Martin Logan Vantage vs. Summit / Summit X / Montis


We have a small house and the listening area is 12x20' (which includes a dining table at one end). Speakers on the short wall, 5' out from wall, 6' apart, 2' from sidewall, listening position at 8'. Due to the layout of the house (and WAF), this is not going to change more than a foot or so.

System is ML Vantage, (2) Velodyne DD-15s, Audio Research LS17/VT-100mkii. Recently acquired a Mark Levinson 331 in a trade, but plan to sell it. I started thinking about getting speakers with a better bottom end and sell one or both subs to make more room/less clutter.

I've been considering replacing the Vantages with Summit/Summit X/Montis.

1.) I know this will help with the bottom end, but will it allow for elimination of both subs? one? 

2.) Will these panels be a dramatic change in quality in mid-bass and higher? Or just another "step up"? I'm assuming the larger speakers have the same sound signature?

3.) Also had thoughts of trying Wilson Watt Puppys in the same price range ($5-6k). I've owned almost exclusively panel speakers (Apogee, Soundlab, Magnepan) over the past 30 years. I listen to a very wide variety of music and understand the different nature of these compared to traditional driver configurations. Owned Aerial 10T for six months and was not so impressed with Krell amps, but the VT-100mkii sounded awesome. Ultimately I moved on to the Vantage and have been content for four years. Classical Indian, acoustical blues, jazz vocal, are quite pleasing on this system, but I sometimes yearn for more slam when playing, oh for instance, Led Zeppelin. Maybe the larger ML will help lessen this craving?!


Ag insider logo xs@2xamansker
Warning!: I have a pair of Summit X up for sale.

amansker, I have not heard the Vantages so I don’t know how much help I can be.

The Summit X has a -3db point of 24 Hz, so they do bass pretty well. Their 2 10 inch powered woofers per speaker will give you better bass than your Vantage alone, but I don’t think they will match your subs in that area. I’m not familiar with your subs either.

I think I can safely say the panels on the Montis or Summit X would be an improvement over the Vantage. I moved up to the Summit X from the Ethos, which has about the same panel width as the Vantage, and there was a definite improvement in the sound from the panels. More detail, more clarity, better sound overall. It was surprising to me how much difference the larger panel made. Martin Logan feels this way too because as you go up their line you always get a larger panel.

So, if you want to keep the subs, try a Montis. If you want to try to do away with the subs, maybe the Summit X will do. I think either will be a pretty good improvement over the Vantage, whether a big enough improvement for you, I can’t say.
I'm surprised there aren't more posts. Your comments are helpful - pretty much confirm what I was thinking. How come you are selling the Summits?
I’m a little surprised about the response too. I think everyone is arguing about climate change, class D amps or cables. Are you familiar with the Martin Logan Owners website? You might get a better response there.

I’m selling the Summit Xs because I bought a pair of TAD Evolution One floorstanders. I have been on a slow upgrade path for years and continue on that path. I don’t have dealers or an audiophile club nearby, so if I want to try something I have to buy it.
Forgot all about MLO site. Thanks, will post there. 

I live in a populated area, but most often buy equipment without listening. Fortunately, most audiophiles tend to be honest (in my experience over 40 years).

ML Summit owner here. This is my "big" system in a larger room than yours with high ceilings and it fills the space beautifully,including excellent bass.

Even with 200 watts of Class D amps per speaker to power the two 10"  bass drivers, they still like lots of power. The best bass I ever experienced with them was with a Bryston 14B-SST2 amp, yes 600 watts/ch. Interesting ML specs the Summits with a 20-600 watts/ch rating.

I found the SST2 series of Bryston amps were too analytical for my tastes,so I now happily use a Moscode 402Au at 200 watt/ch. Not the same bass slam as the Bryston but still plenty for my taste.

This is my somewhat long winded way of saying yes, a Summit/Summit X would give you excellent bass and obviate the need for subs. And, the best WAF. :)


jvitez, I agree.  MLs need a stout amp to come alive.