Home Theater Forum and Systems banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a room problem. Contemplating purchasing Martin Logan EM ESLs for my den. Problem is room is only 12' wide and my left speaker will have to be placed behind a sidewall sofa arm which is 23" high. Bottom 23" of speaker will be firing into side of sofa arm (see photo). This means 500hz and below woofer section (and a bit of the upper ESL section) are hidden from view at MLP. Right speaker is in the clear. Have 110" Stewart screen so cannot move speakers toward center.

Can this work? Or will I be unable to create left to right soundstage and also lose left speaker response below 500hz?
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,054 Posts
In an ideal world yes this is not an ideal placement but stereo imaging below 500Hz is not very common because those frequencys become far less directional. The current setup in the picture is not perfect but we all make sacrifices to make rooms work. Do you have an option of testing the EM ESLs? This could be beneficial in making the decision.
 

·
HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Joined
·
3,324 Posts
I suspect you'll end up dissatisfied. The sub driver will be firing directly into the sofa, part of the electrostatic transducer will be blocked by the arm of the couch and both speakers will be too close to a side wall. Then there's the question of what do you use for a center.

Due to how they work, electrostatic's need room to breath. Place them close to any type of boundary and you're likely to be unhappy with the outcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you everybody above with your input-

Have to keep couch for family reasons.

Speaker front will be 48" from rear wall so that should be ok. Right speaker is 8" from side wall with 4" thick GIK panel so one foot away. Left speaker which has heavy duty drape is about 18" from side wall. That is best I can do.

I have auditioned these speakers at local dealer and was really impressed; really want to make them work. The Canadian Waveform speakers you see in photo are conventional front firers, are 15 years old so I want a change.

I plan to go back to dealer and put a 23" box in front of left speaker and see how that sounds.

I am planning to purchase dealer recommended center EM-C2.

Any more comments are appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
462 Posts
I would have to say no also. Your room is just not wide enough even with no couch as you need to place the speakers on the sides of the huge screen. Placement is key for those speakers. What is the point of getting Panel speakers if you can't place them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,054 Posts
15 year old speakers are barely broken in. Mine are over 30 and still sound as good if not better than they did new.
Im really starting to agree with others. those ESLs need more room to breath in order to sound like they did in the demo. Im very surprised given the info you have given us that the dealer is even recommending them.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,363 Posts
I hate to pile on but like everyone else I don't see a fit with those speakers and your room. With your room only being 12' wide and the size of the screen there really doesn't appear to be a workable solution.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,802 Posts
I had a pair of Martin Logans years ago, and my experience was they need lots of breathing room... preferably at least 3' from any wall to sound really good. This doesn't mean they won't work, but they will not be anywhere near their potential. Personally I think you would be better off with what you have or some speakers on stands to clear the couch if you can't give them the room they need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,454 Posts
The only way I would consider them is after an "in-home" demonstration. If your dealer wont let you take them for a listen, then they are the wrong dealer!

And I agree that they will more than likely not preform well. There are numerous, quality bookshelf speakers that sound excellent & will get you above the couch like your speakers now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Ouch! To be fair to dealer I was there with a friend who was purchasing Sonus Faber speakers and parked myself in their small room with the EM ESL's. Thought they were great but did not have much conversation with dealer.

Dealer is an hour plus away so will try my experiment- listen to them with a 23" box in front of left speaker. AND if they sound ok there will bring them here on a "bring them back" basis if they don't work in my den.

Clearly I would love to get the planar sound in my room!

Thanks everybody. Will report back in a month or so when I get back to dealer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
462 Posts
The only way I would consider them is after an "in-home" demonstration. If your dealer wont let you take them for a listen, then they are the wrong dealer!
Ouch! To be fair to dealer I did not have much conversation with dealer.

will try my experiment- listen to them with a 23" box in front of left speaker. AND if they sound ok there will bring them here on a "bring them back" basis if they don't work in my den.

Clearly I would love to get the planar sound in my room!
I honestly would not even try it. Even if it sounds "OKAY" you are still missing out on all the potential. A pair of bookshelves would be way better for you. I see the 23" box test as a small problem, the real problem is that your speakers will not (can not) be 3 feet away from the side wall. But of course you can do what you want. I just hate going to someone's home and seeing there highend speaker in the corner playing away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
I'm gonna jump on the bandwagon here and say there are probably better options. Having line-of-sight from MLP to all speakers is more important to a good sounding room than having a speaker you really liked in a demo. Also, the electrostatics share a lot of principals with open-baffle designs, and there isn't any way around having some appreciable distance to the nearest hard boundary.

If you like the planar sound, (and you're absolutely right to prefer it and seek it out) there are options that might work a lot better in the space you have. I'd see if you can track down a small-format box, bookshelf size-ish, that has a ribbon tweeter or an AMT and audition those. Even if they don't sound as good to your ears as the ML's did in the demo room, they might just blow them out of the water in your space given all of the factors you have to deal with.

The funny part is that a forum of home theater nerds is trying to talk one of its own OUT of buying new speakers... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
After multiple responses on this site and one other- the 100% consensus is without line of sight of whole speaker from MLP, full height ML dipole electrostatics will not work in my room. Also with centered Stewart screen cannot get MLs far enough away from side walls. I am calling it a day, NOPE!.

Has anyone had experience with stand mount dipoles? Below is an attached photo of Eminent Technology's stand mounted LFT-16A, the little brother to the highly regarded full height LFT-8b.

Does anyone have experience with this speaker or any other stand mount dipole?

As you can tell, I am still on my mission to make dipoles work in my den.

As always thank you for any advice.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,802 Posts
After multiple responses on this site and one other- the 100% consensus is without line of sight of whole speaker from MLP, full height ML dipole electrostatics will not work in my room. Also with centered Stewart screen cannot get MLs far enough away from side walls. I am calling it a day, NOPE!.

Has anyone had experience with stand mount dipoles? Below is an attached photo of Eminent Technology's stand mounted LFT-16A, the little brother to the highly regarded full height LFT-8b.

Does anyone have experience with this speaker or any other stand mount dipole?

As you can tell, I am still on my mission to make dipoles work in my den.

As always thank you for any advice.
For Dipoles to sound their best you still need to get them out into the room, if you can't then they are the wrong speakers for your situation IMO. Those are small enough to clear the couch, but I still believe they need room...at least these would be small enough for you to try out though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
For Dipoles to sound their best you still need to get them out into the room, if you can't then they are the wrong speakers for your situation IMO. Those are small enough to clear the couch, but I still believe they need room...at least these would be small enough for you to try out though.
Yup. That.

I think you'd be better served by a boxed design. There are plenty to choose from that incorporate ribbons, ring radiators, AMTs, and other non-dome tweeters that will bring the clarity you seek from the electrostatic drivers without all the complexity of placement that dipoles are saddled with.

I suppose it's theoretically possible to eat enough of the energy coming off the back of the dipole to trick it into thinking it is in a larger space than it really is... but I can't see that being cheap, aesthetically pleasing, or structurally feasible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Next week will head to dealer and have him put two ML EM ESLs on 18" or so stands (boxes?) and see how they sound. Am convinced now that left speaker cannot work behind sofa arm (all woofer frequencies below 500hz!).

Anyone here have experience with raising MLs on 18-20" risers in past? Did it work to your satisfaction? Did you have to tilt them forward to aim (slightly) down at 36" high MLP?

I realize my speakers will only be about 1 1/2 feet from side wall but right side wall has 4" GIK panel and left side window has a heavy liner drape. 4' to back wall for both.

Still on my mission to get planars into my den.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I bought the Martin Logan ESLs about two weeks ago. My situation too is less than ideal due to room size and design. I had to place the ESL panels just two feet out from the front walls. They really would sound better at three or four feet out from the wall. But they still sound very good indeed. Perhaps it is because they are part of a 7.1 system and so the other speakers "fill in" for them. In your case, you are more restricted than me and that left speaker position, near the corner and with those curtains is problematic. A good room correction system might be be able to mitigate or surmount the situation. The Denon receivers at the higher end might be able to do the trick. Anthem and Yamaha's Aventage higher end receivers might work too.
You might consider the Martin Logan 60XT's or Motion 40's in place of the ESLs. Also a good subwoofer can make a big improvement in the sound from your current setup.
Anyway, see if you can audition the ESLs in your home and then decide, if your heart really is for those speakers. Also replacing the curtains with, say, wooden Venetian blinds, would help the back reflections from the electrostatic panel not to be suffocated.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top