It was such a pleasure to find Margules Audio exhibiting at FLAX 2020. I’ve known the Margules family of Mexico City for many years, back to when Colleen and I used to regularly visit their room in Vegas at CES. (They always used Cardas Audio cable.) I’ve reported extensively on the development of their Torno turntable over many years. I was even asked to informally consult with Margules Audio concerning the objectives of this turntable–it was originally conceived as a “Rega-beater” which would come in at under $1000. Since then, their turntable has evolved into a beautiful $3000 turntable, called the Magenta TT-10, and this was the first time I’ve listened to something that wasn’t a prototype. (A Soundsmith Mezzo cartridge was used with the TT-10.)
While I’ve always enjoyed the tube amplifier designs from Margules Audio, I wasn’t prepared for how much their products have evolved in the intervening years. I spent considerable time in their FLAX 2020 room, listening to a sound that was warm and spacious and incredibly musical. Julian Margules, father of the Margules clan, went into depth explaining how he’s been researching some of the psychological–and perhaps anthropological–aspects of human hearing, and how we tend to instinctively respond to harmonic structure in order to locate sounds and determine how they affect our safety. (In horror films, this is known as “Did you hear that? I’m going outside to check.”)
The Margules Audio system consisted of the U280-SC 1.4 Black Class A power amplifier ($6000), which was running in triode mode with 25wpc, the SF-220 1.3 Black Class A preamplifier ($4000), and a new $900 Magenta FZ47db 1.3 phono stage. The $20,000 Orpheus 1.3 Tower speakers, complete with custom ceramic Accuton drivers, delivered a full, engaging sound. Power conditioning was capably provided by Core Power Technologies and their Equi=Core power conditioner and Deep+Core 1800 AC processor and surge protector. I was also intrigued with the small yet gorgeous Magenta 2-way monitors ($1800/pair) which were designed by Julian’s 24-year-old daughter. Everything was connected via Atlas cables.
Julian and I talked and talked, catching up, and the whole time we were listening to LPs, everything from Elvis to Oscar Peterson. The sound embodied Julian’s new philosophy concerning spaciousness and imaging. I was continually attracted to sounds coming from a clearly defined soundstage, and the imaging was nothing short of spectacular. If you haven’t heard Margules Audio products in the past, or if you haven’t experienced them in a while, I urge you to revisit. I loved the sound in this room.