Yikes, I just looked at the RRP, they’re twice what I thought. Now I’m doubly jealous.
Are you using 552/500 to drive the Marten Mingus Twenty? Good to note you picked them over Focal Scala Evo. I presume the Marten sounds better than the Sopra 2.
After experiencing the Marten Duke 2, I can’t imagine trying anything else now. The treble quality is just sublime, very illuminating, refined and detailed without sounding harsh. Silky-smooth treble once optimised.
Yes im using 552/500dr.
Definitely better than sopra and based on home demo, better than the scala evo too. Given Mingus size, it is not inferior to the scala at all.
That is good to hear. It appears that there are 2 members here who use 552 with the Marten to great effect. The Marten is highly revealing and will expose any slight anomaly with the amplification. The 282/250DR is just not good enough for the Marten in my experience despite trying to make them work. In the end I bought the Luxman L-590AXII for the Duke 2 and the two work very well together.
I still retain the 282/250DR for the Harbeth. Since I do not have space to set up the amps, I am currently using the Luxman to drive both Marten and Harbeth.
Enjoy the Mingus Twenty. At an RRP of £52,500 they are surely up there with the heavyweights.
I’ve been reading this thread for quite some time and decided to take a chance on a pair of Miles 5 speakers. I would have gone for the Duke but I really wanted a full-range floorstander. As background, I had an up-to-date system before having kids – WTT/VandenHul/Spectral/MIT/Avalon. 20 years later, the kids are off to college and I can actively engage in my audio hobby again. I realized, however, that I needed to make some upgrades to get current. I started by adding a streamer (PS Audio DirectStream) and new cartridge (Hana ML). While I think my Spectral gear is still pretty competitive (I have done a few comparisons), I do think the Avalon speakers are a bit dated now. The Spectral/Avalon/MIT combination is synergistic though and I’m not sure how well it will work to throw the Miles into the Spectral/MIT system. I’ll let you know when they arrive. Any tips/ideas for success appreciated!
Welcome to the forum @jdc1114
I demoed the Miles 5 last year and they were my first introduction to Marten speakers. I found they worked better with a Luxman 509x amp than my Naim 300 at the time.
Although I loved the sound signature of the Miles 5, I found the bass output to be too dominant on some material. Obviously how they work for you depends on your amplification and room size.
I’d be interested to hear of your findings. I wouldn’t dismiss the Duke 2s. They give an impressive full sound signature given the right amp and source.
I just got the Miles set up and they are sounding great- no bass issues in my room. The thing that has impressed me most on first listen is their transparency and overall coherence from top to bottom. No part of the frequency spectrum is exaggerated and they seem to have very little sonic signature of their own. This is quite a bit different from the Avalons I had been using. While I like the Avalons, it soon became obvious the sonic signature they were adding – most noticeably. a pronounced mid-bass warmth that I must admit was welcome on some tracks. The other thing I noticed was that the Miles superior transparency allowed me to listen at lower volume levels. As has been noted, they seem sensitive to what they are being fed. Changes in source were much more noticeable than on the Avalons. A lot more tweaking to do to get positioning right, but I was quite impressed on first listen. I can’t help but think they would do well with a low-power tube or Class A amp with their 90/db sensitivity. I’m not surprised that the Luxman is a good match with the Dukes. More to do, but so far so good.
Which Avalons were you using? Which Spectral electronics? I suspect I have been evolving my system forward in the opposite direction than you have just chosen to. I own and love the older Avalon Eidolon speakers. I have been updating my system in front of them and this has allowed me to get even more out of my Avalon speakers. Like Naim electronics, while Spectral has a very consistent overall gestalt, modern Spectral electronics do offer improvements over older examples of Spectral’s art. If you have a dealer in your area, you might be pleasantly surprised how much better the recent Spectral amplification is relative to even the excellent products from earlier decades from Spectral.
Spectral and Avalons are great individual products and even better together, even back in the 2C3D days. I have had the DMC20MkII, DMA150MkII and Avalon Eclipses making great music for me for 20 years. I’ve always noticed at CES and Axpona shows how much better my system sounded compared to most of those on display. Avalon, Magnepan and Marten are high on my list of truly musical speakers. Given the difference in age, it’s not too surprising that the Miles 5 lapped the 20-year old Eclipses. By the way, I will still be keeping the Eclipses for my video system – they still sound great. I was actually looking for a more current Avalon with a smaller footprint and reasonable price point but few options existed. A few years back, I was thinking of picking up the Ideas but it was difficult to find a dealer to even hear them. I also thought about the Maggie 3.7s but they just aren’t that room friendly. The Martens were another highly musical speaker that I have always enjoyed when I have heard them and so I took a chance. I still have to work through longer-term impressions but my initial impression has been quite positive. Anyway, I know the current Spectral stuff is fantastic as are your Eidolons. I think both Spectral and Avalon are highly underrated in the press but they sure make beautiful music. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from pursuing that route. As for electronics, I’m still keeping my Spectral electronics although I do wonder if they are the ideal match for the Martens. Time will tell – one move at a time.
I hope you enjoy your new Marten speakers as much as you have your Avalon's. Customers who listen and are thoughtful about purchases tend to get the best value from high end audio equipment- by holding it for the long term. Both Spectral and Avalon continue to do excellent work in their quiet ways. I am not expert in the distribution in other markets around the world, but here in the US, they have both chosen to work with only a small handful of very carefully selected dealers, so it is not always easy to hear the products of either company unless you are fortunate enough to live near one of their dealers, or willing to travel, or both. I hold Neil Patel and Keith Johnson in the highest regard; these are audio designers with tremendous talent and passion for their work, even if not as well known as some of their peers in the high end engineering ranks.
Good luck in your journey!
Today I did the order for Marten Duke 2, Piano Walnut.
They will come in 6-8 weeks, that’s what the dealer told me.
I don’t know which amplifier to fit better …
You have better knowledge of audio than I do, and maybe you can help me choose the amplifier.
My short list:
- Audionet SAM 20 SE
- Leema Acoustics Tucana II Aniversary Edition
- T+A PA-2000R
- Gato AMP-150 Integrated Amplifier
- Belles Aria signature
- Arcam SA30
- Exposure 3010S2D
Good to hear you have committed to the Marten Duke 2. As you might have known, these are incredibly transparent speakers which will reveal any changes with upstream components and/or cabling. In other words, the sound characteristics of the components will be ruthlessly exposed by the Marten. Unlike other speakers which will sound good with mediocre equipment, the Marten may sound uninspiring or poor with modest equipment since they are so revealing. Every small flaw with the equipment (especially brightness in the treble) will be revealed with these speakers.
I don’t think many Marten owners would have the privilege to compare all the amps in your list. Personally the Audionet or Leema would be my top choices based on reviews on the forum. Of course, it would be ideal if you can listen and compare all the shortlisted options with the speakers in your system but that’s not always possible. The Audionet specifically the Watt has received stellar reviews while the Leema Acoustics Tucana II Anniversary was tested with the Marten Parker Duo in the earlier Youtube video posted above. Both amps appear to be high quality.
I’m not familiar with the rest of the amps and perhaps others who have experience may chime in. Personally I would disregard the Arcam and Exposure as I feel the Marten deserve better amps but that’s just speculation on my part. In my mind, neutral amps with high levels of clarity and detail would suit the Duke 2s. Amps which fall slightly to the warmer side of the spectrum rather than cold or bright may be beneficial. Use a bright sounding amp and the Marten will give you brightness. On the other hand, an inferior warmer sounding amp may mask the fine detail and produce a less transparent sound with reduced clarity and detail. Most warmer sounding amps in the lower price bracket lack clarity and detail thus restricting the full potential Marten since it’s a highly revealing speaker. For this reason, I think it’s prudent not to skimp on the amp (or source) and go for something better and higher quality.
@ryder’s advice is spot on…
I’m using a Norma IPA 70 and would highly recommend it (or the IPA 140) paired with the Duke’s. The Norma characteristics suit them very well providing the detail and clarity at the top end without any sign of grain or harshness. They are highly engaging and musical and are high current providing dynamic punch and PrAT in spades. As you can tell I’m a fan, well worth a listen if you can.
ryder, thanks for the tips. It is clear that I will have to use a very good amplifier to highlight the qualities of the speakers. Indeed, my first choice is the Audionet SAM 20 SE.
And Flachead, thanks for this special information …,reading about norma REVO IPA 70 and norma IPA 140, I start to think that this amplifier is special too. Especially the IPA 140 which has an Output current value of 36 A continuous … a huge value … is an amplifier that will deliver a current of a very good quality, driving any speaker without problems.
There are very few manufacturers that declare this feature … a feature that plays a key role in how the amplifier controls the speaker and in how to dynamically support uncompressed passages.
Thanks for the suggestions and I will try to listen to Audionet SAM 20 SE and norma IPA 140.
I’ll throw in my opinion. I have the Aestheix Mimas. Lots of great reviews. Maybe hard to get in the UK or Europe. The Luxman amps are really nice as are the Pass amps. I think
@ryder has a Luxman, and he has Martan’s
I demoed a few amps with my Duke 2s last year. They work very well with Class A amps in particular. I have the Sugden FBA 800 Class A amp with Naim 552 pre and they’re a great match with the Martens.
I was particularly impressed by the Luxman 509x. Accuphase and Norma amps work well too.
How’s the search going?
Well, 5 days ago the speakers arrived at the dealer. Because it is at a distance of 450 km from me, I will go in 10 days to take them. I have scheduled several auditions, at various dealers, with the following amplifiers:
Leema Tucana II
Yamaha A-S3200, Yamaha A-S 2200
Naim Uniti Nova
Unfortunately i did not find the Leema Tucana II Anniversary Edition available, the last two amplifiers were sold a few days ago, and the dealer will receive more in 2 months …
I couldn’t find the Audionet SAM 20 SE either … and this amplifier attracted me the most.
Another dealer suggested I listen to Sugden, class A.
After listening to all these amplifiers, I will tell you my impressions.
Boulder Audio 866
Nice. Since the amps are at several dealers instead of one, the comparison may not be entirely accurate as the room and other gear will affect the sound. Nevertheless, it would be great to hear your impressions.