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MartinLogan Scenario Loudspeakers Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 January 2000
Article Index
MartinLogan Scenario Loudspeakers
Page 2
ImageThe Scenario is the latest offering from Martin-Logan, the electrostatic technology speaker company, as the company refers to itself. The design goal for the Scenario was to position it just below the Aerius, which is now available only in bi-wire guise, in price and sonics. With feedback from dealers, interior designers and the like, some felt the Aerius was just a little too tall for certain applications, so with a mating of the electrostatic panel from the wall-mount Script model and the woofer from the bi-wire Aerius model, the $1,995 per pair Scenario was born. Measuring in at 48 inches high with a very small 10 by 14-inch footprint, the Scenario is about ten inches shorter than the Aerius and gives up a little to bass response as the cabinet, which houses an 8 inch woofer, is smaller, as well. Martin-Logan has big plans for the Scenario as use with an all Martin-Logan 5 channel speaker system.

My use of the Scenarios was limited to 2-channel listening in my main music system. However, the system that can be built around the Scenarios would include the Cinema center channel and the diminutive Scripts for the rears, surely an impressive system having experience with all of these loudspeakers. The Scenarios are available only in a black finish, which is a combination of gloss for the front woofer grill and stat panel and matte for the side rails and rear cabinet. It’s a very attractive package with the stat panel seemingly "floating" in front of the woofer cabinet. All Scenario owners will benefit from Martin-Logans ingenious new binding post design as well as one of the best carpet spike designs I have ever used (the spikes are also available as an option, for $50 per pair, for other loudspeakers from your Martin-Logan retailer). Congratulations to the Martin-Logan design team for incorporating such little details to finish off what proved to be an extraordinary product.

The Sound
Magic happens! The first thing I jotted down during my initial listening notes for this review was "magic happens". Only I left out the "immediately" part. As with all Martin-Logan loudspeakers, placement from the rear wall is critical. In my case I moved the Scenarios out 30 inches from the rear wall. This distance gave me the best combination of center imaging, sound stage size and bass response. The spikes easily served to level match the speakers to ensure the front edge of the panels were equidistant from the rear wall and from my ear. A tape measure and laser thing proved invaluable in my set-up task.

My listening palette is very familiar with the magic of electrostatic speakers. Having owned electrostatic loudspeaker systems from Quad, Acoustat, Beveridge, Stax and the Martin-Logan CLS, I have a unique perspective on the mysterious world of electrostatic loudspeakers. Starting with the Monolith of the 1980’s, Gayle Martin Sanders and his design team brought to, and successfully marketed the first truly viable hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker system. Incorporating the attributes of the electrostatic diaphragm with a conventional piston driver, the Monolith was an immediate success and helped launch the Martin-Logan company as we know it today. Why am I talking about Martin-Logans’ first product? Because it’s important to never forget where you came from and without lessons hard learned with the design of the Monolith, the Scenario would surely not have the sonic signature it has. That sonic signature represents the qualities of the electrostatic and piston driver working together in concert to form a realistic, lifelike and alluring musical presentation.


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