June 8 - An independently run Web site for owners of MartinLogan electrostatic loudspeakers (www.martinloganowners.com) has organized a meeting at MartinLogan's factory in Lawrence, Kansas on June 23 - 25.
The event was planned and financed by the enthusiasts, who will be treated to a factory tour and lunch. About 25 members of the group are expected to attend in the event's inaugural year.
MartinLogan was founded by Gayle Sanders and Ron Sutherland in 1983 to bring to market products using the electrostatic loudspeaker technologies they had been developing since the late '70s. (Sutherland subsequently left to start an electronics company.)
The company's CLS, a full-range electrostatic panel, is one of the iconic products of the American high-end-audio industry.
Owning an electrostat once meant giant panels and massive power amplifiers, but MartinLogan has significantly advanced and refined its electrostatic technology in the past 25 years, and the company's hybrid speakers, which combine dynamic woofers with electrostatic panels, make electrostatic speakers no fussier than conventional speakers.
An electrostatic panel consists of a thin membrane (typically Mylar) suspended between two fixed "stators." The membrane is charged to a very high voltage with respect to the stators.
The audio signal is applied to the stators, which create electrostatic fields around them that vary in response to the audio signal. The varying electrostatic fields generated around the stators interact with the membrane's fixed electrostatic field, pushing and pulling the membrane to produce sound.
Because the membrane is so light, it can respond very quickly to the musical signal, both in the way it starts and stops.Electrostatic speakers are characterized by unmatched transient performance, stunning resolution of detail, and an openness that transcends the performance of box speakers.
Moreover, 'stats have no box around them to color the sound. Another advantage is that an electrostat's wide bandwidth obviates the need for a crossover in the middle of the midrange that could introduce an audible discontinuity, as is often the case in speakers using dynamic moving-coil drivers.
Finally, the dipolar nature of electrostatics (the panel produces just as much sound to the rear as to the front) can result (when the speaker is properly positioned in a room) in a spectacularly deep and layered soundstage. Listen to a full-range electrostatic speaker properly set up and it will be an experience you'll never forget.