MartinLogan Dynamo 1500X Subwoofer Review

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by admin, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

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    The MartinLogan Dynamo 1500X is a small sealed alignment powered subwoofer utilizing a long throw 15†driver and an amplifier rated at 650 watts rms and 1300 watts short term. The Dynamo 1500X left a favorable sonic impression on me. I especially liked the small size, reasonable weight and uncluttered, basic connection and controls it provided. The 1500X performance was rock solid in that it never produced erroneous noises or distress, nor did it try to kill itself to produce what it could not. Despite is compact size and moderate price point, the MartinLogan Dynamo 1500X managed to meet the required output thresholds to receive the Audioholics Bassaholic Large Room rating.
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    Discuss "MartinLogan Dynamo 1500X Subwoofer Review" here. Read the article.
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  2. Sheep Audioholic Warlord

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    Is it just me, or should there be in room measurements as well? I mean, as much as I use my subwoofer in the middle of a field (especially during Winter in Canada), I think an in room plot would be really helpful for people looking to buy this product.

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  3. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    In-room measurements aren't very useful unless you have the same exact room. Groundplane measurements are far more useful.
  4. theJman Audioholic Chief

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    Agreed. In-room measurements will tell you how a sub works in Josh's room, but that's not really an indication of how it will work anyplace else.
  5. Sheep Audioholic Warlord

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    It still shows you what the sub is capable of with some boundary gains. Also, units with EQ controls can show off their ability to tame room response. Not going to be able to test that outdoors.

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  6. Goliath Full Audioholic

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    Even a single SVS SB12 NSD can approach the clean output of this $1800 Martin Logan, maintaining a proper sealed 12/dB octave roll-off. The ported 24 dB roll-off is unforgivable, especially for such a high priced subwoofer. I expect more for $1800.
  7. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    I don't know what you are looking at but the SB12 does not approach the output of this sub, it looks like the ML maintains about an average 5 dB lead over the SB12 across the entire measured frequency range. You would need at least two SB12s to match a single 1500X. I don't think this sub is a bad deal when you consider its size, and remember the street price is likely to be lower than the MSRP.
  8. theJman Audioholic Chief

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    For the person who has a room with nearly identical measurements, and can place the sub in the same spot of their room that Josh did, those in-room graphs could be of value. But beyond that, there's little to be derived; the gain in a 1500 ft^3 room will differ from a 3300 ft^3 room, so comparisons between them aren't really feasible.
  9. Sheep Audioholic Warlord

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    Still doesn't help with testing room correction. Also, if all the subwoofers are being tested by the same guy (which they are) the data can be used to compare the subwoofers against one another that have been tested by him. Tom Nousaine did in room testing and people still use his guide as a reference chart. If you test everything under the same guide lines, the data is still useful.

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  10. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

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    Agree. The competition for the ML is really the SVS SB13 Ultra, which is roughly the same price, and even smaller physically (though heavier). Josh or AH hasn't tested the SB13, but I suspect it is the better value overall.
  11. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    The idea behind ground plane testing is to take the room out of the equation altogether. Theoretically you can compare one guy's groundplane tests to someone else's since the testing is all done in the same 'room'. This at least gives you the real response of the sub. Also, Tom Nousaine's results show a lot of inconsistencies, I would not use that as a comparative guide. The best has been Josh Ricci and Ilkka.
  12. theJman Audioholic Chief

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    Only for the person who has the same sized room, has the ability to place the sub in the same location as Josh and who's MLP is also the same, which is probably a small percentage of the people out there. Personally I think measurements at the listening position are of little value because they'll be applicable to such a small number of us, but I suppose it's possible a few might glean something of value from them.
  13. shadyJ Audioholic Ninja

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    I think the SB13 might be a better value as well. I don't think it would get significantly louder, but its roll off is sure to be a 12/dB slope, so its extension will be better. I doubt the 1500X will match the quality of the SVS Ultra driver. No way will its distortion be as low. I also think you might get more bang from a Hsu ULS-15 and Rythmik F15HP. Still, I don't think the 1500X is a bad sub or a bad value simply because its not quite the performance bang for the buck as a few other internet direct subs. I certainly wouldn't mind having one.
  14. Sheep Audioholic Warlord

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    Jesus ****ing christ. It's still relevant!!! Flat is Flat, Room is Room. The ground plane measurements are all the same because it's the same person and the same gear. Now, take those ground plane measurements, and put them in the same room as the other subwoofers measured by the same person, and you have a relevant comparison. Here, I'll spell this out for you, step by step.

    Sub 1 measured ground plane. Sub 1 has a plotted response ground plane. Sub 1 is measured in room. Sub 1 has a plotted in room.

    Now do this, for every sub! You can see the gains relevant to the ground plane measurement when used in a room, and when you make this normal for every subwoofer, you can see how they benefit to room gain RELEVANT to their ground plain response. Sometimes you don't know HOW MUCH IT WILL CHANGE when used in room, so measure both and SEE!

    Obviously the in room won't be the same as yours, just like ground plain, unless you live in a trailer park. What we have is in room responses, we don't listen ground plane. So knowing what will/can change is better. More information is ALWAYS better.

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  15. zhimbo Audioholic General

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    No, not really. Maybe a little (I'll touch on that later).

    Why do I want a review of the acoustic properties of the reviewer's room?

    That's not a property of the subwoofer. That's a property of the reviewer's room.

    But only for the reviewer's room.

    That's objectively false. (I know, I've studied the psychology of decision making!) Only information that is 1)relevant and 2) that we know how to use properly is useful. In-room measurements are at best only vaguely relevant, and almost certainly will be misused by most people.

    Ground-plane measurements are measurements of the *subwoofer's* properties. This is constant for the subwoofer. In-room measurements are a combination of the constant (sub's properties) and the unique, incidental properties of the current environment (the properties of the reviewer's room). Only the first of these will transfer to my listening area.

    That said, I actually *do* think there's some value in showing in-room measurements, but I think the subjective review is arguably the right way to go for that, as the precise measurements won't transfer anyway. I think it would actually be a good, educational article to compare ground-plane vs. in-room responses as a general lesson in subwoofer/room interaction, but I think it's pointless to repeatedly do this for every subwoofer reviewed.

    Added by Edit:
    For just such an article, from Ricci's Data-Bass site:
    Investigating Room Gain, "How much boost is my subwoofer going to get?"
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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  16. theJman Audioholic Chief

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    Um, OK, if you think so. I'd spell out why you're wrong, but I don't imagine it would help at this point.
  17. Sheep Audioholic Warlord

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    This is one of the largest subwoofer comparisons on the internet (if not the largest). It's been used for years, longer then you guys have even been on the board. It's not indicative of the performance you will achieve in a room, everyone knows that. Anyone that goes into this, thinking this is what they will get performance wise is a... well I shouldn't swear anymore in this thread. This list is only relevant to this list. But because it's so large (or in the case of audioholics, constantly added to and expanded) it is still relevant to it's self. If you want to know how 2 subwoofers on this list compare, you can use it, because they were both subjected to the same test procedures. This is my point. It's not as good as ground plane, but it's better then nothing. More information, is always better. Always. The fact that someone still took the time to plot SOMETHING is better then going off the specifications of the manufacture (example case, Definitely lying technology, or Def Tech for short).

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...FB1dVFtLW5HeF9yb1o2TjIyU2F1Unc&hl=en_US#gid=0

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  18. zhimbo Audioholic General

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    "More information, is always better. Always."

    Simply not true. If the information is redundant, it adds no value. Even harmful, in some cases, to good decision making.

    If you can directly compare all subs in ground plane, there's no added value to comparing all subs in a specific room context AS WELL. As you say - the Nousaine list a good list because they're all measured under in the same conditions (and it's a very large room, too!), not because they're measured in-room.

    The comparison of in-room vs. ground-plane is interesting in a general sense, but having both sets of measurements for every single sub isn't necessary or all that helpful, unless you happen to be listening in the exact same or very similar room.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
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  19. 3db Audioholic Overlord

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    If the room's layout that is being used to measure in room response with boundaries is not even similar to your room, how is this helping you to determine its response in your room? I'm guessing its not. General rule of thumb (not a 100% sure if this is accurate) is to add +2db per boundary that the sub is sitting near or at.
    3db,
  20. copmagnet82 Junior Audioholic

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    2 months later, but...

    I just wanted to second that. I'm in the market for a sub now, and I don't know why some people don't give this sub the credit it deserves. It seems like the general consensus is that if it is not a SVS sub, it is not an good sub. Don't get me wrong, SVS, Hsu, Rythmik and other internet companies have great products, in fact if I wasn't getting the deal I'm getting on 1500X, I'd most likely get a SVS sub, but even then a comparable SVS sub is SB13-Ultra, which is the price of 1500X (albeit in satin black finish vs piano black), so it's really not as overpriced as some people say it is. Also, when you factor in the fact that 1500X is made in Canada and not China like SVS and some of the others (which is probably the reason for a higher price of the 1500X), then I really don't think it's that bad of a deal ...and of course I'm not implying that Canadian made subs are better than Chinese ones, but I'd rather pay a little more and support North American economy (...and I am not Canadian ;) ).

    my $0.02 ;)

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