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?


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.