Martin Logan CLS 11Z speakers + which power amp?

just listened to MARTIN LOGAN ASCENT($4300) and the AEON($3000). no doubt the best allround sound nothing even comes close. however i have heard that the CLS11Z are even better except in the bass. i listen to classical so i do not need big bass. problem is that one needs lots of power to drive them. i plan to buy the PATHOS CLASSIC ONE($2000+), it is reported to be the best of both worlds tube + solid state. do i need the PATHOS TWIN TOWERS($5000+)to drive the CLS11Z($4500). if so maybe i should go with the ASCENT+CLASSIC ONE (and with the savings pick up a CARY 303/200 or CARY 306/200. if not the PATHOS can someone make a suggestion on a amp.(not all tube and under $3000, used ok)? thanks , paul
I assume you will be adding a sub-woofer. Lots of classical music I like has low bass. It will interesting to see what amps are used/recommended for CLSIIZ. They are tricky.
I should have been more help. Try this forum and use the search feature typing in CLS, CLSII, or CLSiiz. You will find amplifier talk there.
I tried the CLS-IIz's with both large tube amps and large solid state amps and they do suck a lot of power the solid state amps, monoblocks were running out of steam, Bryston 7B's. Also the tube amps could not them any justice.
I think all of the new SS and hybrid amps from Blue Circle are designed with the CLS IIz. Made just for em! I would definitely put these on my list!
I have not found a better amplifier for CLS IIz than the Innersound ESL amplifier. Dynamic, with extended highs, trouble free in operation, and a perfect match for any electrostat I have tried (various Acoustats, Innersound Eros, and CLS IIz.) The ESL amp lists for $2995; check the website at ""
The Innersound is great for that speaker - you can add the ML sub later if you miss the deep bass - A friend of mine has this setup - without sub - tried it but didn't feel it created anything he needed. Phenomenal sound if you place them properly and can put up with their size - better looking than my Quad 989's were.
I am a martin logan dealer in ontario, I would recommend audio research, sonic frontiers because they sing together, especially for the price, conrad johnson, and if solid state, than definately krell or classe, i've heard all these combos even blue circle, and my favourite have been classe, than krell for solid state, and sonic frontiers and than audio research for tubes. If your looking for some sonic frontiers, krell, and one of my all time favourites, classe, than e-mail me and i'll tell you the details, but I would recommend listening to the used, mint condition classe amp, and matching preamp if you might be thinking of that too, because their sweet with the logans, and I would know because i've been selling them together for 15 years, and previous to that, quad.
I have the aerius i and have tried many amps(except ELS) but I've tried them with meridan, classe, krell kav, plinus, audiomat, b&k. I owned the bryston which was good but the bat vk200 really kicked for me. Great surenergy with the vk3i. The only thing I'd dump the bat for would be for the bigger bat vk500. Never auditioned the sim or krell fpb, but the claims from others were great. The bat let the ML's play rock & roll. As far as the martins go you diffinetly need subs in stereo. The subs I have now r the vandy's and I do love them. Haven't listened to the new descent. But the setup on the vandy's I think r the real key to the whole sub setup, accurate timing and superb blend. Good luck.
thanks everone for very helpful insight into the problems with the MARTINLOGAN CLS11Z speaker. as i lose sleep over this dilemma, i have concluded from all these responces the following. i definitely want hybrid, best of both worlds in the power source ,so that leaves out the KRELL. BLUE CIRCLE HYBRID line seems of interest,however if you go to PATHOS webpage and call one of the 3 dealers for PATHOS you may conclude that this italian engineer at pathos really knows his stuff. i know BAT & CLASSE are of excellent design.but i am looking for something really special, probably this is my last amp i will buy. through the grapevive i have heard that PATHOS is revealing their new CLASSIC ONE more power for the same price($2000),as well a new model TT$4500(not known as TWINTOWERS anymore)which can now handle the rigors of rock&roll. the $5500 TT will remain as well. so i will forgo the celestial sounding CLS11Z and settle for (the upgraded MARTINLOGAN AERIUS) the october release of the ASSENT($4300) a nice step up from the AEON$3000).later on i will take TRAVIS and LIGI's advice and work in a REL STORM 111. GASMAN ,i will research this ESL amp you mention. AUDIBLEGUY , thanks for your comments, even BRYSTON 7B MONOS!!! struck out!. so if i went in big debt.. the combo would be PATHOS TT (OR MONOS)+ CLS11Z +REL SUB. but the desire to keep a happy home overrides this path. i'll settle for the new CLASSIC ONE + ASSENT + GRANITE CDP, hard to order this upgraded 650 model, now has tube, can be bypassed with flip of switch to solid state!! i've been told, AWESOME SOUND! thanks paul
LIGI , GASMAN thanks for the lead on the INNERSOUND line. no doubt this is THE AMP for electrostat speakers. which do you recommend , the mono $3000 or the less powerful amp$3000. should i settle for the assent or go with the ESL11Z? have you heard the innersound line of electrostates? if so how do they compare to martin logans? but really i want the soon to be released PATHOS CLASSIC ONE so i guess i have to forget electrostates alltogether. is that correct? (not enough power).
The more power the better in this case. I am not familiar with the Pathos sound but I love the tubes - they put out 95 wpc into 4 ohms which will push the speakers pretty well - get two and you can mono bridge each and get 135wpc I think . The Innersound Speakers are very good but their sweetspot is even smaller than the ML and their resale value per dollar paid and what is gotten back is not as good.
afer getting lots of responses from ya'll and doing research, this opening post should have read ... QUAD988 + which amp.
if you can find cello performance 2,its one of the best match with cls,and you can get very best sound
adsal@e-kolay scratch CLS replace with QUAD988 read my previous post in the electrostat shootout. i repeat the CLS11Z are close to being a thing of history,says one audiogoner "THANK GOD what a nightmare for amplification" ater hearing a friends ML ascent driven with a 8 yr. old conrad johnson monoblocks seems all ML,s are heavy drinkers. i'm planning to visit a arizona dealer for QUADS 988 he says they are not like the rest of electrostats..? i'll see, no better i'll hear.
Cello performance II will great but they cost around 10,000 $ if you can find one, a cello duet 350 will also do the job perfectly but of course not the same extent than the Perf II, Perf II might be a bit of an overkill for CLS IIz...
Hey Fb, I've moved on since last year. i have a intergrated Jadis amp, and will soon have the Seas Thor kit as speakers, they are MTM. Nice little speaker, but hopefully will intergrate a sub. Heard the Ascents at a friends house with Conrad Johnson mono's, did not quite sound right to me, Electrostats sure do like to guzzle the juice!