguing. CD players and cabling can make a subtle difference but it will not dramatically alter a speaker's presentation. The CD player I heard them through was a 4K Krell (more than i would spend on a source) Any way just curious about ML owners and music tastes as I think this is seldom discussed. I would find some RF-7 owners swearing up and down that they were the best ever but they were talking about how they sounded on Lord of the Rings or Kenny G and I am listening to Dark Side of the Moon. I have just seen lots of references to classical on this forum and very few to the type of music i listen to. Revealing is not always a positive quality if it "reveals" a bad sound. Trust me, the RF-7s have plenty of detail and can reveal the must subtle aspects of music, they also can make your brain bleed.
 

DTB300

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macallan said:
As for associated equipment I think this is way overstated in all forums. Like I mentioned before the Klipsch guys will argue until they are blue in the face before they concede that horns can be fatiguing. CD players and cabling can make a subtle difference but it will not dramatically alter a speaker's presentation. The CD player I heard them through was a 4K Krell (more than i would spend on a source)
In regards to associated equipment, I will have to respectfully disagree in my experience. I have had mods done to my CD Player and the improvment was dramatic. Now, cost does not equate to good sound as I have spent less than $1300 on my player with mods, and I have yet to hear a player under $4k that sounds better. If I know the Krell you are talking about, it is not a favorite of mine. If I was going to buy a player today, I would purchase a model to be modded by either Allen Wright (VSW) or Dan Wright (Modwright) and save some significant $$$, yet get much better sound than players costing 2-3 times as much.

I have changed out amplifiers and Pre Amplifiers, Interconnects, Speaker Cables, and Power Cables. Each has its own sonic character to them, and one must decide on the cost involved in relationship to the change or improvement they make. The change in my source (CD/SACD Player) has made the greatest improvements in the sound of my system, second only to room acoustic treatments.

Any way just curious about ML owners and music tastes as I think this is seldom discussed.
Can ML's rock - yes they can as there are many here who listen to rock on ML's. Can you get the high SPL's that a rock concert has - 110dB's +? My opinion is they do not, but if you want that type of speaker, then the ML is probably not the speaker you want.

Revealing is not always a positive quality if it "reveals" a bad sound. Trust me, the RF-7s have plenty of detail and can reveal the must subtle aspects of music, they also can make your brain bleed.
If the sound or recording is bad, I want my system to play it bad. It the sound or recording is excellent, I want my system to play it excellent (we discussed this in another thread here). If this is what you mean.

I think most here will agree with me, and I am sure they will jump in if they do not, that ML's will definitely show you how good your source and your upstream components are.....or are not.

Dan
 

aliveatfive

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I don't listen to opera, I don't listen to rap, I don't listen to much country. Most everything else I listen to and it sounds great on my Summits.
 

macallan

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Agreed, but this is often used as an excuse, just like the $4K cd player that is not up to par. I want a musical speaker that sounds good with all types of music, just wondering if people feel that the vantage is versatile. Your points are valid I just want a speaker that will sound good with most recordings. I often hear people say that a particular speaker does not "pretty" up the sound. But all speaker's claim this, it is assumed that garbage in garbage out will hold true for any speaker. I just wonder if MLs will be a good choice for rock music, and i don't need a team from Nasa to set them up so all of the other factors in the world don't make them "appear" to sound thin and bright. I want a speaker not a science project.
 

Tube60

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Pink Floyd's Time on a good vinyl pressing is the very song that sold me on Martin Logans. I've listened to a big range of music on them over the years, and in general I've found that they play most forms of music very well. I think people tend to get confused as to what the music is really supposed to sound like; MLs tend to color the recording the least IMO, and I think that's where the conundrum lies. I'm accustomed to live, unamplified music. My mother is an accomplished pianist and I've listened to her play all my life. And I've got a few friends who are solo guitar players and band members, and I've listened to them play in similar size rooms to my own listening room. Thus for most of my life my mind is well tuned to live music. I'm sure most people here can relate. I've played my system to friends who've never heard live music (beyond a rock concert) in their lives, and they look like this emoticon: :eek: after a session. And that's with my Infinity electrostats. I hate to think what'll happen when my Sequels are hooked up....... :D
 

macallan

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Sounds good, i will have to check them out again with some of my own CDs. I agree with your statement about true "live" music, i personally have little experience with this as most of the shows I have been to have been rock concerts, which are played through horns. go figure why i like Klipsch. I like a lot of vocal music like Damien Rice where I am sure the MLs will shine I was just curious how they would sound with zepplelin or floyd. Thanks for the input. How would anyone know what a rock band actually sounds like since they would always play amplified? Wouldn't horns sound the most like a show? Electric guitar is buy definition amplified. That is what I have never understood, people always say something sounds more like live music. What type of live music is not played through a speaker? These type of statements make me think we are listening to very different types of music.
 

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IMO, when you purchase a speaker that does not entirely fit your preferences - one of the following things happen:
1) You throw them away after a few weeks (or months).
2) You start listening more and more to music that fits best with these speakers - and convert (you become their "slave" - that's not always a bad thing ;) ).

If you'll buy the Vantage, you'll begin to listen more to vocal music and tend to buy high quality recordings - because these speakers are highly revealing - you can hear every squeak in the recording and that's not necessarily a good thing (especially on crappy recording). You don't have to worry 'bout your Floyd discography - they are high quality stuff (recording-wise).

If you want a speaker that will rock and sound great with every recording, buy the Zu Druids (and add the Method sub if you want sub 40Hz bass) - these are ultra fun speakers. They do not, in any way, reach the ML detail level - nor their pin-point imaging - but they rock, and are extremely fun.

Just my 2 cents...
 

Tube60

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Horns IMO sound best on tube amps. Again IMO solid state's phase response and often bright top-end makes horn speakers sound awful. But even with tube amps they're often tiring.
My being accustomed to live music (no amps, no mics) helps me extrapolate what a recording should sound like coming out of my system, generally speaking, or at the very least arrive at a reasonable compromise that I can live with. And buying good, solid performing equipment can be tricky. Listen to as much equipment as you have time for, and don't be too afraid of trying out equipment hard-core audiophiles would turn their noses up at! Generally they're right on the money, but surprises happen. So far my favorite CD player is my Sony RCD W-500c player/recorder I picked up at Circuit City on sale. It's a very nice sounding unit with plenty of detail. Of course along the way I'll hotrod it, but right out the box once burned in (warning: takes awhile), I'm well pleased. My own approach to home audio is a fairly grassroots one and I tend to look beyond the flavor of the month or the hype surrounding a given product or price range.
HTH!
P.S.- try The Cars when you audition MLs!
 

Scumurculum

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At times I do really like louder "rock" music.

My CD collections includes bands like Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein, Ministry etc.

I find that the secret for MLs and this type of music is power and plenty of it. I run my Aeon I's via 350 W/ch at 8 ohm (500w at 4 ohm) Thule PA350B.

To be honest my speakers are the best with this type of music I have ever heard, for the first time I am hearing the details in the music as opposed to just an undefined wall of noise. In addition they are as "in your face" as any other speaker i have ever heard.

And boy do those things go loud.
 
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edwinr

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macallan said:
... Like I mentioned before the Klipsch guys will argue until they are blue in the face before they concede that horns can be fatiguing... they also can make your brain bleed.
Hi macallan.

You probably recognise my avatar from the Klipsch Forum. No matter. As well as owning Klipsch speakers, I also own a pair of Summits. I can understand your dilemma. Some Klipsch (and other horn) speakers can sound 'in your face' if you don't match the amplification and source very carefully. This is less obvious with the Heritage range. The RF-7's grab you by the scruff of the neck and MAKE you listen. The Vantage and the Summit kind of lead you by the hand and point out things. Don't let that deter you. Ultimately, the ML's are vastly superior in reproducing musical detail and soundstaging in a natural and non-fatiguing fashion. Their ability to reproduce musical dynamics is second to none. In fact it's very surprising how many horn enthusiasts progress to, or even aspire to, electrostatics or other panel speakers like Magnaplanars (not as good as ML's).

It's a different way of listening to stuff. After a little while, you try and go back to horns - and you just can't. Why? Well... I could just keep typing. But I think you should try yourself. Whether you like rock or the classics or jazz, the Vantage or Summit will impress. Good luck.

Edwin
 
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Rik_Rankin

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Keep in mind that excessive volume and dynamics are damaging to your hearing anyway. ML speakers are capable of playing in any safe range and beyond. Rock music played louder than a ML can handle could be dangerous unless it is in a extremely large room. Something to think about
 

macallan

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Thanks for the reply, high volume is not a concern, and I am not into anything that heavy. Jack Johnson and David Gray are my favorites, lots of acoustic guitar, vocals, a bass line and drums. For those unfamiliar with Jack Johnson he is a modern day Jimmy Buffett. I like Floyd as well but mainly listen to folk/rock, with lots of acoustic guitar. I want a very 3D soundstage and a sense that the vocalist is in the room. I heard this in my first audition years ago and have not heard it since. My question was raised becuase I noticed that at Tweeter they always play solo vocolist or classical. My concerns were compounded by all of the references to the way "live" music should sound. Again, unless you are personal friends with David Gilmour, how do you know what his guitar sounds like unamplified? I don't listen to jazz trios nor attend piano recitals but i am not going to Megadeth shows either. I think MLs will suit the folk genre well, i just haven't heard it yet. I have also heard great things about the Gallo Ref 3.1 but have no way of auditioning them. Thanks for the input.
 
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