After 20 years committed to developing the world's most advanced and sophisticated loudspeakers, we knew our challenge was to build as much of that quality and performance as possible into a speaker that could be enjoyed by a much wider audience. It had to be pleasing to the eye as well as the ear, easy to install, and smaller and less expensive than our previous speakers. Yet it had to have the MartinLogan sound.
It's the kind of project that goes to the heart of the engineering process – and that drives innovation. Clarity inspired the development of our advanced CLS™ Generation 2 electrostatic transducer with MicroPerf stators and ClearSpar™ supports for superior performance from a small panel. Our design team also created NAC™ (Natural Ambience Compensation) technology, making it easier to enjoy full-spectrum sound throughout the listening area.
Even the cabinet is a radical departure, constructed of sonically welded constrained-layer laminates. Lightweight yet extremely rigid, it allows graceful, flowing lines in real wood materials. And Clarity is available in two handsome color palettes to enhance its appearance in any room.
Innovative manufacturing techniques enabled MartinLogan to produce the original Curvilinear Line Source panels, the first wide-range electrostatic drivers to deliver good horizontal sound dispersion without sacrificing overall sound quality or reliability. CLS Generation 2 builds on that success with advanced diaphragm and stator technologies that significantly enhance speaker efficiency and dynamics.
Our new thin-film plasma-deposition process applies an improved conductive coating to the ultra-low-mass PET (polyethylene terathylate) diaphragm for superior adhesion and abrasion resistance, as well as a better impedance characteristic. MicroPerf stators expose more of the diaphragm surface, dramatically expanding effective radiating area without increasing panel size, while ClearSpar™ spacers help maintain their stiffness without impairing the signature transparent look of MartinLogan electrostats.
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 a panel to be made much smaller without sacrificing performance – or to enjoy a substantial leap in bandwidth and dynamics without growing larger.
NAC (natural ambience compensation) increases the amount of reflected high-frequency energy in the room, which can be particularly useful for broadening the coverage area of a small electrostatic speaker in a home theater system with a large seating area. The NAC driver – a superb 1-inch soft-dome tweeter – operates in parallel with the main drivers and can be switched on or off according to listener preference.
By eliminating cone flexure, aluminum diaphragms help our advanced-technology woofers achieve the very low distortion necessary for proper blending with MartinLogan electrostatic panels.
Carefully hand-built using only the finest polypropylene capacitors and air-core coils, the crossover employ's MartinLogan's proprietary Vojtko topology for vanishingly low distortion and seamless driver integration. This precision-tuned network preserves even the most microscopic sonic nuances while handling the full dynamics of any source.
Clarity's cabinet is constructed of multiple wood laminates, sonically welded for extreme rigidity and inertness. This same technique enables the cabinet to be made with gentle curves that enhance its visual integration into the home. It is available in two distinctive finishes: native cherry and black.
The sound we hear from a loudspeaker is a combination of direct radiation from it to our ears and reflections off of room surfaces – walls, floor, and ceiling. How our brains integrate all this information is far from simple. Depending on the angle of incidence to the ears and the arrival-time difference between direct and reflected sound, reflections can either blur detail and stereo imaging or enhance the natural impression of depth and openness.
True dipole speakers, such as electrostatic panels, have long been noted for their near-ideal radiation patterns. They send very little sound to the sides, thereby minimizing side-wall reflections with short arrival times that tend to interfere with perception of the direct sound. Their strong rear radiation, however, produces a generous amount of ambience-enriching later-arriving reflections off the wall behind them.
A low-voltage DC power supply eliminates the need for a traditional, heavy IEC power cord.
MartinLogan's proprietary toolless binding posts make cable connection and management easy.
The Clarity is supplied with sturdy, 1/4-20 MiniETC™ spikes, which can be used in place of the standard feet to enhance stability on thick carpets or to create tighter coupling between speaker and floor.