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MartinLogan Preface Dark Cherry (Single) Floor Standing Loudspeaker (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

3.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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  • Very affordable and compact employing MartinLogan next generation design in a full range floor standing speaker
  • Audiophile grade high frequency driver combined with three woofers for extreme high frequency clarity and deep bass
  • Stylish MartinLogan family appearance blends well in the home
  • Superb sound that blends for system matching or stand alone performance
  • Elegant cabinet finishes available in both Dark Cherry or Black Ash
Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.

Technical Details

  • MiniETC Spikes

Product Description

Product Description

Compact and décor-friendly, the Preface is a perfect reflection of the passion and pride of MartinLogan products. Equipped with 3 6.5 inch woofers and an ATF high frequency driver, the Preface delivers a sound with unparalleled purity, precision and clarity. Frequency response ranges from 35-20,000 Hz.

From the Manufacturer

MartinLogan - The Great American Speaker Company

Since 1983 MartinLogan, the great American speaker company, has hand-crafted high performance electrostatic speakers. Their award-winning designs, advanced technologies, and outstanding customer service have long made MartinLogan's amazingly detailed speakers a must have for home theater and music lovers around the world.




The Preface (shown here in dark cherry)
perfectly complements any home theater

Preface: ATF Technology in an Affordable Loudspeaker

With a healthy dose of MartinLogan passion, engineering and sonic performance the new angular, affordable Preface is a direct and improved descendant of the much acclaimed Montage speaker.

Preface blends innovative design and advanced materials with the latest audio technology to produce signature MartinLogan sound from a good looking and value loaded package. You'll be proud to show off Preface in your home. A unique thin film high-frequency driver, our own precision ultra high quality crossover and a trio of fast moving, accurate woofers combine to supply astonishing accuracy in any stereo or multi-channel audio-video system. In the end it means that Preface can deliver an amazing movie or music experience simply not otherwise found at this price point.

Preface's flexibility allows it to be used as a left, right or surround speaker in a stereo or muti-channel system. From top to bottom, it delivers clarity and detail with deep powerful bass and impressive dynamics. Put simply, Preface will reproduce your favorite music and movies with better sound than you ever thought possible from such a compact, reasonably priced loudspeaker, with one of the most elegant designs of any speaker in its class.

Preface's black or cherry, MartinLogan family styled cabinet strikes an elegant pose, thereby blending perfectly with most home decors. Engineered to be driven effortlessly, with room filling sound by even modest powered home electronics, Preface will thrive even further if you choose to invest in more ambitious audio gear down the road.

If you're looking for the best-sounding, best-looking, and most versatile small floor standing speaker, to hear your favorite music or complement your plasma or LCD HDTV, look no further. If you're still wondering how such a diminutive speaker can deliver the quality sound of larger more costly MartinLogans, don't worry--the Preface's small price is in direct opposition to its huge performance value.




Thin-film drivers mirror the clarity benefits
of electrostats at an affordable price


Distinctive MartinLogan styling
makes every speaker a work of art

Under the Hood: The Benefits of Advanced Thin-Film Drivers

The key element in this miraculous transducer is a micro-thin, low-mass diaphragm that is etched with an ultra-light, conductive aluminum. This film is suspended between two opposite-polarity, high-field-strength neodymium magnet arrays and housed in special steel perforated outer plates. When the audio signal from an amplifier passes through the diaphragm's surface, it creates an alternating electromagnetic field that interacts with the fields of the fixed magnet arrays, moving it back and forth with incredible fidelity to the original signal.

The Preface shares several important performance enhancing features with the world class MartinLogan electrostatic loudspeakers. This ensures precise, accurate reproduction with vanishingly low distortion. As mentioned above, the ATF diaphragm (based on Radia planar technology) is sandwiched between and simultaneously driven by extra powerful magnet arrays of opposing polarity to create an inherently linear push-pull effect similar to that of an electrostatic loudspeaker. This is why Preface carries on the tradition of such a highly regarded loudspeaker and matches so well with other ML speakers.

Another similarity to a MartinLogan electrostatic loudspeaker is that the diaphragm is driven uniformly over its entire surface, rather than at just a small contact area as in a conventional cone or dome driver. This allows Preface to reproduce music and movies at levels of detail never expected from such a small package.

Best of all, planar magnetic drivers (the technical term for Prefaces ATF tweeter), like MartinLogan electrostatic panels, have long been noted for their ideal sound dispersion - the pattern of sound waves launched in to the room. By controlling and limiting dispersion, they minimize the destructive echoes from side-walls, floors and ceilings. You get the benefit of taking even the most problematic room out of the equation so that you can enjoy nearly perfect playback.

In simple terms: Like all MartinLogan products, Preface does an amazing job at delivering sound exactly the way it was recorded- a pleasure rarely experienced from speakers at twice the size or price.

Three Low-Distortion Woofers
Utilizing the same motor and chassis structure as the innovative Purity, Preface's triple state-of-the-art, 6.5-inch, high-resolution woofers deliver a precise low-end with accuracy and real authority.

Vojtko Crossover
State-of-the-art crossover engineering ensures a transparent link between the ATF™ transducer and woofers. Preface's crossover employs proprietary Vojtko topology for vanishingly low distortion and seamless driver integration. Designed and manufactured with the same meticulous attention, care and precision as crossovers found in MartinLogan's ultimate loudspeaker products, this precision-tuned network preserves miniscule sonic nuances while handling the full dynamics of any source with unparalleled purity, precision, clarity, and openness.




Toolless binding posts make setup a breeze

Easy Setup Features

Toolless Binding Posts
MartinLogan's proprietary toolless binding posts make cable connection and management easy.

Energy Transfer Coupler Spikes
The Preface is supplied with sturdy, 1/4-20 MiniETC spikes, which can be used in place of the standard feet to enhance stability on thick carpets or to create tighter coupling between speaker and floor.

Application Versatility
Preface's size, styling, and performance make it suitable for almost any speaker application, in combination with our other ATF products and even electrostatic models. In small rooms or large, as part of a stereo music system or in a home theater as fronts, surrounds, or both, Preface delivers.




The Final Breakdown: Technical Specifications

Frequency Response:35-20,000 Hz ± 3dB
Sensitivity:92 dB/2.83 volts/meter
Impedance:4 ohms nominal
Crossover Frequencies:2200 Hz
Components:Air core coils and large steel laminate inductor, polyester film capacitors in series and low DF electrolytic capacitors
High Frequency Driver:1.5" x 2.25" (3.8 x 5.7 cm) ATF Transducer
Woofer/Midrange Type:3 x 6.5" (16.5cm) cast basket, paper-cone, non-resonant asymmetrical chamber format; bass reflex
Power Handling:200 watts per channel
Weight:46 lbs./channel (20.9 kg)
Dimensions (HxWxD):39.6" x 9" x 17" (100.6 x 22.9 x 43.3 cm)




Add A MartinLogan Center Channel or Surround (sold seperately)

Motif Speaker - Motif is an amalgam of technologies carefully balanced to maximize performance and installation flexibility. A state-of-the-art XStat transducer, MicroPerf stators, ClearSpar spacers, and vacuum bonding combine with dual aluminum-cone woofers and a proprietary Vojtko crossover to provide maximize efficiency for an effortless, unlimited dynamic presentation. The result is rich, lifelike, stunningly detailed sound that blends seamlessly with our other electrostats and enhances any home theater.

Fully Powered Feature Speaker - Internally powered with a high-resolution 150 watt switching amplifier the Feature allows an unprecedented level of system connection flexibility. A standard RCA line-level input minimizes wire clutter by connecting directly to on-wall televisions (and other devices) without the need for external amplifiers. Additionally, standard speaker-level connections allow the fully powered Feature to integrate with audio systems where RCA connection is not possible.

Matinee Speaker - The MartinLogan Matinee electrostatic center channel speaker is highly compatible and complimentary with your home theater system. The MartinLogan Matinee is an evolved expression of the same ideas and engineering that spawned the Stage and Motif speakers. A state-of-the-art Generation 2 MicroPerf electrostatic panel, dual paper-cone woofers, and highly sophisticated Vojtko crossover technology deliver unrivaled precision and center-channel intelligibility. Carefully hand-built using only the finest components, Matinee's crossover preserves even the most subtle sonic nuances while handling the full dynamics of any source.

Fresco i Speaker - The Fresco i is a compact on-wall or off-wall speaker that can be used as either center, front or surround channels. The Fresco i comes standard with a low-profile, single-pivot wall brack that allows verticle or horizontal mounting. Table and floor stands are optional. Fresco i has two 4 " woofers as well as a mid-range and high frequency driver and plays from 75 to 20,000 Hz.

Vignette Speaker - The Vignette is an on-wall or off-wall speaker that can be used as either center, front or surround channels. The Vignette comes standard with both black and silver grill covers and a low-profile, single-pivot wall brack that allows verticle or horizontal mounting. Table and floor stands are optional. The Vignette has two 4 " woofers as well as a high frequency driver and plays from 78 to 20,000 Hz.

Encore TF Speaker - Designed to serve as a high performance center channel in home theater environments, the Encore TF delivers exceptional performance at a very affordable price. Sophisticated technologies such as ATF™ (Advanced Thin Film) tweeters and quality parts give this speaker lifelike clarity and openness approaching that of our electrostatic designs.The Encore TF is a highly adaptable speaker working well mounted on or off the wall in any application. It also performs well in front channel and surround channel applications.




Complete Your Home Theater with A MartinLogan Subwoofer (sold seperately)

Depth i Subwoofer - Depth i deploys the full array of MartinLogan's advanced subwoofer technologies to achieve deep, rich, satisfying bass while preserving electrostatic-like accuracy and detail. Its TriLinear BalancedForce alignment, advanced low-distortion switching amplifier, and sophisticated triple-servo control systems extract the very best possible performance from Depth i's high-resolution 8-inch aluminum-cone drivers. TriLinear BalancedForce places the subwoofer's three drivers precisely 120 degrees apart from each other in the cabinet. Their reaction force vectors meet at the center and exactly cancel, virtually eliminating cabinet resonance and vibration. Gone with them are the cabinet-radiation coloration and bass blur that afflict even the best conventional subwoofers. The triple-servo system, meanwhile, ensures that the output from the drivers themselves - the output we want - is always an absolutely faithful replica of the audio input signal.

Grotto i Subwoofer - Grotto i deploys the full array of MartinLogan's advanced subwoofer technologies to achieve deep, rich, satisfying bass while preserving electrostatic-like accuracy and detail. Its advanced low-distortion switching amplifier and sophisticated servo control system extract the very best possible performance from Grotto i's high-resolution 10-inch aluminum-cone driver. A powerful 300 watt (900 watt peak) low-distortion, high-reliability amplifier gives Grotto i extremely articulate bass without need of exaggerated amplifier power ratings or transient-blurring ported or passive radiator enclosures common to many modern subwoofers. A proprietary servo system further ensures that output from Grotto i's 10-inch high-resolution aluminum cone woofer is dramatically free of distortion and provides a faithful replica of the audio input signal.

Dynamo 500 Subwoofer - No other subwoofer offers Dynamo 500's bass extension, power, and detail at such an affordable price. Perfect for either home theater or stereo applications, the Dynamo 500 is solidly built with high-density materials to minimize cabinet resonance and provide a foundation for the high-output 10-inch woofer and high-current 120-watt RMS, 360-watt peak amplifier. Additionally, dual rear-mounted low-turbulence ports maximize bass output while minimizing port induced distortions.




Other MartinLogan Custom Install Solutions (sold seperately)

Voyage In-Wall Speaker - The MartinLogan Voyage in-wall speaker system is a ultimate-performance speaker for your home theater entertainment room.. It is the world's most sophisticated and elegant architectural loudspeaker, The Voyage in-wall speaker sounds so clean and dynamic, you'd think it were a superb standalone design. Not surprising, since it borrows so much from our own, including Advanced Thin Film drivers and high-resolution woofers. A rigid aluminum chassis and die-cast mounting locks enhance performance and ease installation, while an adjustable tweeter-alignment sphere, paintable end caps, and a selection of grille colors provide incredible adaptability.

Passage In-Wall Speaker - A uniquely elegant and extremely accurate in-wall speaker, Passage is a remarkable performer delivering the sound quality you would expect to hear from one of MartinLogan's floorstanding loudspeakers. With twin high-resolution aluminum-cone woofers, a world class ATF (Advanced Thin Film) tweeter, an advanced-technology Vojtko crossover and a rigid aluminum chassis and 1" front baffle, Passage is quite simply an in-wall loudspeaker marvel. The result is a full, wonderfully smooth and engaging sound with clean and surprisingly deep bass foundation.

Ticket In-Wall Speaker - The MartinLogan Ticket in-wall speaker is a compact, affordable in-wall speaker for every room in your home. While significantly smaller than Passage, the elegant, affordable Ticket in-wall speaker is nonetheless a very strong performer. Its dual long-throw, high-resolution woofers, integrated dome tweeter, and advanced Vojtko¿ crossover deliver rich, clear sound and superb stereo imaging. Ticket also features paintable end caps and a selection of grille colors for perfect matching with any decor. Its quick and easy, yet very secure, installation system is the same used in Voyage and Passage speakers from MartinLogan.

Helos 100 In-Ceiling Speaker - Helos 100 is ideal for any room requiring ultimate in-ceiling audio performance such as a 2-channel system in a large living room or a multi-channel system in a discrete home theater. Helos 100's aimable assembly allows a large audience to experience the full potential of the Helos 100. Featuring a 1-inch neodymium soft dome tweeter, high-rigidity aluminum cone woofer, and proprietary Vojtko crossover topology, Helos 100 effortlessly provides solid imaging with extreme sonic accuracy. An acoustic contour switch tailors dispersion assuring a top-notch performance in any installation.

Helos 20 In-Ceiling Speaker - A direct descendant from the Helos100, the Helos 20 continues with the MartinLogan tradition of exceptional sound. The Helos 20 has the ability compliment any decor with it's paintable grill and frame. Sonically, the Helos 20 boasts a dual voice coil system with two 0.75 inch soft dome tweeters with a pivoting stem and a single 6.5 inch woofer, creating crisp accurate sound. Frequency response ranges from 47-20,000 Hz.

Helos 10 In-Ceiling Speaker - The Helos 10 delivers legendary MartinLogan quality and performance in a compact, high-resolution in-ceiling loudspeaker. Featuring a 1-inch neodymium soft dome tweeter mounted in an aimable stem, high-rigidity aluminum cone woofer, and proprietary Vojtko crossover topology, Helos 10 effortlessly provides extreme sonic accuracy.



Product Information

Product Dimensions 17 x 9 x 39.6 inches
Item Weight 46 pounds
Shipping Weight 57 pounds
Manufacturer MartinLogan
ASIN B0018Z9Y76
Item model number Preface
Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #686 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater > Home Theater Systems > Speakers > Floorstanding Speakers
#29,818 in Electronics > Home Audio & Theater > Speakers
Date first available at Amazon.com April 18, 2005

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Color: Black
Before buying new speakers I tried to do my homework properly, but since the Preface is such a new prouct there are virtually no reviews out there--none, in fact, by a pro. So this review is just based on my own judgement--which after all I guess is what really matters. I listened to some other brands: ProAc, Linn, ARCAM Muso/Logo, and a couple of B&W models. Some were simply out of my price range; the others were highly recommended by experts, but honestly--no matter the price and the reviews of the others--these Martin-Logan Prefaces blew me away. They were easily the clearest ones I heard at the price, and considering that the next level up meant a huge jump in cost, for perhaps a small incremental jump in quality,it was an easy choice.

They look great, the sound completely fills my medium-sized living room, and on very familiar albums I hear instruments and sounds that I'd never heard before. The "soundstage" (as experts call it) is huge. I can close my eyes and the equipment completely disappears, or maybe I disappear into the music. What a thrill it is to hear such brilliant sounds. I tried it with jazz (which always shows off the timing of a good sound system), with classical, opera, rock with big thumpy bass notes, and my eclectic African collection with its varied percussion sounds. In every way the Prefaces excelled. I'll give it my highest recommendation.
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Color: Black Verified Purchase
I began my journer into audophile country when my H/K receiver bit the dust. I convinced my wife we needed a serious upgrade (don't ask how but I've got serious dish-pan-hands). So I go into the Magnolia center fully plannnig on getting a set of Klipsch's or Vienna's. After listening to all the speakers in the room I could not get past the Prefaces. They really did sound the best. The store did not have any in stock and honestly I didn't like the cherry models on display. I came home and logged onto Martin Logan and I found the Preface in black. To me it looks a whole lot better. Martin Logan has a warning on the website that only Best Buy and Amazon.com are authorized dealers. So I logged onto Amazon and the speakers were here a few days later.
These babies do require a break-in. They sound a bit bright at first but the woofers have to loosen up. I have been in tears listening to some of the music that is coming out of these bad boys. You will still need a sub for the really low stuff. Understand that they are 4 ohm speakers so your receiver should be of good quality or simply add an amp....now I'm really going to wash dishes a long long time.
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Color: Black Verified Purchase
I've been watching MartinLogan products for a while trying to learn everything before I buy each piece. Prior to looking at the Preface, I was watching the Vista and Vantage models. I decided the Preface would be best since they would be timbre matched with the rest of my speakers. I bought a pair of Preface to complete my 5.1 setup. I'm using the MartinLogan Fresco i as the center channel, and as the rear right and left speakers. I'm using a Focal Chorus sw800v as the sub. Everything is powered by a Denon AVR587. I must say the receiver is under powering the speakers, but that's not a problem because they all sound great. Beware, if your media is poor quality, these speakers will make it known. For example, I play Mp3's from a usb drive on my PS3. On 128kbps, the mp3 sound flat. The same song encoded at 192kbps sound amazing. Both mp3s were encoded from the same CD, using the same software on the same computer.

When I purchased the Preface, I was also comparing the Paradigm Millenia 200 and the Klipsch XF48. The negative of the Preface is that it has a larger footprint than the others, but the Preface has a deeper sound and a larger sound field. The Paradigm is a great speaker b/c the sound field was as large as the Preface, but you need to have a sub to make it sound full. The Klipsch wasn't as wide in sound imaging as the Preface, but sounded fuller than the Paradigm. Don't get me wrong, you will still want a sub for any setup, but the Preface do a great job on the lower frequencies.

I tested the Preface on a Denon AVR3310. They performed beautifully, and eventually I'll upgrade my receiver. For now, I'll wait on buying a new receiver since there's no point in having 2 receivers. Anyone want to buy a used Denon AVR587?
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Color: Black Verified Purchase
I bought these speakers three years ago and never submitted a review about them. As I was watching a movie this last weekend, it had occurred to me just how much I appreciate these speakers. It is almost as if they get better with age. Bottom line, they sounded great out of the box three years ago and continue to sound great today and hopefully for years to come.
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Color: Black
I wasn't going to buy any speakers at all (already had a Polk Audio 5.1 system in place), I was looking for a receiver upgrade, went to the BestBuy - Magnolia inside store and made a mistake of testing the receiver with those speakers. Got hocked on them almost instantly! Bought a pair to replace my front speakers, with the plan to move them back to be my surround sound speakers in the future (once I get more room ;-)

Back to speakers. If you ask me are those the best speakers you can buy for the price? - NO. Are they going to produce the most distinct and accurate sound in vocal, mid and high range? - NO. The reason I bought them is because I'm into heavy music and I never heard base and drums coming out from speakers that would sounds that real, even after comparing Preface's to the $4000.00 ML speakers. Low ends on those speakers produce very broad, live alike sound, and that is important to the type of music I'm listening to. So, if you listen mostly to rock or metal, you own yourself to audition those. If you are into classical, pop or vocal music, you should probably look somewhere else.

They are also really good for the movies, low end is so strong, that you don't really need a subwoofer for the movies.
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