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Martin Logan Panel Speakers Extraordinare

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Old 10-27-2016, 11:38 PM
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Default Demo'd Neoliths tonight

After reading about the Neolith's I was excited to see them in person at the Magnolia Design Center in Houston. These things do look impressive ... even more so than I had imagined. They were being fed by a pair of MC1.2KW Macs with the new C1100 preamp. I did some casual listening with the cd's they had there with the 550 CD player also from Mac. What I heard was equally surprising as how they looked ... only in the not so good direction! First, I think the room had some issues and was nowhere near large enough with the speakers 3 feet from the front wall and as usual all the other walls were jammed with speakers.

First the good ... they had a very solid image with good separation between instruments and voices and there were very distinct layers in the presentation. Image height at times was very good. Also, even though the efficiency rating isn't as high as their hybrids, the big Mac's had no issue driving them louder than I wanted to hear.

Then the average ... I thought the bass was ok but didn't have the reach of the Wilson Alexx or even the Alexia. It was very tight and clean bass and not muddy in any way and I never once found myself noticing woofers being mated to the panel .. that was seamless.

Now the bad ... I've never heard a Martin Logan speaker with less depth or presence. After 5 min of listening I had listening fatigue and wasn't driving them all that hard. The thought I kept having was that there was just way too much high frequency energy in the room. I thought the c1100 pre might have warmed things up a bit but the overall presentation was bright and edgy and not emotionally involving at all.

I have to believe that the combo of too small a room, less than optimal setup, and overall room acoustics had to be causing most of the issues I was hearing. Heck, my system is not in the same league as this one but to my ears sounds worlds better. Hopefully at Axpona next year the Neoliths will be there and sounding the way I sure hope they can.

George
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Old 10-28-2016, 10:11 PM
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Was any this broken in ect?
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Old 10-29-2016, 12:21 AM
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The team at the store told me the speakers and the amplifiers had been there for about 6 months and had been played everyday so I'd have to assume that at least the amplifiers and the speakers were broken in. I'm really wondering if the C1100 had been properly run in yet with that being a newer release they weren't really sure how long it had been there. I remember(vaguely at this point) my old Counterpoint SA-5000 sounding rather bright and edgy until it had several hundred hours actually playing music through it ... wonder if anyone else can speak to what a new out of the box C1100 sounds like?
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:31 AM
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I couldn't imagine a demo at any magnolia qualifies as a real demo... every room I've been in at any of the magnolia's I've been to sucks - in addition, the vast majority of personal there are far from experts. Simply having access to good equipment is only a small part of making good sound.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trponhunter View Post
I couldn't imagine a demo at any magnolia qualifies as a real demo... every room I've been in at any of the magnolia's I've been to sucks - in addition, the vast majority of personal there are far from experts. Simply having access to good equipment is only a small part of making good sound.

+1. Same experience at my Magnolia inside a Best Buy. Room sounds horrible. BW 802D3, MC601s, C52, MCD550 sounds very very average (being polite). It's the set up, room, power etc.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:47 AM
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Yes. Think McIntosh, et al, are doing themselves a disservice by using Magnolia. My one experience in ours was so ridiculous in the set-up and presentation (to say nothing of lack of knowledge on the part of the sales force) that I've not returned in the years since.
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:32 PM
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Ditto to what Glenn has said, a lot of us have voiced this opinion over on the ML forum as well.

Trust me, when done right, as in Overture's demo in Delaware, those puppies do 'sing' !
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Old 11-04-2016, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly YB-2 View Post
Yes. Think McIntosh, et al, are doing themselves a disservice by using Magnolia. My one experience in ours was so ridiculous in the set-up and presentation (to say nothing of lack of knowledge on the part of the sales force) that I've not returned in the years since.
I'm surprised to hear that BestBuy would be displaying an $80,000 speaker. Seems out of their league.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:01 AM
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Have to agree on Magnolia's room. I love my sales guy tho. Super nice and has really given me some fantastic customer service and deals. But their rooms are awful. Its almost as if you are buying their nice gear hoping it will sound better at your home.

They had some 75K Sonus Fabers out but not the Neoliths at the Dallas Park Lane store.
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:52 AM
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I definitely agree with you on both counts...the guys I deal with are very nice and provide great customer service but the rooms don't do the equipment any favors for sure. I've heard(not confirmed) they pulled the Neoliths out of the store in Houston because they just didn't work there.
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