MBL Transcends Analog Tape
When I win the PowerBall and retire, I am going to have MBL North America's Jeremy Bryan on call as my set-up man. At show after show, Jeremy has demonstrated that he can tame the most recalcitrant, obdurately obstinate room acoustics problems, using whatever tools he can find, to allow his system to shine its brightest. When I went into the larger of MBL's two rooms in the Doubletree, it was apparent that he had worked his magic. But what I didn't know was that throughout the show, snow melting on the hotel's roof was causing a stream of water running down the wall of the room behind the drapes. (I was impressed by the system's liquid-sounding midrange, however!)
Speakers were the MBL 101E Mk.2 omnidirectional speakers ($70,500/pair) driven by 9011 monoblock amplifiers ($106,000/pair), both positively reviewed by Michael Fremer for this magazine in the spring of 2012. I have always loved the sound of MBL's omnidirectional Radialstrahler high-frequency drivers and I was bowled over in my first visit to this room by the purity of Joni Michell's voice and the depth and width of the orchestral backing on her 2000 remake of "Both Sides Now." But on my second visit, Jeremy played me open-reel tapes of Beatles and Led Zeppelin recordings, using a United Home Audio deck. I had never heard this familiar material sound so convincing, so magnificent, so authoritative. My best sound at the Show!