Martin Logan Owners...Why should I?

Fellow Audio Lovers,
I currently own B&W speakers... 805's used in a stereo setup, I am looking to add to my system to incoporate home theater "5.1", I was going to add N802's as mains and a center channel HTM 1 or 2 not sure on that WHEN a friend suggested instead of adding to my B&W collection I go Martin Logan. He suggested Aeon 1's at minimum if not Ascent 1's... for center a Fresco or a Cinema 1, and maybe Fresco's for the rear surrounds... My question is MAYBE someone on Audiogon has "been there done that" already and can give some advise... I will use the system mostly to listen to music say 90/10... My musical tastes vary... You might say go listen to them and decide for yourself...good answer BUT for me... a side by side demo isn't going to happen...I haven't found a dealer that has both..some input from Audiogon readers is important..As I started this thread I stated why should I?? TELL ME PLEASE!!
because you find the sound of electrostatic speakers special? that's why i bought mine. i never heard such clarity. room size is an important factor when deciding which speaker to get.
Thanks Dennis the menace,
My room is 16x13... 8 foot celings... any thoughts at all?
Owned B&WS and most models of logans ,the logans are better sounding than the B&Ws but I found horns and fostex fullrange driver systems to be much better than both,Have had other B&W and logan owners say the same.Have a good friend still using logans he has theater and 2 pair cls2z plus 2 descent subs,krell mono amps lexicon mc12 pre nice system but even he is thinking of going with a fostex speakers system
I am also a fan of the Martin Logan electrostatics.

I have ML speakers all round - LCR and surround - driven
by an EAD PowerMaster amp.

Sounds great.

Of course, it's not the only way to go - you could build on
the B&W system if you prefer the B&W sound to the Logans.

Dr. Gregory Greenman
your friend is right, you would either want the aeons or the ascent. aeons would work, in that size room, with the speakers placed along the long wall.

i dont have any center speaker, but the image and voices clearly come from the center between the speakers when i watch movies. of course, that's with me sitting in the sweet spot.

have you heard electrostats? what amp/preamp would you use?
Thanks Everyone!!!
Dennis if you were adding a center and rear speakers.. your thoughts please.. Fresco's, Cinema , Script's????
Calling DR Greenman!!!!!
Pardon the introduction.. Sir what do you use as a center channel and do you have surrounds????
John K
You mentioned you had B&W then Martin Logan.. What B&W's did you have and part two is what Logans did you replace the B&W with...
i don't have any experience with the center speakers, but just from looking at their site, i'd be inclined to go with the cinema. the others don't look like center speakers, but rather rear LR speakers, and they also look to be ribbon, not 'stats. i'd stick with all electrostatic.
I'll be different and say stick with the B&Ws. I demo'ed the 805s and Aeon i's side by side. In my opinion the 805s took it track for track. I'd also bet the B&Ws do better on HT material.
Thanks Dlwask
As I had mentioned I would be using N802's as mains against Aeon's or Ascents... any thoughts of this "matchup"?.. The 805's would be the surrounds..I don't know how the 805's vs Scripts would be do you?
ML speakers are incredibly placement sensitive. Any side by side comparison is likely to be highly flawed. When you find the magic place for your ML's the sound stage gets wide and deep and female vocalists/piano will blow you away. In a room your size, a center speaker will probably not be needed as proper placement of the ML's will give you one sweetspot but an "almost" sweetspot six feet wide.

ML's are power hungry and dip to 2ohms. Something to consider.

But I love my Aerius in a room bigger than yours. Aeons are plenty and be prepared to move them an inch here or and inch there to get it right. Add a Descent sub and invite me over.....:-)
Thanks willhitx!!!
But when you mentioned that I probably wouldn't need a center channel... might sound dumb but wouldn't I be missing alot during movies?
I've not heard the ML Scripts so I can't comment there. The N802s however are fantastic! It just makes sense to me to stick with B&W. Especially if you already have the N805s and are able to consider the N802s as mains. But I understand sometimes you just want a change.

Also as Willhitx states, dealers are typically not the ideal venue for comparisons which is what I'm basing my comments on. But for what it's worth the N805s were brought over to where the Aeons were already set up.

Whichever you choose make sure you've got an amp with some guts. Both B&W and ML speakers need power to open up.
You'll miss exactly nothing with movies. Set preamp to phantom center channel and you're good to go. All the info is there.
Thanks Again willitx!!!!
I appreciate the clarification on the center channel. Have you heard either the Scripts or Fresco's.... "possible surrounds"
Hello Wmwman,

you may wish to read some of the posts on the hot formum topic on this site: Electrostatics or Dynamics. This is a very subjective preferance between the 2. I for one, prefer ML's. Also, as JohnK mentioned, Fostex based single driver speakers are an excellent approach. I own both ML's (SL3) and Hornshoppe Horns'. The Horns come remarkably close, embarrassingly so for the price! Overall, I prefer the ML's because of better soundstaging. Bottom line: if the ML's produce "magic" to your ears, nothing else will do, except perhaps another stat speaker.

good luck,
Hi Wmwman,

You better have a good amp to drive logans. Even the smaller ones like the Aeons need an amp that can handle the difficult load the ESL will present.

you will get some VERY good answers to these and more questions if you visit the Martin Logan Club online.

I personally have owned MLs for nearly 20 years. I currently have a pair of reQuests and a Cinema and can tell you that it's AMAZING what these speakers can do for movies, if driven properly...

Good luck.. check out the site, you'll learn ALOT

ML Club Webmaster
Not sure where you are located but there is a dealer I am aware of in the NY area that does handle both ... Audio Classics in Vestal, NY.
Thanks Pmwoodward!!!!!
Another vote for the ML's I will take your advice to check out the Electrostatics or Dynamics site.
I'll chime in.

I too was wooed by the sound of the MLs when I first heard them (ascent). It lead me from being a maggie guy to giving them a shot. I picked up a pair of SL3's (best big ML for the money on the used market, imo) and was woefully dissapointed with them.

It had everything to do with the room I had them in, which was 17'w x 24' deep w/7' ceilings. These 5'7" speakers were too small for the room!
This was a two channel setup with PLENTY of power behind them. I was dumbfounded to have a pair of beefy 10" sub-whoofers blowing at me, yet have less bass output than the 8" single mirage sub I used to have. With my musical tastes leaning towards electric jazz and jamband style rock and roll, the ESLs just didn't cut the mustard. i had to go back to a box speaker (or buck up far beyond my means for the Prodigy line) to give me the sort of dynamics I was sorely lacking.

I'm now a happy Von Schweikert owner. I find them just about as fast as the MLs were (very surprised by that), but they give me all the slam and impact I could ever ask for which is something all but the largest MLs can NOT deliver, but let me get into that a little bit.

To digress a bit, the MLs can be the best speaker you've ever heard. I'm a big fan..but there are too many extras that *have* to fall into place for them to really shine. The room acoustics and matching the panel to the square footage of the listening environment is the make or break deal w/the MLs, and w/a room the size of yours you will need the Ascents or SL3's, I would guess.
Then again, you are talking 5.1, which is an area I know nothing about. I'm sure craming 5 pannels in that room of yours will no doubt make up for the sheer volume of pannel needed to pressurize that space in a two channel stereo only rig.

final advice, consider your musical tastes, how much music vs. movies you will be sitting in front of, the size of your room, the acoustics of the area..etc, as all of these things play a HUGE roll in squeezing the magic out of Martin Logan.
Good luck!
What VSA speakers did you end up with? My impressions are the same as yours when compared against the Martin Logans.
VR4 original
best $1500 speaker you can buy!
mine are top notch condition too. I really scored on these. I doubt I'll ever own another pair of speakers to replace these for a long time to come.