Spike-- could you please explain your recent message about ot mixing Maggies and MLs in a home theater set-up? I have a pair of Quests (purchased after long deliberation about the spectrum of speakers available in both the ML and Maggie lines). I thought it would be great, not to mention cost effective, to match the Quests with the Maggie center channel (which I have heard, and it sounds great) and the new Maggie surround, the SS2 (when it becomes available, which should be fairly soon, supposedly). From your recent message, it seems that you think this would be a bad idea. Why?
I don't think matching the Maggie center speaker to the Logan Quests is
a good idea due to difference timbre characteristics between the two
models. I went through the process of looking for a center speaker for
my reQuests a year ago and found nothing matched well with the reQuests
except for the Logans (Cinema or Logos). I ended up getting the Cinema
for a great deal. The Maggie center is close, but it's still a bit
distracting to hear the slight difference in voicing when the movie
scene shifts back and forth among the front channels. Here's a suggestion,
put on "LA Confidential" and watch (uh, listen) "analytically" to see if
you can notice the slight voice shift in the dialogue scenes. CyberTheater
also has a good write-up on the ML home-theater setup at:
There's is also a reference to a scene to test for the center-mains
transition using the Terminator 2 LD!!
Another topic to throw in is multi-channel music listenning. I have the
Meridian 565 AC3 processor and I occasionally put it into "tri-field" mode
to listen to some CDs. (Some CDs sound better than others in this
"trifield" mode). With the ML Cinema, the sound coming from the 3 front
speakers is quite focused. The vocal is dead on with pin-point accuracy.
There was no dicernable difference in voicing when I switch between this
trifield mode and bypass (2-channel) mode. For these CDs, the imaging just
locks into focus during trifield. The same could NOT be said when the
Maggie center was in place. Imaging and soundstage collapsed due to the
difference voicing between the reQuests and the Maggie. The reQuest panels
are a bit faster than the Maggie's and it's a noticeable difference if you
listen in "analytical" mode. This is probably the best "test" for timbre
matching among your front channel speakers.
Regarding the surround speakers, I don't think it's of much importance
since there's no critical details comin' out from the rear channels that
need to be voice-matched with the others. Sure it's a NICE thing to have
all your channels timbre-matched but at what cost? Currently, I don't
even have the rear channels setup yet. I've tried the NHT Super Ones for
my setup and got great results with these. I just cannot justify another
pair of ML (and the cost of a high-current amp) for the rears.
Hope I've answered your question. Good luck.
I would also add that the Maggie Center rolls off at 150hz. So it will only match other Maggies well and it needs a small subwoofer (with a high crossover). Total Cost $1200-$1500
Thanks. Although I thought you had originally said you hadn't listened to the Maggie center, apparently you have, and the thought of my soundstage "collapsing" with that speaker is more than I can bear. And the system I listened to the Maggie center in was made of more Maggies only.
As to the surrounds, have you listened to the ML Scripts? They sounded good to me, but again, at a cost (over double the Maggie surrounds).
Finally, just how did you get a great price on the Cinema? Used? MLs are hard to get great prices on, at least in my limited experience.
Yeah well, the previous discussion regarding ML vs Maggies triggered
my interests about the Maggie center so I "borrowed" the Maggie center
to try in my house. That was only a couple of days ago!! You're in luck
that I just tried it.
I got the Cinema as a demo model for around $1k out the door. I couldn't
justify $1800 for the Logos although the Logos/reQuests is quite a combo.
I've heard the ML Scripts, BUT how do you listen critically when:
1) The speakers are BEHIND you, ie you're not in the most optimum
listening to start with.
2) There's not much detailed information comin' out from those channels
save for special effects.
So, my position on surround channels is to get by with a decent amp
(100wpc) and somewhat decent speakers. In my system, I'm targetting a
Carver 100x2 amplifier and a pair of NHT SuperOnes hanging off the ceiling
angled towards the listener(s). For a total coss of roughly $700 including
some cheap cables, this combination for surround channels quite suffice
in my system.
Here's another ML question--what do you know about Monolith Is? I am literally about to take possession of my Quests, but I've got an opportunity to get the Monoliths, used, for around the same money (a little less, actually). Lot of difference between that generation of Monoliths and the current one, the Monolith IIIs? Which would you do, assuming the Monolith Is are in good working order? Assume space is not an issue as well.
Go for the reQuests, it´s a more modern speaker, I guess they will
upgrade the Monolith llls in the near future.
Someone said that the reQuest has a lower crossover point compared to Quest,actually it´s higher, but the woofer is much faster and tighter.
A question to all Logan owners:Which speaker cables have YOU tried with
the Logans? I´m using a double run of Audiotruth Argent.Anyone who´s tried
Synergistic or Transparent? Please give me YOUR recommendations.
Ya got me here. I know nothing about the Monoliths so I can't give
you an answer. Here's something you may want to keep in mind. ML
improved the cone-panel integration between the Quest and reQuests
models. I believe the reQuests have lower cross-over point and a lighter,
faster woofer as compare to the Quests. I wonder if they have done the
same on the Monoliths, and if they have, which model of the Monoliths
were the change made. If you like the sound of the new reQuests, you
might be object to the previous woofer/xover design.
Although it's known that the bigger Logans sound better than the smaller
ones, but there has to be a diminishing return point somewhere :-) The
reQuests feel right at home in my 16' x 22' family room. I firmly believe
they can sound better in a bigger room! Certainly, the Monoliths will
be a bit "squeezed" in my room. I don't know about your room size, but
you really need to consider the room as part of your system also.
Have you listened to these particular Monoliths? Give them a try to see
how they'd do in your room. You might also find that the panel/cone
integration is not quite as smooth as the current models. Listen for
the upper bass/lower midrange to see if there's the "chestiness" leaking
into the cone from the panels. Also listen for the "pace" of the speakers.
The newer ones are quicker in pace due to lighter cones. Given the choices,
I might just stick with the reQuests...
I agree with Spike. Specifically:
The rear channels are a non issue. When you are hot in involvement getting the HT set up, you place too much importance to the rear channels. On movies, you hear explosions, gunfire, water dripping, and some footsteps. Nothing that is supposed to be “clear” seems to come from there. I way overdid it on the rears by using my previous “front main” speakers there, with a nice Rotel 200 wpc amp (991). I would recommend and inexpensive cone speaker also because it has a wider dispersion, and from what I understand you do not need a focussed narrow sound stage for the rear effects. So even if someone gave me a free set of speakers for the rear, I would probably pass. Although I think it would look great, and I might give it a try for that alone.
I cannot comment on Maggie, never saw one or heard one. But the Logos center is very nice, and certainly matches the appearance of the other speakers (I have reQeusts like Spike). But I do love the ML.
Monoliths: Have not heard, so these opinions are just “someone said” type information. “Someone said” that martin Logan manufacturer privately admitted that the request was their best sounding speaker. “Someone said” that the monoliths were even more difficult to get to sound right, especially in a smaller room, you may need a much larger room to fill. Someone said that the electronic crossover situation requires even higher quality and more powerful (expensive) amps. But “someone also said” that with electrostatics panel size is everything, and the bigger the better. I had a chance to swap my requests straight across for recent vintage Monoliths, a financially favorable deal, but after I considered it, I decided I was just fine the way I was.
I know exactly how you feel; it is hard to know where to stop.
Thanks, guys, for your input. After consultation with several people, including a Martin Logan rep back in the midwest, I've decided to stay with the reQeusts. Turns out the Monolith I had a ported woofer--bass is lower, but looser and sloppier than the bass in the Monolith IIIs and the reQuests. and this we simply cannot have, no matter what else is involved. But it also turns out that the Monolith I electrostat panel cannot be turned off, lessening the lifespan of the speaker.
My room is roughly the size of Spike's--a littlle narrower, but a little longer as well. Quests will be big in it, but not too ridiculous.
As to the HT set-up, also after much consultation, I've decided to try a Logos. Once my wallet recovers, assuming it does, I'll get some rears. Most everybody agrees that even with AC-3, rear speakers just don't need the same attention, and nobody, including Martin Logan, was offended with using the Maggie rears. I was thinking of using a y-connector out of the rear speaker output, and using one of the lines to run to my separately powered M&K sub to pick up any bass information that's limited to the rears, since the Maggie rears have a limited bass response. Will that work? Otherwise, that sub will just go unused, since I have another sub for the main, .1 channel. By the way, the system I'm now zeroed in on is:
Velodyne HGS-18 main sub
M&K VX 70B rear sub (?)
Sherwood 9080R pre/pro
ATI 2505 amp (250 x 5)
Sony DVD player of as yet undetermined sort, but with a dual laser pick up
Adcom 5 disk cd player
What I'm trying to do is create a decent, at least partially value-driven, set up good for audio and HT. I am not, at least not yet, a "golden ear", able to pick up all the nuances in sound that apparently many visitors to this list can.
Does any of this system grossly offend you Martin Logan types?
My only reservation would be for the ATI 2505 AMP.
I tested a pair of reQuests and the Cinema center
speaker with an ATI 1505. At high volume I was
able to get the 1505 to start clipping. Your
choice of the 2505 may cure that failure (I
won't really listen THAT loud anyway) but it
won't cure the fact that the ATI's aren't
"stable" (Martin Logan info stated that amps
should double their power when the impendence
is halved). Now I say all of this even though
I'm planning to keep using my 1505 to power
reQuests, Logos and Scripts (when they arrive
in April). ML and ATI told me the 1505 would
work fine with the ML's, but I suspect that
some high end was being "starved" by the non-
linear power (watts vs. impedence) curve.
Sometime in the future I plan to go with
something like a Cinema Grand or Classe 300.
If I was using the 1505 to run 8 Ohm speakers
I think it would have NO problems with it.
I thought the 1505 sounded great through the
reQuests, but I suspect they could be even better.
Anyway, best wishes for your quest.
I think you have a great system, my set up is four full range electrostatic speakers( acoustat model two front and model one at rears)latter i will go for the ML cinema( i think the closest match to my speakers, and also better amplification ( at this moment driving with a yamaha dsp3090) my subwoofer is crossedover at 50 Htz and fronts running full range, rears running from 80htz. the rumbles on front to back scenes are seamless without a need of a second sub
Glad to see you're making progress on putting together your system.
I don't think you should hook up the M&K sub for the rears. That's
just making things MORE complicated than necessary and for NO added
benefit. The .1 logic in the DPS is supposed to do that already and
with much better integration than you can with an Y-connector. Why no
sell it on the marketplace and recover some of your $$$.
Currently, your system is a bit out ouf balance, with more emphasis on
the speaker side. Yes, you've mentioned that you don't yet have the
"golden ears", but I really think you should match your components
carefully. What is it about the Sherwood unit that you like better than
the likes of, say the Sony 9000, or other pre-pro units on the market?
Also, along the same line, if you're not yet able to pick up the nuances,
why are you opting for the Logos instead of the Cinema? If they are
roughly the same as far as performance go to your ears, wouldn't the budget
be better spent if you're going for the Cinema and put the money saved
into the pre-pro units. Keep in mind that the reQuests are VERY revealing
to the point of being unforgiving toward the upstream components.
If you want to read more about the pre/pro discussion, there was a thread
on this very subject a while back (in January, 99) in the (YIKES!!)
AudioReview hometheater techtalk you might find useful.
If you're gonna spend this kind of money on your system, ALWAYS make sure
everything works well together by auditioning the components in YOUR
environment! Keep up the good work, you're heading in the right direction
and are almost there. I believe you're roughly at about the same crossroad
as Samir was a year ago! Good Luck.
Spike-First, thanks for your interest. It is nice to be able to consult with people who know more than I do, and who have been where I've been long ago.
Second, here's the deal--it's ironic that you mention the Sony 9000. That was my initial choice--lots of features, great value, etc. But the Sherwood is considerably less expensive, and has also gotten excellent reviews. As to the Logos/Cinema dialectic, I think I must be a speaker guy. I have listened to those two speakers, and am convinced that I can hear that the Logos is better. But I have done numerous experiments with "upstream" components, and simply have not been able to make reliable observations about the sound of a given system when the only component that is being changed is the processor. I guess I have a tin ear for processors. I certainly seem to have a tin ear for cable as well. I CAN tell amps, at least at higher output levels.
So...why should I pay several hundred more bucks for a Sony when I can't tell the difference? I'm inclined to spend my money on components on which I can seem to tell diferences, namely speakers.
Anyway, that's my thinking. On the sub, I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean when you say my DSP (processor?) should already put rear bass information through my main sub. Although I know bass is supposed to be unidirectional, imagine a video scene in which a big truck is coming from behing the viewer on the left side and crossing diagonally to the right front speaker. If your surrounds have poor bass response, you won't hear the truck's rumble very well until the truck has passed "over" you toward the front right speaker, and the main sub kicks in, right? Otherwise, how do you capture bass sounds that move back to front?
There are actually 2 issues here regarding the bass information (from
the rear). 1st off, I assume that you're talking about digital 5.1
software like Dolby Digital or DTS and not Prologic. Given that the
DVD has been mastered/mixed correctly, you WILL have the low-bass rumble
in the .1 channel (aka the Low-Freq Effects channel). The mid-bass will
"transition" from the rear to the front speakers so that one can "clue"
in the directional portion. For most pre-pro units, there is also the
concept of "bass-management" where the DSP algorithm will route the bass
information to the subwoofer based on the speaker choice you input during
setup. If you input "small" speakers for the rear, then the pre-pro unit
will route the rear-bass information to the sub automatically. Same for
the front channels. Some models even gives you the option of setting the
cross-over frequency to tailor fit your speakers. Some expensive models
will give you 2 additional LFE for the front channels in addition to the
.1 that it already has. I believe this falls into the 7.3 configuration
supported by some expensive units. I have yet to see a separate LFE
output for the rear channels. Given the wide range of flexibilities among
the pre-pro units, you should pay attention to its features and setup
in addition to sound quality. Just what you need, some more things to
look into :-)
As a side note, most DVDs don't have too much low-frequency information
in the rear channels. This is probably due to the fact that 90% of the
market have "smallish" rear speakers, and the producers rely on the fact
that the pre-pro units are "smart" enough to route the low bass freq to
the sub. So far, I've only seen around 60hz as being the lowest freq
comin' out of the rear channels (if you really want to run full-range
for the rear).
It sounds great! Lots of mindless hours will be spent tweaking it, which is half the fun! I give it my stamp of approval.
Contrast yourself to the poor friend I saw today who asked if he should update his 20 year old Bang and Olefson stereo since he might want to try surround sound. He's got a LOOONG way to go.
I am not familiar with your pre amp, but you may be able to direct the bass from the rears directly to your main sub. I know I can do it with the Sony TAE 9000 ES. You may find that it won't be helfpul or neccessary to hook up the second sub, the real base goes to the .1 and the front mains. I'd like to hear how it all ends up with you.
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