Quantcast

Newbie - so what should I expect?

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

R

rgbyhkr

Guest
I'm going to be taking a listen to some MLs for the first time in probably 5+ years. I vaguely remember seeing them in a custom HT shop somewhere here in Atlanta and don't remember much about what I though they sounded like. I've also heard Maggies at leats once, but it was even longer ago than that. At that time, they were more expensive than what I was spending on gear but, like so many of us, times change and my expenditures on audio and HT equipment have ballooned.

So, I figure I'd take another stab at seeing what panels have to offer. I like the hybrid concept as I'm a big fan of bass. Not that I don't think you can't get good bass reproduction from a pure panel, but the size of models that extend lower appears to be much larger than hybrids with similar frequency responses. I don't think I could ever own Maggies or the CLS given the panel width. It's just too eye drawing for many rooms (not that any speaker can really be invisible, but those are too large).

Over the course of my HT edification, I've listened to many brands of speakers. In the custom non-planar end of the market, I've listened to various models from Monitor Audio, Paradigm, Def Tech, Vienna Acoustics, Sonus Faber, M&K, Revel, Dynaudio, Wilson, JM Labs, Meridian, B&W, Dali, Thiel, Triad, McIntosh, Legacy Audio and others I can't recall at the moment. If buying decisions are any indication of my tastes, I'm a big fan of Revel and Dynaudio. I own several models from the Revel Performa line (F30s, M30s, M22s, C30, C32, B15) and a pair of Dynaudio C1s.

Here in the Atlanta market, it looks like the Magnolia and Tweeter chains are the only local dealers. I tried several zip codes on ML's dealer locator page and didn't see any custom HT shops other than a signature dealer 120 miles away in Alabama. Magnolia has just opened a freestanding store here in addition to the mini Mags in the Best Buy locations, but they only have up to the Clarity on display. HiFi Buys, on the other hand, has both the Vantage and Summit models at their main store downtown. They guy I spoke with said I should call in advance so they could make sure they were setup. I'd also make sure that they were connected to better quality gear than a receiver which should be possible at this particular location. I'll also be sure to ask how broken in they are.

Given that it's been so long that I don't even remember, what should I expect? I understand the basics of the planar and hybrid designs, but what will that translate into sound wise in comparison to the non-planar designs I'm used to? Are there things I might overlook having pretty much no experience with them and are there things I should try and pay close attention to? I figured an experienced group of users might help "set the table" if you will as to what I might expect. Of course, the only thing that matters in the end is what my own ears hear but it's nice to get a primer.

Thanks in advance.

Jeff
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
rgbyhkr said:
Here in the Atlanta market, it looks like the Magnolia and Tweeter chains are the only local dealers. I tried several zip codes on ML's dealer locator page and didn't see any custom HT shops other than a signature dealer 120 miles away in Alabama. Magnolia has just opened a freestanding store here in addition to the mini Mags in the Best Buy locations, but they only have up to the Clarity on display. HiFi Buys, on the other hand, has both the Vantage and Summit models at their main store downtown. They guy I spoke with said I should call in advance so they could make sure they were setup. I'd also make sure that they were connected to better quality gear than a receiver which should be possible at this particular location. I'll also be sure to ask how broken in they are.
You will find going to hear the ML's a HiFi Buys will be a much better experience than going to Magnolia. Find out what other models they have, if you are interested in ones other than the Vantage or Summit. IMHO, the Vantage is a great speaker giving 80% of the performance of the Summit for 1/2 the price. Also take the time to listen to them with different amplification, Pre Amp, and sources to get a real feel for what they can do.

Dan
 

Jeff Zaret

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
1
Location
Lancaster,Ca
Jeff,

I believe that the improvement in design of planars over the years is amazing and if you have not heard them in awhile you will be pleasantly surprise. The question is how much were you looking to spend? Do you have a sub now? What percentage of music and HT do you do? I think when we all know this we can better answer some of you questions.
Also there are some fanatics here that live in the Atlanta area. (not me)

Jeff :cool:
 
R

rgbyhkr

Guest
Jeff Zaret said:
Jeff,

I believe that the improvement in design of planars over the years is amazing and if you have not heard them in awhile you will be pleasantly surprise. The question is how much were you looking to spend? Do you have a sub now? What percentage of music and HT do you do? I think when we all know this we can better answer some of you questions.
Also there are some fanatics here that live in the Atlanta area. (not me)

Jeff :cool:

If I were buying, the Vantage would be in my price range (about $6K max). I do have a spare B15 sub but it's big physically for the room in question (13'x15'x10'). The Dynaudio C1s are in there now and while they are great, they just don't have enough on teh bottom end and I've played with room placement. I've certainly considered mating a sub like one of the smaller Velodyne DDs (I have the DD-18 and really like the customization options and room EQ), but sub integration is never easy. I probably will still try a sub with the C1s, but I'm looking into floorstanders as an alternate. The room is for 2-channel listening only with a Levinson 390s as the source and a Simaudio W-5LE as the amp.

Hope this helps.

Jeff
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
rgbyhkr said:
If I were buying, the Vantage would be in my price range (about $6K max). I do have a spare B15 sub but it's big physically for the room in question (13'x15'x10'). The Dynaudio C1s are in there now and while they are great, they just don't have enough on teh bottom end and I've played with room placement.
If you already have a sub, then consider the Velodyne SMS-1 to mate with it. It is basically the electronics (not power section just EQ) of the Velodyne DD line of subs in an external unit, and you can use it with any sub you want. This unit is going for around $600 and will upgrade your sub performance greatly for your listening room and position.

Dan
 

twich54

Forum Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Messages
6,589
Reaction score
22
Location
SE Pa
Jeff, having been a recent convert to M/L and a long time Maggie guy I am with you. Dan's thoughts are good ones and I concur, keep in mind if you go the Vantage route as I did, $4500 is top dollar that you should expect to pay, that will leave you some extra $$ to be sure your upstream componets are fit for the task at hand ! You did mention the word "bass" , if that is super critical then you need to check out the Summitts for they probably have the best bass managment in the M/L lineup.
Have fun, keep us posted !!
 
R

rgbyhkr

Guest
DTB300 said:
If you already have a sub, then consider the Velodyne SMS-1 to mate with it. It is basically the electronics (not power section just EQ) of the Velodyne DD line of subs in an external unit, and you can use it with any sub you want. This unit is going for around $600 and will upgrade your sub performance greatly for your listening room and position.

Dan
Thanks Dan. I'm actually familiar with the SMS-1 and have followed the long thread about it over on the AVS forums. It's a great idea and an awesome upgrade for any sub at a reasonable price. Unfortunately for me, the only sub I have to put in there is the B-15, which is just too huge for the room. So, I'd be buying a new sub and the SMS. As such, I'll probably just try the DD-10 or DD-12. The form factors of both are small for the driver size and of course have the EQ built-in. On the upside, HiFi Buys also sells Velodyne and has the both DD models in store. So, I can use their 30-day policy to try out one or the other to see if it can be mated well.

Jeff
 
R

rgbyhkr

Guest
twich54 said:
Jeff, having been a recent convert to M/L and a long time Maggie guy I am with you. Dan's thoughts are good ones and I concur, keep in mind if you go the Vantage route as I did, $4500 is top dollar that you should expect to pay, that will leave you some extra $$ to be sure your upstream componets are fit for the task at hand ! You did mention the word "bass" , if that is super critical then you need to check out the Summitts for they probably have the best bass managment in the M/L lineup.
Have fun, keep us posted !!
Yeah, I noticed the discounts people were getting on the Vantages. As such, I'd probably look beyond HiFi Buys to purchase them as they don't do a lot of discounting. As for the bass, I was interested in listening to both models for that very reason. I'm thinking that the Summits may have too much bass for the smaller room size I have, although I have taken keen notice of the bass output adjustments on both models. I prefer a smaller size and, of course, don't want to spend money unnecessarily. If I did go with MLs, I was thinking that the Vantages are a good size at a good price and hopefully the bass adjustment would give me what I'm looking for without overpowering the room. Since we're not talking about HT and just music, I don't need to go to the lowest of lows. I probably won't change my upstream components as both the Levinson source and Simaudio amp are very good.

Jeff
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
rgbyhkr said:
Thanks Dan. I'm actually familiar with the SMS-1 and have followed the long thread about it over on the AVS forums. It's a great idea and an awesome upgrade for any sub at a reasonable price. Unfortunately for me, the only sub I have to put in there is the B-15, which is just too huge for the room. So, I'd be buying a new sub and the SMS. As such, I'll probably just try the DD-10 or DD-12. The form factors of both are small for the driver size and of course have the EQ built-in. On the upside, HiFi Buys also sells Velodyne and has the both DD models in store. So, I can use their 30-day policy to try out one or the other to see if it can be mated well.
Since you have been reading the AVSForum thread for the SMS-1, you will note that some people are buying the lower priced Velodyne's (still with Servo) with the SMS-1 and saving some $$$$ over the DD lineup. Just a thought.....

Dan
 

twich54

Forum Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Nov 25, 2005
Messages
6,589
Reaction score
22
Location
SE Pa
rgbyhkr said:
If I were buying, the Vantage would be in my price range (about $6K max). I do have a spare B15 sub but it's big physically for the room in question (13'x15'x10'). The Dynaudio C1s are in there now and while they are great, they just don't have enough on teh bottom end and I've played with room placement. I've certainly considered mating a sub like one of the smaller Velodyne DDs (I have the DD-18 and really like the customization options and room EQ), but sub integration is never easy. I probably will still try a sub with the C1s, but I'm looking into floorstanders as an alternate. The room is for 2-channel listening only with a Levinson 390s as the source and a Simaudio W-5LE as the amp.

Hope this helps.

Jeff
Jeff, I didn't take notice of your room size, your right, Summitts would be overkill, use the money upstream !!! Man this is easy spending other peoples hard earned $$$ !!
 
R

rgbyhkr

Guest
DTB300 said:
Since you have been reading the AVSForum thread for the SMS-1, you will note that some people are buying the lower priced Velodyne's (still with Servo) with the SMS-1 and saving some $$$$ over the DD lineup. Just a thought.....

Dan
Yeah, I've thought about that as well. The additional benefit is of course being able to pair the SMS with another sub later on should I want to or put it to use in a different system if I want to more full range floorstanders at some point.

Jeff
 
R

rgbyhkr

Guest
So, anyone care to comment on what I might hear from a soundstage, off-axis response, clarity, etc point of view compared to non-planars?

Jeff
 

Jeff Zaret

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
1
Location
Lancaster,Ca
Jeff,
From the discussions so far I would go with the Vantage. I would then live with it for about a month or so then do the sub & SMS-1. You maybe surprised how much bass you have with the Vantage in your room. :eek:

Just a thought

Jeff :cool:
 
R

rgbyhkr

Guest
Jeff Zaret said:
Jeff,
From the discussions so far I would go with the Vantage. I would then live with it for about a month or so then do the sub & SMS-1. You maybe surprised how much bass you have with the Vantage in your room. :eek:

Just a thought

Jeff :cool:
Yeah, I think I'll wind up doing one or the other. Either I'll get a sub integrated well with my existing C1s or go the floorstander route. The size of the room is small enough that I can get away with no sub on floorstanders that extend low enough. I'd agree that the Vatages would probably be enough in the bass dept.

Jeff
 

Jeff Zaret

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
1
Location
Lancaster,Ca
I have the Depth and it adds just enough at the bottom to make the overall sound very well rounded. It does not stand out at all. If fact it is over to the side and you would not know it if you did not look. I would love to put it between the CLS but at the moment there is no room.


Jeff :cool:
 

Joey_V

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
4,379
Reaction score
0
Location
Dallas, TX
Properly integrating a sub with the Vantages will be critical so I second/third the idea of the Velo SMS-1.

As for the debate between the Summit or Vantage - I would say that the Vantage are well within your reach and will give you much of what the Summits offer.
 
Top