It would be remiss of any reviewer of hybrid loudspeakers not to discuss the integration between dynamic bass and stator mid-top. But it’s a non-issue; the integration simply happens. The bass flows into the midrange and vice versa as if you are listening to one drive unit, not two different technologies. In fairness to MartinLogan, the company nailed this some time ago, especially with the Summit X, but this brings that fluidity across the bandwidth to the Montis level, and if you know how difficult that is, you also know how much respect it deserves. There wasn’t a single plot hole here; the bass is fast enough to keep pace with the panel and when correctly dialled for the room, the sound is seamless.
This turns the Montis into a kind of gateway for dynamic loudspeaker users. The pace and solidity of the Montis sound thanks to that bass driver will find favour with those weaned on box speakers, and they will be won over by the expansiveness of the electrostatic panel, possibly for years to come. The pithy way of summing this up; you come for the bass line, but you stay for the vocals.
In a way, the Montis is a more European-friendly loudspeaker than the Summit X. This may be a sweeping generalisation of truly epic proportions, but the combination of room size, room construction, and an acceptance of the kind of loudspeakers that work well in such rooms, means audiophile bass is something to be tamed here, and delighted in ‘across the pond’. The Summit X, with its greater bottom end authority, can potentially over-drive the bass in our typically smaller, solid-walled rooms, while the Montis is the more comfortable match. This is, in fact, more a function of installation rather than criticism per se – correctly set, the Summit X has even greater bass control along with bass depth. However, it is a sad indictment of many systems (especially those that are one or two users away from a professional installation) that the quality of set-up is ‘more honoured in the breach than in the observance’. While good installation is important in any system, it is critically important in electrostatics and the balancing of a bass unit to the stator panel. That there is slightly less to get wrong with the Montis (from a European perspective) should make it a better sounding loudspeaker in a wider number of homes. Very highly recommended.
Type: Two-way, two-driver, floorstanding speaker with electrostatic panel and active, DSP-driven sub-bass enclosure.
Driver complement: One 1118 × 287mm electrostatic transducer; one 254mm cast basket, high excursion, aluminum cone with extended throw drive assembly, non-resonance asymmetrical chamber format.
Crossover frequency: 340Hz
Frequency response: 29Hz – 23kHz (±3dB)
Impedance: 4 Ohms. 0.52 at 20kHz
Amplifier power: 200W/ch (4 ohms)
Inputs: One pair custom multiway connectors
Dimensions (HxWxD): 1505 × 322 × 457mm
Weight: 26.3 kg/each
Finish: Black Alloy with Black Ash, Dark Cherry, or Zebrawood as standard. High Gloss finish also available
Price: £9,800/pair standard finish, £12,900/pair high gloss finish
Manufactured by: MartinLogan
UK Distributor: Absolute Sounds
Tel: +44(0)208 971 3909