MartinLogan Aerius loudspeaker Sam Tellig on the Aerius

Sidebar 4: Sam Tellig on the Aerius i
(From July 1997, Vo.20 No.7)

"Can we have these?"

Such was my wife Marina's reaction to the MartinLogan Aerius i loudspeakers as soon as I'd set them up in the living room. I had to agree: they do look elegant, especially with black side panels—almost like Japanese screens. The speakers stand nearly 5' high (55½"), and 10½" wide by 12½" deep. Small footprint.

"Of course," Marina hastened to add, "that's if you think the speakers sound good."

"What do you think?"

"I think they sound as good as they look."

No question about it. MartinLogan speakers appeal powerfully to the Russian soul—as witnessed by the fact that so many are now sold in the Motherland.

That night, Slava and Elena visited for dinner.

"Vat do zhees speakers cost?" Slava inquired in his thick Muscovite accent.

"Roughly two thousand a pair."

I played the Shostakovich Symphony 5 with Slava Rostropovich conducting the National Symphony Orchestra (Teldec 112226).

"Verrry gud. Vere do I buy zhees speakers?"

Slava doesn't act quite so quickly, and Elena is not sure where to place the speakers in their living room, but I think they'll buy a pair. So might Lev and Sopha, and Mark and Natasha. And perhaps even Radislav, Marina's ex-husband.

On changing wives
"I had a drrream," Marina said to me the other morning.

"So what else is new?"

"Radislav came over to veezit and saw your seestem. He said to you, 'I must have zhees speakers. I will geeve you whatever you want.' "

"I already have his former wife," I said.

Marina ignored my comment. "He vould die if he saw and heard those MartinLogan speakers. He is leestening to a mini-seestem. Radislav always has to have the best."

"Not any more. He's got a new wife now: Myshka." (Myshka means little mouse.)

I paused.

"Changing wives is like changing interconnects or speaker cables. You don't necessarily upgrade."

"Vhat's that supposed to mean?"

Marina was now wide awake. I was feverishly recording the conversation—and the dream.

"You're not going to put this stuff in your column—are you?

I laughed my evil laugh.

"Radislav reads Stereophile!" Marina cried in panic. "Plochoi!" Bad boy!

I told Gayle Sanders of MartinLogan about Marina's reaction to the Aerius i...and Radislav's, too.

"We're selling a lot of speakers in Russia," Gayle told me.

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