My First MartinLogan Experience

Few hi-fi brands seem to have the omnipresence in the consumer electric goods market as MartinLogan, likely because of their affordable prices and non-invasive aesthetics. Yet, I’ve never gotten a chance to hear them, only see them inside a Best Buy. I found a Grateful Dead Dick’s Picks from 5/22/77 in Pembroke Pines, Florida in their stack of CDs.

At first I was struck by the absolute there-ness of the sound: Jerry’s guitar and vocals and the rhythmic swings of the band on “Terrapin Station” were incredibly present and cast upon a huge soundstage through the MartinLogan CLX Art Reserve ESL Series ($25,495/pair) and amplification provided by Krell. Yet, I was confused by the lack of focus within in the actual soundstage: as if the sound was everywhere but instruments could not be located geographically within the mix. I feel this may have something to do with the rear dispersion properties of electrostatics, which I do not completely understand yet.

Hearing the Grateful Dead, a MartinLogan rep chimed in, “I was at that show! Those were my Orange Sunshine days!” We continued to bask in the wide and live glow of the Dead's slow-swinging jams.

Also on display was a new subwoofer from MartinLogan, the Balanced Force 210.