Part-Time Audiophile

AXPONA 2012: Martin Logan, Krell, Transparent, The Tape Project

The Martin Logan demo at AXPONA was new for me on several fronts.

  1. I’d never heard Martin Logan’s CLX panels before.
  2. I’d never heard 7 subwoofers in a single system before.
  3. I’ve never stumbled out of a demo before, surprised to have survived.

Let’s do the numbers:

The sound of the CLX is, in many important ways, exactly like the sound of every ESL that Martin Logan makes. Blisteringly fast transients. Insanely transparent sound. Mid range clarity and warmth that was to die for. An admittedly lean mid bass. And with those seven subs? Bass that will crush your internal organs from 3 floors away. It was as if the Iron Giant had just stomped us all flat. Talk about control and SLAM!

holyshit

I was whimpering a little bit. I’ll admit it. I have never heard bass like this before. EVER. A couple of thoughts:

In general, I think that Martin Logan is probably not my go-to for surround sound music. The lateral dispersion just wasn’t there, which meant that the sweet spots were rather few in number, and if you were out of line, you were out of luck. That said, image lock was not a problem for those in the sweet seats. I’ve never heard such precision in a sound stage. EVER. But … as with the AIX Records demo, images themselves weren’t always proportionate, especially when we went to sound in the surround. Of course, as with the AIX Records demo, I couldn’t have cared less! This was seriously cool! Pink Floyd DSOTM? Woohoo! Bring it!

But my favorite part of the demo were the stunning — and I’m not using the word lightly — stereo recordings from The Tape Project. The one-off-master of Bill Evans may well have been the best reproduction I’ve ever heard, anywhere, of anything. It was breathtaking.

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