MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 22 Old 02-02-17, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread


It is no secret that I like MartinLogan speakers. To be more specific, I like electrostatic speakers, of which MartinLogan produces some of the finest on the planet. I have published in-depth reviews of several MartinLogan L/R pairs and one Center Channel model. They never disappoint. My main reference speakers are MartinLogan’s Electromotion ESL, their entry-level hybrid electrostatic, recently replaced in the MartinLogan lineup by the newer Electromotion ESL X.

I initially asked MartinLogan to provide a pair of the new ESL X for review, but it was suggested that I move up the line a notch and evaluate the new MartinLogan Classic ESL 9, priced at $6495 per pair. Who was I to argue? Having lived with a pair of the newer Classic ESL 9 speakers for several weeks, I can report that they deliver the same effortless electrostatic sound, or lack of sound, that I have learned to appreciate from electrostatics. It is as though their effortless delivery says, “Relax, we’ll do the rest,” and for me that sound is Home!


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post #2 of 22 Old 02-03-17, 08:15 AM
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

Very nice Wayne.

Another ESL + ML Centre + dual ML Subs owner, here.
I have them for nearly three years and found myself in constant need to experiment with them in regards to getting a ever better sound outcome. It never had been a case with previous standard 2 or 3 way towers.
Those are massive speakers for ordinary living or dedicated listening rooms and again i guess you were tempted to run them even louder to see at which point earpearcing effect will kicks in?

Happy listening.
Zoran from Australia
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post #3 of 22 Old 02-05-17, 03:05 PM
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

WOW Wayne what an excellent review. You know honestly, the biggest mistake I made in Audio was getting rid of my ESL's in favor of another set of speakers. On many an occasion, I keep myself at night talking to myself about what a dolt I was. I do hope to one day rectify that but I do not see it in the near future without talking to a bank.

Never the less, my best suggestion for you is to pull those speakers out of your room and slide them into mine. Yeah that should do wonders for my lack of sleep, but then I wont care !!
Want some more nice sounds, if you do not have the Patricia Barber, "Cafe Blue" disc, listen to Ode to Billie Jo, so wonderful and atmospheric filled with a lovely standing bass line that holds the song together beautifully.

Good Listening

Jack

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post #4 of 22 Old 02-05-17, 08:25 PM
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

Hi Jack

So, what was missing for you without ESL, and what was so tempting about replacement speakers?

Cheers from Australia
Zoran
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post #5 of 22 Old 02-06-17, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

Quote:
AU26 wrote: View Post
Very nice Wayne.

Another ESL + ML Centre + dual ML Subs owner, here.
I have them for nearly three years and found myself in constant need to experiment with them in regards to getting a ever better sound outcome. It never had been a case with previous standard 2 or 3 way towers.
True, dipoles seem to benefit more from tweaking. In my opinion this is because there is usually much more possible to be gotten out of them performance-wise.

Quote:
Those are massive speakers for ordinary living or dedicated listening rooms and again i guess you were tempted to run them even louder to see at which point earpearcing effect will kicks in?

Happy listening.
Zoran from Australia
Yes, to a point. With adequate amplification, so there is never a point where any clipping takes place, and with such smooth freq response, they never reach a piercing point, they just get louder, more dense. It is easy to get carried away and not realize how loud it is. I keep an spl meter close to help keep it safe.
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post #6 of 22 Old 02-06-17, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

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Savjac wrote: View Post
WOW Wayne what an excellent review. You know honestly, the biggest mistake I made in Audio was getting rid of my ESL's in favor of another set of speakers. On many an occasion, I keep myself at night talking to myself about what a dolt I was. I do hope to one day rectify that but I do not see it in the near future without talking to a bank.

Never the less, my best suggestion for you is to pull those speakers out of your room and slide them into mine. Yeah that should do wonders for my lack of sleep, but then I wont care !!
Want some more nice sounds, if you do not have the Patricia Barber, "Cafe Blue" disc, listen to Ode to Billie Jo, so wonderful and atmospheric filled with a lovely standing bass line that holds the song together beautifully.
Don't know what to tell ya, Jack. As long as you don't cry yourself to sleep, you're probably going to survive, although I certainly would never have made that choice.

I will check out Patricia's work.
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post #7 of 22 Old 02-06-17, 09:50 AM
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

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Hi Jack

So, what was missing for you without ESL, and what was so tempting about replacement speakers?

Cheers from Australia
Zoran
Large scale dynamics and the bite of real life instruments. This is not to say that the ML's were not great the replacements were just a bit better at convincing me that I was listening to real instruments. This is so hard to explain and it would take its own thread so suffice it to say...Oops.

Good Listening

Jack

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post #8 of 22 Old 02-06-17, 09:55 AM
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

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AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
Don't know what to tell ya, Jack. As long as you don't cry yourself to sleep, you're probably going to survive, although I certainly would never have made that choice.

I will check out Patricia's work.
Yes sir, you are correct, I will survive and I will also, with time correct some of my mistakes.
The choice was made with large scale music and movies in mind. The new speakers, to use an old saying, cut more like a machete while the ML's are certainly more scalpel like in their rendering of music. Not the end of the world, and a lesson was learned to be sure.

Good Listening

Jack

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post #9 of 22 Old 02-06-17, 10:36 AM
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

Wayne ---

Wow! Great review! I had a chance to hear these at CAF... reading your words makes me want to hear them again!
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post #10 of 22 Old 02-06-17, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Discussion Thread

And SO much fun to drive to the point where you wonder if maybe the volume is approaching the danger zone. It is actually hard to tell when the delivery is so clean.

BTW, I value my hearing, and do not do that very often, and keep a spl meter close by.
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