Marten Speakers

Thanks Ryder. I am expecting a different sound to my Kanta 2’s having read the reviews, but for my room there is just to much base. The Parker’s have good extension in that area by all accounts, but not so much hopefully that it will overwhelm. I’m open minded at the moment.

This has been my experience too. The Duke 2 are easily the best stand mounts I’ve heard but require careful system matching and set up. They didn’t gel at all with Naim. My 552/300DR are now long gone. However, my Sugden Sapphire amps are a perfect match with the Duke 2 and the combo works very well in my room.

@neilph I would look at other amps if you’re considering Marten speakers.


This is my experience too and my system choices veered away from Naim once I was hooked on the Duke 2’s.


Thank you very much bongoman. Comments that I have received back have here has got me thinking. Will have a word with the dealer to see if I can audition at home. Maybe get them to bring in a Diablo 120 and Leema integrated Amps to measure against the Naim setup.

Really appreciate you taking your time with some valuable feedback👍

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No problem and good luck with your auditions.

It’s definitely worth investing time if you can listening to different amps with the Martens. Class A amps (Accuphase, Luxman, Sugden to name a few) work especially well with them.

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Yes, similarly I find the Duke 2 to be the best stand mounts I’ve heard, and I love them very much. There’s basically nothing more to upgrade in my system so I just added a sub as a final piece to complete the jigsaw puzzle. The Duke 2 is surely not lacking in bass but I thought of taking the speakers to greater heights since I love them so much.

I could very well live with the Dukes without doing anything to the system but I had the itch to scratch. I haven’t managed to find the time to install the sub though.


Very nice setup Ryder. Surprised you didn’t move to a 6 pack of Rels😓. As with @bongoman really appreciate your time in responding. Just a question to you both though, surprised that you still frequent this site seems you have moved away from Naim?

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Been thinking about this myself, so am interested to hear how you get on. My listening room is small so don’t want to be overwhelmed with bass, but would like to hear the difference a sub brings.

I still have the 282/250DR/HCDR in another room with some Harbeth speakers but this system was left untouched for many months.

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Although I don’t have Naim amps, I’m still enjoying my Naim sources (Core, NDX2, nDAC & CD5XS) tho I’m listening to more vinyl these days

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What are the Harbeths like.

Would have loved to have gone down the vinyl route. Unfortunately for me my collection was systematically smashed when my now ex wife and I split up​:weary::weary::weary:

Very sorry to hear that, Neil. Glad it’s behind you and glad to see you on the forum.

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Early impressions are positive. My PMC sub which I owned for many years did not integrate well with all the speakers which I previously owned. I briefly installed the REL S510 in the current system yesterday and am happy to report that the integration with the Duke 2 is much more seamless than the PMC sub. Setting up the REL is straightforward and easy, all as described in the manual. The first attempt was a major success, adjustments to the crossover and level all completed in about 40 minutes.

With the REL, apart from the seamless integration with the main speakers (which is the most important criteria for a music sub to fulfil), the low and mid bass sound fuller and punchier, and the added bass lines sound detailed too. With an inferior sub such as the PMC, the bass and detail (or the lack of it) sounded smeared with few bits sticking out like a sore thumb. In other words, it’s actually better to listen without a sub than having one since it either brings a very subtle difference, or it makes the sound worse.

I believe there may be room for improvement with further optimisation. Nevertheless, at this point I’m surely impressed with the ability and quality of the REL - minimal effort in getting a good result, all done in less than 1 hour.

The Harbeth SHL5+ sounds fuller and slightly warmer than the Marten. It does not sound as refined and detailed across the frequency spectrum from top to bottom when compared to the Marten. Although the Harbeth SHL5+ is physically a much larger box than the Duke 2, it does not go as low in the bass and sounds less taut and tight. In other words the bass of the Harbeth sounds looser in comparison.

It’s just a different sound and a matter of preference.

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Thanks for that, I think I’ll just have to try and get one (some) on loan and see what happens. Something smaller might also be better for my room so might start looking at the T series or similar.

Initially I thought of trying the T9x since my room is rather small. When I wrote to REL support, the S series was recommended instead. This was their response, for the Marten Duke 2.

Thanks for your interest in REL Acoustics.
REL subwoofer recommendation isn’t just about match frequencies and numbers. It’s about speaker characteristics as well as sound quality. Our pairing tool is a hand curated list of what is going to be the minimum recommendation.
So even though your Marten speakers may go lower on paper, the S/812 is recommended for the Harbeth’s because of the speaker characteristics.

After performing some research on your speakers I can confidentially say the T/x is not recommended to match with those speakers. The caliber of those speakers is very good based on the reviews I’ve read and you really should consider the S/510 at the absolute bare minimum although the S/812 is going to be a better. So with a speakers like this I am first looking for a model that is going to match the speed of those speaker. The next thing I consider is the quality of sound. You are going to want a subwoofer that is as transparent and clear as the speakers. Lastly I take the room into consideration. You room isn’t a factor in this scenario because of the size.

Here is what the Serie S is going to do… First this model goes down to 20hz where as the T/9x goes down to 27Hz. This is going to turn your system in to a full range system. This is huge un terms of performance because not even 100K speakers are capable of doing a good job in the low 20s hz range without buckets of power. Next the Serie S is a fast subwoofer that has a very stiff suspension. This results in a lot of clarity in the decay and attack of bass pulses. This is what make our subwoofer sound so natural.

I can confidently say a Serie S model is going to be an improvement of your existing subwoofer.
Please reach out if you have any further questions.


Really helpful, thanks for posting…

Really interesting. What sort of placement does it need comparative to front and side walls please?

REL’s recommendation is corner placement close to wall boundaries but I don’t follow. The sub is currently placed between the speakers as shown in the photo above. It has about 2 feet from the front wall which is a sliding glass door.

Some additional notes after I spent more time with the listening. The REL is proven to be a far more capable design than the PMC TLE1 which I previously own. The changes are not solely in the bass but midrange as well. Before this there was a slight grainy quality in the mid bass and upper bass. This grain is now gone as the sound fills out and becomes smoother. Also, instruments such as acoustic guitar, trumpet, violin and even piano sound more real. It’s hard to explain but the sub has really made its presence felt, in a good way this time. Drums sound snappier with reduced smearing of notes. Everything at the bottom and middle really tightened up and sound fuller and more defined.

The REL made the PMC sound like garbage. Better late than never. I haven’t moved the sub around to optimise the sound. Perhaps a couple of weeks or months later I’ll start to experiment. I can’t believe that the first attempt in simply plonking the sub at a spot has produced a good result.