MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL X Speaker System Review Specs

ESL X: 8 in paper cone woofer (2), XStat CLS electrostatic transducer; 9.4 x 59.2 x 20.7 in (WxHxD); 52 lb
ESL C: 5.25 in aluminum cone woofer (2), XStat CLS electrostatic transducer; 1 x 1.4 in Folded Motion tweeter; 22.8 x 7.6 x 16.1 in (WxHxD); 32 lb
Dynamo 1500X: 15 in polypropylene cone woofer; 650 watts continuous (1,300 watts dynamic peak); LFE and stereo line-level in (RCA), LFE (XLR), 12-volt trigger; 16.75 x 18.3 x 17.6 in (WxHxD), 52 lb
Price: $11,395 (ESL X, $4,000 pr; ESL C, $1,700; Dynamo 1500X, $1,595; Perfect Bass Kit, $100)



John_Werner's picture

I thoroughly enjoyed this review and feel I learned quite a bit without actually hearing the speakers reviewed. This is exactly what I personally crave in a review: "just the facts maam". That said I have experience with ML, InnerSound, ESS, and Eminent Technology planar speakers. Everything said made perfect sense in my previous experience while enlightening me to ML's latest offerings. Speaking of the latest ML electrostatic range I realize it is the best ever, but it comes at a price since the new owners took over. Even the entry level electrostatics are now quite pricey - no more $2K entry level hybrids I'm sad to say. The Aireus and later an even lower cost model whose moniker alludes me are ancient history. Still there's something very compelling in the electrostatic sauce as sonically spread by the curvilinear Martin Logans. As for why use wide-range speakers for rears I see the point of a previous commenter, but would add that most of the current movie and music multi-channel mixes are indeed full-range affairs thus in order to get what the sound mixer intended in the most absolute terms this is, indeed, the way to go even if good results can still be had by limited range rear setups. In closing, I find it very accurate that with all planar hybrids, especially those with separate sub-woofers, the art of the final blending is a bit tricky to say the least. It is, therefore, I'm certain an accurate statement that the digital EQ program adding the extra expense of $100 is mandatory. I think therefore it should be included at no additional cost without reservation. ML would be wise to work on bringing the cost of this type of speaker down so it would not be so esoteric. Other than than no gripes and many kudos to Al Griffin for a very informative, no non-sense, review. Oh if all reviews could be so straight forward and to the point.

drny's picture

I've audition this system in two different listening rooms (audio stores).
They are not seamless, often sounding too bright, at times way too colored.
Sadly for the other worldly sound of electrostatic speakers you must spend big money on top of the line ML true electrostatics or choose Magnepan ribbon speakers.
You must also have an oversize room with near perfect acoustic conditions.