So after owning my JBL 4365 for about 7 years it was time to move on. On USAM there were a very nice set of Martin Logan CLX ART available. The condition was excellent, the seller has a sterling reputation, and was experienced shipping large speakers. So we came to an agreement, and I bought them. Actually, i did not agree to the purchase until someone bought my JBL, and surprisingly I was able to sell them to a Craigslist buyer who picked them up. I had my doubts I could sell these locally since they are spendy, but I was proven wrong.
The freight company delivered the speakers, and with the help of a friend who is also an audio nut I got them unboxed and in the house. Condition is superb and better than I could hope for. The finish I believe is an upcharge, its the piano black. At the bottom of the speaker there were some light white/grey specs that may have been due to a vacuum cleaner. A bit of Goo Gone and elbow grease removed all but one pin prick rough spot. That one has no color, but perhaps can be polished out. Basically the speakers are presenting like new, as good or better than any floor demo model. There are a number of issues to solve through the installation process. One of them being the speakers have single wire inputs that have these odd speaker nuts, and my Eclipse 8 speaker wire is biwired. I have 7M of wire and thats not cheap to replace. So an interim hook up with the bananas caused me to break one, and I now have replacement ends that turn into the termination are on the way. I ordered both spades and banana plugs and can use stacked spades on these connectors. Have the new spades being shipped so that should solve that issue.
Secondly the seller had hardwood floors so he sent them with feet and a set of casters. My house has carpet with thicker pad, and neither solution worked well. I had the speaker sitting on the carpet and they sounded very thin. In desperation I went to the garage and found some extra spikes with jam nuts I had, the size is too small but I could place them under the speaker and use the jam nut to get them stable. Huge change in sound of the speaker, amazing how it filled out and became more focused and tonally balanced. This has been the largest change I have ever heard with speaker spikes ever. I need a 3/8" shaft with 16 thread, so I should be able to order some from Parts Express. Am going to do that today.
The Amethyst pre-amp allows me to run DSP correction, and I have done sweeps with the speaker on the carpet and on the spikes. Some of the combinations of calibration and correction selections lead to interesting results. I am sorting through them now.
I did return to an external DAC versus the one embedded in my pre-amp, and while quite long in the tooth the Kukama is sounding quite nice in this system. I find that interconnects on it are making significant differences, far more prominent than in previous systems. Once again, the speakers do not tolerate anything with an elevated midband or upper registers. Currently using a pair of Analysis Plus solo Crystal in that spot, and they are very close but not quite what I am aiming for. Am considering a pair of Cardas or perhaps Straightwire. Would like to buy off the used market, but the issue with counterfeit cables with many brands makes this who process a bit risky, especially with expensive cables from some companies.
What I can say is these speakers are remarkably detailed, have very nice tone, and are quite spacious. However they have no extra midband warmth and do not tolerate well any peaky associated components. I cross over in a pair of Velodyne HGS12 subwoofers at 57 Hz, and the combination seems to work pretty well. Dynamics and efficiency are pretty good due to the large panel, they are 90 dB efficient. With the Classe Omega monoblock amps I should have no issue driving them.
I have them a bit close to the front wall, just under 4 feet off. I do not hear any issues, however I have ordered a set of diffusion panels for them. Funny thing, on Amazon there is a set of 12 of them for $106, they are a white ABS and 19.7 inches square. I found the same panel of Temu and when I finished applying their coupon, I paid $42 for the same amount. They are scheduled to deliver today, so we will see how that goes. I plan on painting them the same color of the front wall before mounting, and we will see what happens.