Digital Ear (Room 2 of 5)

Next up was Digital Ear's MartinLogan and McIntosh room. While I was there, the new MartinLogan ElectroMotion EM-ESL loudspeaker ($1995/pair), which "features both electrostatic and compact Folded Motion™ thin-film transducer technologies," was playing very nicely with a McIntosh MC452 amplifier ($6000), McIntosh C50 preamplifier ($5000), which includes a USB DAC and phono stage, a Cambridge Audio id100 iPod/iPad dock ($1299), all tied together with Transparent Audio Reference Series cables.

While this room sounded very inviting and was doing all those things MartinLogans are known to do, I almost wished they'd used a less expensive amp/pre combo to show off a sleek, relatively affordable system. One of the McIntosh integrated amps comes to mind—less muss, less fuss.

Robert Deutsch's picture

Review samples of the MartinLogan EM-ESLs will be making their way to my listening room in the very near future. I'll be using them with--among other things--the $2295 PrimaLuna ProLogue Premium integrated amp.

Louis Fields's picture

I am really looking forward to your review of these speakers. I have never heard electrostatics and am considering purchasing these. I have the PrimaLuna Dialogue 2 and love it. I currently have a pair of Snell E IIIs with the Snell stands, (these are really old but look and sound great) had them refoamed once, and am itching to try something new. I listen to mostly vinyl, via a Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood and Audio Electronics DJH phono pre-amp. I think speakers may be the weak link in my system. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you. - Louis