Planète Haute-Fidélité: MartinLogan, Stable 33.33, Reed, Hana, Saturn Audio, Wattson Audio

When I think of MartinLogan, I immediately envision an electrostatic speaker. One of their tall ones equipped with the dynamic woofer. A second later, I'll be reminded that MartinLogan also makes good cabinet-style standmounts such as the one I saw at the 2019 Toronto Audiofest, the Motion 35XTi.

What I won't naturally equate with an ML design is a box-design floorstander, which is what I encountered in retailer Planète Haute Fidelité's room, and which prompted me to blurt out to the shop's owner, Chris Vézina, "Hey, a Martin Logan tower in a cabinet!". To which he nodded genially and said, "Yes, of course," like he sees this type of thing every day. Which I'm sure he does. Not me.

So I was happy to see and hear the 4th generation MartinLogan Motion F200XT loudspeakers ($7000/pair). The flagship of the Motion range, the F200XT employs the company's Folded Motion Tweeter XT, based on the Heil Air Motion Transformer (AMT) driver, a 6.5" (16.5cm) Nomex-reinforced Kevlar midrange driver with a cast aluminium basket and three 8" (20.3cm) aluminium bass drivers. These speakers were fronting a system comprising a Stable 33.2 Mk2 turntable ($13,900) from Quebec manufacturer Stable 33.33, equipped with a Reed 1H 10.5" tonearm ($4275), a Hana SL cartridge ($920), and Saturn Audio products designed by Angela-Gilbert Young of Blue Circle Audio: a 701 integrated amp ($6500), a 201 DAC ($4500), and a 103C Mk2 powerline filter ($2800). Also present, but not active during my visit, were a Wattson Audio Madison streamer ($3850) and its smaller sibling, the Wattson Emerson streamer ($1950).

What I heard, across 24/96 Qobuz-streamed files and spinning LPs, was a transparent, tactile presentation with a refined, airy, bouncy, sweet, detailed character. It sounded sumptuous, effortless, and musical.