Fremer on the MBL

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caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,188
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#1
While Peter Bruninger had a most superb MBL review a few months ago, capturing the essence of a speaker and persuading the audiophile who wants to emulate the live music experience at home that MBL is for him, Fremer has taken a diametrically opposite approach. His review is very analytical and left brained. Seems like Fremer has tried all kinds of gear (except tube amps) and has listened to every kind of music to try to pin down the sound and find strengths and weaknesses of the speaker.

Here are some highlights:

- Blank slate transparency
- Improved driver integration
- Placement way - away from walls necessary
- Bass weight less than Wilson maxx 3
- Micro dynamics and transparency weakest points compared to stats and box speakers (but he said it was a blank slate??)
- Standout on piano
- Maxx 3 is better at microdynamics on pianissimos and at macrodynamics on fortissimo. It also has richer harmonics
- Stage height lacking due to speaker height

Overall a very good read that helps understand what the speaker can do for audiophiles. But if you are a music lover who wants to get to a state of flow and get lost in the music, who cares about these audiophile terms?

Do others who are familiar with MBL agree with Fremer's analysis?
 

Ki Choi

Member Sponsor
May 13, 2010
754
7
18
Seattle WA area
#2
Although I have not had the Maxx3s in my room but did hear them at the local dealer's show room numerous times and considered them seriously. Audio is somewhat subjective...and for me MBL 101E MkIIs had more mircodynamics, details, and sounded closest to my Sennheiser experience than what I had heard from Maxx3s. Matter of fact, I thought the Sasahs sounded better overall to me (in that room). In addition, as he had noted in his review - his room is too small - to let the MBLs produce proper bass (and potential sound stage scale), IMO. As for the stage height - MBL intentionally lowered the sonic center in Mk II version to reduce sound stage height, I thought... so go figure...
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,188
80
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#4
I was in Michael's place once. Personally I don't think the 101s would work well in his system. Based on his review it would seem like he really squeezed everything out of them that he could given the limitations of his room, relative to the needs of that speaker.
Laser, he loved them nonetheless! Said one of the best he has ever heard.
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,188
80
48
#5
Although I have not had the Maxx3s in my room but did hear them at the local dealer's show room numerous times and considered them seriously. Audio is somewhat subjective...and for me MBL 101E MkIIs had more mircodynamics, details, and sounded closest to my Sennheiser experience than what I had heard from Maxx3s. Matter of fact, I thought the Sasahs sounded better overall to me (in that room). In addition, as he had noted in his review - his room is too small - to let the MBLs produce proper bass (and potential sound stage scale), IMO. As for the stage height - MBL intentionally lowered the sonic center in Mk II version to reduce sound stage height, I thought... so go figure...
Ki,

Very interesting about stage height. To me, the Maxx 3 and MBL are night and day - a completely different experience.


Also, what headphone amp are you running with your Sennheisers?
 

cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,402
172
63
Pleasanton, CA
#7
Hearing the MBL system under show conditions at the California Audio Show, the MBL's acquitted themselves very well and sounded the closest to my own home system (which is odd, since I have an entirely different kind of arrangement). The bass was excellent in the large room, and I thought the MBL's had the best bass, lower bass and lower midrange foundation of any of the large systems. Any comment that they do not have bass would have to be room or amp related, with the MBL electronics they were the best of show in that regard.

However, the best overall sound at the show was the Wilson Alexandria/Spectral system in a much larger room. The Wilson system had the benefit of a top notch vinyl system while the MBL room was all digital.
 

DEV

New Member
Oct 20, 2011
547
0
0
#8
Did he have a head cold when he reviewed them ;)

What size of room does Mikey have?

Audio in general is so subjective, I haven't read any reviews for many many years now mainly because they don't,

1. have the same room as me
2. have the same electronics
3. have the same cables
4. have the same listening preferrence and I can go on and on.

In the end you are the one whom needs to deside what your preference really is and in your own room, if you go by what people in general say "negative sonically speaking" you will miss out. I know I did for years not having mine along with driving them with tube amps.

I can say this and that but won't because really it doesn't matter, all I know is that I'm truely enjoying my set-up :D
 

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cjfrbw

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
2,402
172
63
Pleasanton, CA
#11

DEV

New Member
Oct 20, 2011
547
0
0
#13
Your guys are sharp ;) My next post was going to be a pic of just music but you guys figured it out Ha! Ha! ;)

You are correct when I listen the speakers disappear. :)
 

caesar

Well-Known Member
May 31, 2010
3,188
80
48
#15
Did he have a head cold when he reviewed them ;)

What size of room does Mikey have?

Audio in general is so subjective, I haven't read any reviews for many many years now mainly because they don't,

1. have the same room as me
2. have the same electronics
3. have the same cables
4. have the same listening preferrence and I can go on and on.

In the end you are the one whom needs to deside what your preference really is and in your own room, if you go by what people in general say "negative sonically speaking" you will miss out. I know I did for years not having mine along with driving them with tube amps.

I can say this and that but won't because really it doesn't matter, all I know is that I'm truely enjoying my set-up :D

Dev, I also have to comment on your great looking gear! Your points above are also well taken. My only comment is that out of 100's of speakers out there, even very expensive ones, there is something very unique about how MBL sounds. There is really nothing like it. It is a completely different experience than pretty much any other full range speaker.
 

fas42

Addicted To Best
Jan 8, 2011
3,973
0
0
NSW Australia
#16
We do have a 'Music' section only. :b

And that includes people with disappearing loudspeakers...

Check it out, some great music selections there; Classical and all that Jazz ...
Hah, disappearing speakers, easy peasy!! I just turn around, very easy technique, and they're completely gone! For that extra degree of finesse I walk out of the room, and then I can't see the buggers no matter how hard I try ...

Why don't you suggest something really tricky, Bob?! :b:b

Frank
 

DEV

New Member
Oct 20, 2011
547
0
0
#18
Dev, I also have to comment on your great looking gear! Your points above are also well taken. My only comment is that out of 100's of speakers out there, even very expensive ones, there is something very unique about how MBL sounds. There is really nothing like it. It is a completely different experience than pretty much any other full range speaker.
Thanks for the compliment, Vac and my other pces feeding my MBL's is very nice indeed. I have found over the years most have not heard what these speakers really are capable of due to only hearing in show or showroom conditions which are far from being ideal, adding to that most have only heard them paired up with MBL electronics.
 

MylesBAstor

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
11,223
5
38
New York City
www.audionirvana.org
#20
Thanks for the compliment, Vac and my other pces feeding my MBL's is very nice indeed. I have found over the years most have not heard what these speakers really are capable of due to only hearing in show or showroom conditions which are far from being ideal, adding to that most have only heard them paired up with MBL electronics.
I have yet to hear MBLs sound good at a show! And I know they can based upon what I heard at a colleagues' home who went to great lengths to get them properly set up. I think that because the MBLs are an omnidirectional speaker, one must have a good sized room to get them to work properly (eg a hotel room will never do it).
 
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