Martin Logan CLS IIz Floorstanding Speakers

4.73/5 (30 Reviews) MSRP : $3995.00


Product Description

Curved, visually transparent 1 x 4 ft electrostatic panel


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Reviews 1 - 5 (30 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:3
Submitted by DJ Magic Mike a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 1, 2017

Bottom Line:   
I picked up my CLS IIz speakers used, and they were still fairly pricey. With that said, they are some of my favorite speakers of all-time. However, like numerous others have stated, electrostats are not for everyone. In summary:
You need a proper sized room with proper placement.
You need proper components that not only have power but can drive speakers with lower impedance.
You need a subwoofer.

If your room is too small, you will choke the speakers. They need room to breath. I have mine spaced apart by about 8 feet and spaced from the wall about 2-3 feet (even more would be better).

If you dont have a quality amp, you wont be able to drive them at louder volumes and you run risk of damaging your amp. I use an Odyssey Stratos amplifier and it is a perfect match with these speakers.

If you dont have a subwoofer, you're missing out on all the lower frequencies. Simply put, these speakers are terrible at bass reproduction. Dont worry, most mainspeakers are. This is why we have subwoofers, and this is why you should own one... or more! I am running two Martin Logan Descent subs between the panels.

If you can use a high-pass crossover for the panels, I would advise it. I've found that crossing them over above 100hz takes a lot of stress off the panels and lets them focus on the easier to reproduce frequencies. I have mine crossed over at 140hz and that allows me to play them at very loud volumes.

The most unfortunate part of owning these speakers is the insanely high-cost of replacement panels. The great thing about Martin Logan is that they still offer replacement stators for their legacy products such as the CLS. The downside is that they are extremely pricey (over 2000 USD/pair). Thats A LOT of money for a sheet of stretched mylar that is sandwiched between 2 perforated metal panels. Unfortunately, there are very few speakers that sound this good and very few companies exist that still support legacy products.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Bobzilla a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 23, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Absolutely amazing at what they do well (everything other than low bass), and astounding when paired with a subwoofer that can keep up. Amazing soundstage, rock solid imaging, and timbre accuracy that is unequalled in the ML line. The IIz is a distinct step forward from the previous series in the CLS line. No question that the IIz has better bass extension than the original CLS, and IMO, better soundstaging due to the differential panels. Too bad that ML is no longer making a pure electrostatic speaker - would seem to be a market for a no holds barred halo product out there.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by yhm23280 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 13, 2004

Bottom Line:   
"Bad recordings sound even worse"
"They excel at strings, brass,and percussion but not with rock music"
The complete understanding of the real meaning of the above comments copied from CLSII reviews may be very important in reducing the number of audio exchanges. What would lead to the above comments? Lack of lower midrange or upper base, according to my 20 years of audio experience. In this case, good recordings from RR or Sheffield having balanced tones and harmonics sounds more natural than the natural sound when lower midrange's hazing is reduced: Reviewers seem to describe this phenomenon "startling vivid". So far so good! Who minds the artificial element if it always makes pleasing sound? ....
Why does ordinary recording sometimes sound OK, sometimes unacceptable? Or, why does a recording sound good in System A but unlistenable in System B, while System B is reviewed highly by a pro-reviewer? After careful review of the review, don't you often find the comment, "Good source or system matching" as an essential requirement?
If a recording is slightly deficient in that tone or has slightly rough highs, sound reproduced by a system which slightly lacks lower midrange is likely to be like trees having stem but no leaves; rock music has no body in this system. If the system kills harmonics too, then sterile sound.
Inherent merits of CLS with its characteristic tonal balance will take maximal advantage of audiophile recordings at Hifi shop. If you confine your listening experience to audiophile recordings, CLSII will give you more pleasure than other loud speakers.
You may find yourself listening to those good-sounding but mediocre performing CDs all the time and sometimes other CDs to see if they still sounds bad. What I would recommend for years of unfrustrated listening is to buy a system with good tonal balance (warm). Look at impedance curve of speakers; high or at least not low impedance between 70-300Hz. Good cables faithfully preserves musical information in this frequency range.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Kent a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I wish I still had my CLS IIz speakers. I sold them about five years ago because the amps I had at the time just didn't cut it. I could only play them at low volume and when there was drum "whacks" the panels touched the stators. I will (have to!) find another pair again.

Even though I had to keep the volume very low there was a magical sound to them that no other and I mean no other speaker system is capable of! Nothing else has the same "you are there" feeling as the CLS. Decibals are not the only factor for the experience. They do indeed play loud when matched with proper amplification. By the way I have heard them on numerous occasions with proper amplifiers driving them and the sound is absolutely fantastic!

And now for the fellow who called them crap? I am not going to bash Quad or you for that matter. I think you have likely never heard the CLS set up properly. Quad is nice but they just don't have the clarity or presence of the CLS.

Make sure you get amps that are up to the job, proper cables, and take the time to experiment with placement. Also make sure they are placed exactly the same in relation to one another and room boundaries.

I currently have a pair of JM Lab Electra 920.1 speakers because my amps can easily drive them and they have a fast coherent sound to them (very musical). Although they do sound great in their own way they still can't do that "transport you to another world magic" that only the Martin Logan CLS can! You CLS owners know what I mean!!!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $3500.00

Purchased At:   n/a



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by edwinlefevre2001 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 2, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I listened to 16 pairs of speakers before finally settling on these. The CLS is a classic electrostat(not a hybrid). It requires high, clean power, pinpoint placement and top notch equipment to support them. When set up appropriately there is no speaker I've heard that can match it in terms of pure crystalline sound. The best midrange period. Voices sound so real it can be eerie. They excel at strings, brass,and percussion but not with rock music. These speakers are at their best with jazz, r&b, classical. Because there is no bass enclosure they are light on the low frequencies. You must use a sub with them. Another problem is the tiny sweet spot. Once you find it, lock your chair in place. Lastly they need to be raised about a foot off the floor and slightly angled. I know this all sounds like a pain in the neck but when I have people hear these speakers for the first time...they are stunned! I will never give them up!I use the Mcormack DNA 1 to drive them, Melos shagold reference preamp and a sunfire true sub.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $5000.00

Purchased At:   Sound Advice




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