MartinLogan has, for years, been a staple among high-end audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts.� In the past few years, MartinLogan has branched out and begun manufacturing high-end solutions at an Everyman price.� It began with the Scenario loudspeakers in the mid-'90s, which at the time proved to be hugely successful, albeit a bit limiting in their overall sonic capabilities, which made them suitable for small venues or surround sound speakers.� Next came the Aeon, followed by the Clarity.� The Aeon proved to be a formidable speaker and became one of MartinLogan most successful and affordable designs, offering much of its big brother's performance without the heavy price tag.
� Read more floorstanding speaker reviews by the staff at HomeTheaterReview.com.
� Find a subwoofer to beef up the bass of a 2.1 system with the Vantage Hybrids.
Well, MartinLogan is at it again with their new lineup of speakers, the Vantage (reviewed here), Vista and Purity.� The Vantage sits in the MartinLogan lineup below the Spire (the Summit replacement), but above the Vista.� If the Spire is the new Summit, then the Vantage must be the equivalent to the Ascents of yore.� With a retail price of $5,000 a pair, the Vantage is half the price of the old Summits and roughly $3,500 less than the new Spire.� The Vantage is visually similar to the Spire, but is a bit smaller, with the woofer enclosure rising up behind the ESL panel for a shallower footprint.� The Vantage has MartinLogan's XStat panel, which up until the CLX's arrival was the latest and greatest transducer in MartinLogan's arsenal.� While the Vantage is still very good, those wanting the very best electrostatic panel will have to save their pennies and upgrade to the Spire, though in a modest or budget system, I'd argue it would be hard to hear the difference between the Vantage and the Spire.
The Vantage features a 200-watt eight-inch powered aluminum bass driver, which is ported in the rear, giving the Vantage an overall frequency response of 32-23,000Hz.� Like the Spire, the Vantage is efficient, with a reported sensitivity of 92dB into a four-ohm load.� Since the Vantage is more compact, one has to suppose that MartinLogan is going after consumers with more traditional or moderately-sized listening/viewing rooms.� Coupled with the Vantage's relatively good efficiency, this means a powerful receiver or budget separates system should power them nicely.
The Vantage is bi-wireable via MartinLogan's proprietary binding posts that can be found on almost all of their product line, including their statement CLX loudspeakers.� The Vantage comes in two base finishes, dark cherry and black ash.� Light cherry and maple are optional extras and bring with them an added cost.� The Vantage can also be fully customized, courtesy of MartinLogan's own custom shop.
Click to Page 2 for The High Points, The Low Points and The Conclusion.