MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Speaker Review Discussion Thread
EM-ESL MSRP: $2,195 Pair
Available at your Authorized
by Wayne Myers
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.