MartinLogan has just announced that all speakers in the company’s Masterpiece Series are now shipping.
With the January 2017 launch of the new Focus ESL C18 center channel speaker, MartinLogan’s year-long journey to bring the new Masterpiece Series to market is complete. Originally announced at CES 2016, the Renaissance ESL 15A was the first Masterpiece Series speaker brought to market. Since the launch of Renaissance ESL 15A in February 2016, MartinLogan has released three additional floorstanding electrostatic speakers (Expression ESL 13A, Impression ESL 11A, and Classic ESL 9) and two new center channel electrostatic speakers (Illusion ESL C34A and Focus ESL C18).
Masterpiece Series speakers features include Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) XStat vacuum-bonded electrostatic transducers with advanced microperf stator technology, redesigned ultra-rigid AirFrame Blade construction, and low-distortion aluminum cone woofers powered by Class-D amplifiers and controlled by a 24-Bit Vojtko DSP Engine with ARC (Anthem Room Correction). Features vary by model.
MartinLogan’s master work is the Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) controlled dispersion XStat electrostatic (ESL) transducer and robust woofer systems—a revolutionary melding of design and engineering. Inspired by the breakthrough design, MartinLogan has reinvented the woofer systems in the new Masterpiece Series. Using two independently enclosed woofers in the compact chamber, exclusive PoweredForce Forward bass alignment (featured in the Renaissance ESL 15A, Expression ESL 13A, and Impression ESL 11A) controls the interaction between the rear-firing woofer and the wall behind that woofer. This phase-shifting technology minimizes the effect the front wall has on bass information that might bounce back into the listening room and provides a uniform frequency response resulting in realistic bass effects you can feel.
The launch of Renaissance ESL 15A brought Anthem Room Correction (ARC) technology to an electrostatic loudspeaker for the first time. With the introduction of Expression ESL 13A, Impression ESL 11A, and Illusion ESL C34A, this beneficial technology is now available in four electrostatic loudspeakers. ARC measures sound output from the speaker’s powered woofers and compares the resulting in-room response to an optimal response curve, accounting for spatial anomalies. The advanced algorithms of ARC effectively remove the anomalies, leaving only the ideal standard: transparent, natural-sounding bass.
Highlights of this series include:
• Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) Electrostatic Panel – CLS technology is an essential element of every electrostatic loudspeaker MartinLogan has ever designed. Through proprietary manufacturing methods, MartinLogan has built in the panel’s gentle horizontal curvature. This unique design enhances the high frequency detail and dispersion produced by the large radiating surface without compromising overall sound quality. Electrostatic panels, which are true dipole speakers, produce a nearly-ideal controlled dispersion radiation pattern. They send very little sound to the sides, thereby minimizing side-wall reflections, whose short arrival times tend to interfere with the perception of the direct sound. Their strong rear radiation, however, produces a generous amount of natural, ambience-enriching, later-arriving sonic information.
• Folded Motion Tweeters – Featured in the Illusion ESL C34A and Focus ESL C18 center channel speakers, Folded Motion tweeters utilize extremely low mass diaphragms that “squeeze” air, and require significantly less excursion than the typical dome tweeters. Folded Motion tweeters drastically minimize distortion while providing a lightning fast response time.
• Low Distortion Aluminum Cone Woofers in a sealed enclosure – Rigid cast baskets and stiff cones eliminate distortion, while the high excursion, extended throw drive assemblies produce tremendous amounts of low end output in surprisingly compact, beautifully finished enclosures.
• Precision-Built Advanced-Topology Vojtko Crossovers – Fully hand-built using only the finest polypropylene capacitors and air-core coils, Masterpiece Series crossovers employ MartinLogan’s proprietary Vojtko topology for vanishingly low distortion and seamless woofer/ESL integration. This precision-tuned network preserves the most microscopic sonic nuances while handling the full dynamics of any source.
• New Ultra-Rigid AirFrame Blade Design – Precision manufactured from an aerospace-grade extruded aluminum alloy, the bold, forward-moving styling of this AirFrame Blade rail system, narrow and strong in front, broad and forceful from the side, is a modern design statement. It never obstructs playable surface area or interferes with the panel’s dipole sound radiation pattern. It also provides electrical and acoustical isolation, minimizing intermodulation distortion caused by vibration and resonance. The flowing lines emphasize the groundbreaking integration of the panel itself with the compact woofer and amplifier section. The breathtaking AirFrame Blade design enhances imaging, low-level sonic detail, accuracy, and speaker efficiency. Not included in Focus ESL C18.
• New PoweredForce Forward Bass Technology – This unique woofer configuration combines two MartinLogan audio innovations: PoweredForce, which allows small enclosures to accurately produce massive amounts of bass, and ForceForward, which significantly reduces performance-robbing front-wall bass reflections. PoweredForce Forward bass technology uses an advanced crossover topology with phase timed woofers to minimize destructive reflected energy. By virtually eliminating front-wall bass reflections and working in tandem with the panel, PoweredForce Foward Bass Technology gives you more placement flexibility, and enhances the true audio realism of your sound source. Not included in Classic ESL 9 or Focus ESL C18. Illusion ESL C34A includes PoweredForce bass technology.
• New Anthem Room Correction (ARC) – Exclusive technology is used to achieve an extremely accurate low-frequency performance in any room. When you engage the ARC software, a specially calibrated microphone (sold separately) measures the woofer output within your listening space and compares it to an optimal response curve. The advanced algorithms of ARC then utilize the speaker’s 24-bit DSP to adjust your speaker’s low-frequency output to account for the unique sonic characteristics of your room. ARC calibration is optional and can be easily defeated using a switch on the speaker. Not included in Classic ESL 9 or Focus ESL C18.
• New Powerful Class-D Amplification with a 24-Bit Vojtko Digital Signal Processing (DSP) Engine – Producing clean, powerful bass more efficiently than ever before, this combination of technologies enables the effortless delivery of exhilarating dynamic impact with plenty of overhead. Superior, reliable Class-D technology means there’s virtually no energy lost between the amplifiers and the woofers. Not included in Classic ESL 9 or Focus ESL C18.
• Bass and Mid-Bass Level Controls – Even with the myriad benefits brought to play through the impressive woofer system technologies, personal taste still determines the final measure of audio experience. For the final tweak, a bass level knob (±10dB under 75Hz) and mid-bass level switch (-2dB, 0, +2dB) offer fine-tuning of the speakers voicing to account for personal tastes. Not included in Classic ESL 9 or Focus ESL C18.
• Premium WBT Binding Posts – Used to connect electronics safely and securely, the fine silver filigree of these high-performance binding posts is highly conductive and free from “eddy current” effects. These posts are fully insulated for shock protection and topped with an impressive palladium-plated metal cap, with plenty of room for large-gauge professional speaker connections. Not included in Classic ESL 9.