Test Report: Martin Logan Motion Series Speakers Page 4


While the Motion 12s would happily play realistic orchestral levels, and sound clean and lifelike doing it, they were less happy with lease-breaking rock, which became a bit congestedsounding as the knob approached "lawenforcement" positions. More demanding, deeper bass seemed largely absent; in my setup, the Motion 12s rolled off fairly quickly below about 45 Hz.

Which is where the Dynamo 1000 sub comes in. Indeed, the Dynamo worked well over most of the bottom two and a half octaves. It mated up to the Motion 12 quite smoothly, and proved itself to be quite a competent sub, with extension approaching that of my everyday sub (also a sealed 12-inch unit, though about twice as costly), albeit with perhaps a decibel or two less bottomoctave potential. I used my wired connection for the sub, but the Dynamo 1000 includes onboard digital-wireless receiver hardware. (ML's corresponding transmitter, the SW-T, is $120 extra.)

Sonically, American Gangster is a film that relies on quiet menace more than big-bang action, but the Martin- Logan system proved happy to oblige on both scores. The Motion 8 centerchannel unit pleased me by making an excellent tonal match to the Motion 12 towers, though keeping the window of full high-frequency extension directed toward the seated listener required careful vertical aiming. Horizontal consistency, meanwhile, was fairly good. I also felt that the Motion 8 (like many smaller centers) lacked enough midbass output to provide complete malevoice balance, but selecting the 100-Hz center-channel crossover setting on my processor easily set that to rights.

The very compact Motion 4 worked well enough at the surround positions, though it required a similar crossover point as the center channel. The tight coverage pattern of the Folded Motion tweeter (especially in the vertical dimension) made aiming especially important here. It also required that the highmounted speakers be down-tilted by some 20° or so, a position that made for a smaller front-to-back surround sound sweet spot as compared with more conventional small two-way surrounds.

ML's suite produced very convincing movie-sound playback. While I still heard the slightly woody or hollow upper-bass character that occasionally accompanied music playback, the Motions excelled in differentiating Gangster's many different street-scene and interior ambiences, and vividly cranked out its kick-heavy '70s-soul soundtrack.