For slightly heavier fare I turned to Mark Knopfler, AC/DC and Metallica. Mark's album was the clear winner on sound quality. It was clear, quite transparent and rich at the same time, with nicely extended kicking tight bass, dense and present guitars and vocals, then an appropriately withdrawn treble given the recording. I particularly liked Knopfler's voice and guitar. They had nice timbre, texture, natural flow and reverb. Add steady pace and rhythm on electric bass to control the pulse in an impressive yet non-dominant way. I was curious whether the MT-2 Special Edition would do an equally good job with still heavier music so cued up Back in Black then Metallica. The Muarah with the Sorane tonearm didn't seem to care. It simply shifted up and delivered a dynamic quite energetic performance following the wild Aussies and more 'serious' Americans. It proved again that PRaT is one of its prime qualities no matter how fast the pace. While these weren't audiophile recordings, the Polish table played them with powerful bass and the rich midrange which electric guitars benefit from. Like with most rock recordings the treble was the weakest link but the Muarah did a good job of limiting excessive harshness, grain and brightness enough to not undermine the music's impact on a whole.

Footer superimposed against multi-layer platter.

An audiophile trio release was yet another change of pace that didn't seem to faze the Muarah. This high-quality album has one of my favorite drummers Steve Gadd recorded in front of a live audience in a small venue. While some productions catch the venue acoustics even better, the engineers responsible for this one did a good job. The Muarah nicely rendered the space and carefully placed the three musicians on a small yet three-dimensional stage with enthusiastic fans fronting them. This time the dominant playback features were the particularly natural flow and beautiful timbres of the saxophone, Hammond and drums. It was hard to resist snapping fingers when listening to this cheerful music so skillfully performed, recorded and replayed. As mentioned before, I love Steve Gadd so naturally focused mostly on his play and the sound of his drums. Everything I already wrote about tight fast springy bass held. This time however the cymbals were quite vibrant, crisp and very well differentiated, proving that any withdrawn treble on previous albums came from them not the hardware. What kept the trio interesting and engaging was how well the table plied the abundance of tiny detail and subtleties in both bass and treble. That allowed me to follow Steve Gadd's mastery in a way that not that many turntables and surely almost none at this price tend to offer.

Easy conveniently accessible arm adjustments.

The adjustable arm board preset for the Sorane arm.

To my mind the Muarah MT-2 SE is one helluva beautiful and well-designed affair! Its ~€5K price is considerable but close to half of it falls to the pleasantly versatile Japanese Sorane SA1.2 arm of rock-solid performance. The €1'540 PSC speed controller paired with the InteliClamp® increases the final ask further but is a must-have upgrade. Don't get me wrong, the MT-2 SE is great even without it. It delivers a dynamic, focused, coherent, precise, open, resolving sound regardless of musical genre. But with the PSC it still gets better, more convincing and immersive. I think that fully kitted out, it's a serious contender to the throne in its price range, one you should put on a short list of potential purchases if you're in the market for a serious, good-looking, flexible record player with built-in upgrade path.