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Martin Logan ESLs

654 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Augustine Bettencourt
Has anyone here used Marin Logans for their HT? I just bought a pair of Aerius and the Cinema center channel. I'm looking for tips on setting up these speakers for the best balance of stereo and 5.1 HT. I can't afford to go with Martin Logan rear speakers at this point(more appropriately my wife won't let me). Any opinions on using my current Paradigm ADP450s for the rear or a cheap substitute for now?

Also, does anyone know the difference between the original Martin Logan Aerius and the later Aerius with the "i" designation?j

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Craig, you lucky dog, you! Great speakers and a great company. Hang in there for a reply. I'm a Maneplanar HT man myself but I recall a Martin-Logan HT owner posting here a while back. Hopefully he'll respond...


Craig, I own Martin Logan SL3 speakers which I used to have in a HT setup with the Cinema center speaker. I liked that system a lot, but I ultimately decided to use the ML speakers in a separate stereo setup. The main reason is that the Martin Logan speakers need to be fairly far away from the walls in your listening room for them to really shine. In my home theater this was not practical. So my first piece of advice would be to not push the speakers right up against the wall in your HT room (get them 3-4 feet away from the wall if possible). I didn`t have ML rear speakers, but I found that my paradigm dipole surrounds blended quite well with the Martin Logan speakers. When I tried non-dipoles for the surrounds it was much easier to hear the difference between the two types of speakers with front-to-back pans. Electro-static speakers can be a little fussy when it comes to placement, so you should be prepared to experiment for a while to find the optimal placement in your room. The extra effort will be worth it because these speakers sound fantastic once you get them positioned just right.

I remember the difference between the later i series and the original Aerius had to do with bass reproduction. Some people felt that the original Aerius was a little lite in the low frequency range, and this was supposedly beefed up in the later model. Either way, Martin Logan speakers are not known for their deep bass extension (they`re known for producing a midrange that sounds like a heavenly chorus), but this is no problem if you have a quality sub-woofer as part of your system. My most important advice: enjoy those speakers because Martin Logans produce pure magic with the right source material.
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Originally posted by Jim Tittle:
Craig, my first piece of advice would be to not push the speakers right up against the wall in your HT room (get them 3-4 feet away from the wall if possible).
When I first got the Martin Logans I put them about 12 feet into the room. The sound was amazing. I have never heard anything so open and airy. Then I put them on either side of my RPTV and it still sounded good but the 3D soundstage collapsed. I was not happy. So I brought the RPTV out 10 feet into the room and put the Martin Logans back in their origninal spot at 12 feet. It sounded great but the wife was mad. I had to admit that it looked pretty bad. I guess I will end up having to move the speakers when I want to listen to stereo. Or I could go your route and buy another pair.

My most important advice: enjoy those speakers because Martin Logans produce pure magic with the right source material.
I have heard the magic. I am very happy with these speakers for stereo. Even in the HT setup they sound better than anything else I have ever heard. The only problem is that the speakers will turn off on some 5.1 and DPL if there is no information in the main channels for a while. Not a problem until there is info and it takes a second for the speakers to turn on. I can't stand any of these auto sensing circuits.

What do you think of the Martin Logan Sequell II's? There is a pair for sale on ebay that I am thinking about putting a bid on. They are to large to ship, pick up only. I'm thinkin, I live on Long Island, New Jersey is pretty close, Why not?


[This message has been edited by CraigG (edited July 20, 2000).]
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I see you`ve experienced the compromises that can occur with placing ML speakers. Did you try bringing them just a little bit in front of your RPTV? It will probably make a difference and perhaps you can arrive at a spouse approval truce.

Regarding the Sequel II, I have heard them and they sound awesome. They do look and sound very similar to the SL3. The main difference seems to be that the Sequel II has a larger enclosure for the woofer. The Sequel II are taller because of this, and I`m not sure why ML scaled down the SL3. They have both a larger electrostatic panel and a larger woofer than your Aerius speakers. I don`t think they will necessarily sound better than what you currently have, but they will have a lower frequency response in the panel and a lower overall frequency response. Under $2K is a good price for these speakers(retail was over $4K), so if they are in good shape and have been well taken care of it might be a good deal and worth considering.

[This message has been edited by Jim Tittle (edited July 20, 2000).]
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Originally posted by CraigG:
Has anyone here used Martin Logans for their HT?
Sure, I run a full suite of ML: Monolith IIIp in front, Logos center and Sequel IIb rears. These are supplemented by two Velodyne ULD-18 subs.

Like you've mentioned above, it's pure magic. Nothing touches these for realism and impact. This is especially noticeable on voices and acoustic instruments (piano being a particularly challenging test).

As for movies, they present a very engaging soundstage, with seamless transitions around the listener.

They have a tremendous ‘slam’; with appropriate power the dynamic range is incredible. When things go ‘boom/bang’ on screen the listener knows/feels it.

However, as you’ve noted, placement is very tricky. I solved that by designing the room around the speakers http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

My HT is a 26 long x 15 wide X 10 tall room. The fronts sit about 4’ out into the room and roughly 2’ from sides. The Logos is mounted about 50’ high on the front wall behind a Stewart ST130 microperf acoustically transparent screen. The rears are 3’ out and also 2’ feet from sides.

I’m still finishing the acoustics treatments for the room. Which includes RPG abfussors, Skyline diffusors and custom made wall absorbers and bass traps.

But even before major treatments, the sound is awesome.

As for the match between ML and non-ML speakers in the surround, I’ve tried that before. Does not work so well. I strongly encourage obtaining the Sequels for the front and placing the Aerius as surrounds.

The Sequels were my mains up until a year ago, and they are fine units. In some ways, I prefer them to the smaller SL3 that replaced them.

Enjoy the great sounds from your MartinLogans, and good luck with the bid on the Sequels.


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Sorry I have not replied. I have been having too much fun going through all my CD's and DVD's to check the forum.

I am loving every second I spend in front of my Martin Logans. These speakers are soooo musical! I spend every night in front of them with my wife and a glass of wine just enjoying music and movies. I just don't feel like tweaking anymore.

Anyway, this is what I ended up doing. I could not live with having to compromise stereo for home theater. I found that the Aerius sounded the best about six feet out from the rear wall for stereo. This was less than ideal for 5.1 movies. When I moved the speakers back to about three feet out from the rear wall, flanking the RPTV, the stereo image collapsed. Final solution was to put the Aerius about five feet into the room, moving the RPTV out another foot, and taking the cinema off of the top of the RPTV and putting it on a stand in front of the RPTV.

This has preserved the stereo image and even makes 5.1 sound better and more open. I think taking the center off of the top of the RPTV makes this system work as well as it does. The one problem with this setup is that the it sounds better with the coffe table removed. Wife does not like this but I only have to keep it in front of the couch when we have company.

All I have to say is that I can't wait until my wife gives me the go ahead for rear Martin Logan speakers.

Bring on DVDA and SACD, I'm ready!

Craig http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif
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Craig :

"I just don't feel like tweaking anymore."

Give it a couple of weeks, you'll be behind there ..you know what the say ...resistance is futile http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif




[email protected]

[This message has been edited by mzn50 (edited August 03, 2000).]
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I also use Martin Logan speakers for my home theater. I have the Requests, Logos and Aerius for my rear speakers. I also have two Velodyne HGS-18 subwoofers. I'm currently using Classe amps and the Theta Casablanca. My room is 20"W x 30"L and I'm very happy with this system, but I'll be upgrading to the new Martin Logan "Theater" center speaker (if it's as good as I think it'll be) and I'm also planning on upgrading my Casablanca to the Casablanca II. I'd eventually like to sell my Requests and buy the Prodigy speakers. I've owned many speakers and once you get used to the sound of Electrostatic speakers, you won't ever be able to listen to anything else again (I know, I've tried). The sound is very open, detailed and has a huge soundstage. No dynamic speaker can match the speed or detail of these speakers. They're not perfect, since there is a definite sweet spot and placement is important. They also don't have quite the snap in the upper mid-base that I've heard with other dynamic speakers, but for me, their many attributes far out weigh their minor weaknesses.
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