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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

So I recently purchased a pair of MartinLogan Electromotion ESLs. Although they are fantastic in many respects, after living with them for a week, there are some issues I do have with them. Long story short, either my room isn't ideal for 'Stats or I'm just not an Electrostatic Man. (Yes, I have played around with placement a ton)

 

Now I'm back to the drawing board and on the search for a more "conventional" speaker pair. I'm looking to keep the cost under $2500 for the pair.

I'm using a Marantz SR6008 AVR, and my main source is a Marantz/ClearAudio TT-15S1 Turntable.

These speakers will also be used for home theater, but music is my absolute primary concern.

 

I have a pretty broad range of music taste, mostly centered around Rock (for instance, Supertramp is one of my most listened to bands at home). But I do love myself some ska, folk, "world" (think Pink Martini), small doses of pop, etc. (There are no genres, only music, blah blah blah)

 

At the moment, I'm really liking the looks of the Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 and the Focal Chorus 726V. I'll be testing out the 2.5s Monday while I'm in Boston.

 

What suggestions might you have for me to look into?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Could you be more specific about what it was, specifically, you liked and /or disliked about them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24513830


Could you be more specific about what it was, specifically, you liked and /or disliked about them?
I found that high frequencies felt a bit harsh in some places and the music tended to sound a bit too "in-your-face", while I prefer something a little more relaxed and warm sounding. Additionally, I do listen in multiple places within the music room when I'm not simply intently listening, and the balance gets thrown off very easily when departing from the main listening position, especially when standing up (ears above the panel) and doing work. They just don't fill the room as much as I'd like.

Switching back to my previous Polk RTI A7s that I'm upgrading from, although much of the accuracy was definitely taken away, the sound just seems more relaxing. I think I just prefer the sound of standard drivers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanengisch  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24513772


So I recently purchased a pair of MartinLogan Electromotion ESLs. Although they are fantastic in many respects, after living with them for a week, there are some issues I do have with them. Long story short, either my room isn't ideal for 'Stats or I'm just not an Electrostatic Man. (Yes, I have played around with placement a ton)


Now I'm back to the drawing board and on the search for a more "conventional" speaker pair. I'm looking to keep the cost under $2500 for the pair.

I'm using a Marantz SR6008 AVR, and my main source is a Marantz/ClearAudio TT-15S1 Turntable.

These speakers will also be used for home theater, but music is my absolute primary concern.


I have a pretty broad range of music taste, mostly centered around Rock (for instance, Supertramp is one of my most listened to bands at home). But I do love myself some ska, folk, "world" (think Pink Martini), small doses of pop, etc. (There are no genres, only music, blah blah blah)


At the moment, I'm really liking the looks of the Sonus Faber Venere 2.5 and the Focal Chorus 726V. I'll be testing out the 2.5s Monday while I'm in Boston.


What suggestions might you have for me to look into?

Thanks in advance!

Since you have tried 'the best under $2500' in my opinion, and I love the pair I have, I cannot help you...,
 

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I am going to DARE to post this!


If I were in the market today for a good speaker system, I would at least consider the Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers, along with a good Amp/receiver.


What I would do, is buy the system at a Brick and Mortar store (best buy), save the receipt, and break them in for 50-100 hours of playing, then honestly evaluate them. (They do need a break in period, my opinion)


The Pioneer's do not look ultra "high end" like the Martin Logan's you previously had, and the Pioneer's definitely have a very "no frills" look, so if you do not like how the Pioneer AJ speakers look, than you can eliminate them right now. (There is a Version 2 out, that have cloth grills, instead of Metal grills.)


I am very happy with my Axiom 5 speaker system that I bought in 2005, and I still love my M80's, but if there was something like the Andrew Jones designed Pioneer speakers available in 2005, I would have at least considered them. At today's prices, the Pioneer would be about 1/5th the cost of my Axiom. (Probably would consider a different Sub-woofer.)


Are the Pioneer AJ speakers better than some well respected, more expensive speakers? I do not know, and I am not implying that they are.


All I am saying is that I would have seriously considered them, if they were available when I purchased my speakers in 2005.



Also, for what it is worth, I will probably eventually upgrade my Axiom's to the current version of Axiom speakers. (They do offer an upgrade program). I will keep my M80's, but change out the VP150 and QS8's for something that suits my living room better. I like Axiom for the same reasons that I like the Andrew Jones designed speakers, Axiom is a technology oriented company, and they have some nice choices in the finishes, and I have 9 years experience with my current Axiom's.


Like I said, I love my M80's, and the current M80's fall within your budget, and the new Axiom M100's are just above your 2,500 limit.


Have fun, and good luck!
 

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Are you running a sub? You didn't say so I'll assume not.


Maybe give the motion 40s a try. I demoed them against the ESLs and they had a similar sound characteristic but warmer mids and more bass. Plus they look really nice.
 

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Check out Vandersteen, Dynaudio, and Totem. They should be more to your taste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24514033

 

Try these .
I've definitely debated those. Do Maggies tend to have any wider of a dispersion angle than the MartinLogans? My main reserve is that having entirely flat panels would result in in an even narrower sweet spot. Plus, I assume I'd find myself needing a sub which would raise the overall price a fair bit.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kini62  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24514273


Are you running a sub? You didn't say so I'll assume not.


Maybe give the motion 40s a try. I demoed them against the ESLs and they had a similar sound characteristic but warmer mids and more bass. Plus they look really nice.
No sub at the moment. I regret not giving the Motion 40s a true listen while I was testing the ESLs, I'll have to stop by a Magnolia store Monday as well and see what I think. And man that rosewood-type finish is beautiful.

 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24514654


Check out Vandersteen, Dynaudio, and Totem. They should be more to your taste.
Thanks for the suggestions! There's a place here in town that sells Dynaudio, gonna go see what I think today. Haven't read much about Vandersteen or Totem, I'll look into both those.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanengisch  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me/0_100#post_24515355

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24514033

 

Try these .
I've definitely debated those. Do Maggies tend to have any wider of a dispersion angle than the MartinLogans? My main reserve is that having entirely flat panels would result in in an even narrower sweet spot. Plus, I assume I'd find myself needing a sub which would raise the overall price a fair bit.

 
 

You will want to look at the manual regarding setup if you want a wide sweet spot.  Here is the manual in HTML:

 

http://www.magnepan.com/manual_17

 

Here is the manual in pdf:

 

PDF

 

The positioning of the tweeters, either toward the center or toward the outside affects this, and Magnepan suggests that you position the tweeters on the outside for the widest sweet spot.  Make sure you listen that way at the dealer when you are considering how much you can move around the room.

 

 

If you want really deep bass, you would need to add a subwoofer.  However, for most music, you may find the MG 1.7 adequate (the -3dB point is 40 Hz), so it may be that you can live without a subwoofer for a while.  Obviously, you must decide such things for yourself.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanengisch  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24513772


So I recently purchased a pair of MartinLogan Electromotion ESLs. Although they are fantastic in many respects, after living with them for a week, there are some issues I do have with them. Long story short, either my room isn't ideal for 'Stats or I'm just not an Electrostatic Man. (Yes, I have played around with placement a ton)...

How long did you audition the Martin Logan before buying?



I think a lot of people listen for an hour and then decide. Best to audition at home. If not, it's probably prudent to revisit the stores repeatedly to audition many times.



The ElectroMotion ESL's listening window FR averages +/-3.7dB.

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/martinlogan-electromotion-esl-speaker-system-ht-labs-measures


Perhaps more accurate speakers is what you PREFER.



I think that may be what it boils down to. What type of speakers you prefer. Some people actually prefer speakers that measure +/-4dB, while some prefer +/-2dB.


For example, the KEF R900 averages +/-1.3dB!

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/kef-r900-home-theater-speaker-system-ht-labs-measures


Another example, the Revel F208 averages +/-1.7dB.

http://www.soundandvision.com/content/revel-performa3-f208-speaker-system-test-bench
 

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Check out the KEF R500's. Also the Thiel SCS4T. The company is killing off all the Jim Thiel designs and selling them at big discount prices. They are selling them for $1999 original price was $3600.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Checked out 3 different Dynaudio models today, but I wasn't very impressed with any of them (forget the models, but they ranged from 1000-2000/pair. At the same time though, I listened to the B&W 683s and was actually very impressed with them for their $1200 price. They were a bit too mid-range focused, but I think I'll test out the CM8s/CM9s next time I'm at a Magnolia.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24515666



How long did you audition the Martin Logan before buying?



I think a lot of people listen for an hour and then decide. Best to audition at home. If not, it's probably prudent to revisit the stores repeatedly to audition many times.
That sounds just about accurate to what I did... 
 I probably listened for 45 minutes or so with various music. The setup in the Magnolia store I was at was pretty terrible as they had the speakers only separated by about 3-4 feet, a foot from the back wall. I pulled them out a bit, but there was no room to spread them and hardly any toe-in room. I figured the few complaints I had in-store would dissapear with better setup, buuuuuut I guess I was wrong.

Luckily the 15-day return window is on my side!

 

Also, thanks to your post, I now understand what Frequency Response measures are all about. Thanks for all the help!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanengisch  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24515879


Checked out 3 different Dynaudio models today, but I wasn't very impressed with any of them (forget the models, but they ranged from 1000-2000/pair. At the same time though, I listened to the B&W 683s and was actually very impressed with them for their $1200 price. They were a bit too mid-range focused, but I think I'll test out the CM8s/CM9s next time I'm at a Magnolia.

The B&W 683 listening window FR averages about +/-3.1dB, the CM9 is about +/-3.0dB, the CM10 is about +/-2.6dB.


The B&W 804D2 is about +/-4.7dB. You should love that since it's worse than the Martin Logan.



The 802D2 is about +/-2.8dB.


That may give you some info. But how they actually sound may be something else.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24515699


Check out the KEF R500's. Also the Thiel SCS4T. The company is killing off all the Jim Thiel designs and selling them at big discount prices. They are selling them for $1999 original price was $3600.
+1 on the Thiel's, i happen to own these and they are the most accurate and natural sounding speakers I've ever heard. That being said, they're dynamic range is a little narrow compared to some others, this may be a good thing to some, but to others they may sound too natural.

For your budget and use, I would strongly recommend you have a listen to some Monitor Audio GX100 http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/products/gold-gx/gx100/#/overview
http://www.audioadvisor.com/Monitor-Audio-Gold-GX-100-2-Way-Bookshelf/productinfo/MRGX100/#.Uy4UEqhdWSo these have that pure clean sound of the Theil's yet have an enormous dynamic range that brings music to life. While they may not be considered a value speaker (the towers can be very pricey) they are in fact some of the best sounding speakers on the market.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24517147


Regarding the suggestion that you consider the Thiel SCS4, read this review before you consider it:

http://www.audioholics.com/bookshelf-speaker-reviews/thiel-scs4


Listen before you buy, if you want these speakers, and listen to other options in their price range before you part with your money.
The SCS4T is the floor standing version of the SCS4. The SCS4T was originally $3600 and now selling for $1900. I was just making suggestions. I fully agree that one should demo before purchasing a speaker.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanengisch  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24513866


I found that high frequencies felt a bit harsh in some places and the music tended to sound a bit too "in-your-face", while I prefer something a little more relaxed and warm sounding. Additionally, I do listen in multiple places within the music room when I'm not simply intently listening, and the balance gets thrown off very easily when departing from the main listening position, especially when standing up (ears above the panel) and doing work. They just don't fill the room as much as I'd like.

Switching back to my previous Polk RTI A7s that I'm upgrading from, although much of the accuracy was definitely taken away, the sound just seems more relaxing. I think I just prefer the sound of standard drivers.

I was and am a big Martin Logan fan. I fell in love with them over 25 years ago (these were full panels, not the hybrid). When I decided to finally look at them seriously several years ago, I spent several days and many hours auditioning both the Summits and Vantage (the Vantage is now replaced by the superior Ethos). I also spent the same amount of time auditioning Maggies (the 1.7 and 3.6). I love the big, articulate and deep sound stage from both these dipole speaker manufacturers. I felt that the Magnepan 1.7 was the best value by a significant margin, and was quite shocked at the amazing sound they produced, but I ended up buying the bigger Magnepan 3.6 (the 3.7s weren't yet released).


I guess my biggest surprise came in that the Martin Logans had a much smaller sweet spot than the Maggies. Sit a little off axis, and you lose a lot (as you've found out). One still has the same problem with any dipole (getting the speaker far enough away from the rear wall in order to create that amazing stage depth), however, the Maggies are an imposing speaker (the elegant MLs look small in comparison and are far, far more likely to be wife approved).


With all that out of the way, I must say that if you didn't like sound of the Martin Logan while sitting in the sweet spot, you probably won't like the Maggies either. They are very similar in their sound. Matter-of-fact, I was auditioning a subwoofer 6 months ago and that sub was integrated with the ML Ethos. I closed my eyes and could have sworn I was listening to my Maggies at home. Also, the Maggies are less efficient than the MLs. So if you had trouble adequately filling your room with the MLs, you'll have a harder time driving the Maggies (however, I have no problems running them and filling my 3,400 cu. ft. room with a 200 watt Mac amp).


One last note. It takes much longer to break in MLs and Maggies (it takes quite awhile for the mylar panels to loosen a bit). I don't think you've had the MLs nearly long enough to break them in properly. If they are anything like the Maggies, we are talking perhaps 100 hours or more.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Class A  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me/0_100#post_24517633

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper  /t/1523687/suggest-loudspeakers-under-2500-for-me#post_24517147


Regarding the suggestion that you consider the Thiel SCS4, read this review before you consider it:

http://www.audioholics.com/bookshelf-speaker-reviews/thiel-scs4


Listen before you buy, if you want these speakers, and listen to other options in their price range before you part with your money.
The SCS4T is the floor standing version of the SCS4. The SCS4T was originally $3600 and now selling for $1900. I was just making suggestions. I fully agree that one should demo before purchasing a speaker.
 

Oops!  Okay, here is a review to read:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/thiel-audio-scs4t-loudspeaker

 

And one should make sure one gets to the measurements page:

 

http://www.stereophile.com/content/thiel-audio-scs4t-loudspeaker-measurements
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Checked out the B&W CM9s and the ML Motion 40s yesterday at a Magnolia, of the two I actually prefered the MartinLogans. The CM9s were definitely a bit more balanced and had a nice "warm" midrange sound to them, but the Motion 40s just felt more open and inviting. Although I do think the CM9s would probably be a bit more enjoyable over extended listening periods.

 

But none of that matters, because this morning I stopped by Natural Sounds in Framingham, MA to test out the Sonus Faber Venere 2.5s and absolutely fell in love with them. Honestly just about perfect for what I'm after. I will say they sounded just a tad lacking in the higher frequency ranges, but in a way that actually favored my tastes by calming high ringing vocals and guitar notes without completely killing them. I was very impressed by the low-end range, and the warmth of the mids just sounded fantastic. The 2.5s definitely seem like speakers I could plop down and listen to for hours on end (plus, they look absolutely gorgeous).

I'm about 99% sure I'll be getting them and almost straight out purchased them on the spot, but I'm going to check out the KEF R900s first at a place about an hours drive from my house just because multiple people have mentioned them here. But unless the KEFs really impress me, I think there's some Sonus Faber in my future...
 
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