Bought A Set of Martin Logan CLX ART Its Going To Be An Adventure

So after owning my JBL 4365 for about 7 years it was time to move on. On USAM there were a very nice set of Martin Logan CLX ART available. The condition was excellent, the seller has a sterling reputation, and was experienced shipping large speakers. So we came to an agreement, and I bought them. Actually, i did not agree to the purchase until someone bought my JBL, and surprisingly I was able to sell them to a Craigslist buyer who picked them up. I had my doubts I could sell these locally since they are spendy, but I was proven wrong.

The freight company delivered the speakers, and with the help of a friend who is also an audio nut I got them unboxed and in the house. Condition is superb and better than I could hope for. The finish I believe is an upcharge, its the piano black. At the bottom of the speaker there were some light white/grey specs that may have been due to a vacuum cleaner. A bit of Goo Gone and elbow grease removed all but one pin prick rough spot. That one has no color, but perhaps can be polished out. Basically the speakers are presenting like new, as good or better than any floor demo model. There are a number of issues to solve through the installation process. One of them being the speakers have single wire inputs that have these odd speaker nuts, and my Eclipse 8 speaker wire is biwired. I have 7M of wire and thats not cheap to replace. So an interim hook up with the bananas caused me to break one, and I now have replacement ends that turn into the termination are on the way. I ordered both spades and banana plugs and can use stacked spades on these connectors. Have the new spades being shipped so that should solve that issue.

Secondly the seller had hardwood floors so he sent them with feet and a set of casters. My house has carpet with thicker pad, and neither solution worked well. I had the speaker sitting on the carpet and they sounded very thin. In desperation I went to the garage and found some extra spikes with jam nuts I had, the size is too small but I could place them under the speaker and use the jam nut to get them stable. Huge change in sound of the speaker, amazing how it filled out and became more focused and tonally balanced. This has been the largest change I have ever heard with speaker spikes ever. I need a 3/8" shaft with 16 thread, so I should be able to order some from Parts Express. Am going to do that today.

The Amethyst pre-amp allows me to run DSP correction, and I have done sweeps with the speaker on the carpet and on the spikes. Some of the combinations of calibration and correction selections lead to interesting results. I am sorting through them now.

I did return to an external DAC versus the one embedded in my pre-amp, and while quite long in the tooth the Kukama is sounding quite nice in this system. I find that interconnects on it are making significant differences, far more prominent than in previous systems. Once again, the speakers do not tolerate anything with an elevated midband or upper registers. Currently using a pair of Analysis Plus solo Crystal in that spot, and they are very close but not quite what I am aiming for. Am considering a pair of Cardas or perhaps Straightwire. Would like to buy off the used market, but the issue with counterfeit cables with many brands makes this who process a bit risky, especially with expensive cables from some companies. 

What I can say is these speakers are remarkably detailed, have very nice tone, and are quite spacious. However they have no extra midband warmth and do not tolerate well any peaky associated components. I cross over in a pair of Velodyne HGS12 subwoofers at 57 Hz, and the combination seems to work pretty well. Dynamics and efficiency are pretty good due to the large panel, they are 90 dB efficient. With the Classe Omega monoblock amps I should have no issue driving them.

I have them a bit close to the front wall, just under 4 feet off. I do not hear any issues, however I have ordered a set of diffusion panels for them. Funny thing, on Amazon there is a set of 12 of them for $106, they are a white ABS and 19.7 inches square. I found the same panel of Temu and when I finished applying their coupon, I paid $42 for the same amount. They are scheduled to deliver today, so we will see how that goes. I plan on painting them the same color of the front wall before mounting, and we will see what happens.


CLX for a good used price seems appears to be a great way to get the ESL experience without shelling out for pricey Soundlab or similar panels.

I'd push them out in the room more if you have the space.. 6-7 feet.

All the setups with CLX I've heard were quite nice. Damping behind makes a noticeable difference behind the little ML Theos used in my setup.

That must be a huge change for you as the JBL's are such a different speaker. How do you compare the bass and dynamic range between the two?

Yeah that’s a huge change in speakers — very brave of you!  If I can ask, what prompted you to make such a radical change?  Have you tried pulling them out more from the wall yet?  4’ seems a little shallow for speakers of that size and dipole design.  I understand you’re not hearing currently hearing any issues, but I can’t help thinking giving them another foot or two of breathing space might open things up significantly.  Could be wrong though.  Obviously you’re still working on getting things acclimated, but how are you liking them overall so far?  Can’t help thinking you’ve got A LOT of changes to digest here, and best of luck in getting things dialed in to your liking.  Can’t imagine being unhappy or disappointed with excellent speakers like these.



Wish I could make that distance but it would close off the pathway to our dining room from the living room. As accommodating as the wife is, that would trigger those have got to go limit. 

Sorry, I didn't finish that thought, but what I wanted to say was that is a big difference in bass output from the JBL's. Are you planning on using subwoofers?


Fellow CLX owner here, after having CLSs for nearly 30 years.  They come with ML supplied spikes, perhaps the past owner can find them?  They might be more expensive to buy from ML, then after-market spikes.

A couple of tools you might want to get, if you don't have them:

1. A laser tape measure.  I try to get my two speakers within 1/8 inch of the same distance from the back and side wall.

2. A level with a digital display.  I try to get the speakers raked within 0.5-1% of each other.

I am probably a bit unconventional, but I prefer them bolt upright and parallel to the back wall.  Then move them closer or further from the side walls to get the right balance of width to center fill.

They are great speakers,


 "As accommodating as the wife is, that would trigger those have got to go limit."

Yeah, we don't want to get "the look" from the boss.

" I need a 3/8" shaft with 16 thread, so I should be able to order some from Parts Express."

Good luck with that. Likely, you'll have to order from ML. 3/8" is an odd ball size unlike 1/4". PE will not have it.

Prepare for "proprietary size price shock" when you purchase them.

Congradulations! I am sure you are in for a great treat.


I was really into planar speakers for about thirty years. There is an incredible magic to them. During that time, I came so close to buying Martin Logan’s on so many occasions. 


@roxy54 @soix 

I use a pair of Velodyne HGS 12 subwoofers with them that have the amps refreshed. They are crossed in at 57 Hz. 

The amplifiers for them are a pair of Classe Audio Omega monoblocks, and pre amp is a Trinnov Audio Amethyst which uses their very good DSP and mic combination to address some room issues. I also have a smattering of the Art style panels from GIK. 

The bass is interesting in that it has more tone and low level detail, but its not going to have club like slam like the JBL did. I will miss that aspect. But the speakers are reasonably dynamic, and since such a large panel the efficiency is decent. 

Lots of elements to work through. I can make them sound thin and etched if I do things wrong. I am currently running my previous DAC an Audio Magic Kukama since its more refined and balanced than the internal DAC on the Amethyst. But I have fiddled with it and made positive gains, so I might eventually be able to use that onboard DAC instead. 

I am going to experiment with a package of these. You can find them on Amazon at about 40% more. But if you can wait a bit for shipping then Temu you can get these very reasonable. Out the door with a coupon was $42. I am going to temporarily mount them with double sided tape and see what happens. If they work out then I can figure out a permanent installation and paint them to match my room. 

This is about as high as I can climb. I got these off the used market, and they are 5 years old with very little hours. Look like new, and I hope to keep them a number of years. This is about as good as I can afford. 

I have Martin Logan Summits … you should consider those cheap knock off Nordost Valhalla wire. It would be a complete gage changer for you, that I’m sure you’d have to hear on your system to believe.

What would allow that effect to come thru to the highest degree, would be if you did a full loom. But you prob know that already.

I bought the real deal, series 2 and it was still expensive as hell. But worth every penny and I’m not joking. Freya 2, real thing will not sound as good as those fake Valhallas from what all the reviews say.

They let almost absolutely nothing, but real music come thru … their technology … and if your equipment is nice enough, and has synergy, which is not synonymous, those speakers would make you go Wow.


Your system could do it.

I have Maggie 3.3r's, very different character but similar placement issues. After decades of trial and error (I have NEVER heard a speaker as finicky about placement, though I suspect the ML's are the same), I finally settled on following Paul McGowan's advice. To summarize: Take everything un-audio out of the room (if possible).

Set the speakers up acc'd to ML's recommendation or, in lieu of that, set them up in standard 1/3 squares with no toe in. Sit in your chair and listen for the mid-bass. If too light, move the speakers closer together until the mid-bass perks up. Based on my trials with the Maggies, you'll want to find the distance that gives the best mid-bass definition and power.

Now, move your listening chair closer to the speakers. The image should get bigger and the dynamics pick up markedly as you get closer. Keep moving in until the center image splits into left and right speakers. Move back a bit. 

Move the speakers closer together until the center image pops into focus. 

Adjust the toe-in to balance the dynamics in the top end with the rest of the spectrum. 

Tweak all of these by fractions of an inch over several weeks of listening until everything balances.

Finally, for the Maggies, I found a few degrees of forward tilt improved midrange clarity.

In the end, my ears are about 5ft from the center line of the speakers, the speakers are about 7 feet apart and about 5 degrees of toe-in. I know, VERY near-field but now the Maggies have real bass slam AND definition and, subjectively, play much louder before they sound stressed. 

They are VERY sensitive to the position of my chair, fractions of inched count! I have been known to adjust seating position during a session. A bit back for more ambience, forward for more dynamics.