Holographic Studio Monitors - the Marlin 3" Full Range

Two Tone bamboo Marlin 3" Full range

Two Tone bamboo Marlin 3" Full range

Full range for the future

The Marlin is named after the fastest fish in the sea, the Black Marlin, sprinting up to 80mph in open water.

The Marlin is a high performance loudspeaker irrespective of its size.  The Marlin redefines the expression of three-dimensional holographic sound in a way that is dynamic, vibrant, and futuristic.  

Caramelized bamboo Marlin 3" Full range

Caramelized bamboo Marlin 3" Full range

Its hard to make small speakers sound big - that's why we did it!

Marlin is our "21st century" loudspeaker design, because it is geared towards race car like performance.  Marlins are powerfully maneuverable as a pin-point acoustic source. 

Single drivers for modern music

We also mention 21st century in terms of music history and the direction that performance characteristics of the majority of loudspeakers (which follows musical styles) is going - towards ever greater dynamics, imaging, neutrality and definition.  

The Marlin is an unconventional high performance loudspeaker. The Marlin's are popular as living room speakers and are also favorite near-field point source studio monitors for our professional clients.

Concrete guitar

We arrived at our favorite narrow baffle full range design platform after many milestones that were also other great products.  Overall, we have 8 years of back loaded horns, transmission line, Voigt pipe, open baffle supported by subwoofer... etc leading up to the performance we were seeking out of the Marlin design. 

Just like the Orcas, we eventually learned that it takes an extremely rigid, Golden ratio, ported bass reflex cabinet to get the most out of the 3" Marlin driver's inherent transparency.  The Marlin cabinet has become the strongest, lightest, and least inherently resonant full range speaker cabinet in our lineup - still made of natural, beautifully resonant materials.  Therefore, the background noise in the acoustic transmission is of an organic material - just like the tympanic membrane inside your ear.

Between 2004-2005, Clark Blumenstein contributed iterative design work on the preceding Fostex driver based Cain & Cain  "Noogie." 

Between 2004-2005, Clark Blumenstein contributed iterative design work on the preceding Fostex driver based Cain & Cain  "Noogie." 

Organic parts, Organic sound

The all wood, minimally braced and non-resonant acoustic environment of the Marlin cabinet is its main technological advance. The Orca Mini (now the Marlin) cabinet was the first design we developed our tight grain, vertical grain, solid Douglas Fir bracing arrangement with.  A unique construction methodology to our shop, that has later spread into the other speaker models and the subwoofer we make - giving the new speaker lineup seamless integration across the full frequency range.

"There's a certain demand for a driver's car that optimizes handling weight, exposure to the elements, and that very visceral experience that sort of makes you have to take a shower after driving it-for all the right reasons-you've got rocks in your hair and everything else."

Subwoofers with Marlins

 If you desire to stretch the Marlins to their fullest extent, and for use as full frequency studio monitors, The addition of any subwoofer takes them to the next level.  Marlins are compatible with most any good quality commercially available subwoofer.  For optimal performance we recommend the Benthic Bass Unit 6.5" Passive Woofer with an Outboard subwoofer amplifier set to its recommended settings. 

"Add Lightness"  

Natural bamboo Marlin 3" Full Range

Natural bamboo Marlin 3" Full Range

Marlins are tiny for a reason - because small is faster.  They are the speediest, yet stealthiest sounding loudspeaker in our lineup.  We went after the same sort of design approach as Lotus racing cars like the Lotus 7... but naturally, we make this experience into piece of polished furniture that takes you to the edge of your seat - with neutrality, transparency, and dynamics.

 

Marlin Design Significance

The Marlin (Redesigned Orca Mini's) might be the youngest full range speaker design in our lineup, but they are an important model because it is with this miniaturized full range single driver cabinet design that we discovered our arrangement of "acoustic steel" solid Douglas Fir internal braces.  This solid wood bracing arrangement - that adds immense strength the the plywood cabinet walls - increases the speed of sound that propagates inside the wood itself and along the grain, provides us with unprecedented speed and clarity for a single driver full range speaker that seemed impossible when we heard the very first prototype pair.  The Orca Minis/Marlin platform changed everything for our other speaker designs - even our higher end Feastrex based models.       

 

http://www.tonepublications.com/review/blumenstein-audio-2-2-channel-speaker-package/

Recent Design Changes

Birch plywood Marlin 3" Full range

Birch plywood Marlin 3" Full range

At the same time as we have updated the sound of our other models in early 2016, we went after a first year revision to the still-young Orca Mini Platform released in 2014.  The new Marlin has a wider baffle curve, even stronger construction, and an updated port tuning. We were so impressed with the new Marlins that we renamed them to mark the important place that this model holds in our lineup - as still the most effortless sounding, greatest power to weight ratio speaker we've ever made. 

Marlin vs. Orca

Marlins are tuned slightly higher than the Orcas - which is also a 3" full range design.  This means that the Marlin is not only in an "easier gear" for a 3" driver to be able to handle low bass notes, but also coupled with the Marlin's heavier duty voice coil and cone suspension mean that the Marlin 3" Full range can be played slightly harder than the Orca 3" Full range in general practice.

Near Field Acoustic Imaging

Naga 3" Full Range - 2008 - photography by Tyler Ray

Naga 3" Full Range - 2008 - photography by Tyler Ray

As full range speaker enthusiasts, we are also huge fans of the kind of holographic imaging and crystal clear high speed presentation that only compact, high-power single driver loudspeakers can offer. You can't fight physics, and in order to image clearly, you need to have either a very small and narrow baffle (like the Marlin), or a very wide baffle (Like the massive Triton, or Triton in a 4 pair or 9 pair line array with Octopus or Hydra Cables.)  

Historical Naga design

The Marlin has the narrowest baffle in our current full range speaker lineup, and careful observers of our brand's history will notice that we used to have another popular narrow baffle model, the floorstanding Naga back loaded horn speaker (produced between 2006 and 2011). The Naga also had a popular sound quality and amazing imaging because of its almost impossibly narrow baffle.  Marlins are a rebirth and improvement of the popular sonic signature of the Naga, but in a much more convenient, completely miniaturized loudspeaker package that now sounds accurate and neutral enough for use as single driver full range mixing monitors - or as home High Fidelity single driver loudspeakers for the holographic-imaging-enthusiast.

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Marlin 3" Full-range Pair
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