MartinLogan ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 43 Old 06-01-14, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
Wayne Myers
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,838
MartinLogan ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread

MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread




MartinLogan Website
EM-ESL MSRP: $2,195 Pair
Available at your Authorized
MartinLogan Dealer



by Wayne Myers


Introduction

The MartinLogan Electromotion ESL (EM-ESL) is the company's entry-level hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker. The EM-ESL and its big brother, the Montis, are the first electrostatic speakers I have reviewed or spent much time with. While I received the EM-ESL first, I had the opportunity to spend time with Sonnie Parker's new Montis speakers back in January, and completed that review first. I will reference that review from time to time, having covered a lot of detail about the technology and MartinLogan's design approaches and general product characteristics there.

Martin Logan has been making electrostatic speakers since the early 1980's. Current models make use of a curved electrostatic panel, which has a wider horizontal radiation pattern than a typical flat-panel speaker. They also stick to the hybrid design principle for all but their largest model, that approach being the best for low-distortion performance. In the hybrid design approach, a conventional cone woofer provides low-frequency coverage.

And low distortion is what I was looking forward to hearing, along with the coherence of a single driver for the entire mid- and high-frequency range. In many ways, the MartinLogan design for hybrid electrostatic speakers seems to me to be an idealized approach for high-fidelity speaker design. My experiences with the ESL and the bigger Montis have been both a delight and an education, and while they have at times been exasperatingly demanding in their placement requirements, the sonic qualities day they have delivered have been among the best I have witnessed.

Read the full MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Speaker Review.
AudiocRaver is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 43 Old 06-01-14, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
Wayne Myers
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,838
Re: MartinLogan ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread

The review is done. Hope it is helpful.

Edit: Thanks for your patience. Hope it is worth the wait!
AudiocRaver is offline  
post #3 of 43 Old 06-01-14, 10:06 PM
Elite Shackster
 
tesseract's Avatar
2 channel view
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 3,697
My System
Re: MartinLogan ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread

Another extremely thorough job, Wayne.

"I left in love, in laughter, and in truth and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit." - Bill Hicks
tesseract is offline  
 
post #4 of 43 Old 06-01-14, 10:19 PM
Senior Shackster
 
fokakis1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Hattiesburg, MS
Posts: 178
My System
Quote:
AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
The review is done. Hope it is helpful.
Thanks Wayne. Your reviews are very helpful. I knew at bullet point #3 exactly what the "ultimate setup approach" would entail. Your attention to proper placement to achieve better results has been inspiring.

Control4 Automation Programmer
fokakis1 is offline  
post #5 of 43 Old 06-02-14, 08:57 AM
Elite Shackster
 
Savjac's Avatar
Jack
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,784
My System
Re: MartinLogan ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread

Wayne, I cannot imagine the trouble you went through to test and listen that extensively and I Thank You for doing so. I look forward to your further thoughts on placement and toe in etc.

Like you, i enjoy mine very much and have achieved some good results and some not so good results based upon room and placement therein. I did find that even in a very large room with a cathedral ceiling, the speakers were able to produce sounds and listening levels that were great. Although putting them too close to the wall behind them created way too much bass. I also found that the better the equipment, the better the sound, these speakers are not embarrassed by very high quality front ends.

I really agree with your review and found only one weakness that maybe should not be called a weakness as if one did not hear it another way, one would not know it was missing. That weakness for me was in the last bit of dynamics that bring music from the sound of a recording to the sound of live. Hard to describe really but once experienced, it cannot be forgotten.

Lastly, i have carpets in my rooms and felt that by placing the speakers atop a flat board that is spiked to the floor, the bottom end got just a bit tighter and snappier. I would not use this trick on hard wood floors as it would do no good, but somehow and i don't understand it, the bottom firing port seems to be less chunky when it fires on to a hard surface.

Good Listening

Jack

"For those who believe no proof is needed for those who don't believe no proof is possible"

Last edited by Savjac; 06-02-14 at 11:03 AM. Reason: Edited for additional thoughts.
Savjac is offline  
post #6 of 43 Old 06-02-14, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
Wayne Myers
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,838
Savjac: I will try the board idea. Thanks for the tip!
AudiocRaver is offline  
post #7 of 43 Old 06-02-14, 09:51 AM
Senior Shackster
 
Mike0206's Avatar
Mike
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Beaumont, CA USA
Posts: 652
My System
Very nicely done as usual! I was looking at these speakers when they first came out back in late 2012 early 2013. No real reviews on them at the time and it was really hard to determine how well they sounded in the room they were in. I went a different route and am very satisfied with my setup but after your review I wonder if I short changed the ESL's when I first heard them. Of course setup seems to be very critical with these type of speakers and so may not be for everyone. Thanks again for the great review!
Mike0206 is offline  
post #8 of 43 Old 06-02-14, 11:02 AM
Elite Shackster
 
Savjac's Avatar
Jack
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,784
My System
Re: MartinLogan ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread

Quote:
AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
Savjac: I will try the board idea. Thanks for the tip!
Good, I left the rubber covers over spikes on the bottom of the speakers in place and then put some spikes in a flat 1" by a bit larger than the speaker base. That way for me, I could dial in the speaker toe in etc while the board remains solid to the floor. Once I got the angles in place, I marked the top of the board and took the rubber covers off the speaker spikes and let them set down, they are kind of light and I think they may not connect solidly to the floor under my carpet and pad.

I look forward to your thoughts on what you hear or don't and I hope its not all in my mind

Second, if you thing those babies have a good sound space and delineation of instruments/vocals within that space, you should listen to your music via a good tube amp, zowie, those images are fleshed out better and there is a bit of meat on the bones of performers doing fine vocals.

Ps: I forgot, I owe you something, I will get them boxed up right away, I totally spaced.

Good Listening

Jack

"For those who believe no proof is needed for those who don't believe no proof is possible"
Savjac is offline  
post #9 of 43 Old 06-02-14, 11:59 AM
Senior Shackster
Bryan
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Woods Cross, Utah
Posts: 868
Re: MartinLogan ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread

Just saw that this review is posted, and I just had to jump on here and say Been waiting for a long time for this one.

Okay, now I'm going to go read it and I'll come back later.
bkeeler10 is offline  
post #10 of 43 Old 06-02-14, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
Elite Shackster
Wayne Myers
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 4,838
Re: MartinLogan ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread

Bryan: You have been extremely patient. I thank you, and hope your needs are met by the review.
AudiocRaver is offline  
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
discussion , esl , martinlogan , review , speaker , thread

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now




PLEASE COMPLETE ALL REQUIRED FIELDS BELOW... THANKS!

REQUIRED FIELDS ON THIS PAGE
YOU MUST COMPLETE ALL OF THESE

Username
Password
Confirm Password
Email Address
Confirm Email Address
Random Question
Random Question #2




User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
PLEASE READ BELOW PRIOR TO ENTERING AN EMAIL ADDRESS!

ATTENTION!

YOU MUST ACTIVATE YOUR ACCOUNT!

Activation requires you reply to an email we will send you after you register... if you do not reply to this email, you will not be able to view certain areas of the forum or certain images... nor will you be able download software.

AN INVALID EMAIL ADDRESS WILL CAUSE YOUR ACCOUNT TO BE DELETED!

See our banned email list here: Banned Email List

We DO NOT respond to spamcop, boxtrapper and spamblocker emails... please add @hometheatershack DOT com to your whitelist prior to registering or you will get nowhere on your registration.


Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML is not allowed!
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 


For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome