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Big Dog RJ

A small upgrade in speakers: the Martin Logan CLX, a true work of art!

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That is a serious bit of kit....WOW !!. They look fantastic, I can only imagine how totally involving they are. Well done young man, every right to be stoked. Wonderful !

PS , it’s just 3.37 am , I’ll bet your still listening to them 😀

Edited by Mr 57

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Yes mate, I couldn't just shut down the system, although my eyes were nearly blood red and half closed... Probably had 5 coffees in that one session starting from 10:pm to 5am...

 

I must mention a special dedicated message to my good mate Kevin from Class A Audio. The level of service is second to none! He has a personal touch with the products he offers and he knows how to put together a particular system according to your finances. He carries a full range of very high end gear at his store and offers private demos, which I think are very critical, specially if you're serious about your sound and demand the absolute SOTA. He's got the full range of electrostats from Martin Logan, including some wonderful speakers from Harbeth, they are outstanding! 

Most of the higher end series, such as the new Ren15A's or the Neoliths will have to be placed on special order but the rest of the series can be arranged for demo. Also his demo rooms are very well laid out, another huge factor in critical listening, whereas most places I've been to are quite cluttered and don't have isolated demo rooms, except for a few. His range of amplification is also top notch, Pass Labs, Accuphase, Luxman, Jeff Rowland and Mark Levinson are available at your choice. Although I would prefer to see Conrad Johnson amps and I'm very passionate about CJ, perhaps one day soon Kev may also offer CJ...

BTW  if anyone is after a carefully used pair of Martin Logan Ethos hybrid stats, mine are available at Class A Audio. Contact Kevin and he'll look after you, it's worth going out there for a special demo and just to experience what the high end has to offer. 

Cheers to all and enjoy the music! 

RJ  

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Hello Big Dog RJ,

I have had a pair of CLX Art speakers in Dark Cherry for about five years now.  I am driving them with a pair of Ayon Audio Orthos XS monoblocks, 400 watts of Class A power and they sound fantastic.

I actually supplement the bass with a pair of JL Audio Gothams and it improves the system immensely.  Don't know what cables you are using but I just replaced all of mine with the ones that Mike Lenehan makes and it was a great improvement, a lot quieter, better focussed and separation of instruments and better spatial information.

I am using the Clearaudio Master Reference TT with a motor that I got from Mark Doehmann, Graham Phantom Supreme with Koetsu Urushi Wajima Cart with platinum magnet upgrade, my phono stage is the Coincident and the preamp is an Allnic Audio L3000.  The Allnic has a balanced and single ended output so I send the balanced signal to the Ayons and the single ended to the subs.

Overall I am extremely satisfied with my current system which is the best I have ever heard it.  If anyone is interested I can post some pictures.

Graz is currently building me a redesigned pair of Apogee Divas so when I get them I will report how they compare with the CLX's.  I don't have my CLX's toed in as much as yours appear to be and this puts the soundstage beyond the speakers and still maintains the central image, you may want to experiment a little with this as it can make a huge difference.  I also took a lot of time to ensure the crossover cover is exactly level as this also improves the sound.

Regards,

Haztone.

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G'day Haztone, 

 

It certainly is wonderful to hear from another passionate CLX owner, who has carefully set up their stats.

 

Yes, I totally understand and agree on the use of subs, however for my listening tastes and genre in music, I didn't find the use of a sub that necessary. I've also listened to the CLX's driven by top of the line CJ ART300's full range, they certainly performed at their best, and the bass was more than adequate. Lightening fast and very agile. Captured all the low notes on well recorded material, in the most natural way possible, without the artificial enhancements. 

 

Over the many times I've experienced & auditioned these, also having owned them now for nearly a year, I realised a lot of low level detail and fine balance comes from great recordings. As you are aware, the CLX's will capture and deliver every minute detail on the recording. If the recording is not that good and lacks certain bass lines, you will hear it! On a more positive note, if the recording is of high quality and spectacular, the CLX's will deliver exactly that! I also felt that so far, according to the sheer speed of the new X'stat panel, there really is no sub that can match it's speed. Hence, if you listen closely to the CLX's with subs, you can actually hear the sub operating in its own space. This is as if you're listening to two separate speaker systems...

 

Perhaps the cross-over points needed to be fined tuned, along with the help of DSP and other room correction gear but for some reason I still prefer the CLX's driven full range. I've also heard the mighty Neoliths, and although I really enjoyed the audition, overall my preference was a full range stat.

There's another chap in Costa Rica who is also using similar amplification to mine but partners his CLX's with the Martin Logan matching sub, which is supposed to be the most seamless blend between stat to LF driver. However, I've heard this similar config in another location and didn't quite find it matched the stat panels virtues. So I guess I'm still a bit hesitant although someday I may try it out, we'll see how it goes. 

 

Regarding the Apogee Diva's, those are outstanding! I had these very same ribbon panels back in Colombo, driven by two sets of high powered monoblocks, CJ Premier 8's and Manley 350's. Both amps were superb driving the Divas, although for pure musicality I preferred CJ. It's been my personal choice ever since, although I've used many other tube designs along the way with stats, and other types of panel speakers. 

 

The amplification and other gear you have are truly top notch! The Allnic is SOTA, and especially in preamplification, that's about the best it gets. I'm totally with you in this regard, and can imagine what a superb SOTA presentation you would be getting with your current line up of carefully selected components.

 

As for me, I still have a few more hurdles to go through... New house on the way, daughters higher ed, etc... hence all finances are going towards that. Plus the pic you would've come across is our present place, which I refer to as the "shoe box ". It's no where ideal for CLX's, let alone the big Quad stats that I previously. These big stats need room to breathe and unleash their full potential, so I have critically positioned the CLX's to present a pretty good soundstage, along with good depth but this is only around 70% of what they can do, as you are well aware of. 

 

This is also another reason why I have them angled in a fair bit, as the listening position is just 9-10ft away the most. That's about all I could squeeze in the shoe box, along the lines of being tolerated by the wifey in this madness, otherwise I'll be in the dog house for sure!

 

Do your Ayons use the KT150's?

Or are these solid state amps? I'm not too familiar with the Ayon line up, other than a handful of amps I've auditioned before at Con D's dealership and Kevin's, which was an Ayon integrated using KT150's.

 

Would love to hear your system one day, must make it a point to meet. I'm sure I can learn a whole lot more and obtain a further improvement from the CLX's.

Glad you touched base, and trust you're enjoying your music!

 

Very nice Haztone, that's some serious SOTA gear. Those CLX's will be performing at their finest!

Cheers, RJ

 

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G'day Haztone, 

I just happened to come across the specs on those magnificent Ayons, that should be plenty of adequate current to grip the CLX's impedence curve, no issues whatsoever!

 

CJ took a while to perfect the circuit for the KT150's, in the time being they optimised on the usage of the KT120 tubes that I'm currently using. It seems like they're not offering monoblocks any more, other than just one pair of limited edition ART300's. These amps only use 4 KT150's per side, along with a few 6922's as the single voltage gain stage, direct coupled to the driver / phase inverter stages and then onto the output stage, having just two pairs of KT150's per side operating in ultra-linear mode. The power supplies are rock solid as is the case with all of CJ's designs, and these things put out in excess of 300w per ch. However, on terms of driving CLX's it's not the power output that matters, it's the current and stable power supplies that matter most, as you know.

 

BTW, I'm using all Nordost Heimdall 2 interconnects including all power cords. The speaker cables are Nordost Frey 2. 

That's about it. 

Cheers, RJ 

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17 hours ago, Haztone said:

I also took a lot of time to ensure the crossover cover is exactly level as this also improves the sound.

This comment caught my eye. Is this because the crossover cover is in the reflective sound path of the back wave from the panels or for some other reason?

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No, because I read a review which stressed the importance of the crossover covers being level.  It gets the panel tilt angle correct and is the only sure way of getting sound from both speakers at the listening seat correctly time aligned. That is if the speakers are the same distance from the front wall and equidistant from the listening seat.

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G,day to you too big dog.

Tha Ayons are magnificent amps. One of the best I have heard. I had the Martin Logan Descent i subs which are optimised for the CLX's but the Gothams are the next level. They should be for 5 times the price. I listen to alot of rock music so I like to have a fair bit of bass. The Gothams are fast and tuneful as well as being flat to 20Hz. They also have good room correction. I bought a Minus K platform for my turntable and was fortunate to have Mark Doehmann of Continuum fame offer to come and set up my TT and the Minus K. His comment was that you would have to spend serious money to get better than the Ayons. For me the Ayons were serious money and I am very happy with them and anyway can really never afford to trade them. I will post some pictures over the weekend. I will also post when Graz finishes my reimagined Divas. They are a whole new design based on the Diva but with far superior construction methods. Graz is a perfectionist. He has incorporated Jarrah timber into the design at my request and I am hoping they will be finished in the next few months. All the best with your CLX's they are a fantastic speaker but like all audiophiles I am stuck on a continuous upgrade path as I can afford better stuff. Yes if you are ever in Mackay I would love to meet.

Regards,

Haztone

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Yes, understood Haztone, in reference to rock music and perhaps a full scale orchestra, the use of subs will definitely augment the bass in a very positive way with the CLX's, no doubt.

 

It's certainly good to be on the upgrade path, provided it's fully justified. To me it has to have at least a percentage factor of 40-45% in improvement, that's my benchmark or it wouldn't feel right, regardless of price. Believe me, I've heard some fancy priced gear that just doesn't deliver, for whatever reasons...

At the end of the day, as long as you're truly satisfied with the outcome, that's what I term "good enough".

 

A few known audiophile mates on WBF have gone through Graz's expertise in Apogee refurbishments, and they're truly amazed at the superior quality he offers. Compared to the original Apogee's, these restored ones are top notch! The build quality and fine workmanship is far superior to commercially available panels, and I think by using the existing frame or certain available parts, Graz is able to keep costs within limits...

There's another chap in Amsterdam named Henk, a total Apogee guru only dedicated to Apogee Divas and the Full Range model. I also just learned recently that he restores Duettas and a few other versions. 

 

I've always wondered why Graz doesn't produce a full Apogee range and re-introduced  that awesome Apogee sound... Only to learn the last time we actually spoke, he clearly mentioned that he does not have the resources to do so, and really didn't want to go into a production model, far too many factors to consider in such a niche market...

 

I think Graz just prefers to use much higher quality parts throughout and provide the best restored Apogee's money can restore! 

May I also add, once restored by Graz, oh my goodness do they sound superb!

 

The only drawback is you have to either own or find a used pair of Apogee's. To me the Apogee's will always be the reference in SOTA ribbon panel design. It's a crying shame they're no longer in production but at least there's a dedicated chap named Graz who lives in QLD restoring older models to surpass every other ribbon technology that comes out even today. 

 

It's funny talking about Apogee's, these are the Divas that I once owned, eventually sold off after nearly 20 years of ownership, been through numerous other panels, Quads, Maggies and now CLX's... But whenever I hear the word Apogee, that's a "statement" and the Divas for that matter are of legendary status. 

 

Perhaps one day I will make it a point to visit you when you get the Divas up and running, it will bring back so many memories, I might just cry... 😢 tears of joy!

 

I'm sure Graz will do a marvellous job, and these ribbons will deliver all and everything you're after. Simply outstanding! Nice one Haztone. 

Cheers and all the best, we'll be in touch. RJ

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