MartinLogan Goes Retro with Launch of Classic ESL 9 Loudspeaker

The ESL 9 loudspeaker from MartinLogan utilizes the company’s CLS XStat electrostatic (ESL) transducer and dual 8-inch aluminum-cone woofers.


For decades audiophiles have coveted the performance of electrostatic (ESL) loudspeakers for their speed and transparency. The loudspeaker manufacturer MartinLogan has refined the design of electrostat speakers with its own unique designs, and its latest product provides stereo and surround sound system owners with an elegant, modern take on its timeless ESL technologies. 

Debuting at CEDIA 2016 in Dallas, the newly announced Classic ESL 9 features MartinLogan's proprietary Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) XStat vacuum-bonded ESL panel with microperf stator technology, along with its AirFrame Blade construction. 

Balancing the frequency response of the speaker is a pair of 8-inch aluminum cone woofers the enable the hybrid speaker design to extend down to 34Hz. 

Describing the performance of its CLS ESL panel technologies, MartinLogan says that its design builds in a slight horizontal curvature that, “enhances the high-frequency detail and dispersion by the large radiating surface, without compromising sound quality.”

ESL technologies produce a dipole dispersion pattern, producing a minimal amount of sound to the sides, and in the case of the Classic ESL, it employs a dipolar 9.2-inch x 44-inch electrostatic transducer. Augmenting the panel, the speaker's two 8-inch aluminum cone woofers are housed in a complementary enclosure, along with a MartinLogan Vojtko crossover network that controls the interaction between the CLS and cone woofers. 

Housing its CLS ESL designs is MartinLogan's rigid AirFrame design that is precision made from an aerospace-grade extruded aluminum alloy. MartinLogan points out this design maximizes the performance of the CLS panel, while providing electrical and acoustic isolation. 

The Classic ESL 9 will be available in November 2016 at a MSRP of $6,495 per pair. 

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.


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