|MartinLogan Summit Loudspeakers|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Wednesday, 01 November 2006|
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Being a MartinLogan fan, with the Summit being the best MartinLogan (outside the ridiculously expensive and large Statement), it was hard to find much that I didn’t like about it. Alas, no speaker is perfect. The Summit requires serious amplification to get the best performance. My experience indicates that lesser power amplifiers will not be able to cleanly control this speaker. You’ll want to make sure the amplifier is stable as the Summit can dip down to .7 ohms. The fact that I used a receiver to break it in is no assurance that you can use even the most beefy receivers on a set of Summits. You need a high-current amp.
Like all dipoles, the Summits are a little picky about positioning. The bass controls help some, but positioning is critical to achieve the transparent and solid soundstage that these speakers are capable of providing. Lastly, while these are the best-looking MartinLogans to date, the cabinet work is good, but not world-class. A close look at the corners reveals seams that could have been a little cleaner. I don’t think that this effects sound quality one bit, nor are most people going to crawl around your floor to take a close look, but it was something I noticed.
The Summit is one of the finest speakers available in the high-end market. The Summit does a phenomenal job in the midrange, which is an electrostatic trait, and the panel blends extremely well with the new dynamic woofer, which has not always been the case with previous models. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the Summit is the most seamless electrostatic speaker I have heard to date.
The Summits, with a base price of $10,000 per pair (custom finishes can be more), are not cheap by any means, yet they are excellent full-range speakers that do everything they are asked to do extremely well. The Summit is a very attractive-looking speaker, much more so than its predecessors. In fact, this is one of the few speakers that have received welcoming responses from both the women and the men that have seen it. Usually, most women who see larger speakers roll their eyes and start making comments about “those cute Bose speakers” - not so when they see the Summits. The fact that the MartinLogan Summits are visually transparent yet sleek in design gets you significantly better wife acceptance for those who need this before bringing home a new pair of high-end speakers. I have had my earlier MartinLogans for many years and hadn’t thought about replacing them until the Summits came along. The Summits represent a major technological and visual step forward for MartinLogan, besting all of their previous designs in every way. And, to be completely honest, I am not even asking my wife – I am buying these speakers. MartinLogan can’t have them back.