ElectroMotion ESL

A Legend Reborn

The ElectroMotion ESL represents a bold new direction for electrostatic loudspeaker design. Featuring a full-sized 34-inch tall curvilinear XStat™ electrostatic transducer and a superbly integrated high-performance woofer, the new EM-ESL performs more like a mini-flagship than an entry level audiophile speaker. Designed for both 2-channel music enthusiasts and those seeking the worlds most articulate and dynamic multi-channel home theater systems, the EM-ESL is the most compelling 'affordable' audiophile-grade speaker ever brought to market.


$2,499.95 pair
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ElectroMotion  ESL

The ElectroMotion ESL (EM-ESL) represents a brave new direction for electrostatic loudspeaker design. Featuring a full-sized 34-inch tall curvilinear XStat™ electrostatic transducer the new ESL performs more like a mini-flagship than an entry level audiophile speaker. Long time MartinLogan enthusiasts are sure to describe ElectroMotion ESL as the second-coming of the legendary Aerius electrostatic speaker which debuted in 1992 and went on to sell in record numbers. The new ESL, however, boasts 40 percent more radiating surface, a superbly integrated and authoritative bass performance, and a sensitivity rated at 91dB. In addition, the ESL is capable of being effortlessly powered by both receivers and high-end amplifiers alike.

ElectroMotion ESL's XStat electrostatic MicroPerf panel is housed within a radical aluminum and composite AirFrame™ similar to those found on MartinLogan's flagship products. AirFrame technology rigidifies the electrostatic panel without obstructing playable surface area or interfering with ambience enriching dipole sound radiation. At the same time, an AirFrame provides electrical and acoustical isolation, minimizing intermodulated distortion caused by vibration and resonance while enhancing imaging, low-level sonic detail, accuracy, and efficiency. MicroPerf design optimizes the individual holes of The EM-ESL's electrostatic panel. MicroPerf design substantially increases diaphragm radiating area, compared to early generations—without compromising structural integrity. The resulting increase in output capability and efficiency allows The EM-ESL's panel to enjoy a substantial leap in bandwidth and dynamics without growing larger. For example, The EM-ESL's XStat electrostatic panel features 129 square inches of sound radiating surface on both the front and back and a sensitivity of 91dB into 6 Ohms. The Aerius, well received its day, only had 93 square inches and a sensitivity of 89dB into 4 Ohms.

A unique XStat™ transducer was developed for the ElectroMotion ESL to reduce the gauge thickness of the electrostatic panel's steel stators. The reduced gauge does not alter the performance characteristics of the panel. However, as a natural byproduct of tighter build tolerances, it does increase the visual transparency of the panel. The EM-ESL's new XStat panel is so visually transparent it nearly vanishes when you're sitting and listening.

ElectroMotion  ESL

CLS™ XStat Transducer

One of MartinLogan's original breakthroughs, CLS™ (Curvilinear Line Source) technology, has been an essential ingredient of every electrostatic loudspeaker we've produced—and the ElectroMotion ESL is no exception. Proprietary manufacturing methods enable construction of electrostatic panels as cylindrical sections. Their gentle horizontal curvature solves the problem of obtaining good high-frequency dispersion from a large radiating surface without compromising overall sound quality or reliability.

ElectroMotion  ESL

Controlled Dispersion Sound Radiation

Another key attribute of the ElectroMotion ESL is its naturally dipolar radiation pattern. A true dipole, The EM-ESL 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'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 for which electrostats are revered, the energy reflected off the wall behind the speaker opens up and deepens the sound.

ElectroMotion  ESL
ElectroMotion  ESL

Superb Bass Integration

To seamlessly blend audio output from the high- and mid-frequency electrostatic panel to the low-frequency woofer the ElectroMotion ESL 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.

ElectroMotion  ESL

A precise 8-inch high-excursion, perfectly balanced, audiophile grade, doped fiber cone woofer was custom designed exclusively for The EM-ESL by MartinLogan's in-house engineering team. This woofer precisely optimizes cone suspension and magnetic flux field to produce high levels of bass output and simultaneous precise midrange. The custom woofer's rigid light-weight diaphragm eliminates cone flexure and minimizes response time to achieve remarkably low-distortion approaching that of MartinLogan's award-winning electrostatic panel design.

Easy Connections, Solid Adjustable Footing

Convenient push-style speaker terminals and curved inserts help guide speaker wire effortlessly into place. The rubber end caps on the terminal are also removable for the use of banana plugs instead of bare wire. The EM-ESL is supplied with sturdy, 3/8-16 ETC™ spikes, which can be used to fine tune vertical wave launch, enhance stability on thick carpets, and create tighter coupling between speaker and floor to provide a tighter and detailed bass performance. Each spike is conveniently covered by removable rubber end caps if you prefer not to use spikes.
ElectroMotion  ESL

Press For ElectroMotion ESL

MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Speaker System

"The sound of the ESL is blissfully light and sweet and offers a near-transcendental listening experience. It’s that rare gem of a speaker that sparkles with a luster that becomes more and more enticing the longer you listen to it. Combined with the EM C2, EM FX2s, and a Dynamo 1000, it makes one of the finest-performing, most entertaining, drool-worthiest $5,000 home theater speaker systems you can buy"

—Darryl Wilkinson, Sound & Vision
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MartinLogan’s ElectroMotion ESL

"I’m still stunned that a company can manufacture a speaker this good... if there’s a more exciting loudspeaker out there at this price, I certainly haven’t heard it. "

—Jeff Dorgay, TONEAudio
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ElectroMotion ESL

"Martin Logan's ElectroMotion ESL are speakers that invite us on exciting musical travels... They generate an unusually live atmosphere and, within a decent sweet spot, very precise imaging and exacting depth layering embedded within an above-average dimensional scale. Tonally well balanced and subjectively seamless, the stats combine silky highs, a detailed dynamic midband and articulate if not ultimately voluminous bass. It's a terrific choice for music lovers hoping to feast on an arrestingly involving presentation... "

—Jochen Reinecke , 6moons (originally Fair Audio)
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MartinLogan ElectroMotion Loudspeaker Reviewed

"the MartinLogan ElectroMotion loudspeakers are not only an incredible value but an incredible loudspeaker system. I've encountered no speaker at or even a few ticks above the ElectroMotion's asking price that possess the same transparency, articulation, speed and natural tone. When adequately powered, the breadth in which the ElectroMotions render a soundstage is stunning and their dynamic capabilities all but crush previous, affordable MartinLogan designs."

—Andrew Robinson, Home Theater Review
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MOTION SENSING . . .

"It’s hard not like a loudspeaker such as this. The things it does well, it does brilliantly, and they’re a vital part of the musical transmission chain – tonal accuracy, spatial imaging, transient speed, microdynamics... the new ElectroMotion raises the game for a hybrid of this price. Overall then, the Electromotion is a superb and relatively affordable (in the context of high end, at least) new loudspeaker."

—Alvin Gold, Hi-Fi World
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Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL – Review

"I must say that I fell in love with these speakers and I hope that one day I will own a pair of my own. They became a reference for me in many departments. I felt that the Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL could easily beat speakers more than twice or even triple their price. I even felt like they have some very strong points compared to >25$k speakers. They are really something special and they deserve all of your attention."

—, HeadMania
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MartinLogan ElectroMotion review

"The MartinLogan ElectroMotion’s usual approach to speaker design pays dividends with a movie performance that’s simply out of this world. Insightful detail reproduction, authoritative speech, a seamlessly immersive soundstage, rock-solid bass, tight integration… you name it, this system excels at it."

—Danny Phillips, Trusted Reviews
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MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL 5.1-Channel Speaker System (TPV 109)

"Consider this speaker system if: You want all the sonic goodies: resolution, definition, blazing transient speeds, nuances galore, neutral tonal balance and the ability to play at satisfying volume levels... We consider MartinLogan’s ElectroMotion ESL surround system to be an overachiever of the first rank. It offers very serious high-end sound quality for only a little more money than some mid-fi systems cost. For many listeners, then, the quest for upper-tier sound will begin and end right here, and even jaded audiophiles accustomed to ultra-premium-priced gear will marvel at the sophisticated sound this system delivers."

—Chris Martens, Hi-Fi+
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Editor’s Choice: Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL Speaker Review

"MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL speakers do the near-impossible: They make people who don’t normally care about speakers suddenly start to care... their thin, sandwiched-panel design bring an amazing crispness and sound quality to whatever you pump through them. We love them so much, we gave them a Geek Beat Editor’s Choice Award."

—John P., Geek Beat TV
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MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Loudspeakers

"The ElectroMotion ESL is the gateway product to MartinLogan’s more expensive electrostatic designs, and it’s easy to hear why they’ve stubbornly stood by the design... the ElectroMotion isn’t perfect, but its qualities are manifest to my ears. There is no other product like it at or near its price. I suspect that many listeners who hear it will then find more traditional speaker designs to be irrelevant."

—Hans Wetzel, SoundStage! Access
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MartinLogan ElectroMotion 5.1 loudspeaker review

"...what really seals the deal is the way the system creates such a seamlessly enveloping sound, thanks to the EM-ESL’s dipole design and the EM-FX2’s wide dispersion. From my listening position it felt like there wasn’t a single area of the room left untouched by sound, flooding the no-man’s land between the front and rear speakers with precise, tangible effects. And when called for, sounds glide from speaker to speaker without you ever knowing where one ends and another begins. Stunning."

—Danny Phillips, Home Cinema Choice
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$6,000 Recommended Two-Channel Stereo System

"With the ElectroMotion you can step into the exact same ESL technology used in their $25k/pr CLX loudspeakers for much, much less. When properly setup these speakers have very clear highs, an airy sound quality and excellent imaging... In addition to superb sound quality, these speakers are visually striking, especially for anyone who has never seen an ESL speaker before."

—Cliff Heyne & Steve Munz, Audioholics
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MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Speaker Review

"The MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Hybrid Electrostatic Loudspeaker... is a speaker I can highly recommend... A versatile speaker, the EM-ESL runs clean-clean-clean, handles dynamic material with ease, and can basically deliver any kind of music with transparency even at generous volume levels. Driver/crossover integration is excellent and frequency response is lively and accurate. "

—Wayne Meyers, Home Theater Shack
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MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Loudspeaker

"...this MartinLogan does bring a good taste of the open, free sounding and agile quality of electrostatic technology, and the ElectroMotion ESL has undoubted stature and presence in the room... t has an open, crisp sound that’s transparent and well detailed. It covers the transition from bass box to open panel mid and top pretty well... Taken overall, this design successfully addresses the several issues presented by a compact electrostatic hybrid concept and deserves recommendation."

—Martin Collins, Hi-Fi Critic
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Review: MartinLogan EM-ESL, EM-C2 and EM-FX2 Speakers

"I think the EM-ESL is one of the best bargains going in an audiophile music speaker. It gives audiophiles all the things most of us seem to want (huge soundstaging and a dramatic presentation) and all the things we should want but sometimes neglect (like neutral tonal balance and natural sound). If stereo music listening is your priority, I highly recommend these. And you can add the EM-C2, the EM-FX2 and the subwoofer of your choice for those occasional nights when you want to relax with a movie instead of digging deep into your music collection."

—Brent Butterworth, Sound & Vision
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EAN Audiophile Review! MartinLogan ElectroMotion EM-ESL Electrostatic Speakers

"As far as EAN is concerned, the EM-ESLs are a best buy hi-fi audiophile speaker. With this much electrostatic performance, relative low price and compact size, the speaker is a no-brainer. They also get an EAN Stellar Sound and a 2016 Product of The Year nod in the Audiophile Speaker category."

—John Gatski, Everything Audio Network
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ElectroMotion ESL Specifications

Specifications are subject to change without notice

Frequency Response

42–22,000 Hz ±3dB

Horizontal Dispersion

30°

Vertical Dispersion

34" (71cm) line source

High Frequency Transducer

XStat™ CLS™ electrostaic transducer

» Panel Dimensions

34" x 8.6" (86 x 22cm)

» Radiating Area

292 in² (1,892 cm² )

Low Frequency Transducer

8" (20.3cm) high excursion, high-rigidity paper cone with extended throw drive assembly, non-resonance asymmetrical chamber format; bass reflex

Sensitivity

91 dB/2.83 volts/meter

Impedance

6 Ohms, 1.6 @ 20kHz Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.

Recommended Amplifier Power

20—300 watts per channel

Crossover Frequency

500Hz

Components

Custom-wound audio transformer, air core coils, large steel laminate inductors, polyester capacitors, and low DF electrolytic capacitors

Inputs

Push style with banana jacks

Weight

35.5 lbs. (16.1 kg)

Dimensions

52.1" x 9" x 16.3 "
(132.3cm x 22.9cm x 41.4cm)




Customer Reviews For ElectroMotion ESL

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ERIC E.

  • Friday, March 16, 2018

absolutely love my ESLs!! i've done a lot of buy and flips to get these. simply will never go back to anything else. granted i want to upgrade these eventually in my theater but i am perfectly happy with these. sound astounding. every bit of clarity from my movies. i'm actually watching all my movies again after discovering all the sounds i never heard before on any other system. transformers is a perfect example...never knew that optimus prime's "teeth" chattered on their own as he spoke. believe me you won't be disappointed with these!!!

Spkrdctr

  • Monday, January 1, 2018

Simply Amazing!
I have wanted Martin Logan speakers my whole life. At age 60 I decided I could finally afford a pair. I live in a one bedroom apartment and they sound fantastic. I was very surprised at the bass level and how there is no need for a sub unless I'm watching a movie. Musically they sound amazing and I don't have any placement or sound stage issues. They are MUCH better sounding in my apartment than they were at Best Buy. They are beyond what I had expected. Better than all of my previous speakers. A job well done, Martin Logan knocked this smaller speaker pair out of the park! Very highly recommend to anyone for music and movies. A true best bang for the buck product!

Ulf

  • Saturday, September 23, 2017

Great speakers
I currently hav T+A power plant as integrated amp and T+A Music player as CD player for the current speakers. I am about to upgrade my amp and CD player to get more and even better sound out of the system. I have looked at Mcintosh MA5200 and MCD350 for CD player. I would like any advise to what I could do to max my listening experience. ULF

Dean P

  • Monday, August 29, 2016

Detail Detail Detail
I love the way these speakers sound in my living room. I get great detail out of the simple basic TV shows as well as Blu-ray disks with dts HD audio. Anyone who is on a budget, but still wants to be blown away should pick these up the first moment they can.

Floris

  • Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Surround set
Bought a surround set from Martin Logan (ESL, FX2, Motion XT50) what a sound, clear, distinct, voices so bright and clear. In stereo excellent performance. I always loved electrostatic speakers. With the ESL range MArtin Logan makes it also possible for moderate prices, excellent!

Mike P.

  • Thursday, November 12, 2015

Just phenomenal
I've made my entry into the world of Electrostatics, and have to say that every listening session opens new horizons for me...I've paired them up with TEAC AI-3000 integrated amp, cannot say that I have reference input hi-fi components as of yet, but that is now the matter of time and making the right selection for my ESL's, as avoiding pushing these speakers to their limits and true capabilities would not be smart in my view...Having an opportunity to hear every single detail from my analogue sources after a long while in my life, is quite delightful...My old LP records sound phenomenal, sound stage is well detailed, precise, and it simply sinks you in to every sound coming out of these great performers...I ran them a bit louder to see if any distortion would come to notice, but again I was surprised how well they stood my test...In fact they sounded even sweeter and more airy and open, and have to say that they took my breath away - literally...After only few months of having them, I am super happy...Great job guys, thanks for making such a great product! Cheers...

kay bee

  • Saturday, May 9, 2015

Very Nice ESL spkrs extremely difficult to sound correct in any room
Initial Review... More will be written after a month or so of severe testing .. martin logan Electromotion ESL panel speakers Initial Review 2 units of above, used in high resolution CD Music mode. McCormack pre and power amps used ( most receivers are a joke and not suitable for higher resolution music ) marantz cd 6005 cd player used better cables and wires used high resolution, well recorded music cds ( such as Reference Recordings, Opus, etc ) used as tests. Room placement was Super Critical. if you dont have space, you will be wasting the resolution and imaging powers of these spkrs. Rear panel of speaker to wall behind it approx 5 feet proved best Side walls to center of spkrs, approx 4 feet each. Listening positon totally critical : i am at 7 to 7.5 feet, as i move in sofa. top of spkr to ceiling about 4 feet. These numbers provide decent imaging... but as you strive for better Imaging, you lose BASS integrity... meaning, Less bass,and also, bass is off time, with panel spkr higher frequencies...so if you want IN TIME, bass and all higher frequencies, u must sit Closer or change spkr positions, etc. ..u will lose a bit of imaging. this is a Trade off never mentioned. if you use sub par cds, garbage in , garbage out. Priority one. if you use lower resolution amplifiers, cd info not accurately played...priority two. at basic cd player level, we recommend marantz cd 6005 at least. if you can get furutech fs301 speaker cables, or better grade Straightwire Interconnects, these are not too crazy expensive and a good start point. IF YOU ARE much over age 50, pls test your ears... ( simple test, place your open hands, palms behind your ears as if you have elephant ears... move them closer and further from back of your ears..if no change, (except volume ) it Might be a good thing... if you hear far more higher frequencies, you probably Lost high Freq response in ears ) as you get older, you lose high frequency hearing response...esp for males. as a kid , you probably could hear well into 18 KHz and over....but if you can hear over 14KHz and over, now, you are still lucky. NOTE that lot of Imaging Information is Higher Frequency info...so... the better your ears, the easier to Place spkrs and get best imaging... also, never mentioned in any manual Pls find GOOD cds to test with. Just as with Stax headphones, you will have the same problem... less and less cds can be FUN to play in these higher resolution systems, simply because, most cds are recorded like crap. 95 percent of cds will be better off , played in simpler, cheaper paper cone speaker systems and receivers...etc. Enjoy and find Truth of Music... easy if you are a musician ! and play instruments !

kay bee

  • Saturday, May 9, 2015

Very Nice ESL spkrs extremely difficult to sound correct in any room
Initial Review... More will be written after a month or so of severe testing .. martin logan Electromotion ESL panel speakers Initial Review 2 units of above, used in high resolution CD Music mode. McCormack pre and power amps used ( most receivers are a joke and not suitable for higher resolution music ) marantz cd 6005 cd player used better cables and wires used high resolution, well recorded music cds ( such as Reference Recordings, Opus, etc ) used as tests. Room placement was Super Critical. if you dont have space, you will be wasting the resolution and imaging powers of these spkrs. Rear panel of speaker to wall behind it approx 5 feet proved best Side walls to center of spkrs, approx 4 feet each. Listening positon totally critical : i am at 7 to 7.5 feet, as i move in sofa. top of spkr to ceiling about 4 feet. These numbers provide decent imaging... but as you strive for better Imaging, you lose BASS integrity... meaning, Less bass,and also, bass is off time, with panel spkr higher frequencies...so if you want IN TIME, bass and all higher frequencies, u must sit Closer or change spkr positions, etc. ..u will lose a bit of imaging. this is a Trade off never mentioned. if you use sub par cds, garbage in , garbage out. Priority one. if you use lower resolution amplifiers, cd info not accurately played...priority two. at basic cd player level, we recommend marantz cd 6005 at least. if you can get furutech fs301 speaker cables, or better grade Straightwire Interconnects, these are not too crazy expensive and a good start point. IF YOU ARE much over age 50, pls test your ears... ( simple test, place your open hands, palms behind your ears as if you have elephant ears... move them closer and further from back of your ears..if no change, (except volume ) it Might be a good thing... if you hear far more higher frequencies, you probably Lost high Freq response in ears ) as you get older, you lose high frequency hearing response...esp for males. as a kid , you probably could hear well into 18 KHz and over....but if you can hear over 14KHz and over, now, you are still lucky. NOTE that lot of Imaging Information is Higher Frequency info...so... the better your ears, the easier to Place spkrs and get best imaging... also, never mentioned in any manual Pls find GOOD cds to test with. Just as with Stax headphones, you will have the same problem... less and less cds can be FUN to play in these higher resolution systems, simply because, most cds are recorded like crap. 95 percent of cds will be better off , played in simpler, cheaper paper cone speaker systems and receivers...etc. Enjoy and find Truth of Music... easy if you are a musician ! and play instruments !

jckman

  • Saturday, February 7, 2015

First Impressions
Having Listened to regular Speakers and being totally satisfied for a long time there was always the feeling that there was that little something missing, but never could pin point it. Im in the $6000 range of speakers so I know there are a lot better around, but I cannot justify $15k for a decent upgrade. I could never understand the appeal of full electrostatic speakers so I never entertained them, but a Hybrd system sounded interesting.I I was recommended to try these Hybrid martin logan's, and within a few minutes I could hear the sound stage was so open and ultra clear, I knew I just had to get these home to demo. so far so good with just a Basic positioning of the speakers without being too geeky! and they are only suppose to get evan better after a break in. Cheaper than my Tower speaker,You get a much more detailed sound and without a doubt the imaging skills for a 'entry level' speaker is unbelievable! In case you were wondering, I was thinking will I also need to buy a Subwoofer, but I was told by the sales person to try them without first before I rush into another $1000. IMO, a sub is not needed for the Electromotions in Music ( I dont have a surround setup) the Hybrid system is a great idea and Martin Logan has managed to balance of sound of the woofers and the ES. So far no regrets...

FranciscoViliesid

  • Friday, January 23, 2015

Never thought it would be this great!
Honest, I never thought sound could be this great. It is crisp, clean, loud without hurting. One can distinguish each and every instrument in an orchestra, place them in their respective position in the concert hall. Even though my feed is mp3. It is like being in the concert hall itself.

Zyanceboy

  • Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Amazing speakers
Bought my first pair of Electromotion speakers replacing Klipsch 5" floorstanding. Wow! What a difference. Very open. Very realistic. I'm a musician and a sound tech, so I know what live music sounds like and these sound live. My friends are amazed also. I use them for both audiophile music and home theater. They sound great. Am powering them with an Onkyo 5010 receiver. With THX level, I typically play them at -15db signal for about 90 decibels. With these speakers, I can actually hear the difference SACD makes. You definitely need good source media to appreciate them. Thanks Martin Logan for making a pair of electrostatic speakers that the average mortal can afford.

ML

  • Friday, November 7, 2014

I don`t like
I do not come out now. I'm now listening only to music I can once again enjoy music without worrying about the quality . It just play lovely big smile From Denmark

Ian S.

  • Monday, September 8, 2014

From Ian in Melb OZ
Have had the ESLs for 7 months now and thought I'd give them a good listen before writing a review. I have a Prima Luna Prologue Integrated Amp, Primo Audio Analogue CD player and Project Turntable with Ortofon Super 40 cartridge. All run on Audioquest connects and cables. These speakers are brilliant and I am wrapped that I bought them after reading a number of very good reviews - they are as good as everyone says. Brings music - both CDs and records- to life. Some reviewers have suggested best for classical, but I listen to blues reggae and jazz and late 60s early 70s - Led Zep, Beatles, Cream, Chicago, Yes, Frank Zappa etc - all of that. WOW. Oscar Peterson, Herb Ellis and Joe Pass Count Basie - brilliant as well!!!!! I have added a REL sub woofer but recently bought a Grotto i which I haven't connected yet but I expect an improvement on the REL. The sub woofer certainly gave a lift - right across the board. These things are so good that when friends come around they just want to sit in the sweet spot - that's a great recommendation I think Thank you Martin Logan

Steve

  • Monday, May 19, 2014

THE INCREDIBLE ESL !!!!
I have owned Martin Logan speakers in the past. I had the original Aerius speakers back in the 1990's. While those were excellent speakers back in the day these new ESL's are light years ahead. I am using them with a class D amplifier. The imaging boarders on Twilight Zone Good. It's unbelievable the sound staging front to back and side to side. The layering of the instruments is thicker than a 7 layer chocolate cake. You can pin point vocals, instruments all over the stage. What gives me the background to give such glowing comments ? I use to sell high end electronics for a living for more than ten years. I have also been a semi professional musician for more then fifty years and a teacher of percussion for many years. I used the Aerius speakers with high end tube equipment back then, they sounded fantastic. However, a high end class D amplifier with these new ESL's is definitely the next level. Many comments have also downgraded the 8" woofer on the ESL's, I have found that when setup correctly the base is FANTASTIC and a seamless transition from the panel to the dynamic woofer. If you have the chance to audition the ESL's please take along good recordings that you are familiar with. You won't be disappointed.

Chip

  • Sunday, March 2, 2014

Six Week Assessment
I had never heard of Martin Logan before going online early this year and researching. It had been many years since I bought floor standing speakers. My last ones were Heil Air Motion Transformer "Rock Monitors" w/2 - 12" woofers, a 5" midrange and the AMT rounding out the big sound in each. I thought nothing could rival the "big booming in-home sound" of these vintage speakers. I was wrong. Technology has come a long way! I have all the sound I need filling up a 600 s.f, cathedral ceiling listening room. My hearing is far from what it used to be, but I am hearing things I had never heard before on lp vinyl and cd recordings. I never knew I would enjoy soundtracks and classical as much as I do now with this new sound system. I am very pleased, to say the least. The only drawbacks have to do with the sometimes brassy and "tart" upper range sounds, overwhelming base output. This is only with certain recordings. I am considering adding a sub woofer to enhance the base lows when called for. Also, the sweet spot is so critical that moving just a couple feet up, down, left, or right diminishes the sound quality substantially so put your easy chair in the exact spot and stay put!

datastreamcom

  • Monday, February 24, 2014

A year and a half on...
I'm not a shop-talking audiophile, but I know what sounds good and what doesn't, at different volume levels. Speakers are only as good as what they are connected to. In my case, Onkyo TX-NR-809. My last home stereo of 14 years or so was a Sony 5xxx series receiver with Bose 401 towers in an apartment. The Dony passed of old age in 2009. In 2012, I finally \had the opportunity to refresh and upgrade. I'm still playing with the myriad low-level adjustments provided by the Onkyo. But for critical listening levels, the ESL model speakers are twice as good as the Bose, at the very least. The 401 models were great for their time, and still work great and sound fantastic...for 20 year old technology. The ESL's are the next level. Mine are coupled to the Dynamo 500 subwoofer. They are 3 times what i paid for the Bose at the time, but sound better and can handle the power of the Onkyo. If you've always wondered what the 'good sh&8' sounds like, the ESL's break it down for you. If you're wondering, "...are the ESL's worth it...?", I tell you hand over heart, every penny. Interestingly, after some time researching many high-end speakers - by spec only -, the ESL's were on the low end of the price spectrum. And having heard not a single example of these high-end speakers, save the ESL's, I needed no other option after hearing them at a 'Magnolia' Best Buy, Snellville, GA. (shout-out. gimme some points.) I purchased the speakers, installed them 2 months later. used them for about 2 months, then they sat for about 8 months. I started using them again in November 2013; 16 months after initial purchase. i tried to adhere to the break-in period, but by my perception, I can't take the recommended volume level of 70db. maybe for a song or two...if I'm really drunk. So, like you make brownies - lower the temp, lengthen the cook time - I've spent a lot of time at 60db. They seem to sound better than out of the box. But then, the Onkyo has great ability to compensate for sonic deficiencies in the listening environment, thus improving the overall listening experience. So hard to tell which is really creating the great sound I'm hearing...and seeing with my 'ear's eye'. The principal upon which the speakers operate direct your attention to things you might not have thought to listen for, before. Such as, the echo of the drummer coughing, ricocheting off the wall behind him. No, I hadn't thought of listening for, or to, that. But strangely, the fact that I can now hear this man clear his throat is 'really cool'. I'm a smoker, and as such, keep the black covers that came with the speakers on them all the time. I think they DO sound better without them, but for TV and low-level volumes, the covers keep the dust off them, and hopefully the smoke. I don't 'game', so can't comment on video game sound. All in all, the longevity is the question. So far, after 18 months ownership, the ESL's have been flawless. To be frank, I'm expecting 20 years minimum life span for the cost. i don't know if that's reasonable or not. The Dynamo sub is tight and fast. I don't like boomy bass, so this one's tight, I promise. They make a 700 Dynamo. I would recommend that for those with full concrete floors only. Joisted floors like mine carry the bass from a 500 plenty fine. The only concern i have is, tho, with the Dynamo. I never turn it off. It powers up on detection of an audio signal. Fine. But, if I were a purist and wanted to physically use the power button on the back of the Dynamo, there is a LOUD pop when flipping the switch on and off. It makes the sound of frying bacon...one loud POP. There should be better protection in the circuity to guard against that. The Onkyo, Dynamo, and ESLs are plugged to a Panamax 4100 power regulator. Martin Logan, you guys are the best kept secret, albeit to your chagrin maybe, in the home audio industry. From an arm-chair engineer, the technology is beyond my full understanding but the results are amazing. World-class sonic artisans. Martin Logan ESL.

Don B.

  • Sunday, January 26, 2014

ESL performance
I purchased the ESL speakers and 700 subwoofer package for their size and clarity. I originally had Electrovoice theater speakers that sounded great but were too big for my wife. I tried the Bose system and it was fine for vocals nut not serious orchestral music. I play French horn in a symphony and it is very hard to reproduce live music in the home. The ESL speakers are the closest thing I have found to give good reproduction. We are stuck with the poor recordings of records and CDs and at the mercy of the mixer, but these ESL speakers do as good a job as speakers can do in my estimation. They sound about the same as my Koss headphones so for me it is as good as it is going to get. I hope this helps someone. I don't think you will go wrong with the ESL speakers especially if you add a small subwoofer.

richf

  • Friday, December 13, 2013

EM-ESL
Finally received my pair of EM-ESL speakers and I am completely blown away. I have heard more details in songs than I never new existed. Beg, borrow or steal and buy these speakers!

Martinw001

  • Friday, December 6, 2013

That perfect sound I've been looking for!
So I'm about 30 hours into burn in on my new ESL's in combo with new Dynamo 300 and am in heaven! Everything is sweet, clear dynamic and great presence. I re-ripped my CD collection to FLAC and am re-discovering it they way it was meant to sound. Plenty of bass without the sub, not a hint of harsh or strident high end. Smooth as butter.

John l M.

  • Saturday, August 24, 2013

ElectroMotion ESL are MAGICAL & ALIVE
Absolutely love everything about my ElectroMotion ESL's ! They definitely create a environment of listening pleasure everywhere in the room, however the sweet spot will capture you for hours and hours, especially when the volume is comfortably loud. Even with peak power ( Denon 125W ) the ElectroMotion ESL's produce a clarity for comfortable listening!

Boccaccio70

  • Friday, July 5, 2013

Tube amp and the ESL's. Am I asking for heartbreak?
I've never so much as won a box of laundry soap my entire 56 years on this planet, until this week, when I won a pair of Martin Logan EM-ESL's from Home Theater Review.com! I was just about to buy a Mystere' IA21 50 watt Tube integrated amp when these Logan ESL's so wonderfully fell in my lap QUESTION: Does a fast tube amp and electrostats soung good together? If so, are the Mystere's 50 watts enough?. I don't demand ear pounding sound, but like to politely rock out occasionally. My tastes range from Chesky to Sgt. Majeski, Gentle Giant To Imogene Heap, Mahavishnu to the Monkees, Morphine to Sinatra. On and on... QUESTION 2: what amp in the $3000/$4000 range, , be it tube or SS, would you personally recommend? And why? Thanks to anyone who ponders this thread and Martin Logan for President!

Thomas D.

  • Monday, March 4, 2013

The best ever
I installed my pair of speakers last week after debating for weeks whether I should spend the dollars on them. From the moment I turned on the music I knew it was more than worth it. These are the best speakers I have ever owned, that goes back a long way. I listen mostly to opera and classical music and these speakers are the first I have ever owned and among the three models that I have tried that re-produced the music as clearly and authentically as the real thing. I have listened to "my type of music" on speakers that cost in the high five figure range. I would put my new Martin Logans up against the high dollar combinations any day. I have a home theater in my home. This week I am replacing all the speakers with Martin Logan.

deReuter

  • Sunday, February 24, 2013

Electromotion
Hi all, 2 weeks ago we bought a pair of Electromotions. We are really satisfied by the sound. We note that placing the EML's is a precision job! But once placed in the right position, perfect! Not to close to a reflecting wall, also be aware of the wall behind you. Can be negative in sound behaviour. Also the angle is very nice to play with. Just do it, we recommend. We still had a sub with we tested in the system. We do think it is a good additive to the set when place in a bigger room (in our case 4,5 x 7 m, and beside an open kitchen and diner room. Total open space up to 5 x 12 meter. Combined with Cambridge Audio Amp 740, Hifidelio HD Hermstadt and REL QuakeII Good buy!! Erik

jabroyles

  • Saturday, February 23, 2013

I love my ESL speakers
It is hard to put into words the quality of sound that these two speakers emit! I used to listen to music by only headphones. I have own a set of Stax electrostatics and Grado RS1 headphones. I never found a set of speakers, that is until now, that were good enough to compete in sound quality with these headphones. Well my search has now ended, and surprisingly I did not have to drop $5,000 for them. These speakers blew away everything else in Best Buy Magnolia room except for another set of Martin Logan electrostatic speaker that run right at $5,000. I finally, have found what I would call an audiophile class speaker. Great work Martin Logan for building an exceptional product that does not require a king's ransom to purchase!!! You certainly are giving all the other manufacturers a serious run for their money! Job well done!!!

James S.

  • Friday, November 9, 2012

5.1 Electro Motion Series
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtM2pErTyZk

Steven Simpson

  • Monday, August 27, 2012

Long awaited excellence
When I was a college student in the late 70's, my roommate and I used to hang around Kief's, in Lawrence, KS. We loved to demo the systems, but neither of us had much money and we had to settle for buying a modest system for our room. We both proceeded to marriage and graduate school, families, and such. In my case, the spousal unit likes music but doesn't "get" high fidelity. Sadly, I've packed on enough years that it might be true that I no longer get it, either, albeit in the real physical sense of age-related hearing loss. Anyway, with all the kids out of the house and a major home renovation underway, I managed to slip a new system in under the radar in a somewhat cost-conscious fashion. I began searching around for what might meet the spouse's need to not spend any money at all on stereo with my long-repressed impulse to fill a room with the best music I could manage. You can imagine my delight to find in my own back yard (I live in a Kansas City suburb) some of the finest loudspeakers that I, myself have ever heard. I purchased a pair of ElectroMotion ESLs and paired them with a Yamaha A-S2000 integrated amp and its accompanying CD-S1000 CD and SACD player. A couple of months later, I can tell you that as I'm sitting and writing this Kelly Joe Phelps is in the room with me. Actually, the placement has worked out such that he sits just outside the French doors leading into my dining room and sounds as if he had pulled up a chair and is playing for me. The purity and clarity of sound is literally awesome. The sound image is as real as it gets. I've never owned anything like this system, although I tried through the years to edge up a little here and there, and I can say that the wait was very much worth it. I am SO pleased with these speakers and this set up, that I cannot speak more highly of it. I don't know if I met Martin and/or Logan at Kief's back in the day, but there's a good chance that I did. And I also am cognizant of the full circle that I've traveled. I've lived in a number of places across the US, and to come home and find such excellent audio just up the road, made by guys who may have been among the first to introduce me to good audio, is a real treat!

Dtown Boy

  • Saturday, August 11, 2012

My first ML's
I do love my new ESL's but I've been spoiled by my brothers upperscale ML's which inspired me to buy my outfit. ML's are truley unique and great sounding!! It's nice to get out of the box!!!!

saurabh

  • Saturday, August 11, 2012

Truly un parelled sound
I was on a lookout for good floor standers for over 2 months, auditioned right from polk audio TSI500, to Focal, Tannoy, Mordaunt Short, KEF & few more. But today within 10 minutes of listening to these speakers, I knew these were the ones.. I would rate them better than reference series speakers from other manufacturers, because this gives audiophile quality without buring a large hole in your pocket. As far as sound is concerned, this speaker gives by far the best possible mid range of all the speakers I heard. It also packs in lot of power in the lower range & high frequency response is just exemplary. In a nutshell, this works as well in a party when playing J Lo; and of course these are tailor made for classical music & unplugged music. Lookwise they are amazing & with high gloss black finish, they look like nothing else any friend of your would have seen ever (with a sound to kill) Highly reccomended.

LarsHP

  • Monday, July 16, 2012

A revealing diva
I have had my ElectroMotion ESL's for about 10 months now and feel as confident in writing a review as I probably will ever get. First of all - these speakers are revealing. By that I mean transparent, highly resolving and controlled. This will be a blessing if the rest of your audio chain is of high end quality, but may be a curse if your source or amp isn't up to the task. That being said, I don't experience these speakers as analytical or cold sounding. They're just not introducing much or anything hiding what's upstream in your audio chain. Bass is very tight and controlled, however not going as deep as I would have liked. The mids are INCREDIBLE. Voices are extremely lifelike. I feel like having real people of flesh and bone in front of me singing and playing. Treble is less smooth than I expected (coming from the high end planar headhone HiFiMan HE-6, which really is special in this department). The electrostatic panel of these speakers will tell you if you have any jitter! I "had to" upgrade my transport after getting these speakers... That's where the "diva" part comes in - and also when considering placing the speakers and yourself in the room. They need very good distance to the front wall. Finding the right LISTENING position showed up to be much more important than I thought. There is a 10dB dip around 40-50Hz at my usual listening position, which at first made me think that the bass was less than it actually is. This will of course be the same for all speakers at that spot, but since this is were these speakers roll of (-3dB at 42Hz), it sounded more apparent than with my old speakers, because those go deeper (-3dB at 32Hz) and generally has more output in the bass. Soundstage is spectacular: Instruments or voices seems to be respectively closer and further away compared to my old speakers - and on some reference recordings instruments/sounds seems to come from either more left or right than the position of the speaker. Pin pointed sound sources sound pin pointed. A close mic'ed voice on reference recordings will sound big and broad, but still have a centre focus. Sweetspot is actually quite broad when the panel is turned directly on the listening position. This gives me the best sound. Front wall reflection is not very apparent anyway compared to my old bi-polar speakers. When only slightly turned inward (as recommended in the manual) the sweetspot is relatively small and only for one person. Speaker terminals / binding posts are not up to the quality level I would expect on a speaker like this, and is not a minor complaint. It is actually difficult to get a proper and sturdy connection - especially if you have a bi-wire cable and want to connect both cables to each binding post. I had to buy extra banana plugs (with double connections) to get my expensive bi-wire cables attacted. In terms of power requirement, my 50W class A power amp does a very nice job at moderate-to-loud volumes. When turning up to loud levels it runs out of steam even though it has a huge power supply. I guess 50W is underpowering at these levels. When my new subwoofer is attached this problem is gone. Tight, powerful bass with high reslotion mids and clear treble - at loud volumes! I am giving these speakers 4 out of 5 stars because they are extremely competent in the audio spectrum they perform in. However the output is limited in the low end (below about 45Hz). I decided to get a quality subwoofer to compensate for this (without pushing the budget too much). My reference in terms of high end transducers is not speakers, but the above mentioned planar headphone, HiFiMan HE-6. My old speakers are the (bi-polar) Mirage M-1090i with highly upgraded crossover components. They are beaten by the ElectroMotion ESL in just about all aspects of sound reprodution. The reviewed speakers are used with the following: Squeezebox Touch (w/ Fideliy Audio digital mod) Audio-gd Reference 7.1 DAC Audio-gd Master-6 pre-amp LC Audio ZAPsoulte Mk.4 power amp (50W class A) MIT Terminator 2 bi-wire speaker cables SVS SB12-NSD subwoofer

Peter T.

  • Friday, November 18, 2011

Amazing, and run off my 8 watt SET - who would have thought....
I purchased the Electromotion ESLs a fortnight ago and while a little premature to review (still breaking in), frankly I'm shocked by the quality of these speakers. They really are incredibly transparent and having never owned electrostatics before I am a convert, particular on their seamless midrange. However, what I am most surprised about is that they are running off my 300B single ended triode mono blocks. Okay, my amps are running BlackArt transformers (teflon, silver etc) tapped to 4ohms which handle the 1.6ohms @ 20khz, but really, this shouldn't be working....but it does - go figure! It a room that measures 6m by 12m they run loud enough , not AC/DC concert loud, but the full 8 watts of triode power delivers a very healthy level of DBs and only once have I had them at full volume. I'm sure many people audiophiles, including myself, would have thought that an SET amp and electrostatics were a match made in hell. Like me, you may have expected performance similar to a 1920s gramophone. But if you would hear what I'm listening to now it's truly a match made in heaven, the combination of the incredible transparency and detail of the speakers and the smooth, natural and liquid nature of the 300Bs is extraordinary. Well done Martin Logan, great product, amazing price and I've enjoyed challenging a paradigm (and I'm not referring to the speaker brand!).

Luis Eduardo R.

  • Friday, November 4, 2011

PURE PERFECTION
Amazing Sound, Great Design, Sound Transparency, High Quality Finish = Pure Perfection. From Heredia - Costa Rica, Central America 11/04/11 Luis Eduardo Rodríguez D.

RonC

  • Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wonderful speakers
I purchased my Electromotion speakers a few weeks ago. I probably should wait a bit before reviewing, but I do want to share my opinions so far. These speakers replace my Infinity Composition Prelude speakers, of 1995 vintage, that had built-in amps for the 12 inch subwoofers. The infinities were outstanding speakers for all types of music, but it was time for an upgrade. The Electromotions are considerably more transparent than the Infinities (both physically and aurally) even though the ESLs are not yet broken in. There is a palpable realism and quickness in the ESL sound that includes a sense of "air" around the performers (golden-ear audiospeak - I am no longer a golden ear in that I prefer, nowadays, to listen to music and not just sound). The imaging is very good, although it seems a little laid back at this early time after purchasing - the orchestra or performer is considerably behind the speakers. It doesn't have the imaging that extends wider than the speakers that I hear in some fine mini-monitors that act more as a point source. However, that statement has to be qualified. When I go to a classical concert or unamplified jazz club, the real-life image doesn't really spread out very far. So, the "wider than the speakers" image may very well be a sonic artifact of the small speakers. With its 8-inch woofers-midrange, the ESLs extend surprisingly down in the nether reaches of the mid-bass, but don't reach down into the abyssal 20-35 hz zone. I played some old Telarc concert band CD's that have whumping bass drums and was happy with the ESL reproduction even without the visceral vibrations that go with really deep bass. The bass drum slap really gets my attention. My next step is to get a subwoofer that complements the ESLs. The bass is good enough from the ESLs that I will cross over at about 60-70 hz to keep the 8" woofers from working too hard, but permitting the ESLs to reproduce the bulk of the frequency band. I do need some advice in choosing a mid-price woofer that will blend well with the ESLs. Yes, folks, these are some fine speakers. I am VERY pleased with the purchase and suspect that the ESLs will even get better over time as they break in. Thank you, Martin-Logan. Ron