Although US company MartinLogan is best-known for its electrostatic speakers – it’s been making them since the early 1980s , it now has a wide range of models, drawing on the original curvilinear line source (or CLS) technology and hybrid electrostatic technologies it introduced all those years ago.
The curvaceous Motion Series speakers use the company’s Folded Motion Tweeter, similar to the designs found in some very high end speakers and using a folded diaphragm to squeeze out air, in the same manner as the bellows of an accordion. It has eight times the driving area of a typical 25mm dome tweeter, and requires just over 10% of the movement of such a driver, giving a clear, fast and dynamic sound.
In the Motion 2 and 4 speakers, that tweeter is combined with a mid/bass driver in a curved cabinet designed for use on bookshelves, or wall-mounted using a bracket supplied, so you can ‘aim’ the sound just where you want it. The bass is tuned with Folded Motion Cascading Bass Port, which slows and controls air movement for tight, clean bass. The slimline enclosures are finished in high-gloss piano black with a perforated grille, and have simple push-terminals for speaker cables, also able to take standard banana plugs.
The matching Motion 6 and Motion 8 centre speakers and Motion FX surround speakers enable a complete Motion surround system to be assembled. And of course MartinLogan has subwoofers designed to match all its speakers from the compact Motion models to its big 60XT floorstanding speakers and ultra-slim SLM models, which can hang just 5cm deep on a wall.
The new BalancedForce 210 and 212 subwoofers use opposed aluminium bass drivers – 10in/25cm with an 850W amp in the 210 and 12in/30cm with dual 850W amps in the 212 to give powerful, controlled bass for music and movies alike, free from cabinet colorations due to the ‘self-cancelling’ effect of the backto-back drivers.
Meanwhile the Dynamo 500 is compact, but packs a mighty punch thanks to a downward-firing 10in/25cm driver, twin bass-tuning ports and a 120W amplifier, while the larger Dynamo 500w ups the stakes with a 12in/30cm driver and 500W amplifier in a sealed cabinet for tight bass, and a couple of features to increase its room friendliness. The downward-firing configuration can convert to front-firing in minutes, while that little ‘w’ suffix indicates that this is one of MartinLogan’s wireless subwoofers, with a transmitter supplied to send signal from your amp or receiver to the sub. No more need for subwoofer cables running sound the room!
Wireless working is also at the heart of the company’s new Crescendo wireless speaker, a standalone tabletop speaker solution for music wherever you want it. It uses two Folded Motion tweeters and a hefty bass driver for a big, powerful sound, and can be used with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, wired Ethernet, USB (with iOS compatibility), analogue and optical digital solutions. It’s a complete sound solution, in one very sleek crescent-shaped housing.
But of course MartinLogan hasn’t forgotten its roots, and has an extensive range of electrostatic speakers in its range: its flagship, the mighty CLX Art, is quite simply the result of all the experience the company has gained in over 30 years of making panel speakers, and combines two 145cm-tall electrostatic transducers. The CLS XStat panel delivers the midband and treble, while lower frequencies are in the capable hands of the company’s DualForce double diaphragm, triple stator low-frequency driver, with the whole speaker framed in eco-friendly, self-damping EcoSound material, made from bamboo and recycled fibres.
It all adds up to design for which MartinLogan makes a very simple claim: ‘The world’s finest full-range electrostatic line source loudspeaker’.