Next High End Bookshelf Upgrade - Marten Parker/Oscar Duo Owners Welcome

Hi to all ,

I have been lurking around this website for some months now and value the strong discussion level along with the insights shared so readily among contributors here.

So, I have decided to take the next logical step and become a member. Not too long ago I was of the opinion that upgrading an already decent audio system relative of course to the owner was a result of insecurity, lack of impulse control and probably a waste of resources in every conceivable way. Well that was then and this is now , upgrading all or part of the audio setup , does indeed appear to be part and parcel of most audiophiles journey. It could also be the the most fun aspect to the whole hobby in general ,

Late last year , i decided to purchase some B&W 705 Signature speakers to go along with my Rega Aethos amp . They replaced a pair of some fairly decent quality LSA 1 bookshelf speakers from 2007. Now, after approx. 5 months of ownership , I have somewhat tired of the 705 Signature speakers , much faster too it seems than I would ever have thought. In many ways, very good performing in most every aspect , just everything does seems small. Probably the only way to gain such clarity and precise imaging in a small speaker box is is to make sacrifices elsewhere, soundstage comes to mind along with the clear realization that this speaker just does not disappear in the room like my previous LSA 1 did with aplomb.

Late last week, to satisfy my curiosity , pulled the LSA 1 speakers out of storage and replaced the 705 Signature with them. Well into an evening music session , the reality became clear to me , so clear in fact the LSA 1 were overall better. Much more a speaker than a studio monitor ala the 705 Signature. The best analogy would be to think of the 705 Signature as a show pony , flashy, entertaining , fun and a crowd pleaser for short periods of time. Whereas the larger LSA 1 bookshelf speakers would be more of a galloping horse , open and free spirited , raw emotion and less the show ring performer like the 705 Signature. Suffice to say the LSA 1 will stay with me , regardless of what I upgrade to in the near future.

I have decided to leave the Rega Aethos as the amp in my evolving system for now. Next upgrade most certainly will be a bookshelf speaker well beyond the 75 Signature level and sharing more of the qualities of the LSA 1 such as great sound stage , night and day difference in fact between it and the 705 Signature. To continue in this recent and welcome progression would be worth it in the long term.

Now , for certain some might say , just stick with the LSA 1 and save your money. As it stands the speaker is very good and a absolute bargain at $1250 in 2007. So good in fact , it may very well be the speaker of choice for a second system in our vacation home.

I plan to invest in some high quality bookshelf speakers. The top candidates for speakers to go along with the Rega Aethos are Marten Parker Parker Duo and Oscar Duo , Franco Serblin Accordo & Borresen Z1. All upper echelon bookshelf offerings. All sharing the distinction of much praiseworthy reviews by the audio press and consumers alike.

As of now, the Marten Parker Duo has my close attention, a 200w speaker the maker website states , looks like a <6ohm speaker , the Rega Aethos puts out 156w @ 6ohms , would it be enough to drive the Parker Duo to some degree of satisfaction at least in the short to medium term ?. My listening is mainly low to moderate levels , never past 9 o’clock on the volume dial. As such, the importance of high quality listening at these levels is imperative. For owners of this speaker, how does it perform at these lower volume levels?. Also, in terms of the passive radiator in the speaker back, any experiences of excessive bass frequency leading to wall vibrations daughters room is adjacent to the av room. Again, most if not all listening is done in the low to low moderate range. My listening area is 12’ x 14’ with 10’ ceilings.

Please feel free to leave your thoughts , Marten Parker Duo in particular and Oscar Duo owners are more than welcome to share their experiences.


Just a thought, but have you ever entertained the idea of narrow floorstanding speakers?  You get a lot more body to the music that way.   If your speakers are mounted on a stand, floorstanding speakers would take up the same amount of space.  

It seems that you have found yourself on what we call the speaker merry go round. The price of the speakers you buy will keep going up but your satisfaction will just go round and round like a merry go round. 

The first thing to remember is that every speaker is tuned differently. What kind of tuning do you want? If you cant answer that, you will never be happy. 

Do you need custom tuned speakers made for your ears? Or mass produced? 

How much distortion should the speaker produce? What polar response should it have? And will the speaker companies be willing and able to provide this information? There are many questions to think about....

Post removed 

You can save yourself some $$$ and just get these…

Or you can splurge a bit and get these…

Either way, you’ll be thrilled.  Marten is great too, but just a couple other options FWIW. 

@soix        Actually have the Pulsars on my shortlist , down from the Parker Duo by a few notches .....some savings of course ....both of robust construction.......not ruled out and nice reminder.

@dabel  Being a top sales performer in the past has brought me to the place of  being able to afford speakers like the Parker Duo ........not to mention the ability to secure an attractive discount from the dealer.

@kenjit  Good point. As I now feel after listening to the older LSA 1 speakers , this having the most desirable sound to my ears . The Parker Duo shares a similar sound profile albeit in more copious amounts. The B&W characteristics in general really would only work at their very highest levels i.e. 803 > 801 ...Strike off the 705 702 and 805 from any consideration

@stereo5 Interesting you mentioned that as recently was browsing the internet and saw that LSA made a well regarded floorstanding speaker at one time called the LSA 20.........really cheap , well so was the LSA 1 and it outperforms bookshelf speakers at twice or three times it price point. ...Will look more into it 

Also, in terms of the passive radiator in the speaker back, any experiences of excessive bass frequency leading to wall vibrations

Yes, of course .... Closer to a wall also provides / reinforces better bass response. Wether or not you’ll enjoy what this offers (including your daughter) will only happen through trial. But you’ve mentioned "low to low moderate range" therefore I personal don’t see a problem here.

I have what I’d consider monitors with a 10" passive radiator on the rear and listen relatively nearfield (six foot triangle, sweet spot center of room) with the Speakers sitting three feet out from wall, but also run dual Subs. FWIW

As far as Sales go / goes, from one salesman to another ... you’ve earned it! :-)

Dabel, what size listening room do you have ?..As for experiencing the bass effects and otherwise from the Parker Duo, this will have to be done in the dealer store location , their listening area would be considerably larger with higher ceilings too. I will probably rely more on intuition and good judgement to get a sense of how the speakers would perform in my smaller listening room at home. Most listening will be done quite nearfield , either slight axis with speakers approx. 5ft behind me or a similar six foot triangle in front of the audio setup. As you can see, low to moderate listening levels combined with a no shrinking violet like response from the Parker Duo is probably the most important consideration of all . Otherwise the $$$$$ would be a sad waste of time and money. 


Size of listening area, 22’ X 26’ and where the System sits a vaulted ceiling that starts at 8’ and ends 14’. Problem, I’m unable to truly utilize use of this area for my desire, constrained to width instead of (length that opens into adjoining room). Although in reality, not much a problem after all, for my listening habits mirror yours "moderately low to low". I’ll also run Subs disabled on occasions with success, and clarification ... my mains are 44" from wall.


I will probably rely more on intuition and good judgement to get a sense of how the speakers would perform in my smaller listening room at home.

Don’t believe I could’ve have worded this any better.


My two cents, I sold my Marten Oscar Duos rather quickly as they were very boomy in my space (12x17x8 and 14x15x8).  Mids and highs were not exciting as well but that may have been a consequence of the poor bass response.  I have used three other pairs of bookshelf speakers in the same space with good results.

I would toss Kroma Mimi Xtreme in there, superb speakers, if you have a chance to audition them I'd put them on the list.

@soix Wow, those Pulsar 2 Graphene certainly did sell fast. Only 2 days on usaudiomart .

@ortodox The R1 Arrete are another possibility. It does how we all have varying opinions on what sounds better as it becomes a subjective exercise. Somebody mentioned about trying then buying them but felt the Borresen Z1 sounded a bit better . Just too expensive for the buyer. Which brings up the Borresen Z1  .....Any feedback here on how they sound overall & even for a smallish listening area of 12x14 ,,,,,,of course at low to moderate listening levels.

@atp001 Good feedback on the Oscar Duo. Makes me wonder how the bigger Marten Parker Duo would perform .....although from brief listening of the two speakers, the Oscar Duo does have a coarse heavy side to it with still amazing delivery of mid to high freq notes. . I definitely hear you on how the bass might seem boomy as it did too for me The Parker Duo seems to have a better balance and more finesse and poise in comparison. 

@tby Just had a quick review of the Kroma Mimi Extreme on YT, even there one can sense the high quality nature of these speakers. Quite nice it must be said.


So , yeah the replies have been great from the members of audiogon. You all are getting an idea as well as am I of the my most desirable sound profile given the size restrictions of my city apt.........i.e 12x14 listening room, Rich organic pure sound , not hyper analytical to the point of being sterile .........not an out and out studio monitor (the 705 Signature leans in that direction), more of an all rounder . Some warmth yet not cloying nor syrupy. One that will check most of the audiophile check boxes yet appeals to the heart and soul as well as the head. As for now , the list is as follows :

Marten Parker Duo

Borresen Z1

Audiovector R1 Arrete

Joseph Pulsar 2 graphene

Kroma Mimi Extreme


Keep the feedback, experiences and impression of any or all coming in. As I have already learned one or two things thus far . 

Given what you’re looking for I’d add Usher that flies under the radar in the US.  They make their own drivers, and even this Dancer Mini-X DMD at under $4k uses the same diamond tweeter used in their $40k flagship speakers, which I find mighty impressive and think it’s quite a bargain.  Usher speakers are also very attractive IMHO.

ProAc is also very worthy of consideration…

Anyway, just trying to make this harder for you — heh heh.  

Not at all @soix . More choices to consider the better in the long term. Right now adding some options as well as crossing off some others from the shortlist. Latest deletion being the Borresen Z1, good soundstaging transparency and clarity , yielding to an inorganic mechanical type sound signature that just would not work in the long term. 

Interesting observation on the Z1. I've heard some of the series and thought they were great, perhaps not as warm as prior Raidho Diamond series. I own D2s and they are liquid-sounding and highly detailed when room corrected to flat.

Joseph Audio, Usher, Tidal, etc. all sound great to me.

Marten always seemed too lean.    

FWIW, I auditioned the Parkers, but went with FinkTeam KIM. They are terrific two-ways, and the integrated stands are excellent.

Martin Colloms produced a very comprehensive review, linked here:

FinkTeam KIM review

They aren't widely distributed in the U.S., but if you happen to be near a dealer, I'd recommend an audition.