Quantcast

SL3 compared and contrast to Ascent

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

S

scansp7

Guest
What improvements were made from the Ascent to the SL3? Is the SL3 still a relatively good speaker? Is there a big difference between the two? I have heard a lot about bi-amping the SL3's with a separate channel to the low end and high end, I read that the performance is greatly improved. Basically I’m looking to pick up a pair of the SL3's and I want to know what I might be getting into, will I have to spend big bucks on amplifiers? Supposedly these speakers require very nice electronic to go along with them since they are very revealing. Currently I have a NAD C372 (approximately 200w x 2 @ 4ohms) but I do plan on upgrading my amplifier once I have the funding to do so. I’m currently considering a BAT vk300x to upgrade to. I have heard a pair of Martin Logan’s ( I believe they were a pair of Odyssey’s) and was blown away by them except in the lower end they seem to lack the snap and impact that I was accustom to in cone speakers. I was listening to the Sheffield Drum Track disc track 6. The dealer told me this was because they were not fully broken in yet. Although I still questioned this because I have heard that the Logan’s do suffer in this department at times. Also my room that the speakers will be in is relatively small 17’x11’x8’.

Thanks for any help and information.

-Ryan
 
E

EricE

Guest
Welcome aboard Ryan,

I'm sure others will give their input but the "breaking in" period for Martin Logans is relatively long. I'm going through that period right now since I just bought a pair of Ascent i's They are very revealing of your associated equipment so good quality is a must not necessarily big $$$$ though. I also use BAT equipment so your idea of a BAT vk300x is a good starting point.

Your room size might just be a perfect fit for SL3's or even Ascents.
 

Spike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
753
Reaction score
16
Location
SF Bay Area
Also consider other options...

I'm sure that the BAT Vk300x is an excellent choice, you should also consider other (more flexible) options as well, given the budget of the Vk300 and if your (space) situation allows for separates. Given that you have a small room, you can get away with lower power amplifier to start with and expand as budget allows. The important thing is to keep your options open. I'd like to suggest these combinations on the used market. These should be about the same $4k budget for the Vk300:
1) BAT pre (either the Vk3 or Vk5) and Vk60. You can audition a Vk51 pre and Vk75 to get an approximate of how this combination sounds.
2) Cary SLP98 and V12i. If you can find a V12R, that's much better.
3) AES-3 pre and SixPacs monoblocs. These wonderful products from AES is the same architecture as the Cary mentioned above, but the SixPacs don't have the option to switch to ultra-linear mode like the V12i.
4) Audio Research VS55i is also very capable integrated amplifier, but I'm leaning more toward the Cary camp.

The rationale for my tube suggestion is that you'll get a big impact with the smooth tube sound to start with and then you can tighten up the bass later with solid-state in a bi-amping configuration (if needed). If you want solid bass to start, you should consider BAT tube pre + Vk200 amplifier.

If space is really a concern, the DK-Design hybrid integrated is also a very good product on par with the BAT Vk300. I'm sure there are more choices to mention, but these should get you started thinking about other available options that you may not be aware of.

Good luck
Spike
 
E

Erictrostatic

Guest
My room, 11'4"W x 17'10"L x 8'10"H, is almost exactly like your room and the SL3 fits just fine. Though, I have it 5'5" away from the wall, make sure you have the "freedom" to put the speakers around there before commiting to ML.

As far as SL3 comparing to Ascent, I have recently listened to Ascenti in a dealer for an extended period of time and the Ascenti sounded extremely similar to the SL3 in terms of it's tonal quality. The sound just felt the same.

Mind you, I did not try to ID the differences between the 2, I was just trying to use a very similar speakers to my SL3 so I could audition amps.

So if you like how the Ascenti sounds, getting the SL3 would be a great way to save some upgrade money. But if you know you'll always wonder, then invest in the Ascenti and delay the amp upgrade. One thing at a time, understand the character of your speakers first, then you'll know what kind of amp to get.
 
S

scansp7

Guest
Thanks everyon for the replies. So you guys are sure that the only reason that I noticed something missing while listen to the drum tracks was the fact that they were not fully broken in? Erictrostatic, wha tkind of music do you listen to and what amplifier set-up are you runing? With your SL3's are you able to achieve the kicksnap that i am looking for?

Thanks again everyone!
 

Spike

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2005
Messages
753
Reaction score
16
Location
SF Bay Area
scansp7 said:
Although I still questioned this because I have heard that the Logan’s do suffer in this department at times.
Just want to add that most often than not, there are quite a few dealers who don't take time to set up the Logans properly (placements, matching electronics, etc...) giving the potential customers the wrong impression of the Logans' capabilities. Don't take the comments at face values. Listen to the Logans in your set up to estimate their potential. Trust your own ears for you are the best judge for putting a system that'll work in your environment.

Good Luck
Spike
 

Sky Saw

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
97
Reaction score
0
Location
Toronto, Canada
I would hesitate before generalizing front-end component and amplifier comparisons using the older-generation MLs to the newer-generation MLs. The newer gen models tend to be easier to drive, and have a more open, extended top-end and tighter-sounding bass. The differences are sufficient to lead some to typify the older gen MLs as rounder and sweeter, and others to typify the newer gen MLs as having more air and resolution.

I had to change my amplifier when I moved from (old gen) Aerius to (new gen) Ascent-i, and IMHO, would not recommend making system choices based on compatibility between the considered component and an SL3 if you think that newer gen MLs are in your near future.

Having said that, I also believe that a satisfying system with MLs is best achieved using the best front-end electronics that you can get your hands on. For example, I used to have a Rotel 965AX CD player that sounded pretty good with my Rogers LS35/A (bookshelf) speakers (I loved those things!). When I bought the Aerius, the Rotel had to go. My system was made worse by using such high res speakers with a merely decent source. In other words, if I knew that I was going to keep the existing CD player, I would have been better off without the upgrade. I do not suffer from audiophilia nervosa (upgraditus), but when you make a dramatic change to a system, like a major speaker upgrade, you should be prepared for a period of flux with the rest of your gear. MLs have the capacity to give you a 2-channel system that is more rewarding than you thought audio could provide (unless you are looking for chest-thumping bass), but they can also be fairly unforgiving of what is feeding them. Your preferences and the above recommendations sound like you are headed in the right direction.

Good luck, and let us know what happens!
 
E

Erictrostatic

Guest
scansp7 said:
So you guys are sure that the only reason that I noticed something missing while listen to the drum tracks was the fact that they were not fully broken in? Erictrostatic, wha tkind of music do you listen to and what amplifier set-up are you runing? With your SL3's are you able to achieve the kicksnap that i am looking for?
I'm using Classe CP-35 preamp and CA-100 power amp with my SL3. I was auditioning Audio Research SP16L and VS110 with an Ascent i at the dealer.

As much as I love my SL3, when I listen to my friend's Watt/Puppy3, I wish I have more "kicksnap". You could easily get lots of kicksnap from say Revel, Thiel, but they don't give you that magical transparency. You would have to compare, compromise and choose according to what music you like.

As Spike has mentioned, speaker placement is very critical. I have been moving my speakers for months trying to get more and better bass and it makes a huge difference, though not enough to get that Watt/Puppy feeling, they are just different.

I like vocal, piano solo, huge and wide symphonies, meaty double bass and once a while kicksnapping with Pink Floyd. I always test all these music when going to the dealer.

Sky Saw said:
I would hesitate before generalizing front-end component and amplifier comparisons using the older-generation MLs to the newer-generation MLs.
Correct. I must emphasize that auditioning new amps with the Ascent simply was my first step to see if it's worth the hassle to borrow the amps home to try on my SL3.

By the way scansp7, if you are looking for used Ascent, there is one in audiogon for 2195, just a few hundreds more than SL3.
 

aliveatfive

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
776
Reaction score
0
I upgraded from Sequels to Ascents within the past year. IMHO here's the basic difference: dynamics. Critics used to complain that the old Logans could not do large scale orchestral or rock music. The new ML can do this in spades.
BTW, the SL3s followed the Sequel II in the ML lineup.
 
E

EricE

Guest
Dynamics ARE one of the biggest changes that I am hearing between my old Quest Z's and now new Ascent i's.

Listening to music and watching HT there is a startle factor between the quiet passages and loud peaks that was just not there before. A definite improvement there!
 
Top