Electromotion ESL (the only floor-standing one in the series) is ideologically close to the brand’s elite products. It also uses a combination of a large electrostatic panel with a bass-reflex cabinet subwoofer. The virtually weightless CLS Xstat membrane covers almost the entire operating range, and only below 500 Hz does the 8-inch driver come into play. This is a completely justified decision, since electrostats are not very strong in the low-frequency range; deep bass can be achieved from them only with a very large emitter area. Here we take the best of both worlds – the speed and highest resolution of film with the power and high sound pressure of a dynamic driver.
When using ElectroMotion ESL electrostatic speakers, there are some design considerations to keep in mind. For example, for best sound, electrostatic panels should be installed at a sufficiently large distance from the front wall. MartinLogan recommends using a factor of 0.618 from the room height measurement to find the optimal distance from the center of the curved panel to the front wall. This position may be uncomfortable in a small room. In any case, MartinLogan advises not to install the ElectroMotion ESL closer than 60cm from any wall.
Another point that must be taken into account is that electrostatic speakers place high demands on the amplifiers and receivers used with them. In this case, using budget and even some mid-level receivers will not work. And the third point is that electrostatic panels will not be able to provide the volume level that traditional speakers of the same dimensions provide. This is something to keep in mind if you’re expecting concert volume in a large room.
Martin Logan electrostatic loudspeakers occupy a special niche in the world of high-end audio. This is original acoustics, standing apart from the “well-trodden roads” of traditional dynamic sound. They’re just different. Martin Logan acoustics are usually chosen by those who value depth in sound, the charm of spatial structures and try to be original in everything.
The presented acoustics operate in the range of 42 Hz – 22 kHz, and a single electrostatic emitter is responsible for reproducing a wide band (everything above 500 Hz). The lightest transparent membrane (200 x 870 mm) made of dielectric oscillates in an alternating (modulated by an acoustic signal) electrostatic field between the capacitor plates, to which a static voltage of the order of several kilovolts is applied. Don’t be alarmed, there is nothing dangerous here for either people or pets: the current is very small, the speakers are powered from ordinary adapters like those used with mobile devices. In addition, the electrostatic panel is perfectly insulated.
In the musical field, the Electromotion ESL speakers proved to be as subtle and graceful as they are externally. Firstly, it is worth noting the fairly even tonal balance, tending towards neutral throughout the entire operating range. All instruments and voices sound believable and natural. At the same time, the overall character of the sound here is fundamentally different from what traditional speakers produce.
And it differs, first of all, in its spatial, “deep” characteristics. The soundstage extends both wider and deeper than the line indicated by the speaker placement. The spatial layers created by the sound engineer during recording and mixing here acquire a truly epic scale, pushing the material boundaries of the listening room. So, for example, during the performance of Pink Floyd hits, the front wall along which the speakers were placed seemed to disappear, and behind it was a drum kit, which, by the way, was also very large and voluminous.
It seemed that each instrument was literally enveloped in air or surrounded by its own energetic aura. I was pleasantly surprised by the choir of schoolchildren in the famous song about their attitude to the orthodox educational system – the closed space of the classroom in which the teenagers were locked appeared with a frightening holographic imagery.
As for the bass created by the dynamic head, here it is quite delicate and a little restrained. The low frequencies harmoniously complement the overall “atmospheric” and extremely detailed character of the mid/high range. It is worth recognizing that Electromotion ESL with its “enveloping” sound will perform very well in an interior with difficult acoustic conditions. In addition, using Electromotion ESL in a multi-channel home theater system will create an impressive spatial 3D effect that extends to all viewers, not just those sitting exactly in the center. Of course, in a home theater, the use of a subwoofer is encouraged, which to a certain extent “cements” the low-frequency foundation.
Characteristics of Martin Logan Electromotion ESL:
Type Two-way bass reflex with electrostatic mid/high frequency driver
Frequency range 42 Hz-22 kHz
Crossover frequency 500 Hz
Sensitivity 91 dB
Impedance 6 Ohm
Dimensions (HxWxD) 132 x 2 W x 41 cm
Weight 16 kg