Truth In Sound

Why electrostatics?

Why create electrostatic speakers when conventional speakers are so much easier to design and build? Clearly, this is a question that could only be asked by someone who has never been held spellbound listening to an electrostat.

Electrostatic speakers are uniquely capable of an extraordinary and compellingly realistic performance with unmatched clarity and three-dimensional sonic imaging (often referred to as 'sound staging' by audiophiles). MartinLogan electrostatic panels have two basic elements: a thin, conductively coated diaphragm with a large surface area and two charged, perforated metal stators. The diaphragm is suspended between the stators. An amplifier's signal, when applied to the stators, creates a strong electrostatic field that moves the diaphragm back and forth, exciting the air and transmitting sound. While in theory all of this might sound relatively simple, in truth, there is an art and science to making this work practically, effortlessly, and reliably. This has been MartinLogan's great contribution—our quest for audio perfection.

Lighter Than Air

At the heart of every MartinLogan electrostatic panel is our gossamer thin, ultra-low-mass, transparent diaphragm. When you consider that a transducer changes direction upwards of 40,000 times per second and during each change of direction it must overcome inertia, you will appreciate the advanced design and technology behind the MartinLogan diaphragm. The mass of much heavier tweeters and mid-range drivers (found in cone and dome based speakers) prevents even the finest traditional loudspeakers from reaching the levels of accuracy inherent in MartinLogan electrostats. Driven by charged electrons and weighing less than the air it moves, our diaphragm is so responsive and free from the distortive effects of inertia that its movement is identical to the signal coming form the amplifier. With vanishingly low distortion, the MartinLogan electrostatic diaphragm precisely tracks the input signal, engages the air, and flawlessly transmits the audio signal to your ear.

Parts of a MartinLogan ESL Transducer

A) Plasma bonded diaphragm
B) ClearSpar™ spacers
C) MicroPerf stators

Electrostatic Forces at Work

Opposite charges attract. Like charges repel. The diaphragm holds a constant positive charge.

Curve appeal

Combining inspiration and innovative manufacturing techniques, MartinLogan created the original Curvilinear Line Source (CLS™) electrostatic panels. Overcoming a classic limitation of previous electrostatic designs, this breakthrough enabled MartinLogan to uniquely deliver optimal horizontal sound dispersion. The specific curvature allows for ideal dispersion in a home listening environment, taking the room out of the sonic equation.

The unique dispersion of CLS is a major contributor to MartinLogan’s realistic sound, most often described as “sitting in a room with the musician.” Since stators sandwich the thin ultra-light diaphragm, they must be perforated to allow sound to pass through, insulated for safety, and rigid enough to remain stationary as the strong electrostatic forces push and pull them. Our latest generation MicroPerf stators, which we have continuously refined over the last 35 years, further maximize output and efficiency while diminishing panel size for an even cleaner aesthetic.

Electrostatic panels are secured to speaker cabinets using proprietary AirFrame™ technology. Manufactured from aerospace-grade billet and extruded aluminum alloy, AirFrames maximize panel rigidity and playable surface area while aiding in the optimization of crucial sound radiation patterns. The latest evolution of ClearSpar spacer technology enhances the transparent look of the electrostatic panels.

Benefitting from our decades of innovation and continued improvement, MartinLogan products represent the pinnacle of high-end performance.

Best of Both Worlds

Electrostatic panels are perfect for reproducing sounds above 200 Hz. However, both the size and the power requirements of deep bass frequencies are best served by traditional cone woofers. As a result and with few exceptions, every MartinLogan electrostatic speaker is a hybrid design. Ideal crossover frequencies, phase and amplitude optimized Vojtko™ crossover networks, and critically damped woofers ensure a seamless transition between the two sound reproduction philosophies. The resulting speakers offer the best of both worlds.

What is Truth?

Truth in Sound is much more than a catch phrase, it’s our philosophy: MartinLogan speakers are designed to render the most complex musical passages as faithfully as a prism disperses the color spectrum.

Early in our history, Inc. magazine recognized MartinLogan as one of the 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. Soon after, MartinLogan released the world’s first electrostatic center and on-wall surround speakers, establishing the company as a major player in the emerging home theater market. Today, MartinLogan is a premier brand on the international stage. We are a loudspeaker technology company producing electrostatic designs, nonelectrostatic designs, personal audio, and architectural speakers for inside walls and ceilings. We also provide all-weather speakers, bringing MartinLogan sound outside, pool-side, or in the yard while relaxing or entertaining family and friends.

Take a moment, sit down, listen to a MartinLogan speaker, and forever change the way you listen. Truth in sound will do that.

Uncompromising performance. Unflinching accuracy. Unwavering reliability. Harnessing the myriad technical advantages of electrostatic principles to recreate sound in its truest form—this is what MartinLogan is all about.