RMAF 2016: Margules… One of the sweetest systems you’ve never heard

It was right around this time that I blacked out.

I didn’t know what was going on in the room. The music sounded amazing, there was a cool-looking turntable, there were amps, and speakers I’ve never seen, Spanish was being spoken, there was a flash of bright light, and then I woke up in my hotel room three hours later… OK, OK, I made up the bright light, and the vanished time, but this room featuring Margules amplification, and transducers was joyously disconcerting.

SF220 Black Edition pre-amplifier from Margules of Mexico, $3,700 USD.

The Margules U280 Black Edition amplifier ($4,900 USD), Margules SF220 Black Edition preamplifier ($3,700 USD), and Margules Orpheus Loudspeakers ($12,000 USD) were the centerpieces of the room, with a very stylish Magenta TT-10 Turntable ($2,700 USD) with Rega Exact moving-magnet cartridge ($595 USD), and Magenta FZ47db Phono stage ($599 USD) over to the side wall. A Magenta DAC-2.1 ($899 USD) was also on hand, but I did not get a chance to hear it while I was in the room.

Margules U280 Black Edition amplifier

The U280 amp is a bit of chameleon. It outputs 75 watts in ultralinear mode,  135 watts in mono-ultralinear, 40 watts in triode, 80 watts in mono triode, and can run 6550, KT88, KT99, KT100, KT120, and KT150 output tubes which can be cold-swapped without any additional fuss: a swoon-worthy factor for tube rollers.

Aluminum-ceramic drivers help deliver a substantial, uncolored sound.

The speakers were conveying a huge, majestic sound stage with astonishing cohesion for a 2.5-way design. Closer inspection revealed a transducer that was equipped with aluminum-ceramic mid-bass drivers, and tweeter featuring low-mass titanium voice coils, and a solid-wood fronted cabinet with separate acoustic chambers for each driver segment. The Orpheus utilizes a first-order crossover, is a 4-Ohm design that is 88dB sensitive, so SET-owners may want to look elsewhere, but those with at least 30 watts on tap will be pleased at the weight these beauties can fill a room with.

Magenta TT-10 turntable.

The Magenta TT-10 was kitted with the juicy, and bouncy Rega Exact MM cartridge, which is a real party cart in my books. This is a super fun moving-magnet that translates a lot of meat, and bone from your vinyl with a healthy dose of air up top, and having never heard the TT-10 before, I can say pitch was spot on. The fit, and finish of the ‘table was flawless. While few of you may be familiar with Margules or their Magenta line, I strongly suggest you try to hear this gear. It was a fun, dynamic, punchy, and classy sound at a price point – that while rife with stiff competition – it easily holds its own against.



About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream


  1. The Rega Exact MM is a “bouncy” cartridge? That doesn’t sound like a good thing at all!

    • If I may clarify, from significant personal experience with this cartridge in this identical system, the Rega Exact might be called bouncy inasmuch as it captures and conveys the rhythm or pace and dynamics very, very well, as it does for the spatial information in a very musical manner.

      Rest assured that it does not bounce around, much less with this very stable turntable and precision arm. It would be a pleasure to arrange for you to be able to hear such joyous reproduction of your favorite music.

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