best amplifiers

luk71

New Member
May 17, 2016
3
0
1
#1
I want to buy mbl 101 mkii. what do you think about combining them with the karan 600 amplifier ?
do you have experiences with mbl speakers combined with other brands? thanks !!!!
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
6,145
697
113
Beverly Hills, CA
#2
My favorite amplifiers for MBL 101E Mk. IIs are high-power hybrid amps. I have twice heard Aesthetix Atlas Eclipse monos driving those speakers, and I think the Atlas is a great solution.

I am sure other high-power hybrid amps (like Absolare and Lamm) would work and sound great as well, but Aesthetix offers the greatest value per dollar in this area, I believe.
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
506
233
43
Denmark
#3
MBL 9011 where designed to drive that speaker to perfection, the mid bass is really hard to energize with most amps. I used Krell FPB 700cx before
getting the 9011, though it was good, but 9011 are just in a different
league. Another WBF member uses 2 pairs of Symphonic Line Craft on
his 101’s. Never tried the Karan’s.
 

luk71

New Member
May 17, 2016
3
0
1
#4
MBL 9011 where designed to drive that speaker to perfection, the mid bass is really hard to energize with most amps. I used Krell FPB 700cx before
getting the 9011, though it was good, but 9011 are just in a different
league. Another WBF member uses 2 pairs of Symphonic Line Craft on
his 101’s. Never tried the Karan’s.
Do you use a single 9011 in stereo mode ? Tks
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
506
233
43
Denmark
#5
Do you use a single 9011 in stereo mode ? Tks
A single 9011 and a Krell Fpb 700cx on bass towers.
As stereo amp the 9011 only puts out 2x130 watts, but handles the 101E,s
much better than the (on paper) more powerful Krell. In stereo mode
the tone of the 9011 is sweeter than mono mode. I rarely play over 90db.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,104
51
48
#6
Sorry, I did't see this thread before.... The bottom line on amps for MBL is that they need to provide a lot current. Otherwise, they will sound syrupy sound or dead. I don't know about the Karan 600, but they claim to have high current capability.

My test is simple. Play Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. If the drums and canon shots are EXPLOSIVE and have great decay (no smearing), you are in business. But if it sounds like some pussy playing or like child pitter patter, move on.

Not sure if you already own the Karan, but an excellent option are the newish Class D monoblocks from the MBL Noble line.

Good Luck!
 

adyc

VIP/Donor
Jan 6, 2013
384
9
18
#7
I owned MBL 101 MK2 before. I used to drive them with 9011 monos. But the best sound I got is to drive them with VAC450 monos. Plenty of power and dynamics. I’m not a fan of tube but VAC450 drives 101 much better than 9011!
 

Lagonda

VIP/Donor
Feb 4, 2014
506
233
43
Denmark
#8
I owned MBL 101 MK2 before. I used to drive them with 9011 monos. But the best sound I got is to drive them with VAC450 monos. Plenty of power and dynamics. I’m not a fan of tube but VAC450 drives 101 much better than 9011!
What was the size of your room when you had MBL 101’s ?
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,104
51
48
#9
4 amplifiers will always sound better than 2- more transparency , separation, and more explosiveness. This is especially true if you have weaker, lower current amplifiers.

However, if you listen primarily to vocals, a decently powered tube amp will do great - it’s like a stat with better bass and highs. In his review , Peter Breuninger mentioned he even tried a SET. I wouldn’t do that - Peter got lucky, but most will likely blow up their amp!

If you want explosiveness and SET - Type musicality, the symphonic line Krafts are the way to go. Krafts may be the greatest SS amplifiers ever built. They are one of the few amplifiers out there , along with CAT, that make Magico sound musical. But they aren’t marketed well, and most people never heard of them so people are experientially impoverished and think drek like Pass lands is great.
 

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