Just auditioned Martin Logan ESL vs 60xt

I just left my Best Buy Magnolia HT and did A/B comparisons between these two speakers. I really wanted to walk away shocked at the ESL electrostatics but was left very disappointed.  They were just muddy and boring compared to the 60xts right next to them.  It was as if someone turned off the tweeter too.  I felt like there was almost nothing over 7k hz like cymbals, upper guitar string plucks, etc. 

Now, the 60xts did sound muddy in male vocals down low but they definitely peaked my interest more than the electrostatics. 

Now, if I ONLY owned the ESL's, I'd probably be happy, get used to the sound and think they sound good.  We're all subject to that trickery, but I just thought there should be more..

I was listening to some of my favorite tracks through Tidal, into a Marantz sr7705 receiver.. 

I know the amp/situation wasn't perfect but the sonic characteristics between the two would be unchanged in a more optimal situation.

Anyone else kinda feel this way?

They sell some pretty high end names and they have McIntosh amps in their main rooms mainly driving B&W and Martin Logan (not the ESL).  

We were listening on the Marantz AR8805 (or whatever their big $5k receiver is).  Sure probably not ideal, but I've never heard an amp just sound awful then sound great on a pair of normal speakers.

I'm sure it was a part but the fact that I was A/Bing on the same amp is the thing that makes me think the amp wasn't really it.

Set up?  Sure.. They did the best they could and separated the speakers off, brought away from the rear wall, etc.  

 but I've never heard an amp just sound awful then sound great on a pair of normal speakers.
That's because it couldn't handle the ESL's loading.
You needed to hear the ESL's again with an amp that can take 1ohm loading and do it comfortably without rolling off or becoming unstable, then you would have been very impressed with the highs and their extension.

Cheers George 
...speaking of amps for electrostats: is there a danger in using inappropriate (i.e. unable to cope with the <1ohm load in the high frequencies) amplifiers with such speakers? I have a pair of Martin Logans (the Classic 9) and I was thinking of trying some other amplifiers with them. Do I risk a nasty surprise if the amp gets unstable or whatever (apart form less than great sound)?

As for the topic of this thread: in my (limited) experience, at least as far as my speakers are concerned, they seem to roll off slightly starting from ~ 9kHz in my quite absorbing room, but the amount of treble (not only the last octave) depends a lot also on the room acoustics. Less absorption and you get plenty of treble (perhaps even too much lower treble in my setup).
A lot of it might have to do with setup. The panels radiate front and back. They rely heavily on ambience from the area behind the speaker and proper spacing. They're also very directional despite the curved panel. If they sound dull that might be why.

You can try different amps with them. I'd expect driven into a low load impedance some amps will either go into protect mode or start to sound constrained or compressed. There are some marginal designs out there that could die but I'd think you'd know it wasn't happy before that.

I don't think you could kill a tube amp with one. There are a lot of good amps for not too much money that will run them all day. 
Martin Logan recommends amplifiers that double in power each time you go down in ohms (all the way to 2ohms or better. Example: 120w/ch @8ohms, 240w/ch@4ohms, 480w/ch @2ohms. The difference in the sound with this in mind is jaw dropping. I have gotten the ESLs to sound good with a Class D NuPrime STA-9 though ($659). I run a tube amp and it just didn't give the instruments realism. I bought a Krell amp used and serviced, and my world went into a real sound system that gave a sound that was one of those "regardless of price" quality. I have since bought more powerful Krell amps and upgraded to a much more expensive ML Montis that I bought used. Also with (2) REL S3 subs sitting on the inside of the Montis, I have dialed the system into a finished state of the art sound system. Martin Logan base models ESLs need some sub love as well. Going up to the Anthem Correction ML models will give you the proper bass in medium sized rooms. But don't underestimate the magic of the REL sub systems. Don't bother with electrostatics if you can't give them proper amplification. I learned this thru experience. Don't be afraid to buy some items used for your sound system. Most of us..... it is the only way to afford "high end" sound. My 2 cents.