No way. Two pair of ML2's do not have enough power to properly drive the Slamms.
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Actually you're wrong, you forget that the Slamms are 96db sensitive and a relatively benign load even one pair of ML2s can easily drive the Grand Slamms, with two pairs you have unlimited power. I know this from first hand experience having sold and set up a couple of systems with this combination. ML2 & X1 is a natural pairing, the best amplifier on the market with one of the best speakers ever, you just have to know how to set them up properly and the results are INCREDIBLE!!!!
i would think that a blanket statement here would be a mistake. on this combination, room size and listening tastes would be big varibles in apparent performance.
in a small room with an emphasis on intimate accoustical type music i would think that this combo could be 'incredible'.....as David writes.
in a big space, on 'big music', this combo would be exposed as dynamically limited and lacking the ability to 'energise' the room.
typically X-1's are in fairly large rooms. and in my experience X-1's will improve as they are fed more and more current. so while the 2 pairs of ML2's would be engaging.....the X-1's would be restricted in their ultimate abilities. if a person can financially consider 2 pairs of ML2's, there are other speaker or amp combos that might work better than this particular one for large spaces.
>>in a small room with an emphasis on intimate accoustical type music i would think that this combo could be 'incredible'.....as David writes<<
This isn't what I meant nor what I wrote, and you also know that I judge everything playing classical music. The ML2/X1 combo plays full orchestral music in pretty decent sized rooms, at live volumes, with ease, jazz and rock is a sinch. You need to experience two pairs of ML2s and an X-1 then you'll realize what I mean by virtually unlimited power. I'm not talking theoretical here, its real power.
>>if a person can financially consider 2 pairs of ML2's, there are other speaker or amp combos that might work better than this particular one for large spaces.<<
There's nothing that can touch the ML2 on purity of sound and naturalness, you've never experienced real live bass reproduced properly until you hear the ML2s; and in combination with the X-1 you have a foundation that nothing I've heard can even begin to approach; unless you add an XS. I know you had the Watt/Puppy but they're not the X-1 and Puppies need a lot more power to play loud. There's a lot to a great high end system and playing at realistic levels is only one of them, the X-1s are phenomenal speakers sometimes given a bad rap due to bad setup and weak ancillary equipment, otherwise they have detail, speed, realism and a sound stage way ahead of most other speakers in their price point and higher. The only other speaker I know of equal quality is the JM Labs Grand Utopia, I can't comment on the Alexandria since I never heard them in a familiar environment.
I'm not sure what you mean by large spaces, one of the systems we set up was in a 35' x 60' x 13'.6" room and there was no shortage of power there. Of course one of our vintage horn systems with a pair of ML2s can play louder but that's a totally different story.
David, i have nothing but a great respect for your opinions.
but we might disagree on what is acceptable in terms of having the dynamics to energise a room. as i said, even in a large room this combo would be engaging.....but would also sound somewhat 'lost'. this is just my opinion on how i like a system to sound.
i want more dynamic 'grip' than 18 + 18 watts can potentially achieve in a large space on X-1's. i have heard the ML2's on Kharmas in fairly large spaces.....where you might have felt they had plenty of dynamics i thought they were underpowered.
when low power is used in big spaces (unless some sort of +100db efficient horn system is used) it just doesn't do it for me.
while i agree that the ML2's are great amps......there are others i like at that same level with more dynamic potential for larger spaces.
i would not argue at all that the strengths of the ML2 are considerable even in a large room.....but it's drawbacks would be unacceptable to ME considering the investment alternatives.
>>i have heard the ML2's on Kharmas in fairly large spaces.....where you might have felt they had plenty of dynamics i thought they were underpowered.<<
Please define fairly large spaces, for me a 30' x 60' x13' is fairly large. I know you've heard the Exqusites at our large exhibits but the Kharmas aren't the Grand Slamm and as many attributes as the Kharmas may have, playing loud is not one of them. The Exquisites will never play loud and in reality they don't work well in large spaces either; I should know!
Forget about all the other attributes, ML2s and Grand Slamm can play extremely loud and have incredible dynamics, I know that you've never heard this combination and you'll be very surprised when you hear it. In two instances we replaced fairly large SS amps with the ML2s and not only there was no loss of dynamics there actually was a lot more! This is a combination that you have to hear before judging.
30' x 60'x 13' is extremely large.
i have a friend with a 40' x 28' x 14' foot room (that i consider large) that had X-1's for 6 years until he recently got the JM Labs Grand Utopia Be's. i listened to many amps (of many different configurations and power levels) in that room with him. the X-1's always took advantage of additional power reserves. the lower powered amps did many great things but would have clear limitations.
specifically i did not hear a pair of ML2's in that room on the X-2's.....so i will defer to your personal experience. but my guess is that in a large room like my friend's it would not be what 'I' would choose.
David: I have heard the combination and without a doubt, I am not wrong. The speakers while being 96db efficient are much tougher to drive than their sensitivity suggests.
If you have ever heard the SLAMM's properly powered, you would know what I am talking about. The more power, the better with most Wilson speakers.
The problem with most of the combinations I have heard with ML2's, is improper speaker matching. The amps are beautiful sounding when properly mated with the right speakers. For example, your old combination with the ML2's and the Exquisites was anemic and highly overrated. I know, because I have had the ML2's on my Exquisite 1a's and frankly the combination was laughed at by most who heard it here.
I hope all is well with you.
Well Jonathan I guess one of is wrong then!
Over the years I've heard the Slamms with many different amps including the Levnison 33s when I owned them and I still maintain that two pairs of ML2s can easily drive them to very high levels.
I wouldn't call the Exquisite/ML2 combination laughable but I agree that its borderline acceptable and only in standard to small listening rooms. I never claimed that Exquisite/ML2 was a match made in heaven, in fact we used two pairs of Lamm M1.1s when we exhibited the 1a last. Still, we had enough Exquisite clients who opted for the ML2's naturalness over more power from another amp!
Thanks for the comments. I have to agree with Dkarmeli that the Lamm ML2 has produced and is capable of some of the most realistic dynamics and accurate, deep bass that I have EVER heard. After hearing this system and going home to my Wp7 driven by 750 watt tubed behemoths, my system sounded hopelessly compressed and broken in contrast! I have heard Wp7's driven with the ML2 and it was certainly not restrained, though we never pushed the volume levels. If the X1 is that much easier to drive, I'd have to suspect that they are probably an excellent pairing.
I heard the Alexandria X2 driven by a 22wpc Audio Note Ongaku a couple of months ago. The mids were good but the overall sound lacked dynamics and jump factor. I guess the AN was probably struggling to control the 15" bass drivers. I auditioned the same X2 driven by big Edge monoblocks and the sound was significantly better; effortless and musical. I heard the same problem with an 8wpc Kondo Neiro amp trying to drive the WP7.
I agree that those Wilson speakers sound better with more power/current.
I am currently powering Watt/Puppy 7's with ONE pair of ML 2.1's and an L2 preamp.(I just switched from "highly" regarded SS monoblocks). The room is approxiamtely 18'x15'with a 10' high ceiling. I completely agree with Audiogoon's description of the sound reproduced, the dynamics and the deep bass. I have found Wilson's, at least W/P 7's to be a great match with Lamm equipment.