System #107.1 (Descent)

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Well-known member
Jan 17, 2006
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Dirk Bakker, Huntington Woods Michigan

Descent Subwoofer
Usher Compass X718 Front R/L
Usher Compass Center
Usher Compact 2-way Rear
Panasonic 50" Plasma monitor only
Rotel Preamp/Processor DV59AU
Electrocompaniet Ampliwire 250 for L/R
Electrocompaniet 100 Bridged Mono for Center
Electrocompaniet 100 Stereo for Rear Channels

The theater components are about 3 years old, the amps I have owned at least 15 years.

This represents the first step in the Martin Logan transformation of my HT system which I use exclusively for watching film on DVD. The Descent was removed from my 2-channel music system where it seemed superfluous after I replaced a pair of Prodigys with Summits. I have posted that system earlier, under the title: Summit #107.

After spending weeks finding satisfactory placement for the Summits, I turned my attention to the sub which had worked suprisingly well with the Prodigy. When properly positioned and adjusted it's presence did even more to ease up and extend the high end than the bottom region, where the speakers where prodigious anyhow. I made sure that one could not hear the sub as a separate voice per se and marveled at how it extended the top.

Nothing like that with the Summit. The Summits already exhibited a much more extended top compared to the Prodigy and the Descent seemed to just get in the way of the proper integration of the panel and the woofers. It foreshortened the soundstage on large ensembles like symphony orchestras.

The answer was to put it where it could do some good, so out my music system came it, replacing a more modest sub in the HT. It has been a great addition there and has given much authority to the voice of the Ushers. In the middle of all this moving and replacing speakers, I auditioned another speaker in my music system and temporarily replaced the Usher X178s in my HT with the Summits..... and I was hooked.

In the end I much prefer listening to music, but I had a hard time dragging the Summits back out of my HT into the 2-channel music system. They are unequaled in describing small soundtrack cues.
Just listen to some movies with real "life" soundtracks recorded life, not just foley generated sound, such as Altman's Gosford Park and you'll realize how that are able to create a far more believable 3-dimensional sense of being in a room or a field. I am afraid that eventually I will have to support the new ML line for a second time.

Which brings me to a question that some of you may have had first hand experience with. Given that my 5:1 system now has the Descent doing the 25-50 Hz region would the Vantage or the new Vista serve equally well over the Summit, when used for film soundtracks only?

I would be grateful for any experienced opinions.


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Well-known member
Jan 1, 2005
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When I auditioned the Vantages in my local Tweeter store I played them with a Depth sub for a while. The bass was great and I expected the bass to drop out when we turned off the sub but it didn't. I was surprised to find the bass was all still there and doing just fine with just the Vantages playing and no sub.

I would expect an experience similiar to what you had with the Summits if you use the Vantage speakers for HT mains but to a lesser extent. I couldn't see giving up such as nice sub for HT even if using Vantages. Maybe with the Summits. I'll have to try moving my Summits to my HT system to hear how it performs there with sub and no sub.


Well-known member
May 9, 2005
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Camano Island, Washington
Great Descent HT System...


Excellent Descent HT system. It's wonderful you posted your second fabulous system... :D I would agree with Craig, re: auditioning your Summits in your HT with, then without your sub might prove revealing, although it would be a lot of work moving around speakers. Having said that, I have heard the Vantages in a HT set-up with a Depth at Magnolia Hi-Fi showroom, which sounded excellent. They had the ML speakers hooked to B&K seporates. IMHO, a Descent / Vantage / Rotel HT system would be just wonderful. ;)

I look foreward to seeing what you deside upon, but I'm sure whatever you choose will be the best sound for your ears.

Beautiful works of art gracing the walls of your HT by-the-way. :)

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