by Rafe Arnott
Marten is a company, in my experience, whose loudspeakers are often discussed in hushed tones by serious audiophiles who nod their heads solemnly when they speak of rendition, resolution and focus.
Having only heard them this once in Newport at T.H.E. Show, and since I definitely don’t take myself too seriously, I’m going to nod my head and say in a hushed tone (imagine it, please) that the Marten Coltrane Tenors sounded kick ass.
The Lotus Group had the Coltranes ($80,000) fronting a juicy analog and digital combo of KR Audio VA910 mono block amplifiers ($16,500 pair), KR Audio P-130 MC pre-amplifier with phono stage ($6,400) a Hanss Acoustics T-60SE turntable ($10,500) with Durand Kairos tonearm ($6,450) and Ortofon Winfield cartridge ($4,094) handling vinyl duties and dCS Scarlatti Transport/DAC/Clock ($68,000 approx) for dealing with all the ones and zeroes.
Everything was wired up with more PranaWire cabling than anyone has seen anywhere, which after some mental calculations came out to around $100,000.
The whole kit screamed “LOOK AT ME, LISTEN TO ME!” and I did.
My eyes lingered far too long on many of the gorgeous components and had anyone been paying attention to me they probably would have blushed at the wanton look on my face as I tried to mentally figure out a way to fit the Martens up a pant leg and make my way from the room unnoticed.
Not for those with too few zeroes in their bank accounts, this combo moved me with its synergy and bounce, and the Martens/KR Audio amps did a magnificent job of muscling through the room’s space with sonic grunt and real authority.
Every instrument and voice I heard had plenty of space around it and seemed to defy any other instruments or voices to come near the other in 3D space.
If you like rendition, resolution and focus, check this combo out.
If you like your system to kick ass, check them out too.