Martin Logans are straying further and further away from what they used to be and represent. First and foremost, ML's were Electrostatic Speakers Handmade in Kansas. However, lately many of the offerings are conventional Speakers that trade on the Brand Equity of 20+ Years of Electrostatic Models.
Martin Logan still makes Electrostatic Speakers, but most of what has been released are not. What is disappointing is Martin Logan is moving production of the upper range ESL Series and Reserve ESL Series (Vista, Vantage, Spire, Summit X, and CLX) to Paradigm's Plant in Canada. Both are Owned by ShoreView Technologies.
I know that many here are not fans of Electrostatic Speakers. They definitely represent a challenge for Amplifiers and have a small Sweet Spot, but when setup well and given proper Amplification they really are special.
I also definitely agree that the Preface is better than the Motion Series. While not an Electrostatic Speaker, the Preface's ATF transducer shares many of the qualities of ESL's and is a good value. The Preface also has a better built Cabinet than the similarly Motion 12. (Preface: 46 lbs/ Motion 12: 36 lbs)
I have had a pair of Electrostatic Martin Logan Speakers since 1996. 3 Years ago, I switched out my Paradigm Studio 100 V.2 based HT for a Martin Logan HT consisting of Vantages (Main), Stage (Center), Vista (Surround), and Depth (Subwoofer). I could not be more pleased. Truly has been an excellent Speaker setup for Multichannel SACD and HT.
I am just concerned about the direction of the Company. Martin Logans used to be only available at Specialist Hifi Stores. When Tweeter purchased Sound Advice, they started carrying ML's throughout the Country as Sound Advice was already a Martin Logan Dealer. Same way that Best Buy purchased Magnolia who was an ML Dealer and then setup Magnolia A/V's in many Best Buy's Nationwide. This is when the Chinese Built Design Series came out and now Motion Series.