Martin Logan Speaker placement


Standard Member
I am building a media room in my new home. It is a dedicated room, no windows, 14x20. On the advice of our consultant I purchased Martin Logan Purity esl fronts, matinee center, Abyss sub and three in wall Tickets for surround. My room will have stained columns in the front on both sides of my 123" screen approximately 10" from the corners of the room. The front speakers will have to be placed in the corners on either side of the screen and slightly in front of these columns. My question is: Will the columns effect the sound of these ESL's speakers.

I have read all the posts about how finicky ESL's are in placement and am concerned that NOT having a flat wall behind them will make it even more difficult to place them properly. There will actually be a "pocket" between the corner of the room and the column.

The columns are being built today and I still have time to change them (make them smaller or not as deep). My other option is to select different speakers that I can put farther back into the corner (not ESL's) but they would have to be ML's because I want them to match. Any advice would be appreciated.


Isco 3

Active Member
Hi Mark,

welcome to the forum.

Martin Logans create the sound that they do, due to their back reflection. In a dedicated home cinema room the front wall is always treated because the envelopment is created by the surround speakers, not the three upfront.

That is why they are not recommended for home cinemas so often. Why buy a speaker that you liked in the show room due to its rear reflections, and placed it in an environment that rear radiation is not allowed?

By the way, where is your center speaker going?
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Isco 3

Active Member
I have a couple of free minutes, so here we go...:)

Martin Logans are planar. They are very directional and very fussy about listener placement and speaker pointing. The trick is to point them at the listener directly but maintain a clear path for the rear reflection to escape and be reflected of the side wall.

The spatiousness of the Martin Logans is very much a function of this rear sound wave. The standard with MLs is to duffuse the rear wave but you must be careful not to reduce its intensity too much.
The highly focused direct sound component supported by a diffuse lateral reverberant field is what makes them so popular.

You need to balance several elements:
1. Speaker's response
2. Pointing at the sweet spot
3. Not allowing the speaker to block the reflected wave

It can take a long time to make this work. You then are left with the rather small sweet spot created by a highly directonal speaker. A pleasant sound, but definitely a tough product to make work for a large audience.


Standard Member
Thanks for the response. The center channel will be placed just below the screen either mounted on the wall or set atop our old tv consul so that it is more in line with the fronts.
My room is not yet complete and I am already concerned about making the ML Puritys work well. I do love music but the primary function of this room will be movies.
Do either of you have experience with the non ESL Martin Logans. They are considerably cheaper than the Puritys but I am wondering if they may be a better bet for my particular purpose.

Isco 3

Active Member
Your best bet is to get an acoustically transparent screen and place all speakers behind. Everything else will be a bit of a compromise.
The best person to speak will be the dealer that is supplying the Martin Logans, really. If I had the space, I would place all my front speakers behind the screen.
There are screens from SMX and Stewart that will do the job too, unless it is something you can't change in your plans and the speakers have to go at very specific locations.
Have a look at the equpment used in these rooms:
--- Theo Kalomirakis Theaters // The Gallery // Nile --- for example, costing a few $$$$$.
I do not belive you will find any planars in there...

Let us know what you have decided...
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