MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL Hybrid Electrostatic Speaker Review & Comments

acgingersnaps

Active Member
These are really interesting (Nice review), but my lord they're ugly. I could never get these past my significant other. She's very tolerant of my expensive hobby, but not a chance in hell!
 

MaryWhitehouse

Active Member
Always wondered how Joey and Chandler afforded these earlier in Friends. My total knowledge of this brand!

C82F1C8C-B335-4CC2-8C75-3C9E17438A24.png
 

bogart99

Well-known Member
These are really interesting (Nice review), but my lord they're ugly. I could never get these past my significant other. She's very tolerant of my expensive hobby, but not a chance in hell!
Different I would say. I do not find them ugly which even surprised me. I am sure they could have squeezed the psu into the box section I hate the fact everything these days comes with a socket mounted one, as stated they usually get in the way of the other outlet.
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
... but my lord they're ugly. I could never get these past my significant other. She's very tolerant of my expensive hobby, but not a chance in hell!
Admittedly we have ML Spires rather than entry level Electromotions (and the Spires have a better shaped (active) bass box with a choice of real wood veneers), but wife acceptance factor was the least problem. Whilst my wife frequently commented on the Quad ESL 63s (see my avatar) they replaced, she positively loves the look of the Spires. She was with me when we looked at the MLs - and we had a two week home trial. She even accepted the price without comment; that was where I was expecting a discussion (the Spires are 3x the price).

The transparent panels mean that they don't look like a large box in the room, disappearing into the room much better than most floorstanders. And we both love the sound.
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Admittedly we have ML Spires rather than entry level Electromotions (and the Spires have a better shaped (active) bass box with a choice of real wood veneers), but wife acceptance factor was the least problem. Whilst my wife frequently commented on the Quad ESL 63s (see my avatar) they replaced, she positively loves the look of the Spires. She was with me when we looked at the MLs - and we had a two week home trial. She even accepted the price without comment; that was where I was expecting a discussion (the Spires are 3x the price).

The transparent panels mean that they don't look like a large box in the room, disappearing into the room much better than most floorstanders. And we both love the sound.
Fair enough. Obviously tastes differ, just not for me.
 

unground

Active Member
These are really interesting (Nice review), but my lord they're ugly. I could never get these past my significant other. She's very tolerant of my expensive hobby, but not a chance in hell!
Each to their own of course but I expect we've become accustomerd to large rectangular cuboids paired either side of our tellys. I know many people think large speakers of any description are cosmetically unacceptable, whereas they'll happily accept sizeable metal manufactures, valves and pipework stuck all over their house because they're used to it and they like being warm. Actually, I reckong the MLs will blend in rather more than a box speaker, as others have said. Me, I'm more worried about the octopus riot of cables fighting behind my system, though not sufficiently concerned to actually do anything about it..
 

acgingersnaps

Active Member
Each to their own of course but I expect we've become accustomerd to large rectangular cuboids paired either side of our tellys. I know many people think large speakers of any description are cosmetically unacceptable, whereas they'll happily accept sizeable metal manufactures, valves and pipework stuck all over their house because they're used to it and they like being warm. Actually, I reckong the MLs will blend in rather more than a box speaker, as others have said. Me, I'm more worried about the octopus riot of cables fighting behind my system, though not sufficiently concerned to actually do anything about it..
I don't know. I quite like my cuboids! As you can see the electrostatics wouldn't suit my room at all.
 

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invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
My my, the thumbnail on the front page made me think of some weird crotch pouch!

I have a pair of rather old Sony standmount speakers with Electrostatic tweeters (but only about 100mm) and the highs sound great.

Theses are a bit much, but I'd be fascinated to hear them.
 

EasterEEL1

Active Member
Too ugly for me. How much nicer that room would look without them.
 

jmacc

Distinguished Member
Does it rotate and have an inbuilt halogen heater? :D:smoke:


yti.png
 

Earthscope

Well-known Member

TheHighFlyingBirds

Well-known Member
@Ed Selley

" The presence of that bass driver does mean that the MartinLogan has bass extension that is beyond a conventional electrostatic speaker. The quoted low end roll off is 42dB at +/- 3dB which compares favourably with the entirely electrostatic Quad 2812 which quotes 37dB at +/- 6dB (and is both nearly twice as expensive and twice as wide). Basic frequency handling of the ElectroMotion is not dissimilar to a more conventional floorstander at the price. The quoted figure of 91dB/w also suggests they aren’t a challenging drive either. "

Shouldn't the bold bit be 42Hz and 37Hz?
 

Mark.Yudkin

Distinguished Member
Theses are a bit much, but I'd be fascinated to hear them.
Since you already find the entry model ESL "a bit much", you could just as well be fascinated to hear the Renaissance ESL 11A at £12K, or its big brother, the Renaissance ESL 15A at £25K. You'd also get (or given the price, not get) a choice of finishes, PSU-free plugs, active bass and room correction.
 

The_Wierd

Well-known Member
My experience with these speakers is that not only are the speakers oddballs, but the owners are too. I used to know a guy who was utterly obsessed with MartinLogan speakers. I’m talking cultish, Scientology levels of conviction that this is the ultimate speaker technology. Not a rich guy, but he owned a 20K pair of speakers and almost nothing else. I am sure there are plenty of people with listening rooms, but not many where the flat comprised kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and MartinLogan room. Not a big hit with the ladies, but then he had his electrostatic speakers to keep him warm.
 
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Evinger

Well-known Member
I have always been a fan of Electrostatic speakers - the have their place & do sound fantastic
However,
Not for cat lovers. But the cats would definitely love them
 

Evinger

Well-known Member
I'd rather have these speakers than some dictator with a pair of tits 😁
I'm not sure where you are going with that. Is that a reply to my comment, or....?
 

Paddyfin

Active Member
That’s bizarre, I was only looking at those speakers last nigh, wondering if anyone had review them and you guys have, cool
 

Blupetros

Well-known Member
I don't get all the piss take and hate over the look, have you guys never seen ML electrostatics before? Sure they're different.... but then I did have Quad ESL 63's with Gradient SW-63 subs for many, many years, far bigger than these... transparent sound, pinpoint imagery, magnificent! Then again I don't have anyone that tells me what I can and can't have. Wish I'd never got rid of them. Hmm... always fancied some ML's.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Completely unrelated (but maybe not) - I was in a Sevenoaks many years' ago looking at something or other (probably cheap) and I heard somebody speaking behind me.

I turned round to see who it was and there was no one there! It took me a moment to realise that there was a Quad electrostatic speaker that was on and playing - it was the most lifelike reproduction of the human voice from a speaker I've ever heard.

However, it wasn't playing music, just speech, so I think a hybrid like this is probably the best compromise if you want that truly magical midband + other frequencies too, especially lows.

All speakers are a series of sonic compromises. @Ed Selley is a big fan of the Eclipse single-point speakers (the funny egg-shaped ones) because of their speed and transparency, but you'd still need a Subwoofer if you want proper low frequencies.
 

bandyka

Well-known Member
All I can say is, since I tried Martin Logan I got hooked and I don't really look elsewhere. Before them I kept swapping speakers as I am extremely particular about sound. Just look at my signature. Audiophile friends get floored when they listen to my setup every time and keep asking how they can have such open and dynamic sound. Sure I spent years on the room acoustics too. ESL's are another world, they are there to listen folks not to look at, they are speakers after all.
I also own STAX electrostatic headphones, nothing compares to them either, amazingly clean airy open accurate sound.

The only thing I don't particularly like about electrostatic is you pretty much need to be sitting in the sweet spot to fully relaize the potential.

I also have been lucky enough to test out their largest and most expensive version (around 100K a pair) and that was an out of this world experience, lifelike just isn't enough of a word to describe them.
..and you thought these are large and ugly...

Do yourselves a favor and listen to a pair before commenting on looks, I guarantee you won't care.

However my current ML setup sounds and looks stunning too.
 
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lestes

Novice Member
Having lived with both electrostatics and dynamic driver speakers, there is one thing that stats don't do well...visceral impact. It has nothing to do with a subwoofer...no sub will solve that if it is what draws you in to a speaker. Ultimately I need a pressure wave hitting me to believe I am in the live event, and the reason I can't only have an electrostatic/planar. They are remarkable and do many things superior to dynamic speakers, but the leave me emotionally flat.
 

bandyka

Well-known Member
Having lived with both electrostatics and dynamic driver speakers, there is one thing that stats don't do well...visceral impact. It has nothing to do with a subwoofer...no sub will solve that if it is what draws you in to a speaker. Ultimately I need a pressure wave hitting me to believe I am in the live event, and the reason I can't only have an electrostatic/planar. They are remarkable and do many things superior to dynamic speakers, but the leave me emotionally flat.
That's why Martin Logan designed the Balanced Force subs. I owned one and it is the only one that is capable of properly supporting the electros to get that impact.
 

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