MBL (Room 2)

The bigger rig from the MBL Reference line: Radialstrahler 101E MkII loudspeakers ($70,500/pair), the world premier of the piano-white lacquer with chrome finish, 9011 monoblock amplifiers ($53,000/each), 6010D preamplifier ($26,500), 1611F D/A converter with MBLMCMi asynchronous USB input ($28,700), and 1621A CD transport ($28,000). Additional equipment included a Linux-based vortexbox computer by Simple Design, Wireworld Eclipse 6 cabling, Locus design cynosure USB cable, and SRA Scuttle rack.

Fortune smiled upon me again, as I got to spend time in the MBL room with none other than Michael Fremer. If you don’t already know, Michael is very quick-witted and very funny, seemingly always on the lookout for a zing here or a gaff there. He’s also very serious about music, in a very non-serious way, and we were treated to some greatest hits from a CD he’d brought along for the show including “La Bamba” (the original), Irma Thomas singing “Time Is On My Side” (the original), and lots of other varied and equally wonderful and some wonderfully whacky music. I would also add that Michael Fremer’s informative introductions to each track added to the experience.

I also played a track from a CD I brought, The Lounge Lizards “Voice of Chunk” from the record of the same name and it sounded glorious and mad as it should, with Marc Ribot ripping a furious blues-soaked lead. I’d listened to this same track in another room where it sounded positively anemic. However, seeing as I’ve been listening to this CD since it was released in 1988 and have heard it on too many systems to count, I think I know what it should sound like—to my ears it should sound exactly like it did in the MBL room. Which was captivating.

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