Originally Posted by xmagoo190
Thus far I'm leaning towards a ML setup. The tonal clarity on the ESL electrostats is amazing. Here's what I'm thinking: ESL in front and Motion 12's in rear. Just need to sample some centers. The ML's are too expensive ($2900). Maybe B&W?
I'll be the first to admit that I'm not terribly familiar with the ML Electrostats product line (or any of their speakers for that matter) but generally speaking, it's a bad idea to mix and match product lines and (especially!) manufacturers across the front soundstage. To me, it would be pretty silly to get such nice mains and surrounds, then "throw in" something totally different for what is arguably the most (if not most, then second-most) important speaker in a 5.1 system.
Get the center channel that's matched to your mains, especially if movies are going to make up a significant portion of your viewing/listening material.
If that means sacrificing on other speakers, then the surrounds should be the first to be downgraded. Although theoretically, 5 identical speakers are ideal, it's rarely practical. Step down from floorstanders to bookshelves for the surrounds.
You will realize a much greater improvement in your sound system with a well-matched center than you will with floorstanding surrounds.