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The Martin Logan sound?

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Joey_V

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Some people feel that the Martin Logan sound is flat, dull, and boring. No dynamics they say. I remember a Klipsch owner who criticized Martin Logan speakers since, according to him, it doesnt have the dynamics of the RF5.

Now, I understand that hearing is subjective... but to call a Martin Logan dull and boring is quite a statement.

To me, there is nothing dull, flat, or boring with regards to a Martin Logan speaker. I feel, from experience, that if you properly amplify a ML electrostat or atf speaker, you get a speaker that not only possesses superb dynamics, but also is very transparent and free from audible coloration. ML speakers are among the few that I have heard that lack a complete "speaker sound" as I like to put it. Coloration is so minimal that I hear mostly just what the source has to offer.

I feel that Martin Logan speakers - in general - are so free from coloration, that this is what most people miss. They miss the way they think a song should sound to them. Sometimes, color can add dimension to certain tracks.. but, to me, this defeats the purpose of the speaker since I beleive that a speaker should try to reproduce the source as faithfully as possible. In addition, I feel that many of those critics audition ML speakers that arent adequately amplified or set up correctly and draw their conclusions from these inadequate auditions.

I am slowly realizing that many speakers have their own sound - but I feel that the ML sound is somewhat devoid of this "speaker" sound... as it is nearing the true sound of the source.

Simply put, I love the Martin Logan sound... or lack thereof :D .
 
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DavidG

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First, let me say that I'm feeling the effects of rather too much wine, so what I'm trying to say here may not come out quite right!

Of course, both statements have an element of truth. ML produce some of the fastest and most dynamic speakers on this planet - nothing can compare to the electrostatic panel for these elements. However, this system is ruthless in its' transmission ot the signal fed into it - in other words if you use c**p electronics anywhere in the signal path, you'll get a c**p sound out of your MLs - they won't flatter a system that's weak anywhere from source through to amplifier. This is important - use of ML speakers with limp source or amplification will lead to a limp sounding system.

Secondly, ML are one of the only manufacturers who emphasise the mid-range performance far more than any other element of the music. Consider the rivals (Wilson WATT/Puppy, B&W, Meridian DSP, Dynaudio etc), and all give far more attention to reproduction of bass than mid - but with ML it's the other way round, mid-range is everything. To me, ML have this right because > 90% of music occurs in the mid range, it's not about bass. of course, people hear huge bass reproduction and it has impact, and this is frequently mistaken for excellent 'dynamics' - but of course this is an illusion as there's far more to a world-class dynamic response than just bass impact (Listen to a classical string recording, Vivaldi is good, to understand true dynamics from a system - you'll feel the impact of each note through a system with excellent dynamics)

So, enjoy your MLs in the knowledge that they have some of the best dynamics out there, it's just that there are some people who don't fully understand what this really means!!

With luck, you can see what I'm saying through this wine-induced haze!

Cheers,

David
 

Acoustat

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Sounds good to me!

David,

What sort of wine have you been drinking, 'coz' I think I might buy a bottle and drink it while listening to my Martin Logans.

Cheers
 

Robin

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I hope it was a good wine...

David,

I hope it was a good wine? An excellent, Napa Valley, Calistoga, wine like a, Sterling Vineyards - Sauvignon Blanc, or a Clos Begase - Zenfindel. IMHO, ML speakers sound best with these fine wines..., as Calistoga wines, leave no haze, only a warm after glow... I agree, with you said, about our wonderful ML speakers, by-the-way.

Joey, you are on to something here, I agree, with your comments as well.

I would like to add, IMHO, ML speakers are the most transparent and beautifully sounding speakers available. ML electrostatic speakers provide the listener with clear, sweet, defined detail, which no other speaker company can deliver. IMHO, the ML company is on the cutting edge, offering products which, with an excellent sound path, i. e., properly driven, A/V source and cables, deliver sound quality second only to the live performance. :D

Cheers

-Robin
 

Joey_V

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Robin,

I, too, feel that these are some of the most transparent speakers I have heard. When I turned back to my Polk LSi9, there was just no comparison. Midrange was free flowing and the notes were sharp as a tack - no sonic overhang usually associated with a non-transparent speaker. Also, I found that in comparison to my Mosaic, Klipsch seems veiled. Odd huh? Klipsch vocals just dont seem to have the clarity of the ML while being forward and fatiguing.

It is amazing how superior these electrostatic and atf technologies are when it comes to sonic reproduction.

On another topic, I find that I do not fault ML speakers for being light on the bass. I feel that a speaker need not extend to full range status since subs can handle the low-end aplomb. As long as the speakers hit 45hz or below... that's perfectly fine with me. The important part is that the speaker does everything right in its said frequency spectrum. And ML speakers, when properly amplified, do. ;)
 
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DavidG

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Martin Ray

Acoustat - my missus and I demolished 3 bottles of Martin Ray chardonnay last night, hence the fog!!

Now that the effects of the wine are gone, I can emphasise again that MLs are truly fantastic speakers that fit perfectly with my ethos of good hifi - they reproduce perfectly the signal put into them with a minimum of distortion of colouration. I aim for this with each element of my system, so my source should reproduce exactly what's on the the disc (silver or black), and my amplifier should make the signal louder but not change it or colour it in any way. MLs give one of the purest reproductions of sound that I've ever heard, hence they're the speaker for me.

As an aside, I once did a back-to-back listening session with Ascent i, B&W 803s + 802s and a pair of WATT/Puppies, and for me the Ascent i sounded so far ahead of the others that it was in a different league - yet it was the cheapest speaker in the group. Hope the ML guys don't read this, they may decide to up the prices!!

Cheers,

David
 

Joey_V

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DavidG said:
Acoustat - my missus and I demolished 3 bottles of Martin Ray chardonnay last night, hence the fog!!

Now that the effects of the wine are gone, I can emphasise again that MLs are truly fantastic speakers that fit perfectly with my ethos of good hifi - they reproduce perfectly the signal put into them with a minimum of distortion of colouration. I aim for this with each element of my system, so my source should reproduce exactly what's on the the disc (silver or black), and my amplifier should make the signal louder but not change it or colour it in any way. MLs give one of the purest reproductions of sound that I've ever heard, hence they're the speaker for me.

As an aside, I once did a back-to-back listening session with Ascent i, B&W 803s + 802s and a pair of WATT/Puppies, and for me the Ascent i sounded so far ahead of the others that it was in a different league - yet it was the cheapest speaker in the group. Hope the ML guys don't read this, they may decide to up the prices!!

Cheers,

David
David,

You heard the 802s and the Watts/Puppies? And the ascent outclassed them? Not surprising but definitely not an easy feat to accomplish considering the 802n and the watts/puppies are poised at the upper strata of speakers. ;)

Your goal in hifi matches mine. I, too, am in it for true sonic reproduction. I dont want a component to sugar coat the source, I just want the source. I must admit though, it isnt easy to pick gears that are non-altering as all gear does alter the sound somewhat.... all I have to trust are my ears. Yet, sometimes I dont trust mine as they are still learning.

The caveat of hifi, no one really knows the true sonic qualities of the source. We just guesstimate and hope we're somewhat right.

And IMO, ML speakers are closer to the real source than anything I have heard as of yet. ;)
 
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taylode

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Imagine, everyone on a Martin Logan board think ML's "Rock"... who'd a thunk! Anyway, I agree since I'm getting ready to buy some.

I also wouldn't waste my time trying to convince a Klipsch owner about anything. To my ears they are the worst of the worst. To own and enjoy Klipsch I think you would need to have dead ears. :)

Dennis
 

Joey_V

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taylode said:
Imagine, everyone on a Martin Logan board think ML's "Rock"... who'd a thunk! Anyway, I agree since I'm getting ready to buy some.

I also wouldn't waste my time trying to convince a Klipsch owner about anything. To my ears they are the worst of the worst. To own and enjoy Klipsch I think you would need to have dead ears. :)

Dennis
I dont mind my parents having a full Klipsch HT set. Atleast it isnt bose, which is what they were planning on getting in the first place. For HT purposes, Klipsch have their place IMO.

Of course, YMMV.
 

taylode

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Well maybe for HT they'd be okay -- certainly better than bose. I think Klipsch are a love/hate kinda thing with not to many middle of the roaders.

Dennis
 

Robin

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Musicians hear the difference... as we all do...

Joey,

A while ago, I started an 'Off Topic', thread, but maybe now it's not so, 'Off Topic', with relivance to this dicussion... I wanted to know, if their where any musician's on our site. One of my reasons was, if their were any musicians, why did they choose ML speakers? What did musician's hear, in ML speakers? The responces were extremely facinating, informative and interesting. Check it out:

http://www.martinloganowners.com/~tdacquis/forum/showthread.php?t=736

What was wonderful, to hear from some of our, 'on site musicians', was how they responded to ML speakers and why they choose them. I play guitar, piano and sing. The live performance is such a beautiful thing to experience, as I am such you would agree. Hopefully, as we walk the sound path toward perfection (audiophiles as we are), we strive to attain the perfection of the live performance. ML speakers are a huge part of that sound path... Something we all share... It's why we are here, at this site, to begin with... We are ever listening, tweeking, "trusting our ears" (Roberto - you are a god), as best we can..., ever reaching, for the ultimate goal of having the very best sound path possible, what sounds good to our ears. IMHO, It is a very personal quest we are all on... Our membership's, sound system's are all very individual, different and unique, to the sound each individual has contrived, 'Their Sound' to be..., 'what sounds good to their ears'...

As for me, I am very glad to be on this quest, and sharing my thoughts and my audiophile dreams of perfection with all of my brothers and sisters, here, on the greatest site, on the internet: "Martin Logan Owners Club".:) :D

Cheers

-Robin
 
R

Rouvin

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Although I have never liked the Klipsch sound, the mids sound cupped to me, I do think that the big corner horns have one distinct advantage over ML's or any other speaker needing lots of power. They are very efficient and can take lots of power. The ease with which the big Klipsch can go from soft to very loud when mated with an amplifier with lots of power is stunning -- a dramatic effect seen in live music and rarely in home audio. It just takes too much power. If I remember correctly, each 3db sound increase (supposedly the threshold for the "just noticeable difference," but most can perceive lesser increases) takes twice the wattage. For instance, if it takes 20W to increase the output 3db; 6db would need 40W; 9db, 80W, it starts to adds up very quickly with music with a wide dynamic range. As they say, you pays yer money and takes yer choice.

We did have a very nice Aussie dessert wine after dinner with guests last night, 2001 Wirra Wirra VP Fortified Shiraz, purchased at the winery. Lovely place.
 

kach22i

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Joey_V said:
Some people feel that the Martin Logan sound is flat, dull, and boring. No dynamics they say. I remember a Klipsch owner who criticized Martin Logan speakers since, according to him, it doesnt have the dynamics of the RF5.
To some people all flat speakers must sound the same because they are flat. They lump them in one tiny spot in their brain and store it away without reflection or pondering. If I were to guess I'd say that Klipsch owner must of heard a pair of Maggies 30 years ago being driven by a cheap receiver. Therefore the M/L's must be the same - not so my friend.

Such thinking is common in the market place; this is why companies must reinvent themselves every so often - (have you driven a Ford lately?).

Klipsch's have a reputation derived from the big corner loaders. Some of the line are wimpy squawk boxes, others do have the legendry dynamic transient peaks horns are known for.

The Klipsch sound (cupped hands), like the M/L sound (not very meaty) is closer to neutral than ever before. I think it's great that things keep changing and improving - some people just can't adjust to the times, nor do they want to.
 

TomDac

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I have heard Klipschorns and they are probably the only Klipsch product that I would use for my mains. WONDERFUL sounding and can go very low and very high... The only problem with these is the size.. they are friggin' HUGE.
 

Joey_V

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Robin said:
Joey,
As for me, I am very glad to be on this quest, and sharing my thoughts and my audiophile dreams of perfection with all of my brothers and sisters, here, on the greatest site, on the internet: "Martin Logan Owners Club".:) :D

Cheers

-Robin
Robin,

I wholeheartedly agree! :D

It is great to be here in this club of ours!
 

MarkNewbie

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I like Gin and Tonic too! just throwing in my two cents worth of irrelevancy!
 

roberto

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Robin said:
Joey,

A while ago, I started an 'Off Topic', thread, but maybe now it's not so, 'Off Topic', with relivance to this dicussion... I wanted to know, if their where any musician's on our site. One of my reasons was, if their were any musicians, why did they choose ML speakers? What did musician's hear, in ML speakers? The responces were extremely facinating, informative and interesting. Check it out:

http://www.martinloganowners.com/~tdacquis/forum/showthread.php?t=736

What was wonderful, to hear from some of our, 'on site musicians', was how they responded to ML speakers and why they choose them. I play guitar, piano and sing. The live performance is such a beautiful thing to experience, as I am such you would agree. Hopefully, as we walk the sound path toward perfection (audiophiles as we are), we strive to attain the perfection of the live performance. ML speakers are a huge part of that sound path... Something we all share... It's why we are here, at this site, to begin with... We are ever listening, tweeking, "trusting our ears" (Roberto - you are a god), as best we can..., ever reaching, for the ultimate goal of having the very best sound path possible, what sounds good to our ears. IMHO, It is a very personal quest we are all on... Our membership's, sound system's are all very individual, different and unique, to the sound each individual has contrived, 'Their Sound' to be..., 'what sounds good to their ears'...

As for me, I am very glad to be on this quest, and sharing my thoughts and my audiophile dreams of perfection with all of my brothers and sisters, here, on the greatest site, on the internet: "Martin Logan Owners Club".:) :D

Cheers

-Robin
Hola Robin...thanks for your kind words :) ...but why not share what we love most? The music is what makes me feel alive, when I'm sad or with a problem, a listen a lot music and because of it, my soul and my spirit feels calm. And also, when you just want to listen a certain musicians, why not try to have them in your room, if the now days technology gives you that...the truth is that now you can listen the same work by different musicians and you can tell who is who...right? and it is easier if you have ML. You as a guitar player, if you play an A note at the 5th fret first string, yes, that high pitch note is only 440 Hz!!! So, the ML sound is at midrange, where the musical instruments are...yes, there are some that go very deep in bass, like big church organ or electric fretless bass, the harp, the tuba, piano and some others...but mostly are midrange, and ML is the best of the whole world in this respect. The baritone wind instruments also are in this category, but mostly the song is always played, (most of it) in the lower mid-range to mid-range stage...all what we have to do is: trust in our ears! right, and with a little of common sense, and patience, move the speakers toe-in in some cases and toe-out in others to archive what we like and where we like the scenario. Sometimes just with a pine log under your amp. will make a huge difference in a better sound! Our ears can detect many of these changes, but takes time. I wonder why we keep doing A-B-A comparations if our inmediate memory is so bad...we have to take our time to do is...and the better way is to listen how the isntrument projects its sounds...and if you understand the emotions of the musician while he-she is performing...
Happy listening and please excusme for my dare!!!
Roberto. :D
 
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Joey_V

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roberto said:
Hola Robin...thanks for your kind words :) ...but why not share what we love most? The music is what makes me feel alive, when I'm sad or with a problem, a listen a lot music and because of it, my soul and my spirit feels calm. And also, when you just want to listen a certain musicians, why not try to have them in your room, if the now days technology gives you that...the truth is that now you can listen the same work by different musicians and you can tell who is who...right? and it is easier if you have ML. You as a guitar player, if you play an A note at the 5th fret first string, yes, that high pitch note is only 440 Hz!!! So, the ML sound is at midrange, where the musical instruments are...yes, there are some that go very deep in bass, like big church organ or electric fretless bass, the harp, the tuba, piano and some others...but mostly are midrange, and ML is the best of the whole world in this respect. The baritone wind instruments also are in this category, but mostly the song is always played, (most of it) in the lower mid-range to mid-range stage...all what we have to do is: trust in our ears! right, and with a little of common sense, and patience, move the speakers toe-in in some cases and toe-out in others to archive what we like and where we like the scenario. Sometimes just with a pine log under your amp. will make a huge difference in a better sound! Our ears can detect many of these changes, but takes time. I wonder why we keep doing A-B-A comparations if our inmediate memory is so bad...we have to take our time to do is...and the better way is to listen how the isntrument projects its sounds...and if you understand the emtions of the musician while he-she is performing...
Happy listening and please excusme for my dare!!!
Roberto. :D
Interesting post Roberto... the emotion of the musician. I'll look for that next time. I've felt it before when I listened to my Mosaics, but I'll try to put an emphasis on that on my next listening session.
 

MarkNewbie

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Joey_V said:
Interesting post Roberto... the emotion of the musician. I'll look for that next time. I've felt it before when I listened to my Mosaics, but I'll try to put an emphasis on that on my next listening session.
Joey,

I have a "Tone by-pass" switch on my pre which is turned on all of the time. By doing this, my equipment is not effecting the tones. I try and listen to music as the musicians and recording engineers are presenting it. I am not adding bass or treble or subtracting it either. I liken this to listening to live music. My ears cannot adjust the music before the signal is transmitted to my brain which decides if I enjoy it or not. Like Roberto so elequently said, music makes me happy. There are times when the rest of the world goes away and it is just me and the band in my living room. I purchased the Elton John SACD, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road over the weekend and gave it a listen on Sunday evening. I was hearing songs that I had not listened to in 20 years. I must of listened to it 4-5 times in a row, it was that wonderful of an escape! :p :rolleyes: I just want to hear music the way the artists intended for me to hear it. They are the talented ones and I am the benefactor of that talent. Just so that everyone knows, I am completely sober at this moment....LOL

Mark
:cool:
 

DTB300

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MarkNewbie said:
JI purchased the Elton John SACD, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road over the weekend and gave it a listen on Sunday evening. I was hearing songs that I had not listened to in 20 years.
Great music by Sir Elton....a so-so sounding SACD.

Dan
 
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