What kind of power needed for Martin Logans?

This question has been asked in one form or another, but this time I need some specific advice. I listened to a Martin Logan home theater set-up the other day and I'm in love. I am willing to add or change anything to get these speakers into my system. Electronics right now are a B&K Ref-30 pre-pro, Sony 9000ES DVD, and 5ch Acurus 125x5. The Acurus is gone, I know that, but now I have to replace it with something. I have a Bryston 4B-ST that I use for my 2ch system. I can move that over to the home theater and add to it. My home theater room is small, so I will not be buying the gargantuan Martin Logans. A nice set of the smaller ones ($1000-5000 range) will do nicely. So let me have it. Do I go five channel amp? mix and match 2 and 3 channels? monoblocks? Brands? I'd like to keep the amp purchase down to a reasonable number ($2000-$5000). Any advice would be appreaciated, especially from people who are running Martin Logans now. Thanks.
I have the ML Odyssey. I also have the B&K Ref 30 and the Sony 9000es. The amp I am using is the Krell KAV 1500 which is a 300 wpc, 5 channel. I originally had the B&K 7250(5X200W) and switched up to the Krell. I have a very large room with cathedral ceilings so needed the extra power of the Krell. I actually really loved the B&K, especially for home theatre. I think it is a tremendous value for the money. You can get a good used one fairly inexpensively or go for the new 7260 which is 6 channel. If you want something a little better, try out the Krell KAV 500 (100X5). You can get a good used one in the $2000 range. I really love the Krell. It is very detailed, more so than the B&K. The B&K was slightly warmer though. Since your use is strictly home theatre, I think you would be thrilled with either of these choices. I would look at the ML Ascents. Good luck!
It depends on which Martin Logans. In general, they have the ability to go to very low impedances (panels). This coupled with the demand of the dynamic bass driver can create a staggering load which is difficult for many amps. Some of the newer models (ReQuest, SL-3) are a bit easier to drive as they have increased the impedence. I have bi-amped a pair of Monoliths, which gets away from the problem entirely, but prior to bi-amping I would look into high power hi current amplification--generally class A. The bryston is not class A running and will not be great sounding with the panels. Amps that I generally like are older Classe (model ten) and Levinson (twenty series--I think the 27 had the highest power in the 20 series). Some people feel tubes really work well with the MLs, but I don't have much experience there, so will let others comment on which tube amps might work well. My guess is for the power and demands you will need for both musically and theatrically (HT) satisfying experience you will have a difficult time beating a solid state amp.
I have SL3' that are powered by a BAT VK500, which is 475 watts at the speakers nominal 4 ohm impedance....these speakers need at least 200 watts to sound their best and don't do well if underpowered. The transients the panel can produce need as much power as you can afford.
I very much agree that a high current aamp is required. I currently have SL3s with an Audio Refinement Multi 3 amp, it works great. I've heard MLs with all sorts of amps - I used to have Aerius with an ARC D-130 which also worked well. I've even heard the Prodigy driven by an ARC VT100 MkII - it was surprisingly powerful enough to drive the big Logans. You would be safe with any of the amps listed above, the only one I haven't heard is the older Mark Levinson.
Look for an amp that uses very high rail voltages with a BIG "high current" transformer. This type of amp tends to work best with E-stat's. The first ones that come to mind are Perreaux's and the Innersound amps. The Sunfire amps, primarily the Signature, will also work quite well with these. They may not have the "slam" that the Perreaux offers though. Audiogon member "Hotrod" works at Martin Logan and seems to LOVE the Sunfire / ML combo that he has.

For the record, there is a BIG Perreaux amp listed for $850, which is a STEAL !!!! 500+ wpc @ 8 ohms, built like a TANK ( weighs 105 lbs ) and will drive ANYTHING with the best bass you've ever heard. I am not selling or associated with the guy that has it listed. Sean
Minimum of 150 watts into 8 ohms. Since these speakers are 4 ohm's the power rating will be almost doubled. I use a 200 watt into my ML SL3's. This gives me almost 400 watts into 4 ohm. I get plenty of power at no where near the half way mark on my pre-amp!! Steve
How audio sensitive are you? I've heard great things about the combination of Sim Audio's W-5 & ML's. ...I'd suspect that Sim's Titan HT amp sounds very similar to the W-5. Its my understanding that the Titan (can be configured 2,3,5,6 or 7 channels). ...Not sure if one can buy channels as needed (upgrade) the other to look at would be CAL. But I'm not sure of the cost there.

Best of luck,
I run a M-L home theater system with CLS IIz in the front and SLs in the rear. I've experimented with several amp setups and now raving about a Cinepro 3KSEiii. Having said that, I also have used a Mesa Baron tube amp (over powered)and McCormack DNA-1 Power Monoblocks for the front and assorted amps for other channels. I believe the present setup is a winner with the Cinepro. Incredible power, yet very revealing. I have heard details in music I've played for over thirty years for the first time.
Hi,Argent. I've heard the Martin Logans, a line I've always liked with the sim moon amps using E.A.R. preamp and the arcan fmj23 cd player.....the moon really likes the logans and is a great match...., I love the lucious Martin-logan midrange...you just forget about equipment and listen....have fun, bluenose
I have had Logans for years and now have the Odyssey - Aerius HT combo - The amps that work best are Innersound (the best match) - Krell and Bryston.
Thanks all for the input. I plan to audition a Krell and Sunfire amp in the near future. I am also trying to arrange the equipment in my home theater room so as to best suit the new ML speakers.
You never told us which Logqans you want? Also the Bryton and the B&K are not a good match with martin logans. They are both very cold and analyyical sounding.(sorry) Martin Logans are very sensitive to components that offer those qualitys.When I had my Logans I had Aerius i, SL3 and Accents I used Mark Levinson 335 or my new Krell FPB 200c which both sounded very good But I sold the 335 and now own the 200c I cant have them both if I could I would because they both offer very nice things to the logans. Krell used to be very harsh now they are more on the natural side but can still be a bit harsh if you dont properly match wires and other components.7 out of 10 dealers who carry Martin Logans use Krell on them so it is a safe choice. But be very careful how you match your system or you will very unhappy. Best of luck " Stand United"
Also I know use a B&W N803. One day I turned my system on and didnt like the Planar sound anymore. My system is Krell FPB200c Mark Levinson 39 and the N803 with all Harmonic Techs.
I quess I'll give a different perspective. I own Aerius I. I've been using them in a very small music room (12x12X9H)very successfully with the Audio Research D-130.

Fairly recently, I caught the SET bug and purchased a Cary CAD 300 sei (300b output, pure class A tube, 15 watt per channel) I thought I would move the Aerius into my home theater, until, for the heck of it tried them with the Cary. I know everyone is suggesting the biggest amp you can get, but honestly, this combination of tube and Aerius is wonderful. My room is small, but I tend to listen in the mid 85 db. At this rate, the Aerius is only using 1 watt or less. This is the most rythmic and musical combination I have ever experienced. The base is stronger but very defined and full. The midrange just sounds more "real" to me.

If you read the review of the VTL tiny triode monoblocks (25 watts per channel), http://www.onhifi.com/product/vtl_tt25amplifiers.htm,
you will find that Gayle Saunders (ML's President) uses Aerius and these little VTLs in his home.

So don't rule out tubes. You might consider putting the left and right main speakers on a tube amp in your setup if you use Aerius I and keep your room size reasonable.

I know the Aerius is easier to drive than most of the other ML. Tubes may not be a great option with the larger speakers.
Well, sorry to dissappoint, but I feel that the room I use for home theater might be just a little too small to accomodate the MLs. I have now begun auditioning other speakers, Vienna Accoustics, B&W, etc. Wish me luck.
I use the Wolcott Presence monoblocks for my SL3's..these are my second pair of ML's...tried a few amps, moderately or high powered tube amps are the way to go.