Electrostats


#1

I was looking at the Martin Logan Renaissance 15a panel speakers to replace my current speakers. Any feedback?


#2

Not sure what your current speakers are so that’s hard to suggest. The MLs are good but do keep in mind they’re not much on dynamics and have a very small sweet spot - though they are crystal clear.


#3

Current speakers are Definitive Technologies Mythos ST-L. Other speakers I am looking at are the Focal Sopra N3 and the Paradigm Persona 7F.

Paul, any price point or ETA on the PSA towers?


#4
Paul McGowan said

Not sure what your current speakers are so that’s hard to suggest. The MLs are good but do keep in mind they’re not much on dynamics and have a very small sweet spot - though they are crystal clear.

Any idea on about how small the sweet spot is? do these average like one listening chair or maybe as many of 3 across?

#5

Many electrostatics I have heard are good for about six inches.


#6

Wow that’s narrow! Point source verse folded ribbon tweeters? Been seeing a lot more point source these days.


#7

Am a current electrostat owner (acoustat spectra 22s).

I auditioned sanders electrostats, reputed to be possibly the most beamy of all electrostats, and I was OK in the single listening seat.

Electrostats are wonderful if you love crystal clear mid range.

If your musical tastes go beyond that you may or may not like them.

Really, the only way that you can tell whether or not you like electrostats, or any type of speaker is to go and listen.

When I heard my first electrostats (Quads) many years ago I was smitten!!

If you want to move away from the standard box type speakers to any other type (e.g. horns, ribbons, planars, full range, etc) you must listen!!

Hope that helps.

Bruce


#8

I had a pair of Spatial Audio M3. I liked them, but was not in love and sold them. Zero base in my room no matter where I placed them. I use a JL Audio CR-1 between the PSA BHK preamp and BHK 250. Subs are a new JL Audio F113v2 pair so I am not lacking bass! Awesome subs. Super fast!

I am open to any brand and style. Music I listen to is Blues, country, rock, and acoustic and live performances. No jazz, no classical. No heavy metal either.


#9

Given your musical preferences it would be worth your while to listen to some electrostats.

Please bear in mind that there are two ‘types’ of electrostats.

Full range and hybrid.

The MLs are hybrid.

It is very difficult to match a relatively slow cone to a super fast electrostatic panel.

For what it is worth I thought that Roger Sanders succeeded in his hybrid electrostat.

I recently attended the HiFi show in Melbourne and was given goose bumps by the new Halcro full range electrostat!!!

Enjoy your explorations.

Bruce


#10
darrenv1070 said

Wow that’s narrow! Point source verse folded ribbon tweeters?


Ribbon. For some reason I cannot think of the make of speakers. It is bugging me.

Keep in mind that for me, all speakers have a fairly narrow sweet spot where they sound their absolute best. I have never heard speakers with what I think of as the sweet spot which extends two seating positions wide.


#11

I love electrostats! Accuracy, neutrality, speed, huge holographic 3D stage and more.

(older) ML systems indeed suffered lack of bass integration but ML solved this quite well in later models (probably best in the Renaissance 15A with its front- and rear-firing woofers, one 500W class-D amp for each woofer, the ARC-2 circuitry and 24-bit Vojtko DSP Engine)

As a very happy ML Spire owner I would suggest to go for a listen combined with good tube gear smiley-music005_gif


#12

Darren - Paul goes into some more detail about stats in his Ask Paul today. I think the only thing he left out was sort of a more basic aspect to the dynamics problem, and that is that, unless they’re very large, you can’t get them to play very loud without breaking them. I’ve had to have my Quads fixed a couple of times due to arcing from over-excursion of the panel. And this is with subs - not trying to get more bass out of them, just midrange volume. It can sound fine at the time, as if it can handle the volume, but then the next day, they’re sitting there making funny noises because you burned a hole in the panel.

They also require as much space as you can give them - WAY out from the wall behind them (I forget whether we’re supposed to call it the front or the back wall). So - good sized, dedicated room, single-seat sweet spot, etc. - though I have heard them turned nearly straight forward in a large room, and the way the sound propagates from them is very different than dynamics, more of a wave (not to mention the opposite-polarity wave going out the back), and so I think they can fill a room coherently in a way that dynamics don’t - but that would be foregoing the amazing imaging you get when they’re dialed into the sweet spot.

Having said all that, what they do is magical, particularly with the human voice.


#13

Great advise everyone. Yes I sometimes like a bit of volume in my room. Who can resist listing to Joe Bonamassa play at elevated decibel numbers. LOL. respect-010_gif


#14

I have a local dealer who sells Focal, Martin Logan, Paradigm. PSB too. The new Spatial Audio X2 look interesting too.

Trying to hold off as long as possible, PSA is teasing us about a tower set. Not sure I can wait for those tho. I assume those are a year or more away?


#15
darrenv1070 said

Current speakers are Definitive Technologies Mythos ST-L. Other speakers I am looking at are the Focal Sopra N3 and the Paradigm Persona 7F.

Paul, any price point or ETA on the PSA towers?


No, not yet. We’re a long way off from a product.

#16

Paul, do you have any speaker recommendations? I listen to blues, country, rock, live music.

Current equipment PSA BHK 250 and BHK preamp, 2 P5 units, DSD Dac with bridge 2. Modded Mac Mini, Roon and external power supply.

Current room is 22" X 20 with 7-8" ceiling, full carpet. Slope ceiling to side walls. So 14’ wide at 8’ then slope of ceiling to side walls that are 4" tall. Room over 3 car garage.


#17

Wow, that’s a tough one since I am pretty picky on speakers. It’s one of the reasons we’re moving forward on our own in the spirit of Arnie’s work at Infinity and Genesis. Few speakers have the midbass right - even fewer dynamics and tonal balance correct, and fewer still the bass.

You might look at Von Schweikerts. They have been pretty good.

We’re likely less than a year but then…


#18
darrenv1070 said

Yes I sometimes like a bit of volume in my room. Who can resist listing to Joe Bonamassa play at elevated decibel numbers. LOL.


#MeToo…no problem to blast the Spires to107_gif levels without any damage done to the planars (and my ears blush_gif)

#19

Vandersteen speakers also come to mind.


#20

Hey darrenv1070,

We relocated to Colorado from UpState NY, a scant 24 miles south of New Hartford where Joe B grew up. Caught his show at RedRocks this past August. Awesome!

I am (for the better part) a happy owner of M-L Summit X’s. I’ve been a planar geek for most of my audiophile career (Magnepan IIa’s, Tympani 1-D’s,Tympani IV-A’s, before going the hybrid electrostat route with M-L ReQuests and Odyssey’s before the Summit X’s. I agonized over the Summit X purchase as these were the “last” speakers I would be buying going into retirement. (wink, wink). My NY location put me within an easy drive to Overture in Delaware, and I was able to audition the Maggie 3.7’s, 20.7s. M-L Summits and CLS, along with B&W 802D’s and some of the more “affordable” Focal offerings.

The midrange and upper end clarity of the Summit’s won out. Sweet spot is guilty as charged, but I’m mostly a solo listener, so no big deal. I would have had to spend multiples of what the Summit X’s cost to significantly better their performance with a multiway dynamic driver system. For me, the hybrid electrostats offer the best performance for value, if you are willing to compromise a bit on bass.

IMHO, the Summits are bettered by the Sanders electrostats, and especially with respect to their implementation of transmission line bass, but the sweet spot of those panels is even tighter than the Logans. At the recent RMAF, I made it a point to visit every room where M-L had a set of speakers set up. The big room with the Neoliths was insane, of course, but the Renaissance 15a’s were a standout and maybe the best value in their entire line. I was smitten.

I agree with Paul regarding the Von Schweikerts, but I also heard the Vaughn Signatures that feature plasma tweets, and they were stunning (https://www.vaughnloudspeakers.com/products). Great dynamics, extended, clear mids and highs, and at a cost similar to the Ren 15a’s. One of the best sounding rigs at the show.

Have fun!