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Open Baffle vs Martin Logan

67.84.101.70

Posted on February 18, 2017 at 09:28:01
Mike in NJ
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I was seriously considering getting a pair of the new Martin Logan immpresion 11A's (at a good price), but am now giving second thoughts and would like some feedback on open baffles.
I see very positive reviews on the emeral physics and spatial audio speakers - has anyone done any comparisons to Martin Logan's?
I have owned several pairs of magnepans in the past, and I always had a hard time dialing them in to get a solid center image and they were always too physically imposing (to look at) and that got in the way of my enjoyment of them.
My room is 14' x 25' - but I have to sit 12' from the front wall)
Thanks
Mike

 

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I Can't Help Directly But..., posted on February 18, 2017 at 10:15:06
Jack G
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I haven't heard the two open baffle speakers that you mention, but I'd guess that most dipoles be they open baffle, stats, or maggies have similar issues with set up. I've heard quite a few Maggies, but own ML Montis speakers. I got them at a good price. I prefer them to maggies. They certainly are not visually imposing. In fact they are quite elegant looking. That said, they were a bitch to set up. No problem with center fill once that was done. The biggest advantage that Emerald physics and Spacial Audio have is dynamics due to their high efficiency. There is something to be said for that. It will depend on your preferences.
Jack

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 18, 2017 at 14:19:43
Ozzy
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Mike,

Haven't talked to you in a while. I know we tend to like the same audio stuff. I am a recent convert to the OB camp, having just bought some GR Research Super Vs. Really good!

Oz



Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 18, 2017 at 15:09:24
Michael Samra
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Mike
I have the Big Martin Logan CLXs and I had ML Monolith 2s for years before that. You are not going to beat the sound of electrostatic speakers and the Logans are easy to drive and easy to setup because of their curvy panels.

Here is the thing. With the Logans you not only have the speed,you also don't have any back wave cancellation because sound comes out the back and the front due the nature of electrostatics. You do have to work with your room a bit but when you do,you will be in constant seduction.You might also look at a pair of QUAD ESL 2905s.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 18, 2017 at 15:25:33
bare
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As above: Martin Logans Electros are hands down superior sounding to Dipoles. .. erm.. Open Baffles

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 18, 2017 at 16:12:11
Ozzy
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As above: Martin Logans Electros are hands down superior sounding to Dipoles. .. erm.. Open Baffles


Not a chance in hell........

Just sayin.......


Oz




Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 18, 2017 at 17:16:48
Mike in NJ
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Hello Tim,
How have you been, yes we tend to like the same type of sound - I'm getting the itch to try something different - still have the Cornscalas, and I see their stenghts and weakness.
Have also lived with the high efficiency SET and associated speakers.
I recently auditioned some Martin Logan 13A's and they sounded fantastic! - huge effortless soundstage, great center fill image - really musical with great bass. ( I always liked the sound of Martin Logan's, but wasn't quite sure of the bass integration, these sounded right)
I can't afford those, but could get the ones right below (11A's) for 30% off retail.
I just got back from demoing a pair of Emerald Physics KC11's and although they are not as refined, or sophisticated, they nevertheless were very enjoyable, fun, rocking speaker (i.e. no fatigue, at least at this audition) they also threw a very big effortless soundstage with a "big sound" - and to boot, they are only $2500 direct price....
Not sure, if I should bite the bullit with the Logan's, or try the emerald physics... Or just wait it out some more - how do you like the GR Research, what made you try them ? Strengths weakness ??
Thanks
Mike

 

I have heard the big Martin Logan speakers..., posted on February 18, 2017 at 18:30:31
Cougar
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They sound good but you need a good amp that can drive loads as low as 1 ohms. The Momoliths and the CLS sounded great until pushed hard and then started to break up. I heard these back in the late 90's. Then I bought some Carver Amazing Silvers and these just killed the Martin Logan's. Plus the Martin Logan's had a small sweet spot. The bass has a hard time keeping up with the rest of the speaker. They couldn't do all types of music well either which really surprised me.

The Carvers are dipole and must be set up per the Carver speaker placement instructions. I heard all the horror stories about the Carver's not being a good sounding speaker with weak bass. This is not the case, when properly setup and powered by a amp that can push these and doesn't have to have monster power ratings either. My Edge M8 @ 175 watts had no problem pushing these. The natural cancelation of the side reflections work great and there was no side reflections of sound from the side walls.

The bass was strong and deep, so much that it was rattling the Windows. The bass is just not blouted like box speakers

So there are good dipoles out there that will better the Martin Logan's. I Even preferred the Magnapan's 3.6's over the Martin Logan's. The 3.6's were being driven by a McCormack DNA-3.0 if I remember correctly. I asked my friend to crank it up and they still sound good at higher volumes which the Martin Logan's didn't.

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 19, 2017 at 04:18:41
Ozzy
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Mike,

I sent you an email.

Tim
Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 19, 2017 at 04:44:57
Michael Samra
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You are saying wrong my friend.The ESLS have the speed and the lowest distortion of any speaker ever made.The ones he is looking at have a dynamic woofer.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: I have heard the big Martin Logan speakers..., posted on February 19, 2017 at 04:50:37
Michael Samra
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My big CLXs are two panel speakers and a pair of Citation 2s drive the panels beautifully. Keep in mind I use two ML Descent subs which have their own amps and I also used them with a single Citation 2 on the Monolith2s which I still have.
The Logans he is looking at have a dynamic woofer built in and they are powered at the bass as well.He can use a 20 to 70 watt tube amp and play plenty loud. They are 91db efficient and he can also use a solid state amp if he wants.They have a class D amp driving the bass and what's nice is the fact that it takes the signal sample from your amp that drives the panel and it takes on the characteristic of that amp. The amp will be driving from 270hz on up which most decent amps loaf.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: I Can't Help Directly But..., posted on February 19, 2017 at 04:55:05
Michael Samra
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I used to have Maggies,the Tympani 4As and those were fantastic.After that I had Acoustats and now I've had Logans ever since.I also have First Octave horns and a pair of Newform Research 645 ribbons.The NFRs are ugly as can ve but they sound phenomenal.I still love the logans best tho.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 19, 2017 at 09:38:24
Mike in NJ
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Tim, I didn't receive your email ?

 

Dipoles, posted on February 19, 2017 at 10:57:51
M3 lover
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Mike, any dipole speaker, which includes MLs and Maggies, requires placement well out into the room for optimum performance. Based on the speed of sound that means at least 5' from the front wall. With lesser dimensions then some sort of diffraction will be needed on the wall behind the speakers. Either example is necessary to separate direct sound from reflected sound to take advantage of the clarity possible with such speakers, otherwise, some sonic smearing may be expected when arrival times at your head are too close to one another.

So your concerns for "physically imposing" may rule out any speaker that requires placement well into the room to realize full performance. Particularly when most dipole models tend to be taller than say 4'.

"The piano ain't got no wrong notes." Thelonious Monk

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 19, 2017 at 10:59:32
Ozzy
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Just sent it again.


Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill

 

What type of music are you listening with these ML speakers?, posted on February 19, 2017 at 11:56:34
Cougar
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I know the ones I heard and ran through some serious paces was back in the late 90's/2000's and they played classical and slow moving Jazz very well. But when more complicated types of music like Tower of Power, Grover Washington Jr., David Sanborne, Spyro Gyra, Cold Blood, Kansas, Rush, Stevie Ray Vanghan and many more were played through them....they had a hard time handling those types of music at higher levels and not talking Blasting them either.

The Monolith woofer couldn't keep up with the membrane but I heard they have corrected this but even then the Electrostatic membrane would just break up. Not good for a $5000 speaker at that time. Even the CLS with a separate small subwoofer didn't blend well. When the CLS was push just a little it would break up bad but low volumes is was really nice but still had a small sweet spot for the size and width of that speaker.

Now I just went to the ML website and saw the CLX's and they are different from the CLS's the membranes are smaller than CLS. I also saw they are going for $29,000 too. It better sound good for that money.

There are some really nice sounding Open Baffle that will rival or even better the Martin Logan speakers for a lot less. I would like to see really good Open Baffles side by side with the Martin Logans to see how they compare. I think everyone would be really surprised at the results.

Even the ET LFT-8's would give the ML a run for their money and the LFT-8' are under $2500.

I would really like to know what type of music and at what listening levels others here using that are claiming the ML Electrostatics speaker are way better sounding. To me, a good speaker will have to play everything you throw at it well. I know there is no perfect speaker, but I had did a 2 year search listening to many different high End Speakers from box types, Open Baffle, Electrostatics, and Planar. They all have their strengths and weakness but I found out that the Electrostatic speakers while sounds awesome at lower listening levels, did not do well when push to about normal listening levels.

The only Electrostatic speaker that I haven't heard yet but was told to me by a buddy of mine that has heard Carver Amazing Platinums hot rodded were the Roger Soundlab Electrostatics he had recently bought that were not very big but sound great and he said you could really push them hard and they didn't break up. I forget the model he has but they are rare to find and need a subwoofer. But he was really blown away at their sound and playback listening level. He also said he had heard some bigger ML's and that the didn't sound well when pushed and preferred his new Roger Soundlabs that was just a year or two ago but I haven't heard them yetso I really can say if that was the case. He also has a pair of Orions which isn't a bad speaker either but he said the Rogers Soundlab killed those.

I'm not anti electrostatic which I have always loved their sound but hate that you can't push them very hard. Even my Electrostatic headphones do the exact same thing. I just believe you should be able to listen to a speaker at above book reading levels to really enjoy when the music or situation calls for it. I just hope the newer ML speaker do this way better than the older Martin Logan's

My Carver Amazing Silver dipoles are a joy to listen to with either tube, Tube Hybrid, or solid state amps. They have a good soundstage with really good depth, sweet mids and great bass. I can listen at lower levels or at high volume levels without them breaking up and didn't cost an arm and a leg.

I will soon get over to a dealer that sells these ML's and see what they sound like now. I will definitely run them through the same paces I did back in the late 90's. So I will see then.

 

RE: What type of music are you listening with these ML speakers?, posted on February 19, 2017 at 14:15:06
mlsstl
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>> The Monolith woofer couldn't keep up with the membrane but I heard they have corrected this...

I've heard Martin Logans off and on for about 30 years now and have always found the bass poorly integrated with the electrostatic drivers. It just doesn't sound right to me.

And, I can't tell you how many times, when I've made the above observation, that I've been assured that "THIS TIME THEY GOT IT RIGHT!" But it still isn't in my book. The lower midrange is so critical for the fundamentals of voice and most instruments -- and that's where the driver transition takes place -- that I'm just not interested if the speaker doesn't get that right, no matter what else it does superbly.

Now, it has probably been 5 years or so since I've heard a set of MLs, so maybe it really is true that this time they've fixed the issue! ;-)

 

RE: I have heard the big Martin Logan speakers..., posted on February 19, 2017 at 16:03:37
pbarach
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I had the original Carver Amazing speakers. They were my first set of quality speakers. They had prodigious bass down to 20 Hz, but the midbass was tubby, as I realized after my listening ears got more sophisticated. If they were pulled away from the back wall and there was some kind of damping material on that wall, they could do outstanding imaging.

Unfortunately, the Mylar ribbon for the drivers has a habit of coming loose. Carver told me to use a hair dryer to tighten it. I did that for a while until it didn't work. Finally I had to send the ribbons for repair, then sold the Carvers to someone who was happy to receive them.

 

Yes, kind of what heard when I did my audition.., posted on February 19, 2017 at 16:06:04
Cougar
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And salesman said the same thing as you. He got a better blend with a separate smaller subwoofer but still....just didn't do it for me. The Martin Logan's looked nice but really didn't impress me at all. When I test drove them they looked so big and I thought the sound stage would be like that also until I heard the music start. I was really surprised at how small that sweet spot was.

My ESS AMT-1D's at the time had a better soundstage and played a lot louder. Actually it took a while for me to find a better speaker than them. I told the salesman how I have been auditioning speakers for two years between S.D. And L.A. Then the salesman that was auditioning the Martin Logan's for me asked me some questions and suggested the Vandersteen 2ce. I liked the 2Ce's, a little laidback for me, but I wanted a bigger soundstage. Then I upgraded to Vandersteen 3A's but they were still a little too laid back for my taste. Then I took a chance on some Carver Amazing Silvers, I had the Vandersteen's and Carver Silver at the same time and preferred the Carver Silvers over the Vandersteens by a lot. I have never looked back.

I finally had a speaker in the Carver Silvers that sound really good on all material and that I could open up when audio friends came over or when having a few drinks. I will never forget one night my brother came over and we put some Tower of Power on. He told me to fire it up so I did. He kept saying how Chester Thompson solo sounds like he was right there in the room but what really got both our attentions were when during the organ solo the horns that are on top on the Leslie for the B3 organ...you could actually here how and what direction the were spinning in when Chester sped them up and slowed them down during the solo. I'm a musician as my brother is, he and I never ever heard that from any LP before or after and only heard that in person with his organ player's Leslie. It was really freaky to heard that from an LP. Just telling what we both heard.

 

The original Carver Amazings were a totally different beast., posted on February 19, 2017 at 18:56:33
Cougar
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My Carver Amazing Silver's use Kapton. I have never had my Kapton come loose or buzzed. I will upgrade the caps in the crossover next. These open baffle dipole speakers are easy to repair if anything was to go wrong. Way better than before.

 

RE: The original Carver Amazings were a totally different beast., posted on February 19, 2017 at 19:14:40
pbarach
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Mine were Kapton, too. I'd forgotten that. Buzzing ribbons were a regularly reported problem with all varieties of the Carvers. Glad you're not having that problemm

 

I like to listen to music loud sometimes... :-), posted on February 19, 2017 at 20:29:40
Mike in NJ
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I like to open er up sometimes - that's why I had Cornwalls and Cornscalas - I like a BIG sound, with good sound staging and imaging (it doesn't have to be pin point) I like to look a little up at my music - image doesn't have to be overblown but not mini monitor types please (no small facsimiles) I want meat on the bones solid center image that's easy to follow.
I hear that with Logan's and my audition with the emerald physics too - albeit the emerald physics kc11 was not as refined or sophisticated as the Logans, but it could go loud enough for me (could use deeper bass) - it was a fun speaker to listen to, which is important - I did not have the Logan's played that loud really, so I would have to go back and see if it can go as loud as I would like without breaking up...
Thanks
Mike

 

There was some instructions on the web before..., posted on February 19, 2017 at 21:25:07
Cougar
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on how to fix that buzzing issue/s without taking the Ribbons totally apart. You needed some wing nuts to replace the original nuts and bolts. You had to do one at a time and then slowly loosen them all up and then either stretch the kapton film or something to that affect and then slowly tighten them back up. I don't know if you had to re-glue the film again or what. Sorry, I'm going by memory but seemed pretty easy how they explained it.

 

RE: What type of music are you listening with these ML speakers?, posted on February 20, 2017 at 04:08:33
Ozzy
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You guys describe what I've always heard with ML speakers. To me, there is a skeletal impression in the midrange. No meat on the bones. Yes, they are very transparent and open, but are better suited to less complicated and dynamic music.

I also confess to not having heard the latest offerings. They may be worlds better. That said, I think Quads are better overall than the ML speakers I have heard. But they won't play nearly loud enough for me.

Oz



Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill

 

Martin Logan, posted on February 20, 2017 at 04:37:16
zelig
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Regarding the center image, you will probably have to spend some time dampening the back wall behind the speaker to get the center image you're looking for but with some work, you will get there. It will not be monitor type pinpoint imaging but that's the trade off with panel dipoles.

Not heard open baffles so cannot comment on those. I had Maggie IIIa's and ML Monolith IIIx and biamped both of them. The former used a passive xover while the latter's was active. The ML model you are looking at is essentially a biamped speaker.

I had the Maggie's for 3 years and replaced them with the Monoliths which I had for nines years before leaving them in storage when I went overseas. I listen to mainly rock and blues, some jazz and classical. Back then, mainly records. Bryston 4b on the woofers and Audio Research D125, then VAC PA160 monoblocks on the panels.

These would playing quite loud and without distortion. Was there discontinuity between the panel and the woofer? You could eliminate most of these by using the xover controls and selection of amps for the woofer and panel. I am sure that this is well addressed in the model you are looking at currently. Also, I ran the VACs in triode where they put out on a good day 70 tube watts and yet they could make those panels move air and cleanly. Further, the panels back then had a nasty dip in their impedance down to 1ohm or less if I recall and all that has been remedied so amp selection is quite wide. My room is similar to yours at 12x25 with a 12' ceiling.

I am currently using cone speakers, Sonus Faber Cremona floorstanders, a different speaker entirely. My wife loves the looks of the Cremona's but I'm still thinking about going back to another ML product or Maggie 3.7s. I have nothing but good things to say about ML products and customer service.

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on February 20, 2017 at 15:09:41
MikeCh
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You could do some research here and hunt down a pair of these to evaluate. It may be worth your time/effort.

They have the very best attributes of a full-range dipole (because they are) and very few of the limitations. You will need to break free from a couple well-ingrained audiophile misconceptions, though.

 

integration of ESL with woofer: Sanders 10D, posted on February 21, 2017 at 10:56:32
DrChaos
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I agree that getting that wrong is a problem. I've never been super excited about ML (and never listened seriously I admit), but I was stunned in a good way by the Sanders 10D.

It has a very small sweet spot in left-to-right positioning, but in that spot it was awesome and flawless to me. For me, best of show at THE Newport 2 years in a row. I judge on diversified classical.

It may be as good as the Apogee Diva I remember hazily from decades ago.

 

Linkwitz LX, posted on February 21, 2017 at 12:37:38
Inmate51
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I agree, they are excellent speakers. I heard them at Mr. Linkwitz's home in January, and they sounded great. Room-filling, high quality sound.

:)


 

RE: What type of music are you listening with these ML speakers?, posted on February 22, 2017 at 18:15:15
Michael Samra
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Jazz,Vocals,piano,classical orchestra and percussion.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: integration of ESL with woofer: Sanders 10D, posted on February 22, 2017 at 18:21:17
Michael Samra
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I love the Apogee Divas.Those are very nice speakers as well.Still one of my favorites.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

I had the original amzing speakers by Carver as well., posted on February 22, 2017 at 18:24:30
Michael Samra
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For 1500 dollars new in the 1980s,they were a bargain for a ribbon however,my biggest complaint is,they didn't sound like one speaker.You heard the ribbons,then you heard the woofers and they weren't timed right.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong" H. L. Mencken

 

RE: I had the original amzing speakers by Carver as well., posted on February 22, 2017 at 19:44:21
MikeCh
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Maybe it has more to do with polar response and less to do with "timing"?

 

RE: I had the original amzing speakers by Carver as well., posted on February 23, 2017 at 08:21:20
Inmate51
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It's quite possible that the problem is level. We can readily hear an SPL level difference of half a dB, and even a quarter of a dB if we're paying attention. Under controlled conditions, we can hear a difference of a tenth of a dB!

If the tweetie is just a tad too hot/loud, it'll stick out.

With regard to the poster's message/comment/situation, the situation can easily be measured with regard to time and level, so the "mystery" can easily be explained.

:)

 

RE: I had the original amzing speakers by Carver as well., posted on February 23, 2017 at 09:11:00
MikeCh
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Sound level changes over distance between planars and omni's. So, maybe we are both right in a way, or we both agree but for slightly different reasons?

 

I have never heard the Original Carver Amazings..., posted on February 23, 2017 at 09:59:09
Cougar
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With their flat woofers and 2x30" ribbons. I know my Carver Amazing Silvers don't sound like what was described about the original Amazings. I do know that the setup of the Platinums and Silvers is critical to having an awesome sounding speaker or having a crappy sounding speaker.

One thing I have read many time in posts on the forums is that when people knock these Carver Amazings either Platinum or Silvers, they didn't set them up properly per the owners manual. This happened to me at first until I sat down and read the manual carefully and set them up per the manual. Then after was like night and day, I have been happy ever since. You do need to have the correct room size or very close to the correct size to be able to set them up properly

I can't speak for the new Martin Logan's but from what I heard when I did spend hours auditioning them and pushing them, my Carver Amazings Platinum smoked them. The ML were a really good sounding speaker lower volume levels and I was just shocked that for so much money, they were not the speaker I expected. From the one post above about the type of music being played through them proves what I had suspected and heard when I auditioned them. The ML were a great speaker for slow moving music, but when complicated music is run through them, they could handle it at higher volume levels, and not very at that.

So I hope ML finally figured it out.

 

RE: What type of music are you listening with these ML speakers?, posted on February 27, 2017 at 05:38:21
fin1bxn@msn.com
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I can play my PK quads at 84-89 db all day I can break into the 90's but never pushed them past 100k

 

RE: Open Baffle vs Martin Logan , posted on March 7, 2017 at 07:06:16
Ric
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Posts: 186
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Hi, I am not that familiar with ML, and if you are spending $8-10K I'm sure you will get a great speaker. My experience is with the Spatial Audio M3 that replaced my Dunlavy's.
I am so impressed with the M3's ability to image, throw a wide and deep soundstage, with a real palpable bass. When listening to classical or jazz in particular the "air" in the room, feels charged as it does at a live event. Granted, the lesser costing M3's I'm guessing will not provide as much pinpoint information as the ML. The other advantages of the Spatials are they are easy to drive, and go down to 38Hz (I think) are lightweight, are easy on the eyes, and don't need multi amps to operate.
My suggestion is give each company a call, and see what they have to say.It may be worth using Spatials return policy for an audition. Good luck!

 

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