It dawned on me when I walked out of the MartinLogan booth at CEDIA Expo 2018. “Who comes to Expo and doesn’t talk about new products, even when they have them?”
MartinLogan, that’s who.
For those of you (and there can’t be many!) who aren’t hip to MartinLogan, let me give you a quick refresher. Gayle Martin Sanders and Ron Logan Sutherland started making electrostatic speakers back in 1983. Yes, 1983. Their speakers are legendary on the high-end of musical fidelity. And over the years, even after the departure of the founders, MartinLogan has continued to innovate and evolve. From their products featured in the most elegant audio salons around the globe to their dedicated CI channel products, MartinLogan has and continues to be a force in our industry.
And this year at CEDIA Expo, they celebrated their 35th anniversary milestone by hosting a happy hour on the first day of the show. During the presentation, MartinLogan talked about their history in the speaker industry – they had an entire wall highlighting the metamorphosis of the electrostatic speaker, which is the product that put them on the map. Show attendees basked in nostalgia while waiting to experience great sound inside the demo room.
Here’s where things really got interesting for me! MartinLogan has something new in the works. But the staff was mum about what was behind the screen in the demo room that was providing pure, powerful, crystalline music. Their presentation was all about being committed to delivering a great sound and honoring the past. Even after a cocktail or two, the staff kept silent on the as-yet-unveiled products they were demo-ing. They were more interested in talking about their commitment to the greater good of aural perfection then focusing the discussion on the new and shiny. That’s pretty bold in my book.
While listening to the demo, I looked around the room and every head was bowed, and every eye was closed. The room had the feel of a religious experience. And not the kind your Mom made you attend as a kid. This experience was one freely attended and thoroughly enjoyed by the audience. No one coughed and not a cell phone went off to disrupt the experience.
No one was even upset at the secrecy of the mystery products behind the screen. When will we know? It’s anyone’s guess, but you can guarantee that it will make a HUGE splash when the details are released.
When the demo was over, the gentleman next to me said, “Whatever they’ve got coming out, it’s as transparent as anything I’ve heard in years.” Several people asked if they had to get back in (the front of) line for another demo! It was awesome. My take-away was that the real message from MartinLogan at the show was, “Remember the Future.”