Quantcast

Xstats vs Previous Stats (Aeon, Ascent, Oddysey, Prodigy)

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

Joey_V

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
4,379
Reaction score
0
Location
Dallas, TX
I wanted to bring up a topic that most have an opinion in.

I want to know your opinions between the two and how they present sonic information.

As for me, I find that there is an underlying commonality between the new XStats and that is balance. I'm not talking about the infrasonic bass support down low, I'm talking about the sonic reproduction above the panel crossover. I feel that after listening to the Aeons, Ascents and Oddysey (not the Prodigy).... they too have a sonic thread that they all follow to a certain degree. I feel that the older stats have a predilection towards favoring the top end and a bit of the vocals, sometimes leading towards an unnaturally sibilant presentation.

The Xstat is seemingly being faulted for lacking a midrange sparkle.... yet I remember distinctly hearing a piano piece being reproduced better by even the Mosaics, much less the Vantage, vs the Ascent.

I feel that this sparkle, which I have noted in my past auditions (on similar equipment as the Vantage), is an imbalance in the presentation that favors a certain(s) frequency bandwidth(s) at the cost of truer fidelity. There are build points that point to this possibility, the panel being slightly covered the cabinet down low, the larger and less rigid wooden frame, the larger (and thus more resonant) panel, the non-vacuum bonded diaphragm...

There is great reason to believe that the newer XStats display higher fidelity.

I feel that the Summits are the best speakers (short of hearing the CLS, Monoliths, ReQuests, and Prodigy) that I have heard to date. I feel that it is balanced from 270hz to 20+khz and leaves no midrange sparkle to be desired. There is no preference for a certain bandwidth, and this is what I was always looking for in a speaker - fidelity across the medium of reproduction.

I understand that some may argue that there are musical pieces which sound better on the previous generation.... but is it truer? I can attest that after hearing my girlfriend play the piano and my friends play the guitar on more than a dozen occassions... the Xstats are closer than the previous generation of MLs.

There is nothing to be gained by looking for a midrange sparkle on the Vantage or Summits, it does not exist. You will drive yourself mad looking for an imbalance in the sound that does not exist. As a whole, fidelity lies in the newer XStats.

Having said this, I look forward to the next iteration of electrostats.... in a quest for even better fidelity.

Just my .02.

As Roberto says, trust your ears.
 
D

dyazdani

Guest
I haven't had the luxury of hearing any of the newer MLs, starting with the Ascent/Aeon timeline. The last "new" speaker I heard was the Prodigy...
 
S

Steve Daigneault

Guest
i agree to a point, but i also have come to realize that i like a certain sound, and that NO speaker is totally uncolored. every speaker has it's strengths and weaknesses, and every setup as well. i've realized in all the trial and error, that i like a certain sound (open, electrostatic, but also palpable and fleshy),and that it's not right or wrong that i want this sound from my music, it's just my preference. so, is my system neutral? who knows. the more important question in my mind is, is my system enjoyable? that i do know, and it absolutely is. i know what i like when i hear it, and that's become my guide. i don't need to worry about whether or not someone thinks my amp is too colored, or that my speakers aren't well integrated, or whatever. to my ears, what i hear when i play music on my rig, it's magical. so far, with some trial and error, i've been able to achieve what i think is better sound today then when i first started, and from that better sound, more enjoyment.
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
Steve Daigneault said:
i've realized in all the trial and error, that i like a certain sound (open, electrostatic, but also palpable and fleshy),and that it's not right or wrong that i want this sound from my music, it's just my preference. so, is my system neutral? who knows. the more important question in my mind is, is my system enjoyable? that i do know, and it absolutely is.
Steve...Excellent post.

Everyone....Great info here by Steve and something each of us has to remember when building or composing our systems. Build your setup the way you like it, let it be Solid State, Tubes, Vinyl, or Digital as YOU are the one that needs to enjoy it. It does not matter what others think of your listed components or the placement/layout in your rooms. But remember ideas and suggestions are always nice to experiment with just to see if you like it better.

I have always liked the idea of getting out listening to other setups either in homes or at stores. Also, try to listen to live music in large and small venues as often as you can.

Remember the true bottom line in this fine hobby of ours - enjoy the music!!!

Dan
 

Kaliar

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Messages
266
Reaction score
0
Location
Québec, Canada
Very well put, Steve and Dan !

At some point, we have to forget about technicals aspects and just appreciate what we have: equipment comes and goes, music stays !

Happy listening !
 

Joey_V

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
4,379
Reaction score
0
Location
Dallas, TX
Agree with Steve and Dan.... in the end, it's all about how the system sounds to you, afterall, it's your ears that hear/appreciate the audio reproduction.

This thread isnt about accusations of one's rig being colored or not, it's about how people perceive the two stat generations.... opinions that I/we would like to read about.
 
S

Steve Daigneault

Guest
i do think the xstat sounds different than the earlier panels. they definitely have better dispersion. they are more open in my opinion, i think part of that comes from the fact that there is no rear-plastic-covers on the back of the panel. they also sound more extended on the top end. the midrange to me definitely feels more recessed and thin, but again, this changes so much depending on the upstream components. i have better detail, better "air", better dispersion, and just as fleshy sound as i used to have w/ my aerius, but it took a couple different amp auditions to get here. not sure my current amp would really work so well on the aerius. or maybe i should say, isn't as good a match. again, gets back to matching the components, going with your preferences...
 

robertawillisjr

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
556
Reaction score
0
Wouldn't it be nice for any ML owner to have access to the new stat technology? Or at least be able to compare. Imagine having the option of replacing your Quest's (replace Quest with your speaker) present panel with an x-stat panel. Too bad we are so small a community that this isn't envisioned as feasible.
 

Reverb

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
1,543
Reaction score
0
Location
Palm Springs, CA
Well when I auditioned the Summits I did not notice any recessed midrange? The sound was flawless from top to bottom, it was the first time I heard an audio system that could truly disappear; it was as if I was listening to a person playing before me. When I auditioned the vantages I did not get this feeling? Yes, the sound was good, but the midrange was lacking a bit? My dealer did just get the vantages and clamed they had about 150 hours on them. What I did notice was the vantages were not correctly placed, Tweeter unboxed them, hooked them up and that ware they were.

I did spend some time and squared them up, and pulled them out from the wall. As I was doing this I noticed the sound of the panels were changing? It was as if I was tuning them to the room, but eventually I did find a good spot form them and that lack of midrange was almost completely gone. These Xstat panels seem to beam there sound out so acoustic treatment behind the panel is a must.

I really do love the Xstate technology, but I find it much more finicky then our previous panels. Overpowering them with big amps seems to create a shrilled hard sound, and poor placements means the speaker lack its overall performance.
 

Jeff Zaret

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
1
Location
Lancaster,Ca
I agree will all the posts here but remember we are not exactly comparing the same things and that in itself, is not fair. The design and physical characteristics of the older hybrid designs are not the same as the new. Look at the Ascents, Prodigy, etc, of the "older" designs (except the Monoliths and CLS) and you have wooden frames around the stat panel which maybe some cause of partially blocked or displaced dispersion of sound towards the sides due to the “pseudo box of the panel frame itself. This difference would possibly give you the perceived difference of a greater sound stage in the newer designs. The new Xstat also has different electronics driving them so there is another difference too which we can not compare only speculate.

What would be interesting is to use an “old style” panel in a new frame similar to the Summit/Vantage design and see how much there is in soundstage presentation. Of course you have to take in consideration the crossover frequencies and different electronics but I would be willing to bet the soundstage presentation would not be all that dissimilar between the panels.
The new panels may be more “accurate” or maybe the word is more responsive to frequency/current fluctuations within in its total presentation and this is the difference one actually hears for the first time. Also, there is the belief that since it is new, it costs more, it must be better so it must sound better. Sounds like wanting to hear a difference whether or not one can hear it.

I have heard the Summits and IMHO I did not hear enough of a difference to run out and buy a pair compared to my CLSiiZ’s. I did hear them with some very expensive front end equipment and yes they sounded wonderful but as far as presentation, I would say overall maybe 10% or a bit better than what I have now. The bass is another issue compared to the CLS but that is taken care of with a sub. The CLS’s and the Monoliths are closer in design to the new Summits/Vantage styles than the other hybrid designs with the exception of the bass presentation.

I am not bashing the new designs I think they are “right on” with the evolution of their own technology and ML will get better. I would also not downplay or speak negatively about the “older” designs. I think they were excellent for the times. It is hard to compare even the same models without the same equipment and the same room. The other variable is we all hear differently so there is a variable that can not be directly compared to anything or anyone else but is really speculation.

I believe in what Roberto has said all along and something that has become almost a “mantra” of this site which is “trust your ears”. No one can tell you what you hear, what you like, dislike or what is missing if there no basis but just speculation. The other thing here which I think we all have done so well is we listen to each other as well as we listen to our equipment. Of course, we are obsessed with our equipment, good sound and some of us have “upgrade-itis :D which comes and goes but we enjoy our equipment; we do enjoy the music and, HT too.

Just my 2 cents worth or rant for the day

Jeff :cool:
 

jfm

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
308
Reaction score
0
It seems to me that there are two topics here:
(a) How the XStat panels sound
(b) What are our listening preferences ("trust your own ears")

I think we've reached a point where most of us agree regarding (b).

Regarding (a), the new body of knowledge that is still forming, and for which the data is still sparse. More specifically, system and room synergy regarding XStat panels. Evidently their requirements for associated components and room placement/treatments are somewhat different from the requirements of the previous generation panels.

So, when we see differences in opinion about the new panels' sound, especially the Summit's midrange, we are really reading about specific interactions within particular setups. Of course this is true about all systems, but for the XStat panels the database is still relatively unpopulated, and experimentation is still at an early stage, so the variations are greater.

What I'm paying close attention to is what fellow members, who have the XStat panels, are mating them with and how they are placing these speakers in their rooms. I appreciate such posts and hope they continue coming in at a fast rate, the better to populate said database.
 

Joey_V

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
4,379
Reaction score
0
Location
Dallas, TX
Zip3kx07 said:
Well when I auditioned the Summits I did not notice any recessed midrange? The sound was flawless from top to bottom, it was the first time I heard an audio system that could truly disappear; it was as if I was listening to a person playing before me.
The midrange is different from that of the gen2 (right?) ML but not recessed by any stretch of the imagination. My belief is that of the previous ML having a more "sweetened" midrange while the Summits are more of the balanced flavor. Which suits the listener, as Roberto says, it is in the ears... er, not exactly in that wording.
 
Top