Martin Logan Motion 15 Speakers Review

Martin Logan are a well renowned speaker manufacturer and especially when it comes to their Electrostatic Line of speakers for which they are one of the finest in the world. For them to take the route of making the normal box type speaker is something out of the norm for them. It took me by surprise that they had a range of speakers called the Motion series and that they had a full range, from the smallest which I have for review here to a full size floor standing speakers. And the best part is that they all feature Martin Logan's unique Folded Motion™ tweeters which have sonic benefits for which I was about to find out.

The Motion series are inspired by Martin Logan's Electrostatic range of speakers which are sensational speakers in every way offering high end performance but with a high end price tag. The Motion series has taken some of their technology and trickled it down in the form of the Folded Motion tweeters and have utilized them in a way that gives an amazing amount of detail and clarity to there performance but also a similar sonic signature to there Electrostatic range but at a more affordable price.

Features and Build Quality

As pointed out the main feature of the Motion series is the Folded Motion™ Tweeters which are indeed something special but they also feature specially designed woofers made out of anodized aluminum which have strength and good heat properties for a drive unit that is proven and tested by the Martin Logan engineering team. In the 15 they use a 5.25" driver. The cabinet is ported at the rear with one set of speaker binding posts that are of high quality and the fit and finish is to an extremely high quality and I especially like the magnetic grills which pop on when placed close to the front of each speaker securing and then protecting each drive unit. The Folded Motion Tweeters work in a way like an accordion moving back and forth squeezing air as they do this and it takes almost 90% less excursion than a typical 1" dome tweeter to do this. This in turn minimizes distortion and provides a lightning fast response from the tweeter. The cabinet is finished in wood and painted in gloss black which visually looks stunning and they are beautiful to look at, the range come in Piano black, white and cherry wood gloss finishes, which all are visually stunning to look at and have a slight slant to the top of the speakers going back which gives them a nice look but also helps with cabinet reflections internally. 

Performance and Sound Quality

This is what I have been looking forward to the most and that is the listening part. For reviewing I will be using the KrellVanguard Integrated Amplifier as the main source of Amplification and also streaming my music to as it has a stunning Digital section which I intend on making good use of. I will be using J River from my PC to stream the music from my NAS server.

To start with I set the speakers so that there is enough toe in that the tweeters are facing towards my MLP as this gives the best results with the sound stage, once this is done I put on an album which I have just got hold of and listened to it on the KEF Reference One Speakers and have been very impressed by the album and it is The Peter Malick Group & Norah Jones - New York City in Flac 16bit 44Khz streamed directly to the Krell Vanguard Amplifier. Immediately I noticed the imaging of the speakers for the sound stage is excellent with the Motion 15's projecting a nice wide image of the music and the mid-range was exceptionally good too for a speaker at this price point and level, it was clear that it was loving the Krell'spower and lapping it up. Instrument separation is very good with space around them giving a good sense of what the recording engineer intended. Norah Jones vocal's are a delight to listen to on the track New York City as the Motion's tweeters are just so damn good, with the timing and dynamics also impressive for a speaker so small, as they manage to throw an acoustical image which is much larger than their cabinet size depicts. The music flows so precisely that every note and nuance is picked out so delicately that you just have to love what you hear from them, the harmonica playing in the background, guitars playing, all of it so fluid. This Folded Motion tweeter is a star performer and elevates the speakersperformance to a level which has to be heard to be fully appreciated, it is really that good and the aluminum woofer just compliments it perfectly and together they make Norah Jones appear in my living room space with such vivid and vibrant musical communication, that you just connect straight away to what is being played and it gets the foot tapping. It is a great album and it one of the best Norah Jones has done, I think some of that applause can also be attributed to The Peter Malick Group too. A great pairing of musicians and singer.

For my next album I choose an album by a Norwegian artist Randi Tytingvag - Red from LINN Label its in 24bit 44.1Khz so a higher resolution and I just love the way it is conveyed as she has a beautiful voice and the music can be a bit abstract so unusual but fun to listen to. On the Motion 15's the track My Heart belongs to Daddy, the bass is quite deep and surprisingly the 15's drop low, they are approx 1ft from the wall so some boundary gain but the bass is nice and solid which is great as this is a fantastic track which needs a good pair of speakers to appreciate the music on offer. Again the sound stage is big and wide and instrumental separation is spot on with great timing and dynamics from the superb tweeter and woofer combination, they just seem to gel so well together that the music flows over to you. 

Red or Dead the title track reminds me of a Tori Amos track but I cannot remember which one. The vocals are powerful on this track and it has a nice selection of instruments too, varied in choice I would say and the 15's just portray such a perfect sonic picture with the highest highs sounding powerful but never too much, the tweeter showing what it can do when needed it really does lead the way when performing and you forget that you are listening to a mini monitor and could easily mistake them for much grander designs. 

For my last album I am playing David Gilmour's latest release " Rattle That Lock " which I have on CD and am playing directly via bit stream to the Krell Vanguard amplifier from my Oppo Blu-ray player.

Rattle that Lock has a nice weight to the sound with good bass extension which the Motion 15's handle extremely well and again the sound stage is deep and wide with the tweeter extending beautifully across the frequency range with amazing clarity, defining the character of the song.

In any Tongue track 6 on the album it is a great example of Gilmour's talents in song writing. It has a grand scale which the Martin Logan's manage to pull off, with a complex mix they sound better than a speaker should for their size, instrument separation is superb with a glorious mid-range and hitting deep drum beats, don't forget this is Pink Floyd style music and they are rocking. Gilmour's guitar solo is just as mesmerizing as ever, it is a brilliant album and the Martin Logan Motion 15's does it justice by conveying the music in an utterly faultless manner.

Conclusions and Final thoughts

When I first received these speakers I knew the pedigree but was not expecting to be hit with such an amazing sound, seeing the size of the speakers and also the price point they are what I would call a Diamond in the rough, there are so many speakers around this price point to choose from but the Motion 15's capture everything that a good speaker should and that is the musicality that flows from your system. Martin Logan have managed to pull some of their magic from their Electrostatic range and put in a stand mount speaker which costs less than £1,000. I love what these speakers can do and what the Folded Motion Tweeter technology offers. It creates a clear highly dynamic and precise sound that you usually find in much higher end model speakers but now it is available at a price where everyone can get a chance to hear them.

Very highly recommended!!

Price when reviewing approx £800

No comments