The Martin Logan Ethos is pair of electrostatic speakers which are integrated with a powered woofer. This hybrid design helps to enhance the bass performance of the electrostatic speaker and improves the overall sound quality. Even so, you will still need amplifiers with high power outputs to drive the Ethos speakers and they need to be a suitable match as well. If you are planning to get a new amp for your Martin Logan Ethos speakers then please continue to read on.
There are quite a number of high-powered amplifiers but the question is which one is best suited for the Ethos electrostatic speakers. In order to find out, we must learn more about the Martin Logan Ethos such as their sound characteristics and strengths. Once we have this information, we will then be able to list out the best amplifiers to pair with the Martin Logan Ethos electrostatic speakers.
Sound Characteristics and Merits of Martin Logan Ethos
The Martin Logan Ethos has a unique and elegant look, due to its hybrid design where the XStat CLS electrostatic transducer is seamlessly combined with a woofer. The cabinet of the 8″ woofer contains a 200 Watts Class D amplifier and there is also an 8″ passive radiator. With these drivers, we are certainly expecting an excellent bass performance from the Ethos speakers. The passive radiator is downward firing which the floor surfaces such as carpeted or non-carpeted will influence the low-end output. You will also need to trial and error the speaker placements in order to get the best imaging and sound. Do note that the Martin Logan Ethos will also require power points for their active woofer amplifiers.
They are capable of producing very deep bass, which got us quite excited. Martin Logan Ethos frequency response is 34Hz-23kHz (+/-3dB) and also most amplifiers can accommodate this range. Their speaker sensitivity of 92dB is impressive too. Still, when we look at their impedance which is 4 Ohms, and the recommended amplifier power of between 20 Watts to 500 Watts, it shows that the Ethos speakers are not easy to drive. High-powered amplifiers are certainly recommended and this does further shrink the number of potential amp choices. On the bright side, the Martin Logan Ethos will look great with most amplifiers.
The stereo imaging is immaculate, it is accurate and highly defined, allowing the musicians to come to life on a vast soundstage where they are precisely positioned. Each instrument is distinct and very detailed, even when the music passage gets really busy, you will still be able to hear all of them clearly. The soundstage of the Martin Logan Ethos is simply incredible, it just pulls you into their sound field and engages you immediately. The vocalists as they sing and move on stage are simply mesmerizing. The realism of these high-quality electrostatic speakers is just so alluring.
The midrange reproduction is extremely detailed, providing smooth and natural sound quality. The highs are sweet to the ears and don’t sound cringe when you turn up the volume. The male and female vocals sounded amazing, not to mention, realistic sounding, which applies to all the musical instruments been play through the Martin Logan Ethos. The bass performance is superb, it provides the impact and punches without overshadowing the rest of the frequencies. The low-end frequencies are well-controlled and taut, furthermore, the deep bass reproduction has weight.
Martin Logan Ethos is a pair of magnificent electrostatic speakers that delivers a 3-dimensional musical performance with impeccable bass performance. For music listening, getting an additional powered subwoofer will be unnecessary but if you need 40Hz and below sound reproduction then the active sub will be needed. It is a well-balanced loudspeaker and is absolutely great for music, where you would want to keep listening to your favorite tunes for hours on end. The Ethos sounds clean and quite lean as well. We have the data we need and it is time to start sharing with you the best amplifiers to match with your Martin Logan Ethos electrostatic speakers.
Martin Logan Ethos Specifications
- Speaker Type: Hybrid Electrostatic Loudspeaker (Down-Firing Bass Port)
- Drive Units: XStat CLS electrostaic transducer, 8″ (203mm) high excursion and high-rigidity paper cone woofer with 200 watts/channel (4 ohms), 8″ (203mm) polypropylene cone passive radiator.
- Frequency Response (+/-3dB): 34Hz–23kHz
- Recommended Amplifier Power: 20-500 Watts
- Impedance: 4 Ohms (Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers)
- Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 92dB
- Dimensions: 1507mm × 273mm × 463mm | 59.3″ × 10.7″ × 18.2″
- Weight: 19kg (42lbs)
Best Amplifiers to match with Martin Logan Ethos
The Luxman L-507uXII will be one of the best amplifiers to match your Martin Logan Ethos. It may be a solid-state integrated amplifier, but the Luxman L-507uXII has that tube-like sound quality to it which complements the Ethos really well. The overall sound reproduction of this amplifier is fluid and smooth, not to mention, it is musically refined and transparent. The overall bass reproductions are impressive, match well with the Martin Logan Ethos, and adds a tad more authority to it. The top-notch stereo imaging of the Ethos also complements the Luxman L-507uXII which makes them terrific HiFi audio partners.
If you find the power output per channel is more important in an integrated amplifier when pairing with your Martin Logan Ethos speakers. Then the Peachtree Audio Nova300 is an ideal amplifier choice, as it has 450 Watts into 4 Ohms which is more than enough to really drive your Ethos electrostatic speakers. Furthermore, the price point of the Nova300 is an absolute steal and it also comes with plenty of useful features such as the SABRE32 Reference DAC, Moving Magnet Phono input, and more. The preamplifier of the Peachtree Audio Nova300 provides a tube-like warm sound quality which makes this amplifier a suitable match for the Martin Logan Ethos speakers.
Going with HiFi separates will be a good idea and the Wyred 4 Sound will be one of the top choices when it comes to Class D ICEPower amplifications. For the preamp section, you might want to go with Wyred 4 Sound flagship STP-SE, a stereo pre-amp with very high-resolution, detailed, and neutral sound reproduction. For the power amplifiers, we will suggest going with the Wyred 4 Sound mAMP mono-block amplifiers, each driving your Martin Logan Ethos with ease. These Wyred 4 Sound pre and power amp combinations will make your speakers sing effortlessly and provide that musical neutrality without interfering with the sound characteristics of the Ethos by too much.
For Class AB amplification, the Parasound will be the go-to brand for high sonic performance and exceptional sound quality without breaking your wallet. The Parasound P 6 will make an amazing preamplifier for modern usage as it comes with a premium ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC, a dedicated high current headphone amp, home theater bypass, and many more. Coupled with a matching Parasound power amp such as the A 21+ with a whopping power output of 500 Watts per channel (4 Ohms), you got a sound system that can effortlessly drive your Martin Logan Ethos and provides fuller sound quality, with warmth and a smooth music delivery to boot.
The McIntosh amplifiers are well suited for the Martin Logan Ethos, you might want to check out the McIntosh MA352 which is a powerful hybrid integrated amplifier. The MA352 has the muscles to drive your Ethos electrostatic speakers with ease and the vacuum tube preamp will provide that full-bodied sound quality. Giving you a lifelike performance and incredible sound staging which fully immerses you into your favorite music. The overall sound reproduction is powerful and beautiful, the only qualms we have is the lack of features. It is highly recommended to have an audition with them.
If your budget allows, you might want to check out McIntosh preamplifiers and power amplifiers but it will cost way beyond the price range of your Martin Logan Ethos though. Parasound also has an amazing integrated amplifier which is Hint 6 from their Halo series, the sonic performance it provides is well worth their price point and it is not expensive when compared to other high-end audio amps. The Audio Research VSI60 will be a matching integrated amplifier as well but the power output is not as attractive. We wouldn’t really recommend going for an active subwoofer but if you do want one, we will suggest going for the JL Audio Fathom series. If the budget is tight, then the SVS subwoofers will be the next best choice. Check out SVS SB-2000 Pro, it is a powerful and highly rated 12″ sealed subwoofer.
To Sum It Up
The Martin Logan Ethos are demanding when it comes to power, and solid-state amplifiers are usually the more affordable options. The listed amps are some of the best that you can partner with your Ethos electrostatic speakers and is worthy of your time to audition them. Just take some time to hear them out and see if you like what you hear. If possible, do a side-by-side comparison and do include the potential subwoofer that you are intending to get.