Marja & Henk
Financial Interests: click here
Sources: PS Audio PWT; Dr. Feickert Blackbird MKII/DFA 1o5/Zu DL-103; Phasure XX-PC;
DAC: Phasure NOS1 DAC; LampizatOr Atlantic [loaner]; T+A DAC8 [loaner]
Streaming sources: XXHighEnd; iTunes; Devialet AIR; La Rosita Beta; Qobuz Desktop, Tidal Desktop
Preamp/integrated/power: Audio Note Meishu with WE 300B (or AVVT, JJ, KR Audio 300B output tubes); dual Devialet D-Premier; PTP Audio Blok 20; Hypex Ncore 1200 based monoblocks; Trafomatic Kaivalya; Trafomatic Reference One; Trafomatic Reference Phono One; Music First Passive Magnetic; DIMD PP10 [loaner]
Speakers: Avantgarde Acoustic Duo Omega; Arcadian Audio Pnoe; Podium Sound One; WLM Sub 12; Sounddeco Alpha F3; dual Zu Submission MKI; Soltanus Virtuoso ESL, Mark & Daniel Maximus Ruby MkII [loaner], Volya Audio Bouquet [loaner]
Cables: complete loom of ASI LiveLine cables; full loom of Crystal Cable cables; full loom of Nanotec Golden Strada; Audiomica Pearl Consequence interconnect; Audiomica Pebble Consequence;
Power line conditioning: PS Audio Powerplant Premier; PS Audio Humbuster III; IsoTek Evo 3 Syncro; AudioMica Allbit Consequence
Equipment racks: Solid Tech and ASI amplifier and TT shelf
Indispensable accessories: Furutech DeMag; ClearAudio Double Matrix; Franc Audio Ceramic Disc Classic; Shakti Stones; Akiko Audio sticks; Kemp polarity checker
Online Music purveyors:,,,
Room treatment: Acoustic System International resonators, sugar cubes, diffusers
Room size: ca. 14.5 x 7.5m with a ceiling height of 3.5m, brick walls, wooden flooring upstairs, ca 7 x 5m with a ceiling height of 3.5m, brick walls and concrete floor downstairs.
Price of review item:  $2'700/pr

"<Beep>, dat klinkt lekker!" We muttered those words simultaneously as the first tones escaping the Mark & Daniel Maximus Ruby MkII hit the room. That <beep> was the most common Dutch swear word, a derogatory term for a female's privates. The rest translates as "that sounds good!". Not long before this moment of expressed stereo exaltation—really, we said it simultaneously--we received two small quite heavy boxes from China. Surrounded by serious protection almost like a car's crumple zone with additional foam padding, we lifted out a pair of small loudspeakers, one from each box. The included no-slip gloves made the job easier. Each measures 29.5 x17.5 x21.5cm HxWxD and puts a stout 9.2kg to the scale. This is due to the artificial stone called CAM for compound artificial marble, Mark & Daniel's signature material for all their cabinets. According to the documentation, CAM is reinforced for extra strength. Why that extra strength is needed we'd learn soon enough. The hand-made box has strong beveled edges on all sides, with the front sporting the strongest to suggest a vintage single cut-like diamond shape. At the tweeter location the cutaway is strongest and gradually the bevel rake recedes to flat at the mid/woofer's centre. From here a slight bevel increases again toward the bottom.

Clearly, the Maximus-Ruby MkII is a compact two-way and our review sample came dressed in black for the occasion. For wideband duties, there is the firm's latest DM-6b air-motion transformer aka AMT. Its attention-grabbing glossy stainless plate contrasted strongly with the black cabinet but as a matter of taste, a black AMT version is available as well. Below the AMT, their "super" woofer SX5.5a-0.8 tucks behind a magnet-mounted metal perf grill. At the back two small 3cm diameter ports at tweeter height caught our eye like twin exhausts. Through them a part of the tweeter's back was visible plus some foam damping material. Above the WBT 0703 speaker terminals the manufacturer lists some specifications: frequency response 42Hz-30KHz, xover 900Hz, nominal impedance 4-6Ω and power handling ≥ 80W. These specs for such a little loudspeaker intrigued us in three ways right off. Forty-two cycles from less than an 11 litre enclosure? The ‘tweeter' picking up from as low as 900Hz? Power requirements at least 80wpc? Was this an ESL in disguise?.