Martin Logan's Prodigy

I recently auditioned the new Prodigy by Martin Logan. Despite reading 4-5 different reviews on this speaker that reported an impressive bass section with the two 10-inch woofers, I found the low end to be somewhat muddy and unimpressive. However, the demos were done with amps no more than 200 watts into 4 ohm.

The reviews indicate a relatively long break-in period which, as Stereophile reported, greatly improved bass response over several months of use.

I am also thinking of teaming the Prodigy's with a Velo HGS-15 to improve bass response.

Does anyone have any experience with the speaker that they will share? Did you see a great improvement in the low-end over time and what amp are you using? thanks in advance for your input.
1deaa590 c842 4dfe 8228 c50b936ee556gerryn
I heard the prodigys on Levinson mono blocks and the bass was fine.power is very important when you get into a logan. I own a Levinson 335 and A pair of Martin Logan Ascents and the intergration in the Ascents is awesome the 335 is 500 per side into 4ohms
Like you, I read the recent Stereophile review that praised the Prodigy's for their bass. That review was in complete disagreement with the conclusion I drew on their low-end when I auditioned them at my local dealer's showroom. I heard them in a dedicated listening room with, as I recall, an all Krell system. I'm pretty sure the amps were the FPB 200 monos--amps known for quality bass. A friend of mine owns ML's CLS IIz's, and I own ML's Logos center channel speaker. True to form, the Prodigy's mid's and high's were everything I've come to expect from ML--very transparent and detailed. But my impression of the bass mirrors yours; I thought it was boomy and very lacking in detail. It stood in stark contrast to the crisp mid's and high's provided by the electrostatic panels. To be very honest, I was surprised that such an expensive speaker could have such a poor low-end. I pointed it out to the salesman, and he actually agreed with me. So I was just as surprised to read the Stereophile review praising the Prodigy's bass. In fairness to the speakers, I have no idea how much break-in time the pair I heard had. They appeared to be set up properly, but maybe they weren't tweaked to perfection. But they never struck me as being in need of break-in. My conclusion was that ML has a thing or two to learn about woofers.

By the way, my friend with the CLS IIz's combines them with a Genesis subwoofer. THAT is the route I would recommend you go. The CLS IIz's are just as attractive as the Prodigy's, and the Genesis provides bass that, in my experience, was far tighter and more detailed than what the Prodigy's provided. Any high quality subwoofer should be a good mate. Just my $.02.
The Stereophile review was shoddy. It failed, as I recall, to compare the Prodigy's directly to other speakers and seems to have been written in slap-dash fashion. I found it uninformative.
I don’t know if I qualify all that well to comment on such a topic, but here goes.

First off I do not own the Prodigy’s, but a close friend of mine has had a pair for about 4 months. I have been fortunate enough to be able to listen to them for hours upon hours with both music and Home-theater during the past four months. Over the weekend I had a conversation with my friend about my recent experiences in auditioning some Classe amps at a local dealer paired with the ML Prodigy’s. I told him “Had I been there to buy a pair of Prodigy’s I would have been very disappointed”. With the set up they had Classe CAM350’s, Classe SSP-75 I thought great set up, but to my surprise the Prodigy’s sound was thin and lacking detail no bass slam. I was concern that the room acoustics were inadequate due to some recent re-construction taking place. (I.e.: The front wall behind the speakers was just un-taped sheet rock). Obviously there were some flaws. I don’t think I could attribute the sound to just that though. None the less I walked away disappointed with both the amps and the speakers. Especially knowing what I know.

At my friend’s house the ML’s matched with a Classe CA401, Theta Casablanca II for Home-theater and Bluecircle tube preamp for music. The music the ML’s produces is amazing. Very airy and transparent with very good slam when needed. His dedicated room is on the second floor, which allows for a raise floor instead of slab floor that the dealers use. This I have found to attribute quite a bit to the lower end effect of a system. The ML’s sounded great in Home-theater applications as well, but then again the remaining system has a lot to do with it.

Also to answer Gerry’s question about using a Velodyne. My friend uses two HGS18’s in his big @22WX34 room. Just for kicks we used them in music mode. Even with the volume levels at 2 the bass was bit excessive, but controlled. I really feel that with the 800 watts@4ohms coming from the Classe 401 made the ML sound awesome.

Just my .2 cents.

I have yet to be truly impressed by any of the ML hybrids. Macm hit the nail on the head regarding the CLS/Genesis combo. Lots of panel-- lots of fast, articulate bass. I disagree with the comment about "any good subwoofer will do", however. Been there, done that. There are some very good subs (like the REL's, for instance) that just couldn't cut it with CLS's. Not fast enough, and they do not lend themselves to the correct positioning... *not* behind the panels, not firing downwards. The optimum subs for a home-brewed mini-Statement system are the Kinergetics SW800's and SW800C crossover with Compusound software -- subs and crossover designed specifically for the CLS, (saw a pair with the amplified version of the SW800C for sale here on Audiogon for $3000). I imagine there are other fast, front firing sub towers that can be positioned correctly just outside the CLS's (Infinity?). Another benefit of this type of set up is that you can just run your IC's from the pre to the power amp (bypassing the crossover) and run the CLS's full range for smaller scale, more intimate music. Try that with a stinking hybrid ;-) There is some loss of transparency, even with the Kinergetics system, so it's nice to be able to have the speakers do what they do best with little hassle.
Howdy, Jim, I am still looking forward to hearing your CLS/SW800 setup some day...On to topic: Prodigy bass. I heard Prodigy's at my dealer and the most striking thing about the panel/bass integration was that it was familiar. Familiar in that I recognized the sound from my own listening room. I went through the same type of break-in with my SL3s. Prior to being fully broken-in, the bass went from anemic to boomy. Compounding this change, I was dancing the speakers around on a seemingly endless positioning hunt. A nudge here and a scoot there and--yikes! I'm going from major suckout to mammoth reinforcement!

Anywho, when the bass drivers finally wore in, I found the bass response less placement sensitive. I can still get a boomy-boom-boom if I want it (don't), or a light tap-tap (don't want that either) just by moving them a few inches. But, when positioned correctly, the bass to panel transition does not draw attention to itself. Certainly it is not as seemless as a single driver, but, what is?!

For the record, I have heard from "them" that the panel requires virtually no break in. The driver has a certain tension that relaxes so gradually that the change is not anything like the change noted for dynamic drivers. The electronics driving the panel, well that may be a different story.

That said, I'm going back to listen to the Prodigy's at the dealer--it's been a couple of weeks...hmmm...
i also have prodigy,i m at around 200hrs.still very boomy and no detail bass and very bright highs but i got the same problem with amatis ,i spended around 500hrs to get right sound from patient.
Hey, Doug. You are so right about speaker positioning when it comes to all ML's. I don't know whether having the bass driver attached to the panel is more or less difficult than a separate sub-woofer. I guess both are a speaker tweaker's delight (or nightmare). This is just part of the admission price with this entire family of speakers. I'm *still* playing with my set-up -- fractions of inches now make a difference. CLS's are renowned for their potential to take months of experimentaion with placement to get it right. Then tweak some more. The next steps are room treatments.

I have to admit that I do not believe I've ever heard any of the hybrids set up in an ideal environment. Only at dealers and it was evident that placment lacked the same detailed attention to placement as we do at home. The break-in issue is also very legit. Going through that myself with the paper drivers on my subs which, while a few years old, were virtually unused. At times there is a bit of an act of faith involved in this, given less than perfect listening environments and lack of break-in.

If you are ever in Los Angeles let me know and we can try to schedule a listen to my work in progress. Best, Jim.
I love logans, always have probably always will, but there has to something said about hearing them demo'd, Let me share my experience. I too have heard the prodigys and was not impressed. But let me say I believe and know it was the dealer setup. I first listened to the new odyssey in one room mated to a classe amp and arc preamp amp and cd player, beautiful sound, (hardly any dampening/reflecting material in the room)Then I went into the Big Room where the prodigy's were. Prodiys were mated to a complete Mark L. setup amp/pre/cd. Wow was I expecting some magic to happen. Boy did I get a let down. The sound was off, no imageing, bass was good but no umph, midrange was crystal clear but just there. All I could remember was my girlfriend saying " should speaker that cost 10,000.00 sound this bad compared to the 6,000.00 model". This is what is was,there was soo much room dampening material, on the rear walls, side walls, front walls with sound blocking this, sound absorbing that, tube trap here and there, that it really killed the sound that helps logans be logans. From what I could tell there was nothng reflecting from the rear of the panel to help great that great ambience that logans creat so well. You didn't get that wall of engulfing sweet music you have learned to expect from the logan name. With only a few songs under my belt, I thanked the sales man and left. I went home, fire up the system and listened to my logans with the sound that I have come to love from them. What I have found in the audfio world more than anything when is comes to that demo is, just like computers if something is wrong, look at the user not the equipment first. Just my 2 cents ...Dave
I agree with Dave. When I auditioned my pair of prodigy speakers in the show room which was 100% dampened. The sound was a let down. I begain to think I would stay with my martin logan Sequels of nine years. Than I took a chance and bought the pair, took them home and wow. A regular living room, sheetrock, furniture, carpet, rock fireplace and windows the sound was alive and the sweet sounds filled our room. Sometimes you just mustgo with your instincts.
Thanks to all who responded to my post. I appreciate your input. You ALL put a lot of thought into your comments.

All in all, I just HAVE TO HAVE electrostatic speakers. I just can't get over the ambience and wall of sound they provided.