Marten Speakers

My online research (my lifestyle doesn’t allow me to take the “proper” route of demos, etc) has concluded that the best upgrade for my B&W 805D2s with a Naim Nova is the Marten Duke 2s.

When I search on the forum for Marten or Duke there are no matches. Does anybody have experience or opinion of them?

Thanks, Carl

I have heard a pair of Marten Coltraines on the end of a Naim system and they were absolutely stunning :blush:

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When I bought my Nova I spent some time listening to speakers to roadmap the next upgrade and spent some time with the Duke 2’s. I was mesmerised by them and literally haven’t stopped thinking about them. I’ve been a B&W man since my DM22’s so I also listened to the 805 D3. The Dukes were fantastic, fast, smooth and beautifully balanced with a dynamic bass that made my 707’s seem flabby in comparison. The 805’s were much more forward in presentation, which I’m used to, and for the first couple of minutes with the Marten’s I thought I wasn’t going to like them. But 30 minutes later I was absolutely hooked, the soundstage was immense and such a sound from relatively small boxes was joyful.

I’m going for a much longer demo in a couple of weeks and as they are a lot of £££ I’m viewing them as potentially my last speakers. It’ll be these or the Dynaudio S40…

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Last weekend I auditioned the Marten Duke 2’s having been completely bowled over during a brief listening session whilst buying my Nova. There isn’t much about these speakers online, considering they are 5 or 6 years old, with most reviews/comments being positive – but then at nearly £7k, they bloody well ought to be. With my recently prepared auditioning playlist which includes some of my favourite tracks alongside some that sound compromised, some that sound utterly brilliant and a selection I’ve “borrowed” from reviewers that each have a specific challenge to the music producing chain.

This extended listening session simply confirmed to me what I’d experienced before, these are outstanding speakers. Across all types of music I threw at them they performed admirably. Playing one of my favourite tracks, Lay Your Hands on Me by Peter Gabriel, demonstrated the capability, breadth and depth of these speakers. The hushed beginnings of the song building to a crescendo of Jerry Marotta on drums and Gabriel’s unique voice demonstrate perfectly the detailed dynamic sound, the lush midrange and sweet treble, together with a soundstage the size of, well, a sound stage. The bass is full and plentiful and the midrange particularly strong. Playing tracks from John Garcia and the Band of Gold showed these speakers can rock too. Played loud the sound remained balanced and the individual instruments held their own, nothing ever being swamped by another. Playing this album alone has nearly convinced me the entry price is worth it.

No speaker is perfect but within the constraints of a relatively small stand mount, this one seems to come close. I had a quick listen to the Dali Epicon 2 and they are also fine sounding speakers I could live with easily. But I fear I would always be thinking about the Duke 2’s. Now I somehow have to find a way to get them into my life.

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Did you decide on a way forward?

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:small_blue_diamond: Flachead,…The interesting thing is,that in all speakers from Swedish Marten,it sits cables from another Swedish,…namely Jorma Design.

These two companies are on top worldwide in their areas.
I have written a bit in another thread about Jorma Design,…he also had Marten Coltrane loudspeakers and Vitus Pre and Power amps.

/Peder :slightly_smiling_face:

I’m so pleased to see this update Flachead, thank you!

I broadened my research, starting to look into Magico, and recently Estelon speakers, eventually concluding that I can’t justify the cost and will probably stick with my 805D2s, they’re are super afterall, in sound and looks, but I do crave a change.

But having read your post I’m now back to thinking the Dukes are the solution to my craving, there’s just one other loudspeaker that I would like to find out more about - the new Wilson Benesch Precision P1.0 … they were announced in Nov last year and still nothing else available about them, I’m tempted to wait to see what they are like when they are finally available …

They are though, a lot of money and for me, it’s working out whether the increment in performance is worth it. Next stop for me will be listening to more speakers at half the price. I hadn’t come across the Wilson Benesch ones, I’ll hunt them out too. This upgrade could take some time…

:small_blue_diamond: Carlstone,…There is nothing in your profile,but are you from England…Take the ferry to Gothenburg.
Marten,…and also Jorma Design is located in Gothenburg.

Then you can have a nice day,weekend at Marten before you take the ferry back.

Leif and Jörgen Olofsson,who owns Marten are very nice guys.

/Peder :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yes I am in the Uk, and it would be a lovely trip, thanks for the suggestion! I could actually hear the Marten’s at the super Nintronics dealership which is just a ten minute drive - but I can’t even persuade the wife to do that with me!

You should go…

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Build your own speakers.
Spending £2000 on building would be like buying speakers for £8000/10000

Now there’s a thought, I feel a new thread coming up…

Could they ever look as beautiful as those Dukes though …

I have seen DIY speakers that look even better

I’ve had a demo pair of Duke 2’s for almost a week now. Got them last weekend and couldn’t wait to set them up and experience the in shop sound in my home. Excitedly set them up, sat down and pressed play and…… oh… they don’t sound right at all. They sound a bit thin, harsh at times and the enormous soundstage and pin point imaging all missing. Damn, I was convinced these were for me. But wait. I’ve committed a cardinal sin (not speaker polarity, I was very careful about that) but introducing two changes at the same time. I also replaced my old (20 ish years) QED speaker cable with Witch Hat Phantom. Up until Wednesday, the Dukes didn’t sound right. But suddenly (burn in??) they sounded better. Now I was ready to fine tune the position and apply a bit of room treatment (temporary as I work out the best set up) and boom! There is the sound I had heard before. Everything is as I had hoped, these speakers simply disappear leaving you with just the music. These are mightily impressive speakers. I’m a bit nervous about inconsistency, as I have experienced that before, but I have upgraded the mains block, the mains cable and the speaker cable and the sound being produced right now ticks all the boxes, especially in my small listening room. Most astonishing is how good they sound at really quite low volumes AND when you crank them up. I have the demo pair for another week and I’m hoping everything remains as is. So looking forward to the weekend :grin:

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I have enjoyed this weekend with the Dukes and my latest Hi-Fi rejuvenation may be reaching completion (for now, I’m not quite ready to post on “have you finished upgrading”). In terms of the sound I have been seeking, these speakers come damn close and for the first time in a very long time, I am listening to the music, not the system. There are many attributes that these speakers bring to achieve this state, but primarily it is their ability to create a soundstage and completely disappear. The balanced sound, beautiful mid range, extraordinarily detailed presentation and smooth top-end are added bonuses. And my wife even likes them…

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I finally made the go decision and ‘accidentally’ (as suggested by @Eoink) bought a pair of Duke 2’s. I know I have enthused about these here, but I’m sure you’ll appreciate they are quite a step up from the B&W 707 S2’s I was using and I am experiencing a level of SQ that has previously eluded me and I am loving it. Even as I write this and with only a few hours on the clock they sound freakin’ amazing. I thought I’d summarise my thoughts on reasons to buy and not to buy so here goes:

Reasons to Buy

  1. Soundstage
  2. Smooth balanced sound
  3. Detail
  4. Dynamism
  5. Really enjoyable at low volumes, medium and when you rock out.

Reasons not to buy

  1. If you prefer a more forward presentation
  2. If you want to bi-wire
  3. If you have a really small listening room, positioning is very critical. Bigger rooms seem to be more accommodating.

As you can see, for me the pros outweigh the cons and for me in my <15m2 room, they fit the bill perfectly. Now I’m off to listen to more music and I’ll be able to post more on the what are you listening to thread as I’ve stopped track skipping :grinning:

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Since I posted this I’ve travelled the world (the online world) to see if there any other speakers in the price bracket (+ 100% or so) that have sufficient WAF as she wasnt happy with me replacing the B&Ws with the Marten’s - the yellow mid driver of the b&ws matches some ornaments …

I’ve considered/suggested everything - Estelon, Wilson Audio, Burmester, T+A Talis - and the answer to all of them has been negative.

Literally mins before you posted this update I was looking through my pics and the Duke pic came up - and I thought to myself ‘out of all that I’ve looked at these are the most stunning!’

So I hadn’t heard them, but having looked at pics of speakers for weeks these are still the ones that look the most beautiful … so enjoy, I for one am envious, and do let us know how your love for them grows!

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Having used B&W speakers for nigh on 30 years, the 805’s were once top of my wish list but out of my budget, I ended up with smaller CM’s. The Duke’s have a very different sonic signature to B&W’s but no doubt the 805’s are great speakers, enjoy them and think about the perfect match with the ornaments…

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