Martin Logan Renaissance 15a

Hear Here

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Feb 14, 2020
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I haven't listened to the 15a yet but did so with the 13a a couple weeks back. IMO it (13a) is 'the' sweet spot in the Logan line up. Without a doubt the new Masterpiece series are the best (hybrids) to date with respect seamless panel / woofer integration. I heard them @ Overture (Wilmington, De) so you know room acoustics were top notch. Mac 601's were driving them.
I bought a pair of 13As earlier this year, but be warned if you have a large room with the speakers well away from the back wall - they won't sound good. No doubt the same would apply to the 15As. They need a wall behind them.

I bought these new speakers to replace 18 year old Avantgarde Unos, but the MLs failed to impress in my difficult room - the Unos sounded appreciably better (despite Anthem's efforts with the MLs), so I kept the Unos until I found a pair of Duos.

I'm selling my virtually new piano black 13As. Big disappointment, but I'm sure the 13As (and more so the 15As) will sound great in 95% of listening rooms.

You describe them as the "sweet spot" in the Masterpiece range. Cetainly the 15A is more overpriced than the others so I agree on a value-for-money basis, but not for ultimate sound quality. I'd have bought the 15As had I not been put off by the massive and seeminly unjustified price difference.

However many times you may hear these ML speakers at shows and showrooms and however many glowing reports you read - PLEASE TRY THEM IN YOUR OWN HOME before splashing out this sort of cash. They are not easy to resell. Mine are still for sale effectively unused with £7000 off the new price. Peter
 
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Gregadd

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I am a fan of both. Ml and avant-garde. I think I would be reluctant to purchase a speaker from someone who speaks of it the way you do the ml. Perhaps at the very least you may have a lemon. Or possibly a mismatch. I recall how initially I was so disappointed withe cls. I hung in there and eventually it exceeded what I heard in the store.
Alas it may be ml succombed to the critics. It has always been under attack for poor measurements and weak bass. It may haveadopted a different identity.
 

Hear Here

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Gregadd - I carefully explained why the ML 13As sounded poor in my room (first paragraph) and that they should sound great in most rooms (3rd paragraph), so I’m confused about your criticism of my comments.

Had I the benefit of someone making these points before I spent my cash on ML speakers, I'd have been very thankful - as I believe anyone here will be if they have the type of room I have to contend with

I'm not generally criticising Martin Logan but merely stating that this type of electrostatic speaker may be a disappointment if installed in a room where there is effectively no back wall that will harvest much of the 50% of sound that is projected backwards from these speakers.

In fact, I had asked on the MLO forum before purchase about expectations in my room and received no warning. After I found them unsatisfactory and mentioned this, a couple of MLO contributors said "yes, they won't sound good in your room". It is unfortunate (for me) that they didn't speak up sooner!

Peter
 

The Knife

Member
Nov 13, 2020
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Congrats on the ESL 11A Knife, nice one mate!

As for speaker cables, I've tried far too many brands/types to list here, across various system setups.. all I can say is having owned and sold various types of speaker systems over the decades, one thing that clearly stood out is the "synergy."

I used to mix and match cables, interconnects, and power cords before but found that there would be something a miss. Then I learned through visiting numerous private demos of dedicated audiophiles who have carefully put together superb systems, have either matched cables closely with the same brand comprising of a complete wiring loom of a particular brand and series of cables, and finishing at a higher point on the speaker cables, since this is the last point of exit of the signal, which then reaches your ears.

Therefore, the power cords were one type of series, the interconnects were matched to the power cords- same series same brand, and finally onto the speaker cables- were higher series within the same brand, and that's exactly what I did!

Since the last significant upgrade on speakers that I did in 2018, which were the CLX's, I slowly built the entire wiring loom based on Nordost cables, and ending with a higher series for the speaker cables. All power cords and interconnects are the Heimdall series 2, and the speaker wire are the Frey2 cables. With my CJ amplification and the CLX's, I've found this particular combination to be superb! There's nothing I would really need to do at this stage in order to gain any further improvements, unless I were to upgrade the monoblocks and all the wiring... which would either be the next series up, Tyr2 or Valhalla cables. Of course the Odin supreme reference series would be outstanding and I've tried them, wow! Truly remarkable but at that price point is something I really don't want to divulge in.

So to answer your question, it all depends on the rest of your gear, especially the main amplifiers, also your room and listening habits. As for my particular custom built setup in this particular room, it's Nordost all the way, afterall its about "making the connection" as their slogan goes.

This may not be to your liking, I wouldn't know but I believe it's better to maintain one particular type of cables within a certain series and go slightly higher ending at the speakers. Just my experience that's all. The synergy is far greater, more neutral and allows more of the music to flow in a purer wave form, plus ML stats are highly revealing, whatever goes in basically comes out!

Cheers and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
Thanks Big Dog. Sounds logical what you're saying. I actually talked about Nordost with one reseller here in Stockholm but their advice was that when it comes to Nordost there is quite a remarkable difference between the entry level line of cables and their finer series. While the entry level cables might color the sound to "bright" and "thin", maybe a tad to transparent, the more expensive series give another layer to the music. As many speakers of today offer high fidelity (it is true you can have good sounding speakers today for less money then a decade or two ago) there is no need to "brighten" them up even further as entry level Nordost might do. As a result this particular store didn't sell many pairs of entry level Nordost. Red Dawn was mentioned as an absolutely minimum. The advice was to opt for the Norse series. Your experience to? Same store also sells Supra and in particular the Sword Excalibur. Anyone tried this cable out?

 

The Knife

Member
Nov 13, 2020
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Stockholm, Sweden
Gregadd - I carefully explained why the ML 13As sounded poor in my room (first paragraph) and that they should sound great in most rooms (3rd paragraph), so I’m confused about your criticism of my comments.

Had I the benefit of someone making these points before I spent my cash on ML speakers, I'd have been very thankful - as I believe anyone here will be if they have the type of room I have to contend with

I'm not generally criticising Martin Logan but merely stating that this type of electrostatic speaker may be a disappointment if installed in a room where there is effectively no back wall that will harvest much of the 50% of sound that is projected backwards from these speakers.

In fact, I had asked on the MLO forum before purchase about expectations in my room and received no warning. After I found them unsatisfactory and mentioned this, a couple of MLO contributors said "yes, they won't sound good in your room". It is unfortunate (for me) that they didn't speak up sooner!

Peter
Saw your add on Hifi Shark Peter. I don´t know if anything is shipped successfully in these days, otherwise I could have been interested as I was in the market couple of weeks ago. But as you noticed, got the little brother instead. Your room seem to be a tough one for speakers to handle, but the view seem to be remarkable on the other hand :). Is it hard to re-sell the ML? You still have yours?
 

Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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Gregadd - I carefully explained why the ML 13As sounded poor in my room (first paragraph) and that they should sound great in most rooms (3rd paragraph), so I’m confused about your criticism of my comments.

Had I the benefit of someone making these points before I spent my cash on ML speakers, I'd have been very thankful - as I believe anyone here will be if they have the type of room I have to contend with

I'm not generally criticising Martin Logan but merely stating that this type of electrostatic speaker may be a disappointment if installed in a room where there is effectively no back wall that will harvest much of the 50% of sound that is projected backwards from these speakers.

In fact, I had asked on the MLO forum before purchase about expectations in my room and received no warning. After I found them unsatisfactory and mentioned this, a couple of MLO contributors said "yes, they won't sound good in your room". It is unfortunate (for me) that they didn't speak up sooner!

Peter
I have never had trouble selling ml. Indeed the new owners were elated.
I have no doubt you have accurately and fairly represented your experience with ml. It is I who struggled to understsnd why it is at odds with my experience.
As for MLO,I am hardly neutral. I suggest you go selsewhere for advice.
Here is my point. Suppose you wnere selling a Porsche 911 turbo. Your ad read thusly. Beautiful car..
Just in my neck of the woods I could not handle the trailing throttle oversteer.
That might make for a difficult sale.
 

Hear Here

Active Member
Feb 14, 2020
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I have never had trouble selling ml. Indeed the new owners were elated.
I have no doubt you have accurately and fairly represented your experience with ml. It is I who struggled to understsnd why it is at odds with my experience.
As for MLO,I am hardly neutral. I suggest you go selsewhere for advice.
Here is my point. Suppose you wnere selling a Porsche 911 turbo. Your ad read thusly. Beautiful car..
Just in my neck of the woods I could not handle the trailing throttle oversteer.
That might make for a difficult sale.
That's all most confusing!

I'm sure the used market for ML speakers differs from country to country. I'm having difficulty selling my effectively unused and perfect 13As even with over £7000 off new price, so less that the cost of 11As.

Have you experience of ML speakersin the middle of a room with 12 ft behind one and 15 ft behind the other speaker? Probably not, so my particular problem is not likely to be something a buyer would be interested in - apart perhaps to explain my reason for selling brand new speakers.

Thanks for the suggestion thoiugh.

Peter
 

Gregadd

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That is my point. I am confused.
Just to answer your question. I have heard them in various setups. I have been a fan since the '80's
 

Hear Here

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Feb 14, 2020
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That is my point. I am confused.
Just to answer your question. I have heard them in various setups. I have been a fan since the '80's
I wonder if this room layout sketch will address your confusion. I'd welcome your opinion on how well or otherwise you think MLs may sound in this difficult room. Since buying the 13As, I've rather concluded that horn-type speakers are likely to out-perform other types, so I've stuck with them.

I was really looking forward to these speakers after hearing MLs over decades at shows and showrooms and was always most impressed. Peter
 

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Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
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It appears your room dimensions are unusual if not unique. I would prefer an asymetrical room. Most of my rooms were rectangular or L shaped. I have obtained good results with the speakers placed mid-room. The closest I have come to a room like yours, is in a showroom. See my coverage of CAF on this site.
I will decline to expose my ignorance of room acoustics. It is rudimentary at best. I rely on trial and error.
Most of the problems with ml were solved by choosing the correct associated components.
 
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Hear Here

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Feb 14, 2020
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Most of the problems with ml were solved by choosing the correct associated components.
After a fair amount of research on the ML Owners forum and elsewhere I bought a Sanders Magtech amp after a long search - rare as hen's teeth in UK. At the time I also had a GamuT D200 III and a couple of other amps. The MLs were most happy with the Sanders and GamuT, but the room still rendered the MLs a poor choice.

The good news is I think I may have a buyer for the MLs. Not the price I wanted or what they are worth, but more than £8K under list price. Someone will be getting a bargain!
 

Big Dog RJ

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Feb 3, 2012
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Yes, agreed on that. ML stat panels are basically true dipoles, just like any other panel type speakers. They radiate the exact same amount of energy and power both front & back, nothing varies. Once brought further out towards the listening area, obviously these wave forms will vary in length. However, a solid back/front wall is needed. This is to reinforce the back wave cancellation, resulting in remarkable depth in soundstage, the presence of the performers in front of you in a full 3D holographic image, and the stats simply disappear. Take that front wall away, and everything collapses, absolutely no reinforcement whatsoever to recreate the marvellous magic these stats are capable of.

Even the LF dynamic drivers need some sort of wall behind them, as they work in dual force config. Agsin take that back wall further away and LF definition and detail is lost.

Hear Here (Peter's) room is definitely a no go for ML's stats or any panel type speakers for that matter. That's why the AG horns and other forward directional speakers will certainly work better in this particular room. Anything with a dipole effect or where drivers are located at the back as well as the front will not work in large spaces without solid reinforced walls. These must also be walls, not room partitions, drapes or curtains but just walls, the more solid the better. I'm sure Peter's room engaged with his ML's in an echo effect, diffused soundstage and proper imaging or focus, basically a disappointing presentation.

This is why I always emphasise the importance of the room! It is basically a separate component to deal with, and must be properly setup. Not a single person's, audiophiles, dealers demo room or anyone's room is ever identical. All rooms are different, therefore we must first address these characteristics and carefully assess which type of transducers will work best in a particular room.

I sincerely believe Peter has identified this first hand, and without further convincing himself that there stats should work, he has carefully chosen to go another route. Good on you Peter! That's the main thing in this hobby / passion. There's simply no point in trying to enjoy something that merely doesn't suit a given criteria. Might as well go for something that truly delivers what you're looking for, and most of all it must be able to fully engage you with the presentation of what's being played back in whatever recorded medium that may be.

Cheers mate, and enjoy those fine tunes!
Woof! RJ
 
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Gregadd

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I think the good news is you have an alternative speaker that you can live with. Just to weigh in, the Magtech is an excellent amp for Roger' speaker and the Magnepan. Not so much for ML'
iI would rotate the speakers 90 degrees to the rear of the room. That would create a sort of Hollywood Bowl effect. Perhaps you already tried that.
 

Hear Here

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Feb 14, 2020
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I think the good news is you have an alternative speaker that you can live with. Just to weigh in, the Magtech is an excellent amp for Roger' speaker and the Magnepan. Not so much for ML'
iI would rotate the speakers 90 degrees to the rear of the room. That would create a sort of Hollywood Bowl effect. Perhaps you already tried that.
The Sanders is a favourite within the Ml Owners forum community, hence my purchase of it. Not sure why it is more suited to some ELS speakers than others, but it's sold now and has a new owner in Paris. I didn't ask what speakers he was using.

I didn't turn the speakers, but when I was using the dining area and kitchen (behind the speakers), the sound was remarkable good and very much better than the Avantgardes that lose most of their mid/top detail. Having not visited the Hollywood Bowl, I can't comment on the comparison! Peter
 

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