MartinLogan didn’t invent electrostatic transducer technology. But by eliminating the perceived deficiencies of electrostatic technology, such as poor power handling, lack of bass response and narrow soundstage (beaming), MartinLogan has reinforced the benefit of electrostatic technology: uncanny audio accuracy.
Parts of an Electrostatic Transducer
A) Diaphragm B) Spars C) Stators
An electrostatic transducer has three components—stators, a diaphragm, and spars (non-conductive spacers that keep the tall assembly stationary)—assembled as a sandwich. The diaphragm is an ultra-light film impregnated with an electrically conductive material and stretched taut between two stators, which are perforated steel sheets coated with an insulator.
Electrostatic Forces at Work
Opposite charges attract. Like charges repel.
The diaphragm holds a constant positive charge.
When the speaker is operating, the diaphragm is charged with an electrostatic field of fixed positive voltage. The two stators, between which the diaphragm is stretched, are charged with voltages of equal strength but opposite polarity. These charges occur in instantaneously alternating pulses according the signal received from your audio equipment. When the charge on one stator is positive, the charge on the other is negative. Because like charges repel and opposite charges attract, the diaphragm’s constantly positive charge will force it to move forward or backward depending on the stator charges. With this movement, an electrostatic transducer translates an electrical audio signal into the diaphragm motion that produces sound waves in your room.
MartinLogan’s groundbreaking Curvilinear Line Source (CLS) electrostatic panel design is an elegant solution to the impression of sound “beaming” from an electrostatic panel. MartinLogan CLS electrostatic panels feature a gentle horizontal curve. This ingeniously simple innovation radically changes the speaker’s dispersion pattern, radiating a wide, enveloping soundstage, packed with detail; truly unlike any other loudspeaker experience.
Another key attribute of an electrostatic speaker is its dipolar radiation pattern. A true dipole transducer radiates with equal intensity from the front and back of its diaphragm, with the outputs in opposite phase. As a result, sound waves rippling out toward the sides meet at the speaker’s edge and cancel, minimizing side-wall reflections with short relative arrival times. This reduction in side-output minimizes interfering side-wall reflections, which can muddy the image. It frees the dipole radiation pattern to produce a generous amount of ambience-enriching late-arriving reflections off the wall behind your loudspeakers. At the same time, electrostatic panels maintain relatively limited vertical dispersion, which minimizes undesirable floor and ceiling reflections.
Neolith is the apogee of electrostatic performance, combining these innovations in a new design. By delivering an undiluted soundstage with excellent separation, Neolith brings your music and movie soundtracks to startlingly accurate, 3-dimensional life.
Why create electrostatic speakers when conventional speakers are so much easier to design and build? Clearly, this is a question that could only be asked by someone who has never been held spellbound listening to an electrostat.
Electrostatic speakers are uniquely capable of an extraordinary and compellingly realistic performance with unmatched clarity and three-dimensional sonic imaging (often referred to as ‘sound staging’ by audiophiles). MartinLogan electrostatic panels have two basic elements: a thin, conductively coated diaphragm with a large surface area and two charged, perforated metal stators. The diaphragm is suspended between the stators. An amplifier’s signal, when applied to the stators, creates a strong electrostatic field that moves the diaphragm back and forth, exciting the air and transmitting sound. While in theory all of this might sound relatively simple, in truth, there is an art and science to making this work practically, effortlessly, and reliably. This has been MartinLogan’s great contribution—our quest for audio perfection.
LIGHTER THAN AIR
At the heart of every MartinLogan electrostatic panel is our gossamer thin, ultra-low-mass, transparent diaphragm. When you consider that a transducer changes direction upwards of 40,000 times per second and during each change of direction it must overcome inertia, you will appreciate the advanced design and technology behind the MartinLogan diaphragm. The mass of much heavier tweeters and mid-range drivers (found in cone and dome based speakers) prevents even the finest traditional loudspeakers from reaching the levels of accuracy inherent in MartinLogan electrostats. Driven by charged electrons and weighing less than the air it moves, our diaphragm is so responsive and free from the distorting effects of inertia that its movement is identical to the signal coming form the amplifier. With vanishingly low distortion, the MartinLogan electrostatic diaphragm precisely tracks the input signal, engages the air, and flawlessly transmits the audio signal to your ear.
MARTIN LOGAN NEOLITH
Warranty 3 years