But it takes a track like Eliza Gilkyson’s ‘Tender Mercies’, (Land Of Milk And Honey, Red House Records CD174) to really make the point and drive it home. Dating from 2004 and the post 9-11 zeitgeist, it seems if anything, even more apposite now. The spacious, largely acoustic arrangement and the fragile quality to both the lyric and the vocals encapsulates the desperation of the disenfranchised, the anger of the downtrodden. The tonal and rhythmic subtleties that come so naturally to the Marquis allow the song and the singing its full range of complex and conflicted emotions. This ability to articulate a melodic line, to capture the intricacies and intent in a performer’s phrasing is central to the Göbel’s communicative capability. It is apparent in just how affective heartfelt performances are. It is apparent in the way that discs selected for a single track seem almost inevitably to play through to the end. This ability to communicate musical purpose, to capture and hold your attention – that’s the Göbel Divin Marquis’ ‘Super Power’.
Getting there the fastest with the mostest…
There’s an old audio trope that 90% of the music happens in the midrange –which is one of the reasons that pint-sized speakers and table radios actually work. But there’s also no substitute for bandwidth. The Divin Marquis simply cannot match the scale and extension generated by its bigger brothers – so how does it match their musical impact? The short answer is by making the most of the not inconsiderable bass it does generate – and it does that by extending the qualities we generally associate with the mid-band, way, way down the range. The speed, transparency, resolution, tonal and rhythmic distinctions so critical to musical expression are all present and correct, right through the mid-bass and on down. The clarity and lack of clutter in the sound adds clarity of purpose and structural integrity to the music. It’s this continuity and temporal and dynamic coherence that translates in turn into the musical subtlety and articulation that makes the Marquis such a communicative and engaging performer. Now, factor in the natural sense of presence and immediacy that coms with the high sensitivity and responsive dynamics and the speaker brings its own, focussed intensity to proceedings.
The Marquis might lack really, really deep bass, but it takes that absence and translates it into natural pace and musical impact. Of course, there are plenty of speakers that don’t plumb the musical depths, but they can’t do what the Marquis does. That’s because they lack that absolute clarity and responsive nature that Göbel’s driver and cabinet technology delivers. But it also delivers another, quite surprising capability. For a speaker that is far from small and has an unusually deep cabinet, the Marquis is surprisingly at home with both lesser electronics and in lesser rooms. Although I spent time with the Divin speakers in the main Music Room, driving them with the CH M1.1 and VTL S-400 II, I also got great results from the S-200 and the Levinson 585 and Gryphon Diablo 120 integrated amps.