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Unique Strengths of Electrostatics?

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kirkawall

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Hi all,

Inspired by the thread below, I'm wondering what you consider to be the best reasons for owning and enjoying your MLs (or Quads, Innersounds, etc.). Wondering because there are so few ESLs relative to cone speakers and also because having made the move to ESLs I'm finding it hard to believe I ever lived without them and yet I can't put my finger on why, exactly.

I've been an audiophile since my teens and have had a variety of systems in the mid-range of price though not always performance -- Audiolab, Exposure, Naim, Densen, Copland, Cary and now Quad. Speakers have ranged from Epos to Paradigm to Totem to B&W to Rogers to Triangle. I heard and fell in love with the CLS IIs but decided on the Vantages for my unusual space and have been continually amazed by them. I find these MLs continually involving in a way I've only heard with the high-end Sonus Faber and Wilsons. I find them to be detailed and tonally even from whisper-quiet to very loud and to have real impact on dynamic passages. I find voices and instruments -- especially stringed -- to be amazingly lifelike and I find images to be very good laterally (my listening room makes depth tricky). Most of all, I find that I connect to a performance with these speakers in a way I never have before, even with some more expensive kit. And I find all this using my modest Quad electronics (though having borrowed two VERY expensive Classe and Moon amps recently I came away strongly preferring my trusty 909, an amp bargain if ever there was one!). I also find these rather unfussy about placement though I expect that they will sound better once I've spent a few days getting this right. I understand their limitations and I could certainly do without the ticks and pops and, for 6400 CAD, expected MANY more choices in finish. But I now understand why it's so hard to go back to anything else post-ESL. Thoughts?

best,


k
 

DTB300

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kirkawall said:
Wondering because there are so few ESLs relative to cone speakers and also because having made the move to ESLs I'm finding it hard to believe I ever lived without them and yet I can't put my finger on why, exactly.
In my experiences with Stats and people listening to them, people either love them or hate them. There does not seem to be a middle of the road.

Dan
 

amey01

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I don't think I could ever live without electrostatics either.

Electrostatics just simply have some qualities that they do better than a cone speaker could ever hope to do. Theses are, to me - speed, clarity and neutrality in that order - and speed again. They inherently have less distortion, not to mention less problems around the crossover area (none for CLS owners!).

There are of course, areas where electrostatics are not up to the standard of the best cones available.

At the end of the day, it is the package that makes up the final sound you hear, and what best portrays the message of the composer and turns it into muisc for you. For me (and you) that is electrostatics - for others it may not be.
 
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Taz

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There is a lot to love the sweat mids and highs for example but IMHO what is not talked about alot and to me what makes them the best is how black the background is. It is dead silence. You only hear what is meant to be heard a cone speaker even the best struggle with this esp. tweeters. Maybe it is just me but I love that!!
 

roberto

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kirkawall said:
Hi all,

Inspired by the thread below, I'm wondering what you consider to be the best reasons for owning and enjoying your MLs (or Quads, Innersounds, etc.). Wondering because there are so few ESLs relative to cone speakers and also because having made the move to ESLs I'm finding it hard to believe I ever lived without them and yet I can't put my finger on why, exactly.

I've been an audiophile since my teens and have had a variety of systems in the mid-range of price though not always performance -- Audiolab, Exposure, Naim, Densen, Copland, Cary and now Quad. Speakers have ranged from Epos to Paradigm to Totem to B&W to Rogers to Triangle. I heard and fell in love with the CLS IIs but decided on the Vantages for my unusual space and have been continually amazed by them. I find these MLs continually involving in a way I've only heard with the high-end Sonus Faber and Wilsons. I find them to be detailed and tonally even from whisper-quiet to very loud and to have real impact on dynamic passages. I find voices and instruments -- especially stringed -- to be amazingly lifelike and I find images to be very good laterally (my listening room makes depth tricky). Most of all, I find that I connect to a performance with these speakers in a way I never have before, even with some more expensive kit. And I find all this using my modest Quad electronics (though having borrowed two VERY expensive Classe and Moon amps recently I came away strongly preferring my trusty 909, an amp bargain if ever there was one!). I also find these rather unfussy about placement though I expect that they will sound better once I've spent a few days getting this right. I understand their limitations and I could certainly do without the ticks and pops and, for 6400 CAD, expected MANY more choices in finish. But I now understand why it's so hard to go back to anything else post-ESL. Thoughts?

best,


k
Hola...well my very first contact with electrostatic sound was Beveridge model 2. A costumer brought them to the country in the lates of 70s. His name was Mr. Fernando Madrigal. When they arrived, he called me and asked me if I could help him to set them up. I took them out of the boxes and the first thing that I did, was putting them as any other speaker, facing you. He was at his work, and I was doing this my myself. When he came, he told me how wrong I have them. They where just in the room, facing us. He said that they must be facing each other, and the image was made right in front of us...I hooked the Mark Levinson´s Preamps model 6A. These preamps are mono, this means one dedicated unit for each channel. I was in heaven. Looking the quality of the components, and he had a Linn turntable model PL-12 (now I own it) and the amplifiers where at the bottom of each speaker. Two pasive 15" sub-woofers came with this set. Then I started to play some music, and it was the most natural sound that I had ever listen to.
Then I listen the Quads 63...those where in the year arond 82. They belonged to Mr. Peter McGraph from Sound Components at Miami...a high end store. So I started to developed a need for this kind of sound. At that time, I had the Magneplanars Model Tympany 3B, eight panels in total, two for bass (must bi-amp-Bryston 4bs amps.) one mid-range and one tweeter for each channel...they gave me big sound, but still had that transparency, timbre, image, size of the instruments in my head with electrostatics...until in 87 at the WCES at Chicago, I met the ML CLS...and cupid hitted my heart since then...I can´t stand any other sound than electrostatics. I do know that there are a lot of good sounding speakers and also very expensive too, but when I saw the CLSs and listened some barroque music through them, I sat there (Mussatex Audio Booth) and told my dad: This is the kind of sound that I have being talking to you since long time ago!!! This is want I want!!! We where listening all kinds of speakers and electronics, thinking of what we should bring here to Costa Rica as a new sound...and I am still in love with them. I have them, but the ones that I listen now are the CLS IIz. I´m just like you are...no matter how good the others are, I kept saying to myself, what you have is very good too...no need for a change. The transparency, the size of the instruments, the scenario, the cymbals, the guitar, the piano, the voices, the winds, the strings, drums, vocals, just name it, and they are ssssssooooooo wonderful reproduced through ML. I got the bug. Perhaps you are getting it too... :D
Happy listening,
Roberto.
 

dbakker@wwnet.com

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roberto said:
The transparency, the size of the instruments, the scenario, the cymbals, the guitar, the piano, the voices, the winds, the strings, drums, vocals, just name it, and they are ssssssooooooo wonderful reproduced through ML. I got the bug. Perhaps you are getting it too... :D
Happy listening,
Roberto.
Roberto,

This is not meant as a criticism of your very expressive use of english, but what are you refering to when you use the word "scenario"? It appears very frequently in your very apropos postings, but to my knowledge the word is not used in spanish and in english refers to a text in the form of a script or a plot. The lexicon of audio and sound could certainly benefit from more descriptors.
 
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roberto

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dbakker@wwnet.com said:
Roberto,

This is not meant as a criticism of your very expressive use of english, but what are you refering to when you use the word "scenario"? It appears very frequently in your very apropos postings, but to my knowledge the word is not used in spanish and in english refers to a text in the form of a script or a plot. The lexicon of audio and sound could certainly benefit from more descriptors.
Wow...how wrong I have being...thanks a lot for the clarification. My diccionary for scenario says:

1 Teat stage
2 (entorno) scenario
(de suceso) scene
(ambientación) setting

No. 2 and 3. is what I ment to say when I did used it, or better say the image in your brain when listening. Yes, you are right. I have been using it a lot, but please understand that my English is not as good as I would like to...sometimes I can´t explain what I want to say, due to my poor language...please I beg for your understanding... I will search for the right word for it...it is more than just the stage, you must add the ambience too, it is to understand better the size where the musicians are, not only the stage itself...can you help me regarding this? Again, thanks a lot. It is good to have somebody to correct me, so I can learn better how to say it. Setting is more confortable to explain the real event...dbakker, again thank you so much, and please receive my appologize for such mistake.
Please receive warm regards from Costa Rica,
Roberto.
 

DTB300

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roberto said:
but please understand that my English is not as good as I would like to...
Roberto...just be glad that we do not have to post in Spanish!!! Now that would be a real mess :eek:
 

Joey_V

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Oh god... if I had to post in spanish... it would be game over.

I would probably only have like 5 posts by now.
 

roberto

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Joey_V said:
Oh god... if I had to post in spanish... it would be game over.

I would probably only have like 5 posts by now.
Dan and Joey...you are too much!!! :D I think it is good to know when I make mistakes and also perhaps I could find a better word to express what I said. :rolleyes: I really thanks to Mr. D. Bakker of letting me know that I was not clear with that word.
I know that sometimes I´m too bored with my posts...happy listening,
Roberto.
 

kirkawall

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roberto said:
Hola...well my very first contact with electrostatic sound was Beveridge model 2. A costumer brought them to the country in the lates of 70s. His name was Mr. Fernando Madrigal. When they arrived, he called me and asked me if I could help him to set them up. I took them out of the boxes and the first thing that I did, was putting them as any other speaker, facing you. He was at his work, and I was doing this my myself. When he came, he told me how wrong I have them. They where just in the room, facing us. He said that they must be facing each other, and the image was made right in front of us...I hooked the Mark Levinson´s Preamps model 6A. These preamps are mono, this means one dedicated unit for each channel. I was in heaven. Looking the quality of the components, and he had a Linn turntable model PL-12 (now I own it) and the amplifiers where at the bottom of each speaker. Two pasive 15" sub-woofers came with this set. Then I started to play some music, and it was the most natural sound that I had ever listen to.
Then I listen the Quads 63...those where in the year arond 82. They belonged to Mr. Peter McGraph from Sound Components at Miami...a high end store. So I started to developed a need for this kind of sound. At that time, I had the Magneplanars Model Tympany 3B, eight panels in total, two for bass (must bi-amp-Bryston 4bs amps.) one mid-range and one tweeter for each channel...they gave me big sound, but still had that transparency, timbre, image, size of the instruments in my head with electrostatics...until in 87 at the WCES at Chicago, I met the ML CLS...and cupid hitted my heart since then...I can´t stand any other sound than electrostatics. I do know that there are a lot of good sounding speakers and also very expensive too, but when I saw the CLSs and listened some barroque music through them, I sat there (Mussatex Audio Booth) and told my dad: This is the kind of sound that I have being talking to you since long time ago!!! This is want I want!!! We where listening all kinds of speakers and electronics, thinking of what we should bring here to Costa Rica as a new sound...and I am still in love with them. I have them, but the ones that I listen now are the CLS IIz. I´m just like you are...no matter how good the others are, I kept saying to myself, what you have is very good too...no need for a change. The transparency, the size of the instruments, the scenario, the cymbals, the guitar, the piano, the voices, the winds, the strings, drums, vocals, just name it, and they are ssssssooooooo wonderful reproduced through ML. I got the bug. Perhaps you are getting it too... :D
Happy listening,
Roberto.
Hi Roberto,

Thanks for your post -- you capture a lot of what I've been hearing also. Perhaps part of the charm of these speakers is their ability to be both accurate and musical. We seem to think of equipment as being primarily one or the other. But my Vantages (and the CLSiizs!) seem to have "soul,' something that eludes most hi-fi gear in my experience. I feel music in a whole new way. Oddly, the LS35A, a tiny speaker which is no longer made in its original form to my knowledge, also had this ability, despite being bandwith-limited and obviously "voiced." I have a pair of Quad 10ls in yew, which were a Spendor-made update of this classic speaker. I could never bear to sell mine, even at a steep profit. Now I know why!

best,

k
 

roberto

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kirkawall said:
Hi Roberto,

Thanks for your post -- you capture a lot of what I've been hearing also. Perhaps part of the charm of these speakers is their ability to be both accurate and musical. We seem to think of equipment as being primarily one or the other. But my Vantages (and the CLSiizs!) seem to have "soul,' something that eludes most hi-fi gear in my experience. I feel music in a whole new way. Oddly, the LS35A, a tiny speaker which is no longer made in its original form to my knowledge, also had this ability, despite being bandwith-limited and obviously "voiced." I have a pair of Quad 10ls in yew, which were a Spendor-made update of this classic speaker. I could never bear to sell mine, even at a steep profit. Now I know why!

best,

k
Hola...are you talking about of the mini monitors Rogers made for the British Broadcasting Company, LS3.5? I also had my pair with some Satterberg subs specially made for them. Little speakers with big sound!.
All of you know how fanatic I am regarding ML...and thinking loud, I think it is due to their ability to present us the musician(s) playing the instrument(s) in a such way that we get their feeling and expression easier than other speakers. Usually, I`m not hearing bass, mids or highs, just listening the whole invironment with the worderful music and the way that a particular musician plays it!!!...definitely I´m in love with ML...happy listening,
Roberto.
 

JonFo

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roberto said:
Wow...how wrong I have being...thanks a lot for the clarification. My diccionary for scenario says:

1 Teat stage
2 (entorno) scenario
(de suceso) scene
(ambientación) setting

No. 2 and 3. is what I ment to say when I did used it, or better say the image in your brain when listening. Yes, you are right. I have been using it a lot, but please understand that my English is not as good as I would like to...sometimes I can´t explain what I want to say, due to my poor language...please I beg for your understanding... I will search for the right word for it...it is more than just the stage, you must add the ambience too, it is to understand better the size where the musicians are, not only the stage itself...can you help me regarding this? Again, thanks a lot. It is good to have somebody to correct me, so I can learn better how to say it. Setting is more confortable to explain the real event...dbakker, again thank you so much, and please receive my appologize for such mistake.
Please receive warm regards from Costa Rica,
Roberto.
Roberto, no sweat, I really enjoy your posts.

Maybe it's because I too grew up in Costa Rica, but in my case, we spoke mostly english at home. Spanish was learned from the maid and in school.

I think what you mean when you use the word 'scenario' is 'escenario' in spanish. In english we'd use the term stage or soundstage.

And you are right, the soundstage of these Martin Logans are wide, deep and clear. It's one of the things I love, as they create this image in our heads that mirrors the real thing (for acoustic recordings) or whole new wolrds of wonder (for studio work).
 

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JonFo said:
Roberto, no sweat, I really enjoy your posts.

Maybe it's because I too grew up in Costa Rica, but in my case, we spoke mostly english at home. Spanish was learned from the maid and in school.

I think what you mean when you use the word 'scenario' is 'escenario' in spanish. In english we'd use the term stage or soundstage.

And you are right, the soundstage of these Martin Logans are wide, deep and clear. It's one of the things I love, as they create this image in our heads that mirrors the real thing (for acoustic recordings) or whole new wolrds of wonder (for studio work).
Pura vida Jonfo...yes, that´s what I wanted to say...and I was wrong. I thanks Mr. D Bakker to clarified this one. I love the forum and of course you guys!!! Ì´m a grandpa with 58 years old and a passion for ML sound. I´m a very lucky person, because I have had many beautiful toys to played with, and also a great wealthy customers that let´s me to play with their toys too. As you know, Costarricans are extraterrestrial, because in this poor little green country you can find the top or the hi-end of every thing. In watches, or pcs, as the same in electronics and speakers. I still remember when in front of Mr. Gayle Sanders and Mr. Jim Power, I was nominated as the best Conrad Johnson salesman per/capita at the whole world back in the 87´s, by Mr. Mike Berns, from Berns Industries Inc. I have a customer that recently bought the new Utopias ($ 45.000.00 here). He is the owner of the Honda Motor CO. here. He has tube amp from Audio Research and a Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Preamp and he is very pleased with them. He had tried different preamps and amplifiers, but this is what he liked. Here is another example that money is not the case...he liked better inexpensive goods, and his speakers are very expensive...did I like his sound?, well yes, but for that kind of money, perhaps I would be with the Summits and great electronics to drive them...it is a matter of taste!...you as a piano player know that the transparency and the harmonics are sooooooooo good in ML, that it is very difficult for you to change them, it happens to me the same thing. The inner detail, the strength, the form, the air between notes, and no ping pong notes while listening, the shade, the color, the size, the texture, the highlite, the focus, the liveliness, the warmth, of all sounds coming from the musical experience, is what makes me with ML...I do know that they are not perfect, but for what they do wrong, you forgive them compared to others that might be good in those things that they do wrong, but are totally unaceptable in the most important factor...to present you the musician(s) playing for you there, in your own place. When I´m listening my ML, in transported at heaven...happy listening,
Roberto.
 
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Robin

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I Love you Roberto...

roberto said:
Pura vida Jonfo...yes, that´s what I wanted to say...and I was wrong. I thanks Mr. D Bakker to clarified this one. I love the forum and of course you guys!!! Ì´m a grandpa with 58 years old and a passion for ML sound. I´m a very lucky person, because I have had many beautiful toys to played with, and also a great wealthy customers that let´s me to play with their toys too. As you know, Costarricans are extraterrestrial, because in this poor little green country you can find the top or the hi-end of every thing. In watches, or pcs, as the same in electronics and speakers. I still remember when in front of Mr. Gayle Sanders and Mr. Jim Power, I was nominated as the best Conrad Johnson salesman per/capita at the whole world back in the 87´s, by Mr. Mike Berns, from Berns Industries Inc. I have a customer that recently bought the new Utopias ($ 45.000.00 here). He is the owner of the Honda Motor CO. here. He has tube amp from Audio Research and a Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Preamp and he is very pleased with them. He had tried different preamps and amplifiers, but this is what he liked. Here is another example that money is not the case...he liked better inexpensive goods, and his speakers are very expensive...did I like his sound?, well yes, but for that kind of money, perhaps I would be with the Summits and great electronics to drive them...it is a matter of taste!...you as a piano player know that the transparency and the harmonics are sooooooooo good in ML, that it is very difficult for you to change them, it happens to me the same thing. The inner detail, the strength, the form, the air between notes, and no ping pong notes while listening, the shade, the color, the size, the texture, the highlite, the focus, the liveliness, the warmth, of all sounds coming from the musical experience, is what makes me with ML...I do know that they are not perfect, but for what they do wrong, you forgive them compared to others that might be good in those things that they do wrong, but are totally unaceptable in the most important factor...to present you the musician(s) playing for you there, in your own place. When I´m listening my ML, in transported at heaven...happy listening,
Roberto.
Roberto,

I love everything you say... :D We have lots in common we are simpatico, you and I both love wonderful sounding music. ML's electrostatics's make that all possible. A very eloquent gentleman for sure and True of heart. :)
 

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Robin said:
Roberto,

I love everything you say... :D We have lots in common we are simpatico, you and I both love wonderful sounding music. ML's electrostatics's make that all possible. A very eloquent gentleman for sure and True of heart. :)
Hola Robin...I was sure when I said you were a beautiful girl (with all respect)...I saw your picture on top of a speaker :D ...that was so funny!!! Thanks for your kind words...yes you are right when you say you get excited when you listen ML sound...I think it is because we are in the same boat! it happens to all of us too...that´s why we have this forum, (thanks to Tom and Jason) to share all of our great beloved sound experience and fun that ML gives to us as users. There are so many histories that I can say regarding ML, one of my favorites is when a blind singer came at my place to listen some music, and after a few chords of a piano with a female voice, she exclaimed to her husband "wow, it´s like being at our National Theatre"...that was the most rewarded statement that I ever had from my sound system using the CLSs and tube gear. She was getting in her brain almost what she listened when she was at our National Theatre. To my ears the tubes are warmer than SS, but also they lack the precision that the SS has... difficult to have both worlds at the same time. So I choosed for warmth than precision...it is my choice and liking and not necessay yours. Happy listening my dear friends!!!
Roberto.
 

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Roberto , dont sweat the small things like the English language , we know you love Logan's just as much as we do ! :) I to like hearing your posts ! :D
 

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My take on the key technical strengths of Electrostats:

1- Low distortion
a. The ESL has vanishingly low distortion, even at very high SPL’s from the midrange on up.

2- Radiation pattern – Line source
a. Unlike a point source, ESL’s sound different because of the natural radiation pattern of a line source. That is, they project their wavefronts as a cohesive, linear propagation that does not decay at the same rate as point source. This means the ‘near-field’ of a line source is much deeper than a regular speaker.

b. This is why people compare ESL’s to near-field mini-monitors being heard in the near-field. That’s because at 10’ you are still in the near-field of an ESL.

c. Notice how an ESL sounds louder at 8’ than at 3’ from the panel?
Not only are you hearing ‘more’ of the front of the ESL, you are also getting some of the rear-wave reinforcement (and some cancellations).


Non-tech strengths:

Stunning looks, works of audio art
Satisfying to listen to for extended periods. I can sit and listen for hours with no fatigue.
 

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kirkawall said:
Hi Roberto,

Thanks for your post -- you capture a lot of what I've been hearing also. Perhaps part of the charm of these speakers is their ability to be both accurate and musical. We seem to think of equipment as being primarily one or the other. But my Vantages (and the CLSiizs!) seem to have "soul,' something that eludes most hi-fi gear in my experience. I feel music in a whole new way. Oddly, the LS35A, a tiny speaker which is no longer made in its original form to my knowledge, also had this ability, despite being bandwith-limited and obviously "voiced." I have a pair of Quad 10ls in yew, which were a Spendor-made update of this classic speaker. I could never bear to sell mine, even at a steep profit. Now I know why!

best,

k
The BBC LS3/5a is still being made, but now in it's Mark II form. The British company Stirling Broadcast has a new BBC licence to manufacture this little marvel. Improvements have been made with BBC approval so that power handling and availability of parts has been improved.

Edwin.
 

kirkawall

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edwinr said:
The BBC LS3/5a is still being made, but now in it's Mark II form. The British company Stirling Broadcast has a new BBC licence to manufacture this little marvel. Improvements have been made with BBC approval so that power handling and availability of parts has been improved.

Edwin.
Hi Edwin,

Thanks for the tip! I'm going to look into these for a cottage system...

best,

k
 
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