Def Tech vs. Martin Logan - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 03-28-2010, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I am getting estimates for my HT and have been given estimates that include each of the aforementioned packages. This is a 7.1 setup in a 19' X 15' dedicated theater space. I will be doing accoustic treatments on the walls and throwing down area rugs to improve sound quality.

One estimate I got rec'd the ML Preface for the front speakers, Encore center channel, Speakercraft for the rear surrounds and ML Dynamo subwoofer.

One estimate rec'd the Def Tech BP 7004, Def Tech C/L/R 2500 and Def Tech BPX.

I'm kind of a newb when it comes to this stuff, and by no means an audiophile, so keep that in mind. Thanks for any feedback!
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-28-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Man, all this forum activity and noone has any thoughts on my situation? Tough crowd. :-)
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post #3 of 20 Old 03-28-2010, 08:07 PM
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Hi Dannymac,

Provide some more info and folks will give you lots of suggestions. For example, what other equipment do you have? What is your mix between home theater and music? What's your budget? etc.

I have the DT 7004s for front L&R and enjoy them very much. I use them mostly for movies which is where the DT towers excel. I think you could go with the clr 2002 center and not miss much versus the 2500. This would also save you a few bux.

I like the towers so much that I plan on upgrading to the 7002's soon.

Can't comment on the Martin Logans besides the fact that I have a Dynamo in the kid's entertainment area and it's a quality builld sealed sub. If you need sonething small, it's nice but will not blow you away when it comes to home theater. Check out the Hsu subs. One of their small subs is on sale for less than the Dynamo.
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post #4 of 20 Old 03-29-2010, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jvmanolis View Post

Hi Dannymac,

Provide some more info and folks will give you lots of suggestions. For example, what other equipment do you have? What is your mix between home theater and music? What's your budget? etc.

I have the DT 7004s for front L&R and enjoy them very much. I use them mostly for movies which is where the DT towers excel. I think you could go with the clr 2002 center and not miss much versus the 2500. This would also save you a few bux.

I like the towers so much that I plan on upgrading to the 7002's soon.

Can't comment on the Martin Logans besides the fact that I have a Dynamo in the kid's entertainment area and it's a quality builld sealed sub. If you need sonething small, it's nice but will not blow you away when it comes to home theater. Check out the Hsu subs. One of their small subs is on sale for less than the Dynamo.

Thanks for your response!

I don't have any other equipment. This is a new HT project. My budget is $20,000 installed. I am leaning towards a JVC projector, but this forum is for speaker-talk only, right? That's why I didn't mention that before. I am either getting a Marantz 6004 or Pioneer SC-27 receiver. Do you think either of those is better suited to these particular speaker packages? I'm leaning to the Marantz, for what it's worth.

I like that the Def Tech's have integrated subs, but am concerned it won't be enough LFE for a 19 X 15 room. I have read good things about ML and one company is pushing those over DefTech and Paradigm, but not sure if he's just trying to push me for a sale by saying ML is a cut above the other 2.
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-29-2010, 10:06 AM
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Hello,
The Def Tech's are definitely more substantial Speakers than the Martin Logan's you are looking at. The BP7004 weigh around 60 pounds to the Preface's 46 Pounds. Moreover the Def Tech's are rated down to 17 Hz while the Preface's are rated down to 35 Hz. Obviously, using the Dynamo would relieve the ML of reproducing the lower octaves.

It really comes down to which Speakers sound better to you. I am a huge fan of Martin Logan's Electrostatic Designs and own a 5.1 Martin Logan HT consisting of Vantages(Mains), Stage(Center), Vista(Surround), and Depth (Subwoofer)

The ATF transducer in the Preface and Encore really does sound nice, but it is different than Martin Logan's Electrostatic Models. The ATF is a Ribbon Tweeter which is conceptually similar to ESL's, but the crossover from the ATF to conventional Woofer is far higher than in the Electrostatic Models. They do share a certain house sound however. And as to being "a cut above", I honestly think it applies to Martin Logan's ESL Series Models.

Again, what matters is how they sound to you.
Cheers,
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post #6 of 20 Old 03-29-2010, 10:29 AM
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IMO keep looking (listening). I love Martin Logan's Electrostats but think you can do better for the $$$ at your price point than either ML or DefTech.

Mainstream brands that are interesting in this range include Paradigm, Revel, PSB, B&W, KEF, etc.. There are also speakers designed for your specific application that I haven't heard that include JBL, Atlantic Technology, Triad, and JTR.

Think of the subwoofer as its own thing, it doesn't have to match the main speakers, it is likely that the best choice will be different than what you choose for mains.

P.S. While I generally prefer Martin Logan to Paradigm, any dealer who tells you that the Preface is a "cut above" Paradigms, especially for HT, has put his or her interests over yours.

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post #7 of 20 Old 03-29-2010, 07:33 PM
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In your price range I would ask to see the purity's or even the vantages/vistas if the retailer has them on dispaly. It also depends on your listening area. If you want everyone to have great sound rather than a more defined "sweet spot" I would stick with the def techs.

The most important thing you can do is listen to the speakers and pick what sounds the best to you! Good luck...


~Dan
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-29-2010, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiodork View Post

Hello,
The Def Tech's are definitely more substantial Speakers than the Martin Logan's you are looking at. The BP7004 weigh around 60 pounds to the Preface's 46 Pounds. Moreover the Def Tech's are rated down to 17 Hz while the Preface's are rated down to 35 Hz. Obviously, using the Dynamo would relieve the ML of reproducing the lower octaves.

It really comes down to which Speakers sound better to you. I am a huge fan of Martin Logan's Electrostatic Designs and own a 5.1 Martin Logan HT consisting of Vantages(Mains), Stage(Center), Vista(Surround), and Depth (Subwoofer)

The ATF transducer in the Preface and Encore really does sound nice, but it is different than Martin Logan's Electrostatic Models. The ATF is a Ribbon Tweeter which is conceptually similar to ESL's, but the crossover from the ATF to conventional Woofer is far higher than in the Electrostatic Models. They do share a certain house sound however. And as to being "a cut above", I honestly think it applies to Martin Logan's ESL Series Models.

Again, what matters is how they sound to you.
Cheers,
AD

I feel that the things I quoted above are useless specs. You can't just look at the weight and come to a conclusion just like you can't look at a manufacturers specs and come away with anything conclusive either. It is well known that DT uses their specs more as marketing to the general consumer (BB is their biggest retailer, afterall) than factual data. There aren't many dedicated commercial subs that can reach down to 17hz, nevermind a speaker.
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post #9 of 20 Old 03-29-2010, 08:43 PM
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Regardless, the DT is a more heavily constructed Speaker than the Preface and no doubt plays lower. And you can glean information from the weight of a Speaker.
As I recommended, the OP should listen for himself.
I really do not understand this attack. I repeatedly said the OP should listen for himself. I did look up the specs of the Def Tech as I never have been a fan.
Weight does matter when looking at a Speaker. Perhaps DT is optimistic is rating it down to 17 Hz, but it will no doubt play lower than the Preface.

I am not a huge fan of DT nor am I a huge fan of Martin Logan's non Electrostatic Speakers. However, if choosing between the 2, I would choose the Def Tech.

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post #10 of 20 Old 03-29-2010, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiodork View Post

Regardless, the DT is a more heavily constructed Speaker than the Preface and no doubt plays lower. And you can glean information from the weight of a Speaker.
As I recommended, the OP should listen for himself.
I really do not understand this attack. I repeatedly said the OP should listen for himself. I did look up the specs of the Def Tech as I never have been a fan.
Weight does matter when looking at a Speaker. Perhaps DT is optimistic is rating it down to 17 Hz, but it will no doubt play lower than the Preface.

I am not a huge fan of DT nor am I a huge fan of Martin Logan's non Electrostatic Speakers. However, if choosing between the 2, I would choose the Def Tech.

Wasn't really an attack and am unsure why you interpreted it as so (not my intention).

There are speakers that weigh little in comparison to others of relative size and actually have better measured performance which is where my opinion stems from.
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I am at a bit of a disadvantage in trying to hear some of these for myself. Being disabled, it's tough for me to get out and do comparisons, myself. I agree, though, that it's the best way to make a decision, instead of relying on someone else's opinion, which may be skewed to their financial gain.

I am really torn whether to do a full in-wall installation or roll with a traditional box setup. I like the clean look of doing in-wall, but it looks like you pay relatively higher cost to get the same level of performance. Makes sense, now that I think about it. It'll cost more to achieve the same level of sound in a smaller package.

I am leaning to the Def Tech estimate. I have a few more estimates to get before making up my mind.

Thanks, guys!
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post #12 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 06:06 AM
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Hello,
Fanaticalism, Sorry if I misinterpreted it. Perhaps it is the Craigsub Sig at the bottom that made me feel that way.
No worries. I think most everyone is on the same page.

Danny, a freestanding setup will give you better sound than In Wall's. Might you have friends or family who could help setup the Speakers? The reason I ask is that there are many great Speakers you can find Online at rather large cost savings.
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post #13 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Audiodork View Post

Danny, a freestanding setup will give you better sound than In Wall's. Might you have friends or family who could help setup the Speakers? The reason I ask is that there are many great Speakers you can find Online at rather large cost savings.
Cheers,
AD

I don't really have friends/family that would/could do this kind of thing properly. I have considered ordering everything online, but don't really want to hassle with shipping/pick-up. I almost prefer paying one company to order/bring everything with 'em when they install.
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post #14 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymac21 View Post

I don't really have friends/family that would/could do this kind of thing properly. I have considered ordering everything online, but don't really want to hassle with shipping/pick-up. I almost prefer paying one company to order/bring everything with 'em when they install.

hello dannymac.
I live in the Clearwater/Tampa/St. Petersburg area of Florida.
If your zip code resembles any of these locations, I would gladly assist in selection (speakers, cables, connectors...ect.), pick-up, setup, and a movie.
My pleasure.

'It's not what you don't know that hurts you; It's what you know, that just ain't so.'
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 10:05 AM
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I havent heard a def tech setup I like yet, but this was music testing. In my testing, the prefaces sounded much better. Clearer highs, better midrange, all across the board.. With that said, with that budget, you may want to consider the sources instead of the preface.
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post #16 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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hello dannymac.
I live in the Clearwater/Tampa/St. Petersburg area of Florida.
If your zip code resembles any of these locations, I would gladly assist in selection (speakers, cables, connectors...ect.), pick-up, setup, and a movie.
My pleasure.

Appreciate the offer, but I live in the Dallas area. I'm afraid the travel costs would be kind of an obstacle.

My total budget is $20K, but that includes all labor, setup, installation, etc. I had planned on allocating between $5000-$7000 to speakers. I think I can get something pretty nice for that amount, whether I go w/Def Tech, ML or Paradigm (also an option).
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post #17 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 10:50 AM
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If I lived near you (I'm on the opposite end of the country ) I'd be more than happy to help you out as well

I would argue for stand-alone speakers vs. in-walls as well. Not that in-walls sound bad, but stand alone speakers set up properly simply provide better results. Of your three choices, I can only comment on Paradigm and Def Tech (I frankly like them both but always liked systems with separate subs vs. subs built-in). I've only heard ML's briefly in showrooms but understand that they have a following for good reason.

Be sure to post pics of your set up once it's complete! And, don't be afraid to ask questions here - everyone is here to help. We all had to start somewhere (and most didn't have anywhere near the amount you have to start with!).
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post #18 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 10:52 AM
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One more piece of advice: it wouldn't be a bad idea to also allocate some of your budget toward proper sound absorption materials in the room itself. This goes a long ways in improving the quality of your system.
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post #19 of 20 Old 03-30-2010, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymac21 View Post

Appreciate the offer, but I live in the Dallas area. I'm afraid the travel costs would be kind of an obstacle.

My total budget is $20K, but that includes all labor, setup, installation, etc. I had planned on allocating between $5000-$7000 to speakers. I think I can get something pretty nice for that amount, whether I go w/Def Tech, ML or Paradigm (also an option).

Yes, that budget should afford you a setup that will be with you for years.
In your case, warranty and service is a premium concern and should carry as much weight in the decision process as the speakers themselves.
Your first speaker shopping trip may have been awkward, they are for everyone. Often the sales people want to select for you all too quickly. Perhaps you can schedule an audition for particular brands that a shop may carry in stock. Other speaker outlets may require some research first so you can plan your visit and be more efficient with your time.
Find the sound/speaker that is right for you and then patiently plan your purchase.
An encompassing and thrilling HT can make a home a very special and enjoyable place to be.

'It's not what you don't know that hurts you; It's what you know, that just ain't so.'
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post #20 of 20 Old 04-01-2010, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by headedforhighend View Post

Yes, that budget should afford you a setup that will be with you for years.
In your case, warranty and service is a premium concern and should carry as much weight in the decision process as the speakers themselves.
Your first speaker shopping trip may have been awkward, they are for everyone. Often the sales people want to select for you all too quickly. Perhaps you can schedule an audition for particular brands that a shop may carry in stock. Other speaker outlets may require some research first so you can plan your visit and be more efficient with your time.
Find the sound/speaker that is right for you and then patiently plan your purchase.
An encompassing and thrilling HT can make a home a very special and enjoyable place to be.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm waiting on one more estimate and will make my decision early next week.
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