At AXPONA in April, I was unexpectedly taken with the Marten Mingus Quintet loudspeakers in the Vana Ltd. room. They had such a relaxed and open sound, so much so that they sounded just a little bit different than every other pair of speakers at the show. The volume levels were sane, the music was beautiful and I temporarily forgot what a huge, busy audiophile maelstrom I was attempting to cover. So when I walked into the Marten room at Munich 2023, I proudly declared that I knew these speakers only to be informed that these were the new Marten Mingus Septet speakers, the next step up the Mingus line.
Words and Music by Marc Phillips
The Quintets were $75,000/pr USD, which didn’t surprise me as I basked in its glow. The Marten Mingus Septets, at 108,000 euros per pair, looked identical to the Quintets–you could have told me they were the same speakers in Chicago and I would have never known. But in many ways, this was an even more impressive room, and one of my favorites at the MOC.
This Marten Mingus Septet system was top-notch from end to end: MSB M500 Monoblocks (132,000 euros/pr), MSB Reference DAC (61,000 euros), MSB Reference Director (28,000 euros), Antipodes Oladra media player (30,000 euros), TechDAS Air Force 3 PS turntable (44,000 euros), Reed 5T tonearm (18,000 euros) and the DS Audio Grand Master Extreme optical cartridge and phono equalizer (70,000 euros). Cables and power filters were supplied by Jorma. I’m listing all this because Marten was one of the very few rooms that furnished a price list. That’s Munich.
Despite the serious firepower in the room, the music was once again sublime and gorgeous. At one point a simple jazz piano trio was played on the Marten Mingus Septet loudspeakers and the sound of that piano was so natural and so revealing of everything inside that big wooden box–the piano, not the Martens–that I was reminded of my friend Bob Clarke’s insistence that a recording of a grand piano will tell you everything you need to know about a system.
If Marten isn’t currently on your radar as one of those speaker manufacturers that are pushing the envelope, it should be.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from Munich 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.
Also don’t forget to check out our latest collaboration – a solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800g of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top which also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.