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.


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.