Marten Mingus Quintet 2 loudspeaker, Jorma Power Filter and Statement cabling, and MSB M550 monoblocks

Ease was the order of the day in the Marten/Jorma room. Soprano Anna Moffo sounded just lovely, with superb air and open soundstaging, on an LP of her singing the "Jewel Song" from Gounod's Faust. Ditto for pianist Byron Janis, whose superb-sounding recording of Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto graced a prized Mercury Living Presence LP. Deserving of honor was Swedish manufacturer Marten's new Mingus Quintet 2 loudspeakers (€62,000/pair, equivalent to US$66,100). This replacement for the original Mingus Quintet boasts a new midrange driver, lower distortion, higher sensitivity, a new crossover, and a less resonant cabinet than the previous model.

Besides the MSB M550 monoblocks, the system contained Jorma top-level Statement cabling with copper conductors, a pure ceramic core, and the new, completely passive Jorma Power Filter Reference. The biggest power filter model, which offers 12 outlets with three isolated channels designed to separate sensitive components, retails for €16,000. The Jorma Power Filter Reference claims high-frequency ripple cancelation, mutual interference cancellation, printed circuit boards, and high current Schottky diodes.