MartinLogan | 10 | Specifications | MartinLogan 10 Specifications

u s e r ’ s
m a n u a l
Thank you—the MartinLogan owner,
for loving what we do,
making it possible for us to do what we love.
Serial Numbers:_______________
Record your serial numbers here for easy reference. You will need this information when filling out your warranty registration. CW10's serial number is
located near the bottom of the backplate and on the shipping container.
Tested to Comply
with FCC Standards
This device complies with part 15
of the FCC Rules. Operation is
subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not
cause harmful interference, and
(2) this device must accept any
interference received, including
interference that may cause undesired operation.
• Hazardous voltages exist inside—do not
remove cover.
• Refer servicing to a qualified technician.
• To prevent fire or shock hazard, do not
expose this module to moisture.
• Unplug subwoofer should any abnormal
conditions occur.
In accordance with the European Union WEEE (Waste
Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive effective
August 13, 2005, we would like to notify you that this
product may contain regulated materials which upon
disposal, according to the WEEE directive, require special reuse and
recycling processing.
For this reason MartinLogan has arranged with our distributors in
European Union member nations to collect and recycle this product at no
cost to you. To find your local distributor please contact the dealer from
whom you purchased this product, email or visit
the distributor locator at
Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Introduction & Installation in Brief . . . . . . . . . 4
Installation in Brief
About the Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Connections and Control Settings . . . . . . . . . . 6
Before Connecting the CW10
2-Channel Mode
Multi-Channel/LFE Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
AC Power Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Replacing the Fuse
Placement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Listening Position
Ask Your Dealer
Enjoy Yourself
Installing in a Cabinet
Room Acoustics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Your Room
Home Theater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Frequently Asked Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Troubleshooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
General Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Warranty and Registration
Dimensional Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Glossary of Audio Terms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Please note, only this product itself falls under the WEEE directive.
When disposing of packaging and other related shipping materials we
encourage you to recycle these items through the normal channels.
The lightning bolt flash with arrowhead symbol, within
an equilateral triangle, is intended to alert the user to
the presence of uninsulated “dangerous voltage” within
the product’s enclosure that may be of sufficient magnitude to constitute a risk of electric shock.
The exclamation point within an equilateral triangle is
intended to alert the user to the presence of important
operating and maintenance (servicing) instructions in
the literature accompanying the appliance.
WARNING! Do not use your CW10 loudspeakers outside of the country of original sale—voltage requirements
vary by country. Improper voltage can cause damage that will be potentially expensive to repair. The CW10 is
shipped to authorized MartinLogan distributors with the correct power supply for use in the country of intended sale.
A list of authorized distributors can be accessed at or by emailing info@martinlogan.
Introduction & Installation
Congratulations! You have invested in one of the
world's premier subwoofers.
The MartinLogan CW10 represents the extension of
an intensive, dedicated team research program directed toward establishing a world class line of reference
subwoofers using leading-edge technology, without compromising durability, reliability, craftsmanship or aesthetics.
The CW10 subwoofer uses a 10-inch high-excursion driver to achieve deep, tight, well-defined bass. A proprietary
amplifier is used to drive the output stage with precision
and extremely high efficiency. Low-pass filtering and
phase control have been designed to make integrating the
CW10 subwoofer with MartinLogan and non-MartinLogan products both seamless and simple.
The materials in your new CW10 subwoofer are of the
highest quality and will provide years of enduring enjoyment and deepening respect. The cabinet is constructed
from the finest composite material for acoustical integrity
and is finished with an attractive custom coating.
This User's Manual will explain in detail the operation of
your CW10 subwoofer and the philosophy applied to its
design. A clear understanding will insure that you obtain
maximum performance and pleasure from this most exacting subwoofer.
Installation in Brief
We know that you are eager to hear your new CW10
subwoofer, so this section is provided to allow fast and
easy set up. Once you have it operational, please take
the time to read, in depth, the rest of the information in
this manual. It will give you perspective on how to attain
the greatest possible performance from this most exacting
subwoofer system.
If you experience any difficulties in setup or operation of
the CW10, please refer to the Placement, Room Acoustics
and Connections and Control Settings sections.
Should you encounter a persistent problem that cannot
be resolved, please contact your authorized MartinLogan
dealer. They will provide you with the appropriate technical
analysis to alleviate the situation.
Step 1: Unpacking
Remove your new subwoofer from its packing.
Step 2: Placement
Ideally, place the CW10 in a corner near the front of
the room. This is a good place to start. Please see the
Placement section (page 9) of this manual for more details.
Step 3: Signal Connection
Use the best cables you can. High quality cables, available
from your specialty dealer, are recommended and will
give you superior performance.
Attach your preamplifier/processor outputs through cables
to the signal input area located on the CW10’s rear
panel. Please see the Connections and Control Settings
section (pages 6–8) of this manual for more details.
Step 4: Power Connection (AC) (see warning)
Make sure the level knob is set at 'Min'. Plug the CW10
subwoofer into a wall outlet. Review the AC Power
Connection section (page 8) of this manual for more details.
Step 5: Setting the Controls
Set the level knob to a medium volume position (12 o'clock).
Set the power switch to ‘Auto On'.
Step 6: Listen and Enjoy
Now, you may adjust your system and enjoy!
Introduction & Installation in Brief
Figure 1. CW10 controls.
Level Knob
Setting the level too high will cause the bass to seem bloated and is the single most common cause of bad sounding
subwoofers. A rule of thumb is that the subwoofer should
not draw attention to itself, but should simply make the systems low end seem more extended and accurate.
Low Pass Filter Knob
When the CW10 is connected in multi-channel mode (via
its LFE input), the low pass filter is not active and your processor handles the bass management. When connected
in 2-channel mode via its line level left/right input, the
low-pass filter is active.
Phase Control Switch
The phase control is entirely dependent on the size and
configuration of your listening environment, the placement
of the unit, and your seating arrangement. Due to the way
bass sound waves develop in different rooms, there is
no rule of thumb for setting phase. For instance, if your
room has a peak at the subwoofer crossover area, you
may wish to set the phase so the actual acoustic outputs
of the subwoofer and main speakers are out of phase.
Experiment, try different settings and be patient.
As a general rule the low pass filter should be set equal
to approximately 70% of your speaker’s lowest frequency
response. Remember, this is a general rule. We advise
that once you try the recommended setting using the formula above, you should try the surrounding settings to see
which sounds best.
When the CW10 is connected in multi-channel mode (via
its LFE input), the crossover switch should be set to 'Bypass
(LFE In)' so that the low pass filter is not active and your
processor handles the bass management.
When connected in 2-channel mode (via its left and right
inputs), the crossover switch should be set to 'Variable (L&R
In)' so that the low-pass filter is active.
Status LED (not shown above)
When the status LED (located on the front bottom of the
subwoofer) is blue, the subwoofer is on. When the status
LED is off the subwoofer is in standby mode.
Master Power Switch (not shown above)
Located on the back panel of the subwoofer, the Master
Power switch must be set to 'Auto On' for the subwoofer
to operate. When set to 'Auto On' the subwoofer will
automatically enter a power saving mode when no audio
signal is detected. The subwoofer will automatically come
out of power saving mode when a signal is detected.
About the Controls
Control Settings
Before Connecting the CW10
MartinLogan's engineering and design team developed
the CW10 for easy setup and system integration. Before
beginning to connect your CW10, please review the
controls discussed in the last section. An understanding of
these will help speed you along as you connect and integrate your CW10 with your system. All signal connections
are done on the rear connections panel of the CW10.
Make certain that all of your connections are tight.
3 While playing music with bass content, turn the level
control up until the music has deep extended bass,
being careful to avoid levels that become overwhelming.
4 Try the phase control in different settings until the best
blending is obtained.
WARNING! Turn your CW10 subwoofer
to 'Off' before making or breaking any
signal connections!
2-Channel Mode
This setup is recommended if your CW10 will be used
in a 2-channel system with main speakers playing full
range. When a signal is connected to the CW10’s left/
right inputs and the crossover switch is set to 'Variable (L&R
In), the CW10’s internal low pass filter is active.
If you will be using your system for both 2-channel and
multi-channel listening we recommend connecting the
CW10 as recommended in 'Multi-Channel/LFE Mode'
on the next page. Some modern receivers and processors
allow users to route left and right channel low-frequency information, in addition to discrete LFE information,
through the LFE output.
Signal Connection (see figure 2):
1 Connect the left and right outputs of your preamplifier
to the left and right inputs of the CW10 using quality RCA interconnects. If your preamplifier only has one
set of outputs you may need to obtain Y adapters from
your dealer.
Figure 2. Signal connection for 2-channel mode.
Recommended Control Settings (see figure 3):
1 Set the crossover switch to 'Variable (L&R In)'.
2 Set the 'Low Pass Filter' knob to approximately 70% of
your loudspeakers lowest frequency response.
Figure 3. Control settings for 2-channel mode.
Connections and Control Settings
Multi-Channel/LFE Mode
This setup is recommended if your CW10 will be used in
a dedicated home theater or multi-channel system. When
a signal is connected to the subwoofer’s LFE input, and the
crossover switch is set to 'Bypass (LFE In)' the internal low
pass filter is not active. By following this setup, you will allow
your processor to handle most of the bass management.
If you will be using your system for both 2-channel and
multi-channel listening we recommend using this setup
and connection method. Some modern receivers and
processors allow users to route left and right channel
low-frequency information, in addition to discrete LFE information, through the LFE output.
Pass: 24dB. The optimal setting for these options may vary
depending on your room and listening preferences.
4 Adjust the phase control until ideal blending is obtained. If
you hear no discernible difference leave the phase at 0°.
5 Follow the instructions in your processor manual to finetune the subwoofer level
Signal Connection (see figure 4):
1 Connect the LFE output of the processor to the LFE input
using a quality RCA interconnect.
Based on the performance of most processors, it is recommended that MartinLogan
center and effects type speakers (i.e. Motif,
Matinee, Stage, etc.) not be run in large,
wide, or full range mode. Doing so may
potentially damage the speaker if the processor attempts to drive the speaker beyond its
rated frequency range. This warning also
applies to products from other manufacturers.
It is recommended to run center and effects
type speakers in limited or narrow mode.
Some processors have an option to route the LFE
channel to your main and/or surround speakers.
We recommend that you do not use this option.
Figure 4. Signal connection for multi-channel mode.
Recommended Control Settings (see figure 5):
1 Set the crossover switch to 'Bypass (LFE In)'.
2 Use the bass management section of your processor‘s
speaker level setup option to set the subwoofer level at an
appropriate level. Follow the instructions in your processor
manual to fine-tune the subwoofer level.
3 If your processor offers the option to setup crossovers for a
subwoofer, we recommend that you start with the following
settings—Crossover: 70Hz, High-Pass: 12dB, and Low-
Figure 5. Control settings for multi-channel mode.
Connections and Control Settings
AC Power Connection
The power cord should be firmly inserted into any convenient AC wall outlet. The CW10 also integrates a signal
sensing power supply that automatically switches off after
sensing no music signal for several minutes (this will cause
the status LED to turn off).
Your CW10 subwoofer is wired for the power service supplied in the country of original consumer sale. The AC power
rating applicable to a particular unit is specified both on the
packing carton and on the serial number plate attached to
the subwoofer.
If you remove your CW10 subwoofer from the country of
original sale, be certain that AC power supplied in any subsequent location is suitable before connecting and operating
the subwoofer. Substantially impaired performance or severe
damage may occur to the CW10 subwoofer if operation is
attempted from an incorrect AC power source.
Connections and Control Settings
Replacing the Fuse
If the fuse in your CW10 should require changing, turn off
and unplug your CW10 before removing the fuse. Replace
the bad fuse with a matching T 1.6A L 250V (T 0.8A L
250V if you are in a region using 230V).
Our custom made woofers require approximately 50 hours
of break-in at moderate listening levels before their optimal
performance occurs. This will factor in on any critical listening
and judgment.
Listening Position
Generally, subwoofers have the most output when placed
in the corner of a room. However, this can also exaggerate the subwoofers output making blending difficult. We
recommend starting by placing the CW10 in a corner.
If, after the full range of tuning techniques have been
employed, the subwoofer sounds like it has too much upper
bass energy try pulling it away from the wall, toward the
listening position. This will lessen the reinforcement of these
problematic frequencies from the wall and likely smooth out
the response. Repeat the tuning techniques with the woofer
controls after you move it (see figure 6).
Ask Your Dealer
Your MartinLogan dealer can suggest many options for
optimal subwoofer placement. They also have many tools
at their disposal, such as experience, familiarity with the
associated equipment, and even sound analysis equipment
which may make the task of determining optimal subwoofer
placement easier.
Enjoy Yourself
Figure 6. CW10 Subwoofers as the LFE (effects) channels, MartinLogan
Motion 12 speakers as front channels, and Motion 4 speakers as surround
(effects) channel and Motion 8 as the center channel. Note the corner
placement of the CW10 at the front of the listening room.
The CW10 is a very refined subwoofer and will benefit
from care in setup. With the above placement tips in mind
you will find, over months of listening, that small changes
can result in measurable differences. As you live with your
subwoofer, do not be afraid to experiment with positioning
until you find the optimal relationship between your room,
settings and subwoofer that gives you the best results. Your
efforts will be rewarded.
Installing in a Cabinet
When placing the CW10 inside of a cabinet it is recommended that there be a minimum of three inches of open
space between the cabinet and the front and back sides
(see figure 7).
Figure 7. Placing the CW10 in a cabinet requires a minimum of three
inches of open space on the front and back.
Room Acoustics
Your Room
This is an area that requires both a little background to
understand and some time and experimentation to attain
the best performance from your system.
Your room is actually a component and an important part
of your system. This component is a large variable and can
dramatically add to or subtract from a great sonic experience.
All sound is composed of waves. Each frequency has its
own wave size, with the lower, or bass frequencies literally
encompassing from 10 feet to as much as 40 feet. Your
room participates in this wave experience like a swimming pool with waves reflecting and becoming enhanced
depending on the size and shape of the room and the
types of surfaces in the room.
Remember that your audio system can actually generate
all of the information required to recreate a sonic event in
time, space, and tonal balance. Acoustically, the role of
an ideal room would be to neither delete nor contribute
to that information. However, nearly every room does to
some degree.
Standing Waves
Sound coming from a speaker bounces around in a room
until a pattern emerges—this is called a standing wave.
Typically, this is only a problem with frequencies below
100Hz. When this happens different parts of your room
experience either an excess or a lack of bass.
Some people believe that having a room without parallel
walls will eliminate this effect. The truth is that non-parallel
walls only generate different standing wave patterns than
those that occur in rectangular rooms.
Usually, you can excite most of the standing waves in a
room by putting the CW10 in a corner. Listening position
determines which standing waves you will experience.
For instance, if you sit in a corner you will hear most of
the standing waves. This can be an overpowering experience. Sitting next to a wall can also intensify the levels of the
standing waves that are experienced.
Resonant Surfaces and Objects
All of the surfaces and objects in your room are subject to
the frequencies generated by your system. Much like an
instrument, they will vibrate and "carry on" in syncopation
with the music, and may contribute in a negative way to the
sound. Ringing, boominess, and even brightness can occur
simply because surfaces and objects are "singing along"
with your speakers.
Resonant Cavities
Small alcoves or closet type areas in your room can be
chambers that create their own "standing waves" and can
drum their own "one note" sounds.
Room Acoustics
Home Theater
It had long been the practice of stereo buffs to connect their
television to a stereo system. The advantage was the use
of the larger speakers and more powerful amplifier of the
stereo system. Even though the sound was greatly improved, it
was still mono and limited by the broadcast signal.
In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s two new home
movie formats became widely available to the public:
VCR and laser disc.
By 1985, both formats had developed into very high quality
audio/video sources. In fact, the sonic performance of some
video formats exceeded audio-only formats. Now, with
theater-quality sound available at home, the only element
missing was the "surround sound" presentation found in
movie houses.
Fortunately, Dolby and DTS encoded DVD’s emerged
with the same surround sound information encoded on
home releases as the theatrical release. Additionally,
new high-resolution home-viewing formats such as Blu-ray
as well as high-definition content provided via cable or
satellite have evolved which include multi-channel encoded audio that is virtually master tape quality. All that is
required to retrieve this information is a decoder and additional speakers and amps to reproduce it.
speaker, and that it is recommended for use as a center
speaker. This is not the place to cut corners.
Surround Speakers
We recommend (along with the film industry) that the surround speakers play down to at least 80 Hz. Surround
speakers contain the information that makes it appear that
planes are flying over your head. Some may suggest that
this is the place to save money and purchase small, inexpensive speakers. If you choose to do so, be prepared
to upgrade in the future as discrete multi-channel digital
encoding is proliferating rapidly and the demands on surround speakers have increased.
With any good surround system you will need one or
more high-quality subwoofers (the .1 in a 5.1, 6.1, or 7.1
channel surround system). Most movie soundtracks contain
large amounts of bass information as part of the special
effects. Good subwoofers will provide a foundation for the
rest of the system.
Home theater is a complex purchase and we recommend
that you consult your local MartinLogan dealer, as they
are well versed in this subject.
Each piece of a surround system can be purchased separately. Take your time and buy quality. No one has ever
complained that the movie was too real. The following list
and descriptions will give you only a brief outline of the
responsibilities and demands placed on each speaker.
Front Left and Front Right
If these speakers will be the same two used for your stereo
playback, they should be of very high quality and able to play
loudly (over 102 dB) and reproduce bass below 80 Hz.
Center Channel
This is the most important speaker in a home theater
system, as almost all of the dialogue and a large portion of the front speaker information is reproduced by the
center channel. It is important that the center speaker
be extremely accurate and mate well with the front
Figure 8. CW10 Subwoofers as the LFE (effects) channels, MartinLogan
Motion 12 speakers as front channels, and Motion 4 speakers as surround
(effects) channel and Motion 8 as the center channel.
Home Theater
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I clean my subwoofer?
Use a dust free cloth or a soft brush to clean your subwoofer.
We recommend a specialty cloth (available through the
Xtatic shop at that cleans better than
anything else we have tried.
Is it safe to set things on my subwoofer?
While your CW10 is designed with a durable, stain-resistant
surface, we advise you not to set anything on your CW10—
especially containers holding liquids.
Is there likely to be any interaction between
my subwoofer and the television in my Audio/
Video system?
Yes. The CW10 subwoofer doesn’t use a shielded driver.
We recommend 3 feet between the CW10 subwoofer
and video components that are susceptible to magnetic
Will my electric bill go 'sky high' by leaving my
subwoofer plugged in all the time?
No. The CW10, when the power switch is set to ‘Auto
On’, will draw about 12 watts when idle and only 12
watts in standby mode.
Should I unplug my subwoofer during a thunderstorm?
Yes, or before. It's a good idea to disconnect all of your
audio/video components during stormy weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
No Output
• Check that all your system components are turned on.
• Check that the master power switch adjacent to the AC
receptacle is set to 'Auto On'.
• Check your wires and connections.
• Check all interconnecting cables.
• Make sure the level control is not turned down.
• Turn off and unplug the CW10 and check the fuse
near the AC power cord receptacle on the back. If the
fuse has blown, replace the bad fuse with a matching
T 1.6A L 250V fuse (T 0.8A L 250V if you are in a
region using 230V).
• If the problem persists, contact your dealer.
Muddy Bass
• Check placement. Try moving the subwoofer closer to
the front and side walls.
• Decrease the level.
• Check your processor setup.
• If the problem persists, contact your dealer.
Hums or Unusual Sounds
• Turn the CW10 off, unplug all signal inputs, turn the
CW10 back on and turn up the level. If the problem
disappears, the hum is originating elsewhere in your
• Connect the CW10’s AC connection to the same AC circuit as the pre amp.
• If the problem persists, contact your dealer.
General Information
The CW10 subwoofer system consists of a single
woofer for high SPL output with minimal distortion. The
equalization used is specifically designed to counteract
the response of the woofers sealed box response. This
equalization leads to minimal group delay and proper
transient response.
Warranty and Registration
Your CW10 subwoofer is provided with an automatic
Limited 90 Day Warranty coverage.
System Frequency Response
29–200 Hz ± 3 dB. Anechoic in the LFE mode.
You have the option, at no additional charge, to receive
Limited 3-Year Warranty coverage. To obtain the Limited
3-Year Warranty coverage you need to complete and
return the Certificate of Registration, included with your
subwoofer, and provide a copy of your dealer receipt, to
MartinLogan within 30 days of purchase.
Low Pass Filter Frequencies
For your convenience MartinLogan also offers online warranty
registration at
Low Pass Filter Switch
Bypass (LFE In), Variable (L&R In)
MartinLogan may not honor warranty service claims unless
we have a completed Warranty Registration card on file!
0°, 180°
If you did not receive a Certificate of Registration with your
new CW10 subwoofer you cannot be assured of having
received a new unit. If this is the case, please contact your
authorized MartinLogan dealer.
10” (25.4cm) high-excursion, polypropylene cone with
extended throw driver assembly; ported
120 watts RMS (360 watts peak)
Left & Right/LFE RCA – 20,000 Ohms
Left & Right/LFE RCA Line Level
Mains Power Draw
Standby: 12W
Idle: 12W
Max: 120W
28.5 lbs. each (12.9 kg)
13 inches W x 15.27 inches D x 14.69 inches H
(33cm W x 38.8cm D x 37.3cm H)
General Information
Should you be using your MartinLogan product in a country
other than the one in which it was originally purchased,
we ask that you note the following:
1 The appointed MartinLogan distributor for any given
country is responsible for warranty servicing only on units
distributed by or through it in that country in accordance with its applicable warranty.
2 Should a MartinLogan product require servicing in a
country other than the one in which it was originally
purchased, the end user may seek to have repairs performed by the nearest MartinLogan distributor, subject
to that distributor's local servicing policies, but all cost
of repairs (parts, labor, transportation) must be born by
the owner of the MartinLogan product.
3 If, after owning your subwoofer for six months, you relocate
to a country other than the one in which you purchased
your subwoofer, your warranty may be transferable.
Contact MartinLogan for details.
Dimensional Drawings
Dimensional Drawings
Audio Terms
AC. Abbreviation for alternating current.
DC. Abbreviation for direct current.
Active crossover. Uses active devices (transistors, ICs, tubes)
and some form of power supply to operate.
Diffraction. The breaking up of a sound wave caused
by some type of mechanical interference such as a cabinet
edge, grill frame or other similar object.
Amplitude. The extreme range of a signal. Usually measured from the average to the extreme.
Arc. The visible sparks generated by an electrical discharge.
ATF. The abbreviation for advanced thin film.
Bass. The lowest frequencies of sound.
Bi-Amplification. Uses an electronic crossover, or line-level
passive crossover, and separate power amplifiers for the
high and low frequency loudspeaker drivers.
Capacitance. That property of a capacitor which determines how much charge can be stored in it for a given
potential difference between its terminals, measured in
farads, by the ratio of the charge stored to the potential
Diaphragm. A thin flexible membrane or cone that vibrates
in response to electrical signals to produce sound waves.
Distortion. Usually referred to in terms of total harmonic
distortion (THD) which is the percentage of unwanted harmonics of the drive signal present with the wanted signal.
Generally used to mean any unwanted change introduced
by the device under question.
Driver. See transducer.
Dynamic Range. The range between the quietest and the
loudest sounds a device can handle (often quoted in dB).
Efficiency. The acoustic power delivered for a given electrical input. Often expressed as decibels/watt/meter
Capacitor. A device consisting of two or more conducting
plates separated from one another by an insulating material
and used for storing an electrical charge. Sometimes called
a condenser.
ESL. The abbreviation for electrostatic loudspeaker.
Clipping. Distortion of a signal by its being chopped off. An
overload problem caused by pushing an amplifier beyond
its capabilities. The flat-topped signal has high levels of
harmonic distortion which creates heat in a loudspeaker
and is the major cause of loudspeaker component failure.
Hybrid. A product created by the marriage of two different
technologies. Meant here as the combination of a dynamic woofer with an electrostatic or ATF transducer.
CLS. The abbreviation for curvilinear line source.
Crossover. An electrical circuit that divides a full bandwidth
signal into the desired frequency bands for the loudspeaker
dB (decibel). A numerical expression of the relative loudness
of a sound. The difference in decibels between two sounds is
ten times the Base 10 logarithm of the ratio of their power levels.
Glossary of Audio Terms
Headroom. The difference, in decibels, between the peak
and RMS levels in program material.
Hz (Hertz). Unit of frequency equivalent to the number of
cycles per second.
Imaging. To make a representation or imitation of the original
sonic event.
Impedance. The total opposition offered by an electric
circuit to the flow of an alternating current of a single frequency. It is a combination of resistance and reactance and
is measured in ohms. Remember that a speaker’s impedance changes with frequency, it is not a constant value.
Inductance. The property of an electrical circuit by which
a varying current in it produces a varying magnetic field
that introduces voltages in the same circuit or in a nearby
circuit. It is measured in henrys.
Inductor. A device designed primarily to introduce inductance into an electrical circuit. Sometimes called a choke
or coil.
Linearity. The extent to which any signal handling process
is accomplished without amplitude distortion.
Midrange. The middle frequencies where the ear is the
most sensitive.
NAC. The abbreviation for natural ambience compensation.
Passive crossover. Uses no active components (transistors,
ICs, tubes) and needs no power supply (AC, DC, battery)
to operate. The crossover in a typical loudspeaker is of the
passive variety. Passive crossovers consist of capacitors,
inductors and resistors.
Phase. The amount by which one sine wave leads or lags
a second wave of the same frequency. The difference is
described by the term phase angle. Sine waves in phase
reinforce each other; those out of phase cancel.
Pink noise. A random noise used in measurements, as it
has the same amount of energy in each octave.
Polarity. The condition of being positive or negative with
respect to some reference point or object.
RMS. Abbreviation for root mean square. The effective value
of a given waveform is its RMS value. Acoustic power is
proportional to the square of the RMS sound pressure.
Resistance. That property of a conductor by which it opposes
the flow of electric current, resulting in the generation of
heat in the conducting material, usually expressed in ohms.
Resistor. A device used in a circuit to provide resistance.
Resonance. The effect produced when the natural
vibration frequency of a body is greatly amplified by
reinforcing vibrations at the same or nearly the same frequency from another body.
Sensitivity. The volume of sound delivered for a given
electrical input.
Stator. The fixed part forming the reference for the moving
diaphragm in a planar speaker.
THD. The abbreviation for total harmonic distortion. (See
TIM. The abbreviation for transient intermodulation distortion.
Transducer. Any of various devices that transmit energy
from one system to another, sometimes one that converts
the energy in form. Loudspeaker transducers convert electrical energy into mechanical motion.
Transient. Applies to that which lasts or stays but a short
time. A change from one steady-state condition to another.
Tweeter. A small drive unit designed to reproduce only
high frequencies.
Wavelength. The distance measured in the direction of
progression of a wave, from any given point characterized by the same phase.
White noise. A random noise used in measurements, as it
has the same amount of energy at each frequency.
Woofer. A drive unit operating in the bass frequencies only.
Drive units in two-way systems are not true woofers but are
more accurately described as being mid/bass drivers.
Glossary of Audio Terms
WARNING! Do not use your CW10 loudspeakers outside of the country of original sale—voltage requirements vary by country. Improper voltage can cause damage that will be potentially expensive to repair. The
CW10 is shipped to authorized MartinLogan distributors with the correct power supply for use in the country
of intended sale. A list of authorized distributors can be accessed at or by emailing info@
Lawrence, Kansas, USA
tel 785.749.0133
fax 785.749.5320
©2010 MartinLogan. All rights reserved.
Rev. #072810
Download PDF