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Audio enthusiasts revere electrostatic speakers, even though the rest of humanity seems baffled by these tall but slender creations. The best-known proponent of electrostatic speakers is MartinLogan, which celebrates its 1983 founding with the $25,000-per-pair MartinLogan 25th Anniversary CLX. Like other electrostatics, the CLX eschews the usual cone woofers and dome tweeters in favor of a large polyester membrane of vanishingly low mass; many audiophiles feel the lightweight diaphragm better reproduces the faint details of high-quality recordings. However, while most electrostatics rely on a conventional woofer to reproduce bass tones, the CLX uses electrostatic panels exclusively. This unusual configuration ensures that bass instruments and deep-voiced singers receive the same natural reproduction as higher-pitched tones. The 25th Anniversary CLX has an aluminum frame, while the standard CLX has a veneered frame and retails for $20,000 per pair. (785.749.0133,

—Brent Butterworth

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