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PLEASE HELP! I'm about to return a set of MartinLogans because they don't sound good. (1 Viewer)

Javier_Huerta

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
619
Hi all. Here is the story.
A month ago, I listened to a couple of MartinLogan's models on a department store (of all places...) since they had an 18 months / 0 interest plan which interested me.
I auditioned the Script running off an Acurus 100 W/channel amp. To my surprise, the Script's electrostatic panels were "blown" (for the lack of a better term). It sounded even worse than a blown cone speaker on the highest frequencies. The speakers themselves sounded dull and muddy on the lower end, and mids lacked clarity.
Anyway, the rep managed to sell me a pair of Scenarios, promising my 100W/channel integrated amp (an old H/K) would manage to run them well. So I agreed.
Fast forward. I don't have my speakers yet, but the rep sent me a demo model they had around for me to try. Yesterday I connected everything, followed the placing instructions on MartinLogan's page, and listened. This is what I heard.
1. The muddiest bass I've ever heard.
2. Near-complete absence of mids and highs.
3. The dynamic presence of an AM radio (no, I'm not kidding or exaggerating, either).
Now, I'm inclined to believe the following things went wrong.
1. The speakers are not broken in. But, will they change their sound quality so radically afterwards?
2. The panels are damaged (which I doubt, since their sonic qualities are similar to the Scripts I heard earlier).
3. My amp hasn't enough grunt (again, I don't think this is the case, since the Scripts running off an Acurus had the same sonic quality).
I'm confused. Should I wait for a while? Run them 24/7? Is my amp underpowered (I read somewhere that ML's founder runs some of his speakers using 25W/channel, so I doubt so)? Are the speakers damaged?
Asking for the dealership help is out of the question. They are just a department store, and think Cerwin Vega! is one of the greatest speakers out there (again, no joke).
At this point, I'm really getting nervous, since I must decide whether to keep the speakers or exchange them for some others (Energy Veritas V2.4). I'd give up on my quest for electrostatic sound if I knew for a fact the amp was to blame, since I'm not willing to spend any more money on amplification.
Thanks for your help! :)
 

Manuel Delaflor

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 25, 2001
Messages
657
Javier

Where did you buy them? Im in Mexico City also. I feel something is wrong, perhaps on the connections? Have you tried with a different amp? have you tell them that you don't want to complete the transaction if you are not satisfied?
 

Javier_Huerta

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
619
Agh... ugh... I'm... dumb. *Very* dumb. :D
Did you know that, MartinLogans need to be plugged into the wall?!? :D :b ;) :)
Awright. I'm not *that* dumb. I did plug them into the wall, but my voltage regulator shut itself off. So I was listening to the woofer of the Logans. The panel was mute.
I reset the regulator and... OMG. The H/K can handle the speakers quite easily. The sound of the MartinLogans is pretty much undescribable: my sister listened to them for a couple of minutes and described it the best: "I felt I could touch the music". She added "This is the first time I think you bought something nice". :)
Manuel, I bought them at El Palacio de Hierro Santa Fe. Don't go there. I used to buy equipment there, but it seems the old team of vendors went away, and the new ones are lousy guys. They even lied to me when I bought my equipment, telling me I'd have to wait months for them, since they had sold the speakers to me at a loss, unbeknownst to them. What a bunch of liers.
 

Dan Hine

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Messages
1,312
I'm glad everything worked out as well.

Just as a side note though, Martin Logans are power hogs and can also dip down to very low impedances. An eventual upgrade in your amp would probably help a lot. It's nothing agains Acurus though. I just feel that with ML's a more than healthy amount of wattage would make them even more to your liking. Enjoy!

Regards,

Dan Hine
 

Javier_Huerta

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
619
I think my amp can power the ML's for a while. Luckily / sadly, the ML's are rated at 6 ohms, and I have to move a switch on the back of my H/K for speakers rated lower than 8 ohms. I suspect this limits output voltage to the speakers, so yes, I don't think I will listen to the best the ML's can give with it. OTOH, at least I won't damage the amp.
There is something funny about the ML's, though. There was a party yesterday's night at my home. My sister's friends came around, they listened to the speakers, and they were all unimpressed. I thought the power cable had became disconnected, but no, everything was fine.
Then, I realized they were flocking to my old JBL LX66s. Now I know why people love Bose. They are used to dynamic, punchy, distorted sound, such as the one heard in clubs. They think electrostats are boring because they sound *like the real thing*. I couldn't convince them that Sinatra / Martin / Sammy Davis, Jr's "The Summit" was as close as the real thing in the ML's as possible, yet they thought the JBL's sounded "incredible". Blah. I'm a fringe player! :)
 

Dan Hine

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Messages
1,312
Javier,
Sorry to hear that you ML's aren't getting any respect! ;) I just want to clarify my point from before. You said:
the ML's are rated at 6 ohms
While this is true, NO speaker stays at a consistent impedance level. That level fluctuates and Martin Logans can sometimes go down around 1 ohm. :eek: As long as your amp is not getting hurt and you like the sound then wonderful! Continue to enjoy your sound. After all, that's what it's all about!
Regards,
Dan Hine
 

Doug_B

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
1,081
My sister's friends came around, they listened to the speakers, and they were all unimpressed.
I guess you didn't get to the part in the manual where it says, "these speakers are not to be used in a multi-person, party-like environment." ;) Go ahead - sit down in your sweet spot, turn down the lights, and do some critical listening. Logans are worthy of the solitary sport.
Doug
 

Javier_Huerta

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
619
Doug, does it say so in the manual? Since my speakers are demo models (mine are supposed to arrive in a month) I couldn't read it. Still, my friends listened to them in the sweet spot. I already know ML's don't sound their best when casually listening to them. Still... yep. I could live with the Logans as my oversized headphones, and I could leave the JBL's in the back of the room as the "party speakers".
 

LarrySkelly

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jan 9, 2001
Messages
129
When you get your real Logans, break them in for at least 100 hours using a variety of music and FM noise when you're not home. They will sound very compressed initially, very flat, but will open up to be what you expect. Don't panic the first time you hear them!
And don't forget to plug them in ;) That was my immediate thought when I read your first post.
 

Adil M

Supporting Actor
Joined
Nov 21, 2001
Messages
922
Actually the MartinLogans have always sounded interesting and odd to me. I didn't like them until you get to the ascents. Before that it seems "airy, transparent" but "thin". It would be an odd transition from box speakers to Martin Logans.
 

DaViD Boulet

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 24, 1999
Messages
8,813
Others of you interested in affordable but *great* sounding electrostats should check out the finals.
Link Removed
I bought a pair of .3s and am just amazed. A good audiophile/tight sub (like an MK or Fianl's own sub) helps alot with both music as well as movies.
Not great for off-axis listening (no dipoles are...probably why your sister's friends didn't groove the sound) but for dedicted listening and movies if you're not too far off center they are a revelation.
final may still be having their sale on surplus inventory.
-dave
 

Javier_Huerta

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 9, 2002
Messages
619
Actually, my sister's friends were listening on the sweet spot. The thing they didn't like about the Logans was the lack of apparent "slam" when compared to the JBL's. I tried to explain them that, actually, the JBL's were the ones that were too aggressive due to their titanium domes, but theiy wouldn't listen (no pun intended).
I still have to add the Velodyne sub I got for them. But even without it, ML's are simply *magical*. Not even my best headphones (Etymotic ER4-S) with my best headphone amp (a Musical Fidelity X-CanV2) can reach their level of transparency and detail.
Can you tell I'm happy about having bought them? :)
 

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