MartinLogan's EM-ESL: More Flagship Than Entry Level

by The Audio Beat | March 22, 2011

aking a cue from its Aerius speaker, which was launched in 1992, MartinLogan has introduced the new ElectroMotion-ESL ($1995/pair), which, according to the company, "performs more like a mini-flagship than an entry-level audiophile speaker."

The EM-ESL mates MartinLogan's lowest-cost full-size electrostatic panel ever, the curvilinear XStat MicroPerf, with an 8" high-excursion, doped-fiber-cone woofer of the company's own design. The XStat panel developed for the EM-ESL reduces the thickness of the electrostatic panel's steel stators. This doesn't alter the performance characteristics of the panel but does increase visual transparency while still allowing the speaker to be powered by both receivers and high-end amplifiers. Compared to the Aerius, the ElectroMotion-ESL's electrostatic panel has 40 percent more radiating surface (129 square inches total). Its 91dB sensitivity and 6-ohm load represent improvements that will make the EM-ESL easier to drive than the Aerius.

ElectroMotion-ESL’s panel is housed within MartinLogan's aluminum-and-composite AirFrame, which is similar to that used for the company's flagship speakers. This increases the electrostatic panel's rigidity without obstructing surface area or interfering with the speaker's dipole radiation pattern. Proprietary crossover technology featuring high-grade parts is said to blend the output from the electrostatic panel and dynamic woofer seamlessly.

The ElectroMotion-ESL measures 52.1"H x 9"W x 16.3"D and weighs 35 pounds. Matching center and surround speakers will be available soon.

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