Blumenstein Marlin

Sale price$900.00

Blumenstein Marlin 3" TT Full-Range pair

Neutral sound from natural materials:

A pair of Tuned Thickness Marlins plus subwoofers would be tough to beat as imaging-accurate nearfield studio monitors. They give a headphone like, ultra detailed presentation without wearing the headphones. They are relatively neutral (especially for a single driver). They are a practical, space saving addition to any home or professional recording studio.

Marlins or Orcas?

As a point of reference, I typically recommend Orcas for music appreciators who appreciate nuance. Whereas the Marlins are slightly more revealing and therefore a useful tool for professionals (who think a little outside the box). The Marlins should be given serious consideration as a pair of nearfield monitors when spatial accuracy is the main goal. If you want to know where all the little sounds are really “at” in your stereo mix, then you will be able to find them with the Marlins. Marlins are well balanced, compact, and high-fidelity single driver speakers for the home office or home recording studio. Fits into any bookshelf yet can fill even large rooms with high-quality sound. Also ideal for compact home theater or commercial applications. They play loud or soft with ease and neutrality. SET amplifier aficionados will find their 92.5 db efficiency to be adequate.

Marlins compared to other Studio Monitors:

I have some folks using their Marlins as the hub of a larger ecosystem of different studio monitors that they regularly trade out.

We can’t have this discussion without mentioning the industry standard full range single driver studio monitor - the Auratone 5”. In my opinion, they have decent but ultimately limited performance in the realm of detail retrieval. So to give slightly greater resolution I use an even smaller 3” full range driver with greater magnetic power to paper cone weight ratio. The Marlins respond up to 35khz, giving superior definition of high frequencies.

Whether or not a pair of Marlins is going to help you in your mixing and/or mastering, or replace a pair of Auratones really depends on your ultimate creative goals in the artful production of a mix. They have a nearly flat frequency response (considering that it’s an unfiltered full range single driver in a small bass reflex enclosure), and are non-fatiguing while still being very revealing. When serving as studio monitors I think you need to use them with two subwoofers ideally. Though some of my Marlins-as-studio monitors clients report back that using just one subwoofer is fine.

Amplifier power recommended  

Marlins work in the near, mid, or far-field listening distance and can be powered completely with as little as 4 watts. However, the Marlin's stout voice coil and dual layer paper/faceted aluminum dome cone construction means that you are welcome to try up to as much as 100-200 watts per channel on tap and push the Marlins to their limits. The efficient Marlin speakers still only need to use the first (and typically cleanest) 4 watts of those up to 100 watts that are available from the amplifier - and the speakers will get quite loud on the additional wattage above 4 watts before soft clipping (over-excursion) occurs around 10 watts. If you have a tube amplifier with less than 4 watts per channel, the Marlin will still get plenty loud and has a beautiful, smooth, relaxed sound with low power SET amplifiers all the way down to 1 watt per channel.

Basic specifications

  • 5 3/4" x 7 3/4" x 11 1/2"

  • 8 ohms, 90hz-35khz

  • Efficiency: 91.5 dB

  • Price is for a pair

  • Economical international shipping

  • Selection of any material option will yield nearly identical sound quality due to identical solid wood internal bracing

  • 60-day in-home audition, 1-year warranty.

Full range single driver

  • Multi-layer paper cone with aluminum dust cap

  • Extra large magnetic circuit

  • Low wattage rated voice coil works perfectly with low power SET amps (thin wire, low weight)

  • Voice coil is technically rated for 5-15 watts, perfect for typical home listening levels

  • While Marlins work well at low volume, they can play extremely loud for their size

  • Will sound great with any amplifier between 2 watts per channel up to 100 watts per channel available on tap.

  • Mechanical clipping (overdrive) is gentle and does not damage the speaker driver.

  • Uncanny midrange articulation

  • Stamped steel frame modified for smoother resonance properties

  • High excursion cone suspension for excellent bass response

Driver hardware

  • Stamped steel washers

  • Steel screws

  • Neoprene washers sandwiched/tuned in conjunction with driver frame

  • Mechanically independent driver gasket/air seal

  • Driver screws are torque tuned by hand and gauge

  • Driver frame floats on a combined dual durometer constrained layer of compound damping materials

  • Generously proportioned air gasket is the high-frequency stage of constrained layered damping

Cabinet acoustics

  • Bass reflex ported enclosure

  • Polished/oiled solid wood port w/ 1/16" roundover

Cabinet construction

  • Wood burn brand

  • 150-year-old coachmaker's varnish recipe of linseed oil

  • Void-free plywoods have interior layers that are the same thickness and wood quality as the exterior layers

  • Extra strength, non-toxic and waterproof wood glue applied in all workshop joinery and internal glues inside of the plywoods

  • Hand clamped 100% open construction joinery

  • Swift glue ups and single stage curing for lower internal stresses in joinery

Internal bracing design

  • Faceted solid wood internal braces similar to those found inside a guitar, piano soundboard, or inside other acoustic instruments

  • Constrained layer acoustic damping materials bonded to cabinet walls with a low durometer adhesive that itself functions as a dual purpose high-frequency absorber

Internal wire

  • Same as Waterline Cables

  • Swiss manufactured 13 gauge ultra pure Oxygen Free Copper (OFC)

  • Hand-crimped, hand soldered connections

  • Non-resonant, low capacitance hammered in binding posts

Cabinet finish

  • Polishing all external wood surfaces, smoothing interior surfaces.

  • Linseed oil application lowers surface noise coming from all combined solid wood surfaces

  • Polished, oiled surfaces are naturally protected from various hazards of the typical household environment

  • An optional semi-annual application of the non-toxic linseed oil (sold as the refinishing kit in the online store) will deepen the golden shine.

Cabinet feet

  • Low durometer clear urethane feet decouple the bottom of the speaker cabinet from the top of any surface

  • Urethane feet provide grip as well as carefully tune the high-frequencies that should not travel into neighboring pieces of furniture via a constrained layer of damping

  • Please handle cabinet feet with care - they are "audiophile" feet meant to grip, not slip! (For household safety as well as appropriate mechanical decoupling for acoustic purposes).