First of all, let me apologize for the mediocre photos of the Margules Audio and Raidho room at the 2023 Florida Audio Expo. As usual, that room was one of the darkest rooms at the show. When I returned home from Tampa, I noticed that poor quality of the images. I asked the rest of the PTA team if they had better images. No one responded. At most high-end audio shows, the Margules family creates a seductive and relaxing environment for the show attendees. And it’s also dark.
Kick back, listen, relax, they seem to be saying. This is what it can sound like in your home. This is what it can look like in your home, too. It glows in the dark, but it’s a warm human glow where the music floats and soothes. I always spend a lot of time in Margules rooms because it puts me in such a great mood afterward.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
But I’m still pretty new at this digital photography thing, and a room like the Margules Audio and Raidho room can push me to the edge of my abilities. At the Florida Audio Expo, it did.
That’s too bad the photos didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. I have a genuine love for Margules Audio as well as the family behind it–every other Margules room I’ve visited I’ve gone on and on about my history with them. I really want to get down to Mexico City this year and see the factory. It might happen. I wish the love showed up in these images, however. But I do have fond memories of my visit to the Margules Audio and Raidho this time, especially since I was introduced to one of the most intriguing tube integrated amps I’ve seen in a while–maybe since I reviewed the I-240 integrated a couple of years ago.
The new Margules Audio U-280 SC 30th Anniversary Limited Edition integrated amplifier, at $12,000, now sits at the top of the Margules line, even though just 30 units are being manufactured. While the I-240 used EL-34s, the U-280 SC employs the company’s Active Servo Bias to accommodate KT-88s, 6550s, KT-90s, KT-120s and KT-150s–and the bias adjusts automatically. (I think I’d go with KT-150s, by the way.)
The sound in the Margules Audio and Raidho room was simply superb, with powerful bass and potent dynamics. You’ll never hear a more exciting rendition of Henry Mancini’s The Pink Panther than with this amazing gear. There was a time, however, when the Margules Audio room would be a quiet sanctuary, but lately it’s been a rave. I think that’s the Raidho influence–the Raidho Acoustics TD-3.2 towers can go really loud without losing clarity or scale.
My visit to the Margules Audio and Raidho room at FLAX 2023 was marked by a singular thought that kept running through my head: “Every time I hear a Margules system, it’s even better than the last time.” As I mentioned before, I’m not implying that the company used to sound okay, but now they are better. I’m saying that Margules is on the move, upward, and the U-280 SC sounds extraordinary.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from FLAX 2023, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
The best room for “normal” money at that show. My favorite