MartinLogan Today

In January of 2005 MartinLogan once again raised the bar for high-performance audio with the release of the Summit electrostat. A major departure from all things that came before, Summit combines dual independently powered woofers with MartinLogan’s most advanced electrostatic transducer to date — the XStat.

In October of 2005 ML was acquired by a subsidiary of ShoreView Industries. ShoreView is a financial firm that makes investments in entrepreneurial, well-run private companies. Like you, ShoreView recognizes MartinLogan’s commitment to quality performance audio products. ShoreView is a passive investor that is not from the loudspeaker or audio business and is not involved in day to day operations.

Today, MartinLogan is a growing company with an internationally recognized brand, a top-notch team, superior design and technology and smart customers who value the best speakers on the planet.

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Up to Speed

Through a network of high-technology manufacturers, Sanders and Sutherland enlisted the help of other engineers with cutting-edge expertise and interest in the project. The company that fabricated the space shuttle’s filtered windows and the people who created Teflon-coated cookware joined the design team. From their combined effort emerged a patented vapor-deposition process, an optically transparent diaphragm that could support a 5,000-volt charge, and a conformal coating that uniformly insulated each perforated stator to a charge of up to 10,000 volts.

By the time of the 1983 CES, they had developed a full-range hybrid electrostatic loudspeaker they called the Monolith. A renowned high-end audio company used a prototype pair in its room at the show to demonstrate its electronics. Dealers who heard them were bowled over by the sound of the visually stunning, see-through Monoliths and, more importantly, eager to sell them. It was at this point that Sanders and Sutherland put their middle names to the venture and set about satisfying the demand they had created. MartinLogan finally took flight.

The first couple of years were touch and go. Working with just one full-time and one part-time employee, they built and shipped the first 10 pairs of Monoliths. Despite specially designed cartons, three pair were ruined in freight—a near-catastrophic loss for the young company. Undeterred, they rebuilt the speakers and pressed on, establishing in the process the guaranteed-satisfaction policy that stands behind MartinLogan quality and workmanship to this day.

Sales started to surge in 1985, and the company was finally on a firm footing. Sutherland departed to return to his first love, electronics. The next year MartinLogan moved to its current location at 2001 Delaware Street. At the same time international distribution for the Monolith took off with startling success.

Steady growth followed. By 1988 sales had increased tenfold and the plant had expanded to include a large, dedicated production space. In 1989, and again in 1990, Inc. magazine recognized MartinLogan as one of the 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States.

In the early 1990′s MartinLogan released the world’s first electrostatic center-channel and on-wall surround-channel speakers, establishing MartinLogan as a major player in the emerging home theater market. It was during this time in the early 90′s that some of MartinLogan’s most beloved classic electrostatic speakers were introduced, including the Aerius, SL3, Quest, and Cinema.

MartinLogan’s most ambitious product to date began to take form in 1997. The resulting 2000-pound Statement e2 loudspeaker shocked the audio world and today is still considered by many to be the apex of no-holds-barred loudspeaker design. The innovative design and engineering behind the Statement e2 fueled the next generation of MartinLogan electrostatic speakers (not to mention ML’s first non-electrostatic product). Released in 1999, the Prodigy electrostatic loudspeaker incorporated much of the design and engineering knowledge gained during the Statement project. Prodigy in turn inspired an entire new generation of electrostatic products including the Odyssey, Ascent, Aeon and Theater. All the while sales and distribution continued to expand.

What followed was one the greatest challenges ever faced by MartinLogan engineers — the design of MartinLogan’s first non-electrostatic product. In 2001 the legendary Descent subwoofer (featuring servo-control and BalancedForce technologies) took the market by storm establishing MartinLogan as a major player in the growing subwoofer market.

In 2003 Design Series was launched. MartinLogan’s high-end pedigree and years of design know-how allowed the design and engineering team to produce this increasingly smaller and more affordable line of speakers without sacrificing the quality and performance that the MartinLogan name has come to represent.

Now firmly established as a loudspeaker ‘technology’ company (not just an ‘electrostatic’ company) MartinLogan ventured where few high-performance speaker companies dare to tread… inside of a wall. The Voyage and Passage in-wall loudspeakers (released 2004) challenged the entire audio industry by releasing in-wall speakers with true high-performance sound.