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MartinLogan Motion 4 Home Audio Speaker Single
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

4 out of 5 eggs A pleasant surprise 07/24/2011

This review is from: MartinLogan Motion 4 Home Audio Speaker Single

Pros: (purchased on 7/16/11)

I’ve been looking to upgrade the speakers in my humble 2.1-channel bedroom setup for several months. The receiver is an Onkyo CS-325 paired with two Yamaha NS-333 bookshelves and a Polk PSW-series sub. During my research, I considered products by Ascend Acoustics (I nearly settled on the CBM-170 SE), B&W, Def Tech, Energy, Klipsch, Paradigm, and others. Budget restraints keep me at or less than $500/pr. Since I recently purchased the excellent MartinLogan MLT-2 system from Newegg (check out my mini review there!), I gave ML another look for my 2-channel setup. I’ve wanted to try out the ML Motion bookshelves for a while, and the Egg’s sale prices (and free shipping) gave me the incentive I needed. I chose the Motion 4 over the 2 for the lower bass extension and higher sensitivity (the Folded Cascading Bass port also intrigued me). This bedroom system is 100% music and I figured the Motion 4 would provide more body and realism than the Motion 2.

continued be

Cons: Some quick background on me: I LOVE music. Although I don’t classify myself as a true audiophile (money is tied up elsewhere in living expenses), I strive consistently for the most accurate and neutral sound. I’ve done live audio for nearly a decade and spend my free time listening to music. While I’ve heard electrostats, the Motion 4 is my first AMT-type speaker. I am used to traditional cones, domes, piezos, and horns. I was anxious to try out the Motion 4s knowing that the legendary Heil transducers are highly regarded. The speakers arrived in perfect condition (two boxes, since they are not sold in pairs). Setup was a breeze and the push-type terminals are kind of neat for bare wire connections; it’s much quicker than screwing in binding posts. Mounting hardware is provided, but I chose to use my Auralex MoPADs instead. Break in requires ~72 hours @ 90 dB per ML manual (pg. 4). Once that was done, I ran my gamut of test material to see how the system responded.

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Other Thoughts: Immediately obvious was the forward nature of the Motion 4 and what must be characteristic of AMT tweeters: the FM tweeter provides extremely detailed and articulate delivery of high-frequency information. It simply grabbed me by the ears. Thanks to the folded bass port, low-end was surprisingly better than expected.

A sample of testing:

Josh Turner – Long Black Train: tight and detailed walking bass, full-bodied voice, clean and clear upper end.
Joe Satriani – Summer Song: the Folded Motion tweeter brought incredible energy to lead guitar and high hat. Joe was performing in my bedroom.
Sarah Brightman – What a Wonderful World: a great demo for the M4. Sarah’s voice carried incredible clarity and detail.
Imogen Heap – Canvas: simply stunning, pure bliss.

…and I’m out of space. The Motion 4s might be too “bright” and forward for some, with slightly recessed midrange presence. However, the sonic detail demands attention. I may still give the Ascends a try, but I'm keeping the

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MartinLogan MLT-2 5.1 CH Premium Home Theater Speaker System Black System
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week

5 out of 5 eggs Awesome HT system 07/14/2011

This review is from: MartinLogan MLT-2 5.1 CH Premium Home Theater Speaker System Black System

Pros: Newegg's sale prices are mind-boggling.
Superior sound.
High-end brand.
High "Wife Approval Factor."

3,000 characters is nowhere near adequate to properly review this system, so I will try to be brief.

First of all, I'm still recovering from when I literally fell out of my chair, twice. The first time, due to Newegg's rock-bottom sale prices, and again when I hooked up the system. This is, bar none, the BEST satellite/subwoofer system I've ever heard. I've auditioned most of the "big box" brands as well as some of the boutique systems. I always felt something was lacking: subwoofer was too boomy, awkward blending between sub and sats, or "lifeless" audio from the satellite speakers. The true test is to shut your eyes and "feel" the audio presentation. With the other systems, the soundtrack was never convincing. It's like when your dinner is missing salt or when your iced cappuccino is diluted from sitting too long with the ice cubes.

***review continued below in Cons***

Cons: No cons.

***review continued from above***

Full-size bookshelf or tower speakers were not an option, unfortunately, due to the "Wife Approval Factor." That stuff is fine for the Man Cave, but for the living room the HT system had better hide itself well! I had all but given up on a system when I found the MLT-2 advertised on the Egg's main page. I was already familiar with MartinLogan, so the listed price really got my attention. I did some research on the MLT-2 and found good things. It was really a no-brainer, so I pulled the trigger and ordered them. Normally, I always like to audition speakers in person (for obvious reasons), but based on the specs, brand, and price I could justify doing it blind.

The box arrived slightly beat up due to normal shipping issues, but thankfully nothing was damaged. It's not exactly lightweight at 60 lbs. Everything unpacked nicely. The quality was immediately evident.

***review continued below in Other Thoughts**

Other Thoughts: ***review continued from above***

The speakers and sub were satisfyingly heavy, but not overly so. The finish is black matte, which does not leave fingerprints.

I have the MLT-2 paired with a Denon AVR-1712 receiver and the cabinets just sing. While it's true the satellites cannot play low frequencies with authority (<120 Hz or so), they are absolutely exemplary with everything else up to 20 kHz. Very clean, clear, fuller than expected, with great imaging across the soundstage. I expected quality, but this set surpassed my expectations.

The subwoofer literally disappears, sonically. Very tight and clean low-end, considering it's ported. Plenty of punch when needed, but also quite musical. When combined with the satellites, the blending is flawless.

I demoed scenes from War of the Worlds, Tron, Inception, and plenty of lossless music. It was truly "theater quality" sound at a budget price.



tl;dr: If you're considering a sat/sub system, do yourself a favor and try th

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Cables Unlimited - Pro A/V Series 12GA Speaker Wire w/ pins (100 FEET)
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: less than 1 day

Pros: A steal at $35.
12-gauge w/pins.
100 feet.

Cons: None.

Other Thoughts: I bought two of these spools for a new HT setup. 12-gauge is great for long runs, as it helps keep the resistance (in smaller gauge wire) from impacting the speaker performance. Don't be suckered into paying hundreds for other brands. It's speaker cable. It's a conduit for moving electrons. Get this cable instead and put the money saved into better speakers.

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Jacob L.'s Profile

Display Name: Jacob L.

Date Joined: 01/30/03

  • Reviews: 24
  • Helpfulness: 11
  • First Review: 07/14/11
  • Last Review: 07/24/11
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