At the time that this review was posted it was over 2 months and I had not received a call back from Martin Logan. I had contacted them with questions about their product. I had left my info with a worker who said they would pass on my request. Not hearing from them is concern, especially since the cost of their product is high one would expect, and hope for a good customer relationship. This is a word of caution for the consumer.
Tower speakers – they fill a room with sound. They fill a room with space. They are great to have, if you have the room for them.
Martin Logan known for higher priced speakers, and original designs, have chosen to make their mark producing a lower end (for them) product available for the average (?) consumer.
The Motion Series is a compelling array of speakers with some eye catching aesthetic qualities graced with the “touch” of Martin Logan, to fill your room with their sonic brilliance.
To understand what this company offers first lets briefly mention the different Series they offer.
There is the Masterpiece selection – with prices like $80 thousand, and $25 thousand a pair. Not to mention dips in that same series of $4 thousands, and $3 thousand a pair. Not exactly what most of us can afford. (God bless those who can).
The selections within the Masterpiece line are unique due to their electrostatic transducer technology – and their pricing.
Moving down to the Motion Series normal Tweeters, Mid-range and woofers are used. These features bring down the cost for the item, but not the quality.
The “normally” built speakers have the Folded Motion® Tweeters instead traditional horns or domed ones.
The Folded Tweeter uses low mass diaphragms that actually squeeze air, and require less excursion than from a typical 1 inch dome tweeter. Super-fast response time is acquired. A wide and controlled sound dispersion equating a realistic, yet, controlled sound-stage is the result.
There’s also 5 1/2" aluminum cone mid-range driver, and dual 6-1/2" aluminum cone woofers. A rear firing port is paired with dual 5 ½ inch black aluminum cone woofers
Having a dedicated mid-woofer also reveals a more open, and critical mid-range.
These features put this model, Motion 40 in between the 3 releases from Martin Logan. The top of this line being the Motion XT and lower model, Motion 20. I decided to review this model because it landed in the middle of the three, and is still somewhat affordable at $2000 a pair.
Supplied are two kinds of feet for the unit – a simple rubber one, and spiked for carpet.
The units are beautiful, I got the piano black finish. They are also available in cherry, and white.
The grill in the front is a large metal sheet that is held on by magnet.
Each have weight of 49 lbs. The port in the back actually adds ease in moving the speaker when using two hands to lift.
The wide dispersion of the sound (80 degrees) aids in placement as well. I tried them facing forward as well as slightly turned inward – with very little difference.
The height of the speakers is 42.5 inches which is fine for two channel listening, but is a bit low in terms of sound and how it relates to the screen in a home theater presentation. I raised mine slightly and was able to achieve a better relationship – yet not lose sonic presence.
For home theater I used my receiver’s Audessy’s Calibration to see if there was difference between that setting and my own – tweaked via the internal receiver graphic equalizer.
The settings from the Audessy was fine but raised the frequency setting higher that I would like so I went back to my setting, and the internal equalizer.
Okay, how was the sound? Great. Even out of the box and not yet broken in everything sound fine. Immediately I noticed the difference between these and the much smaller Motion 4i. Right off the bat the sound was richer.
The highs were similar with an extreme accuracy. Still very pin point, and at times – down right scary. Sounds within some pieces of music startled me due to the sonic brilliance. The mids were also very present, unlike within the Motion 4i’s. This opened the sound spectrum and gave that richer tone.
The bass was well matched, but certainly not over powering. It was an added presence, but not felt in the chest. It was there but not a presence maker. For that I relied my actual subwoofer. Still, the Motion 40s held their own with an upfront presence that was wide and full.
While watching films in a home theater mode they preformed excellently inter-grading well with the Motion 4is (surrounds). Side frontal sound were clear and extremely noticeable. The sound bubble created by all the speakers was well placed and presented.
The tonal quality was extremely pleasing and loud for my Marantz receiver. There was never distortion or a feeling of less than adequate power.
The speaker performed extremely well even lifted higher than floor level to interact better with the TV. In fact, they presented the sound matched perfectly to the visual presence.
I was a bit concerned by the metal speaker grills truthfully. Even though they are magnetic I was concern about rattling when one was slightly bent in transit. However, I was able to bend the grill and it fastened perfect – best of all, it remained silent!
The cabinet construction is extremely well made and solid. The piano black finish is smooth, glossy and very flattering.
Martin Logan has produced a fantastic product that's well worth the money. It delivers on every level and will ensure years of enjoyment.