REVIEW: Martin Logan Dynamo 300 Subwoofer

Like a lot of people I have more than one system. My current primary system is Merlin TSM-MXrs with Manley tube power and so on. But that system is downstairs in our dedicated theater and listening room.

So what to do when we want music upstairs? Well, I certainly didn't want to spend another 15K or more and I needed very slim speakers which would easily flank our fireplace, far from ideal. It was obvious a sub/sat system would work best so here's what we did:

Martin Logan Motion 4 speakers are placed on Pangea stands. The footprint is very small, super narrow. The sub, of course, is the Martin Logan Dynamo 300. I had some gift card money so it ended up costing very little. I chose it because the listening area near the fireplace is fairly small. It turned out to be a good pick.

The 300 has a 8" driver with a fairly large port. It's down firing. The back panel is very simple. You get a knob for crossover adjust, volume, a phase switch, LFE inputs and a cheap set of spring loaded speaker wire connectors. That last item is the only sad surprise on this otherwise fine little sub. ML suggests 50 hours of break-in, so I let it play for a few days and then sat down to listen. Power is a Denon HT reciever, and sources are Apple TV and a older Oppo DVD player. No exotic cables and no tweaks!

I have to say I'm very impressed with the sub. It provides astoundingly deep and detailed bass and at moderate volumes sounds not all that far behind my MJ Acoustics 150 MK2 sub that costs 6 times more. As you would expect it blends nicely with the Motion 4 speakers and really doesn't do anything that we don't like with the low end Polk subs. It also seems to extend lower than the its specs would suggest. When pushed harder it can actually do some window rattling that sounds more like a 10" or compact 12" design at work. For under 300 dollars it certainly doesn't act like a entry level product. With the 800 dollar price tag of speaker and sub there are certainly better speakers, but this is a system bought to fill a narrow and specific space requirement. Other folks with constraints along the same lines would do well to give the ML stuff a listen.