ML Summit, all music types or not - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 04-09-08, 04:48 PM
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ML Summit, all music types or not

My wife and I were shopping around and she heard ML Summit's playing some classical music. She was extremely impressed. So much so she asked me about them in the car on the way home. Earlier, she gave me size restrictions (speakers) directing me to another room. Sonnie of this site is a big ML fan. I have never looked seriously at them because of my musical tastes, namely rock (Rush) and jazz (Rippingtons). Of the opinion in reading that these speakers are better for the accoustic, classical and voice music. Any opinions on music matching speakers? Sorry for my ignorance.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-09-08, 09:11 PM
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Re: ML Summit, all music types or not

I don't believe in matching speakers to music but more along the lines of speakers not doing well with poorly recorded music and that is where the issues lay. There are some more revealing speakers out there that do not do well with poorly mixed music and the speakers let you know right away. An easy way to tell if they are right for you would be to take some of your own music with you and listen to it.
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-09-08, 10:30 PM
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Re: ML Summit, all music types or not

Recording quality these days trickles down to so many more speakers than just a few short years because of the almost universal compression in most popular music but there are more revealing speakers than others and as a very experienced Electrostat hybrid owner I would say that is one issue to really consider and audition with well known music for extended periods...ideally in your own room if at all possible. Having said that as far as your question about Rock music vs accoustic Classical and Jazz its not really about what speaker is playing them its about how loud you expect them to play and impact you want from the presentation so ML Summits may or may not be ideal for you but I can assure you they are fantastic speakers, and at $10K they should be. On the other hand they are not the most ideal HT speaker so take that into consideration and you need to give them room, time and time again I see well over half of Electrostat owners who either cant or wont place them properly and if you cant give them room for whatever reasons find a better choice. These are ofcourse Di-Pole in nature and if you cant give them ATLEAST 3ft behind them AND atleast 2ft from side walls I dont care how good you think they sound.....your going to waste your money and never know how good they can sound, I am going to assume you will feed them 200 watts minimum so I wont go into that. Again the Summit is a fantastic speaker that is sort of a bargain if you consider what other hi-end gear costs but be sure they are for you..........the last caution I would give is the somewhat small sweetspot and the fact they have no vertical dispersion that bothers many folks, Electrostats are not for everyone but these breed fierce loyalty from many devoted fans who cant go back to traditional speakers. I have owned my Electrostats for almost 5 yrs now and to be frank I have outgrown the sound but still have them "just in case".
Sorry to be long winded and slightly critical but at $10,000 you should expect nothing less. Best of luck in your search and potential purchase...have fun!
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-10-08, 01:01 PM
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Re: ML Summit, all music types or not

I have seen all kinds of different setups... including some in very small rooms like mine, with the ML's up against the walls and in corners. It is not necessary to have 3' behind or 2' from the side walls. I have neither and they sound wonderful... much better than anything that has ever been in my room. Could they sound better, possibly... but, I am completely satisfied beyond excitement.

Of course you have the power amp to take care of them, but mine are tickled with the 120wpc they get from my NAD T785 receiver and they get just as loud any any other speaker I have ever owned.

I also use mine mostly for home theater... awesome is not good enough to describe what the ML's can do in a home theater setup. I have the Motif center and Fresco surrounds and it is again far better than anything that has ever been in my room.

When I do listen to music, it is Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, etc. Never sounded better!

Regardless of your room, regardless of your music... I do not believe you will go wrong.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-10-08, 06:31 PM
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Re: ML Summit, all music types or not

The Summits have a 92dB sensitivity rating, so unless you are a Ted Nugent volume level freak, they will play plenty loud enough - if not then you are looking for quantity, not quality.

In regards to needing 200 watts minimum to power them is pure hogwash. It is not about the power rating but the quality of power you feed a ML speaker. My amp is not near the 200 watt statement, but I will put it up against most amps out there in terms of quality of sound. Don't get fooled by specs and the marketing poop of power ratings. For myself I would never power a ML speaker with a receiver as it will never do it the justice it deserves to really show of their potential. It may be a good starting point if that is all you can own, but once you go to separates you will wonder why you ever used the receiver.

Also, ML speakers are NOTORIOUS for showing the inadequacies of your upstream components. The typical garbage in, garbage out to the "Nth" degree with them. Do not base you decision on places like Tweeter and Magnolia for the ML speakers, find a quality ML dealer who really knows how to set them up in the room with the right components to really see what they can do.

Placement is all part of getting ANY speaker to sound good, but the Dipole nature throws more parts into the equation. IMO the distance from the rear wall is more critical than the side wall. And with ANY speaker, good room acoustical treatments are a must to get the best out of the speaker and room combo.

Tone Audio has done a review on the Summit and Jeff uses them now as his reference speaker. It is a very good review and very honest one at that.

And finally, yes the ML fanatics over at the ML Owners forum can be of great help to new ML owners or wannabes...but one must remember they are a die hard group and love their speakers kind of like the SVS owners here.
post #6 of 6 Old 04-18-08, 09:16 PM
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Re: ML Summit, all music types or not

I would agree with DTB here as far as distance is concerned. My Ascents sounded best at 38" from the back wall, and now my Odysseys sound best positioned 41.5" away from the back wall. That sounds odd to be so exact, but all it takes is an inch or two in either direction (especially with the Odyssey) to notice a difference in sound quality. Side walls don't seem to effect them as much in my room. I do have absorbtion directly to the side of each, so that could be a help. Amp choice with MLs should be more about Current ouput than watt output. A lower watt amp with high current output will drive the MLs more difficult loads easier than a high watt low current amp. Every time I change any component upstream, I get drastic differences in sound from the MLs. They really do bring out the nature of whatever you are using. Good recordings sound spectacular on the MLs, but poor recordings sound horrible. They are unforgiving with poor audio upstream, as DTB has stated.
Here is how mine are situated at the moment: Still have to place subs back in normal position up front and hide the cables again..oh yeah..and hang the bass traps again.

Last edited by grapenuts; 04-18-08 at 09:19 PM. Reason: amp reasoning
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