Martin Logan Aeons help?


Has anyone heard anything about these speakers? I have tried to find reviews online and there just aren't any (search via google). I am trying to make a pretty tough decision based on the review and maybe your help as well. I own a pair that are about a year old and I think they have really good sound. However, I don't know if I can afford to keep them given that I have heard that they are expensive to match to both components and other speakers (for both home theater and stereo use). My current receive is pretty weak for this speaker (Denon AVR-3300) and I am thinking of upgrading, but it seems like everything is around 2-5k for something that will do them justice. Any thoughts here or something that I may be missing? I listen to blues, rock, and some jazz. I have been thinking of selling them and getting some B&W CDM9NTs (cheaper to match with other speakers) or maybe the Revel F30s. Any thoughts or comments would be very appreciated!!
clew84
Do yourself a big favor and get an 80 watt tube amp. What YOU will get is a layered sound of tinkling cymbals caressing your face and the ceiling and walls of your room, followed in the middle by vocals or lead instrument, then bass or drums in the background.

Invest in a good tube amp! Tube amplifiers and stats are a real good match. You will really appreciate the transperancy and coherencyof the music. Your system will become a musical instrument instead of a collection of gear.
Clew- Which do you value more, music, or HT or multi-channel sound effects? If music is what reaches your soul, then shouldn't that be your primary concern? "Matched speakers" and "THX" labels won't guarantee better emotional connection with a musical performance. If you get your primary speakers and amplification at your required level, then the rest is simply icing for the visual distraction that HT provides. I would agree that the Martin Logans do justify better amplfication than what receivers provide. However, finding a decent pre/processor and/or, at least, a good quality amplifier for your mains isn't difficult, especially on this site. The rest of the HT audio equipment fundamentally only needs to avoid being annoying. I'm just an old audiophile that loves music, and merely enjoys HT. The choice should follow that which moves you, not magazines, marketing, or me. Good luck.
Hello,

I demoed the Aeons for two weeks when I'm searching for speakers to buy. During that time, I used "two" amp set up. The first one using a receiver, the Yamaha RXV1 125 W/ch; and the second using an outboard (separate) amp, the Threshold Stasis S500 Series II 250 w/ch A-AB.

The difference is dramatic using the Threshold compared to the receiver. The electrostat will eat your receiver alive, no doubt! Planars, ribbons, or ESL panels requires good amplification (high current) because of the shift in the impedance curve during normal operation (say, 20hz-20khz). Some manufacturer's data indicates that the nominal impedance is about 4 Ohms at 1 Khz and goes down to 1.0 ohms at 20 Khz.( Martin Logans as a good example). Unless your receiver can handle such current transient demands, you will not experience the true beauty of electrostatic speakers at all!

Hope this helps
I would think that you could upgrade to an external power amplifier and satisfy the requirements. You only need two channels of clean power to handle them. I have used non-ML surrounds with my ML L/C/R and it worked fine. I mostly have ML surrounds now because I got a tremendous bargin on them (here at the 'Gon). I'd say that the most you'd really need to spend is a 2-channel amp and a ML Cinema center channel.

Not sure what your budget is, but I picked up a Counterpoint SA-220 (almost 400wpc @ 4 ohms, more than enough to run my larger Odysseys) for under $800. I picked up a newer Classe CA200 (also 400wpc @ 4 ohms) for around $1000. I'm not suggesting that you go buy either of these pieces, necessarily - but I know that they handle my speakers and one presumes they'll handle the Aeons at least as well. (and you can probably spend less.)
Thank you for your response. I do value music more than HT so I agree that should drive the choices available. I've always wanted to have a good quality pre amp and power amp, but also wanted the HT system capabilities due to space issues (wife won't let me have dedicated 2-channel listening area in our place...yet:). Doing the separates is going to cost more, but it will be worth it in the end. I don't know a whole lot about separates yet - got to do some research which will be fun. Any ideas on what companies to consider given a budget of around $3k for both the pre and the power amp? Thanks again!
Thank you for your response. I do value music more than HT so I agree that should drive the choices available. I've always wanted to have a good quality pre amp and power amp, but also wanted the HT system capabilities due to space issues (wife won't let me have dedicated 2-channel listening area in our place...yet:). Doing the separates is going to cost more, but it will be worth it in the end. I don't know a whole lot about separates yet - got to do some research which will be fun. Any ideas on what companies to consider given a budget of around $3k for both the pre and the power amp? Thanks again!
Clew- Agnes3 has the right idea. Tubes and ESL can be outstanding together. As was suggested, you could take this in steps by getting the tube amp first, utilizing the Denon pre outs. This would get you on your way. (You might look into a nice used VTL stereo or mono-blocks amps. I saw a pair of ARC M100 mono-blocks for around $2K not too long ago. I've seen the Cary V12 used as low as $2200, and it is extremely good. Plan on spending $1500 to $2K to get good build and sonic quality. Budget a little for some New Old Stock (NOS) tubes, and you'll be very pleased with what the M-Ls can do.

The next step (and equally as important) would be a nice analog pre-amp. Again, I'm partial to good tube designs. (An older Audible Illusions 2D can be found for around $500, and it has the added advantage of offering a very nice internal MM phonostage if you decide to explore the beauty of vinyl). C-J, MFA, Aranov all offered fine amps and pre-amps that at used prices can be excellent building blocks. Also, there are several manufacturers making excellent components selling factory direct that offer very high value. Wright-sound.com is one such site, and there are many others if you really start to investigate the net.

Though I've mentioned the obvious components, don't forget about interconnect and speaker cables, power cords, and what the equipment is resting upon. I recommend that you check out the Sonoran cables and Sistrum/audiopoints at audiopoints.com, as I've had excellent results with their products. Nearly everyone will have their personal favorites, and I'm no exception.

You are just starting your journey to the dark side ...er, I mean the enlightened path of hi-end audio;^) Keep in mind that most of the fun is in the trip, not necessarily the destination. Enjoy!
Clew 84:

I just bought AEON over B&W CMD9. To my ears, AEON outperformed B&W while listening to REM and classical music. B&W CMD9 are good and excels in reproducing high frequency, but lacks mid-range, bass, depth, and clarity. You're in the right price range for a good power amp to drive AEON. I noticed a big difference in sound quality at both low and loud volumes comparing Rotel 200W ($1000) to Classe 151 150W ($2300)amp. Classe outperformed Rotel easily, as should be.
Later on, I plan to hook up a $2K plus power amp to my Integra 7.2 A/V so as to avoid pre-amp costs, perhaps you can consider this option as well. What do you think?
There is a review in the latest TAS.
Another newbie (on a very restrictive budget) discovers Martin Logan - Aeons. HoBoy! They sounded magnificent in the dealers 'ideal setting'. From reading all the forum inputs - I have a LOT to learn.

I suppose I'll start with the room which is comprised of a one car garage (concrete block) which doubles as an office, dog room and naturally features a ceramic floor for maximum accoustic reflection. It measures 11 x 8 x 18. TV is a 36" Flat screen IN the skinny far wall - mostly sticks into the laundry room.

Have a Sony STR-DA4ES 7 channel receiver, 110 watts per channel. Sony CDP-CX455 400 CD unit. For now, its quantity and random disc shuffle - we're always working on some project in the house. Direct TV for movies at night. Eventually will pick up a DVD/SACD.

Saw a set of used Ascents. Too much speaker for my limited room? Will the 7ES have enough power for these speakers (or the Aeons?)

The speakers will have to be within 2' of the TV wall. At maximum width (11') one speaker will be in front of the open doorway to the laundry room. I can put sound absorbing materials behind the other.

Good googa mooga! I can't believe the discussion on cabling! Suggestions?

Looking ahead, am I better off to get the Cinema and Scripts or the Theater as the next step? Or do I move the Aeon's to the rear and get Ascent's?

Appreciate any insight and enlightment regarding my dilema.

Thanx in advance and Happy New Year to one and all!

The Captain
Agree with the above posts: TUBES with Martin Logan's are a must. The improvement was dramatic for me.... I have the model that was replaced by the Aeon's (the Aerius i), and 80 watts of tube power was plenty.

The VTL IT85 is an awesome integrated tube amp, with 80 wpc, the ability to later be biamped to another VTL ST85 (so you can double the power), has a pre-out, and a processor-in... this is a very versatile and awesome sounding integrated, especially if you're looking to use it for home theatre.
Have a similar dilemma. Have Aeons, then went ahead and got the Cinema and Scripts. Now I need new electronics, preferably multichannel. Would a Rotel 1095 (200w x 5) do the job? Some say the combo might be too analytical, yet others say it might be too laid back. Or should I go up the ladder and go for Classe (or further up, to EAD)?
Although I prefer tubes (and that's what I use), I also have a Classe CA200 (ie transistors) and it is excellent. I don't think one necessarily NEEDS tubes, especially if your family is like mine and does not want to wait while they warm up, etc.

ggabert: I think you should start with a thick rug and some wall treatments, no matter what speakers you end up with. You arne't likely to be too satisified with ML speakers if you MUST put them 2 feet from a wall - they sound flat and the image does not form well (and others think they sound even worse than I just described). This is just an unfortunate fact of life with ML's design.
I own Request's, Scripts and Cinema. I ended up purchasing a Sunfire Cinema Grand to use as the amp. It had two BIG things going for it:

1. Price - very cost effective on Audiogon
2. Very efficient with speakers that require < 2 ohms.

I listened to a number of amps, including krells and tubes before purchasing the Sunfire. The price / performance was not there for me. There may be better - but this is good - for now...

Also, I found that speaker placement with this system is really important. Just a BLW suggests, make sure you take room acoustics into account.