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Slide Show Tour of Martin logan.

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

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gstring

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Joe,

great link. Thanks for sharing with us. I thought the fresco's were assembled overseas. One of the slides defintely looks like the Fresco fronts being painted in a room in Kansas.
 

Robin

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Beautiful Vision of the Mother Land...

Joe,

Excellent slide show of ML's factory. Thanks for sharing... :D
 

sleepysurf

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Out of curiousity, I did a search of kansan.com, and the pix are from a Sept 2005 article, that apparently included a video clip as well, but neither the article, nor the video, remain on their server. Fortunately, I was able to find the article text in Google's cache...

Former student has an ear for good speakers
By Gabriella Souza Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Photo Gallery
Martin Logan Ltd. speakers


Imagine an audio speaker as transparent as plastic wrap and as thin as a single-subject notebook.

That’s what Gayle Sanders made, and the outlook for the future looks good through his creation.

Sanders was an architecture student with a passion for the audio industry when he started his research in 1979 at the University of Kansas. He knew he was intrigued by electrostatic technology, a concept deemed too dangerous to use. Sanders eventually tamed the beast of the technology after three years of research, and now his company, MartinLogan, is making waves in the home audio industry.

Video
Martin Logan speakers

[Click to play video.]

“I knew if I could crack the barrier in making a highly aesthetically pleasing product, I could build a better mousetrap,” Sanders said.

Science Behind the Speakers

Electrostatic technology was first developed in the 19th century. Because the technology used an extremely large amount of volts to produce sound, it caused a lot of explosions and sparks to fly.

The idea behind electrostatic speakers has to do with magnets. When a magnet is positively charged, it will repel other positively charged magnets and attract negatively charged magnets. This concept is what makes MartinLogan speakers work, said Devin Zell, assistant marketing manager of MartinLogan.

The speakers consist of two insulated, hole-ridden metal plates that hold opposite charges to each other. A material, comparable to, but thinner than, plastic wrap, lies between the two metal plates. This material holds a positive charge and is attracted to one metal plate, but repelled by the other. The charge of the metal plates is constantly changing, and the material is pushed back and forth between the metal plates. This push and pull process creates sound.

“It’s very simple,” Zell said. “That’s part of the beauty of it.”

A Business is Born

Sanders had an unused, but incredible, technology and a great idea, but he had no way to develop what he wanted to do. That’s when he turned to Ronald Sutherland, an engineer who could help him use what he knew.

They combined Sutherland’s expertise with Sanders’ eye for design to create the first MartinLogan speaker. They named it Monolith, and Sanders called it “a tour de force of engineering and elegance.” They also formed the company that they based in Lawrence, using both their middle names, Martin and Logan, to create the name.

The company was incorporated in 1982, and the speakers were first introduced on the audio scene at the 1982 Consumer Electronics Show, where 100,000 attendees could experience the speakers firsthand.

But not everything was smooth sailing from then on, Sanders said.

Quick Thinking in Tight Times

MartinLogan received a considerable number of orders for speakers in its first year. But the founders soon learned that there was something wrong with nearly all the speakers they sent out. They spent buckets of their funds on repairing each of them.

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Sutherland called it quits in 1985, leaving Sanders alone with the business.

“There was a time when I had 12 hours before I had to declare bankruptcy,” Sanders said. “Somehow I managed to think of something.”

Sanders had to think on his feet, and he did in 1986 with the creation of the second speaker, named the CLS.

The CLS was an improvement over the Monolith model. It brought in even more sales than Sanders said he dreamed it would and saved him from bankruptcy.

The company has continued to make strides. MartinLogan has grown considerably in the past five years, a feat which is odd because the audio industry itself is not growing, Sanders said.

MartinLogan distributes speakers that range in price from $2,800 to $120,000. The company recently introduced a lower-priced line of speakers that do not skimp on quality, Zell said.

The company has 35 distributors worldwide and more than 300 retailers in the United States. Sanders said that MartinLogan would be able to grow and develop as long as it was run professionally.

“Businesses must go through a metamorphosis if they are to survive,” Sanders said.
 
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Steve Daigneault

Guest
agreed, awesome slide show. and a nice look at how these are hand made in the USA. i really like that.
 
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