MartinLogan Motion 8 Center Channel Speaker

Discussion in 'Write Your Own Review' started by Adam, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    During my break, I wrote a review for this speaker on Amazon. The audience there probably isn't as demanding as here (although the only person to vote said it was unhelpful :eek:), so I apologize in advance for any lack of details...but I'm too lazy to rewrite it. :) I just figured that I'd share my thoughts on it with you all.

    Overall, I like this speaker. It's got a nice neutral sound to it, and it's light enough to wall mount easily. Below is the original review.

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    For reference, I have been using a set of NHT speakers since 1998 in a 5.1 set up - two pairs of 1.5 bookshelf speakers along with a AudioCenter-1. The AudioCenter-1 has about the same frequency response and sensitivity as the Motion 8 and is also a sealed design, but it's larger and heavier.

    Overall, I'd say this is worthy of consideration. Because of my perception of the quality of materials used in the construction, I'm not sold on this being a standout at it's price and a clear winner - but it is certainly worth checking out if you're in the market. Below are more details.

    Sound Quality:
    I am quite pleased with the sound from this speaker. I could coo about the chocolatey midrange and the angelic highs, but even I wouldn't believe me. :) Subjective descriptions of speakers don't have a lot of value to me, but I'll say a few things. I like the sound because it seems crisp and clean to me (not muffled at all), and it can handle frequencies as high as I can hear quite well. I direct all frequencies below 80Hz to a subwoofer, so I haven't tested the lower end of this speaker. In short, I'd say this speaker is capable of producing the frequencies in it's range and is a great blank slate to blend into a system as described below.

    This speaker blended into my system just fine thanks to something that I think is awesome - the auto-equalizing systems found on a number of modern receivers. A brief aside, but it's related to why I like this speaker. I use the MCACC system on my Pioneer Elite and absolutely love it. Without equalization, the Motion 8 certainly has a different sound quality than my NHTs, but that's no surprise. Heck, my NHT center channel has a different sound quality than my 1.5s, and it was the matching center channel for those bookshelves. Speakers sound different from each other. Even speakers that inherently sound the same can sound different depending on where you put in the room. Something that isn't always considered by people are the acoustic properties of the room that the speakers are in (the room itself, furniture, etc.) - which is an important factor. So, if you get speakers like this one that can produce the frequencies well and pair them with electronics that can contour the sound for your room, you're in good shape. I'm not a fan of room treatments because of the extra work and often large panels required, so I really like the auto-equalizing function.

    I would put the Motion 8 on par with my NHT center channel. The NHT retailed for a bit more back in 1998 than the Motion 8 does now, so I didn't expect it to be outclassed by the Motion 8 - and it wasn't. However, and here's why I'd recommend the Motion 8, it sounds as good as the NHT while being significantly lower in weight and depth. This speaker is perfect for wall mounting, which is exactly what I did with it (described below).


    Wall Mounting:
    I choose to add this as a rear center channel and upgrade to a 6.1 system, and wall mounting couldn't have been much easier. It comes with all the required materials: two small brackets, four screws (two per bracket), four drywall screw inserts (if needed), and (which was especially appreciated) a true-size paper template to help place the screw holes. The inclusion of the template was awesome! I just taped it to the wall, made sure it was where I wanted the speaker, leveled it, poked holes through the marked screw locations on the paper and into the drywall, removed the template, and mounted the brackets.

    I did have to loosen the screws on one of the brackets to nudge it over so that the speaker mounting posts would line up, but that wasn't difficult. It would have been nice if there was more play in the design, but not a big complaint. The instructions recommend attaching two (included) adhesive pads to the lower two corners to keep the speaker from touching the wall - I recommend using all four included pads on all four rear corners. When I attached mine the wall, the top two corners (which I didn't put pads on) are also up against the wall.


    Aesthetics/Build Quality:
    Hmmm. There are pros and cons for me on this, but aesthetics are very subjective. The piano black finish looks very nice, but I'm not a huge fan of the curved design. The metal grill is press fit and, as far as I can tell, not easily removed. I like being able to take grills off to see the drivers, at least when I first buy a speaker, so this was a bit of a disappointment. For those with kids, though, the metal grill will be excellent. My biggest gripe on the grill is that it is a b***h to clean, and I have a white dog whose hair gets caught in there a lot. I was a bit concerned about the build quality given the light weight and the cabinet material, but the sound is fine and it makes wall mounting a LOT easier. The speaker feels cheap to me because it's so light, but it doesn't sound cheap. I'm not mentally a fan of the paper cone drivers with stamped steel baskets, but I've got no real reason to think that they won't hold up.


    Other Notes:
    - This speaker isn't magnetically shielded. That's not an issue unless your using it next to a CRT television, though.
    - The nominal 4-ohm rating is something that caught my attention, but it might be a non-issue as MartinLogan states on their website that it's "compatible with 4, 6 or 8 ohm rated amplifiers." Lower impedance (i.e. a lower ohm rating) means a higher current draw on the amps in the receiver. That shouldn't be an issue for most mid-range or higher receivers, but it might trigger the self-protection circuitry on some models if you crank up the volume and the current draw gets to high. Just something to consider.
    Adam,
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  2. Alex2507 Audioholic Slumlord

    Alex2507
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    That guy hit the wrong button. :D

    Now I want one of those centers and I don't even need a center. :)
  3. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    Thanks. :) I try, but if it doesn't help someone out, I'll take what's coming to me.

    Why would you want one of these? You're the AH MacGyver, man. Didn't someone next door through out some aluminum foil and an egg carton? You could have one that looks ten times as nice...in about three years when you get around to building it. :D
    Adam,
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