Other Speakers Design
The centre speaker in the MartinLogan ElectroMotion ensemble is the EM-C2, which like the fronts is a break from the norm for a couple of reasons. Firstly it’s enormous, with almost the same dimensions as your average AV receiver. Secondly, its wedged shape will fire sound upwards or downwards, depending on which way up you place it (helpful if it’s installed high up, or down low). It’s a bit of a lump, and not exactly attractive, but it’s designed to do a job not enhance your living room.
On the inside are two 5.25in cone woofers and a Folded Motion XT tweeter, which dumps the usual dome design in favour of a ridged diaphragm with a larger surface area. It works like an accordion, moving air perpendicular to the folded ridges of the diaphragm.
The surround speakers use two of these Folder Motion tweeters, angled diagonally for wide dispersion into the room, with a 6.5in woofer in the middle. The backside is flat, which makes them easy to wall mount, and the cabinets are wonderfully built.
The system is completed by the Dynamo 700w subwoofer. That ‘w’ means it’s supplied with an external wireless transmitter, which you plug into your AV receiver and sends the LFE channel to the sub’s built-in receiver. Inside is a 300W amplifier and a 10in cone woofer and cleverly you can switch it from a front firing configuration to a down-firing one. The rear panel features volume and crossover frequency controls, plus phono inputs.
Its unusual arsenal of technology allows the ElectroMotion system to deliver a phenomenal performance with movies. The clearest benefit of the electrostatic panels is their extraordinary detail reproduction, which offers a level of insight and clarity that has to be heard to be believed.
It peels back layers of HD audio soundtracks that other speakers might miss, teasing out little nuances and textures that make everything so much more ‘real’. During Hellboy II’s Troll Market scene, for instance, the soundstage is alive with fluttering fairies, quietly chattering voices, delicate tinkling sounds and a myriad other noises that will leave you mesmerised.
But it’s not just detail reproduction that impresses. The dipole arrangement of the front speakers, coupled with the wide dispersion of the surrounds, leads to a quite amazing 360-degree soundstage with a wonderful sense of space, placement and envelopment. Effects emerge from every part of the room, making it nigh-on impossible to tell where one speaker ends and another begins.
This coherence is key to its success – the EM-C2, EM-FX2s and Dynamo all fuse tightly with no differences in tone, which is impressive considering how the electrostatic panels work in such a different way to the cones and Folded Motion tweeters used elsewhere.
The system also does the boisterous stuff brilliantly. Action scenes sound scintillatingly powerful, with thunderous bass emerging from the sub and hybrid fronts, while effects are forceful and there’s absolutely no harshness to high-pitched sounds.
Topping it off is magnificent dialogue, which the centre’s voluminous cabinet imparts with real presence and depth without compromising on detail. Listening to movies through these speakers is a truly magical experience.
The MartinLogan ElectroMotion’s usual approach to speaker design pays dividends with a movie performance that’s simply out of this world. Insightful detail reproduction, authoritative speech, a seamlessly immersive soundstage, rock-solid bass, tight integration… you name it, this system excels at it.
Ultimately though, the joy of owning one is something that only bankers and premiership footballers will get to experience. But when those Lotto numbers come up, we suggest getting one of these systems in your gaff sharpish.