I never knew why Martin Logan was synonymous with "High-End" until now. I am a firm believer that the most important speaker above all is your Center. Responsible for 70 to 80 percent of a movie's soundtrack whatever you do don't skimp when it comes to picking out one. You are 100% guaranteed the best results possible if you select ML's Stage X. Also very important is having a good one-two punch which is where free standing fronts come into play. A great match with the Stage X is ML's Theos speakers. Together my soundtracks have exploded off the screen. We began testing The Avengers. Action seems much more lively when you have great sound. The voices were amazing. I was happy before with them and my other speakers but now I am ecstatic! So what makes the Martin Logans so impressive?
XStat Transducers. Their unique electrostatic panels increase the sound producing areas. This translates to higher efficiency and an effortless, unlimited dynamic presentation. The Stage X has an innovative Folded Motion Tweeter embedded directly behind the XStat electrostatic panel. This increases mid-range/high-frequency phase coherence while offering superior dispersion characteristics. This creates clear, dynamic and precise sound. The Stage X also has two 6.5 inch aluminum-cone woofers. The Theos are descendents from ML's flagship loudspeakers. Besides XStat they also feature Precision Built Vojtko Filtering technology (as does the Stage X) which gives vanishingly distortion and seamless driver integration with crossover topology. They also feature passive aluminum-cone 8 inch woofers and ultra low down-firing bass ports which do detailed bass at 43Hz. Their panels have ML's distinct 30-degree curve (pic below) which helps achieve an impressive dispersion pattern. They both feature CLS (Curvilinear Line Source) electrostatic panels. These speakers are very sharp looking. The panels are transparent which give a cool effect. The Stage X can be wall mounted (included hardware) or kept on its stand and tilted up (demonstration pic below) so it is aimed more at your ears. Unlike other speakers which were always positioned towards the feet of the front row even though I had it mounted right beneath my screen. The ML manual suggests for optimal performance to use Spade Connectors (Large). I have always used Banana Plugs but decided to give their suggestion a try. Also note that each speaker needs to plug in so make sure you either have wall outlets close by or extension cords.
There are Centers and then there ARE CENTERS! The Stage X is definitely a luxury speaker which teaches you the differences between hearing AND HEARING! The Theos are a great compliment. Not to be upstaged they bring their own immersive impact to the performance. Both elegant and refined the Theos and the Stage X produce breathtaking results. I look forward to enjoying them for years to come. If you are looking for "High-End" sound the search is over.
The curved panels allow the sound to be spread out instead of traditional speakers where they are a straight rectangular shape and sent out in one direction.
Notice the articulate details. They look just as good as they sound.
I am using a Parasound A51 AMP and a Marantz AV8801 pre-pro (Reviewed here). I waited until I hit around the 100 hour mark before I began my Review. I let Audyssey MultEQ XT32 do all the calibration with the mic (pic below) that came with the 8801. The past 6 months the sound in my theater has went from good to great! From doing Aura Pro Bass Shakers (Reviewed here) and now adding these MLs there really is not much room for improvement. I played War of the Worlds which is twice as intense with these speakers. Talk about being drawn in! Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Law Abiding Citizen, Varisty Blues, The Hobbit, Parental Guidance, Battleship, Straw Dogs, This is 40, The Dark Knight Rises, Paleface and Son of Paleface, Fancy Pants, The Possession, Battle L.A., Killing Them Softly, Lincoln, Wreck It Ralph 3D,Top Gun 3D and Jurassic Park 3D all had perfect voice clarity with distinct front sound placement. There are instances of explicit detail that can be heard that weren't heard before. I have been going through a lot of my Blu ray collection as well as the DirecTV demos I have recorded. I have that "pinch me I must be dreaming" sensation. I have had family and guests over and each of them agree immediately. Some I didn't even tell them and they asked what did you do? I have had to turn down the sound some since these MLs are very powerful. I was used to being in the upper 70s now I have to remain about 70! More power with an airy imaging depth completes the perfect soundstage!
Doing the Audyssey calibration is very easy. The mic stand can be purchased on Amazon and or a Walmart for a very cheap price. For optimal results utilize one...
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S THEOS
Frequency Response 43–23,000 Hz ± 3dB
Sensitivity 90 dB/2.83 volts/meter
Impedance 4 Ohms, 0.8 @ 20 kHz. Compatible with
4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.
Crossover Frequency 425 Hz
High/Mid Frequency Driver 44” x 9.2” (111.8 x 23.4 cm) CLS XStat
electrostatic (405 in2/2,616 cm2)
Low Frequency Driver 8” (20.3 cm) aluminum cone
Recommended Amplifier Power 20–400 watts per channel
Weight 43 lbs. (19.5 kg) per channel
Dimensions (HxWxD) 59.3” x 10.7” x 18.8” (150.7 x 27.3 x 47.8 cm)
S P E C I F I C A T I O N S STAGE X
69–22,000 Hz ± 3db
High Frequency Transducer
1” x 1.4” (2.6cm x 3.6cm) Folded Motion
Transducer with 5.25” x 1.75”
(13.3cm x 4.4cm) diaphragm.
Mid Frequency Transducer
Patented CLS™ XStat™ electrostatic transducer
» Panel Dimensions
7.5” x 18” (19.1 x 45.7cm)
» Radiating Area
135 in2 (873 cm2)
Low Frequency Transducer
Two 6.5” (16.5 cm) cast basket, aluminum cone
with extended throw driver assembly, non-resonant
asymmetrical chamber format
90 dB/2.83 volts/meter
4 Ohms. Compatible with 4, 6 or 8 Ohm rated amps
Recommended Amplifier Power
20-500 watts per channel
450, 2700 Hz
Custom-wound toroidal audio transformer, air core
coils, polypropylene capacitors
Custom 5-way binding posts
39 lbs. (17.7 kg)
Dimensions (w/o mounting bracket/stand)
9” x 34.6” x 10.3”
(22.7cm x 87.9cm x 26.1cm)
Dimensions (with mounting bracket/stand
12” x 34.6” x 10.3”
(30.4cm x 87.9cm x 26.1cm)
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Special thanks (as usual) goes to my lovely wife, Jaclyn. It's good to have her full support. Doing Reviews can be and is time consuming. Happy Wife, Happy Life, equals Happy Home Theater!!!
To listen to MartinLogans in person stop in at Audio Video Interiors of Chicago. 1S 550 IL Route 83 Unit C
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(across from Oakbrook Mall on Hodges)
Equipment used for some or all of this Review in the "lab" are:
SONY VPL-VW1000ES 4K PROJECTOR
MARANTZ AV8801 Pre-Pro
OPPO BDP-103 Blu ray, Simplay Labs DVDO DUO VP, OnkyoTX-NR 5010 Receiver/ Pre-Pro, DARBLET, DirecTV Genie, Xbox 360, PS3, Monster Power HTS 5100, Sony BDP S790 4K (upscaling) Blu ray, Panasonic BDT 500 3D Blu ray player, MonsterVision 3D glasses, Sony 3D glasses, Parasound HALO A51 AMP, Parasound HALO A52 AMP, Antec Component Coolers, Vutec SilverStar 120.5" screen with a Carada Masquerade Masking System. Speakers MARTIN LOGAN STAGE X Center, THEOS (Left and Right), Pinnacle Speakers- Heights BD500 OWs, Surrounds BG Radia IC-201s ,Pinnacle KLCR for surround back. Subwoofers- BG Woofer SW-210 & Pinnacle CS88 Corner Sub, Dayton APA150 Sub AMP, 8 Aura Pro Bass Shakers, 8 Seatcraft Venetian Home Theater Chairs, Remotes: Harmony 1100. Monster M1000 Ultimate HDMI cables top to bottom. And two Monster 35 foot HDX Hyperspeed HDMI cables.
For a complete list of specs and more info on MartinLogan click below and visit their site.
Theos come in 3 different designs. Black Ash, Dark Cherry and Zebra Wood.
Tell him JoeRod sent you!
Call Noah at (630) 607 0054
Special thanks again to the guys at Audio Video Interiors of Chicago for letting me use their showroom to do my Sony VPL VW-HW50ES Review which is here and for demonstrating the MLs. They are good, honest people who sell with integrity and a smile.