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Martin Logan Dynamo 1500X​
By Jim Wilson (theJman)



Virtually everyone has heard the phrase "you can't have your cake and eat it too". In essence that means whatever you're referring to has a choice associated to it and you won't end up with both options working in your favor, regardless of how desirable they each may be. With a subwoofer that saying generally holds true when talking about size versus depth/extension; a small subwoofer can't possibly produce significant amounts of deep bass, can it? In the case of Martin Logan's new Dynamo 1500X the answer would be Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. The cabinet is not at all large -- even for an acoustic suspension subwoofer with a 12" driver, let alone one with a 15" driver -- yet the depth and composure it's capable of is simply amazing. At times I wished for a touch more detail, but to be honest I could live with this subwoofer every day and be quite satisfied. It's not inexpensive, but it is certainly capable of some impressive bass. The 'Dynamo' name proved to be apt, that's for sure. With the flattest frequency response I've measured in a long time, this Martin Logan subwoofer is one very impressive unit.

For the full review Click Here
 

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What a great review. From the pictures the bracing, spacing and the build quality in general looks terrific for such a smallish cube and a 15" sub.
 

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Another great review Jim. It's a little on the expensive side compared to offerings from the usual ID companies but it looks like a solid performer. I'm jealous you get to play with all these cool toys:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all. I did find it to be a very nice little sub. A bit expensive, but a very solid performer.

And yes, it is fun getting to play with all these toys... :D
 

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Jman,

Thanks for the review.

I'm considering upgrading my dual Velodyne SPL 1200's (series 1). The size of these subs is appealing, and my room is actually great for downfiring (carpet and padding over concrete), 17x13 room (9 foot ceiling).

I"m all over the board on new subs. I want 1-2 subs that will be a significant improvement over my 10 year old SPL's.

Considering Rythmik (12 or the compact 15), SVSpb13, possibly a single Kreisel 12012, and now something like these ML's (as the size is aweome).

Music is first love, but theater must also work out well..

any thoughts, how does this sub compare to the others? What do you feel out there offer the best musical/theater combos (obviously I'm looking at more compact sealed subs).

Thanks, really was down to SVS, Rhythmik and the Krissel... but this review was great, and the size and orientation would be great for my room.

That said... those SPL's I have are solid subs, really I have enough output, just looking for a bit more speed, depth, and tightness.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your room is almost the exact same size as mine, so I can almost see it in my head.

From what I understand the SPL's were nice subs, but being that they're 10 years old it is probably time for an upgrade. As you mentioned, I can see you're all over the place with sizes and models. And budget it seems as well; not knowing what you're looking to spend makes it difficult to give the correct guidance, but I'll toss out a few thoughts.

By stated you want "a bit more speed, depth, and tightness" you in essence have said everything needs to be better, since those 3 things are about all a subwoofer provides. Also, if you've become accustom to the benefit of duals my guess is you'll want a pair of subwoofers again. That being the case...

A pair of 1500X's in a room that size would easily provide all of what you're looking for, and more. Don't forget the PBK, because it will definitely help tame room issues. The SVS you mentioned is the PB13, which is huge, so I assume you're referring to the SB13 instead. Very well regarded subwoofer for a solid company. Hard to go wrong there. Seeing as how music is your first love the Rythmik should get special attention though. Brian Ding -- the architect behind all of the Rythmik products -- is a music buff, so everything they make is very articulate. Given your size restrictions something like the E15 is worth considering. A pair of those would provide all the depth you could possibly want, while still giving you the clarity and precision that discerning music fans require. You also have myriad configuration options, so the sound can be tailored to your specific desires.
 

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Jim,

Yes, you are correct I mean the SB13 from SVS.

So my room is a virtual rectangle, 13x17 with a 9 foot ceiling. It's in the basement, carpet and padding over concrete, drywall on the walls and ceiling. Actually a nice environment for a downfiring sub.

Bass traps rear corners. System on 13ft wall.

I went to the second subwoofer as I was pretty easily able to localize the first in the front left corner. So, I added a second. They are actually pretty nice subs, and the size is GREAT. they are basically 15 inch cubes.

My speakers are very tight and fast. Current Velodynes are not bad, but that is my goal. If I'm going to upgrade, it needs to be faster, tighter, faster. Output wise, I have more than enough now.

But like all of us, upgraditis always gets the best of me.

Size wise, the SVS is about as big as I would want to go. I'm sure one would be enough output, but I'm trying to avoid the localization.

That said, I never ran any room EQ etc.

I had originally thought about 2 sealed 12's from Rythmik, but then asked myself if I'd really get any benefit over the velodynes. Frankly the "dynes would retail for a bit more.

So, I've been taking a look at the Smaller 15 from Rythmik, or their downfiring 15. But those are absolutely as big as I'd go. The Kreissel 12012 is a possibility also. But then this review is pretty good on the martin logans and the size is right.

Or.. the SVS is a nice deal. I thought their legato system might be a nice option, though I've decided that I suspect those tubes, even if sealed won't be as musical as I would like. I figure whatever I get, if it works for music will be more than enough for theater in that size room. I'd love to find a couple of nice sized sealed passives for the corners that I could run off of a central amp, that would be perfect.

Do you have any real strong thoughts on any of these (are any particularly tight, or particularly one note)... or at this point is it splitting hairs?
 

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Something to consider before purchasing. Maybe your current sub's placement and lack of room EQ is handicapping the sound? Putting new subs in the same situation might not give the improvements you are seeking.

Question green giant, why would you think the Legato's tube design might lack musicality?
 

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Something to consider before purchasing. Maybe your current sub's placement and lack of room EQ is handicapping the sound? Putting new subs in the same situation might not give the improvements you are seeking.

Question green giant, why would you think the Legato's tube design might lack musicality?

Well, I suppose a couple of things. Not just the tube, but I don't believe that is their top end driver. I also wonder if the non-ported design (though I could plug it) lends itself to being as rigid.

There would be some benefits to running a couple of passives off of a primary amp for sure.

I'd be very open to any thoughts on that system as it's priced reasonably well. I thought about the Klipsch THX system, but those subs are ported and designed first and foremost for theater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do you have any real strong thoughts on any of these (are any particularly tight, or particularly one note)... or at this point is it splitting hairs?
All of the subs you're considering are quality units, so it's not like you would be making a bad choice either way. There are pluses and minuses to each, different options, unique sound signatures, etc, but none of them are bad by any means.
 

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All of the subs you're considering are quality units, so it's not like you would be making a bad choice either way. There are pluses and minuses to each, different options, unique sound signatures, etc, but none of them are bad by any means.
When you talk sound signatures... talk to me a bit more about the various units. You are one of the rare folks that hears all of them?

What is the "boomiest" of the bunch

Tightest of the bunch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When you talk sound signatures... talk to me a bit more about the various units. You are one of the rare folks that hears all of them?

What is the "boomiest" of the bunch

Tightest of the bunch?
My definition of "sound signature" is essentially the profile a manufacturer was striving for. Kreisel shoots for perfection above all else, because his products are used in studios were variation from the original signal is simply not acceptable. SVS tends to go for richer sounds, with more 'presence'. Rythmik is run by a music fanatic, so those subs lean towards articulation and dynamics.

However, those are generalizations; that's not to imply the Kreisels have no depth, the Rythmik can not product rich bass or the SVS is inarticulate. They're all top-quality companies that make excellent products, so there isn't a bad choice to be made. It's just that, based upon my experience, each has a priority or two that are the most important to them, and they design their products accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm working my way up to it - you should see some of the other subs I already have waiting for review. :D

But I'm open for suggestions. Have anything particular in mind? If so, PM me and I'll see what I can do.
 

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Signed on to let you know your review was great. And with so limited reviews and impressions about the 1500X out on the web, this review played a good part on my choosing this subwoofer.

I'm loving this subwoofer, and I just ordered the MartinLogan PBK today which should be arriving within a week.

I hate the feet, it makes it look cheap IMO. Might buy and use the SVS "Isolation feet"

Or just turn it on it's side, so that the amp is facing my AV Cabinet, like this:

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Signed on to let you know your review was great. And with so limited reviews and impressions about the 1500X out on the web, this review played a good part on my choosing this subwoofer.

I'm loving this subwoofer, and I just ordered the MartinLogan PBK today which should be arriving within a week.

I hate the feet, it makes it look cheap IMO. Might buy and use the SVS "Isolation feet"

Or just turn it on it's side, so that the amp is facing my AV Cabinet, like this:
I'm glad I was able to assist in finding a subwoofer that works for you. It's pretty impressive for the size, isn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pic working for you guys? it isnt for me
You won't be able to post links until you have at least 5 posts. It's a process designed to thwart spammers.
 
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