Martin Logan Descent Subwoofer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott_Sylke, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi fellow HT nuts,
    I have recently become aware of the release of the ML Descent subwoofer. As an owner of an all ML system I am naturally curious about it. I've searched this and a couple other forums for information, but with little or no results. Anyway, I've got some questions that some of you might be able to answer:
    If anyone here has heard the sub, what were your impressions? If you've heard it, what other subs would you compare it to as far as performance? Are there any testing results available? Anyone know what kind of SPL's it can put out? Anyone know what the MSRP is? Can anyone provide me a link to an online review??
    Here is what info I do know about it from MLs website:
    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
    Five years of exhaustive research in amplification, driver, cabinet, and acoustic control technologies, combined with MartinLogan's unrivaled expertise in hybrid transducer design, advance subwoofer performance and system integration to new standards—MartinLogan Descent.
    Descent's innovative three-woofer BalancedForce™ design nullifies cabinet vibrations that produce loose, fuzzy bass—common to traditional subwoofers. Its proprietary switching amplifier supplies explosive power and precision, with a mere 0.07% total harmonic distortion—at all sound levels.
    Descent's advanced servo control system continuously analyzes driver performance and corrects any deviation from the original signal—resulting in pure, powerful bass throughout your listening room or home theater. Low-mass driver design, precision low-pass filters and flexible control circuitry enable flawless integration and optimal blending with any existing speaker system—from MartinLogan electrostatic to conventional dynamic loudspeakers
    Specs:
    Frequency Response: 20–150 Hz ±3 dB
    Anechoic through LFE input.
    Crossover Frequency : 40, 70 Hz
    Phase: 0°, 90°, 180°, 270°
    25Hz Level Control: ±12 dB
    Woofer type: 3 x 10" (25.4cm) high excursion, aluminium core cones with extended throw driver assembly in a BalancedForce™ array
    Amplifier: 400 watts rms (800 watts peak) 0.07% THD
    Inputs: RCA Line Level; RCA and XLR LFE
    Output: RCA
    Weight: 95 lbs(43.2kg)
    Dimensions: 21.75" H x 20" W x 18.25" D
    (55.3 x 50.8 x 46.4cm)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    """"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""
    Any additional info to add to what the website has would be exremely appreciated!!
    Thanks in advance guys and gals!!
     
  2. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    OK...I found a little info. It is the introduction announcement at Audiorevolution.com. Damn....that thing retains for $2495.00!! It better sound pretty darn good to get me to spend that much money on a sub!!
    Here's the link to the announcement:
    http://www.audiorevolution.com/news/...tinlogan.shtml
     
  3. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    While there's no questioning that the looks of this sub are pretty, remember that for roughly the same price you can get the SV Subs CS Ultra package with amp and equalization.

    That's be an interesting "same price" comparison IMO.

    Good luck in your search. I've only seen it, not heard it.

    Regards,
     
  4. Greg Br

    Greg Br Second Unit

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    So its 22" tall, I would also go with the Ulta/Amp/EQ as its only 17 inches taller but..

    I have a freind with a complete Martin Logan setup, retail for his system was over 8k, it unreal sounding, with his SACD player it takes music and HiFi to a new level, Martin Logan speakers are like Ferarri, the name says it all, I am sure it is a killer sub, just not an Ultra.
     
  5. Miles_W

    Miles_W Second Unit

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    Scott,

    I auditioned this sub in my home system ( CLS IIz's Logos centre, Aerius surrounds) the first day I had it setup it literally made me feel like vomiting from the quantity of base it output. I had a persistant ground loop with this sub in my setup that I could not seem to get rid of. It is quick, and relatively flexable, but I was never able to quite dial in for me... It is a lot of sub for the money, it is quick and puts out a ton of bass, I really wanted it to work in my system but it just did not work...

    I recommend that you listen to this unit before committing funds...
     
  6. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    Miles,

    So much bass it made you feel like vomiting? From 3 10" drivers? Did you try using a ground cheater plug? Was the ground loop problem the only reason for not purchasing? What other subs would you compare it to as far as bass output??

    John,

    Yes, I would find it hard to justify spend $2500 on a sub when ou can get 2 subs, an amp, and an equalizer for the same price. Thing is....I am guessing that the Descent would better match my system. Using the technology of the acclaimed ML Statement ($70,000) if ML were to scale it down and price for us regular folk, I think I'd have to consider passing up the big and ugly water heater imitators.
     
  7. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Scott,

    I have had SVs mated up with Acoustats (Full Range ESLs) and Soundline Audio speakers (Planar magnetic / dynamic hybrid). Crossed over 80Hz and below, I had no problems getting good blend with these difficult to match speakers.

    Imagine hooking up a subwoofer to the CLS-II, the only comparable product to the Acoustats in the ML lineup.

    Regards,
     
  8. ling_w

    ling_w Second Unit

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    Matching subs to the Martin Logans should not be an issue, since most of their sound are already screwed up by the boxy woofer that is crossed over a few octaves too high. And hooking up any sub to the CLSII would make it no worse than what ML is offering in the rest of their line.

    Matching to soundlines is moot since one is matching to a dynamic woofer.

    As for matching planars, the only way for a full integration is to hook it up with planar subs. Hence the only thing good for magnepans would be a few sets of Tympani bass panels. No 121dB/3m @ 20hz though.
     
  9. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>As for matching planars, the only way for a full integration is to hook it up with planar subs. Hence the only thing good for magnepans would be a few sets of Tympani bass panels. No 121dB/3m @ 20hz though.
     
  10. Miles_W

    Miles_W Second Unit

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    Scott, I could not manage to get the sub to intergrate in my system period. I run a very small and light dlp projector and with the volume on the sub at only 2 It would shake the projector during the THX intro... I had problems positioning the sub in my room the 3 drivers made it quite difficult... The descent is a beast yes 3 10" drivers made me sick... to put it in prospective I run a servo 15. I have heard dual 16-46's w/ requests and they blended very well... perhaps if I had longer to play with positioning I might have been able to dial it in... I still urge you to audition before buying this one ( I do realize it may be difficult to do in Japan...)

    Good luck!
     
  11. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    Tom,
    I am assuming that you have seen some test results or conducted your own tests on the sub since you are saying that it will take 4-6 subs to get "reference levels". Where did you get the info on how many SPL's the Descent can put out? That is one of my original questions that still hasn't been answered.
    As far as "reference levels", I'm not concerned much about reaching those. I now have a Sunfire Sig and I'm pretty sure it doesn't reach "reference levels", but it's calibrated to my system just fine with much room to spare. If the Descent can go as loud or lourder than the Sig, then it would be plenty loud enough for me. I am sure that the Descent will have far less distortion than the Sug since it is servo controlled. The only way I'd get it though if it matches my system better than the Sig. Of course, I'll have to wait until I get back to the states (3 months and counting [​IMG] ) to try if for myself.
     
  12. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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  13. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    OK....$2800.

    Jeremy,

    What other componets do you have in your system? Receiver....speaker.....?? Have you made any SPL measurement on the Descent? I wouldn't consider the SVS subs and being small. If they were a bit smaller I might even consider buying a pair, but like I've said before....I don't care for the water heater look.

    Tom,

    I realized after I posted my last message that you were probably refering to the Timpani speakers when you were talking 4-6 to reach "reference levels".

    Well, the two people who have said that they have heard the Descent both say that it puts out huge bass and have compared it favorable to a Servo-15 and a HGS-15. I guess this is one I'm going to have to take a look at more closely when I get back to the states.
     
  14. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>Tom,

    I realized after I posted my last message that you were probably refering to the Timpani speakers when you were talking 4-6 to reach "reference levels". Well, the two people who have said that they have heard the Descent both say that it puts out huge bass and have compared it favorable to a Servo-15 and a HGS-15. I guess this is one I'm going to have to take a look at more closely when I get back to the states.
     
  15. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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  16. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    >>>...so when you consider the enclosure it's obvious this won't match up well in a cost/performance drag race.(at least if low,deep,clean bass is a big part of the *performance* aspect).
     
  17. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>Personally...I am not interested in a "cost/performance drag race". Performance itself is much more important to me.>Also, I'd rather have a nice looking unit that performs well compared to 2 waterheaters in my room....even at the expense of a little performance. Especially if it's not going to be fully maxed anyway.>EXACTLY!! Which is why some actual test results would be nice.
     
  18. Scott_Sylke

    Scott_Sylke Stunt Coordinator

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    Tom,

    I see the point you are making in this post and probably hundreds of other posts. I guess for me it would all come down to my new home which we can't find until we get back to the states. If we are able to find one with a room in which I could make a dedicated theater, I would consider getting big subs like a dual CS ultra package, but if I am stuck using a living room I wouldn't even think about it.

    The whole reason I started this post is because I am looking for more info on the Descent.....not to find out what would be better for the cost. I imagine that in the next few months that there will be some reviews on the Descent as it is still a relatively new sub. So I'll just be patient and wait for the info when it becomes available.
     
  19. RichardH

    RichardH Supporting Actor

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    Check out the Aerial SW-12. That is a really nice looking sub as well.
     
  20. Mark Seaton

    Mark Seaton Supporting Actor

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    Hi All,

    The progression of this thread certainly made for some entertaining reading. I want to make a point about this emphasis everyone is trying to place on performance per dollar.

    While this is certainly of intrest to 95% of the population, it is silly to not consider the application when evaluating price vs. performance. The performance only really has value if you can use the product in the application. I know many people who would love to have our ContraBass in their system, but it simply won't fit in their existing space, or the asthetics of it's large black box aren't acceptable, and they can't conceal it. Is it a better performer than the more compact Velodyne HGS's, Carvers, Paradigms, etc.? Absolutely. Is it a viable option for them? No. There are many great values on the market depending on what trade offs you are willing to make. The professional market offers some wonderful amplifiers for very reasonable dollar... IF you can place them such that the fan noise isn't an issue. Systems with equipment rooms can take advantage of this, most cannot.

    Products like the ML Descent, Aerial SW-12, Revel B-15, and other such products are designed with a specific range of uses, applications, and end users in mind. If a company didn't have you or your application in mind, there is no reason for either party to get their feathers ruffled, for in the end finding a workable solution which maximizes the performance within a set of limitations is all that matters.

    Much of the success of SVS comes from the fact that they address a few applications for which there were no optimized solutions. Namely high quantity and quality bass at a reasonable price for those with some flexibility in asthetics and height.

    As for justification of additional costs, those considering products mentioned above are well aware of the diminishing returns involved, and are free to decide at what point returns are diminishing faster than their available funds. For those limited in space, but less so in available funds, who are we to criticize them for finding a means to achieve similar or greater performance than what we can achieve in a much less constricting space? Only the individual can decide what is justifiable in the quest for sonic nirvana.

    Getting back to the Martin Logan Descent, I would note that I would consider this to be fairly priced for what it offers in performance and design. The 3 10" woofers will have more air moving capability than most single 15" drivers, and employ a well thought out amplifier and servo control system, which from what I know, is executed in a much more polite manner than that of the HGS Velodynes. With Martin Logan you also benefit from their rather ingenius industrial designers who have come up with a very nice "form follows function" configuration which looks rather stylish, and in line with the rest of their product line. Of course you also are buying from a company with a great service record and history of almost 20 years. To certain people, these factors hold value, to others, the purchase of a Descent over a pair of SVS subwoofer package would seem like throwing away money. Neither are wrong given the proper circumstances.

    Regards,
     

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