System #19 (CLX, Descents)

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Well-known member
Jan 7, 2005
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London, UK
Member Name: Marc Kellinger

Member Location: London, United Kingdom

Year Purchased: 2012

Martin Logan Speakers

a. Martin Logan CLX Anniversary Edition
b. Martin Logan Descent I's (2)

Speaker Upgrades
Over the last few years I have migrated from Ascents all the way to the CLX. I am now very happy and have no plans on changing these any time soon. They are a wonderful speaker.

I also supplemented the CLX's with a pair of Descent I's. These fill in the very low notes, but to be honest they are set very low so there actual involvement is limited - the CLX does go down lower than you can imagine.


Over the years I have changed my electronics as much as the speakers! I am now reaching the heights were the sound and quality of reproduction is at the top (well anyway from what I have heard!).

My current list of equipment includes:-

  • Audio Research Ref150 - amazing power amplifier
  • Audio Research Ref40 - again amazing preamplifier
  • DCS Scarlatti full stack (transport, clock and DAC) - fantastic digital playback. Note to myself, don't demo the Vivaldi!

My cables consist Transparent Audio and Entreq (digital front end). I have been consistent in terms of level of TA cables (all Reference MM2). Likewise I have included cables from power, interconnects and speaker cables. This has been a big investment, however the synergy and level of performance of the system is significantly benefited from having such a level of cables.

I have optimised the level of my system where possible. This includes items such as:-

  • Finite Elemente Master Reference racks
  • Still Points (throughout the system)
  • PIMM2 - Transparent Power Isolator
  • Entreq Ground Box - amazing unit, which lowers the noise floor significantly
  • Bass tubes - situated at the rear of the room to control those low level notes!
  • EAT tube dampers - on all tubes
  • Hifi Tuning fuses - didn't make a massive difference but worth doing
  • Dedicated mains ring with earth rods for hifi

Just incase you are all wondering, I still have my other Martin Logan's (Scripts, Theatre I and Descent). I moved into a new house and have split the system into two. The home cinema room is great, but to be honest most of my time is spent in the main listening room.

I have been lucky that this room is great in size (especially for the UK), 7.5m by 4.5m, and is located away from the main part of the house (so I can actually turn it up fairly loud during night time listening!)


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I like your system. I've been on the verge of buying some Ascent-i mains for awhile now, but was holding off to see what happened at CES. I guess I can go ahead and order now.

From your pictures, I noticed that your room has an unusual door arrangement, with doors at opposite diagonals of the space. Was this some intermediate room like a dining room originally?
Hi Steve,

Thank you for your comments. I am very happy with the Ascent I's - the upgraded panel and woofer has made a considerable difference. If I had the room space I would have considered the larger ML's, but unfortunately that was not an option for me. I am waiting for the new centre to be released and then will be changing my Cinema.

The other door does indeed lead into the dining room - I have put locks on it so that it is not opened by accident! I am very pleased with the imaging of the speakers considering they are in a fairly small room.

Awesome system, how do you like the Krell Showcase with your MLs? I almost ponyed up the cash for one but decided to go with a Rotel 1095. I am also using Transparent cabling except I have yet to upgrade the power cords, how's your experience been with the them?

HI Luke,

Cheers for that - I have to say I am very pleased with the current performance. :D
I think the Krell Showcase is an excellent amplifier and processor combination - especiallly for the money - the only thing that I would upgrade to is the big Theta processor. I feel that the Krell and ML's go very well together - with the power they give the ML's, you always feel that there is plenty of oomph!!

Changing the power cords made more of a difference then I ever expected - I went for the PLS's for all the front speakers. Well worth doing IMO.

Ascent against Ascent I

Hallo Marc

I have a pair of SL3 and I'm thinking about upgrade to Ascent, is Ascent I better than Ascent or should I keep SL3
marck said:
Member Name: Marc Kellinger

Member Location: London, United Kingdom

Year Purchased: 2001 onwards

Martin Logan Speakers

a. Martin Logan Ascent I
b. Martin Logan Cinema
c. Martin Logan Scripts
d. Martin Logan Descent

Speaker Upgrades
I have updated the power cords on the Ascent’s, Cinema and Descent to Transparent PowerLink Super.
Recently I upgraded my Ascent’s to Ascent I’s (December 2004).

Future Speaker Upgrade(s)
To replace the Cinema with either the Theatre I or the new centre speaker – waiting for details to be released. At the same time, I will be changing the centre speaker cable to Transparent Super MM.

Speaker Cable
For the Ascent’s I am using Transparent Ultra XL Bi-cable. The centre is run with Transparent Plus and rears DNM cable.


a. Theta Carmen CD / DVD Transport
b. Krell Showcase Processor
c. Krell Showcase 5 Channel Amplifier
d. Audiolab 8000T Tuner


a. Dreamvision Dreamweaver 2 DLP
b. Vutec Lectric Vuflex Pro screen (78 inches)


a. Showcase processor to Showcase power amplifier - Transparent Super Balanced XLR (all five channels)
b. Showcase processor to Descent – Transparent Super Balanced XLR
c. Theta Carmen to Showcase processor – two Transparent Premium Digital cables (separate cables for cd and dvd)
d. Audiolab tuner to Showcase processor - Transparent Super RCA
e. Theta Carmen and Showcase processor uses Transparent PowerLink Super power cables. Showcase power amplifier uses Transparent PowerLink Plus power cable. Tuner uses Russ Andrews Yello power cord.


a. Sky+
b. Pronto RU940 remote control
c. Lutron light control
d. Futureglass Gem cinema AV custom stand
e. VertexAQ Mains filter

Before upgrading to the Ascent I from the Ascent, I was a little dubious - reading some contrasting opinions. However, now that I have the upgraded speakers in my system (and they have started to run-in), I can say that there is a large improvement. Most significantly, bass is more powerful and controlled, and the new panel improves the midrange and overall sound stage.

If I had the extra room, I would have been tempted to go for a larger pair of ML, such as the Odyssey or Prodigy, rather than the upgrade. However this was not possible in my room due to size constraints.


you have a very nice setup but i would put something on top of the shinney rack between your speakers to keep the movie from reflecting on to it when you watch a movie this would be very distracting to me but maybe it doesn't bother you. you have a very impressive setup. good listening.

Thank you for your comments.

With regard to the shiny top - to be honest I have never noticed it - I think it is vastly exagerated with the camera and flash. I have watched quite a few films and it is something which has not been apparent. I will have a check the next time I put the PJ on!!

I have made a few updates to my system (details above). I have been rather busy over the last year or so:D

I am also considering splitting my system into dedicated AV and 2 channel. I am planning on demo'ing the Audio Research CD7 and LS26. I will then use the FPB700cx as the power amp. What are people's opinions?

The rest of the kit will remain for Av duties.
Very nice setup, but you need some serious room treatments, especially behind the speakers. The centre channel on glass may also be a problem.
I am also considering splitting my system into dedicated AV and 2 channel. I am planning on demo'ing the Audio Research CD7 and LS26. I will then use the FPB700cx as the power amp. What are people's opinions?

The rest of the kit will remain for Av duties.

Has anyone tried this combination with the Summit's?
Very nice setup, but you need some serious room treatments, especially behind the speakers. The centre channel on glass may also be a problem.

Ideally I would have a bigger room, but house prices in the UK are rather high! I have got a SMS-1 to control the bass. I have not noticed any negatives of having the centre speaker on the glass stand since it is angled upwards. If I do indeed split my system I will probably look to mount the centre speaker on the wall behind the rack. I am not sure I have many other options (I don't want to make the stand any higher if I can help it)

Thank you for your comments.
Hi Bernard,

I think you are right! Let me get on this...

Lots of changes to report.

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Updated with new details and up to date photo

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Really like you system and the choices you have made. Nice progress in system building - envy your room :bowdown:
Thank you all for your kind comments.

The level of performance really is special, it frequently gives you goose bumps in how real the sound is.

One think which I would say after spending a lot of time and effort in getting the system to where it is now, is that having a consistent standard across all elements, so equipment, racks, cables etc, is of paramount importance. It is my view you are better getting less expensive components and ensuring you cover all areas than a single item which is much more expensive which would limit other areas.

I will add some other photos shortly.

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