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MartinLogan Motion 15 / LX16 Bookshelf Speaker Review

by May 09, 2012
  • Product Name: Motion LX16 Bookshelf Speaker
  • Manufacturer: MartinLogan
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: May 09, 2012 17:30
  • MSRP: $ 799/pr
  • Buy Now
  • Frequency Response: (+/- 3dB) 60Hz to 25,000Hz

  • Impedance: 4 ohms

  • Sensitivity: 92 dB

  • Recommended Amp Power: 20-200 Watts

  • Tweeter: 1” x1.4” Folded Motion Tweeter

  • Woofer: 5.25" Aluminum Cone Woofer

  • Driver Configuration: 2-Way

  • Enclosure Type: 3/4” MDF, Rear Ported

  • Dimensions: 11" H x 6.5" W x 9.5" D

  • Weight: 12lbs ea.

  • Warranty: 90 Day Warranty, 5 Year Warranty with product registration

Pros

  • Impeccable aesthetics
  • Surprising bass in compact cabinet
  • Crystal clear Folded Motion Tweeter

Cons

  • Fragile grill
  • Have to register for full warranty
  • May be too bright for some listeners

Introduction

MartinLogan is known for making hybrid-electrostatic loudspeakers; however, that might be changing. Over the past couple years MartinLogan has started to roll out an entire series of speakers based off of their Folded Motion Tweeter. They have reached a new price point, and consumer demographic, with the Motion Series, with satellite speakers starting at $199 ea., which is a far cry from their discontinued $100,000 Statement E2s! I have been a fan of Martin Logan Electrostatic speakers for quite some time, so I was excited to see what they could do with something outside their forte. Hence, I got my hands on a pair of their LX16 bookshelf speakers. The results were quite pleasing. The Motion 15's have just been released which are identical in performance to the LX16's but cosmetically refreshed.  So this review applies to both speakers though our samples were the older LX16's.

Design Overview

The MartinLogan LX16s came packed individually. They were well packaged, with a fancy sock to keep them pristine during shipping, and considering the beautiful finish on these, I can understand. You do have to be careful unpacking the grills, as they are made of very thin perforated metal. Unfortunately, the edge of one of my speaker grills has a slight crease. I am not sure if the speaker came this way, or if it bent at some point, so be wary.

It is apparent that one of MartinLogan’s main design concerns with the LX16 was looks. These speakers look great! The high gloss finish is flawless, and comes in either Piano Black or Black Cherrywood. Our demo unit was Piano Black, but the Black Cherrywood is supposed to have undertones of wood grain, and fade to black in low light situations. MartinLogan has been playing around with new finishes on some of their speakers, like Zebrawood and Flamed Teak, and they nailed the finish on these speakers. The front of the speaker is fitted with a blank-anodized brushed aluminum baffle, which is just as classy as the finish on the rest of the speaker. The grill attaches magnetically, which is a nice touch, and floats about ¼” off of the front of the baffle. My only complaint with the grill is that it is fragile, and has a tendency to bow a little bit.

 LX16 - cherry - front, no grill.jpg       lx16-thin.jpg

MartinLogan Motion LX 16 Speaker

Motion 15

New MartinLogan Motion 15 in Premium High Gloss Finishes: White, Black Cherrywood, & Piano Black,

 

On the back of the speaker is a set typical Martin Logan five-way bindings posts. They have a unique shape to make tightening them down by hand a little nicer than traditional five-way binding posts. There is also a threaded insert to mount the speakers, and a port for increased bass response.

Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program!

 

About the author:

Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. His first surround sound was a Klipsch 5.1 system. After that he was hooked, moving from Klipsch to Polk to Definitive Technology, and so on. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Tomorrow posts on June 13, 2012 22:21
kmpurc56, post: 886191
Can you give me a comparison to the Aperion Grand Versus Bookshelf speakers?
I'm trying to shorten a list for purchasing a 4 bookshelves and a center for an system using the SVS PC12-NSD subwoofer. I'm also intrigued by using a bookshelf as my center for a matched set. I can always use the extra as a rear speaker in a 6.1 system. Could you help me here as well.

Thanks

Here is a detailed comparison of a half-dozen internet direct (ID) speakers, one of which is the nice Aperion Verus Grand Bookshelf speaker. The entire thread is a good read if you have the time…but you can start with post #95. Post #87 will tell you a little about the format used in doing the comparisons. Good luck with your search. http://forums.audioholics.com/forums/general-av-discussions/67150-2010-great-northwest-gtg-10.html
gene posts on June 12, 2012 12:55
kmpurc56, post: 886191
Can you give me a comparison to the Aperion Grand Versus Bookshelf speakers?
I'm trying to shorten a list for purchasing a 4 bookshelves and a center for an system using the SVS PC12-NSD subwoofer. I'm also intrigued by using a bookshelf as my center for a matched set. I can always use the extra as a rear speaker in a 6.1 system. Could you help me here as well.

Thanks

I did a detailed review of the Verus Booshelf speaker. Great little speaker but you need a sub if you want fullrange sound.

see: Aperion Audio Verus Grand Bookshelf Speaker Review — Reviews and News from Audioholics
kmpurc56 posts on June 12, 2012 11:39
Response

Cliff, Thanks for you input. It was very helpfull.
Cliff_is posts on May 26, 2012 15:20
kmpurc56, post: 886191
Can you give me a comparison to the Aperion Grand Versus Bookshelf speakers?
I'm trying to shorten a list for purchasing a 4 bookshelves and a center for an system using the SVS PC12-NSD subwoofer. I'm also intrigued by using a bookshelf as my center for a matched set. I can always use the extra as a rear speaker in a 6.1 system. Could you help me here as well.

Thanks

I have not had the opportunity to listen to the Versus Grand bookshelf speaker, but Tom Andry was very impressed in his review. If you order them and don't like them, you can send them back for free.

Aperion Verus Grand Loudspeaker System Conclusion — Reviews and News from Audioholics

They are both relatively small speakers. The motion series is probably not as good of a value, if budget is your main concern. I would recommend stopping by your local AV shop, or a Magnolia HT, and listening to the rest of the Motion series. They all use the same Folded Motion tweeter, and are voiced the same. I can't tell you which speaker is better, but they are both good speakers. I can tell you that the Motion series is very forward sounding, a little bright at times. Otherwise, I really liked the speakers and would generally recommend them. But, go listen to them and see if you like them. That is the most important part.

Matching your front three speakers is a great idea. If you have the ability to use the same bookshelf speaker upfront, then go for it. It is a great idea.

However, you may consider dedicated surround channels. Martin Logan makes a Motion FX and Motion FX2 that are designed to be the matching surround speakers for the LX16s. Aperion doesn't make a dedicated surround speaker.

As far as 6.1, it typically doesn't do much good over 5.1. Ultimately, that depends on your room and receiver.
kmpurc56 posts on May 21, 2012 16:01
Comparison

Can you give me a comparison to the Aperion Grand Versus Bookshelf speakers?
I'm trying to shorten a list for purchasing a 4 bookshelves and a center for an system using the SVS PC12-NSD subwoofer. I'm also intrigued by using a bookshelf as my center for a matched set. I can always use the extra as a rear speaker in a 6.1 system. Could you help me here as well.

Thanks
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