I purchased the Martin Logan Summits to replace a relatively new pair of Ascent i’s which I had in my system for about a year and half. I was looking for a speaker with a similar footprint since my listening room has some space limitations. I enjoyed the Ascents but found their bass response to be limited. Eventually they were mated with a pair of Descent subwoofers which improved the low end considerably.
I have had numerous electrostatic panels in my audio lifetime (Acoustats, Koss 1-As, and Innersound Eros, to name a few). I have always been partial to the ability of ESLs to create spatial information that dynamic speakers do not appear to equal. They also tend to have a beautiful midrange where most human voice recordings are located.
The Summits were introduced to my system 2 months ago after I had auditioned a demo pair at my dealer’s sound room. While they sounded great in the store, I was not prepared for the incredible sound that they produced in my listening room. After about 2 weeks of listening and “burning in,” the Summits really came alive. The low end is prodigious but controlled and articulate; there when you need it, not intrusive when you don’t. The imaging is simply spectacular. There is natural space around voices and instruments that I have not heard from any other speaker in my home. These speakers do not have any “etched” quality unless the recording is overly “etched” as some digital recordings are. Basically it is WYHIWYG: a great recording sounds incredible, a mediocre recording is at least listenable.
No speaker is perfect, including the Summits although they are at least on the right path. Like all large panel speakers, they require very careful placement. They also require considerable break-in to get the bass right. The feet must be leveled and angled with care as well since the rake angle can affect the imaging. Set up definitely requires 2 people.
Weaknesses? Listening area still has a one-person sweet spot, although this true of nearly all planar speakers. Outside of that, none worth mentioning.
There are now many speakers that cost substantially more than the Summits. Since I cannot fit the Statements in my home, this will be the ultimate M-L speaker for me and at my age maybe the last high-end speaker that I will buy. Given the right electronics and room set up, it doesn’t get much better than this. Are $10,000 speakers ever a bargain? You will need to decide with your own ears. To mine, they most definitely are.Associated gear Click to view my Virtual SystemSimilar products
Martin Logan Ascent i (previous speakers)