TAS and the Martin Logan Source


Any among you that have given the new ML Source speaker a serious listen? I read the review in TAS by JV and was intrigued. Unfortunately, my only option for hearing them around here is Magnolia in Best Buy, and the conditions there are so bad I can't really judge the speaker.

Any comments?


I too read the review and was/ am curious on these. If you're shy; call another Mag. store and see if they do the 30 days, exchange/refund thing.-- Be aware it may take the full 30 for breakin; but you'll have a pretty good idea.
further thoughts on the source:

i see two problems with the speaker, namely the panel itself and the crossover point.

the panel is the second generation electrostatic technology.
it is more resolving than earlier ml panels, such as the cls's, sequels, and quests.

i heard a quest last night. it was very unforgibing of poor recordings. the new panels are even more revealing and detailed. be careful to provide a "gentle" signal or , you may get a headache.

the woofer crosses over at a a frequency in the midrange. integration between panel and cone could be a problem. i would suggest bringing cds with kick drum, male and female voice , etc., to test the integration.

i am looking for a new speaker. i was considering the new clx. after hearing the quest, i feel the panel is too unforgiving for me.
Just bought a pair in order to downsize my whole system and free up some money. What I ended up with is a finer pair of speakers than anything I owned before and my previous ones include Wilson Sophias, JM Lab Micro Utopias, Proac 1SC, Paradigm Signatures, B&W 805 just to name a few.

The uniformity, scale, dynamics and musicality are way beyond the price tag. It's pretty scary how under-priced these are. I'm still in disbelief. My best audio purchase by far in the 30 years of doing this.
Just giving my two cents here, shouldn't electrostatic speakers be mated to open baffle subwoofers to match the bipolar radiation patterns? Why isn't there anybody who is doing it?
Wonderful_electric, you probably meant to say dipolar, which is typically how ESLs radiate sound, usually as a virtual line source or spherical source. Either way, unless the ESL itself produces the bass, there is most often a discontinuity between the bass and the rest of the sound. At very low frequencies this is less apparent, but most ESLs roll off well above those frequencies.
Martin Logan has been around for quite sometime. I remember listening to them in the early 90's, so they've had some time to perfect ESL and perfect they have in Lawrence, Kansas. I bought "The Source" and they offer sound quality that belies it's price point. You can put them up against $5000/pr., and they will hold their own. The whole point that ES Panels were too fast for any dynamic cone woofer to keep up with is a moot point here w/these speakers. That was very much the point of The Absolute Sound review. The panels are now made of aircraft grade aluminum, no resonance vibrations here. I would argue one thing w/TAS, they say they couldn't get them to image much beyond the "betweeness" of the speakers themselves. I disagree. I've heard things way beyond the boundaries of the speakers. I'm using mostly SACD and DVD-Audio as sources but, they also do well w/16-bit cd's. They delever resolution and speed, speed, speed thanks to those panels. I think they are forgiving as opposed to being a microscope on the sound and driving components. I would and do use them w/a very stable high current amp as they do drop to under 4 ohms on some music. My amp gets quite hot while driving them hard which they handle easily. If you are looking for a relative "steel" in the High End (getting harder to find these days when just cabling can cost upwards of the sratosphere) These are your babies. Now, I've just got to figure out what to do with my $14,000 Thiel CS-5i's.
I own the Aeon-i's. The Source is fantastic for the money but will not play extremely loud in large rooms. Their transparency kills all cones in boxes at their price and even edges out the Maggies for transparency per dollar. Any good decent current amp will drive them. I drive my Aeons with a Behringer A500 but I am a recovering audiophile. The MLs also look better than almost any other speaker which is a plus with the spouse approval factor.
I just tried the Source for 3 weeks. Got them from The Audio Advisor. BTW, their service is great. However, I returned the speakers. Perhaps I was expecting too much with all the glowing reviews. But, as everyone has said, they are very good "for the money". I know it's not fair to compare them with the ML Stage center speaker I use but I was hoping for a closer match. It just didn't happen. Probably the Vantage or higher in the ML line is the way I'll have to go which means way more money. (No free rides)Because the Source uses a small ESL panel, a lot of the sound must come from the dynamic woofer. A good woofer, to be sure, and an excellent blending with the small panel but nowhere near the transparency (to my ears) you get with the much more expensive ML's. However, there are also a lot of good dynamic and other planar speakers out there for $2000 so the competition is fierce in this class. Unfortunately, ESL's are expensive and there's not much competition using this technology today (where oh where is Acoustat when we need them!?)But for speakers over $5000, the current Martin Logan speakers are definitely the way to go.
I agree completely, in all aspects.
I grabbed a pair recently, and am amazed at their sound for their modest price. I run my Wadia cdp thru my VTL 5.5, and on to my VTL 185 Signature mono's, and they amaze me @ about 20 hours of play time. Insane fast, accurate bass, all from an 8" driver. And the imaging from the panels is able to fill the void between the speaks @ about 9' apart.
Can't wait to get them fully loosened up, positioned, and get serious about listening.
I also agree with the above positive comments.

When I first bought them I was between MG12's and the Sources. I had auditioned the MG12's and was really impressed with them. Space restrictions and WAF made me go for the Source and have not regretted it. Although I do admit that the sweet spot may be limited (at least in my place) they offer astonishing amount of transparency and detail as long as the upstream components and cables allow it.
I also have a beloved 11 year old pair of SL3's driven by my ol' Bryston 4BST in another space and I can almost prefer the little Sources. I absolutely agree with the comment offered in another post, despite their modest price point, these MLs do behave like their big brothers and do need careful consideration of amps, sources and cabling. They can easily play with components of much higher price point than the MLs. I am using a W4S DAC2 directly connected to a W4S ST-500 (balanced) and they sound great. Lots of detail, those new mebranes are very fast, and they give you a deep soundstage. I am not using a sub as I feel they dont need it.

I am thinking of taking the Source plunge just to bring an electrostatic back into my life again.

I have a Creek 5350SE open that is not driving anything right now. Any thought on how it would power Sources? I could also match them with a Jolida 502B.

Any thoughts on how either might work?

Finally, I have fallen in love with Nordost flat cables. I have some older Kimber 8pr around and some Audioquest (AQ4). Am I right in thinking the Nordost would be too bright?
I think the Creeknwould be fine so long as your room is not immense.