Soundstage size on clsIIz's

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StormBringer

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I recently found a nice set of clsIIz's on ebay tring to win them now, only thing is I have never heard a set in person. I have sampled just about everything up to a statement e2 and love the sound of the ML's but the clsIIz are obviously hard to find a way to audition.

So the big question is how are the clsIIz at filling a larger space say 700sqf, I have a big open main room in the new house and would like to use the cls's becuase I think with the larger panel size they will be less prone to having that one sweet spot, expecially because we will be walking around the unit quite a bit while listening to music.

On a side note.
I took the fiance out to hear some different ML's at my local dealer and she walked away impressed enough with the ascent i's that she even took some CD's out of her collection to try out. So she is ok with the ascent's but personally I don't want to spend that much mainly because I don't have a dedicated listening space and they would be wasted in my opinion.
 

Wardsweb

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CLS's are fantastic in larger spaces. I do find dialing in their exact placement can be tedious, but worth the time and effort. Out of literally dozens of speakers I have owned, the CLS are my all time favorite. Now having said that, they do lack bottom end. I found a good tube amp helps to offset this. If you really want serious low end, you may want to suppliment with a sub. You will need to find one that is very quick to keep up with the CLS's. I don't use a sub for audio listening but do use bass horns for home theater.
 

StormBringer

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I have to hold off on the subs because this will be going against a commen wall. Next time I move a room dedicated to being a theater is a absolute requirement.

Anybody want to guess at the going price's of a really nice set of cls's right now. I have a good two grand budgeted for the speakers alone but I should be able to pick up a nice pair under that.
 

DTB300

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I have seen them from $1800 - $2200 depending on condition, seller and buyer. I see they are CLSII and not CLSIIz's - I think the "Z" was a power supply board upgrade - or possibly the whole electronics - anyone else here confirm this for me?

If you are bidding, find out serial numbers and give ML a call to find out what they really are.

I went from a pair of Sequel II's to CLSIIz's and absolutely love them.

Most of the people here agree that a full range ML panel is one of the best ML speakers and would like ML to produce another one in the near future.

Dan
 

StormBringer

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Yeah I just got a email back from him he had stated that a manual for the clsIIz's came with the auction. The speakers themselfs are not z's but standard II's. Still if I can get a good price then maybe I can upgrade the electronics at some point.

As far as I know the power upgrade is all that is different as well as the power cables themselfs (this I am not so sure on) but allegedly they made the speakers easier to amp as the maximum draw was reduced.

(If this makes any sense then its just pure luck, I am still after a year of reading about the whole higher end audio thing just a little confused.)
 

Jeff Zaret

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The serial numbers on the electronics will tell you if they are iiZ's. Get them and find out when they were manufactured. I have a 14 year old pair that were origiannly iiA's and then upgraded to iiZ's. They are amazing. I too went from Sequel II's to the CLS's and they are great. I have a Depth sub and I have no need for any more bass.

Jeff :D
 

Sky Saw

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I have read differing opinions on room size and CLS'. One former member of this forum had a very sophisticated setup with his CLS', and claimed that they really don't show their best in rooms larger than something like 11x14. Others think that they sound great in large rooms.

I have heard CLS' in two different setups, both in small rooms, so I can't comment on what they sound like in large rooms. However, the panel portion of MLs is what makes them have a delineated sweet-spot, so I think that searching for a wider sweet-spot in CLS' is the wrong direction. The woofer in the hybrid designs will give a different tonal impression when not in imaging position, but I think they would be more satisfying at off-axis listening than CLS'. Another reason I would think that CLS' are not the best in large rooms is that they are not bass champs, and they are best at intimate music (small jazz, chamber music, solo instruments, etc.). These are the same qualities you would find in a great mini-monitor speaker. When you put a great mini-monitor in a large room, you end up hearing their lack of bass and impact. My fear would be that the things that make CLS' great would be lost by the emphasis on their short-comings in a large room.

I also have a large, non-dedicated listening room. My old Aerius' could not keep up with the demand (when I moved into this house), so I got the Ascent-i. They sound great in a big room, and they fill the house with sound. The large space really lets the bass in the Ascents open up.

So, while I would never say that it is a mistake to get CLS' (you can always find a place for them somewhere in your life), I believe that you would find greater satisfaction in a used pair of hybrids.
 

Jeff Zaret

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A tough call for sure. I think like Sky Saw said it really depends on a few factors, the room and the type of music/HT you desire.

For me, most of my hard rock days are behind me burt I do through on an occasional Who album. Like I said I have plenty of bass but I listen to a lot of jazz and the rock is older stuff. My room is approximately 14x22 feet and I have my setup lengthwise. THe backend of my room is open to the kitchen. I guess we all have to make sacrifices. I would seriously think about the CLS's and how they fit in to your lifestyle. They are amazing speakers but if you listen to a lot of Ozzy, Weezer, Lincon Park, etc, they may not be for you.

Just some more of that 2 cents worth.

Jeff
 

zaphod

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Sky Saw said:
I have read differing opinions on room size and CLS'. One former member of this forum had a very sophisticated setup with his CLS', and claimed that they really don't show their best in rooms larger than something like 11x14. Others think that they sound great in large rooms.
hi, my name is lance and i own CLS speakers...

one of the best sounds i heard was in a 17' X 35' X 12' room being filled by CLS speakers driven by spectral electronics (power and pre/CD). the soundstage was huge.

perhaps i missed it, but one of the truly great things about the CLS is their transpancy - you just cannot pinpoint the exact location of the speakers, they melt away leaving just the sound.
 

Reverb

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zaphod said:
hi, my name is lance and i own CLS speakers...

He He He… It sounds like your at one of those anonymous meetings. Hi, my name is lance, I own CLS speakers, im an addict.

Just kidding :D
 
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StormBringer

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I contacted ML and the electronics are early cls1, and the panels are clsII's. Not the greatest match, so I am skipping on this set. I found a nice set of original ascents on audiogon and have been trying to buy those, depends on the price really.
 

Jeff Zaret

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Gee Tom this couldn't be a biased opinion
LOL :D

Actually I have never heard ReQuests so I can not make a judgement but I am sure they great.


Jeff
 

StormBringer

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Jeff Zaret said:
Actually I have never heard ReQuests so I can not make a judgement but I am sure they great.
Jeff
same with me, no clue how they sound, I am going to go demo a set of Nucleus Reference 3's tonight because I have a friend who raves about his (even though he does not even have them in house yet). They claim that these will work in unusual spaces so maybe they will work. They will let me demo the set they have at my place which will give me a better idea of how they will run.
 

Sky Saw

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zaphod said:
one of the best sounds i heard was in a 17' X 35' X 12' room being filled by CLS speakers driven by spectral electronics (power and pre/CD). the soundstage was huge.
I'm not completely surprised. Spectral is some very heavy-hitting stuff. And I'm glad to hear that CLS' can sound that good in such a large room.

As an owner, would you say that (all else equal) they sound better in a larger than a smaller space, or vice-versa?
 

StormBringer

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I went out to my local botique seller yesterday, sat down and listened to a few and found out that I like the sound of the magnepan's a lot (even a little bit better then the similiar priced ML's).

So I picked up a demo set of 1.6's in black and dark cherry and a Rotel RA-1062 integrated amp. Was able to get everything about 20% of new prices. Magnepans have about 5 hours on them and the rotel about 4 hours, both had 5 year war's.

I was only able to play with them for about 4-5 minutes at the house before I had to run off but just that setup being fed from my ipod through a crappy 5 dollar radio shack cable is better then anything I have ever had in my house. I am going to pick up a SACD on my lunch break so I can really test it out when I hook up my CD player (decent asian one). I really like the sound of the rotel's lower line cd player so I might just slowly upgrade everything to there entry level line because it is really nicely built, and the reviews put it up there with significantly more expensive models and I have no real desire to go rebuy my cd collection in SACD so why pay for it.
 

jjqiv

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TomDac said:
Find yourself a nice pair of reQuests. Best bang for the buck in the used ML market.
I have to disagree. In my honest opinion, the CLS's are the best bang for the buck (cost less, sound better). Not having heard the Statements or Summits, I would have to say the, CLS's are the best sounding speakers ML has ever produced. I keep kicking myself for not upgrading to CLS's years ago.

The down side to the CLS's is that they are big and some amps might have problems driving them. However, for my amp, they are easy to drive than the SL3's.

In your best bang for your buck with the hybrids, I would have to give the nod to SL3's. Once again, I just think, as a whole, they sound more musical than the Requests. While the individual aspects of the Requests were superior, for me the integration between the panel and cones on the SL3's wins out. The added bonus, they cost less.

As a caveat, my bias is for music. If, HT was my emphasis, the bang for your buck could go to either the Aerious or Requests.
 

Jeff Zaret

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I agree here with jjqiv.

I really depends on what you want. If it was primarily music the CLS definetly if it is 50% or better HT then a hybrid.

I have a pair of CLSiiZ's and a pair of Sequel II's The Sequels are great speakers and the SL3's were the replacements for them. So yes, they would be a great deal to get into and are not that hard to drive with most decent amps. The CLS's are another animal. They are wider, not as tall and definetly sound different. They do require a "better- more current aware- type of amp. This is not as rare as it sounds but I would stay away from a typical low to mid-low receiver, IMHO, and use either a dedicated amp, two mono amps or a very good quality combo-style amp-preamp combination.

Just my 2 1/2 cents of inflated opinion

Jeff
 

zaphod

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Sky Saw said:
I'm not completely surprised. Spectral is some very heavy-hitting stuff. And I'm glad to hear that CLS' can sound that good in such a large room.
well, he was trying to sell me spectral. tried for a long time. really hard. it was unfortunately just out of my reach.

Sky Saw said:
As an owner, would you say that (all else equal) they sound better in a larger than a smaller space, or vice-versa?
as an owner, i'd say that the CLS sounds better than anything else would in the same room. :)

what i mean is this: i've heard the CLS in lots of different rooms - 11X13, 11X16 (with a slope behind the speakers and a second slope behind the listener), 17x35 and 12 x 18.

some small, a lot of medium and a big 'un.

in the rooms where i heard different speakers over time, the CLS brought out everything that the room had to offer. throughout, the timber, the accuracy and speed of the CLS outshone other speakers. the clarinet at the beginning of "Rhapsody in Blue" sounded like a clarinet. the opening passages of "Ariel Boundaries" contained all the intricacies of Hedges' stringwork, female vocals have presence.

but you all knew all that. what we're talking about is soundstage - let me describe each room.

the 17X35 room was a huge image, extremely real as it matched the size of a real stage. small jazz groups (Joe Jackson's Jumping Jive) were tight and grouped, while orchestral pieces were the size of an orchestra from mid-house. front to back the image was centered about equal to the plane of the speakers.

the 11X16 room was a weird room. it was the top of a victorian house and the room had a sloping ceiling on the long ends. i put a lot of heavy curtains in that room behind the speakers and on the sides up to the plane of the speakers.

the sound filled the room, i would have things "show up" beside me - like the bongos on the left channel at the end of Joe Jackson's "Target". other times the sound shot way back - When playing the soundtrack from "Manhattan" the soundstage fanned the orchestra back behind the speakers, behind the wall as if the back wall wasn't there. in many ways, that room had the best front to back imaging i've ever heard. but it was dead dead dead with all those curtains.

the 11X13 room was a bad experiment. too square. not enough room treatments. the CLS sounded "okay" but nothing special. the sound was too far forward and compress front to back. i had the speakers too close to the back wall. the side to side imaging was very good. i have heard of people (on this forum) who have put the CLS very very close for near field imaging and they like it. i just never tried it.


my current room is the 12 X 18. for 8 years i had it set up very standard - with wall to wall carpet, heavy curtains behind the speakers and all the equipment in a second room to keep things clear around the system. in a word - blech. nice forward imaging, but little side to side and only a bit behind the speakers.

about 2 years ago we gutted the room and redid it. took out the curtains, used some dispersion techniques, put in lami flooring and so on.

now the imaging is much MUCH better. i get huge and tight where the recording requires it. i don't get as much forward of the speakers that i would like but i do get some on particularily discrete sounds.

so the moral of the story is that whatever your room has to offer, the CLS will pull it out for presentation. the attitude that "the room is the most important component in the system" really comes into play with CLS speakers.

YMMV :)
 

socialxray

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I can confirm that the SL3s are fairly easy to drive with a mid-fi receiver (Denon AVR-1805). I can get all the way to -14 on the volumn control with the most demanding recordings and higher on less demanding recordings before I can sense the music getting harsh, congested, strained.

On music that is mixed to go loud (Beastie Boys - To The 5 Burroughs) I can get to +4 (or maybe even higher).

Either way it is plenty loud for me in my room. That is until I get better equipment. Shhh! Don't tell the wife. Hehe. ;)

(Damn, there I go again, showing my mid-fi roots.)
 
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