The new Full-Range Essence Electrostats from the Netherlands will begin shipping in May to a select network of high-end dealers around the world.
The Model 1200, the first to ship, sells for $3995 per pair MSRP. Model 1200 is 48.8-inches tall, 11.5-inches wide, and 1-inch deep, ideal for wall-mounting next to a large flat HDTV or projection screen on its optional wall-mount bracket. It comes with a floor-standing base and black stators. Essence offers the acrylic stators in Clear Ice, Blue, Red, Orange, and Green as an option at slightly higher cost.
Notably absent is the usual box with a woofer at the bottom. Other electrostats use a “hybrid” design to reproduce the bass, mid-bass, and lower mid-range sounds up to 400 Hz or higher in a separate box housing a woofer with its own amplifier. The electrostatic portion of the audio band is usually unable to reach below 400 Hz.
By using new materials, production techniques, and years of exhaustive experimentation, Essence has extended the low frequency capability of their Model 1200 down to 50 Hz by increasing the excursion of the diaphragm, eliminating some of the most expensive parts and costs at the same time. The frequency response of the Model 1200 is ±3 dB from 48 Hz to 23 Khz.
AV industry-veteran Bob Rapoport, who will handle the sales and marketing, said: “It’s not every day a new speaker comes along that pushes the art forward substantially, most improvements are incremental and fail to live up to their own hype. This is different. The new Essence is full range, it reproduces the most important octaves of fundamental sound and delivers them to the listening position in a more focused way, creating what many call “audio nirvana” because the stereo image is so precise, a result of more direct sound reaching the ears before the later reflections arrive. This eliminates room-induced coloration. Getting rid of cabinet resonance was easy and saved money too, there is no box with a woofer, x-over, and amp on the back.”
“Because of its ultra low-mass thin film diaphragm, it can turn the digital signal from a Blu-ray soundtrack into sound much faster and 100 times cleaner than typical cone-in-a-box speakers, its moving mass is literally 1/100th the weight of the typical electro-magnetic transducer," Rapoport added. "Now we have bass down to 50 Hz, an elusive design goal for decades. No dis-respect to the other brands, but they are all hybrids, a significant compromise. Only Essence is full range down to 50 Hz from a single electrostatic element, producing enough low frequency output for most music lovers. To reach the bottom 1.5 octaves of deep bass between 20 Hz and 50 Hz for movie special effects and some live concerts I’ve heard, I recommend a good outboard sub.”
Other models will include an LCR and larger panel sizes, due by the end of 2013.
Essence will be warehoused in Marietta, GA. It will be sold through the finest audio and video specialists and custom integrators serving both the consumer and pro markets.