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MartinLogan Ethos Loudspeakers Review Print E-mail
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Article Index
MartinLogan Ethos Loudspeakers Review
Set Up
Listening Part One
Listening Part Two


With its name firmly established as one of the true elite speaker manufacturers, MartinLogan really has nothing to prove. That being said, they continue to push the envelope and pour significant resources into research and development to improve their products.  They have expanded their product line beyond electrostats, and offer products at all price points.  But their core business clearly remains their reference level ESLs.

The Ethos, at $6795, is a truly great speaker, and only a company with the economies of scale of MartinLogan could make a speaker this good at this price. I have heard other speakers offer up more micro detail, but none of those can match the Ethos in purity of the midrange, texture, and insight into the overall performance. The Ethos excelled in providing cues to performer spacing and superb dynamics. Very few other designs can compete with the coherence and transient speed of ESLs.  

MartinLogan Ethos Loudspeakers

However, like all in high-end audio, there are things to consider. First, the Ethos probably won’t work with low powered amplification. Secondly, they will sound their best with a decent amount of space around them. Third, since these require a power source, you need to make sure you have a high quality power strip or conditioner, as well as some better than average power cords.

All in all, the MartinLogan Ethos are a lot more user friendly than many typical floorstanders I have lived with.  Freedom from driver and cabinet colorations makes any the considerations above hardly worth noting, and they are on my personal shopping wish list.  I found them to be the most capable of music makers. I can’t recommend an audition highly enough. Be warned, however, you'll have a hard time getting out of your mind the virtues ESLs bring to the table.

The MartinLogan Ethos is a best buy if there ever was one.


Martin Logan Ethos: $6795/pair

Frequency Response: 34–23,000 Hz ±3dB
High Frequency Transducer: XStat™ CLS™ electrostatic transducer
Low Frequency Transducer: 8" (20.3cm) cast basket, high excursion, aluminum cone with extended throw drive assembly, non-resonance asymmetrical chamber format. 8" (20.3cm) cast basket, high excursion, polypropylene cone passive radiator.
Amplifier Woofer: 200 watts/channel (4 ohms)
Sensitivity: 92 dB/2.83 volts/meter
Impedance: 4 Ohms, 0.8 at 20kHz. Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.
Weight: 42 lbs. (19 kg)
Dimensions: 59.33" × 10.73" × 18.23" (150.7cm × 27.3cm × 46.3cm)

Review System 1

CD Transport: Musical Fidelity M1 CDT
Server: Squeezebox Touch w/ CIA VDC-SB power supply
via Ethernet to MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate
external drives.
DAC: Bryston BDA-1
Headphone Amp: Pro-Ject Head Box II
Headphones: Grado SR60
Preamp: Audio Research SP16, Onkyo P-5000R
Amplifier: Audio Research VS55, Onkyo M-5000R
Speaker: Thiel CS2.4, Opera Seconda
Cables:  Stager Silver Solids, Kimber KCTG (IC), Transparent  MM2 Super (IC), Transparent Plus (Speaker) Acoustic Zen Tsunami II (AC),Transparent (AC).Shunyata Venom (AC) Element Cable Red Storm (Digital AC), DH Labs TosLink, DH Labs AES/EBU, Belkin Gold (USB) DH Labs (USB)
Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone, Audience Adept Response aR6 power conditioner,Salamander rack

Review System 2

CD Player: Marantz 5003
Music Server: Squeezebox Touch via Ethernet to
MAC Mini w/ Western Digital & Seagate external drives.
DAC: Musical Fidelity V-DAC II
Preamp: Peachtree NovaPre
Power Amp: Peachtree220
Integrated Amplifier: McIntosh  MA6600
Tape Deck: Revox A77
Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3,  Boston Acoustics M25
Cables: Kimber Hero HB,  DH Labs White Lightning (IC),QED Genisis Silver Spiral (Speaker),PS Audio (AC), Mojo Audio (AC), DH Labs TosLink, Audioquest Forest USB, Wireworld Ultraviolet USB
Accessories:Cable Pro Noisetrapper, Sound Anchors Stands, Wiremold

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