I've owned the 11As for going on 2 years. Currently, I'm driving them with PS Audio BHK 300 monoblocks and I simply could not be any happier. Highly recommended!

Would switching amps make a big difference?

I've been using a Belles 21a tube pre and a pair of PrimaLuna Prologue Sevens with Martin Logan Ethos speakers for the last 6 years and it sounds good. I'm pretty stuck in tube land. But does it get better?

I was wondering if a Raven Osprey Integrated amp or the Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 or another amp, ideally integrated could elevate and sound even more, around same price of $5k - which if I went ahead is about what my current amp setup should bring me.

Then there is the idea of switching to the Martin Logan ESL Impression 11a...

Thoughts? Suggestions?

I was wondering if a Raven Osprey Integrated amp or the Lyngdorf TDAI-2170 or another amp, ideally integrated could elevate and sound even more, around same price of $5k - which if I went ahead is about what my current amp setup should bring me.

Then there is the idea of switching to the Martin Logan ESL Impression 11a...

Thoughts? Suggestions?

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- 42 posts total

atmasphere, Let me elaborate on your statement, "since solid state amps tend to double power as impedance is halved, right away you can see that the MLs will be a bit bright if the amp actually got away with that." Actually, I think that although the SS amp has the capability of providing 2x the power as impedance is halved, the SS amp is still flat in freq response at any given moderate power demand for higher impedance. For example, a 200 watt amp capability at 8 ohms will still output the same power across all freq below 200 watts. I would be wrong if this SS amp only puts out 100 watts at 16 ohms, 50 watts at 32 ohms, etc. What do SS amps usually put out at these much higher impedances? If my numbers are correct, then for an electrostatic whose load varies from 32 ohms in the bass to a fraction of 1 ohm in the HF, the sound below 50 watts of output would be uniform across all freq, not bright. |

@mijostyn Don't include the parentheses at the end of the link. A resistor will simply absorb power. The ZEROs transform the impedance so you get more power and less FR error. @viber6 This statement is incorrect: Actually, I think that although the SS amp has the capability of providing 2x the power as impedance is halved, the SS amp is still flat in freq response at any given moderate power demand for higher impedance.If the amp is behaving as a voltage source, it will double power as impedance is halved. This also means it will cut power in half as impedance is doubled. The solid state amp will only have flat response if the speaker its driving is intended to be 'Voltage driven'. ESLs are a technology that isn't based on the Voltage Paradigm (see http://www.atma-sphere.com/Resources/Paradigms_in_Amplifier_Design.php for more on that). Under the voltage rules, the impedance curve of the speaker is also effectively a map of its efficiency: peaks in the curve represent resonance, dips represent a loss of efficiency (such as at crossover points). For example if you have a woofer in a box it has a resonance in that box. To control that, the amp has to put out *less* energy (power) into that resonance, which is also seen as a peak in the impedance curve in the bass. ESLs are not based on a driver in a box. Their impedance curve is essentially based on a capacitance. So with a typical ESL where the impedance varies over about a 10:1 range (the Martin Logans are no exception; 4 ohms in the bass and 0.5 ohms at 20KHz) you can see that to make 92 dB at 50Hz a Voltage Paradigm amplifier (voltage source) will make X amount of power; to do the same thing at 10KHz it will have to also make X amount of power, but in reality is will be about 4X the power because its voltage output is constant with respect to impedance and at 10Khz, the MLs are about 1 ohm. The only thing that prevents this from happening is that these HF impedances are so low that the speaker cable itself has a DCR that becomes significant, and a good number of solid state amps can't double power into such low impedances (IOW they are not perfect voltage sources). IMO Martin Logan is trying to make an ESL that works with solid state rather than tubes but to this end (again IMO) they are only partially successful since brightness is part of the result; inevitable when you mix transistors (Voltage Paradigm) with ESLs (Power Paradigm). |

atmasphere, The essence of my post is that although the SS amp has more power capability into low vs high impedances, that doesn't mean the SS amp will have a tonal balance skewed toward the HF when driving an electrostatic speaker. To use our numbers, consider an amp with max capability of 200 watts into 8 ohms, 50 watts into 32 ohms, 800-1600 watts into 1 ohm. Let this amp drive an electrostatic speaker whose impedance is 1 ohm at 20,000 Hz, 8 ohms at 2500 Hz, 32 ohms at 625 Hz. This assumes impedance exactly inversely proportional to freq, although I have ignored capacitive reactance, the true parameter. At 30 watts of output, the amp will put out that same 30 watts into any freq for an even tonal balance. For 200 watts of output, only freq above about 2500 Hz will be undistorted into that speaker, whereas at freq below 2500 Hz the amp cannot put out as much undistorted power, so I agree that under these conditions the amp will sound bright driving the electrostatic speaker. |

- 42 posts total