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MartinLogan Montis and StageX Speaker Review Discussion Thread
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/images/montis_stage_review_header.jpg[/img]



MartinLogan Website
Montis MSRP: $9995 Pair
StageX MSRP: $3295 Each
Available at your Authorized
MartinLogan Dealer


by Wayne Myers


Introduction

When Home Theater Shack owner Sonnie Parker first received his new pair of Montis speakers from MartinLogan, he sent me an email reporting that he had quickly set them up, guessing at the best location and angle for two-channel listening in his home theater, plugged them in, sat down to listen, started up some music, and found them sounding so great he about cried. He listened to them for hours on end almost without touching that initial setup over the next few weeks until I arrived to evaluate the Montis and the accompanying MartinLogan StageX center channel speaker for this review.

When I first heard the MartinLogan Montis, I instantly understood what he meant. Everything about their presentation was just downright impressive. That was the first of two times that I would get chills over the next few days while working with Montis and StageX speakers.

Read the full MartinLogan Montis and StageX Speaker Review.
 

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Sonnie? This is all Wayne... my only part was having the speakers.

Awesome review by the way! :clap:
I am guessing you provided the muscle while Wayne listened to see if you needed to adjust more - that is worth something (or I do even less at our evaluations than I thought! :))
 

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There ya go... I did the heavy lifting, although the Montis are pretty light compared to the Prodigy's.

I do know it sounded considerably better after he left than when he got there, and I thought they were pretty good to start with.
 

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Sonnie, all I can say is congradulations. I know how pleased you were with you last set up, I can only imagine how satisfied you must feel now. My guess is you are home now, I'm happy for you knowing how much you enjoy this!
 

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I haven't read through the entire review yet, but I did notice something that might need your attention... when you click on the StageX picture at the top all you get is an error message. The link for the pic is broken.
 

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Nice review , at some point i would like to ear myself this speakers but they are hard to find locally and to have a serious listening and at the Montreal show never ML was present officially .
 

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Great review, thank you so much.

I have not heard this model but do have some experience with Martin Logan and can say y'all have hit the nail on the head. The stunning reproduction of lower mid's on through the highest frequencies is hard to beat, soft and delicate when called upon and yet raw and loud the next. Soundstage for days that is hard to duplicate yet exceed.

Yes, the surround version of Wish You Were Here on the blu ray ( immersion) is only beat by attending a live performance. Stunning !
 

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Fantastic review gentlemen! :T I enjoyed it all, and it has suddenly and unexpectedly piqued my interest in electrostats, which previously have not been something I have seriously considered. I very much look forward to Wayne's review of the EM-ESL speaker to see how much of the Montis goodness has been packed into it. That is a speaker I could afford (barely) and consider owning. Although it will be in a different room with different equipment, I hope to see some comparisons of the Montis and the EM-ESL to get a feel for how close I could get to the Montis.

One part of the setup that would be difficult for me would be the distance from the front wall. I could set speakers up at 6 - 7 feet away from the front wall for 2-channel listening, but that position would put them nearly 4' ahead of the screen. How would things sound for movies and multi-channel music videos if the front of the speakers were 2.5 - 4 feet away from the wall behind them?
 

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Oh, also I'm curious about the Wish You Were Here blu ray disc. I found one on Amazon, but it appears to be a documentary. I was under the impression it was a live concert. Which one would I be looking for? Thanks.
 

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Fantastic review gentlemen! :T I enjoyed it all, and it has suddenly and unexpectedly piqued my interest in electrostats, which previously have not been something I have seriously considered. I very much look forward to Wayne's review of the EM-ESL speaker to see how much of the Montis goodness has been packed into it. That is a speaker I could afford (barely) and consider owning. Although it will be in a different room with different equipment, I hope to see some comparisons of the Montis and the EM-ESL to get a feel for how close I could get to the Montis.

One part of the setup that would be difficult for me would be the distance from the front wall. I could set speakers up at 6 - 7 feet away from the front wall for 2-channel listening, but that position would put them nearly 4' ahead of the screen. How would things sound for movies and multi-channel music videos if the front of the speakers were 2.5 - 4 feet away from the wall behind them?
OK, a little leak on the ESL review... Still writing, but - performance is very close to the Montis, although not as deep in the bass (ported vs. sealed with DSP) and maybe not as well suited for a big room like Sonnie's. In my smaller rooms, and about 3 feet out from the wall - Dynamite! Lots more to say about them, but that is the quick summary. (Oh, and some more detail on getting an absolutely killer soundstage.)

Oh, also I'm curious about the Wish You Were Here blu ray disc. I found one on Amazon, but it appears to be a documentary. I was under the impression it was a live concert. Which one would I be looking for? Thanks.
You want the Hybrid SACD, like this one on Amazon. It is not a live concert, but a recent 5.1 remix of the original album.
 

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Now that's good to hear. Really intrigued by these.

Thanks for the music tip! Have fun this weekend. Hopefully the Montis has not spoiled you too much!
Between the Montis and the ESL, spoiled pretty rotten! But I believe I still have that impartiality hat around here somewhere, gotta dust that off and take it along. Actually, with the models we have lined up, it should not be a problem. Firing up a new pair of speakers the first time is always a thrill.
 

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Thanks for this very informative review/set-up tutorial! I've already significantly improved my sound using the set-up information. The sweet spot information is really quite valuable, and adjusting the rake with that information as a guide made a very worthwhile difference to my ears. I do have several questions I'd like to throw out, and any help would be appreciated:

1. Is the speaker plane to ear plane measurement correct? Only 69"? Is that typical?
2. What does Listening Angle (in this case, 21.5 deg off axis) refer to? This term confuses me.
3. Is it best to absorb as much of the rear reflections as possible if you're limited by external contraints to 40" from speaker plane to the front wall? I just haven't been able to draw a clear conclusion via listening because the answer seems to vary depending on what's being played - or depending on something else I'm not aware of.....

Thanks
 

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1. Is the speaker plane to ear plane measurement correct? Only 69"? Is that typical?
Probably not typical the way most people would set them up, but then neither was the result we got. That setup gave us a very deep soundstage. We tried locations closer to the front wall, also with excellent results, but Sonnie preferred this one.

2. What does Listening Angle (in this case, 21.5 deg off axis) refer to? This term confuses me.
Zero degrees Listening Angle means the speaker is pointed straight at the listener. If it is turned away from the listener, usually outward - for instance the left speaker pointing toward the chair to the left of the listener, from his seated perspective - then the angle of that turn is the Listening Angle.

Zero degrees Toe-In means the speaker points straight at the back wall.

3. Is it best to absorb as much of the rear reflections as possible if you're limited by external contraints to 40" from speaker plane to the front wall? I just haven't been able to draw a clear conclusion via listening because the answer seems to vary depending on what's being played - or depending on something else I'm not aware of.....
I say no, but the answer is actually a bit complicated. There will be quite a bit of detail in the MartinLogan ESL review I am finishing right now. Hopefully it will be helpful.
 

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Thanks very much for your reply. After "just following" your recommendations (from the review and from your 2-ch setup guide) instead of "finding excuses not to", I have a pretty stunning soundstage, and without any real compromises. Well..., the speakers do "seem like" they're in my lap, but who cares? I'll get used to that. To anyone else reading this who is "not so sure" - consider just trying what the AudiocRaver suggests. Looking forward to the rear reflections information in your ESL review. Regards, Thom
 
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