Marten Design

High & Ultra High-End Loudspeakers from Sweden
Considered by many to be amongst the ultimate of Loudspeakers
Marten encapsulates the Swedish spirit of form meeting function, in beautiful harmony.
Always remaining true to the source, we believe ‘high fidelity’ should mean precisely that – reproducing sound strictly as it was recorded, without colouring or distorting it with false softness, warmth or fullness. Our goal is to reproduce reality, as closely as possible. But we go further than that. We also look to reproduce this reality, in a real living space. We make it easier to place speakers in a room – something other high-end speaker manufacturers don’t allow for. So you can relax in your own surroundings and enjoy music, exactly as it sounds in real life, fully reliving the moment. It’s like meditation. It’s the Marten way. 

The goal of Marten loudspeakers is to reproduce music that is as close to reality as possible. Of course, Marten is not alone in this, but Marten loudspeakers are constructed to achieve this goal in normal living spaces, and in this, they are virtually unique. Most loudspeakers are designed to be placed as far away from reflective surfaces as possible, often 1 to 2 meters from the rear and side walls. Unfortunately, most people cannot place their speakers in this way. Often, speakers must be located quite close to the rear wall, where the sound becomes distorted, with heavy, impure bass and inferior perspective. Because Marten loudspeakers make use of reflective surfaces, they can, if necessary, be positioned close to the rear wall and (to a certain extent) close to the side walls, taking advantage of the amplifying effect that the walls have on the bass range.

In achieving the goal of realism, Marten employs the very highest-quality drivers and electronic components. Marten loudspeakers employ the best drivers available today. Most of the drivers used in Marten speakers are made of ceramic. These are the only dynamic drivers that work with a perfect piston movement. That means that the drivers do not have any breakups (flexes) within their frequency range, and have none of the audible distortion that can be found in most other drivers on the market. The ceramic used for these drivers is an aluminium oxide, with a thickness of only 0.15 mm in the midrange and bass drivers, and a mere 0.05mm in the treble drivers. This makes the cones very light, and allows extremely fast and dynamic music reproduction. These drivers have the best of both worlds—the microdynamics and resolution of electrostatic drivers as well as the macro dynamics of dynamic drivers.

Distortion masks detail, and because of their distortion-free reproduction, every Marten loudspeaker sounds extremely detailed and transparent. Unless all musical details can be heard, naturalism cannot be achieved.

The crossover networks of all Marten loudspeakers are as simple as possible, and use the best components on the market, including robust foil coils, Teflon ring core coils (for bigger values than 3.0mH), polypropylene capacitors from Mcap and MIT, and induction-free resistors from Mundorf.

Click here to read more about Marten:   http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatures/roadtourmarten/marten.html

Reviews

Reviews

That’s the joy of the Django L… they do all the audiophile things well, but they do it with some fun too. Cerebral, civilised speakers with a wild child side… it gets no better.
Alan Sircom

REVIEW SUMMARY -
It’s that insight into the music that marks the Django L out. Music of all kinds work well with this,....
It scales well – I even played the last movement of Mahler’s Eighth to good effect.....

The sound of the Django L gives good image size and depth to big orchestral passages....,
They made a powerful, rockin’ sound that might make lesser mortals don inappropriate shorts and headbang like Angus. Young..... 

EXTENDED REVIEW -  Marten speakers run like a red thread woven through much of the magazine’s history, so it’s fitting to celebrate our century with a review of one of the magazine’s best-loved brands. Most loudspeaker companies would love to be judged by the best they can do. Sometimes though, that ‘best’ is so lofty as to be from another world. Such is the case with Marten; its top Coltrane range of loudspeakers runs from the ‘reassuringly expensive’ Soprano to the ‘how many oil fields do you own?’ Coltrane Supreme and all of them set a powerful standard to beat. But few realise the dynamic range of Marten; yes, you can buy a pair of speakers for more than the price of a new S-Class Mercedes, but the Django L costs not much more than a Dacia Sandero.
 
Perhaps obviously, the Django L is the smaller brother of the Django XL, the currently two-model Django series having more curved lines than either the more up-scale Heritage range or the cinema-chummy and angular Form models. This is a two-way, three driver design; the tweeter retains the inverted ceramic Accuton unit common to many models in the Marten range, but the ceramic-only domes and cones found elsewhere are replaced by two custom 200mm SEAS aluminium-ceramic sandwich.
 
A backswept reflex design (with a downward firing port) finished in piano black or silver grey and no sign of a grille in sight, this is not a shrinking violet of a loudspeaker. It doesn’t need to sit too far out into the room compared to other products in the range, and is as such the Marten for those ‘lucky’ owners of small rooms. That being said, the depth of the loudspeaker does give it a physical presence that makes it seem larger than it actually is in a smaller room, and some might find that somewhat imposing. But perhaps it’s time not to try to apologise for good audio and enjoy the physicality of the speaker design. Besides, the speaker has a bluff charm to its looks.
 
Besides, the speaker has a bluff charm to its looks. Take the ‘plinth’ for example; two black metal outriggers with large cone feet that bolt to the underside of the loudspeaker. Simple and elegant, albeit in a fairly functional manner. Armed with a spare pair of hands to set up the speakers, you can go from box to positioning inside of a quarter of an hour, which is a rare joy. A single wire set of terminals at the back panel later and you are into the positioning part of the whole equation. This is possibly the most drawn out part of the whole Marten process, in that the longer you spend positioning the loudspeakers, the better the overall performance. 

The review pair of Django L had a lot of air miles under their belt before they got to me. So, any discussions about run-in are academic at best. They were a well-thumbed pair and came ready to roll. You may find your pair of speakers takes minutes or months to settle in; I have no accurate frame of reference, aside from Marten’s past ‘form’ (in the horse-racing sense, nothing to do with the brand’s other speaker line).

 
Unfortunately, past form doesn’t seem to hold much sway with the Django L. Where some Marten speakers are notoriously fussy about positioning, these are more forgiving. Where bigger Martens need very careful system matching to give of their all, these could be summed up in three soundbytes – ‘good’, ‘moderately powerful’ and ‘solid state’. Even the last is more of a guideline (Marten speakers traditionally partner well with valves), but the aluminium/ceramic sandwich bass cones do seem to need some damping factor behind them. As a rule of thumb, the Martens responded better to ‘smooth’, ‘clean’, ‘detailed’ and slightly soft sounding solid-state electronics than a drop of the hard stuff..... The Django L’s insightful sound gives a similar sense of immediacy.....
 
It’s that insight into the music that marks the Django L out. Music of all kinds work well with this, but perhaps not surprising given the name, small tight acoustic bands sitting in a natural acoustic fare best of all. It’s an obvious thing to partner loudspeakers named after jazz greats with that jazz great, but the music of Django Reinhardt is not really the best thing to assess modern hi-fi, as his best work was around 70-80 years ago and varies according to transfer. But modern interpreters of Django’s work fare much better, and it’s that small and cool jazz combo (or, for that matter, a string quartet) that really allow the Django L to shine. It scales well – I even played the last movement of Mahler’s Eighth to good effect – but while the sound of the Django L gives good image size and depth to big orchestral passages, I was more drawn to the less sturm und drang end of the musical spectrum.
 
Although many focus on the performance of high-end loudspeakers with acoustic instruments in live spaces, an acid test that should be used more is playing music with more bombast to it. Big graunchy rock guitars, wubby-wubby bass lines from dub sound systems or dubstep bedroom superstars… something with a bit of meat to it. There are a surprising number of very good speakers that ultimately sound not so very good fed even the lightest diet of AC/DC, but here the Martens stepped up to the plate well. Predisposition toward ‘lean’ or no, they made a powerful, rockin’ sound that might make lesser mortals don inappropriate shorts and headbang like Angus Young. That’s the joy of the Django L… they do all the audiophile things well, but they do it with some fun too. Cerebral, civilised speakers with a wild child side… it gets no better.
 
There’s an interesting paradox with loudspeakers. We often discuss ‘speed’ in speaker design, but it’s a very difficult thing to pin down in print. As a consequence, it’s one of those terms (like ‘PRaT) that is easily dismissed as so much audiophool hot air. And yet, when you hear the Django L, one of the first things most people will comment on is their ‘speed’. Things sound fast through the Django L; not accelerated or fast-paced, just quick and clean and detailed. Play something with fast tabla runs (like the delicious cover version of Take Five performed by the Sachal Studios Orchestra of Pakistan) and many good, big speakers almost fall over themselves trying to render the speed and attack of this little drum-like instrument. Not here, the Django L makes a tabla sound like a tabla; fast, percussive and the underpinning of this remarkable rendition. Naturally, the sound of sitar, guitar and the rest of the orchestra is equally well resolved too, but it’s the correct speed of that tabla that gets you every time.
 
From a UK perspective, there’s one big thing about the Martens? Why aren’t they here? These are fabulous speakers at a keen price and should be on many folk’s shopping list, and yet, if you want a pair, it’s off to mainland Europe or New Zealand with you. Surely we can’t all be this inward looking as to not want to hear such a fine speaker as the Marten Django L?
It's the best two-way speaker I have heard to date. The brand new Marten Duke 2 is now as good as it gets in this category.
Robert H. Levi

SUMMARY: All Marten speakers—and I've heard most every model to date—how the high standards and commitment to quality of their designer Leif Marten and his team. Marten understands the big sound and small nuances of music, especially acoustic music. As I listen to the Duke 2s, all by themselves, they are a wonderful truthful ground-breaking two-way monitor". 

"......the new Duke 2 is outstanding and much improved. The sense of aliveness and "you-are-there" is enhanced. I hear a new fullness and power that was not there previously. The Dukes still have an neutral perspective. They sound smooth and airy, and never crisp or sharp".

"In fact, the completely redesigned two-way speaker is now an ideal monitor design, offering competition to two-ways costing upwards of $20K!"

There's news on the Marten front! I've gotten a chance to spend some time with the Marten Duke 2 monitor loudspeaker—and I have to say that I'm stoked! I want to share my notes with PFO readers briefly.
 
Newly revised, the Duke 2 offers true sophistication combined with added definition and slam, changes bigger than expected by yours truly from the folks at Marten of Sweden. In fact, the completely redesigned two-way speaker is now an ideal monitor design, offering competition to two-ways costing upwards of $20K!
 
For US$8.5K, you gain a brand new and excitingly neutral ceramic tweeter; the state of the art midrange driver of the new Coltrane series, used full range; a convenient single hookup; Mundorf components; and an all new and simpler crossover. All ceramic drivers are sourced from top notch Accuton of Germany.
 
marten duke 2 loudspeakers
 
To listen to the Marten Duke, I used a single E.A.R. 534 at 50-watts per channel, and really shook the room.
 
Like all Marten Heritage speakers, the Duke 2 now has one pair of gorgeous silver WBT binding posts for simpler use on the back. The internal wire is Jorma Design, as is the case with all Marten speakers. The review pair was done in black high-gloss lacquer. Many finishes are available. Fit and finish and styling is first class and beautiful, just like the original Dukes.
 
I listened to the Duke 2's both with and without the Marten Form subwoofer, and will report on both.
 
Performance without the Form Sub
 
No exaggeration folks, the Duke 2 has double the definition and truthfulness of the previous model. WOW! I hear much more detail and power at all frequencies. I lived with the original Dukes for fours years in my second reference system, and I can authoritatively tell you the new Duke 2 is outstanding and much improved. The sense of aliveness and "you-are-there" is enhanced. I hear a new fullness and power that was not there previously. The Dukes still have an neutral perspective. They sound smooth and airy, and never crisp or sharp.
 
Driver dispersion is even better. Mid-band performance is now state-of-the-art. There, I said it! This is the best two-way design I have heard to date. Low-band definition is very good, with satisfying bass depth and energy. Oodles of definition and power emerge from these small speakers, and the bottom end of orchestra performances are well served. Bass fiddles are solidly heard. Plus the performance on tap is awesome. No silly lump at 50Hz to give you fake bass. In fact I can report that there is not a bit of obvious or imagined lumpiness at any frequency, high or low.
 
As with most top two ways, the drivers blend seamlessly, and yield lovely background depth. Soundstaging goes way beyond speaker boundaries. I love the natural and truly fleshed out imaging. Superb!
 
Add the Form Sub
 
But what happens when you add the basement?
 
With the Marten Form 400 Watt 10-inch subwoofer set at 40Hz and run separately from the Duke 2's, you have about all the speaker system anyone may need in a small-to-medium sized room. The blend is perfect. The enhanced bass imaging and power are awesome. The overall performance of the system is now even more alive, with sparkle, energy, and mellifluousness. The Marten Form sub is US$4500 and the Marten Duke 2's are US$8500… so US$13K for heavenly audiophile beauty you only imagined at that price. Love it!
 
Standards are High!
 
All Marten speakers—and I've heard most every model to date—how the high standards and commitment to quality of their designer Leif Marten and his team. Marten understands the big sound and small nuances of music, especially acoustic music. As I listen to the Duke 2s, all by themselves, they are a wonderful truthful ground-breaking two-way monitor. From their use of cost-no-object drivers, non-parallel surfaces, and second-generation improvements across the board, you just cannot ask for more. I am aware of models for double the cost with less performance!
 
Conclusion
 
Marten of Sweden has just released the Duke 2's to their Heritage speaker line;. I am delighted to review the first pair in this country, being an original Duke owner for some years.
 
I am excited to report the Duke 2 is the real deal. It is improved in every way with extensive revisions all serving the beauty of live music. With up to 50% more definition than I heard previously in most sonic ranges of this speaker, I am strongly recommending that you must hear these two-way monitors for yourself. Like Frankenstein's monster, they are alive! I consider the originals very fine still, but the Duke 2's are groundbreaking in their newfound lushness, major league detail retrieval, and sense of wondrous reality.
 
Remember that Accuton drivers are used throughout, with the key mid/bass driver borrowed from their US$150k Momento! This is authentic trickle-down magnificence!
 
It's the best two-way speaker I have heard to date. The brand new Marten Duke 2 is now as good as it gets in this category. .......Robert H. Levi
The first week I had the Marten Getz, I was neutral about them. The second week, I liked them. The third week, I was in love!
OdioSleuth

REVIEW SUMMARY: My listening experience with Marten similarly knocked me over, and my expectation of aural enjoyment totally changed too. My description about the HDTV visual could be changed to mean my aural experience with Marten and that would be pretty accurate.

I realised that I just experienced some sort of a cultural shock, the audiophile type, at the end of the three weeks living with a pair of Marten Getz loudspeakers. The effect they had on my audiophile sensibilities greatly shifted my expectation of what I can and want to get out of my music.

I liken my time with Marten as a detoxification program for my aural senses. All the grunge and the coloration in sound that were imprinted in my head over the years need time to be purged in order for me to start listening anew.

EXPANDED REVIEW: The Amazing Marten Getz Loudspeakers -
(Please note - this review is of the original Heritage Getz which has since been updated to new 2014 Getz-2 model, the specs have been updated to new Gezt-2).

I do not know how to relate the aural impact these Marten Getz loudspeakers had on me. So I thought of using an old experience of mine, a visual one, as an analogy.

A couple of decades ago, I was transiting at Tokyo’s Narita airport. In the transit lounge, there were a few TVs playing to keep the weary travellers occupied. However, it being Japan, these TVs were unlike anything I saw before. They were slim, there was practically very little depth to the box, the screens were rectangular in shape, rather than the squarish ones on the ubiquitous CRT TVs of that era.

What hit me, and left me staring at the screen for a good part of an hour though, was the picture. The program was some interview on NHK I think, I could not understand any of it as it was in Japanese. But oh, the picture was so clear that I could see the wrinkles on the faces and the creases on the clothes of the people. The picture was so smooth that I could not see the pixels at all. The colour was oh so pristine and natural. The studio was brightly lit but it was not the kind of brightness that assaulted ones’ eyes, rather, the whole scene glowed. HDTV was in its nascent stage then, but its superiority over SD was already very obvious.

That experience was like a left hook that came out of nowhere and knocked me for six. After that, my expectation of visual enjoyment totally changed, it took a great leap. This expectation is satiated only now, with the availability of bluray and HD satellite broadcast.

My listening experience with Marten similarly knocked me over, and my expectation of aural enjoyment totally changed too. My description about the HDTV visual could be changed to mean my aural experience with Marten and that would be pretty accurate.

I realised that I just experienced some sort of a cultural shock, the audiophile type, at the end of the three weeks living with a pair of Marten Getz loudspeakers. The effect they had on my audiophile sensibilities greatly shifted my expectation of what I can and want to get out of my music.

But let’s talk about the loudspeaker itself first. Marten is from Sweden. Their distinguishing design feature is the white drivers seen in all of their models. These are either ceramic / ceramic aluminium sandwich.  The ceramic membrane employed has the hardness of sapphire, so the cone is very rigid, it does not flex, thus capable of producing a sound with little or no distortion. The ceramic membrane is also very thin, thinner than the human hair, and it is also very light, making the driver very responsive to electrical signal. However, the thinness also means it is needs to be protected so every ceramic driver is protected with a metal mesh.

As we go up Marten’s model hierarchy, diamond tweeter and diamond midrange are also added into the mix.

Marten now has 4 speaker ranges – Coltrane, Heritage, Django & Form. The Coltrane range adds carbon fibre as the construction material for their cabinets. The other ranges use the special MDF.

The Marten Getz is 2nd in line of the 3-model strong Heritage range, begging with the Miles-5, then Getz-2 and on tops i the Bird-2. Like the other models in the range, the Marten Getz is named after a jazz musician, in this case Stan Getz.

The New Getz-2 specifications are:

Frequency range: 28-40000 Hz +-3dB
Power rating : 250 W
Sensitivity: 87 dB / 2.83V
Impedance: 4 ohm (3.7 Ohm min)
Type: 3-way passive radiator
Drive units: 9" ceramic/Aluminium sandwich , 9" aluminium (passive), 7" ceramic, 1" ceramic
Crossover frequency: Second order: 250 & 3000 Hz
Terminals : WBT, Bi-wiring
Components / Low loss copper foil coils and silver/gold in oil capacitors
Terminals / Single-wiring WBT
Internal wiring / Jorma Design
Cabinet / 23 mm:s veneered MDF
Stands / Steel stands with Marten cones and pucks
Dimensions 116H x 250W x 350D
Net weight / 35 Kg

The Marten Getz comes standard with metal outriggers and wooden cones. The points of the cones are blunt, but because of the weight of the loudspeaker, they could still leave marks on wooden flooring. Put something under the cones if you need to protect the finishing of your flooring

The construction of the loudspeakers is impeccable. The walnut veneer on the pair I listened to looks absolutely exquisite. Its glossy finish also lends the Getz a luxurious look.

Marten definitely does not skimp on quality. The Marten Getz lists at RM80,781. Well, high quality does have its price tag.

Now, let’s talk about how the Marten Getz fared in my room and with my equipment.

First, let me say that the Marten Getz is an absolutely transparent pair of loudspeakers. I had 3 digital frontends at my disposal during the time the Getz was with me. The Getz readily showed up their differences. Two of them were at the stratospheric price range (circa RM80k), through the Getz they sounded significantly on the opposing end of each other; the one from an European brand was refined, organic and excellently musical, whereas the American one was bold, impactful and detailed.

The transparency of the Marten also showed up minute things I did further upstream, such as the number of FE Ceraballs I used under my pre-amp (the sound was rich but a little dark with 4 pieces, more open and lighter with 3), and the support under the speaker cables (the sound is freer if the cables were lifted from the floor with FE Ceraballs).

Due to the very light weight ceramic drivers, the Marten Getz had lightning fast transient and excellent dynamics, the best I heard in my room so far. There was nothing better than Dean Peer’s ‘Ucross’ CD in my arsenal to showcase this. When the playing called for it, the plucks on the electronic guitar ‘exploded’ in the air, sited in-between the speakers. There was no lag, no holding back, just a fast, clean ‘twang’ that came with all the requisite harmonic richness.

The Marten Getz’s highs were very smooth, pure, and very extended. There was no shyness in them at all. In fact I’d call its highs explicit, but they never showed any aggressiveness or over-brightness. The Marten Getz also sounded ethereal and luxurious, having oodles of what Chinese audiophiles like to call ‘gui chi’. The mid, like the highs, was very open and grain-less too. Vocals were rendered clearly and naturally, it was coloration-free. The Marten’s bass was not the big impact type which could also sound ponderous if not done right; instead it was of the kind that was agile, tight and, most importantly, tuneful.

On Jazz such as Sonny Rollins’ ‘Way Out West’, all these elements came into play perfectly. The double bass plucking away at the bottom end keeping rhythm, each pluck was distinctive and the timing was impeccable; Sonny Rollins’ saxophone had a burnish and attractive tone, the playing alternating between being jagged and flowing. Further up, I could hear the stick striking the cymbal and the subsequently airy spread of the splash.

The soundstaging capability of the Marten was excellent, with the stage clearly defined behind the speakers. The images were portrayed out of the box. Focus was steady and the outlines were clearly delineated. The only reservation I have was the sense of scale which I knew I could get a bigger rendition for my room’s size. Well, I think that was what the Getz’s bigger brother, the Bird was there for. However, in a middle size room, the Getz’s staging prowess would be well nigh unbeatable.

I found that the Marten Getz was the very rare one whose performance could satisfy me at both the visceral and cerebral levels. My heart was captured by the musicality while my head was satiated by the details that the Marten Getz portrayed. To achieve this, matching was important. The Marten Getz’s cleanness, openness and focus were balanced beautifully with my Pass Labs’ slight midrange warmth, its presence and its hearty presentation. I think the Martens could sound a little too cool and plain tonally if they were matched with electronics pulling at that direction. Not the Martens’ fault though, they were just presenting what was fed to them, that is how transparent these loudspeakers are.

Listening to the Marten Getz also made me realise that I had been missing out on a lot of musical details in the past. There was much masking of details in the speakers I heard before, albeit they were at half the price or less of the Marten. However, I could not escape the fact that there were so much more details and nuances that I could still get out of my music collection.

Having said all this, I like to put in a caution. Not everyone will like Marten, and some will like it only after a lengthy listening period. People who cling onto certain old notions of sound, like sweetness, romanticism, or euphony may not readily accept Marten, as Marten will not give you those things by itself, unless they are in the music program or in the equipment upstream. Those who like it after a lengthy listening period would be like me. I liken my time with Marten as a detoxification program for my aural senses. All the grunge and the coloration in sound that were imprinted in my head over the years need time to be purged in order for me to start listening anew.

The first week I had the Marten Getz, I was neutral about them. The second week, I liked them. The third week, I was in love!

........OdioSleuth
It's the best two-way speaker I have heard to date. The brand new Marten Duke 2 is now as good as it gets in this category.
Robert H. Levi

SUMMARY - I am excited to report the Duke 2 is the real deal. It is improved in every way with extensive revisions all serving the beauty of live music. With up to 50% more definition than I heard previously in most sonic ranges of this speaker, I am strongly recommending that you must hear these two-way monitors for yourself. Like Frankenstein's monster, they are alive! I consider the originals very fine still, but the Duke 2's are groundbreaking in their newfound lushness, major league detail retrieval, and sense of wondrous reality.

EXTENDE REVIEW - There's news on the Marten front! I've gotten a chance to spend some time with the Marten Duke 2 monitor loudspeaker—and I have to say that I'm stoked! I want to share my notes with PFO readers briefly.
 
Newly revised, the Duke 2 offers true sophistication combined with added definition and slam, changes bigger than expected by yours truly from the folks at Marten of Sweden. In fact, the completely redesigned two-way speaker is now an ideal monitor design, offering competition to two-ways costing upwards of $20K!
 
For US$8.5K (+sles tax), you gain a brand new and excitingly neutral ceramic tweeter; the state of the art midrange driver of the new Coltrane series, used full range; a convenient single hookup; Mundorf components; and an all new and simpler crossover. All ceramic drivers are sourced from top notch Accuton of Germany.
 
marten duke 2 loudspeakers
 
To listen to the Marten Duke, I used a single E.A.R. 534 at 50-watts per channel, and really shook the room.
 
Like all Marten Heritage speakers, the Duke 2 now has one pair of gorgeous silver WBT binding posts for simpler use on the back. The internal wire is Jorma Design, as is the case with all Marten speakers. The review pair was done in black high-gloss lacquer. Many finishes are available. Fit and finish and styling is first class and beautiful, just like the original Dukes.
 
My reference system included the E.A.R. 834L Preamp, an E.A.R. 534 tube amp, E.A.R. Acute 2 Tube CD Player, the Modwright Sony 999 CD/SACD Player, and the McIntosh MR71 FM Tuner. All interconnecting and speaker cables were Kubala-Sosna Elation! and Emotion, as were the power cords. I used top-grade wire to make sure we had neutral and most revealing performance, regardless of price considerations.
 
I listened to the Duke 2's both with and without the Form subwoofer, and will report on both.
 
Performance without the Form Sub
 
No exaggeration folks, the Duke 2 has double the definition and truthfulness of the previous model. WOW! I hear much more detail and power at all frequencies. I lived with the original Dukes for fours years in my second reference system, and I can authoritatively tell you the new Duke 2 is outstanding and much improved. The sense of aliveness and "you-are-there" is enhanced. I hear a new fullness and power that was not there previously. The Dukes still have an neutral perspective. They sound smooth and airy, and never crisp or sharp.
 
Driver dispersion is even better. Mid-band performance is now state-of-the-art. There, I said it! This is the best two-way design I have heard to date. Low-band definition is very good, with satisfying bass depth and energy. Oodles of definition and power emerge from these small speakers, and the bottom end of orchestra performances are well served. Bass fiddles are solidly heard. Plus the performance on tap is awesome. No silly lump at 50Hz to give you fake bass. In fact I can report that there is not a bit of obvious or imagined lumpiness at any frequency, high or low.
 
As with most top two ways, the drivers blend seamlessly, and yield lovely background depth. Soundstaging goes way beyond speaker boundaries. I love the natural and truly fleshed out imaging. Superb!
 
Add the Form Sub
 
But what happens when you add the basement?
 
With the Marten Form 400 Watt 10-inch subwoofer set at 40Hz and run separately from the Duke 2's, you have about all the speaker system anyone may need in a small-to-medium sized room. The blend is perfect. The enhanced bass imaging and power are awesome. The overall performance of the system is now even more alive, with sparkle, energy, and mellifluousness. The Form is $4500 and the Duke 2's are US$8500… so $13K for heavenly audiophile beauty you only imagined at that price. Love it!
 
Standards are High!
 
All Marten speakers—and I've heard most every model to date—how the high standards and commitment to quality of their designer Leif Marten and his team. Marten understands the big sound and small nuances of music, especially acoustic music. As I listen to the Duke 2s, all by themselves, they are a wonderful truthful ground-breaking two-way monitor. From their use of cost-no-object drivers, non-parallel surfaces, and second-generation improvements across the board, you just cannot ask for more. I am aware of models for double the cost with less performance!
 
Conclusion
 
Marten of Sweden has just released the Duke 2's to their Heritage speaker line; these will premiere in the USA at CES 2013. I am delighted to review the first pair in this country, being an original Duke owner for some years.
 
I am excited to report the Duke 2 is the real deal. It is improved in every way with extensive revisions all serving the beauty of live music. With up to 50% more definition than I heard previously in most sonic ranges of this speaker, I am strongly recommending that you must hear these two-way monitors for yourself. Like Frankenstein's monster, they are alive! I consider the originals very fine still, but the Duke 2's are groundbreaking in their newfound lushness, major league detail retrieval, and sense of wondrous reality.
 
Remember that Accuton drivers are used throughout, with the key mid/bass driver borrowed from their $150k Momento! This is authentic trickle-down magnificence!
 
It's the best two-way speaker I have heard to date. The brand new Marten Duke 2 is now as good as it gets in this category. ..........Robert H. Levi
the Getz definitely had a touch of quality......it has its own voice and its own good reasons for sounding like it does. And its own musical story to tell.
Kari Nevalainen

SUMMARY REVIEW: The Sound -  aAbsolutely on the side of correct. Saxophones for example sounded nice and believable, and first and foremost in that tonally rich way they should, without ear piercing listening fatigue or compression. I also liked the sound of the cello on my own test-CD....once everything is taken care of, the bass of the Getz - and the Bird - can be truly wonderful, full-fledged and mature and controlled.

There was loads of enlightening air in the midrange leading to a liberated and lively reproduction of many type of music. I found this feature to be a very important for how this speaker sounds. It's where it excels. It breaths with music, and that's essential.

Of the other instruments, the piano tone was generally good.....dynamically convincing and echoes of the piano body and the recording room well repeated. Timing was great. And again, the feeling of the sound was good. Guitar sounds were mostly correct from bottom to top, metal strings having excellent timbres and purity. Vocal music came out well as well, smooth, balanced, vibrate.

Violin sonatas were some sort of bravures with the Getz exemplifying dry, well defined and seamless midrange to HF region. The violin sound was both delicate and informative. The more colourless the violin sound, the more significance the musical message has .......The Getz also held this type of music well together, unbroken, non-discrete. In another sample, the ratio between the cembalo and the accompanying orchestra was from the text book.

EXPANDED REVIEW: This is not a standard Bread and Butter review -

(Please note - this review is of the original Heritage Getz which has since been updated to new 2014 Getz-2 model) 

I've heard Marten Getz loudspeaker here and there, but never have had a chance to focus on them peacefully, and lend my ear to them as comprehensively as I would've liked to. Or as profoundly as I once listened and evaluated Marten Birds. This time was no exception but at least I was given an opportunity to sit alone with the Getz for a longer period of time.

 
The Marten Getz is the middle model of the Marten Heritage series. It's a 3-way design featuring a 9" woofer , a 7" midrange, and a 1" tweeter. But its bass is not reflex loaded. Instead, Marten has added to the Getz a newly-developed, custom-made, 9" aluminium passive radiator just below the woofer on the front baffle, the aim being "a more even, controlled and full-bodied bass performance".
 
Otherwise the Getz sports similar ceramic drivers, including the tweeter, as the Bird does (diamond tweeter is optional), or rather drivers with hard ceramic membranes producing that distortion-free, open, detailed and transparent sound that give many Marten loudspeakers their typical sonic label.
 
The midrange driver is said to have resonance damping and laser-drilled holes in the ceramic cone. This simplifies the crossover and is assumed to provide even lower distortion in the crucial midrange. The crossover carries high-quality components including copper-foil coils and silver-in-oil capacitors. The crossover is of second order, and the XO-frequencies 250 and 3000 Hz.(updated Getz-2 spec)
 
Made of specially-selected 23mm veneered MDF, the Getz cabinet has non-parallel walls and heavy bracing to kill resonances. Measuring 1160 mm tall, the speaker looks good and cool sumptuous / eimitätön too, as do other Marten speakers. The Getz is available in an exclusive piano lacquer finish, in walnut, cherry, maple, or black. Finishing is excellent.
 
As to the remaining specs, impedance is 6 Ohms (4.0 Ohm min), frequency range 28-40000 Hz (+-3dB), sensitivity 87 dB / 2.83V. Terminals are WTBs, internal wiring by Jorma Design, and the steel stands sit on Clearlight Audio cones. The net weight is 35 Kg each.
 
The amplifier I was using was the ASR Emitter II together with a battery powered PS: a powerful enough combo for the Getz and not a bad match in other respects either. The source was McIntosh MCD301, and the cables by Cardas. Marten says that thanks to the front-firing passive radiator the Getz can be placed near the back wall, if necessary. However, I preferred to have them dragged away circa one metre from the wall behind them.
 
The Sound?
 
Absolutely on the side of correct. Saxophones for example sounded nice and believable, and first and foremost in that tonally rich way they should, without ear piercing listening fatigue or compression. I also liked the sound of the cello on my own test-CD........ The more I fed the system with bass rich music, the clearer it became that the upper bass - lower mids area wasn't as clear cut and dry as it could have been but I wasn't sure to what extent the Getz is to be blamed: when I moved away from the listening chair, the nature of the bass changed towards cleaner determination. The fact that the mid bass wasn't similarly emphasised also speaks for some room interfearances.
 
Be as it may, I got a feeling that the Getz, as in fact the Bird, needs careful placing in order to avoid bass abundancey and deliver its best in the bass region (eg. to avoid situations where the bass played with a bow resonates but pizzicatos are clean, or where instruments sound pure over the top register but are coloured at the low end). But once everything is taken care of, the bass of the Getz - and the Bird - can be truly wonderful, full-fledged and mature and controlled.
 
There was loads of enlightening air in the midrange leading to a liberated and lively reproduction of many type of music. I found this feature to be a very important for how this speaker sounds. It's where it excels. It breaths with music, and that's essential.
 
Of the other instruments, the piano tone was generally good, occasionally a bit tough on top and rounded over the two lowest octaves, but dynamically convincing and echoes of the piano body and the recording room well repeated. Timing was great. And again, the feeling of the sound was good. Guitar sounds were mostly correct from bottom to top, metal strings having excellent timbres and purity. Vocal music came out well as well, smooth, balanced, vibrate.
 
Violin sonatas were some sort of bravures with the Getz exemplifying dry, well defined and seamless midrange to HF region. The violin sound was both delicate and informative. The more colourless the violin sound, the more significance the musical message has (on some samples the lower end was a bit coloured). The Getz also held this type of music well together, unbroken, non-discrete. In another sample, the ratio between the cembalo and the accompanying orchestra was from the text book.

Another great example of music that suits the Getz wonderfully was the music of the Magnificent Seven, a 1960 western film on a group of gunmen protecting a Mexican village (a resetting of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai). The bass part was too warm but otherwise the sound was hugely emotional!

 
The soundstage that the Getz created wasn't deep, deep, deep, and yet reverberations on the recordings were clearly audible. Also, the Getz placed some sound sources such as some vocalists quite high up in the soundstage. I liked that, as I like other speakers that do the same.
 
All in all, the sound of the Getz definitely had a touch of quality in it. It doesn't sound as universal and self-sufficient as its biiger brother, Bird did, but there's a significant difference in price (US$16,400 against US$24,900), and there's a difference in the performance level, and that's how it should be. But the Getz doesn't sound just like a downgraded Bird; it has its own voice and its own good reasons for sounding like it does. And its own musical story to tell.
With Django brothers Olofsson down many of the qualities of their top models to a "more humane" price level.......salute a brilliant design. Django is a killer.
Sven car - Sweden (translation)
SUMARRY RE$VIEW: I have the privilege to be able to appoint my test victims. I try to choose the test subjects I somehow expect me to perform a little out of the ordinary. It may be cheap, it can be expensive. Many things I have in advance got a taste of what they can achieve, even in the case Django. It makes me right from the start had a very positive impression.

And that impression has absolutely confirmed. In my opinion, Leif Olofsson succeeded sensationally good to get "80% of Coltrane 2 for 20% of the price." There are quite many speakers for the same price - or more - and a lot of them are additionally really good. Here it is only listening that apply when choosing a speaker that will suit both even temperament and ideals.

Django performs, however, in a way that appeals to my own vision of how the music should sound. The music should be preserved body, mind and emotion, it'll be fun and exciting to listen to. The hair on my arms feel free to get up now and then and you may well be surprised at the new music that you really know very well. That's what Django actually can and in a way that few others, at least at that price.

We highlight two burnt fingers to the cap shielding edge and salute a brilliant design. Django is a killer.

EXTENDED REVIEW: Yes, more humane price level're maybe something some will say is downright ridiculous. We are talking after all about close to ninety thousand Swedish crowns. But considering what you actually get in terms of sound quality ...

Django's model, which is an innovation from the designer Leif Olofsson's side. His Coltrane models, no later than sublime Coltrane 2, has reaped lots of praise worldwide. But if you tried to do a more normal speakers, but with most audio attributes from Coltrane models intact? A kind of entry-level model to the special Marten concept?

Already when Django had its world premiere at CES in Las Vegas began the orders cave in. People heard the speakers and yes, amazed is well the word. Munich exhibition followed up in the best way, Django has already been Martens biggest success and their most optimistic sales estimate for the first year had already surpassed the spring. So it can go.

The model named Django XL, which certainly indicates that Django also can get smaller sibling ...

Cut where it makes the least hurt
A cheaper Coltrane? It must cost tradeoffs, and it comes to cut where it costs the most. It is not possible to run with Accutones ceramic elements across the board. And the diamond tweeter from the same company is not even to think about.

However, you can use the same filter technology in Coltane 2 and Coltrane Momento and additionally draw experience from the Cabinet Development Marten worked with over the years.

Instead of the diamond tweeter is a 1-inch ceramic Accutone tweeter, it has also worked with before. A ceramic 6-inch Accutone elements to midrange ensures sonic continuity to Coltrane. And so the Norwegian SEAS developed brand new 8-inch aluminum base especially for Marten, three such've got a place in the Django. At the bottom are two downward bass ports.

The Cabinet is different from Martens, the other speakers, Coltrane cabinet with carbon fiber and everything's not exactly cheap to produce, so this must also do something else. What you mainly notice the heavily rounded corners which give the speaker a right stylish appearance and makes it visually far from giving such a massive impression that size really should do.

For it is not small, 125 cm high, 27 cm wide and 50 cm deep, reclining and standing on outriggers in anodised aluminum with Martens own cones feet. A match weight of 47 kg reveals that it put a lot on getting control of the cabinet resonances. The material is 25 mm MDF. The finish of the test specimens were black piano paint.

And that matters worse, as will as usual all internal wiring from Jorma Design.

Position
The statement caused no major problems. To it also helps Django is provided with a +/- 1 dB bass adjustment to the back, just above the single-wire-WBT terminals. When I try Speaker, I have one area of the room where the speakers theoretically should work pretty well, but in Djangos cases also as said also work with the bass adjustment. I found, however, a physical location where it fitted best with the bass adjustment in the neutral position, a position about 30 cm further back than where I started. However, on some classical music, I used the opportunity to reduce the base - some classic productions have too much bass sometimes.

However, one should of course be clear that this type of equipment furnish it around, it is the one that should have allowed to determine how the furniture will stand ...

Body and soul
Martens speaker named after jazz legends. Django associates man with imagination, life and joy. It fits the speaker? Yes, we have to try to master himself, Django Reinhardt. There is an excellent box with washed material called Retrospective 1934-53. Mono and patina of the recordings, but the speaker shake life into it so the music is presented in the best possible Django-way. It swings that only seventeen and the body of the representation that speakers perform makes it actually sounds really fresh and enjoyable.

As a whole, you are not in doubt from the first grant, whatever you play, whether it's a cannon speakers. It sounds amazing right with a very large soundstage with both body and soul. And there are many little things that reveal qualities. An example: a well-recorded tape piano features with those harmonics from both mechanics and strings that you hear, but may not think so much of, when you hear a real piano. In very much hi disappear just, here's everything with and makes it sound genuine and authentic.

It can for example listen to a couple of tracks on Joe Jackson's new album Duke, a modern tribute to jazz legend Ellington. And on the last track, It do not mean a thing (if it is not got that swing) played both violin and guitar incisive in Django Reinhardt's spirit. On vowel: Iggy Pop, the 'you! Swings are just the beginning.

It is inspiring to listen to Marten Django, and my playlist on these speakers are terrible long and very varied. From Jerusalem, with full choir, orchestra and organ via the I Got You On Tape, Snake Finger, Balkan Beat Box, Car Aka Kora, Dweezil Zappa and Kate Bush to Isaac Hayes, Roseanne Cash and James Blake, among other things. How did you perhaps also a few new names to check. And they are not the least bit in doubt that Arcade Fire has great songs but not as talented producer ...

Body, soul and details, must and marrow, large soundstage, well-defined instruments and singers, tonal balance and timbre, there is not much you can complain about for this money. So I will not do. Well, you get (even) more, but in the spirit, for example Coltrane 2 or my own credentials, but then we also speak completely different money.

In sum
I have the privilege to be able to appoint my test victims. I try to choose the test subjects I somehow expect me to perform a little out of the ordinary. It may be cheap, it can be expensive. Many things I have in advance got a taste of what they can achieve, even in the case Django. It makes me right from the start had a very positive impression.

And that impression has absolutely confirmed. In my opinion, Leif Olofsson succeeded sensationally good to get "80% of Coltrane 2 for 20% of the price." There are quite many speakers for the same price - or more - and a lot of them are additionally really good. Here it is only listening that apply when choosing a speaker that will suit both even temperament and ideals.

Django performs, however, in a way that appeals to my own vision of how the music should sound. The music should be preserved body, mind and emotion, it'll be fun and exciting to listen to. The hair on my arms feel free to get up now and then and you may well be surprised at the new music that you really know very well. That's what Django actually can and in a way that few others, at least at that price.

We highlight two burnt fingers to the cap shielding edge and salute a brilliant design. Django is a killer.

Django
Jean Baptiste "Django" Reinhardt was born in 1910 in Belgium but grew up around Paris, which Hungarian gypsy, he lived in a caravan camp moved all the time. He played banjo, guitar and violin, but when he was 18, burned his caravan while he slept and Django burn Lill and ring finger on his left hand so hard that they basically became unusable. He eventually got a new guitar by his brother and learned to play again, but had to develop a completely new way to play with his ruined hand.Hans musical style was Jazz Manouche, a style rooted in the Central European gipsy music and played with guitars, bass and violin. In 1934 he formed the later world famous Quintette you Hot Club de France, along with including violinist Stephane Grapelli.Han played even after the war with the great American musicians, including Ellington, and was a great inspiration for guitarists such as Les Paul. Django retired in 1951 and died two years later of a brain haemorrhage, only 43 years old. But despite a really quite short career, his impact on jazz as a whole can not be overstated.

Tthe most refined speakers in their class.... that distinction goes to the Marten Design Miles IIs. To paraphrase The Man with a Horn, the Marten Miles IIs are motherf@#kers! ...this pair is staying right here. .
Victor Chavira
NOTE - THIS IS REVIEW IS OF EARLIER MILES II - BUT WE ARE NOW UP TO MILES V, SO YOU CAN EXPECT AN EVEN BETTER OUTCOME:

REVIEW SUMMARY: I was quite happy with my Marten Monks, but I often thought that if I had ten thousand dollars to spend on speakers, my first choice would have been the Magnepan 20.1s. I would have had to sell off my beloved Magnum Dynalab integrated to make the first payment on an expensive pair of killer-watt monoblocks. Later, I would have had to blow out a wall in my living room to give the Maggies room to breathe, and I would still not posses the most refined speakers in their class. That distinction goes to the Marten Design Miles IIs. To paraphrase The Man with a Horn, the Marten Miles IIs are motherf@#kers! Perhaps in the future, Marten will offer a Miles II Special Edition in the deepest darkest black finish. Until then, this pair is staying right here. 

EXTENDED REVIEW: "That was my gift—having the ability to put certain guys together that would create a chemistry and then letting them go, letting them play what they knew, and above it." Miles Davis

This quote perfectly illustrates what Marten Design of Gothenburg, Sweden has done in their line of loudspeakers. Marten takes excellent elements and creates a chemistry that produces extraordinary music. The company has been making speakers since 1998. Their flagship, the Coltrane, is a technologically advanced product, with exotic ceramic drivers and a carbon graphite cabinet. I have been fortunate to hear this wonder from the north, and can verify that it is one of the finest dynamic speakers currently available, at any price. Its ceramic drivers notwithstanding, the Miles II is a rather conventional two-and-a-half way ported speaker in a wooden box, but its sound is far form conventional.

"My future starts when I wake up every morning…. Every day I find something creative to do with my life." MD

If travelers from the future visited our time and offered advanced speaker technology in exchange for original master tapes of Kind of Blue, they would probably share their secrets for creating ceramic drivers. Presently, Accuton, a subsidiary of Thiel and Partners in Germany, is the only company with the technology to fabricate true ceramic diaphragms for use in drivers. The ceramic material, called corundum, has the hardness of sapphire. The membrane of an Accuton driver is so thin that a cross section, when viewed on edge, would be invisible to the unaided eye. The result is an inverted dome with a stiffness-to-weight ratio ideally suited for the transmission of sound. The Miles II employs two 7-inch mid/woofers and a 1.25-inch tweeter in a heavily braced, double walled, cherry veneered cabinet with sound-damping glue. The first-order crossover points are 300 and 2200Hz. The rear of the speaker holds two flared ports and two sets of WBT binding posts. Per Marten’s trademark, the bottoms are cut at an angle, giving the speakers a Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa effect.

 "I'll play it first and tell you what it is later." MD

The Miles IIs have a low frequency response of 31Hz, so I had to take much care to prevent them from overpowering my medium-sized (13 x 20 foot) living room. Using a combination of music and test CDs, I got the smoothest integration of low bass with the speakers about four feet from the front wall and pointed toward the listening position.

 My assumption about the Miles IIs was that they would be a more refined, full-range version of my stand-mounted Marten Monks, but I was quite mistaken. The Miles IIs belong to a class of überspeakers, as opposed to the domesticated PA systems that often pass for top tier. First of all, the bass response of the Miles IIs was phenomenal. Every CD and LP I played contained low-frequency information and ambience that was previously unknown to me. The mark of a great full-range speaker is not the amount of bass it bombards you with, but the magical manner in which the room is transformed into the space of the recording venue. For example, in 2001, Stockholm’s own Bebo Valdés recorded a CD with legendary Cuban bassist Israel "Cachao" López entitled El Arte del Sabor. The rich, organic overtones of acoustic bass and grand piano were rendered with uncommon clarity and realism. My bass torture track is not what you would expect: "Strawberry Tango, Parts 1 and 2" from the All the Pretty Horses soundtrack. On this track, a fat tuba fills in the bass line. Then, at the conclusion of the dance, the sound of what must be an immense bass drum ripples through the room like a giant steel ball dropped into the center of a placid lake. My first reaction was to look outside for the source, but when I saw that no truck was passing by, I realized that the subterranean thumps came from the modest-looking Miles speakers. "Operator," from the Grateful Dead’s American Beauty LP, features a bass drum that is tighter than the lug nuts on a Volvo V70 R Sportswagon. The Miles IIs created the illusion of a bass drum on the floor between the speakers, compressing the air in the room. Their bass pitch, definition, and impact are outstanding.

 Their mid- and high-frequency performance is even more remarkable. The best thing about the Marten Miles IIs is that they don’t sound like 2.5-way towers, by which I mean that the drivers do not have clearly discernible roles. Rather, they sound more like electrostatic speakers, as they cast a large and seamless musical image. More than with any speakers I’ve had in my home, music simply appears before the listener, completely independent of its source. The Miles IIs do not sound cool and dark, like their namesake on Kind of Blue. Rather, they sound warm and vibrant like the Miles Davis of Sketches of Spain. My version of "Blues for Pablo," from The Best of Miles Davis and Gil Evans CD, sounded absolutely riveting. The dynamic shifts in this music are challenging, but the Miles IIs swung hard when horn blasts answered MD’s blue musings. Each perfectly placed element of Evans’ illustrious arrangements was rendered with detail and elegance.

The Miles’ first-class placement of instruments within a palpable soundspace was demonstrated with a recording such as Dvorák’s Slavonic Dances with Rafael Kubelik and the Bayerisch Symphony on DG. Sometimes I think I’m part Slav because I enjoy this music so much. I’m particularly fond of Dance No. 2 in E minor and No. 8 in A-flat major. With the Miles IIs, the recording’s top end was sweeter than lingonberries in summer. The speakers effortlessly reproduced the depth and scale of the orchestra, as I followed the melodies and countermelodies handed from first violins to the cellos, and finally to a lone clarinet toward the back of the hall. Exquisite!

Switching gears, I listened to the quartet of Andersson, Ulvaeus, Fältskog, and Lyngstad. This quartet produced a memorable string of hits in the seventies and early eighties. Pop music from this period sometimes crumbles under the critical eye of high-resolution loudspeakers, but this was not the case with AUFL, who clearly had lasting musical value on their minds when they recorded radio confections like "Chiquitita" and "Fernando," with their richly layered vocal harmonies. You haven’t heard AUFL until you’ve heard them on Marten speakers.

The Miles IIs were also a grand success as home theater speakers. Watching Spiderman 2 with my family was an electrifying experience. Every sound effect was produced with startling realism. For example, the scene where Doc Oc creates the power of the sun in the palm of his hands was absolutely riveting, as a power surge caused all hell to break loose. A rumble was felt throughout the house just before Doc’s uncontrollable ball of energy expanded, collapsed, and vanished in a fiery flash. The Martens’ ability to evoke emotions was illustrated during the operating room scene, with its menacing metallic sounds. All of this realism was achieved without the aid of surround, center, or subwoofer channels.

"Happiness consumes itself like a flame. It cannot burn forever, it must go out, and the presentiment of its end destroys it at its very peak." August Strindberg

I was quite happy with my Marten Monks, but I often thought that if I had ten thousand dollars to spend on speakers, my first choice would have been the Magnepan 20.1s.

I would have had to sell off my beloved Magnum Dynalab integrated to make the first payment on an expensive pair of killer-watt monoblocks. Later, I would have had to blow out a wall in my living room to give the Maggies room to breathe, and I would still not posses the most refined speakers in their class. That distinction goes to the Marten Design Miles IIs. To paraphrase The Man with a Horn, the Marten Miles IIs are motherf@#kers! Perhaps in the future, Marten will offer a Miles II Special Edition in the deepest darkest black finish. Until then, this pair is staying right here. 

.......Victor Chavira
 
We are talking absolute realism, imaging, and impact......The Django's XLs are invisible, and the music everything.
Robert H. Levi

REVIEW SUMMARY -
The extraordinary depth and wide sound staging was attention grabbing.....
The organ full out was shocking. I have rarely experienced this kind of bass slam.....
Silky violins, powerful drum thwacks, and organ notes in the subterranean levels... are all very exciting and realistic..... 
I heard the delicacy of the wood box and rosin on the strings.....
What really got to me was the super low groaning of the cello.... 
I was flabbergasted by its unusual ability to create a realistic and a ‘live' sense of slam and power from a modest tube amp....
the Marten Django is the essence of ultra-high value and performance to match.

EXTENDED REVIEW - A Scoop! - first Review in the USA of the Marten Django XL Loudspeaker - here's some hot news that I want to share with my PFO readers!
 
With customary sophistication combined with room-shaking slam, an attribute not expected by this reviewer from the conservative Marten of Sweden, the hot new Django Loudspeaker will most likely become the most exciting speaker offering at CES 2012, and an easy “desert island” speaker selection. I have the excellent Marten Birds as my reference and, for less than half the cost, be prepared for similar performance and even bigger dynamics.
 
OK, here's the scoop! For $15k, you lose the diamond tweeter, but get a fabulous one inch ceramic unit that goes to 30kHz. The six-inch ceramic mid is super smooth, and as detailed as I have ever experienced. Then comes the beef: three(!) 8-inch aluminium woofers firing forward with dual ports on the bottom to support the lowest frequencies. You get down to a real 26Hz from this speaker, plus an output selector on the back to adjust the bass to your taste or room size. I used a single E.A.R. 890 at 80-watts per channel and shook the house! All ceramic drivers are sourced from top notch Accuton of Germany. The aluminium woofers are made exclusively for Marten by SEAS.
 
The sensitivity is 89dB, with a friendly 6 ohm load. The cabinet is a normal, efficient bass reflex design with 2nd order crossover. Unlike other Marten speakers, the Django has one pair of WBT wiring posts on the back near the floor for easy use. The internal wire is Jorma Design, as is usual with all Marten speakers. They weigh in at a hefty 104 pounds, and come with anodized aluminum stands with custom Marten cones. The review pair was black high gloss lacquer, like my Yamaha Piano. Fit and finish, as well as styling, is first class and truly elegant. They are about 50 inches high, with all forward firing drivers, and the cabinets are made of 100% real wood.
 
I tried all three settings for bass output, and settled on the + setting as it slightly warmed and fleshed out the mids and highs, increased definition throughout, and made the system sound like I added a REL sub-woofer, which I had not!
 
The reference system included the E.A.R. 912 Preamp, an 890 E.A.R. amp, E.A.R. Acute 3 Tube CD player, and the Townshend Rock 7 Turntable with Helius Omega Tonearm and the Dynavector XV1S cart. All interconnects and speaker cables were Jorma Design; including Prime, Origo, and Number 1. All power cables were plugged directly into the wall, which has upgraded wiring and Oyiade sockets.
 
Overall Listening Impressions
 
High-band definition is very, very close to the diamond tweeter. This ceramic beauty has a delicate, airy quality with a quite neutral perspective. I was delighted by its smooth, elegant demeanor. Mid-band performance was near state of the art. What a treat! The overall definition is world class and the textural nuances and timbres are delicious. Low-band definition is extraordinary. Drum skins and bass fiddles are easily heard and highly defined. Plus, the extension on tap is awesome. The bass subjectively goes way down below 30Hz to that range you can only feel and not hear. Plus there is not a bit of lumpiness at any frequency, high or low.
 
Depth perspective is as good as it gets. No kidding. The drivers blend so seamlessly, and I MEAN seamlessly, that background depth and definition is enhanced and deeper than deep. Soundstaging effortlessly extends beyond speaker boundaries. Imaging is spot on perfect and as natural as apple pie.
 
The Django is extremely neutral top to bottom, sounding exactly like the E.A.R. Tube Acute, the Dynavector, or the software we played. What I was not prepared for my friends, was the fantastic definition and sense of reality the Django communicates at this rather low price point, nor the dynamic range of a Klipsch! I never thought I could live with a speaker under $30k until now.
 
Django Would Have Loved These!
 
I started with the classic Telarc 1980 recording of Saint-Saens Organ Symphony with Michael Murray on the organ. The extraordinary depth and wide sound staging was attention grabbing. The organ full out was shocking. I have rarely experienced this kind of bass slam, and never at 80-watts per channel. Silky violins, powerful drum thwacks, and organ notes in the subterranean levels... are all very exciting and realistic. What great fun, and amazing to think that this terrific performance was recorded in 1980!
 
Of course no listening is done these days without Yarlung Artists Dialoghi, with the best cello sound on the planet. I heard the delicacy of the wood box and rosin on the strings. The ambiance within the hall was bold and accurate. I loved the sound and the performance. What really got to me was the super low groaning of the cello as the artist played Bach and plumbed the lowest notes a cello may reach. Magnificent!
 
You like mellifluous, you will love Like a Lover from Venus Records. Ken Peplowski's clarinet is like liquid mercury flowing without borders. Nicki Parrott plays the bass and sings sweetly while the bass fills in the lowest notes. Very realistic in-the-room sound!
 
Just released is Jimmy Cobb, Remembering Miles, on the 88s label. We are talking absolute realism, imaging, and impact of a quartet in the room with you. The Djangos are invisible, and the music everything.
 
Now for the big stuff: Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man from Reference Recordings. This is Keith Johnson's masterpiece of recording art, and a powerful statement indeed. On the Djangos, you heard it and felt it. The hall is gigantic and the sound stage huge. Never heard it sound better, or bigger, or more alive.
 
Taste Rules!
 
Earlier I commented on the nature of Marten speakers... on their realism and neutrality. All Marten speakers, and I've heard every model to date, show the taste level of their designer. Marten knows the sound of music, acoustic music. They have the kind of supreme taste levels that price points do not distort or affect. I have listened to the Dukes, a very wonderful two way monitor, and they are just as realistic, musical, and winning as the Birds, which are 4 times the price. The Djangos, too, are equally realistic and musically correct. I believe that Marten made a conscious effort in this case, to build a full-range speaker using the finest drivers for the price, applying in-house build experience and, ultimately, succeeded way beyond anyone's expectations.
 
That's the Django's
 
Conclusion
 
Marten of Sweden has just released the newest addition to their speaker line, called the Django, which will premier in the USA at CES 2012. I was fortunate to hear the first pair in the country, which was broken in just for me by Marten before shipping. I was flabbergasted by its unusual ability to create a realistic and a ‘live' sense of slam and power from a modest tube amp. Sporting expensive drivers in an elegant all wood cabinet, the experience Marten has acquired at creating and building fantastic loudspeakers came to rest in this cost-effective offering—in spades! I have rarely heard better sound staging, depth, definition, or imaging in speakers, even those costing double and triple the Djangos. Accuton ceramic drivers on the highs and mids, plus three 8-inch aluminium woofers at 104 pounds each... the Marten Django is the essence of ultra-high value and performance to match.
 
In fact, the Djangos beg the question: why spend more? Go hear them for yourself, and prepare to be amazed.
.........Robert H. Levi
it delivers near-reference-caliber performance in many categories, adding up to the musical engagement we crave.
Alan Taffel

SUMMARY REVIEW: If the toe-tap test still has any purchase in audio, then please note that the Django XL passes it with flying colors. Whether playing back Wilco’s infectious latest release The Whole Love or Handel’s buoyant Water Music, the Django XL is unfailingly rhythmically engaging. The fact that it makes every instrument plainly audible and has no trouble sorting out musical lines makes it even more so.

EXTENDED REVIEW; From a speaker-designer’s perspective, US$15,000 (excl sales tax), is a tricky price point. Above that, there is plenty of room to lavish resources on extensive R&D (e.g.—the KEF Blade), ultrarigid enclosures (the big Wilsons, Magico’s Q series), and exotic drivers (Vandersteen 7, higher-end Martens). Meanwhile, at more down-to-earth prices, where such luxuries are not feasible, it’s all about careful parts selection and the hard work of making them sing together. But at $15k, after allowing for manufacturer and dealer profit, the designer has just enough left over to lavish funds in some areas—while showing restraint in others. The challenge becomes deciding where to invest.

So, when it came to its new US$15,000 (excl sales tax), Django XL full-range speaker, where did Swedish builder Marten chose to focus its considerable resources? In keeping with its traditional design priorities, the company splurged on the drivers. The Django XL boasts a ceramic tweeter as well as a ceramic midrange unit, both made by Accuton. For ultimate coherence, Marten would have loved to have also spec’d ceramic for the Django XL’s three woofers; however, that would have doubled the speaker’s price. So the company “settled” for custom, SEAS-sourced woofers made from not-exactly-mundane aluminum.

Although the Django XL does not feature exotic cabinet materials, the enclosure’s MDF (medium density fiberboard) is unusually thick, and my knuckles report excellent rigidity. Further, the cabinet is graced with lovely curved corners that complement its lustrous finish.

In other areas, the Django XL is a solid if not especially innovative design. The speaker is a straightforward three-way floorstander. Its drivers are not time-aligned, and the crossover breaks no new ground. There is one unusual touch: a downwardfiring port. Like rear ports, the idea is to minimize the potential for the port’s output to interfere with that of the drivers.

With the big-line items decided, Marten did not neglect the details. The Django XL’s binding posts are from WBT (that’s a good thing), and the cabinet meets the floor via an anodized aluminum stand that includes cones. I wish the latter were pointier so they could pierce carpet and really couple the speaker to the floor, but on the plus side they are adjustable for leveling. The cones can also optimize tilt for listening height, a capability I found highly useful. Another optimization feature is a rearmounted, three-position, bass-output switch that boosts or cuts frequencies between 60 and 150Hz by +/-1dB.

How does it all play out? Very well, indeed. Once I worked out the set-up issues—a challenge, given my relative unfamiliarity with both the speaker’s proclivities and my new listening room—I was surprised at just how closely the Django XL resembled my reference speakers.

For instance, the Django XL’s version of the Beatles’ “Come Together” is nearly indistinguishable from the reference’s rendition. And on Mary Gauthier’s “Falling out of Love” from Mercy Now, both transducers bring her voice eerily close, like she’s nearly whispering in your ear. On this track, the accompanying sandpaper-like percussion is not as palpable through the Django XL—that’s the benefit of the reference’s more costly ribbon tweeter—but it’s not far behind. And the Django XL’s bass proved taut and authoritative.

I am equally impressed with the Django XL’s transients. The initial guitar strike on Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Little Wing,” from the excellent MFSL hybrid release of The Sky is Crying, slices through the soundspace exactly as it should, and Michael Wolff ’s sharply struck piano notes on 2am are like nails driving into your head. That sounds painful, I know, but if you’ve ever heard a real piano played this way, you know it’s right.

Once I got the Django XL a sufficient distance from the rear wall and properly toed-in—they like a lot of toe-in (see “Setup Provisos” for other important listening tips)—spatial performance also became an asset. The speaker won’t make the backwall sonically disappear, but depth to that point is convincing. Nor does the soundstage extend beyond the speakers’ edges, but the space between them is a natural one, full of air and inhabited with precisely located players and singers.

Tonally, the Django XL is on the warmish side of the spectrum, especially with the bass switch in my preferred “+” position. However, its warmth is as mild as a bath and, most importantly, does not compromise other timbral elements. This makes for a very appealing overall character. For example, the lower piano register on 2am’s title track is simply ravishing; yet that warmth doesn’t interfere with the string bass’ timbral detail—there’s no question this is a large, air-filled, wooden instrument. On my standard timbre and dynamics torture test, the first movement from Stravinsky’s l’Histoire du Soldat, the Django XL exhibits superlative form. Each of the myriad instruments sounds uncannily real and distinctive.

If the toe-tap test still has any purchase in audio, then please note that the Django XL passes it with flying colors. Whether playing back Wilco’s infectious latest release The Whole Love or Handel’s buoyant Water Music, the Django XL is unfailingly rhythmically engaging. The fact that it makes every instrument plainly audible and has no trouble sorting out musical lines makes it even more so.

No speaker is perfect and so no review is complete without an itemization of limitations. In the Django XL’s case, these fall more into practical than sonic areas. The Django XL thrives on volume, requiring plenty of it to realize the performance I’ve described above. The speakers need space behind them and attention to switch-settings, neither of which is uncommon in this class. Once those matters are settled, there is precious little to criticize. 

At this price point, there are many excellent options; the Django XL now takes its place among them. Under the right conditions, it delivers near-reference-caliber performance in many categories, adding up to the musical engagement we crave. The Django XL is not for everyone, but for those willing and able to pursue the fruits of Marten’s canny choices, its virtues are plain to hear