Can't decide (b&w vs ml)

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  • 03-23-2004, 04:26 PM
    modran
    Can't decide (b&w vs ml)
    I have recently checked out the B&W 804's and MartinLogan Ascent's and I'm unable to choose which of these I should get. I listen to all kinds of music ranging from classical to metal and country to rap. Can somebody post the pros and cons for these or any kind of experiences with them?
    Thanks ahead for your answers.
  • 03-23-2004, 05:27 PM
    bturk667
    I find it hard to believe you cannot come up with the right conclusion on your own. To me they sound significantly different from one another, so making a choice should not be to hard.
    Me, I prefer the Martin Logans, but I'm not the one buying either.
  • 03-23-2004, 06:24 PM
    agtpunx40
    B&W v ML
    I've only really listened to a few models of ML, don't remember the specific ones, but they sounded quite different from the B&Ws I've heard. Both are good speakers in my opinion, but have significantly different sounds. I'm kindof surprised that your final choice came down to these two. Can you pinpoint what aspects you like and don't like about the sound of each?
  • 03-23-2004, 08:21 PM
    RGA
    ML has ALWAYS had difficulty integrating the bass driver with their panels causing an audible hick-up or pass - off between woofer and panel.

    But guess what? The B&W has the exact same pass-off problem but from midrange to tweeter. Careful system matching and room placement can fix a lot of this but not all of it. I personally think for this money you can do better.

    I realize styoling is important for a lot of people and both are certainly good but there is better sonically available that may not carry the big names or fancy advertising.

    Keep hunting and ignore names and reps and go with what sounds best.
  • 03-24-2004, 10:51 AM
    thepogue
    ML magic....
    but not for rap or heavy rock.....

    if you prefer the B&W I'd keep hunting as I've found better for less...

    if the ML turn you on then it's the best game in town IMHO (also listen to some Maggies)

    i WILL own a set of Odyssey's someday and if I have to wait long enough maybe even a set of Prodigy's!!! whooooohoooo
  • 03-24-2004, 12:18 PM
    newbsterv2
    After listening to various speaker types such as dynamic(box), ribbons, and electrostats I've come to the conclusion that all these types of speakers do certain things really well and other things not so well. In the case of the dynamic designs they can have excellent imaging and a flat frequency response but can seem analytical and the music can be more often described as "observed" rather than "felt". Ribbons and Electrostats on the other hand can put you in the crowd. While I agree that these speakers don't image well because of their high frequency dispersion they have such a natural timbre and warmth that you can't help but "feel" the music. It all comes down to this. If you want a speaker that will be more "revealing" of the recording go with the B&W's. If you want a natural presence and feel like the music is right there with you go with the ML's. I've listened to both and found I couldn't listen to the B&W for an extended period of time. The music that made me fall in love with the ML's, which I haven't broke down and bought yet, was Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". The clocks on "Time" had such a palpability with the ML's it was amazing. Good luck with your purchase :)
  • 03-24-2004, 01:27 PM
    topspeed
    Umm, what he said but reversed.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by newbsterv2
    In the case of the dynamic designs they can have excellent imaging and a flat frequency response but can seem analytical and the music can be more often described as "observed" rather than "felt". Ribbons and Electrostats on the other hand can put you in the crowd. While I agree that these speakers don't image well because of their high frequency dispersion they have such a natural timbre and warmth that you can't help but "feel" the music. It all comes down to this. If you want a speaker that will be more "revealing" of the recording go with the B&W's. If you want a natural presence and feel like the music is right there with you go with the ML's. I've listened to both and found I couldn't listen to the B&W for an extended period of time. The music that made me fall in love with the ML's, which I haven't broke down and bought yet, was Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". The clocks on "Time" had such a palpability with the ML's it was amazing. Good luck with your purchase :)

    I have the exact opposite take on dynamic vs. planar/'stats. I prefer dynamic speaker for the exact reason newbsterv2 prefers 'stats: You can feel the music. While I appreciate the speed inherent in stat's, I much prefer the impact that dynamic speakers allow. I also think that planar/'stats image very well, just as long as you are in their sweet spot. Of course the same can be said for dynamic speaks too. Oh well, you say toe-may-toe, I say toe-mah-toe.

    Back to topic,

    I too am a bit surprised you can't choose between two very different sounding speakers. I have to wonder if you have even heard these speakers or are you just going off of reviews? Truly, this is like comparing a Viper to a Ferrari 360. Both sports cars but completely different in their manner.
  • 03-24-2004, 02:01 PM
    newbsterv2
    I think our definition of "feeling" the music comes from 2 different areas within the music. The microdynamics and the macrodynamics. I listen to classical music mostly and love the way the stats and ribbons handle the acoustic instruments. If you're a rockin' and a' rollin' then you're system has to have slam. The dynamic systems seem to be hard when it comes to the transient detail. Call it colorations or whatever on the stat/ribbons but I love it!!!


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by topspeed
    I have the exact opposite take on dynamic vs. planar/'stats. I prefer dynamic speaker for the exact reason newbsterv2 prefers 'stats: You can feel the music. While I appreciate the speed inherent in stat's, I much prefer the impact that dynamic speakers allow. I also think that planar/'stats image very well, just as long as you are in their sweet spot. Of course the same can be said for dynamic speaks too. Oh well, you say toe-may-toe, I say toe-mah-toe.

    Back to topic,

    I too am a bit surprised you can't choose between two very different sounding speakers. I have to wonder if you have even heard these speakers or are you just going off of reviews? Truly, this is like comparing a Viper to a Ferrari 360. Both sports cars but completely different in their manner.

  • 03-24-2004, 08:42 PM
    modran
    No, I'm not just going off the reviews from these speakers, I just can't decide. I like the B&W the way they sounded but same thing can be said about Martin Logan. Though 804s seemed to have more punch to them - especially when listening to rock, but on the other hand Ascents seemed more full - they seemed to fill the room more fully, voice was amazing. But I wonder if all this could be adjusted with the settings on the equipment; I didn't get a chance to play with the equipment - salesperson was very touchy about me doing anything. I guess I have to check other retailers and see.
  • 03-25-2004, 12:26 AM
    newbsterv2
    Ahhh the snobby salesman. I usually make it very clear to them that they aren't the only ones in town selling hifi. Some of the best places I've been to have had extremely knowledgable and friendly staff working there. Most of your "popular" hifi places that sell the usuals like Paradigm and B&W are usually so full of themselves that you're really better off to go elsewhere. Remember. YOU have the money. THEY want your money. Make it clear that they need you and you don't need them and believe me they'll change their tune.



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by modran
    No, I'm not just going off the reviews from these speakers, I just can't decide. I like the B&W the way they sounded but same thing can be said about Martin Logan. Though 804s seemed to have more punch to them - especially when listening to rock, but on the other hand Ascents seemed more full - they seemed to fill the room more fully, voice was amazing. But I wonder if all this could be adjusted with the settings on the equipment; I didn't get a chance to play with the equipment - salesperson was very touchy about me doing anything. I guess I have to check other retailers and see.

  • 03-25-2004, 01:22 PM
    slbenz
    Different Speakers with Different Solution
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by modran
    I have recently checked out the B&W 804's and MartinLogan Ascent's and I'm unable to choose which of these I should get. I listen to all kinds of music ranging from classical to metal and country to rap. Can somebody post the pros and cons for these or any kind of experiences with them?
    Thanks ahead for your answers.

    As others have said, it is more due to what you demand out of your speakers. Having owned B&W and Martin Logan speakers, I sold my B&Ws for the Martin Logans. Since my musical demands revolve around classical and jazz, I really like the Martin Logan experience because of the finer detail and resolution that they produce over the B&Ws. For music like Rock n Roll, just add a good subwoofer to the Martin Logans and you will have all the dynamics you will ever need.
  • 03-25-2004, 09:18 PM
    RGA
    I would suggest you try Audio Note. They don't look as nice as the others here but if you want to keep the panel magic with dynamics and bass that will better the B&W's for less money then it's something you should seek out. http://www.stereotimes.com/speak071701.shtm