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Best Imaging Around
Posted by: HumbleAV from: Denver, CO on
When it came time for me pull the trigger on a new theater setup, I choose the MartinLogan EM-ESL towers easily. After auditioning a parade of speakers from Def Tech, Sonas Faber, Bowers and Wilkins and Energy, nothing could match the tonal highs and imaging of the EM-ESL's.
Clarity, especially vocals, are unreal. Movement, response, tonal imaging and pure rendering are everything I would want in an exceptional loudspeaker. The built-in woofers do a good job enhancing low frequency response, but these speakers are a tad bass shy. A good subwoofer (I went with two Dynamo 700s) will greatly enhance the listening experience.
I was worried these speakers would lend themselves to music more than my 7.2 surround sound theater system, but I was sorely wrong. When matched with their complementing set (EM-C2 center channel and FX2 surrounds (I also went with a pair of FX2 surrounds for front highs) the movement and clarity is unmatched.
As always, there is no perfect product, let alone speaker. The soundstage could be better, so the listening area is relatively small. If you don't sit dead center on the aligned towers, you will clearly miss audio from one tower and the other tower closer to you will overpower you. Imaging will be become quite distinct and directional. For a theater, this is a drawback because not every seat is going to be dead center.
Additionally, your room must be able to accommodate some demanding setup, these speakers are quite fickle about placement. They need to be about 2ft minimum off the wall and as far away from a side wall as possible. They still make great use of whatever space you put them in, but they will sound 10x better once setup correctly.
I also LOVE these speakers come with nice black nylon mesh covers embossed with the MartinLogan logo. While they aren't super durable, they will provide exceptional dust protection and is a nice feature.
The fact I love these speakers as much as I do, despite their setup and placement compromises, shows just how truly exceptional they are. Pull the trigger, you won't be disappointed.
20 out of 20 found this review helpful.
Opens a new world of music listening
Posted by: JJSD from: Minneapolis, MN on
These speakers sound like nothing else on the market. Do your research, and you will find how pure the sound is from electrostatic speakers, and why audiophiles love them. They look stunning in any room, and work great not only for music but as R-L channels in a home theater setup. I use them for both.
As others have mentioned, these speakers WILL exploit any weaknesses in your system. In other words, don't hook them up to your $250 receiver and expect them to sound great. Great speakers need a great amplifier and clean source... otherwise its like throwing 6 feet of rope to someone who is 10 feet away... it's just a waste.
The other thing that should be mentioned; These speakers have a very distinct (and unfortunately rather small) sweet spot. When you're sitting in your primary viewing/listening position, nothing can touch them for sound quality/clarity. However, if you stand up/walk off to the side, they get muddy. This is the downfall to this type of speaker. Of course all speakers do this to some point, due to the room, reflections, distances, positions of the drivers, etc.... but the ESLs are affected more as you move away from the "sweet spot".
16 out of 16 found this review helpful.
Posted by: abacus30 from: st. pete beach, fl on
I've had these for about 10 days now and am soooo glad I purchased them. I traveled around auditioning speakers for 3 months, including speakers costing 300% - 500% more expensive than the motion ESL's. These sounded just as good as all of them. I would say that they are a little light in the low end, but that's what subwoofers are for. My friends have come over and been blown away with the "concert in your living room". I splurged and went with the Motif center, depth i sub, and FX2's for rears. I have a Yamaha RX-A3010 receiver powering it all, with no Amp. It sounds awesome with 150 watts of clean Yamaha power... especially the SACD's I'm playing through my Oppo disc player. This surround system is one of the best investments I've ever made in my life... but I LOVE music.
14 out of 14 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Xoom1 from: Eagan on
I originally looked at these and like other people,I thought they were kind of bright. I ended up going with Mirage OMD 15's 1st. Sent those back and got Def Tech 8060's. They sounded nice but I didn't like how they look and they had sort of an edgy sound. I broke all these speakers in ,but never cranked them anyhow. Went back to BB and listened to the Logan's again,I wanted to pull them out and place them a little better.Wow! What a difference that made. They had a new pair of open box,I bought those. 1 was defective,took it back and got another demo unit. They look like new. I have no idea how many hours are on them,but they sound incredible. I love when friends come over and go up to the speaker and say,where is the sound coming from. LOL Also,you might have to adjust the rake of the speaker with the screw in feet. Makes a big difference. These speakers just took music to a new level compared to my old Paradigm monitor 7's.
14 out of 14 found this review helpful.
Great speakers for $2,000
Posted by: bandungman from: Fresno, CA on
If you love to play or hear somebody playing acoustic instruments, this speaker is definitely for you. It has amazingly fine, detailed and realistic sound with highly precise and focused sound stage. However, if you are a bass lover, the bass is only down to 40Hz. You will need a good quality subwoofer. Bottom line, this speaker really improves the overall sound quality even it can be driven by a regular receiver and I can't find better sounding speaker at this price including magnepan that also has a rave review.
19 out of 21 found this review helpful.
High Quality Sound at Bargain Price
Posted by: jaramill from: Glendale, AZ on
Though I do not have an ear of an "audiophile", I know what sounds good to me, and the precise clarity, crispness of these speakers is amazing. This is my first ever true home theater speaker system. But what really drew my attention to this speaker is how this sound could eminate from this weird design called Electro-static. The weird XStat grill really amazed me. So I have this pair of speakers paired up with their Electro-motion center channel speaker C2 which is made for these, along with the Dynamo 700 sub-woofer.
To the average person they would say $2k is a lot but for high-end sound it's a great price. Playing TV, Blu-ray Discs or DVD or music streaming from my iPod, it sounds sweet. And yes I did break them all in at the required minimum of 72 hours, so now I can crank them up. And best of all, you don't really need that much power to run them. I use the Marantz SR7005 audio/video receiver to power these.
12 out of 12 found this review helpful.
Crisp and Clean Sound
Posted by: 03SSGT from: Dallas, TX on
I heard these in the store and fell in love immediately. Let me put it this way, I came in to buy $500ish full setup, and ended up buying these after I heard them ($4K total setup with Parasound amp and preamp).
16 out of 18 found this review helpful.
Posted by: DownInFront from: NJ(not happy about it) on
I waited a couple of months to review these speakers. I had first purchased a Pioneer SC-63 receiver and wanted to upgrade my speakers. My original choice was Bose 901s but found out they were not compatible with the Pioneer receiver. WOW am I glad I waited. I went to Best Buy with my own music and had them set up the SC-63 with the ML-ESL Speakers. I had about 6 CDs but the music that really showcased the system was Chemical Brothers 'Exit Planet Dust'. I listen to Jazz, Classical and the blues but needed something that would show the true potential of these speakers. They not only blew me away but totally surprised the sales rep with the sound they produced. They were clear, distinct and surpassed anything I had previously listened to. I had decided to purchased these speakers right from the beginning of the demo. At home they truly wonderful with both music and movies. If you are considering new speakers you must listen to these. Just give them a try. They are worth the extra $$.
11 out of 12 found this review helpful.
Like being there
Posted by: ColeR from: Clearwater, FL on
Beyond their obvious good looks, they are very easy to set up (the first step is done with a flashlight). The sound quality is amazing. It really is difficult to tell that the sound is coming from a speaker and not a live band. We listen to a lot of show tunes and classical and these speakers are wonderful for that. The high end is very bright and having each speaker include a sub-woofer gives excellent low notes. There seems to be a little loss around the cross-over, but you have to listen very close to notice that.
I have not heard any other speakers with as good of a sound reproduction (unless you count the more expensive versions of the same speaker from the same company).
9 out of 9 found this review helpful.
A Natural and Spacious Experience!
Posted by: vinylguy from: Ohio on
I came from a pair of Polk Towers and I am blown away. The amount of detail is unbelievable. In the store I was leaning towards a pair of B&W's and a Marantz PM8005 amp in another room. The associate was kind enough to hook up the ML's next to the Bowers I was surprised how clear and natural the ML's were not to mention the imaging was amazing! The Bass is something lots of people are unsure about but when you put a little power into these guys they really come alive. I know its possible to power the stats off of anything but they really shine with some clean power. Another area of concern is placement. I sit 12 feet away and have these guys 7 feet apart. They are pulled out about 2 feet from the wall and have at least 1.5- 2 feet to each wall. They did take some time to set up and dial in but even right up against the wall they were great, I found they just kept improving the more I played with them. These fore sure have to be on everyones list to listen to!