MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL is here…

MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL is here...

In 1992, MartinLogan debuted the Aerius loudspeaker, shrinking the sound of their Sequel II in to a smaller and more affordable sized speaker, with an 8-inch woofer, at a retail price of $1,995 per pair. Stereophile’s John Atkinson gave these speakers a highly enthusiastic review, saying the panel/woofer integration was “seamless” and that “he was struck by the unity of the Aerius’s sound.”

I bought a pair of Aerius’s, based on that review, because while I had loved my former CLS’s, my current digs did not afford the room that the CLS required, but I really missed the MartinLogan sound. So out went my Acoustat 1+1’s and I was back in LoganWorld! My system consisted of a Klyne Audio Arts SK-5 preamplifier, a Conrad Johnson MV-50 and a Rega P3 with Dynavector Ruby Carat cartridge and I was digging the panel goodness. The Aerius’s could definitely rock out better than my Acoustats were able to.

Over the last 19 years, I’ve owned and reviewed a lot of speakers, but I always remember that pair of Aerius’s well. A little sniffing around the internet reveals a doggedly loyal following, even today. Considering that you can still get a replacement set of ESL panels for your Aerius’s, it’s easy to keep them singing.

At the end of 2010, Devin Zell (MartinLogan’s Marketing Manager) started talking about a new hybrid ESL that was going to come in right at $1995, to which I said, “Is this going to be a 21st Century Aerius?” Zell’s excitement for the project was tough to keep under wraps, as I had obviously hit a hot button. We then proceeded to nerd out about all things MartinLogan for a while and a review pair was promised.

Zell went way above and beyond the call of duty this time. He not only sent me a pair of the ElectroMotion speakers you see here in my driveway, but he had a pair of Aerius’s refurbished at the factory for me to use for comparison purposes! I felt this was so cool, I had to meet the challenge. My MV-50 just got back from Conrad Johnson, freshened up with their current CJD Teflon capacitors, so it will sound even better than it did back in the early 90’s when I first had my Aerius’s and I found a mint Klyne preamp as well. Add a current Rega P9 with Dynavector cartridge and it’s as close to going back in time as I can muster.

So, stay tuned. This will certainly be a fun review – of both speakers.

For now, here’s a little more information on the ElectroMotion’s: