TuneAudio Marvel – Loudspeaker (Part 2)

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A show of fireworks

Attesting to the resolving power of the Marvels, despite their limited bandwidth, they proved more than adequate to the task of revealing the sonic superiority of Reference Recordings’ high resolution ‘HRx’ 24-bit/176.4kHz master files.

When reproducing the startling dynamic drama of the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of Eiji Oue, captured on the album Exotic Dances From The Opera (Reference HR-48 HRx), the speakers once again threw an enormous soundstage while recreating the power and scale of the orchestra with fair success. The timpani blows were suitably visceral, pressurizing the room without obscuring low-level details or appearing to artificially bloat the image size. Meanwhile, brass and percussion sounded notably crisp and vivid, the Marvels seemingly disposed to revel in the sonic fireworks of this top-drawer recording and, again, displaying commendably little compression even during the loudest scored passages.

Calling the tune

TuneAudio’s speaker designs reflect the passion of company proprietor Manolis Proestakis. Considerably larger than this Marvel model is the 75kg 3-way Anima, that employs a 15in woofer coupled with a 5in horn-loaded midrange driver and 1in HF compression unit. TuneAudio also manufacturers a behemoth of a subwoofer it calls Pulse. Weighing 95kg this is an active design with inbuilt 100W Class D amplifier.

Says Manolis: ‘We believe that horn loudspeakers are the best to reproduce the recorded arts. Properly implemented, horns will exhibit high efficiency, low distortion, huge dynamic range and controlled directivity. Our designs will deliver all those qualities and bring you as close to the recording as possible’. Countless speaker designers might disagree, of course, as will most recording and mastering engineers – or they’d all be using horn transducers for monitoring. Nevertheless there’s no denying the engaging sound quality of horns that many enthusiasts simply can’t live without.

TuneAudio’s speaker designs reflect the passion of company proprietor Manolis Proestakis

TuneAudio’s speaker designs reflect the passion of company proprietor Manolis Proestakis

The verdict

This Greek horn loudspeaker is immaculately finished, and it offers much to enjoy in image scale and musical dynamics. It’s a loudspeaker that proves hugely engaging thanks to its fast, vivid delivery. Although its limited bandwidth and tonal aberrations would preclude it from consideration as a hi-resolution monitor, horn speaker fans will surely love it – especially as it’s so competitively priced.

Sound quality: 72%

Lab report

TuneAudio Marvel

TuneAudio claims a high 97dB sensitivity for the Marvel but our measurements, which recorded an average pink noise sensitivity of 93.9dB, suggest that this is about 3dB optimistic. With the recommended amplifier power of ~5W, this equates to peak SPL capability at 1m of just 101dB, which will only suffice for small-scale or low dynamic range music programmer. For larger-scale works, more amplifier power will be needed to achieve semi-realistic listening levels.

The good news for partnering amplifiers is that the Marvel does not use low impedance to achieve this – the nominal impedance of 8ohm accords well with our measured minimum modulus of 6.8ohm, and although impedance phase angles are high, the minimum EPDR is a friendly 3.6ohm at 42Hz, making the Marvel an easy load to drive. Less good news from the impedance measurement is the appearance of multiple peaks in the lower midrange resulting from a series of resonant modes in the poorly terminated, and un-damped, rear horn.

On-axis response errors of 7.5dB and 10.0dB (200Hz to 20kHz) – measured 1m from the floor, in line with the cabinet edge to which the tweeter horn is attached, with the tweeter horn pointed towards the microphone – are disappointing, but not so disappointing as the 12.1dB pair matching error resulting from larger disparities at upper-mid and lower treble frequencies. The better sample is characterized by excess presence band output and denuded high treble (red trace). Despite this, the cumulative spectral decay waterfall is quite clean although remember those resonances in the bass horn, which aren’t resolved in this measurement.

The Marvels’ forward response(s) differed dramatically between ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ samples

The Marvels’ forward response(s) differed dramatically between ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ samples

‘Cabinet’ modes are minimal but stronger resonances in the bass horn are not illustrated here

‘Cabinet’ modes are minimal but stronger resonances in the bass horn are not illustrated here



·         Sensitivity (SPL/1m/2.83Vrms – Mean/IEC/Music): 92.5dB/93.9dB/94.7dB

·         Impedance modulus min/max (20Hz-20kHz): 6.8ohm @ 99Hz – 82.8ohm @ 26Hz

·         Impedance phase min/max (20hZ-20kHz): -60o @ 32Hz – 59o @ 21Hz

·         Pair matching (200Hz-20kHz):  12.1dB

·         LF/HF extension (-6dB ref 200Hz/10kHz): 67Hz / 30.0kHz/27.8kHz

·         THD 100Hz/1kHz/10kHz (for 90dB SPL/1m): 1.4% / 0.6% / 0.3%

·         Dimensions (HWD): 1490x320x560mm


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