But I'd loved the sound which rarely happens during shows where acoustics are usually borderline. Even the best system in the world won't be able to present its full potential in a poor room. And yet, in a relatively small space the Marton amplifier with its accompanying hardware had sounded really good, delivering among other impressive qualities excellent pace and rhythm. Bought cheap that day at a show stand, I had on me a Blues CD whose name or artist I don't recall but which sounded amazing. So Knaga who obviously shares my love of the Blues didn't want me to leave his room so he could spin this disc over and over again.

For a long time, I've dreamed of one day owning a complete high-end system of exclusively Polish components. Already back then I thought that such a system should probably include a Marton amplifier. Later however, the brand somehow vanished from sight. It had never really been a front-cover affair what with very slow product introductions, no new reviews and no regular show appearances. But then came the 2018 Warsaw event. Already a few months prior, I'd learnt of the new cooperation with P.A. Labs, owners of one of Poland's most internationally successful brands in GigaWatt whose power conditioners, power strips and other power delivery products are highly valued around the world. As that press release put it, the impetus of working together had been floated for already 10 years. It had been solidified by 2015 and was finally unveiled in 2018. Hence the first fruit of their combined knowledge is today's Marton Opusculum Reference 3.

One reason to acquire a new brand is to absorb the knowledge, experience and infrastructure of the people behind it. GigaWatt had been making some of the best power delivery products for years already. I'd personally used some for quite a while, starting with their in-wall LC-Y cable which runs from my fuse box directly to two GigaWatt wall outlets dedicated to my hifi. This simple change did a lot of good and surely was the best price/performance upgrade I'd ever made. I also used their PF2-Mk2 power strip with LC-3 power cable whenever I ran out of outlets on my power conditioner. Recently I added their PC-3 SE Evo which outperformed thus replaced the previous unit. All of these power components were carefully selected for their performance but since they were also Polish, they had the added bonus of working toward my eventual all-Polish dream system. Relative to today's review, I thus knew that Adam Szubert's expertise with power delivery and anti-vibration chassis design were aspects which the Opusculum Reference 3 had surely benefited from.

As the numbered suffix '3' suggests, this is the latest version of the highly regarded Opusculum Reference. At the 2018 show, two of these beasts had  powered a system of J. Sikora turntable, dCS digital and Wilson Audio Alexia II speakers. Beast is an appropriate descriptor if you figure size and nearly 100kg/ea. Again I wondered whether I might have one delivered for review. It's actually a solid-state integrated capable of delivering 400wpc into 8Ω, the first 50W in class A. A combination of buttons on its remote can bypass the preamp section to turn into a stereo amp. The power supply packs over 500'000μF of capacitance and a huge but noiseless 2.5kW+ transformer. The specs make clear that this will drive virtually any loudspeaker almost effortlessly. And yet there still is the bridging option for an astonishing 1'600W mono power. But if you really need more power, you should probably wait for the pre/mono triple set that's currently finalizing R&D next to a smaller somewhat less expensive integrated.