I recently got the ML bug and will be making a purchase soon. A couple days ago I made the three hour drive to the closest Magnolia store to audition the EM ESL and the Motion 40s. I took some Pink Floyd, Moorcheeba, and some techno-ish stuff. I was really expecting to be blown away by the EM ESLs, but the opposite ended up happening. They were a good 3 ft from the wall behind them, and probably 5-6ft from the side walls. I had the salesman switching between the ESLs and the Motion 40s frequently. Obviously, the first thing I noticed was that the motion 40s were brighter. I knew this was going to happen, and so I listened intently to both sets for detail, imaging, and vocals. While sometimes I could pick out the ESLs as my favorite, the motion 40s ended up winning more often. We used a pioneer elite as well as a denon to power them both, and both pairs of speakers seemed to be getting plenty of power with either receiver. One thing that really stood out and surprised me was Skye Edwards vocals on the motion 40s. She sounded amazing, and better than on the ESL.
This conclusion left me wondering, WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY EARS?!? From everything I have learned, I MUST have the gutter palette of the auditory world. Are my ears broken, isn't this the opposite of what a golden ear would have heard?
Anyways, the only reason I was originally considering the Motion series along with the electrostat panels was because I have two kittens under one year old each. They are quite playful and I fear the durability on them would give way to the playful nature of the two beasts. Also, while plugging the ESLs would be possible for me, I do prefer the idea of simply running some decent speaker wire to each one and being done with it. The folded motion tweeter design does intrigue me, and hands down the sexy finish of the motion series is an eye pleaser. BUT, sound quality is the only real reason I'm upgrading from my current Paradigm setup. I have the monitor 7s for fronts, along with the cc-370 beefcake of a center speaker. The paradigms sound absolutely fabulous for movies and TV, but I recently got sonos and have been listening to more music on them. Music is the only time I feel the need to upgrade, even though the monitor 7s do have some great imaging and detail in stereo mode...
Another concern for me is that ML doesn't offer a single center speaker comparable in frequency response to my current paradigm. I love hearing Morpheus' deep voice come rumbling out of it now. I fear that any center speaker choice from ML might leave me without the depth of the low frequency in the center I am now used to.
**Edit** I forgot to mention, these will be about 70/30 TV/Movies to music. I can only get my fronts about 22 inches from the wall behind them. The side walls are 4+ feet on one side, and about 15 feet on the other. I will be using a Denon AVR-790 to power whatever I get. And my music collection for sonos is a mixture of MP3 qualities, with some FLAC and WAV replacing my favorites slowly but surely. I enjoy classic rock, 80s, techno, hip hop (but not that gangsta pop ringtone rap crap), and down tempo.
What are your thoughts on my situation? Is the center speaker concern anything you would be worried about if you were me? Should I trust my one demo's results and get the motion series, even though I wanted to like the electrostats the whole time? Could the brightness have really fooled me that badly? Do I simply need to audition them both more, side by side, possibly at a different location to get more information? Do you think my ears are broken too? Lol, any thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated. I feel more confused than before the demo, and I almost wished I just would have ordered the ESLs without the comparison.
Edited by dj_james - 2/25/13 at 8:36am