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Martin Logan 60XT Speakers

Mini google+ logo lower dividing bar Martin Logan 60XT
I’ve always said that there are no absolutes in Hi-Fi, just the best product, sonically and electronically, for the money. I still maintain that ideal although occasionally an item comes my way that throws a spanner in the works to the extent that a particular product is so far ahead of the pack that it almost becomes an absolute regardless of price. Speakers are a bastard to review in that there are so many variables such as room acoustics, electronic compatibility with amplification and sources and the dreaded RTC factor (resistance to change) - that’s where the reviewer or listener is so used to their “reference” (whatever the hell that means) speakers that anything that sounds different can’t be as good. That’s why reviews from the majority of magazines where Fred The Reviewer tries the speakers out for a few days and then casts his or her words of wisdom upon the unsuspecting reader without actually understanding what the speaker is actually trying to achieve are generally misleading. The speaker is not there to get close to their “reference” speaker but to actually reproduce the sound of the artist(s) as they sounded either live or as their producer intended. I’m fortunate in that I’ve been in the music industry for over 50 years as both a (very bad) musician and (relatively honest) salesman so I have a rough idea of what the original sound should be. I really enjoy my music and often sit and listen in both sober and inebriated states to everything from Classical to Heavy Metal so any speaker system I use needs to reproduce the full gamut (not as in the 16th century definition which refers to the lowest note on the musical scale). I don’t have a dedicated music room so there would be little point in me spending $200,000 on speakers (I really don’t believe I could hear the difference anyway - and believe me, I’ve tried) so I set myself a limit of speakers with a retail price of under $20,000 pair (RRP) for home use. Over the years I’ve taken home literally hundreds of different speaker systems and have kept relatively few for more than a couple of weeks. Notable exceptions have been a Pair of ElectroVoice Diamonds (discontinued many years ago), KEF Reference Model 2’s a pair of Tannoy Gold Monitors and some Paradigm Studio 100’s. Each time a model is discontinued I find a replacement as I have to be “seen” to be using a currently available model. After much listening and Googling I decided to take home a pair of Martin Logan 60XT Floorstanding Speakers. I won’t go into the specifications or any “filling” writing, you can get that from the link to the manufacturers web site (most reviewers cut and paste that stuff to keep up their word count) what I will say however is that they may be imposing but their finish is absolutely superb and even the lovely Noelene looks upon them favourably as a piece of furniture. Sonically, they are as open a sounding speaker as I’ve heard this side of a good electrostatic speaker - not unsurprisingly as Martin Logan make some of the best Electrostatic speakers in the world although their lack of horizontal and vertical high frequency dispersion annoys the crap out of me - no such restrictions with the Folded Motion tweeter in the 60XT’s however. Unlike most speakers on the market today, when the 60XT’s are playing, the performance seems to emanate from within the room, not from a pair of boxes, the vocals on Joe Jackson’s “Rain” are just spine tingling and the ethereal tones of Diana Krall’s Fly me to the Moon takes one into the Las Vegas show where it was recorded. There’s little point in me raving on as to the reproductive qualities of these speakers except to say that I’ve tested them with a variety of stereo and A/V amplification and they recreate exactly the sound and imagery I’d be happy with from any speaker regardless of price. They’re a keeper and I have no inclination to take any other speaker home (there are no absolutes so that may change in the future). With a RRP of $5499 pair, I consider them to be the best value speaker currently available and I’m a fussy bastard. Just click on their picture to access the manufacturers web page. They are available in Gloss Black and Gloss Cherrywood. White may be available in the future but not at this stage. They have an efficiency rating of 94dB meaning as little as 10 Watts is more than enough to blast you out of the room, they will however handle up to 400 Watts of clean power so no real limitations there.
Warning “Audiophiles” should not read this review and no correspondence will be entered into regarding nuances and self opinionated rants and raves from those who obviously know far better than I.
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