MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Review+


MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Speakers Review

MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Speakers Review

Retailing for $6,495 per pair, the MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 is the tiniest and most reasonable commitment in the association's Masterpiece Series (a line you may survey from Brian Kahn's review of the Expression ESL 13A several years back). Like its kinfolk, the Classic ESL 9 offers a practically identical, however more humble 9.2-inch by 44-inch electrostatic board, which MartinLogan calls the XStat CLS. A fragile twist joined into the board considers a lengthy amazing equilibrium, avoiding the emanating effect of level electrostatic transducers. The electrostatic board for the present circumstance is laid out by the association's AirFrame Blade, and like most MartinLogan ESLs features a crossbreed plan, with the electrostatic board responsible for midrange and higher frequencies, while an in-agency woofer structure is at risk for passing on the bass frequencies, which full-range electrostatic sheets of any reasonable size consistently battle repeating

MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Speakers Review

The Hookup

MartinLogan_Classic_ESL_9_binding_posts.jpgUnlike most combination ESLs, the Classic ESL 9 is a totally standoffish speaker, which implies the two 8-inch woofers- - one front releasing and one back shooting - are not filled, which grants MartinLogan to save a little cost on this model, yet it in like manner makes the speaker to some degree lighter at 78 pounds each and more direct to administer in case you anytime need to move them around. I exchanged out the Classic ESL 9 sets with my Salk Signature Soundscape 12 speakers as the front left and right redirects in my home theater structure. Power came from a Krell Chorus 5200XD enhancer with an Anthem AVM 60 filling in as the preamplifier. All connections and interconnects were Wireworld.

MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Speakers Review


In any case, I arranged Al Di Meola, Paco De Lucia, and John McLaughlin's live assortment, Friday Night in San Francisco (Philips, SACD). I love using this recording, considering the way that the mix of flamenco and acoustic guitars makes for a phenomenal torture test on accuracy and a speaker's ability to decide the differentiations between equivalent yet obvious sounds. How the three guitarists are arranged in left, concentration, and right stage positions, and should sound that way, is in like manner an amazing psyche how the speaker pictures.

The Classic ESL 9 acted in spades. I could clearly hear the three experts arranged across the soundstage, and was captivated with how three-layered that soundstage sounded. Accuracy on the Classic ESL 9 is first rate, as the speakers doubtlessly depicted the different nuances between the acoustic and flamenco guitars as all of the specialists substituted showing his soloing capacities. The acoustic guitars had a metallic sheen to them and I could hear the inflexible nature in the strings, close by the rich resonation of the wood with a part of the harmonies.

Diverged from my Salk speakers, the high velocity striking of the bass strings sounded less strong; missing was a bit of that punch that I am familiar with hearing. In any case, as the pitiful film on the Classic ESL 9 has extensively less inaction than a regular cone driver, the speakers furnished me with a closer sensation of the energetic skirting surface of the nylon strings on the flamenco guitars than most speakers would.

Advantages and disadvantages
The MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 features incredible imaging, and valuable stone clearness, additionally colossal heaps of detail.
These were indisputably the most direct speakers I've heard, so much that I consistently neglected to recall that I was investigating two or three speakers and wound up totally enveloped in solid.
The smooth and direct arrangement helps the speakers fit in with any contemporary setting.

The Classic ESL 9 is really strong, considering it is an electrostatic speaker, yet that being said, it will not make the punchiest of components like the best cone driver plans will.
The more unobtrusive woofers can't copy the especially most insignificant registers of bass, with the repeat response moving off at around 34 Hz, and won't give you that conclusive bass sledge that some are looking for. Coordinating them with a good subwoofer should alleviate this without issue, but for those that are looking for top level bass in a comparative agency may not find what they're looking for.
While the curvilinear arrangement truth be told does out and out upgrade the size of the ideal equilibrium, the Classic ESL 9 really doesn't overall pass on the most loosened up dispersing.

Connection and Competition.

For the people who like the sound of electrostatic transducers, Magnepan would be the ordinary competitor. Anyway taking into account an other advancement, ribbon and electrostatic speakers are both dipole speakers utilizing a low-mass, small film stomach and proposition a couple of practically identical sonic characteristics. Esteemed similarly to the Classic ESL 9 at $6,395 per pair, the Magnepan 3.7i fights in this space. From past experience focusing on Magnepan speakers, I feel you pass up a great opportunity a little on components and straightforwardness with them, and you truly hear the speaker fairly more. Likewise, since the Maggies are two feet wide by just about six feet tall, just one out of each odd room can oblige a couple.

To relinquish on components, you may have to remain with ordinary cone driver plans. KEF, with its Uni-Q concentric tweeter/midrange setup makes for an astoundingly direct speaker, but not actually to the level of a MartinLogan electrostat. The dispersing on this one is both wide and significant, for those that connect reliably and need everyone in the space to have an inconceivable listening experience. The KEF R11, retailing for $5,000 per pair, would be a strong competitor.

The GoldenEar Triton One.R speaker evaluated here moreover rings a bell. At $6,000 per pair, cost is for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from the Classic ESL 9. The One.R's usage of an imploded trim tweeter will provide you with a piece of comparative straightforwardness and character in the high pitch frequencies. With its controlled woofers, clearly, the One.R partakes in a certifiable advantage concerning significant bass outcome.

Finally, inside MartinLogan's own line, pushing ahead to the Impression ESL 9 at $10,000 per pair gets you that controlled woofer portion with better bass increase. It furthermore will get you ARC (Anthem Room Correction) worked in. A phase down to the Electromotion ESL-X speaker for $4,000 per pair gets you similar development (electrostatic board notwithstanding twofold reserved eight-inch woofers), however with a more unobtrusive board that may not oblige as enormous a room. Besides, the Classic ESL 9 has updated aluminum cone woofers stood out from the paper cone woofers found on the ESL-X. That being said, it is a venture assets of $2500, which is nothing to snicker at.

MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Speakers Review


The Classic ESL 9 is everything except an optimal speaker anyway for a sensible, direct listening experience with a really broad soundstage, you would not be able to find a substitute at its expense. What's more with a decent subwoofer or two for help, you will not be missing anything to the extent bass outcome regardless, for the most mentioning home theater applications. For any person who appreciates the general individual of an electrostatic speaker and slopes toward that sound, the Classic ESL 9 is a flat out need tryout. To do what needs to be done, I bought my review pair.

MartinLogan Classic ESL 9 Specifications
Details are likely to change without notice
Recurrence Response

34–23,000 Hz ±3dB

Suggested Amplifier Power

20—400 watts for each channel

Flat Dispersion


Vertical Dispersion

44" (112cm) line source


90 dB/2.83 volts/meter


4 Ohms, 0.8 at 20kHz Compatible with 4, 6, or 8 Ohm appraised speakers.

Hybrid Frequency


High Frequency Transducer

XStat™ CLS™ electrostatic transducer » Panel Dimensions: 44" x 9.2" (112 x 23cm) » Radiating Area: 405 in² (2,576 cm² )

Low Frequency Transducer

Two 8" (20.3 cm) cast bin, high journey, inflexible aluminum cone woofers with broadened toss drive get together, non-reverberation hilter kilter chamber design


Custom-injury sound transformer, air center loops, low DCR steel overlay curls, polyester capacitors

Signal Inputs

Custom 5-way bi-wire instrument less restricting posts

Power Draw

Max: 2W per channel Standby: <1W per channel


78 lbs. (35.4 kg)


59.8" x 10.4" x 25.4 " (152cm x 26.4cm x 64.6cm)

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