MartinLogan Redefines Market-Setting Electrostatic Speakers with Renaissance 15A

Announced at CES 2016, MartinLogan updates its CLS transducer technologies with the release of its latest floorstanding loudspeaker, the Renaissance ESL 15A.


A strong case could be made that no company has done more to bring electrostatic loudspeaker technologies into the living rooms of audiophiles than MartinLogan

Delivering its latest updates to its electrostatic designs, which include its Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) XStat with MicroPerf stator transducer panels, as well as its redesigned AirFrame construction technologies, the company has introduced its new ESL 15A floorstanding loudspeaker at CES 2016.

Applying its three decades of hybrid speaker/electrostatic design experience to the development of the ESL 15A, the company started by employing a new woofer section that employs two independently enclosed drivers that include MartinLogan's PoweredForce Forward bass alignment technologies. MartinLogan says these technologies control the interaction between the rear-firing woofer and the wall behind that woofer.

Taking a closer look at the cone drivers, the ESL 15A features a pair of 12-inch, laser-engineered low distortion aluminum-cone woofers that sit in sealed enclosures and feature cast baskets and stiff cones that eliminate distortion. The woofers also employ long-throw motor assemblies that in total allow the speaker to produce low-end that is tight, fast and cohesive.

Handling the rest of the frequency spectrum is a 15-inch wide CLS electrostatic panel that is said to enhance high-frequency detail to help the speaker produce a wide, dynamic sonic image. 

Making sure the cone drivers and CLS panel works in harmony, MartinLogan incorporates its Vojtko crossover network that is handbuilt using polypylene capacitors and air coils to “preserve even the most microscopic sonic nuances while handling the full dynamics of any source.” Other features the speaker offers range from its WBT binding posts that include silver filigree that is highly conductive and “free from eddy current effects,” to a Class D 500-watt amplifier that's controlled by a 24-bit Vojtko DSP engine to power the cone drivers.

In addition, MartinLogan is bundling the ESL 15A with Anthem Room Correction (ARC) equalization suite to enable custom electronics professionals to install the speaker in a variety of room environments without compromising the speaker's performance potential.  

About the Author

Robert Archer
Robert Archer:

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob has also served as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In his personal time beyond his family, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons and Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Binda Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.