Marten Coltrane Speakers  
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Marten Coltrane / EDGE Electronics / Audio Aero









SYSTEM ColtraneEdge-1
Audio Aero players emphasize: EMOTIONAL, IMPRESSIVE



We believe that by taking a holistic systems approach to assembling a high-end stereo system more musical satisfaction can be achieved, in less time, with less bother and with less money. To this end we offer our customers the option of purchasing one of a number of turnkey systems. Most of these systems are systems which you can hear in one of our listening rooms.

We value musicality and the ability for a system to communicate magic, sophistication, emotion, to suspend disbelief, and to be impressive over all other system attributes. Therefore our systems are designed to be truly musical, to provide that special pleasure that almost all of us love: Musical Enjoyment, and perhaps even a glimpse of the great Unknowable and flashes of the Noble Human Spirit. These systems will communicate the emotion, the artistic flair, the skill and story that the musicians are telling. They will caress, tickle, swoon, and exclaim, thrill and amaze. They will not distract your mind with harsh distortions, exaggerated flash, disharmonies, or plodding acyclical rhythms. But they just may grab your heart and soul and send them flying into the ether.



These are relatively expensive systems, retailing for approximately $60,000 - $180,000 (depending on the particular configuration and speaker selected). These systems offer a realistic, sophisticated presentation and sound like... music. They are very detailed, smooth, and engrossing. No grit, no bloat, no muddled sounds, no smoke, no cotton balls, no sugar-coating or artificial flavors, just good, honest music that says: you can have both accurate reproduction and an extremely enjoyable listening experience - at the same time!


The Coltrane speakers excel at reproducing music with accuracy, controlled dynamics, high resolution, touch-realistic imaging and even-handed treatment of all frequencies. They are not as good at presenting an overly impressive sound, nor a big open relaxed sound, nor an in-your-face front row type of sound.

A Note about the Coltrane Alto Speakers

The sonic signature of this speaker is very similar to its big brother, the Coltrane. Same ceramic midrange but with a smaller (down-firing) ceramic woofer and a ceramic tweeter instead of the diamond tweeter. The difference really lies in terms of scale - a smaller sound, smaller dynamics, less bass, and designed for smaller rooms.





The EDGE amplifiers are fast, accurate, detailed, nuanced, and are able to control the speaker midrange and highs better than any solid-state amplifier we have heard, all against a very clean black background. The bass is detailed and accurate, but just a little bit reticent when it comes to dynamics on harder-to-drive speakers.

The EDGE NL-10.1, NL-12.1 and NL Signature One.1 amplifiers are very high-resolution, very transparent amplifiers that are capable of rendering subtleties that most other solid-state amplifiers just can't match. Subtleties like microdynamics and those very quick micro-timbre changes that allow the listener to hear what techniques the skilled musician is actually using on their instrument.

Edge NL Signature One.1 monoblock amplifiers: With 400 watts per channel, the extra power really helps the notes to unfold and blossom, with huge amounts of richness and texture - both in time (amplitude) and timbre (frequency), effortlessly produced, with no overlap (lots of separation), all against a clean dark background.

Edge NL-12.1 stereo amplifiers: A stereo amplifier with 300 watts per channel: it has not quite the solidity and control and soundstage width of the Signature One.1 - but the overall sonic signature is almost identical.

Edge NL-10.1 stereo amplifiers: A stereo amplifier with 225 watts per channel: it has not quite the power or the solidity, control and soundstage width of the Signature One.1 or NL-12.1 - but the overall sonic signature is almost identical, and in the overall scheme of things the NL-10.1 can seem to be a little more sweet and delicate sounding than its bigger brothers - perhaps having that perfect balance between power and finesse.



Audio Aero players: The players can be described by what they do not do; they do not scratch, irritate, annoy, screech or any of the other things CD players usually do. They just produce delightful music without adding any unnecessary euphonic sweeteners. Though many players have a darker background, more detail, more air, etc. none that we have heard have the spirit, the authenticity, the intrinsic musicality of this player. Another property of these players is that they are very analog - their dynamics are very similar to that of vinyl, quite unlike any other digital playback system we have heard. They also have a harmonic structure very similar to vinyl as well. Not sure how they do it - but after years of listening to various generations of these players, there is no doubt that they do. Sound like vinyl, that is, missing only the detail and microdynamics of vinyl, that no other digital has yet been able to reproduce either... yet.

These players also have a very high-quality built-in linestage (a preamplifier with a volume control but without a phono stage). The quality of this linestage is very impressive - and compares favorably with other linestages who by themselves cost as much as the player. As you might be thinking already, this makes the Audio Aero players real bargains because most owners of Audio Aero players can forgo buying a separate preamplifier, and the associated CD-player-to-preamplifier interconnect, the preamplifier power cord, a shelf on the equipment rack, and any preamplifier vibration control tweaks. Yes, quite a bargain.

Connected directly to the right amplifier these players just stand up and sing. There is a certain clarity and bounce running these players direct, and this is our preferred configuration for these players with all the amplifiers we have here.


The Audio Aero Capitole Reference CD Player with built-in Linestage: This player sounds wonderfully musical on almost every single CD out there. Yes, even your favorites that are badly recorded. And yet, at the same time, it is able to communicate the details, nuance and micro-dynamics of those same CDs. It is somehow able to strike the perfect balance between the 'overly detailed, spotlight on every note' players on the one hand and the 'mushy, obscure all the details in a foggy mush in case they might be harsh' players on the other. This is probably the most musical and satisfying player made.

The Audio Aero Prestige CD / SACD Player with built-in Linestage: This player sounds a lot like the Capitole but has more resolution, is noticeably even more analog both in terms of dynamics and harmonics, and has more presence and solidity. It also plays SACDs.

Note: All Audio Aero players now sold in North America are the Special Edition 'SE' version. In Europe, a slightly inferior 'ordinary' version is also sold.







Nordost Frey interconnect Nordost Valhalla interconnect Shunyata Anaconda Helix power cord Jorma Design No. 1 speaker cable Harmonic Resolution System(HRS) MXR equipment rack
Nordost Frey speaker cable Stealth INDRA interconnect Shunyata Paython Helix power cable Rix Rax equipment rack Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) M3 Isolation Base
Nordost Valhalla speaker cable Nordost Valhalla power cord Shunyata Hydra M-8 Acoustic Dreams equipment rack Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) Nimbus and Nimbus Couplers

Nordost Valhalla speaker cable and interconnect (REAL, SOPHISTICATED): All of these cables let through the raw music, letting it flow directly to the speaker. In high quality systems like this, there is no need to fear such revealing cables - they will reveal nothing but how wonderful the music is. 

Nordost Valhalla digital interconnect (REAL, SOPHISTICATED): Almost exactly the same sound as the world-renowned interconnect.

Nordost Valhalla power cord (REAL, IMPRESSIVE): Very similar to the Valhalla sound, clean, fast, detailed, but with a slight leaness to the sound.

Nordost Frey speaker cable and interconnect (real, sophisticated): The Frey is slightly less sophisticated and detailed compared to the Valhalla - but not by much.

Jorma Design No. 1 (REAL): The Jorma Design is very close to the Valhalla, but with a little more body and less of a 'silvery sheen' that you would never know Valhalla had until you heard it right before the Jorma.

Shunyata Anaconda Helix Vx power cord (EMOTIONAL, ENJOYABLE): Filters out the garbage while letting through the massive amounts of current when and how the components need it. The system would be a pale shadow of itself without these power cords. The new Helix version seems to, amazingly enough for a power cord, be able to let through more of the character and meaning of the music than any other power cord we have tried, including the previous generations of Shunyata power cords.

Shunyata Python Helix Vx power cord (emotional, enjoyable): We expect these cables to be similar in character to the Anaconda - but a little less open and big sounding. We haven't yet heard them, but the previous two generations of Anaconda and Python were similar in this manner.

Shunyata Hydra M-8 power distributor (ENJOYABLE): This does much the same thing as the 'filled' Shunyata Vx power cords - the Hydra itself being filled with the same stuff.

Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) MXR equipment rack (REAL, IMPRESSIVE): The MXR is the best sounding rack for many reasons not the least of which is that the shelves are HRS M3 Isolation Bases. The racks are also not half bad looking either and the sides of the rack being somewhat solid help obscure the mess of cables coming out of the back of the components - and the often pedestrian looking sides of the equipment.

Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) M3 Isolation Base (REAL, IMPRESSIVE): The HRS Isolation Base is wonderful, it has so far improved the sound of everything we have put it under, some of them tremendously.

Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) Nimbus, Nimbus Couplers, and Nimbus Spacers (REAL, IMPRESSIVE): These typically are inserted between a component and its Isolation Base further improving the sonics by channeling away vibrations to the Isolation Base better than the component's feet do.

Rix Rax equipment rack: Very beautiful racks which are 100% custom built. Any type of wood or size is yours for the choosing. HRS M3 Isolation Bases can be put under your favorite components on a Rix Rax shelf in order to provide much of the same sonic benefits of having a HRS rack.

Acoustic Dreams equipment rack: This equipment rack also has some vibration control capability and is very portable. Most people find the 'art deco look' of these racks quite attractive here in our showrooms.








The Marten Coltrane / EDGE Electronics system is one of our very favorite systems.

The EDGE amplifiers play to the Coltrane's strengths. They both have very high resolution, but the details are not highlit in any way, they just accurately portray the music coming from the source components. They both are very fast and able to quickly start and stop a note as well as changing the volume and tone during the note - both essential to communicating what the skilled musician is doing.

All of this finesse or 'sophistication' as we often call it helps the listener both enjoy the music to a greater degree as well as appreciate both the skill and the message the musician is communicating.

For example, a good guitarist not only picks a string, but they may also drag the pick along the string just very slightly during the picking. They may press the string down on the top section of the fret a fraction of a second before the pick hits the string, causing a sort of fuzzy 'prequel' to the note. They may slide the finger sideways across the neck of the guitar as the pick leaves the string in order to put a miniscule little 'question mark' at the end of the note.

The musician does these things for a reason. They are part of the music. The musician is trying to say something, or maybe they are just showing off. The Marten / Edge system lets you hear what they are doing.


This system also accurately portrays these details in correct proportion to the rest of the music. It can do this because ALL of the music is treated equally, with an even hand, up and down the frequency spectrum - from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. This is important because some purely Impressive systems also have lots of detail, tons of in your face detail, but they are not in correct proportion to the music and all one hears when listening to these types of Impressive speakers are the details, not the music.




We have exhibited two Coltrane / EDGE systems at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Our room there is rather large at about 20 feet by 24 feet and one side opens up into a 15x15 foot entry way. The systems sound fantastic there (the Martens respond well to having a straight, flat wall close behind them; we do not have any flat walls here in our showrooms... which is good for some speakers and not so good for others) and the feedback from the visitors to our room and the best of shows from reporters testify to their appreciation of the sound of this system as well.


The design of this particular system has the back-end pieces, the amps, the speakers, and all the cabling, be as clear and pure and as revealing as technically possible. This makes them a clear window on the character of the source components - either the Audio Aero CD players or potentially a Brinkmann or Walker turntable setup.

And all of these sources produce music that is a wonder to behold.

The Audio Aero CD players have... charm. Their rich tonal character is just so true - and it just comes right through the EDGE amplifiers and Coltrane speakers - adding color to these two fairly neutral pieces (which are just a hair to the warm side of neutral).

These players also have an analog-like realistic dynamic to them which really helps to liven up the system. The nature of the amplifiers and speakers is that they are both extremely accurate along with a slight reticence when it comes to macrodynamics - neither of the two are big, open or bouncy sounding. The Audio Aero players help to balance this with their dynamic character - being one of the more naturally dynamic digital sources available.

We have found that connecting the players directly to the amplifier, using the player's built-in linestage, is the best way to suck every last capability from the player - the richness and dynamics are just awesome. This also saves quite a bit of expense as there is no need for a preamplifier and the cables and power cord the preamplifier would require.

There is then no need for an equipment rack for a purely digital system either. Putting the amp (or two amps if they are monoblocks) on the floor, and the player on the floor between the speakers works just fine. We recommend an HRS Isolation Base to go underneath the player - and underneath the amps too if one wants to extract every last nuance out of the system.

  Accessory Assignments  

Marten Coltrane Speaker: Nordost Valhalla or Nordost Frey or Jorma Design No. 1 speaker cables

Running the Valhalla between the Audio Aero CD player and Edge amplifier lets the music through while adding little if anything of its own. Similarly with running the Valhalla speaker cable between the Edge and Coltrane speakers. But the special attribute to note here is that the Valhalla is one of the fastest cables made (both interconnect and speaker), if not the fastest and the Edge is the one of the fastest amplifiers made. This combination lets through every nuance, each tiny aspect of every rhythm, each and every part of every note envelope, and lets it through NOW - when it is supposed to and how, as the music itself dictates. The result is clean, detailed, full of PRaT (foot tapping plus plus), and oh so smooth, by which is meant that the flow, the continuousness, the raison d'Ítre of the music is preserved and offered up to the speakers. And, in this case, these speakers can handle it.

EDGE Amplifiers: The older Shunyata Anaconda Alpha or new Shunyata Anaconda Helix Vx or Python Helix Vx power cords

The big Shunyata power cords help eek out a little more dynamics from the system. We have used the Valhalla power cord as well, it has the same sonic signature as the other Valhalla cables, and it sounds more detailed and slightly more transparent, but is a little lean, and somewhat less macro dynamic. The 'Vx' power cords contribute to a little more open and luscious sounding system, the Alpha to a more powerful and quicker sounding system. The newer Alpha Helix does not seem to match well with the Edge for some reason.

Audio Aero CD Player: Shunyata Anaconda Helix Vx or Python Helix Vx power cords. HRS M3 Isolation Base.

The Audio Aero, like most digital, sounds smoother and less digital when using a 'filled' Shunyata power cord. Filled, that is, with substances that filter out power line anomalies that just seem to aggravate digital source equipment.

System: Stealth INDRA, Nordost Valhalla or Nordost Frey interconnects

The INDRA rocks. Very, very pure. As close to perfect as we have heard to date. Also very expensive. The Valhalla and Frey are excellent interconnects and let through the music just fine, thank you very much.

  Optional Accessories  

Shunyata Hydra M-8 power distributor: This does much the same thing as the 'filled' Shunyata Vx power cords - the Hydra itself is filled with the same stuff - so for those who wish to use a different power cord on their Audio Aero, they could plug that power cord into the Hydra and get most of the same benefits.

Equipment Rack: A turntable setup is going to need an equipment rack. The turntable itself sits on the top shelf of the rack. Then there is typically a need for another shelf to hold the phono preamplifier (unless your preamplifier has a built-in phono stage). Then there is often a power supply for the turntable that needs to go on a shelf as well, somewhere close to the turntable. Then one might as well put the CD player on a shelf as well. So all this adds up to a 4-shelf equipment rack (or a 2- or 3-shelf double-wide).

The MXR is the best sounding rack and has custom M3 Isolation Bases for many turntables, available to use as the top shelf.

The Rix Rax equipment rack is a very nice looking rack which can also handle the weight of the 225 lb Walker just fine; here at the Audio Federation both the Brinkmann and Walker have sat together on top of a Rix Rax Grand Hoodoo rack - the Brinkmann on top of a custom HRS M3 Isolation Base.

The Acoustic Dreams equipment rack also has a custom top shelf that can be ordered to suit extra large turntables like the Walker (we use one of these larger shelves here at the Audio Federation when we put the Walker on top of one of our Acoustic Dreams racks).








Configuration 1

'Mini Reference'

For smaller rooms, by replacing the Coltrane with the smaller Alto this system provides a sound that is very, very close to the sound of the Coltrane systems but with a smaller footprint.


Marten Coltrane Alto loudspeakers
Edge NL-10.1 225 watt stereo amplifiers
Audio Aero Capitole Reference CD player
1.0 meter Frey RCA interconnect
1.5 meter Frey bi-wire speaker cable
3 Shunyata Python power cords
List Price

Configuration 1

'Midi Reference'

This system is a very nice system for the audiophile with a medium-sized room who wants a very engrossing yet detailed and real sounding experience.


Marten Coltrane loudspeakers
Edge NL-10.1 225 watt stereo amplifiers
Audio Aero Capitole Reference CD player
1.0 meter Frey RCA interconnect
1.5 meter Frey bi-wire speaker cable
3 Shunyata Python power cords
List Price

Configuration 3


This is the reference configuration for this system design. The Signature One.1 amplifier brings some impressive dynamics to the real, sophisticated sound of this system. The Audio Aero Prestige CD / SACD player contributes to already state-of-the-art solidity and presence of the music.


Marten Coltrane loudspeakers
Edge NL Signature One.1 400 watt monoblock amplifiers
Audio Aero Prestige CD / SACD player
1.0 meter Valhalla RCA interconnect
1.5 meter Valhalla bi-wire speaker cable
Three Shunyata Anaconda power cords
Three HRS M3 Isolation Bases
List Price

Configuration 4


This system has additional support for playing LPs on a Brinkmann Balance turntable. The price would be about $15K for a similar setup with the Walker Proscenium Gold Signature turntable.

Also, the Valhalla interconnect has been replaced by the INDRA, and the Valhalla speaker cable by the Jorma No. 1 (for slightly more body but slightly less detail, figuring that the turntable will supply more than enough detail at this point).


Marten Coltrane loudspeakers
Edge NL Signature One.1 400 watt monoblock amplifiers
Audio Aero Prestige CD / SACD player
Three 1.0 meter Stealth INDRA RCA interconnects
1.5 meter Valhalla bi-wire Jorma Design No. 1 cable
4 Shunyata Anaconda power cords
Two HRS M3 Isolation Bases
HRS MXR Equipment Rack with custom top HRS shelf for the Brinkmann turntable
Brinkmann Balance turntable and tonearm.
Lamm LP2 phono preamplifier
List Price


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