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tonyc

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Finally got to hear the new Summit yesterday at Audio Systems in Austin. It is not nearly so awkward looking in person as it is on paper! And the sound, driven by Audio Research electronics is fabulous! I think I have finally found a speaker which can replace my beloved Apogee Divas in my two channel rig. WOW!
 

jfm

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Which ARC amp was being used? Thanks!
 

longhorn

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tonyc said:
Finally got to hear the new Summit yesterday at Audio Systems in Austin. It is not nearly so awkward looking in person as it is on paper! And the sound, driven by Audio Research electronics is fabulous! I think I have finally found a speaker which can replace my beloved Apogee Divas in my two channel rig. WOW!
I love that store,a great example what a high end store should be like. They care about the music and not the equipment. Gotta go by and hear them now.
 
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Gary Selken

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My experience with the Summits (long)

I agree that Audio Systems (Austin) is the way every audio dealer should be. Great customer service, experienced sales staff, good product mix from very affordable to just shy of the ridiculously expensive, and they remain loyal to their product line.

Here's a message I logged on Audio Asylum a few weeks ago:

I was able to audition the new Martin Logan Summits this weekend at home after a favorable impression at my dealer’s (Audio Systems) showroom. These speakers have a great deal going for them, and would likely be the kind of loudspeaker to be selected as “product of the year”, etc. by one of the hi-fi rags.
They are surprisingly small for a full-range hybrid: the ES panel in narrow, slanted backwards (thus “only” 59” tall), almost transparent- more so than previous ML panels, and the powered woofers are in a very small enclosure.

They are extremely efficient and capable of high SPLs. I didn’t measure with test tones, but my preamplifier was regularly set about 10 dB lower than with my Maggies! I did casually measure in-room FR at my listening position, and the woofer made it down to the 20s with high frequencies measuring unusually flat beyond 10k. I don’t know what the upper limit is on SPL, but it is higher than I would ever care to listen.

The two 10” woofers integrated seamlessly with the panels, giving a sense of almost panel-like bass detail.

When the speakers sense a music signal and power up, a blue line on the top of each woofer (behind the panels, but quite visible) lights up from bottom to top ala Star Wars light saber. Cool!

The Sound: Soundstage rivals that of mini-monitors, deep and wider than the speakers’ position, with a rock-solid center fill and very good image specificity.

Problems: Most annoying was that no matter what I did to my listening room, speaker position, cable choice, or amplifier selection, these speakers were GLARINGLY BRIGHT, with a frequency/dispersion characteristic that contributed to new detail and presence on some recordings, but listener fatigue and ear bleed on many, if not most. My room has wood floors and sliding-glass windows and does not take kindly to this perhaps brutally honest balance; however, I have had many fine loudspeakers in my listening room before without this level of upper midrange aural pain. I have heard this “voicing” in other ML loudspeakers when auditioned in store, but after a good in-store audition, I had hoped to have a good home audition- not so.

That would be enough of a problem for me to give a thumbs down, but the backwards lean of the panels also lowered the soundstage. I sit in a wheelchair with my ears about 50” above the ground, much higher than most, but I have always found that leaning dipoles backwards, while improving listening height for standing listeners, seems to lower the perceived image because of the strong rear-wave contribution.

Everyone should check out these innovative loudspeakers if they have the opportunity. My listening room may be particularly live, or my ears unusually sensitive to the frequencies which bothered me. Regardless, in a well-dampened room, particularly for A/V use, where efficiency, high SPLs, and generous sweet spot are valuable, these speakers may be a real winner. They sure are cute, too (and cool.)

And to the Maggie owners- Man, is it ever sweet to return to what is, for me, possibly the most musical loudspeaker made today! I may wander, but it seems I may also always return.

…… Gary
 

aliveatfive

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Just a guess - not yet broken in. MLs typically take a long time to sound good.

BTW - anyone heard Summit in NYC area? I visited three different dealers to try to audition. Was told they'd call back. Not ONE did!

PS - indicated on ML website I wanted info. (Maybe 3 months ago.) Have not heard from ML either. What's going on?
 

barry

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Summits in Kansas City

I had a chance to listen to a pair of Summits last week in Kansas City at Audio Port. I was surprised at how small they appeared...much smaller than my Odysseys. The panels were black and the cabinet was one of the wood finishes but it wasn't clear which one.

I spent about 20 minutes listening to a remarkable Classe' system driving the Summits. Frankly, I wasn't overwhelmed, but as the staff pointed out, they had "just been plopped in the listening room" and as others have mentioned it takes a long time to break in a new pair of MLs.

In any case, they do look great!

Barry
 

DTB300

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Gary Selken said:
Here's a message I logged on Audio Asylum a few weeks ago:

I was able to audition the new Martin Logan Summits this weekend at home after a favorable impression at my dealer’s (Audio Systems) showroom.
Hi Gary...Glad to see you made it over here from the Asylum.....BTW, I am also a Maggie fan, but I like my ML's better - just a personal preference. It is good to see you have found something that you REALLY like for your music reproduction with your Maggies.

Recently I was also able to audition the Summits on two seperate days at my local store. While I own a pair of CLSIIz's and really have no reason to purchase the Summits, bringing them home is the optimum way to listen as you did. But being a ML fan, I had to get out and listen to the new Summits. In my area there is only ONE STORE within 100+ miles that have the Summit.

The Summits I listened to were black with Dark Cherry woofer cabinets. They were quite different looking in person than on the web site. They look much better in person!!!

First Audition....Two Channel listening with Redbook and SACD

McCormack UDP-1, McCormack MAP-1, Theta Dreadnaught II, Straigtwire Virtuoso IC, Nordost Blue Heaven SC.

As I started to listen, I had to first make some adjustments to the woofer section as it was set too extreme - too loud, too much on the 50 & 25 Hz settings.

For music I brought everything with me from very bright/edgy sounding redbook CD's (older ones that I just cannot listen to), to some of the best sounding SACD (Jazz and Classical), to everything else in between.

Results: Everything I listened to sounded very veiled in the high end...or laid back with not much high end. Like the high end was rolled off. I listened to around a dozen different discs with many tunes on each disc, and was probably listening for about an hour. As I left the store, the sales people asked me what I thought. I said "I am not real sure what to think...It was not overwhelming, in fact it was very underwhelming and I was kind of dissappointed." I asked if I could come back in a day or two to listen again, as I needed to get home and they agreed.

Second Audition....Two Channel listening with Redbook and SACD

McCormack UDP-1, McCormack MAP-1, Theata Dreadnaught II, Straigtwire Virtuoso IC, Nordost Blue Heaven SC.

Again like last time, as I started to listen, I had to first make some adjustments to the woofer section as it was set too extreme - too loud, too much on the 50 & 25 Hz settings.

Brought about the same music as the time before and started to listen. Something was not right with the sound.... I went out to the sales people (who like last time never once came into the room to see how I was doing) and told them that what I was hearing was as I heard before. Everything I listened to sounded very veiled in the high end...or laid back with not much high end. Like the high end was rolled off.

I asked them about the UDP-1 and its sound quality and if they had any other players to see if that was the culprit of the sound issues. They stated that the UDP-1 was not a warm or soft sounding player (I already knew about the UDP-1 but wanted to see what they tried to tell me). One of the sales people then chimed in (not the one who get me setup in the room) and said the Theta Dreadnaught II was a very warm sounding amp, ment to be used more for HT use ("DVD movies can sound rather bright..." was his comment), rather then for Audio use, and he would change it out for an Ayre Amp - a V-5. He was going to put in the larger Ayre, but the Summits will cause it to shutdown after a bit, where the V-5 can take it. They have no idea why, but just realize it.

Okay...so now the Ayre was in the loop with all the same equipment as before.

NOW things were sounding MUCH better. Bad source sounded bad, good source sounded good, and great source sounded great.

Conclusions....

Compared to all the other Hybrid ML's that I have heard, the Summits are by far the best in terms of Panel/Cone integration. As Gary stated, some of the best panel to cone integration that I have heard yet. And the new Panels???? They were some of the smoothest sounding panels that I have heard yet. When played at higher SP levels some of the older ML panels would get edgy sounding, but not the Summits from what I heard. They maintained their sound from low to high sound levels very well. Now I was impressed with what I heard.

Am I ready to trade in my CLSIIz for the Summits? No, I still like my CLSIIz's (but if they made a new CLS with the new panels....). I would say if I was going out to purchase a new system and had the $$$ to purchase the Summit, I would not hesitate. But like all the other ML's - they are very revealing to the source being played and the equipment hooked up to it. If I did not ask the staff to make some equipment changes for me, I would have NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT PURCHASING these 10k speakers with the original equipment hooked up to it.

So to all of these people out there going to audition the Summits....Make sure to get some of the equipment changed out before making a final decision on them, even if you are familiar with the equipment. As I have experienced with my ML's and equipment, it is a matter of matching up the proper equipment to obtain the proper sound you are looking for.

Thanks...Dan
 
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Munster

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Good Read DTB.... I really wish people would post what amplifiers they are using when they comment on speakers. I get nothing out posts like Gary's.
 

Reverb

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Thanks Dan, good read

And here I thought the Dreadnought was a good match up for ML’s. Was it just too smooth and laid back for you?


Thanks Joe
 

DTB300

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Zip3kx07 said:
Thanks Dan, good read
Thanks. I was going to post after my first listening session, but something was just not right. The WOW factor just was not there after all the WOW that some people reported from the CES. Everything sounded over smoothed, rolled off, veiled, what ever you want to call it in the high end.

I had to go back and confirm that: 1. it was running in 2 Channel and not MCH, and 2. everything was hooked up correctly. After the switch of amps it was evident the Theta just was not the right match. The Ayre was ok as it showed the differences between discs that I know is there but I wish I had more time to have them switch out other amps. But knowing that I was not buying, I really did not want to make the shop jump through too many hoops for me. Now if I was purchasing, you can bet many more amps would have been tried, and I even would have setup a time to bring them home.

And here I thought the Dreadnought was a good match up for ML’s. Was it just too smooth and laid back for you?
Some of the SACD's that I really like and used were Diane Krall's - Girl in the Next Room (amazing piano and vocals), James Taylor - Hourglass (not the greatest SACD but I know his voice well), and the new Yellowjackets - Altered States. I also brought along some Classical that I like and has received good reviews: Handel - Royal Music & Water Music, Telemann - Paris Quartets, & Haydn - London Symphonies. (I am very new to Classical and only have a couple of dozen recordings with most of them SACD)

Each and everyone of these were VERY LAID back in the high end - not smooth and less edge, but it seemed very rolled off. After the amp change it was like a curtain was lifted from in front of the speakers.

For my listening sessions, the Theta sure proved that it was not a good match. But hey, if you get a chance to listen to the Theta and the Summits, please do and pass on your results and opinions. Mine is just one and maybe the amp had problems, etc.

Dan
 
G

Gary Selken

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My associated equipment ...

ML #31.5 transport
ML #360S processor
ML #32 preamp (with #32 phono stage)
ML #33 power amplifiers
ARC VTM200 power amplifiers
SOTA Star Saphire, SME V, Sumiko "Sho"
Cardas "Golden Reference" ICs and speaker cables
RPG diffusers & "abfusors"
ASC "Tube Traps"

My room is naturally one of the most important ingredients, but as I said, I've never experienced the kind of unpleasant frequency balance I described with other loudspeakers I've had in this same room. Speakers include Klipschorns, B&W 801 II, Quad ESL63 (both varieties), Acoustat Monitor 3, Acoustat Spectra 3, IRS Beta, Apogee Studio Grand, Magnepan 3.6, Magnepan 20.1, SoundLab A-1

The Summits simply didn't work for me. Who knows why!

Cheers .... Gary
 

Reverb

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Dan do you recall if the Dreadnought was the model I or II?

I ask because the updated II was suppose to be a little less forward and more dynamic. From what I understand they sacrificed a little warmth for a little more bite in the Dreadnought II?



Thanks Joe :D
 

kwr

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Hi Dan,

Would you be brave enough to cart along your SA102 and tell me about the sound. We run SA102s into Monolith IIIp and I have never had the urge to upgrade the Monolith. I think Plinius is a very happy combination with ML and would be interested to know if this applied to the Summits.

Kevin
 

DTB300

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kwr said:
Hi Dan,
Would you be brave enough to cart along your SA102 and tell me about the sound.
Brave isn't the word to try to cart a SA-102 around - it would be more like fork lift time. And sorry I do not think I will be doing that since I am not serious about purchasing the Summits. If I was thinking about buying them, I would bring the Summits home for audition, instead of trying to cart my SA-102 to the store.

kwr said:
I think Plinius is a very happy combination with ML and would be interested to know if this applied to the Summits.
I cannot imagine it not being a great combo, especially with the new panels on the Summits.

Dan
 
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Jeff Zaret

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Dan,
So now that you have heard the Sumits and can be somewaht subjective, what would you choose the Summits or your CLSiiZ's. If they were both the same price would it sway you towards the Summits or stay with the larger panel of the CLS's?

Just curious. Mine sound increadible with the new panels!

Jeff :D
 

DTB300

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Jeff Zaret said:
Dan,
So now that you have heard the Sumits and can be somewaht subjective, what would you choose the Summits or your CLSiiZ's. If they were both the same price would it sway you towards the Summits or stay with the larger panel of the CLS's?

Just curious. Mine sound increadible with the new panels!
Great to hear the new panels are working out so well...

In answer to your question...Tough choice......

Size wise: The Summits win out in my situation as I could then run a larger screen TV than I can currently use with the CLSIIz's, and I could also probably get rid of the Subwoofer. So smaller size, and no need for a sub gets me a better TV :)

Sound wise: Hard to tell without having them side by side for comparison. The Summits did sound very good and did not get the usual hardness/glare/edge when pushed to higher volumes as older ML's seem to do. The integration of the bass with the panel was very good and also having the ability to control/change that low end was also a big plus. If I had new panels for the CLS that were broken in and I could compare them to the Summit's - again side by side, it would be a much easier choice.

Price wise: For the sound I am getting from my CLSIIz's for the price I paid, compared to the price I would need to pay for new Summits, the CLSIIz's win that one easily.

Final verdict: Don't know :D How's that for a definitive answer!!! Ha Ha...

Hard not to go with the new Summit's and the sound that I started to hear was possible with them - the Ayre was ok (I am not that impressed with Ayre in general). With better electronics driving them I think they would out perform the CLSIIz's in sound - plus they would take up less space, and offers very good bass integration - especially with the controls now offered. If I was in the buying mode, I would want to hear some other amps, like my Plinius, driving them.

Dan
 

Jeff Zaret

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Dan,
I have not heard them yet so I can not pass any kind of judgment. I would think with everything being equal the Summits would win out but that is a guess. The CLS panels are wider and I would assume give a wider soundstage but I could be wrong. As far as acuracy, I would think the Summits would have the edge because of the new designs in the panel and the integration of the "dual" woofer. Also, I would think that the Summits are easier to drive than the CLS's. Having said all of that it is the $10k price tag that makes my CLSiiZ's sound really great in comparison. LOL :D

Are the mids are well defined as the CLS's? That is a tough one to beat.


Jeff
 

roberto

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oh!...the summits...

Jeff Zaret said:
Dan,
I have not heard them yet so I can not pass any kind of judgment. I would think with everything being equal the Summits would win out but that is a guess. The CLS panels are wider and I would assume give a wider soundstage but I could be wrong. As far as acuracy, I would think the Summits would have the edge because of the new designs in the panel and the integration of the "dual" woofer. Also, I would think that the Summits are easier to drive than the CLS's. Having said all of that it is the $10k price tag that makes my CLSiiZ's sound really great in comparison. LOL :D

Are the mids are well defined as the CLS's? That is a tough one to beat.


Jeff
Hola Jeff, you all know how I am regarding my CLSIIz. When I listened the Summits at the Vegas Show, they got me as the CLS did in 1987 at Chicago´s Show. The panel integration, and having parametric control at 25Hz and 50 Hz to adjust the bass resonances, and self powered for lows, allowing the user to use his amplifier to drive the panels...and not regular panels, the new panels are 17% more efficient than the ones that we have in our regular MLs...makes them as a new standard reference. Don´t get me wrong here, I love my CLS IIz, but they do have better timbre, image, scenario, size of the intruments, and dynamics. ML has taken a step forward with the Summits, and I do know that we have to get used to all the audio benefits that they offer. I really trust my ears, and as a musician, I love what they do to music. Easy to drive, better highs, better image, better scenario, better size of the instruments, better bass than all the models that ML had ever pruduced...you have to take some time with them...we are going to get two pairs, and one was sold before they will get here!!!! just because my customers know how I am and also trusted in my ears...I can say that they are not perfect...but are getting closer to the real thing. They are the most revealing speakers that I have ever heard. At the begining, they are very bright as every ML model. They need some time to break-in. Also this is normal to any ML model. You can use SS or tube to drive them and will show every detail. For me, they are a truly winner. As Dan pointed out, the electronics is very important, and if you have a component that does not sing, you will noticed it right away. To drive them with expensive gear is not relevant. You can use even a Hafler amplifier, and they will sing with your music.
I hope that you can audition them soon, and I know that many of you will be with me. They are not a handsome speakers as other ML are, like the CLS or the Prodigies...Odysseys, Ascent, SL3, Request, etc...the look is not their best specification...but sure are the best in audio performance!!!!
Happy listening,
Roberto.
 
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Reverb

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Roberto,

Since were on the subject of amplifiers for the ML Summits, can you remember what amps Martin Logan used to demo the Summits in Vegas?
Was it Parasound’s JC-1 Halo mono blocks?


Thanks Joe
:D
 
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