e l o s
u s e r ’ s
m a n u a l
M a r t i n L o g a n®
the loudspeaker technology company
and Introduction
Contents and Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Placement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Installation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Painting and Customizing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Painting the Speaker Frame
Painting the Speaker Grill
Removing the Logo Badge
Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting . 9
General Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Warranty and Registration
Serial Number
Glossary of Audio Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Content Check List
You will find the following items enclosed for your new
MartinLogan loudspeaker. Should you require assistance
please call our service department at (785) 749-0133.
Installation Template
Grill Cover
Paint Shield
User’s Manual
Warranty Registration Card
The lightning bolt flash with arrowhead symbol within
an equilateral triangle is intended to alert the user to
the presence of uninsulated “dangerous voltage” within
the product’s enclosure that may be of sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of electric shock.
The exclamation point within an equilateral triangle is
intended to alert the user to the presence of important
operating and maintenance (servicing) instructions in
the literature accompanying the appliance.
The fire within an equilateral triangle is intended to
alert the user to the potential of creating a fire hazard
if they do not follow the instructions.
The dollar sign within an equilateral triangle is intended to alert the user that they run the risk of causing
damage that could be potentially expensive to repair
if they don't follow the instructions.
Contents & Introduction
Congratulations! You have invested in a new world
of high performance audio!
The MartinLogan Helos 10 represents the culmination of
an intensive, dedicated group research program directed
toward establishing a world class reference monitor utilizing leading-edge technology, without compromising
durability, reliability, craftsmanship or aesthetic design.
The materials in your new Helos 10 speaker are of the
highest quality and will provide years of enduring enjoyment and deepening respect.
This User’s Manual will explain in detail the operation of
your Helos 10 speaker and the philosophy applied to its
design. A clear understanding of your speaker will insure
that you obtain maximum performance and pleasure from
this most exacting transducer. It has been designed and constructed to give you years of trouble-free listening enjoyment.
In accordance with the European Union WEEE (Waste
Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive effective
August 13, 2005, we would like to notify you that this
product may contain regulated materials which upon
disposal, according to the WEEE directive, require special reuse and recycling processing.
For this reason MartinLogan has arranged with our distributors in European Union member nations to collect
and recycle this product at no cost to you. To find your
local distributor please contact the dealer from whom you
purchased this product, email info@martinlogan.com or
visit the distributor locator at www.martinlogan.com.
Please note, only this product itself falls under the WEEE
directive. When disposing of packaging and other related shipping materials we encourage you to recycle these
items through the normal channels.
•Refer servicing to a qualified technician.
•To prevent fire or shock hazard, do not
expose this module to moisture.
•Turn amplifier off should any abnormal
conditions occur.
•Do not drive speaker beyond its rated power.
When choosing placement for the Helos 10, follow these
simple tips:
—Place the front and center channels between 7 to 10 feet
(214 to 305cm) from the primary listening position.
—Place the Helos 10 a minimum of 12" (30cm) from any
—Point the tweeter of all speakers towards the primary
listening position.
12” Min.
12” Min.
Figure 1. 2-channel installation.
Figure 2. Adding a center channel to create a 3-channel installation.
Figure 3. Adding surround channels to create a 5- or 7-channel installation.
Figure 4. Using the Helos 10 for distributed audio.
NOTE: These instructions must be carefully followed to
assure that your Helos 10 is safely installed. Study them
thoroughly before installing your Helos 10.
NOTE: The following instructions assume the mounting
surface is of standard wood frame and standard sheet rock
construction. If you wish to mount the Helos 10 to another
type of material, you should consult a bonded contractor.
Warning! Before installing check
local building codes to verify compliance with local regulations.
Warning! Before installing check
for obstructions behind the drywall
(electrical, plumbing and other fixtures). To do this make a small hole,
cutting at a 45° angle (this will make
the hole easier to patch if obstructions are found). Only cut the
mounting hole after you have
verified there are no obstructions behind the ceiling.
Required tools (not included):
Stud finder
Sharp pencil or pen
Dry wall knife/saw
Wire strippers
Electric drill (with clutch)
2-inch long #2 Phillips Driver bit
Tape measure
Push Pin
Depth required above ceiling surface:
4.5" (11.4cm)
Required ceiling opening (includes tolerance):
8.35" (21.2cm)
Figure 5. Dimensions of the Helos 10
Ceiling Joist
Ceiling Joist
Figure 6. Installation steps 1–3.
Figure 7. Installation step 4.
1 Using a stud finder, locate the final speaker position
between ceiling joists.
4 Use a dry wall knife/saw to cut out the opening.
WARNING! Absolutely no part of the template
should overlap a joist.
2 Insert a push pin in the template center.
3 Mark cutout through slots in template. Remove Template.
Figure 8. Connecting the Helos 10.
Figure 9. Installation step 6–7.
5 Connect speaker cable. Be consistent when connecting
speaker leads to the terminals on the Helos 10. Take
great care to assign the same color to the (+) terminal
on both the speaker and the amplifier.
6 Place speaker in hole.
WARNING! Turn your amplifier off before
making or breaking any signal connections!
7 Use a 2-inch long #2 Phillips driver and an electric
drill to lock all 3 mounting locks in place. Use a low
clutch setting on the drill.
Figure 10. Installation step 8.
Figure 11. Installation step 9.
8 Gently pivot the tweeter stem to point towards the primary listening position. To rotate the speaker, rotate the
entire speaker assembly. DO NOT rotate the tweeter
9 Gently press the grill cover into place.
Painting the Speaker Frame
Painting the Speaker Grill
Figure 12. Painting the speaker frame.
Figure 13. Painting the speaker grill.
NOTE: The Helos 10 can be either painted in place or
removed from the ceiling for painting.
IMPORTANT! The grill must be removed from the speaker
before painting.
IMPORTANT! Do not paint the rear of the speaker or the
surface behind the grill.
IMPORTANT! The scrim must be removed before painting
the grill.
1 Remove the grill from the Helos 10 (see figure 12).
IMPORTANT! The logo badge must be removed before
painting the grill.
2 Press the paint shield into place (see figure 12).
1 Remove the grill from the Helos 10 (see figure 13).
3 In a well ventilated area paint the Helos 10 speaker
frame, allowing frame to dry completely between coats.
2 Remove the logo badge (see below).
3 A protective scrim is attached to the back of the grill
with low-tack adhesive. Remove this scrim by gently
pulling it away from the grill cover (see figure 13).
4 Paint the grill being careful not to plug the holes. For
best results use a spray rather than a brush. Allow paint
to completely dry before proceeding.
5 Gently press the scrim and logo badge back into place
before reinstalling the speaker grill.
Removing the Logo Badge
Figure 14. Removing the logo badge.
Customizing and Painting
The MartinLogan logo badge on the Helos 10 is removable. To do this, gently depress the tabs on the back of the
logo badge (see figure 14).
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I clean my speakers?
Just use a dust free cloth or a soft brush to remove the
dust from your speakers. We recommend a specialty
cloth (available at the Xtatic shop at www.martinlogan.
com) that cleans your speakers better than anything
else we have tried. Do not spray any kind of cleaning agent on or in close proximity to the drivers.
• Check that all your system components are turned on.
• Check your speaker wires and connections.
• Check all interconnecting cables.
What size amplifier should I use?
We recommend an amplifier with 100 watts per channel
for most applications. Probably less would be adequate when used in home theater where a subwoofer
is employed.
Could you suggest a list of suitable electronics and
cables that would be ideal for MartinLogan speakers?
The area of electronics and cable choice is probably
the most common type of question that we receive. It is
also the most subjective. We have repeatedly found that
brands that work well in one setup will drive someone
else nuts in another. We use many brands with great
success. Again, we have no favorites; we use electronics
and cables quite interchangeably. We would suggest
listening to a number of brands—and above all else—
trust your ears. Dealers are always the best source for
information when purchasing additional audio equipment
or cables and will be well versed in the subject of special
safety requirements for in-wall cable.
Will exposure to sunlight affect the life or performance of my speakers?
We recommend that you not place any loudspeaker
in direct sunlight. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun
can cause deterioration of grill cloth, speaker cones, etc.
Small exposures to UV will not cause a problem. In
general, the filtering of UV rays through glass will greatly
reduce the negative effects.
Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting
General Information
Warranty and Registration
System Frequency Response
47–20,000 Hz ± 3 dB
Your Helos 10 speaker is provided with an automatic Limited
90 Day Warranty coverage.
89 dB/2.83 volts/meter (mounted in ceiling)
You have the option, at no additional charge, to receive a
Limited 5 Year Warranty coverage. To obtain the Limited
5 Year Warranty coverage you need to complete and return
the Certificate of Registration, included with your speakers,
and provide a copy of your dealer receipt to MartinLogan
within 30 days of purchase.
4 ohms
Crossover Frequency
2800 Hz
Custom air core coils, polyester capacitors
Binding Posts
Push style binding posts, accommodates wire up to
Tweeter Type
1” (2.5cm) neodymium soft dome
Woofer Type
6.5” (16.5cm) high rigidity aluminum cone with extended
throw drive assembly, thermal protection
Power Handling
100 watts
4.5 lbs. each (2 kg)
Overall Size
9.5” inches W × 4.62” inches D
(20.7cm W × 11.7cm D)
Required ceiling opening (including tolerance)
8.35" (21.2cm)
Projection from wall surface
0.4" (1cm)
Depth required behind wall surface
4.5" (11.4cm)
For your convenience MartinLogan also offers online warranty
registration at www.martinlogan.com.
MartinLogan may not honor warranty service claims unless
we have a completed Warranty Registration on file!
If you did not receive a Certificate of Registration with your
new Helos 10 speaker, you cannot be assured of having
received new units. If this is the case, please contact your
authorized MartinLogan dealer.
Serial Number
The Helos 10's serial number is located on the back of the
speaker and also on the product's shipping carton.
Should you be using your MartinLogan product in a country
other than the one in which it was originally purchased,
we ask that you note the following:
1 The appointed MartinLogan distributor for any given
country is responsible for warranty servicing only on
units distributed by or through it in that country in
accordance with its applicable warranty.
2 Should a MartinLogan product require servicing in a
country other than the one in which it was originally
purchased, the end user may seek to have repairs performed by the nearest MartinLogan distributor, subject
to that distributor’s local servicing policies, but all cost
of repairs (parts, labor, transportation) must be borne
by the owner of the MartinLogan product.
3 If, after owning your speakers for six months, you
relocate to a country other than the one in which
you purchased your speakers, your warranty may be
transferable. Contact MartinLogan for details.
General Information
AC. Abbreviation for alternating current.
Active crossover. Uses active devices (transistors, ICs,
tubes) and some form of power supply to operate.
Amplitude. The extreme range of a signal. Usually measured from the average to the extreme.
Audio Terms
Diffraction. The breaking up of a sound wave caused by
some type of mechanical interference such as a cabinet
edge, grill frame or other similar object.
Diaphragm. A thin flexible membrane or cone that vibrates
in response to electrical signals to produce sound waves.
ATF. The abbreviation for advanced thin film.
Distortion. Usually referred to in terms of total harmonic
distortion (THD) which is the percentage of unwanted harmonics of the drive signal present with the wanted signal.
Generally used to mean any unwanted change introduced
by the device under question.
Bass. The lowest frequencies of sound.
Driver. See transducer.
Bi-Amplification. Uses an electronic crossover, or linelevel passive crossover, and separate power amplifiers for
the high and low frequency loudspeaker drivers.
Dynamic Range. The range between the quietest and the
loudest sounds a device can handle (often quoted in dB).
Arc. The visible sparks generated by an electrical discharge.
Capacitance. That property of a capacitor which determines
how much charge can be stored in it for a given potential
difference between its terminals, measured in farads, by
the ratio of the charge stored to the potential difference.
Capacitor. A device consisting of two or more conducting
plates separated from one another by an insulating material and used for storing an electrical charge. Sometimes
called a condenser.
Clipping. Distortion of a signal by its being chopped
off. An overload problem caused by pushing an amplifier beyond its capabilities. The flat-topped signal has
high levels of harmonic distortion which creates heat in a
loudspeaker and is the major cause of loudspeaker component failure.
CLS. The abbreviation for curvilinear line source.
Crossover. An electrical circuit that divides a full bandwidth signal into the desired frequency bands for the
loudspeaker components.
dB (decibel). A numerical expression of the relative loudness of a sound. The difference in decibels between two
sounds is ten times the Base 10 logarithm of the ratio of
their power levels.
Efficiency. The acoustic power delivered for a given electrical input. Often expressed as decibels/watt/meter
ESL. The abbreviation for electrostatic loudspeaker.
Headroom. The difference, in decibels, between the peak
and RMS levels in program material.
Hybrid. A product created by the marriage of two different
technologies. Meant here as the combination of a dynamic woofer with an electrostatic or ATF transducer.
Hz (Hertz). Unit of frequency equivalent to the number of
cycles per second.
Imaging. To make a representation or imitation of the
original sonic event.
Impedance. The total opposition offered by an electric
circuit to the flow of an alternating current of a single frequency. It is a combination of resistance and reactance and
is measured in ohms. Remember that a speaker’s impedance changes with frequency, it is not a constant value.
Inductance. The property of an electrical circuit by which
a varying current in it produces a varying magnetic field
that introduces voltages in the same circuit or in a nearby
circuit. It is measured in henrys.
DC. Abbreviation for direct current.
Glossary of Audio Terms
Inductor. A device designed primarily to introduce inductance into an electrical circuit. Sometimes called a choke
or coil.
Linearity. The extent to which any signal handling process
is accomplished without amplitude distortion.
Midrange. The middle frequencies where the ear is the
most sensitive.
NAC. The abbreviation for natural ambience compensation.
Passive crossover. Uses no active components (transistors, ICs, tubes) and needs no power supply (AC, DC,
battery) to operate. The crossover in a typical loudspeaker is of the passive variety. Passive crossovers consist of
capacitors, inductors and resistors.
Phase. The amount by which one sine wave leads or lags
a second wave of the same frequency. The difference is
described by the term phase angle. Sine waves in phase
reinforce each other; those out of phase cancel.
Pink noise. A random noise used in measurements, as it
has the same amount of energy in each octave.
Polarity. The condition of being positive or negative with
respect to some reference point or object.
RMS. Abbreviation for root mean square. The effective
value of a given waveform is its RMS value. Acoustic power
is proportional to the square of the RMS sound pressure.
Resistance. That property of a conductor by which it
opposes the flow of electric current, resulting in the generation of heat in the conducting material, usually expressed
in ohms.
Resonance. The effect produced when the natural vibration frequency of a body is greatly amplified by reinforcing
vibrations at the same or nearly the same frequency from
another body.
Sensitivity. The volume of sound delivered for a given
electrical input.
Stator. The fixed part forming the reference for the moving
diaphragm in a planar speaker.
THD. The abbreviation for total harmonic distortion. (See
TIM. The abbreviation for transient intermodulation distortion.
Transducer. Any of various devices that transmit energy
from one system to another, sometimes one that converts
the energy in form. Loudspeaker transducers convert electrical energy into mechanical motion.
Transient. Applies to that which lasts or stays but a short
time. A change from one steady-state condition to another.
Tweeter. A small drive unit designed to reproduce only
high frequencies.
Wavelength. The distance measured in the direction of
progression of a wave, from any given point characterized
by the same phase.
White noise. A random noise used in measurements, as it
has the same amount of energy at each frequency.
Woofer. A drive unit operating in the bass frequencies only.
Drive units in two-way systems are not true woofers but
are more accurately described as being mid/bass drivers.
Resistor. A device used in a circuit to provide resistance.
Ma r t i n L oga n®
the loudspeaker technology company
2101 Delaware Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66046, USA
tel 785.749.0133
fax 785.749.5320
©2008 MartinLogan. All rights reserved.
Rev. #060408