Illusion ESL C34A
Masters of the Illusionist school of art perfected trompe-l’oeil, employing painting techniques that mimicked actual objects so vividly that “Illusionism” blurred the boundaries between art and reality.
This kind of illusion is the goal of any loudspeaker, especially a center channel speaker—the most important speaker in a multi-channel audio system. It is tasked with reproducing the most important audio information for imaging and realism: cinematic dialogue, anchoring effects, and a large portion of the front sound stage. It is fitting, then, that we introduce our new Masterpiece Series center channel loudspeaker, the Illusion ESL C34A.
A Masterful Cinematic Experience
There are no illusions about the performance of the Illusion ESL C34A. It is the ultimate high performance floorstanding electrostatic center channel loudspeaker. Its classic MartinLogan electrostatic panel and Folded Motion XT Tweeters are uniquely integrated to powered woofer section—new technology joined with proven innovation producing a truly innovate center channel loudspeaker.
The Ultimate Center Channel Loudspeaker
This ambitious new center channel blurs the line between performance and reality by combining the unflinching accuracy of a 34-inch wide XStat™ CLS™ electrostatic transducer with the detailed imaging capability of dual Folded Motion XT tweeters. Additionally, four laser-engineered 6.5-inch aluminum cone woofers, driven by 250 watts of clean amplification with on-board Anthem Room Correction (ARC) technology, anchor the image to your screen and deliver massive cinematic impact.
The Illusion ESL C34A is timbre-matched to our flagship Masterpiece Series speakers to create a white-knuckle home theater experience of skidding car chases, blitzing battle scenes, or even intimately whispered dialogue within a seamlessly coherent surround-sound environment, making the Illusion ESL C34A the perfect center of your Masterpiece home theater.
Achieving the Laboratory Standard in Your Own Room
In the lab, MartinLogan engineers strive for transparency. Outside the lab, there’s one wildcard our engineers can never account for: Your listening room. Using ARC Technology to ensure seamless low frequency performance in a center channel speaker is incredibly important to the overall realism of the surround-sound system. The unique size and shape of your listening space (and the size and shape of its contents) can make bass waves do unpredictable things, greatly affecting a speaker’s overall performance. When you engage ARC to control the low-frequency curve in relation to the combined output of the ESL panel and the Folded Motion XT Tweeters (as seen in this graph), you will experience performance on par with MartinLogan’s audio test lab.
ARC measures low-frequency sound output in your room and compares it to optimal response curves that account for spatial anomalies. The advanced algorithms of ARC then effectively remove the anomalies, leaving only the ideal standard: realistically blended, natural-sounding bass performance in your listening space.
By minimizing room interactions with PoweredForce bass technology and the advanced room correction capabilities of ARC, along with the unique synthesis of the ESL, Folded Motion XT, and bass sections, the Illusion ESL C34A destroys the “illusion of playback.” Like other speakers in the Masterpiece Series, it presents an utterly natural and transparent performance, with realistic imaging detail on top of well-blended, wide-spectrum performance and intense, accurate bass, even at lifelike listening levels.
The Illusion ESL C34A is, really, a home theater Masterpiece.
PoweredForce™ Bass Technology
Inspired by the breakthrough innovations of the Masterpiece Series, the Illusion ESL C34A features a redesigned woofer section. The four 6.5-inch laser-engineered low-distortion aluminum cone drivers use exclusive PoweredForce™ bass technology to deliver astonishingly articulate, well-blended bass, as low as 45Hz, from its compact enclosure. The new 250-watt Class-D amplifier is controlled by a 24-Bit Vojtko™ DSP Engine and includes ARC™ (Anthem Room Correction).
ARC instantly optimizes the performance to suit your room’s unique characteristics, further improving the most important elements of full range center channel performance: consistent bass reproduction and precise imaging.
Experience the Pinpoint Detail of Dual Folded Motion XT Tweeters
How does the Illusion ESL C34A produce a level of realism on par with the best of the Illusionist masterpieces? The secret to its success are the dual Folded Motion XT tweeters embedded directly behind the XStat electrostatic panel. The unobtrusive tweeter housing design disappears behind the panel, which eliminates high-frequency diffraction, and increases mid-range/high-frequency phase coherence and time alignment while offering superior dispersion characteristics.
Folded Motion XT tweeters are a unique design, and work by moving air (creating sound) perpendicular to the folded ridges of the diaphragm, similar to how an accordion works. This extremely low mass diaphragm “squeezes” air and requires almost 90% less excursion than the typical 1-inch dome tweeter. This produces instantaneous response time with drastically minimized levels of distortion. The increased surface area also provides a wide, yet tightly controlled, sound dispersion to create a precise, realistically detailed sound stage.
Because of this detailed performance, Folded Motion XT tweeter technology is the ideal match for our electrostatic transducer. In the case of the Illusion ESL C34A, the electrostatic panel is able to expand in its role as mid-range driver, while the lightning-fast high-frequency transient response of tweeters delivers superior imaging precision. The Illusion ESL C34A features dual 1.25×2.4-inch Folded Motion XT tweeters, each with a total diaphragm area of 4.5×2.75-inches.
MartinLogan’s signature XStat CLS Transducer
The Illusion ESL C34A features a uniquely sized-and-shaped XStat CLS Transducer. Our proprietary manufacturing technique produces the electrostatic panel’s gentle horizontal curvature. This curve enhances the frequency range produced by the radiating surface.
In addition, advanced MicroPerf stator technology allows for almost twice the exposed electrostatic diaphragm surface as a traditional electrostatic panel of this size. This expanded capability is important for a speaker tasked with such a large front-stage workload.
The uniquely shaped electrostatic panel is reinforced with rigid ClearSpar™ spacers, ensuring exact tension on the vacuum-bonded diaphragm without obscuring the translucent design. The slender pointed-arrow design of the new AirFrame™ Blade construction matches the look of the Masterpiece Series, making a harmonious connection between the wide panel and the woofer cabinet.
Ultra-Rigid AirFrame Blade Design
Illusion XStat panels are joined to their speaker cabinets using MartinLogan’s redesigned AirFrame Blade technology, precision manufactured from an aerospace-grade extruded aluminum alloy. This material, and this exclusive manufacturing process, makes the panels extremely rigid.
Premium WBT Binding Posts
Connect your electronics safely and securely using 5-Way audiophile WBT Binding Posts. Their pure copper connection plate is highly conductive and free from eddy current effects. These posts are insulated for shock protection, and fully damped against vibrations. They give you plenty of room for large-gauge professional speaker connections.
Powerful 250-Watt Class-D Amplification with 24-Bit Vojtko™ DSP Engine
The performance of Illusion ESL C34A has been reconsidered from the ground up. Taking full advantage of innovations like PoweredForce Forward and ARC Technology, and the integration of the electrostatic panel with the woofer array, required daring thinking about power and efficiency. Our new 250-watt amplifier produce clean power, in a small space, more efficiently than ever before. They enable the effortless delivery of exhilarating dynamic impact, with plenty of overhead. Superior, reliable Class-D technology means there’s virtually no energy lost between the amplifiers and the woofers.
MartinLogan’s dedicated in-house design and engineering team created an extremely precise 24-bit Vojtko Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engine to work in conjunction with these powerful new amplifiers. It gives these speakers the ability to deliver detailed low-frequency performance reaching down to 24Hz. Advanced DSP allows complete control and performance optimization over the low pass filters, woofer equalization and limiting functions, all of which are mapped mathematically in the digital domain.
Complete control of the signal, along with instant response, huge amounts of clean power, and efficient, integrated performance, paints an original picture of lifelike audio performance.
Precision-Built Advanced-Topology Vojtko Crossover
Vojtko voiced, the advanced crossover and electronics in Illusion ESL C34A add enhanced mid-range clarity to this artful composition. Carefully hand-built using only the finest polypropylene capacitors and air-core coils, the crossover employs MartinLogan’s proprietary Vojtko topology for vanishingly low distortion and seamless driver/ESL integration. This precision-tuned network preserves even the most microscopic sonic nuances while handling the full dynamics of any source.
We’ve also considered the signal you will feed your loudspeakers and have engineered Illusion ESL C34A to work well with practically any type of electronics. MartinLogan’s state-of-the-art toroidal transformer and electrical interface engineering ensure an absolutely transparent link from amplifier to electrostatic panel and woofer array. This produces sound of unparalleled purity, precision, clarity, and openness — the next best thing to no speaker at all.