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MartinLogan Aeon Loudspeakers Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 February 2003
Article Index
MartinLogan Aeon Loudspeakers
Page 2
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The Downside
So far, all I’ve done is rave about these speakers. You may be asking yourself if they have any weaknesses. The answer is, yes, of course they do, as do all loudspeakers. The first downside is both a strength and weakness. One of the great things about these speakers is their ability to reproduce every nuance and detail of a recording. This ability can also be a weakness. These speakers are ruthlessly revealing, so when you listen to something that was very well recorded, there’s nothing like them. When you listen to a poorly recorded CD, your music can sound shrill, twangy or even downright obnoxious. You’ll also have to be very careful when choosing associated electronics. I recommend that you fork out a few hundred (or thousand) dollars and choose an excellent power amp and AV preamp combination that will complement the potentially forward sound of the Aeons, as well as tolerate their four-ohm impedance load.

The Aeons require AC power, which means they’ll have to either be placed relatively near an AC outlet or use extension cords. Since the back of the Aeon’s panel produces as much sound as the front of the panel, care should be taken when considering speaker placement to determine optimum performance. These speakers should not be shoved in a corner or up against a wall, or the quality of sound will be adversely affected.

The narrow off-axis response of the Aeons can create a very tight sweet spot, which can be a problem when considering speaker placement. I found the Aeons to be very coherent speakers for top to bottom frequencies, with tight, accurate bass response, but I also thought they lacked the authoritative bass response of some comparably-priced speakers.

As you’ve obviously concluded by now, electrostatic speakers have grown on me over the years. I’ve gone from being merely intrigued to downright passionate. MartinLogan has a reputation for building the world’s most popular electrostatic speakers and I can see why. The Aeon is an excellent product and I found its unique appearance, quality fit and finish very appealing. Whether I listened to John Lee Hooker, the Dave Matthews Band or watched the latest epic, the huge, open soundstage and detailed, lifelike sound of the Aeons was intoxicating. The Aeons may lack some ultimate bass slam and always require careful setup, but, in my opinion, their strengths far outweigh their weaknesses. Once you’ve had the chance to audition them, they could be very difficult to live without. The Aeons aren’t perfect and are not suitable for every application, but for me, there’s no other speaker in their price range that I would rather own. I believe I could listen to the Aeons for eons.

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