My ML sound like *#$%

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68sting

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Well I'm at the end of my rope. I had a pair of Aerius i's being run by a Denon 3300 about three years ago and they sounded great. I recently decide to put together a home theater and purchased a Theater, Ascent i's,scripts, and my original Aerius i's. I then purchased a Denon 5803 to run the theater and my problems began. It sounds bad. (If I went to best buy with $800 I would have a better sounding system) If I hook up my 13 year old JVC (right channel doesn't even work any more) to one of the Ascent i's and the other to the Denon with the same source they sound the same. They sound very hollow, tinny, and cold. Well I took the Denon to my local dealer to be repaired. The tech. guy called and said it was working fine so he sent it back. Hooked it up still sounded bad. Sent it back same result so we hooked it up to some B&W in the store and it sounded great.

The salesman said he used to sell ML in NY and knew a lot about them. 1.He thought ML had probems at high alltitude.(I now live in Colorado Springs) 2. His next guess was the Denon was having a current issue. That would explain why they worked fine on efficeint speakers like the B&W's but had trouble with the Logans. I called Denon to see if they had any idea's and they didn't.

So why did my old 3300 sound good and my much better 5803 sounds like an old JVC? I'm getting ready to sell it and maybe buy a Sunfire Ultimate Receiver. Any thoughts? My friend who bought the 3300 is going to bring it by next week to see how that sounds.

I was very excited to get my all Logan theater going, and now I don't want anybody to hear it!
 

bill

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Don't give up!

When I purchased my ascents, I also had a Denon 5803 and thought it was the best bang for the dollar. While I was setting everything up, I called Martin Logan to ask for some advice on my set-up. When we went over the electronics, he told me that if it's not out of the box, I should return it. He gave me three "low priced" options to run the system. The only one they had at Electronics Expo (where I bought the Denon) was a Sunfire amp and processor. I can't comment on how the Denon sounded, but I can say that for the same price range, I couldn't be happier than I am with the Sunfire. I think that you should try to get your hands on an amp that is better suited to the speakers before you give up on them. I know many people rave about the Denon receivers, so they are probably great, but just not compatable with our speakers. :rolleyes:
 

DTB300

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You are going to get a host of answers to this dilema of yours. You will hear the Denon is just not cut out to run the ML's, and then you will get the people that think the Denon is not the problem. You will get people who will tell you Tubes are the ultimate answer, while there are some who will say Solid State is the way to go. Then it will be buy seperates, Pre Amp and Amps, and use the Denon to process and Pre Out to all the seperate amp(s). This is all subjective in how things sound.

IMO, and from what I have auditioned and listened to, over taxing an amplifier, as with a receiver like the Denon or other brands, can result in "bad" sound. Some HT Receivers are just not able to handle such low loads, into so many speakers, and still be able to keep up. Again all of this is SUBJECTIVE and each has their own ideas and reactions to the sound.

So what is the real answer here??? In general you will find most here will agree that "current" is the real key to driving planars well. It is not about Watts, or damping factor, or distortion levels, etc. Remember numbers are numbers - marketing hype, but the sound the component makes is the key.

Audition and listen, audition and listen, and find the combination you like. Try out a better amplifier just to drive the main front speakers (use the Pre Outs from the Denon) and see how it sounds. Better? Worse? Same? How much did you pay and was the purchase price worth the difference in sound. Again very subjective and your listening tastes will be the key here. We can offer things to try and tell you what each of us likes, but you make the final choice.

You may also want to consider the source - as you did not mention if that changed from the "old" days of the 3300.

Dan
 

68sting

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Thanks for the replies. I used a cheap panasonic dvd player then, and now I have Denon dvd player. Before I bought the denon I posted on here and another member had the 5803 and liked it. My 90 year old grandma wouldn't think my system sounds good so I don't think this is a personal preferance issue. All the speakers sound bad, so I doubt it's a bad speaker. I can hook up 1 speaker and it still sounds bad so its not the combined load of all the speakers. I've tried 3 different sources with no luck. Unfortantely, my only other rec. is the old JVC and its not going to sound good. My wife accually thinks the jvc sounds better!! I'm hoping the 3300 will sound decent and I can eliminate everything else. My local dealer said they can't find anything wrong, so my other alternative would be to ship it off to a Denon Service center and see if they can figure it out. Shipping and estimate charges would add up and without Logans to test it on, I could get it back with the same issue. I was hoping someone had a similar probem with their rec/amp at one time and figured out the problem. I really want to hear that ML sound again.

The reason I don't want to go separates would be 7.1. I can get a 7.1 Denon or Sunfire rec. for around $2000. Separates get pricey fast for 7.1. When some of the used 7.1 processors and amps hit the market in a few years, I will probably upgrade to those. I'm 99% HT which I believe is more forgiving on equipment than music. Although, if I ever get this to work, I'm very excited to listen to a SACD surrounded by Logans.
 

DTB300

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To see if it is truly the Denon receiver, see if you can get a 2 Channel Amp from a local store to audition at home. Explain your situation to the store, that you are looking for better sound than the Denon is giving you. Note: For the audition, get an amp only, not another receiver. You mentioned a Sunfire, or try out an Anthem, or any other suggestions within your budget you have seen for amps here on the forum. Or get some of your friends to bring over their amps to test. Hook them up to the Pre Outs of the Denon for the Main speakers, play some 2 channel source, and see how it sounds.

This should tell you if the Denon Ampification is the initial culprit for some of the sound. But remember you are still processing through the Denon receiver, so it will add some of its signature to the sound.

Dan
 
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Anthony A.

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i would have to agree. use the denon as a preamp and a separate amp to drive the speakers. i promise you that you will not be disappointed. in fact, i am sure that you will like it so much that you will return the denon, buy a good amp and either a cheaper denon (used only as preamp) or go straight for an anthem unit. then you will say.... WOW!!!!
 

amey01

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It sounds like you have a synergy problem between the amp and your 'logans. It seems there is likely nothing wrong with either your speakers or amp - they just fail to work together properly. I'm sure with another amp you will see an improvement (not necessarily a more expensive one!).
 

Robin

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ML's need a powerful amplifier...

DTB300 said:
To see if it is truly the Denon receiver, see if you can get a 2 Channel Amp from a local store to audition at home. Explain your situation to the store, that you are looking for better sound than the Denon is giving you. Note: For the audition, get an amp only, not another receiver. You mentioned a Sunfire, or try out an Anthem, or any other suggestions within your budget you have seen for amps here on the forum. Or get some of your friends to bring over their amps to test. Hook them up to the Pre Outs of the Denon for the Main speakers, play some 2 channel source, and see how it sounds.

This should tell you if the Denon Ampification is the initial culprit for some of the sound. But remember you are still processing through the Denon receiver, so it will add some of its signature to the sound.

Dan
I have a Pioneer VSX 59TXi A/V Reciever. It is listed as one of the very best A/V Recievers on the market i. e., processing 7.1, two room processing, THX, THX Ultimate 2, DTS, DTS-ES etc., etc., etc.... All I can tell you is that my five ML's did not sound very good at all, with the Pioneer 59TXi Reciever... Why? To be honest..., I was not driving my ML's with the 'real' power, they required. The Pioneer 59TXi reciever is rated (By the Pioneer Co.) at 160 watts per channel, all channels driven... So, why? What was the problem? Well, come to find out, that in reality, given the low ohms (load) of ML speakers, and the truer independant objective rating of the Pioneer 59 TXi, It was actually about 60 - 70 Watts per channel (during loud action sequences), but more importantly the current or ampheres per channel was about 10 ampheres or less/channel. It was just not enough power to drive my ML speakers...

So..., I took Dan's advice and auditioned the Anthem P2, at my home. It took some fanaggling and pleading with the sales people but I tried it out in two channel and WOW!!! My Ascent i's just opened up, and sang and sang. I tried others too, ultimately, to make a long story short, I purchased a Anthem P5 amplifier. I still use my Pioneer 59 TXi, as a per amp./processor, and to drive my rear channel speakers (I listen to HT in 7.1). My system has now finially, truly come alive... My ML's all sing! :D

Please check out, some of my previous posts i.e., Auditioning the P2 and then purchasing/set-up of the P5.

I really hope, you find the sound you desire. I have found Dan, to be quite knowledgable and correct in his advice... But, ultimately you have to follow Roberto's advise and "Trust your ears".

Good luck. :D

Cheers

-Robin
 

68sting

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Finally that ML sound

Well, I had my friend bring over my old Denon 3300 to compare to my 5803. It was an interesting test as we couldn't tell the difference between the two rec.($1000vs.$4400). The confusing part was that I used to think the 3300 and Logans sounded good and now realize they must have sounded better than anything else I had heard at the time. I'm still a little confused about how I could have thought that sounded good. I then purchased a Sunfire Ultimate Receiver and holy cow, what a difference. I'm very surprised there cound be that siginificant of a difference in receivers. In the end, I'm just happy to hear what effortless mids and highs they can produlce.
 

attyonline

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I have owned two Denon receivers as well as the 2900 DVD player so I have a lot of respect for the company, but I have to say that their receivers just do not sound very good compared to the better competition like Rotel, Arcam or B&K. Speakers like ML tend to magnify problems upstream and the Denons sound dead with the Logans. I am at a loss why Denon receives such great reviews on their receivers but they always do. Tells you again as if you need to be told, listen and make your own decision cause the reviewers will likely steer you wrong I fear for monetary reasons.
 

DTB300

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attyonline said:
I am at a loss why Denon receives such great reviews on their receivers but they always do.
I believe you answered your own question below...

......cause the reviewers will likely steer you wrong I fear for monetary reasons.
This happens more times than people realize and reviewers will admit to.

Dan
 

jimbo

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I have Ascents and when I originally got them I tried to drive them using a Denon 3801 receiver, the sound was very harsh. When I could afford it I purchased a Classe CAV150 amp and used the 3801 as a pre, this was a step in the right direction but the sound was still pretty harsh. Next I got a Classe SSP-60 processor. This was the magic combination. Smooth and sweet. The Ascents need quality electronics, the better your pre and amp are the better they sound.
 

MarkNewbie

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After reading this thread, I decided to experiment with my Ascent i's. I have an older Carver integrated that puts out 150WPC at 8ohms and operates in class c/d mode so I hooked it up and took my amp and pre out of the loop. Have you ever heard Garbage in - Garbage out? :mad: Same idea here. The Carver could not do my Ascent i's justice and I am thankful that I did not judge them on their performance when coupled with the Carver. Now I don't know much about the Denon as my only experience with Denon is my old DCD-800 CD player and my current set up is light years better. I have heard good things about other Denon products but my point here is that you should home demo some higher end stuff and then let your ears decide. As many have stated, Logans are very, very revealing. Best of luck and I hope it works out for you.
:cool:
 

revah

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I thought I'd chime in here, because I've had a similar experience. I first heard ML speakers many years ago, at the CES show in Las Vegas, with very expensive electronics. The sound was magical, and I was smitten. I knew I'd have MLs someday. I was finally able to buy my SL3s a few years ago, but couldn't afford new electronics at the same time. Even though my power amp had 100 w/ch (175WPC into 4 ohms), it just couldn't bring the speakers to life. The music hinted at the ML sound, but it was thin, pinched and lacked dynamic range.

Just recently I upgraded to a Conrad-Johnson preamp and amp, and the difference is night and day. At last I have the ML magic I always knew was possible with the SL3s. As others have said, high power isn't enough; it has to be high current as well. This is where most receivers and integrated amps fall down. They just can't deliver the current the MLs need to blossom.

Once I lick a boomy bass/room resonance problem I'm now having, I'll finally be in audio heaven (but that's the subject of another thread).

Sami
 
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BearcatSandor

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There is something in this thread that bothered me. I live in Montana, at about 4,000 feet.

Does altitude have any effect on the sound of the Logans?
 

roberto

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BearcatSandor said:
There is something in this thread that bothered me. I live in Montana, at about 4,000 feet.

Does altitude have any effect on the sound of the Logans?
Hola BearcatSandor. No. You have on ML, the lightest diaphragm available on any speaker that weights less than the air that it moves...you have no mass and the stat panels will move as fast as the signal is, and because there is no inertia, they will stop moving. This is another reason why ML is so precise and reveals everything on the system chain...happy listening, and always trust your ears!
Roberto.
 

68sting

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Denon

I just thought I would add that its a Martin Logan issue with the Denon. My brother has a home theater with the Denon 5803 and M&K THX 150's. His system sounds great. We also hooked up some B&W speakers to my 5803 and they sounded great. It's interesting how one brand of speakers can sound great and another sound so bad with the same receiver. So bad I assumed the receiver was broke. I'm just glad the Sunfire worked in the end.
 

holmancv

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Craig

This is the first time I have ever posted to this site. For one, I don't understand a quarter of what you more knowledgeable folks are talking about and my ML's (mosiacs and a vignette) are on the lower end of the ML spectrum. I drive my ML's with a Denon and I think they sound great. I'm using DefTec 7004's as side channels and DefTecBP2's as rears. I drive all of this with a Denon avr-2105 which is only rated at 90 watts times seven, oh yeah I'm running a DefTec Supercube 2 subwoofer. I want to upgrade to a B&K AVR 507 for the added power and then start upgrading speakers. So what? Well I think my ML's sound incredible. I know they are on the lower end but just wanted to chirp in and let you folks know that those of us just starting out have SO much to learn. Thank you for your time.
Craig
 

DTB300

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holmancv said:
This is the first time I have ever posted to this site. For one, I don't understand a quarter of what you more knowledgeable folks are talking about and my ML's (mosiacs and a vignette) are on the lower end of the ML spectrum.
First of all...welcome to our fine forum...

Like anything it takes time to learn and absorb the many things about audio. There are too many marketing hypes to mention, but the bottom line to all of these things is what you hear and what you like. You will hear a lot of us say the Roberto Truth - "Trust your ears" - meaning buy and add what you like for the budgets you have set. It is your system at your home, so you are the final judge. We can offer some help in what each of us likes, but that is just a starting point for you to consider - not the absolute truth.

I drive my ML's with a Denon and I think they sound great.
See...you are learning already. What you have, and what you think about what you have is really all that matters. The biggest trouble in this fine hobby of ours is when you start to listen to other equipment and then audition it at home and find out what else is out there and how it sounds.

I want to upgrade to a B&K AVR 507 for the added power and then start upgrading speakers. So what? Well I think my ML's sound incredible.
Remember, added power does not mean better sound. And for a 3dB increase in sound levels, you need to double your power. You have some nice speakers and there are many ways (too many :)) to improve your system, before you upgrade your speakers.

I know they are on the lower end but just wanted to chirp in and let you folks know that those of us just starting out have SO much to learn.
Don't we all....

Dan
 
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