Electrostatic Technology (How it Works): Where traditional
loudspeaker technology incorporate cones, domes, diaphragms, and ribbons that
are moved with magnetism, electrostatic loudspeakers employ charged electrons
attracting and repelling each other. An electrostatic transducer consists of
three pieces; stators, the diaphragm, and spacers. The diaphragm is what
actually moves to excite the air and create music. The stator's job is to remain
stationary and to provide a reference point for the moving diaphragm. The
spacers provide the diaphragm with a fixed distance in which to move between the
stators. As your amplifier sends music signals to an electrostatic speaker,
these signals are changed into two high-voltage signals that are equal in
strength but opposite in polarity. These high voltage signals are then applied
to the stators. The resulting electrostatic field, created by the opposing high
voltage on the stators, works simultaneously with and against the diaphragm,
consequently moving it back and forth, producing music. This technique is known
as push-pull operation and is a major contributor to the sonic purity of the
electrostatic concept due to its exceptional linearity and low distortion.
Hybrid Electrostatic Speaker: The MartinLogan ElectroMotion
ESL X is a hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker that features a XStat CLS
electrostatic transducer panel, an optimized Vojtko crossover, and two passive 8"
woofers. Electrostatic panels are perfect for reproducing high, midrange, and
midbass frequencies. However, both the size and the power requirements of deep
bass frequencies are best served by traditional cone woofers. A phase and
amplitude optimized Vojtko crossover (400Hz) ensures a seamless transition
between the two sound reproduction philosophies. As a result, this speaker
offers the best performance for high, mid, and low frequencies.
XStat CLS Transducer: The MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL X
features a 8.6" (w) x 40" (h) XStat CLS Transducer. This new XStat transducer
builds upon the legacy of MartinLogan's electrostatic heritage with the
incorporation of a myriad of technology and design innovations including CLS,
MicroPerf, Generation 2 Diaphragms, ClearSpars, Vacuum Bonding, and AirFrame
technology. Through rigorous testing, this curvilinear electrostatic panel has
proven itself to be one of the most durable and reliable transducers available
today. Fabricated from a custom tool punched high-grade steel, the patented
panel is then coated with a special polymer that is applied via a proprietary
electrostatic bonding process. This panel assembly houses a membrane just
0.0005" thick. Ruggedly constructed and insulated, the panel is rated to easily
handle 20 to 300 watts of power.
- CLS (Curvilinear Line Source): MartinLogan engineers
discovered a simple solution to achieve a smooth pattern of dispersion from
a smaller electrostatic transducer without degrading sound quality. By
curving the horizontal plane of the electrostatic transducer, a controlled
30° horizontal dispersion pattern could
be achieved, yet the purity of the almost massless electrostatic diaphragm
- Generation 2 Diaphragm: The diaphragm used in the
ElectroMotion ESL X XStat transducer employs an extremely sophisticated
conductive coating applied to the polymer surface at an atomic level using a
plasma bonding process. A proprietary compound is driven into the surface of
the polymer film in an oxygen free argon chamber. This process allows
extremely uniform surface resistivity characteristics, an optically
transparent surface, and a nearly massless diaphragm. This uniform surface
resistivity controls the electrostatic charge on the diaphragm surface and
regulates its movement.
- MicroPerf Stator: Although stators are the elements of
an electrostatic driver that are supposed to stand still, they carry the
audio signals that do the work of propelling the diaphragm back and forth to
move air and produce sound. Because the stators sandwich the diaphragm
between them, they must be perforated to allow sound to pass through. Yet
they must also be rigid enough to remain absolutely stationary despite the
strong electrostatic forces pushing and pulling at them during operation.
MartinLogan's MicroPerf design optimizes this tradeoff by reducing the size
of the individual holes and using many more of them than in a traditional
electrostatic panel. MicroPerf almost doubles effective diaphragm radiating
area without compromising structural integrity. The resulting increase in
output capability and efficiency allows the XStat CLS panel to be made much
smaller without sacrificing performance and lets you enjoy a substantial
leap in bandwidth and dynamics.
- Vacuum Bonding + ClearSpar Spacers: To achieve the
power, precision, and strength of the XStat transducer, two insulated
high-purity carbon steel stators along with a proprietary plasma bonded
diaphragm and ClearSpar spacers are fused into a curved geometry with an
aerospace adhesive whose strength exceeds that of welding. MartinLogan's
proprietary Vacuum Bonding process guarantees uniform diaphragm tensioning
and extremely precise construction tolerances, resulting in precision,
linearity and efficiency.
- AirFrame Technology: The XStat CLS panel is secured to
speaker cabinet using MartinLogan's AirFrame technology. The extruded
aluminum and composite AirFrame makes the panel extremely rigid while
maximizing playable surface area and dipole sound radiation. At the same
time, it provides electrical and acoustical isolation, minimizing
intermodulation distortion caused by vibration and resonance. Overall,
AirFrame technology enhances imaging, low-level sonic detail, accuracy, and
Controlled Dispersion Sound Radiation: A key attribute of
the ElectroMotion ESL X is its naturally dipolar radiation pattern. A true dipole,
the EM-ESL X radiates sound with equal intensity from the front and back of its
diaphragm, but the outputs are in opposite phase. As a result, sound waves
rippling out toward the sides meet at the speaker's edge and cancel. That and
the relatively large size of the ElectroMotion ESL X's electrostatic panel cause
output at the sides to be very low relative to that of a conventional
loudspeaker, which in turn minimizes side-wall reflections that tend to muddle
sonic detail and stereo imaging. While the reduction in output to the sides
contributes to the astonishing clarity, the energy reflected off the wall behind
the speaker opens up and deepens the sound.
Full-Range Operation: Another significant advantage of
MartinLogan's exclusive electrostatic transducer technology is that no crossover
networks are used above 400Hz, because they are not needed. The ElectroMotion
ESL X consists of a single, seamless electrostatic membrane reproducing all
frequencies above 400Hz simultaneously. This eliminates the crossover phase
aberrations that are associated with traditional tweeter, midrange, and woofer
systems. The result is a dramatic improvement in imaging and staging
Dual 8" Woofers w/ Ported Cabinet: Two precise 8"
high-excursion, perfectly balanced, audiophile grade, doped-fiber cone woofers
have been custom designed exclusively for The EM-ESL X by MartinLogan's in-house
engineering team. These woofers precisely optimize cone suspension and magnetic
flux field to produce high levels of bass output and simultaneous precise
midrange. The custom woofers' rigid light-weight diaphragm eliminates cone
flexure and maximizes response time to achieve remarkably low-distortion. The 8"
woofers are housed in a non-resonant asymmetrical cabinet with a down-firing bass
port for additional bass extension.
Note: When you first begin to play the ElectroMotion ESL X
speaker, it will sound a bit bass shy. This is due to the high-quality,
long-life components used in the passive woofer. The custom-made woofer
requires approximately 72 hours of break-in at 90 dB (moderate listening
levels) before any critical listening. The break-in requirements of the
crossover components (and, to a lesser degree, the stator) are equivalent.
Proprietary Vojtko Filtering: To seamlessly blend audio
output from the high- and mid-frequency electrostatic panel to the low-frequency
woofers the ElectroMotion ESL X features a proprietary Vojtko topology filter
utilizing custom air core coil and low DCR steel laminate inductors, polyester
film capacitors in series, and low DF electrolytic capacitors in parallel.
Bi-Wirable Binding Post: The ESL X features bi-wirable
binding posts and provide the ultimate level of flexibility for connection and
setup. MartinLogan's proprietary tool-less binding posts simplify cable
connection and management. Two sets are supplied; one connected to the
electrostatic panel and the other feeding the woofer. You can choose to bi-amp
the ESL X, or use jumper clips between the binding post sets for a single
wire-connection. The binding posts will accept bare wire (16- to 8-gauge),
pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and banana plugs (single only).
Low-Voltage DC Power Supply: The ElectroMotion ESL X speaker
uses an external low-voltage power supply to energize its electrostatic panel.
The included power supply firmly inserts into the "DC Power In" receptacle on
the rear-panel of the speaker and then to an AC wall outlet. The ElectroMotion
ESL X speaker features a signal sensing circuit which will switch the
ElectroMotion ESL X off after a few minutes of no music signal, and requires less
than two seconds to recharge the panels when a music signal is present.
- Input: AC 100-240V~50/60Hz,
- Output: DC 15V, 0.4A
Applications: The MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL X
floor-standing speakers can be used as stereo speakers or home theater
front/surround speakers. The ElectroMotion ESL X speakers are ideal for medium and
Placement: The ElectroMotion ESL X speaker should be placed
approximately 2' to 3' from the front wall (the wall in front of the listening
position) and about 2' from the side walls. Your sitting distance should be
further than the distance between the ElectroMotion ESL X speakers themselves.
This will allow you to attain good center imaging and stage width. Generally, it
is found that the ideal listening position is with the speakers slightly toed-in
so that you are listening to the inner third of the curved transducer section.
Note: The front wall surface ideally should be one long
wall without any doors, windows, or other openings. If you have openings,
the reflection and bass characteristics from each channel can be different.
Interchangeable Feet: The MartinLogan ESL X floor-standing
loudspeaker includes four pre-installed rubber feet for tile and hardwood
floors. You can remove the rubber tip from the pre-installed feet to reveal four
metal spiked feet for carpeted flooring. The feet are threaded into the base of
the speaker and can be adjusted to non-level surfaces.