Marten Django XL (Part1)



If it rare to go to an audio show and hear most of a company products set up properly in multiple rooms, itrarer still to hear those products also sounding terrific in each and every room. Such was my introduction to Marten loud speakers at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show. In each ot the systems in which the Swedish company speakers were set up, and no matter what gear was upstream ot them, I heard distinctly neutral, open, musical sound. After having the very same experience with Marten speakers at the 2011 CES, I concluded that they must know what they doing, and that their speakers are the real deal.

I wanted to review some.

However, most of the speakers in MartenHeritage and Coltrane lines are quite pricey, and the other models trade off bass extension for lower prices. Though I believe I have the cars to appreciate speakers that cost $50,000/pair, Inot sure I have the means to properly contextualize such costly gear for a review. Maybe, someday, Ifeel more comfortable recommending such liigh-ticket gear, for now, Inot sure I can comment on the value of anything costing much more than $20,000.

But when I heard that Marten was about to release the Django XL, a full-range floorstander that uses the same midrange driver as their more expensive models but costs $15,000/pair, I knew I wanted to review diem. I contacted Dan Meinwald of EAR. USA, MartenNorth American distributor, and was able to get the very pair that had impressed John Atkinson and others at CES 2012.


On the face of it, the Django XL is a straightforward three-way loudspeaker. On top is a ceramic tweeter, designed to Martenspecifications by German driver maker Accuton (known as Thiel and Partners outside the US), thatsimilar to the diamond tweeter used in Martentop line of Coltrane models. The ceramic midrange driver, also made by Accuton, is found in MartenHeritage line. New with the Django are its three aluminum-cone woofers, made for Marten by SEAS. These arc reflex loaded, with two ports that fire down through the speakerbase. The cabinet, made of 25mm-thick MDF, is an oblique rectangular prism; the driver-bearing front baffle gently slopes up and away from the listener. All edges are nicely rounded, to reduce diffraction and to soften the Djangoappearance. Although a large loudspeaker, the Djangoelegant proportions make it seem far smaller.

The Django is available in Piano Black gloss (as were my review samples), or Silver Grey. As Isaid before, Ino big fan of piano-black speakers. But wliile I prefer the Marten Coltranewoody surfboard looks to the DjangoDarth Vadcr vibe, the lattcrfitwas superb —if you like your speakers in black-gloss lacquer, youlove the Djangolooks. Even if you don, they could get you to lay your prejudice aside, as I did mine.

Each driver is protected by a robust black metal cage. Accutonceramic drivers are notoriously fragile; the cages should keep any wayward fingers or paws off the delicate concs without adding any deleterious comb filtering to the sound However, the cages look a bit brutal, reminding me of the chicken wire that separates the Blues Brothers from their angry audience as they sing the Rawhide theme. I got used to the cages, but perhaps Marten can come up with a more elegant solution for the Djangonext edition.

The Django XL meets the floor via metal outriggers that widen its stance to increase its stability. The outriggers’four adjustable cone feet allow for easy leveling of the speaker. Ia big fan of using spikes with speakers that sit on carpets; the Djangothick, blunt cones would likely leave it slightly floating above the floor. This wasna problem in my studio, where the Djangos sat directly on the concrete floor in front of my area rug, but if you have thick, shaggy carpet and like to spike your speakers, you might want to try another type of foot on the Djangooutrigger.

On the rear panel is a single pair of WBT binding posts, and a knob for the Djangothree-position bass-level control, which offers uncalibrated settings from to “+.”The Djangoclaimed sensitivity is 89dB and its nominal impedance is 6 ohms; the internal wiring is by Jorma Design.

Continue ... (Part2)

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