$10K Budget for Speakers: Martin Logan Masterpiece vs Tannoy


For much under $10K I can get a pair of Martin Logan Masterpiece’s Classic ESL 9 (the new ones retail for $6.5). Alternatively, I might go ahead and get a used pair of the top-of-the-line ESL 13 with all the bolts and whistles the modern electrostatic speakers offer: an unbelievable 3D-almost-surround-like staging and very detailed, life-like sound. Those Martin Logans speakers do have a huge speaker emission surface (the sound radiating "panel") emitting the sound bi-directionally and these speakers are almost the human hight tall.
The same $10K would also get me a top-of-the-line Tannoy Arden speakers (8K per pair). On the used market, if I am lucky, I could get a pair of Turnberries. Tannoy, while does have some unmatched style and a "company history-story" factor, apparently doesn’t even come close to be able to give the same sound experience Martin Logan speakers do. Tannoy speakers radiate sound from a single 10", 12" or at best 15" driver. The speaker themselves are significantly smaller than Martin Logan ones. They are barely hip height.
The esthetics and design is a huge factor for me, I do love Tannoy speakers. But, from a practical standpoint, and because the main reason I am getting the speakers is still the SOUND, and not the speakers design, I am heavily inclined to get a less-by-my-opinion-styled speakers made by Martin Logan. Because MLs, regardless of the price, offer a wider, cleaner, more life-like sound than Tannoy speakers do.
If the sound reproduction is the only concern, why would I choose a smaller, a single driver Tannoy over state-of-the art technology implemented in Martin Logan?

esputnix
I did a direct same day, several hours, comparison between Martin Logan and Focal Electra 1038 BE, and chose the Focal's over the Martin Logan by a wide margin. Now end of line, the Electra 1038 BE's can be bought for well under $10k. Well worth the time to explore and 7 years warranty as well.
Yes, seriously. When I go the movie theater I don't car what speakers brand they use. I expect a good sound, while I don't care how those speakers look. Marin Logan speakers, by my opinion, is just an electronic equipment made to produce the highest quality sound with no other concerns. While Tannoy seems to care a lot about the estetics and design that could fit and look great in a different decor styled rooms. 
Martin Logan speakers are made to be placed in a movie theater more than in a living room. 
Sounds to me like you have spent little to no time listening to Tannoy speakers.
@islandman

Sounds to me like you have spent little to no time listening to Tannoy speakers.

nahh that would require effort and listening skills

much easier and more entertaining to make a post on the forum and yank other folks’ chains - 'mr 1 post' asking about two 10 grand speakers he's never heard ... sheesh


 I think surferandy makes a good point. If you have a capable amp, the Electra 1038 is a lot of speaker for the $
I am with @islandmandan.....if my choices are ML vs Tannoy, I will pick Tannoy in a heartbeat. ML may be appealing now but try listening to them over a extended period of time....you will be running away from them due to listening fatigue. 
If You listen to rock ML will please , if you listen to  jazz or classical Tannoy is better .
Post removed 
$10k gives you an awful lot of options.

No need to limit it to just two. I know the agony of indecision can be wearing but I think you really should look at other designs.

If that’s not possible, then I’d go for the Tannoys too. At the very least they tend to hold their value well.

Read this too,

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/tannoy-turnberry-se-vs-kensington-se-semi-review
esputnix, that is an interesting perspective.  I would expect most audio hobbyists would draw the opposite conclusion -- M-L for visual appeal but Tannoy for sonic appeal.

M-L can be impressive, like most electrostatics, for their clean detail and resolution.  However, in my experience with three different top models of Tannoy, they sound more like my live music experiences than most other speakers.
You should be looking at Spatial speakers.  Several options under 10K.
Thinking  about Tannoy, you may also look at Fyne Audio : F702
I can’t tolerate 10 minutes with Martin Logan panels, all tizz and bang, but to me Vienna Acoustics are the most natural Sounding speakers And many find them dull.
If you want electronic equipment made to produce highest quality sound with no other concerns try Genelec 8361 or Neumann KH420. Dutch and Dutch 8c or Kii3. Cost a bit more than $10K but you can ditch the amp. If you want to stay with passive Revel 228be.
https://pbnaudio.com/custom-speakers/

Scroll to the bottom of this page :-)

And yes I do make them

Good Listening

Peter
Martin Logan...movie theater?  No

Tannoy...completely different...uh, yeah no!  
You make no sense.
ML speakers are not everyone's cup of tea. They can be initially impressive but wear on the listener after a while. They remind me of the rustling of dry autumn leaves, but that's just me. I would spend some serious time auditioning them before I'd make that choice or any other speaker choice, for that matter. There are many things to consider such as room size and electronics match. Have fun and choose wisely.
Love my Dynaudio Contour 60i. Excellent speaker warranting consideration as well. 
Seriously at 10K those are your inane options?
- Dynaudio contour line
- ATC
- Spector
- KEF reference line
- Fyne Audio
- Magico A3s
..

There are some stellar active options now with Genelec Fives, Buchardt A500, HEDD Type 20 or Dynaudio Focus XD line. 

Have you heard any of these? 
@schubert I disagree. More than 50% of my music collections are rock. I also don’t listen to classical. I have heard the ML Neolith top of the line but my Tannoy Kensington GR still sounds better to me. Different strokes for different folks. On the business perspective, no business in the right state of mind will make a speaker that will only sound good for certain genre. Who else think Tannoy’s can’t  rock? I bet Tannoy owners beg to differ.
@esputnix If ML works better for you, what other say or think is irrelevant. Go for it. Keep rocking brother.
i have never heard speakers that sucked me in to the music more completely, than that magnificent pair of tympani IIIs i heard @ definitive audio in '82. the largest ML speaker did not impress me one iota at least in comparison. 
You should listen to the monitor audio gold 300 generation 5 and the Platinum 200 generation 2 that AMT Tweeter is so incredible very natural.
@emrofsemanon 
I bought that pair after listening to Stanley Clark's School Days on them. I later had to sell them after moving into a small apartment and regret that I've never had a listening room since that was large enough for Maggies. I still have the Stanley Clark LP though.
Loving my tannoys, they grow on ya....no lack of bass, detail, or imaging...in fact imaging is what they are known for...depth, width, & height, 3d, holographic. Not to mention non-fatiguing, warm, and beautiful. Everything in one gorgeous package, what the he$$ is there not to like? Different strokes for...well you know....😁
Another consideration at just under $10k are the DeVore Super 9s. Fantastic sounding and looking. I loved my previous Tannoy Stirlings but these 9s are next level. 
My vote is for Tannoy. I can't imagine that you would regret it. Ebm is probably correct, you would get more detail and definition from a Magico, but I don't think that would be in your price range.  
Tekton Moabs will beat all those others for less money. Listened to some of those other ones and then heard Tektons. Ordered them and am currently building the rest of my system and room around them. 
We know. Its no contest. But let them have their fun.
I have tannoy arden but no point paying so much for them as you are in US... Mine were under £5k in UK... If I was US based I would look at devore.

But what you are comparing are two presentations of sound a that are near polar opposites. The speaker is the biggest influence on sound so choose what you like then tweak from there.

As far as I know the ardens have given me a sound that a year and a half later I can find no fault in. Lovely to live with. 
As Julie says... Fyne audio a great choice... These are the design boys that left tannoy.
The F1 series is supposed to be otherworldly but way over budget
If you want a hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker that looks good (in my opinion), you might consider the JansZen Valentina P8 at $9,250. These are made to order (with many finish options). There are no distributors so you must order directly from JansZen. 30 day trial.
https://janszenaudio.com/products/valentina-p8-passive
Neither one. Neither is impressive for your $10K. The specs on both are weak, and the Arden is weaker. 

Do you have an idea of how they will actually sound? They are close to polar opposites in terms of the listening experience; do you understand that? 

You want prodigious for $10K? Do the Legacy Audio Focus, either iteration. If I had limited means and could only have one speaker, the Focus would be on my short list of perhaps 3. Completely different ball game than these others. 

Disclaimer: I have reviewed and owned several speakers from Legacy, including the Focus. 
Just over 4 years into Martin Logan ownership I still sit in front of them transfixed.  Their openness, imaging, detail and cleanliness suck me in every time.  Love them.
I’ve had a pair of Tannoy 638’s for over 25 years and they have never failed nor failed to impress me. With that said, I do have a ML center channel that is paired up nicely with those Tannoys. Let your ears do the deciding. Try to get at least a 24 hour demo in your home if you’re going to spend that much. 
Another vote for the Tannoys here.  I owned new ML SL-3's over 20 years ago and while I enjoyed them my Stirling GR's are more enjoyable.  For a couple grand less than 10k you could have a new pair of Turnberry. 
Sputnik,
Sorry so many people clobbered you. Tannoy man here but I love
the electrostatic sound. So clear in the mids. But they don't have the
dynamics. If you want to know what a kick drum sounds like put it
on with 15" Dual concentric speakers and turn it up!!  
You gotta decide which one you want.
BTW Sanders Sound makes an electrostatic that makes the
Logans sound blanketed. Your mileage may vary!

Please keep us posted!
"If you want to know what a kick drum sounds like put it
on with 15" Dual concentric speakers and turn it up!!"

Or get a good subwoofer?

I'd love to hear Sanders loudspeakers, though. Unfortunately, they're probably beyond the OP's budget new, and good luck finding them used.   
Have you tried Revel salon 2, you can get them used at your price range. They are way better than ML (to my ears) 
There was a nearly new set offered at $5k recently. Nearly bought them.
Still need the high powered amp.

Post removed 
"$10K Budget for Speakers" is not the same as $10K for Budget Speakers.
So what did you buy ?
Tannoy Turnberry here and love em, but I'm curious to hear these Tekton Moabs millercarbon has, and loves. Has anoyone compared the 2?
I find the GoldenEar Triton Refs and One.Rs to be outstanding. Sold by dealers so you can go listen to them...
I have Focal Aria 936's a lower budget speaker that sounds better than any ML that I have demoed.  I have never demoed Tannoy's due to dealer locations and limited to no dealer availability in NY
I would NEVER buy a speaker without hearing it. - Never!

I upgraded to Focal 1028BE's and had fatigue within minutes, I purchased these and returned them and had to pa $350 for return freight. Then I demoed Focal Sopra 2 and had no fatigue and was able to hear what I was missing at the Aria level - a much fuller sounding speaker.

My fatigue is from tinnitus and the 1028BE kicked it in to overdrive but the Aria's and Sopra oddly did not. I am clueless as to why only the 1028be's caused this. May be a frequency they hit.

However, at your budget, I suggest to listen to a few brands and compare vs making assumptions. If you love the ML's and have heard them, the go for it. Everyone's ears are different and my example is my point, you should spend a bit of time demoing them and comparing, same day to see what you like. Keep in mind your AMP as some speakers sound great on solid state and flop on tube amps. So I always try speakers demo'd on both to see how well they perform under any type of amp, that sensitivity and synergy is a major factor in good sound.

There is a synergy that matters with AMP and Speaker. So demo, and maybe even bring your amp for the demo.