I've said that for years about the MLs. You're better off upgrading all the components around the ML before going to the next up in the speaker line. That way you'll extract more of what the speaker can do.
The top of the line MBL digital and amplifier gear. And Clearaudio Statement for analogue. The weakness was not the speaker, rather that it was too good, for its own "good": it revealed the digital replay starting to display "digititus"; sometimes honesty is not the best policy ... :b
I had my MBL 1060d pre and 9011 mono blocks paired up at one point and did not enjoy. MBL's 1621a transport is a amazing pce. though. You will defiantly hear what ever you put in front of these speakers and to date my preference is VAC gear, has gotten me off the merry-go-round and don't even think of others.
I agree with MylesBAstor posting above when he said;
"To be honest, any top rank speaker worth its weight in gold should do the same thing. That is if you're seeking something that let's the listener know what's on the recording, warts and all, as opposed to the school of everything should sound pretty. If only it was the latter
Adding to that I have always been a true believer to actually find a speaker that peeks my interest and build around such, not the other way arround. Speakers in general offer different characteristics, as does everything else up the chain so it's like you are a baker sort of speaking with ingredients and in the end what will it be. "bland - mild - spicy - hot or just right for you."
In general when I read individules comments "going out of their way" to post bashing MBL's specifically the 101E speaker tells me allot, I can fully appreciate one just saying I don't like them and leave it at that but some comments made above just don't make any sense leaving their credibilty questionable.
Hmm, I thought fremer did a better job here. I like his comparisons as a reviewer in particular and he says when stuff sounds poor (like the wireworlds in the review).
On mbls, the two people i know who have bought them have sold them. Personally, i think they sound great at first, but then dont sound like real music. That coupled with extremely low sensitivity and high price makes them a tough sell.
KeithR, to each his own, indeed. Of course tastes change. Here's a quote from Jonathan Valin when he reviewed the Xtremes 2 or 3 years ago and declared them best:
"...Sheer sonic excitement may not mean much to those joyless souls who want to hear a second-rate jazz vocalist or a third-rate performance of a Mahler symphony sound precisely as good or as bad as it did in the engineering booth on the day of a recording session; as for me, I still thrill to the thrill of getting goosebumps on my arms or feeling a chill run up my back when a stereo—a mere contraption playing back another mere contraption—captures the excitement of the real thing..."
But then when the MBL guys took the speakers back from him and Alon Wolf stepped in, he did become one of those "joyless souls".
But are the 2 guys you know a valid sample? I know more than 2 guys who have put room treatments in their room and then got rid of them. The question is what are the root causes? Spousal issues? Dead room? too much space? aesthetics? preference for boomy bass? who knows? I also know more than 2 couples that were madly in love and got divorced...
In addition to changing tastes, it could be a bunch of factors, as mentioned in the thread: the room, the amps, aesthetic factors, ancillary gear, personal financial circumstances, desire to seek out new experiences, desire to have the best performance in one or 2 audiophile terms, etc. ... Finding out the actual reasons, however, would be helpful to the discussion.
after reading the review , m fremer is quite positive about them i would say .
I also would like to hear them again on a different set up , it is afterall a daring /different way of electric/acoustical loudspeaker design
I haven't read a review in some time now but decided what the heck.
Now I know why I don't bother with such because it's just all so darn subjective and instead I would rather just rely on my own ears and personal taste, Mike is trying to refer back some 8 YEARS to compare, PLEASE that alone is a complete joke!
- I read his room was far from being ideal for the set-up, does anyone know the actual measurements?
- He was using an all MBL pre and amps to drive them which I personally don't prefer so just that alone pretty well ends it for me trying to find out what these actually sound like.
- Using different speakers cables and IC's also so this alone changing the sonics which he does agree.
I have heard both "latest 101E's and the MK2's" paired up with the same VAC pre and amps as mine, different front end and cables but heard such within 5 hours time frame.
Played the same music on both and my take being I would not recommend to anyone to be running out dumbing their 101E's and buying the MK2 version's, if you have MBL electronics feeding them first and evaluate other manufactures because there will be substantial differences right there. You are going to be in for a pleasent surprice, even Mike trying the one amp he refers to said he could clearly hear the differences.
There is always going to be something different and you will in the end always be chasing your own tail sort a speak. There's always allot of Marketing hype so a company can get indivules exited, they know many rely on such for their buying decision's.
- So what was obvious to me listening was that I found the height "images of performers has changed" not to my liking, I prefer the non MK2's. You could always raise the MK2's in some way to compensate for such I suppose.
- The top end does not have the same extention, I prefer the non MK2's and really did not read too much about this.
- Bass, was a little tighter but not night and day. One could always add subs.
- Midrange, did not really hear any dramatic difference.
- Driver integration, coherient - humm When using the MBL electronics I could hear this so that alone tells me as written above you will hear what ever is feed into them. I don't have any of those issues being driven by my current electronics.
I read into it that he did like them, I think
To me there isn't anything out there that's perfect, the differences will include the room it's self, set-up, electronics up front including cables feeding playing substantial differences so really at the end of the day the review means nothing to me.
That's why I personally get what ever peeks my interest home so I can try and evaluate, I'm not building my system for others pleasures.
Last night I heard a mega buck system and it was so detailed it was ripping my head off, I was fatigued within a few songs just wanting it to be over already. I believe the owner must have loss of hearing because it did not seem to bother him.
I have never gone to a life performance and experienced such so it left me wondering why would someone want to have a set-up of such.
End of the day all of this is just so subjective and as long as you are listening to music that's the most important.
I don't know if Gregg has heard them or not, but I somehow doubt he is making it up. I would say your impressions of the MBL speakers will be based on where you heard them and how well the system was set up. As I said before, I heard them at the RMAF with an all MBL set up and I couldn't wait to get out of the room which I found very disappointing. But, I didn't write them off because of that because I know they couldn't have been set up optimally in that hotel room. I think they needed more room to breathe and others including you don't seem to like the MBL electronics.
The rap on the MBL speakers is that they are inefficient and needs lots of SS watts and current to drive them correctly. You have contradicted those thoughts by saying that your VAC tubes drive them with great results. Too bad we live so far apart because I would love to hear your system.