Martin logan vs. B&W

Anyone has experience with both brands or done some A/Bs? (especially B&W 800s and larger logans- ascent or higher)

what are the main differences and + and -s
what made you choose one over the other?
what kind of music did you use to compare them?

thanks for your input
As a former owner of ML SL3s (sold because we moved to a smaller house and still missed), I can agree with much of what's been said, but I question the statement that they "will arc when played very loud". I believe that that may have been the case with far earlier models, but I know that I was never able to make mine arc with ~380 wpc (McCormack DNA 1/B).
Thanks guys for your inputs

I guess what I wanna specifically find out sooner or later is how the Summit and the 803D (or 802D) comopare.
My dealer's doing the local premier of the Summit soon, so I guess I'll see..
I'll keep in mind the intrinsic differences you guys mentioned between the two brands

thanks for sharing
Jay :-)
My recommendations are simple. Buy a pair of grado sr-60 or sr-80 headphones; listen to any of your music the headphones this is exactly what you will hear if you choose to audition martin logan speakers. lots of detail but no sound stage; you will not be able to tell the source or direction of singers or musicians. i personally love my thiel 2.3's they completely disappear in the room with most 3 dimensional soundstage ever.

Enjoy, Dave

Dave - I wonder if the Martin Logans you heard were not set up properly, one of the things I love about my ML SL3 is the soundstage, they very precisely locate the instruments. I have them 5 feet from the rear wall and 4 feet from the side wall, and toed in so they face directly to the listening position, about 7 feet away. If you are in the sweet spot the Martin Logans disappear.

I have a 2nd system with Sonus Faber Signums (which I guess might be more comparable to the B&W). The Martin Logans do better on imaging than do the Signums, and the midrange might also be better on the ML, they are outstanding for jazz, folk music and string quartets. But overall I prefer the Signums to the ML, it seems to me that the SF Signums have a more natural and musical sound and also better integration of the base, while the ML have the problem of the directionality and small sweet spot. For "dedicated" listening in the sweet spot I might lean more to the ML, if you are moving around the room or have guests, or listen to rock I'd recommend the cone speakers.
Davewav1, I don't think I could agree at all with your statement about the soundstage of MLs being like listening with headphones. I have owned a lot of speakers in recent years, including Thiel 2.2 (while not the 2.3, they are very close). I liked the Thiels (especially for the couple hundred bucks I paid for them). They imaged and soundstaged well, where quite detailed (which I like) and had an overall very good presentation. I also own Wilson W/P 5.1s which do everything the Thiels did only much better (which they better do considering the price difference). I love the W/P. I also owned Wilson Duettes, also an excellent speaker which I prefered over the Thiel. I also owned VS VR 4 JR and several Totem models and some B&W speakers, none of which were as good as the Thiels.

However, my conflict is with your sound staging statement. The size, width, depth and focus of the sound stage with the Martin Logan speakers is in my opinion much better than I experienced with the Thiel speakers (though I did find a pair of 7.2 did a marvelous job of these attributes as well and would probably rank the 7.2s above the MLs). My reference is ML Quest Zs only.

I would not say that all around the MLs are better speakers than Thiels as this is purely a subjective matter and taste of sound one is seeking. MLs have their weeknesses no doubt and for some (possibly even me, I am still determining this), the Thiels and many other brands of speakers will be more favored, for others, not.