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Martin Logan Electromotion ESL X Electrostatic Speakers (Pair)


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Ex VAT: £4,162.50

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Condition: Brand new in original retail packaging

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Removable Grill Yes
Warranty length 3 Years
Brand Martin Logan

Tech Specs

- Frequency Response: 41–22,000 Hz ±3dB
- Recommended Amplifier Power: 20—400 watts per channel
- Horizontal Dispersion: 30°
- Vertical Dispersion: 40" (101.6cm) line source
- Sensitivity: 91 dB/2.83 volts/meter
- Impedance: 6 Ohms, 1.6 @ 20kHz Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm rated amplifiers.
- Crossover Frequency: 400Hz
- High Frequency Transducer: XStat™ CLS™ electrostaic transducer » Panel Dimensions: 40" x 8.6" (102 x 22cm) » Radiating Area: 344 in² (2,244 cm² )
- Low Frequency Transducer: Two 8” (20.3 cm) high excursion, high-rigidity paper cones with extended throw driver assembly, non-resonance asymmetrical chamber format, bass reflex.
- Components: Custom-wound audio transformer, air core coils, large steel laminate inductors, polyester capacitors, and low DF electrolytic capacitors
- Inputs: Custom 5-way bi-wire tool-less binding posts
- Weight: 52 lbs. (23.6 kg)
- Dimensions: 59.2" x 9.4" x 20.7 " (150.3cm x 23.8cm x 52.6cm)

Product Description

Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL X electrostatic speakers are the flagship model in the ElectroMotion range and feature a larger electrostatic transducer than the ESL (non-X) model. Notably, it is 50 square inches bigger.

ESL X also features two 8” woofers, both of which are high-excursion, extended throw types. These are mounted in a non-resonant, asymmetrical, bass reflex chamber. The bass port fires downwards, like a subwoofer. ESL X speakers are also bi-wireable and have spiked feet that can be covered with rubber caps.

Custom components

The ESL X speakers use many custom components. For example the audio coupling transformers are custom-wound. Electrostatic speakers are high impedance devices, and need a matching transformer to be driven from a conventional amplifier. The transformer needs to have a wide frequency response. Next, the crossover components are custom designed, using air-core coils and high-grade capacitors.

Airframe panel design

The ESL X panel is fixed to a radical new frame design. The aluminium and composite airframe holds the panel in a way that does not block the playable surface area. The frame does not interfere with the ambience enriching dipole sound. The airframe provides good electrical and acoustical isolation. The result is less intermodulation distortion as well as less vibration and resonance. This maintains sonic detail.

Connectivity and performance

There are also custom 5-way bi-wireable binding posts. The frequency response is 41 Hz to 22 KHz and the recommended amplifier power is 20-400 watts. The nominal impedance is 6 ohms but the ESL X can be driven from most 4 to 8 ohm rated amplifiers.

Xstat electrostatic transducer

The Xstat transducer was developed by Martin Logan with the aim of reducing the thickness of the ESL X’s steel stators or grids. The result is a visually transparent panel. Another feature of the Xstat panel is its curvilinear shape. Modern manufacturing methods allow for the production of panels in cylindrical sections. The curved shape provides better high frequency dispersion, without compromising the sound quality.

Dipole sound pattern

The ESL X panel is a true dipole. This means that sound comes from both sides, at equal volume. However, the outputs are in opposite phase. This results in the sound waves that reach the panel edges, cancelling out. Therefore the sound coming from the sides is very low compared to standard speakers. Furthermore, this means there is less sound bouncing of the room walls, to muddy the sound, and reduce stereo separation. However, the sound from the rear of the panel opens up and deepens the sound.

MicroPerf panel design

The ESL X features a panel design that uses MicroPerf holes. The holes result in a panel that has a bigger radiating area for the diaphragm. This does not affect the structural integrity. However, it improves the bandwidth and dynamics.

Dual woofer bass

To ensure a seamless transition from the high/mid frequency panel, to the dual subwoofers, a proprietary crossover was designated by Vojtko. The ElectroMotion ESL X crossover uses a topology filter featuring custom air core coils as well as low DCR steel laminate inductors. The capacitors are also audiophile grade. The woofers are designed in-house and have a cone made of doped fibre with an optimised suspension. The magnetic flux pattern has also been optimised. The result is a high bass output with a precise midrange. Finally, the lightweight cone eliminates cone flexing for less distortion.

What is an electrostatic speaker?

Electrostatic speakers work in a completely different way to conventional speakers. The main component is the diaphragm, this is sandwiched between two grids, or stators. The diaphragm is made of tough plastic, such as PET film. The film is also coated, so that it can hold an electrical charge.

The two grids are charged to a high voltage, similar to the plates of a capacitor. The audio signal is then fed to the plates, and this in turn makes the diaphragm move in sympathy with the audio signal. 

Additionally, a matching transformer is needed. This matches the low impedance output of normal amplifiers to the high input impedance of the panel. This design should offer lower distortion and wider frequency response. Electrostatic panels work best at high and mid frequencies. Hence that is why the ESL X has two subwoofers. 

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