Forget it... I had the CLS2Zs back in 1995 and they were the MOST difficult speakers to drive in the world. Get yourself a used KSA300s or an ML333 to drive those guys or find someone to take them to the dumpster. If you have enough current stability they will open up, otherise they just sound muffled and overly syrupy.
8 responses Add your response
Muffled and syrupy? Let me know where you live if you take that advice! I'll take them! Sold mine (new room) and must say still miss them after a decade--though I have now what many consider one of the great speakers in the world. I found the CLS easy to drive, but very revealing of crummy electronics...this is a speaker that separates the real from the hype in everything that goes before. 100 watt tube is more than enough...if it's an excellent amp, even less. Never solid state for me with any Martin Logan...period
Electrostatic speakers like lots of voltage as opposed to current, so high-powered tube amps are a good choice. I also got great results driving my stats with the InnerSound ESL amp, which is specifically designed to drive hard-to-drive ESLs and puts out 2000 VA per channel. It is a smooth nice-sounding amp and throws the most expansive soundstage of ANY amp I've tried with my speakers so far. List price is $3k.
Vettered38, I wanted to ask you about your experince with this. I have the ML (ReQuest) driven by Bryston 7Bs Mono Blocks, however, I have the upgrading bug these days and was considering Mark L 335 (SS), Krell 200c (SS), or SFI Power 3 tube amps. It seam from everyone's response that the Electrostats like tubes. We don't have dealers here so I can try different amp (I Live overseas). So I have to go with some recommendations.
myoussif, I would try a sunfire signature amp on the requests first, youll be very pleased with the sound. this amp way bettered a levinson 336, this was with my front end of levinson39cd 360s da and380s pre, Iam trying out a krell600c right now , sounds detailed and powerful which it should for the money , sunfire is at least90 percent of this, dimenishing return for the money but always looking for thatlittle bit more, vtl amp comes in next month let you know how sounds, email me at [email protected]
I agree with Spot. Tubes are really the only way to go to get the most out of CLS's. I am currently using a McCormack DNA1 Deluxe which reacts well to impedance dips (actually doesn't react much at all which is good) and is "rolled off" as solid state amps go -- but this does not get me all the way there. Not even close. The Mesa is an interesting proposition asw it is A LOT OF AMP for the money. Mesa is no longer palying in the hi-fi market but I wouldn't worry since they are still in the guitar amp business (they Boogie!). So good deals can be ahd. These are very user friendly and a good real world choice. They are not at the level of Audion Research or Sonic Frontiers but they sound damn, damn good. Especially for the scratch. Now... ARC is coming our with a MkIII version of the VT100 so prices on MkII's will drop. The MkII is a good choice and one that I'm considering. But... you can get a used VT200 for just a little more than a new VT100MkIII (the new one). So drive your self crazy with choices. I've also heard good things about the higher power Rogues with CLS's. Lastly, there's the InnerSound ss amp designed specifically for esl's. Haven't heard it myself but reputable sources say its very, very good with Logans. Really lastly... beware of advice from people driving hybrids (no mater what the size). These are different animals. The real problems aren't with the high frequency dips, it's the low frequency dips that are a mo-fo. Remember, power doubles with the halving of loads. Guess what happens on the other end? Power halves as impedence doubles. The hybrids don't face this -- pure esl's do. It's apples and oranges. For real els's good (and I do mean GOOD) tubes are the only, only, only way to get all the way there. Good luck. Jim.