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Happy_Listner's picture
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MartinLogan Motion speakers

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to share my experience with the MartinLogan Motion speakers. I had listened to the Motion 15's and 40's the other day in a show room and compared them to B&W speakers. The amplifier was a Mcintosh MA5200 integrated hooked up to an Arcam CD37 player. The sales person only had to press a button to instantly change between speakers. 

I first listened to the MartinLogan Motion 40's. They were a very impressive set of tower speakers. Strong bass and interesting treble characteristics. Smooth and detailed without being forceful. Wide sound stage and exciting. I then asked the sales man to change over to the B&W 683 S2 (new version). He pressed the button and ahhh wow! I said to the sales man "are you kidding me?" I said these are horrible compared to the Motion 40's. He said they definatley were not as good. The sound stage had collapsed, there was less bass, and it sounded all muffled and muddled in comparison. If one used the 683's on their own then I am sure they would sound just fine but compared to the Motion 40's it was quite an embarrassment for them. 

Granted there is a price difference here between the two in the U.S. and the U.K., $1500 for the B&W's and $1799 for the MartinLogans. But for only $300 usd more they are worth it! In the U.K. these two speakers are in different price categories, 1149 vs. 1799 pounds, so I suppose they don't really compete with each other.

Next I compared the ML 40's to the B&W CM9. This was a much better comparison but still they didn't sound as good. The CM9's had a certain boxy bass coloration that was hard not to miss. The speakers sounded pleasant enough but was a little thinner sounding and not as exciting. Not a bad speaker at all just not as good as the 40's. 

I then listened to the Motion 15's, small bookshelf model,  and again I was very impressed. They were detailed without that detail being forced or highlighting anything. Very natural with a huge sound stage. A bit direct sounding with a thick sound stage and this made it an exciting listen.

Next I compared them to the B&W CM5's. They were about 1/3 larger than the ML 15's and more expensive so I was expecting a lot. from them. I ended up being surprised. The bass didn't go that much lower as I would have though from the the larger cabinet. The excitement level diminished greatly and the sound stage sounded thin. They were quite boring sounding next to the Motion 15's. 

The most interesting part for me is that here in the USA the CM5's sell for $1500 while the Motion 15's are only $799! Quite the bargain. I understand that the ML 15's are more expensive in the U.K. at 799 Pounds and priced the same as the B&W CM5's but I know which ones I would still choose. 

For me it was a no brainier and I bought the ML Motion 15's! I am still keeping my Proac Signature 2000's because they are an overall complete package. But these little Martin Logans are a very fun listen! The folded tweeter gives a level of detail and delicacy that even my Proacs cant match. I actually hear more in the recording with them over the Proacs. They are still breaking in and sounding better and better. I spent an extra $100 and got the black cherry wood. Very nice. 

Well, this is just one man's opinion here. Try to listen to the Motion lineup if you have the chance because I think you might be impressed like I was. 

Cheers everyone

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

Interesting report: thanks for that!

I haven't tried the ML Motion series, but your report gives a very good account of them. Ii sounds as though they have some of the character of the ML ESL Reserve series, which I do know. I auditioned the ML Ethos, which i thought were very good, though the bass was a bit disjointed. I ended up buying the ML Montis: these do a great job of integrating the subwoofers, and the electrostatic panels have the amazingly open and wide character that you ascribe to the Motions.

So it's great that you've drawn attention to this excellent range of speakers which ought to be on everyone's radar.

Matt

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves ...

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

Hey Matt,

Those Motion 15's are for a second system of mine. I heard the ML Montis while I was there as well and fell in love with them. I was thinking of saving up to buy the Ethos just because they are $3200 cheaper than the Montis. Plus my room is not too large. I will keep in mind what you said next time I listen to the Ethos. Is it possible that the bass level was turned up too high making them sound disjointed? 

Just curious, what amp are you using with the Montis?

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

I think the Ethos panel is outstanding. My concern with the bass was that it seemed slow in comparison with the panel, as if it was lagging behind slightly. TBH this is always going to be a bit of an issue with Martin Logans, because the response of the panel is lightning fast, and any dynamic woofer will struggle to keep up. The difference between the Ethos and the Montis is that the Ethos uses an 8" active woofer plus an 8" passive radiator, whereas the Montis just has a single 10" active woofer. It may be that the passive radiator in the Ethos, which adds bass depth, also caused the impression of sluggishness when I heard it.

The decision to go for the Montis was made easier for me because the dealer had an ex-demo pair of the Montis selling for less than what I'd have paid for a new pair of the Ethos.

I use a Devialet 170, which is also what was used when I heard the Ethos.

My room isn't huge: about 4.5m by 5.5m, and I have the speakers firing across the 4.5m wall. The advantage of this configuration is that it keeps the speakers well away from the side walls, which helps with clarity. They're pushed about 1m into the room, and I have an acoustic panel on the wall behind each speaker, which I think makes a big difference, as MLs are dipole speakers.

Matt

The screen door slams, Mary's dress waves ...

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

hi,

 

I'm also using ML motion 40 with Supernait 2 and Naim V-dac 1, and i think they're pretty fantastic. Just wanted to put that out there Smile Glad you're enjoying the ML sound as well.

 

have a good one

 

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

I have gone through British speakers, Canadian speakers, and American speakers. In the end, I prefered the presentation of American speakers. They are much more neutral, balanced, and exciting to listen. The Martin Logan Motion series is probably the best bang for the buck speakers. Cheap in North American, but expensive elsewhere.

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

How do the Motion 15s work when placed near a wall - has anyone any experience of that?

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

No personal experience but I'd guess they would do very well as this is what they were designed for as part of an AV package. Smile

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

Mine are set up about 1 foot from my wall. The helps the bass quite a bit and does not become boomy sounding. It is rear ported. 

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

Al ears, it would be shame to only use these Motion 15's in a AV set up for surround sound. These speakers should be looked upon as music speakers first. They are that good and compete with anything in its price range. MartinLogan should emphasize this point more and not just market them for the AV crowd.

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

Happy_Listner wrote:

Al ears, it would be shame to only use these Motion 15's in a AV set up for surround sound. These speakers should be looked upon as music speakers first. They are that good and compete with anything in its price range. MartinLogan should emphasize this point more and not just market them for the AV crowd.

I quite agree with their quality as hifi speakers I was just pointing out they were released in America as speakers for a typical AV system - but you know the size of some of their rooms Smile

In an average UK household they are well suited as main system speakers. Thinking of getting a pair myself for second system actually.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: MartinLogan Motion speakers

Thanks for the feedback. I have been seriously considering buying some Motion 15s for my attic system for a while now. The problem is that being an attic the ceiling slopes and so I need compact stand mounts that can work well near a wall - a foot away is probably as far as I can go. I know the Motions are rear ported but it certainly seems as though they are designed to work well near boundaries. I need to hunt out a pair for a proper audition I think.

This is not particularly pertinent to the thread but my MartInLogan Mikros 70 earphones arrived recently and very nice they are too. I do a lot of listening on the move, walking to work and so on, and they provide a nicely detailed, natural sound - surprisingly airy and spacious for what are, in the end, just ear buds. Not just a manufacturer of top notch, top end hybrid electrostats it seems, though that too of course as Matt will attest.

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