Originally Posted by KJSteward
OK. The Bryston is hooked up in my cave.
Had to have a rethink as to how I was going to use it. Discovered that the zone 2 pre outs on the Yamaha do not give variable output, so it's either flat out or silence. Luckily, a few seconds of flat out did not damage my speakers. Those Martin Logans are built tough, it seems. Although I can vary the volume on the PC, I figured I value my hearing too much to entrust it to an errant mouse click. I'd rather have a hardware solution.
So the 7.2 and 2.0 systems are completely separate, using my Cambridge Audio DACMagic Plus as a preamp, being fed by an optical digital signal from my PC. I have never had need for balanced cables and don't possess any, so I've hooked the DACMagic and the Bryston together with an unbalanced cable I happened to have laying around.
First thing to note is that bad recordings sound terrible. I never realized just HOW terrible. Unfortunately, I have some recordings that I will not be hearing much of in future. That became apparent in very short order. But I'm certainly hearing detail I never heard before, such as a flautist drawing breath on Bolero (Reference Recordings RR-92CD). This has been one of my go-to albums for a while so to hear detail of which I had previously been unaware is quite impressive.
I played Rick Wakeman's "Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" earlier. There is some deep bass on Merlin the Magician that I wanted to check out. The kick in the chest from the Martin Logan's 8" woofers, being properly driven, was pretty spectacular. Again, this is a recording I've been listening to for years; at least 25 of them. I was relieved to note that the recording is extremely good, with no noise that I could hear.
It appears that everything I've read is true. The ML electrostats DO benefit from decent amplification. At lower volumes, the sound seems fuller, and the urge to turn up the volume to crazy levels is diminished somewhat.
At some point, I'll switch out my electrostats and check out the Motion 40s and Motion 20s just for the hell of it.
"First thing to note is that bad recordings sound terrible. I never realized just HOW terrible"
Boi you got that right. The MLs allow you to hear so far into a recording that if sumthin ain't right, you know it. Some recording are just unlistenable.
"The ML electrostats DO benefit from decent amplification. At lower volumes, the sound seems fuller"
I think that is the mark of a really good system is when you can listen at low levels and really enjoy it.
Component to component or even to an extent, cable to cable, etc., differences that aren't even noticeable with the Elacs really smacks you in the head with the MLs.
Unfortunately, that always tells me that there's more there if only I'd spend a few more $$$$