Martin Logan is sweeping the speaker design nation with elegant modern and unique looking high fidelity speakers. They sound fantastic and they rock in the home décor department. So what’s with the panels and how do they work? Let’s take a deeper look at the technology behind the static electro panels and become mad scientists together.
Electro Static Panels
The Martin Logan speakers have an innovative curved translucent panel that is equipped with an electrostatic transducer. We have all experienced static electricity before. You know, when the hairs on your head go straight up and float around in mid space. Yeah, that kind of static. If you can’t recall I’m giving you a reference of this cute kid.
Moving on. So What is Electrostatic?
It has to do with the movement of positive and negative electricity through a conductor. Take a look at this diagram below. An electrostatic transducer has three basic components- stators, a diaphragm, and spars (non-conductive spacers) – assembled as a sandwich. The diaphragm is made out of a ultra-light plastic film, infused with an electrically conductive material and stretched taut between the two stators, which are perforated steel sheets coated with an insulator.
When the speaker is operating the diaphragm is being charged with a fixed positive voltage from the power supply and the stators charging one negative and the other charging positive from the amplifier through a transformer.As the magic of electrons grow, like charges repel and opposite charges attract, the diaphragm’s positive charge will force it to move forward or backward depending on the stator charges.
This is how an electrostatic transducer translates an electrical audio signal into diaphragm motion to produce sound waves in the room. Whew! It can be tricky to understand. Hopefully, I haven’t lost you yet.
To help stiffen the panel (it’s very important that only the diaphragm move) and to prevent the diaphragm from ever coming too close to a stator, non-conductive strips called spars are placed width wise at intervals along each stator’s length.
What are the Advantages of Electrostatic vs. the Conventional Loudspeaker?
The drivers in a conventional loudspeaker have diaphragms attached to coils of wire, called voice coils. See diagram below. Current from an amplifier flows through these coils, creating a fluctuating electromagnetic field that interacts with the field of a fixed permanent magnet to cause diaphragm motion, and thus sound. The diaphragm has very little movement and needs to be 100% rigid. If the diaphragm flexes or bends at all, the result typically causes distortion of some kind and an uneven response. Tweeter diaphragms especially need to be light to be light and precise. It is nearly impossible with real materials and this design to make the sound flawless.
In comparison, the electrostatic diaphragm is light as it needs to be, flexible and driven uniformly over its entire surface. In fact, the diaphragm (ultra light plastic) is so weightless that the air it moves is heavier than the diaphragm itself. hat, together with the transducer’s distortion-canceling push-pull mode of operation, enables the diaphragm to trace even the most delicate sonic details with absolute precision. Martin Logan clearly has a unique twist on conventional audio technology.
Furthermore, controlled dispersion is a key factor in making this product outstanding. As a home theater guru, you want the sound waves rippling out toward the sides of the transducer to meet at the speaker’s edge and cancel. Conventional loudspeakers generally, minimizes side-wall reflections that tend to muddle sonic detail and stereo imaging. While the reduction in output to the sides contributes to the astonishing clarity for which electro stats are revered, the energy reflected off the wall behind the speaker opens up and deepens the sound.
A Company that will deliver.
All and all, these bad boys are a force to be reckoned with. Our company Elite A/V LLC loves being able to offer such a killer high-quality speaker installation coupled with an understanding of the product and why it is so valuable for your home. As we like to break down the driving technology, understanding all of this is not required for you to enjoy the sound! Hearing these speakers really speaks volumes for themselves. Schedule an appointment to come test our Martin Logan’s on display at our office located at 3611 S Lindell Rd Las Vegas, NV 89103.
Let us help you get started on a high-quality home theater system installation that is right for your budget and desired needs. We have the experience to back up quality home theater work and we have the right partners to ensure you get the highest quality standards with any budget. We are also skilled in hanging televisions, hiding cables, in-ceiling speaker wiring, projectors and more. Why not see for yourselves? Give us a call to make an appointment today in sunny Las Vegas. 702.997.4108
For those of you that want an in-depth understanding of electrostatic panels, hop on over to Martin Logan’s write up on the theory of electrostatic.