Your post already provides the pathway to the ultimate litmus test ...... simply drive out to Whittier to your beloved McIntosh / Martin Logan dealer for an ez-peezy onsite personal audition and let your own ears make the assessment.
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I know someone who is selling their Martín Logan Montis pair of Speakers in Santa Ana. Email me if you want his number. He is downsizing and is liquidating his audio gears. He might also have some gear here for sale. [email protected]
I really like Martin Logan, not only because their speakers are fantastic, their service is top notch.
When I bought my ML Impression 11As, I paired them with a McIntosh Mc452 amp. For me, the combination was a bit too warm. Great for some genres of music, not so great for others, particularly classical where I prefer some sparkle and crispness to make the instruments sound more natural.
From my experience ML panels can be a tad on the warmer side. Pairing with a more neutral amp will make things more natural sounding. Of course all of this is personal preference. I spent a long time trying to get the sound right and decided to try other manufacturers. Ended up sitting down and demoing a bunch of different amps with my exact speakers and found the sound I was looking for.
Many like ML with McIntosh. Problem is, I am also from the Los Angeles area and it is definitely hard to find ML dealers with McIntosh products to demo. I still want to hear a few of their tube amps with the MLs.
When I bought my ML Impression 11As, I paired them with a McIntosh Mc452 amp. For me, the combination was a bit too warm. Great for some genres of music, not so great for others, particularly classical where I prefer some sparkle and crispness to make the instruments sound more natural.This is because the ML’s go down to 1ohm in that area and even with 450w amp it’s not the right amp because it’s transformer output, you’ll find if you did a response graph of it into the ML’s load the top end would roll off as would most tube amps as well.
To get get that "sparkle and crispness" back that make thing "sound more natural" you need an amp that maintains it drive current into that low impedance load that the ML’s have.
Thant means looking at amps that can "almost" double their 8ohm wattage for each halfing of impedance EG: 100w at 8ohm, 200w at 4ohms 400w at 2ohms
From my experience ML panels can be a tad on the warmer side.They are with the wrong amp as I explained above, they are perfect with the right amp.