mbl 101 Mk.II loudspeaker

God, how I love mbl's demos. Their rooms at RMAF have been major highpoints of the last two shows for me, and their exhibit at CES 2010 is just as fine. There was an incredible warmth and inner glow to the midrange, a tremendous presence and clarity to the sound of cymbals, just the right weight to an electric bass, and a wonderful transparency throughout the range that made me want to stay forever.

Jürgen Reis, their main designer for 20 years, was showing the mbl 101Mk.II loudspeaker ($59,990), 6010 D Gen 3 Reference preamplifier ($23,800), 9008 A Reference amplifier ($25,190), 1611 F Reference DAC ($24,750), and 1621 A Reference transport ($24,000). The DAC has a new USB input with master clock control, and is capable of 24/96.

In part because mbl loudspeakers are internally wired with Wireworld, in part because mbl wanted to demonstrate that you can great sound without spending a fortune on cabling, the Wireworld cabling used in the system was not top-of-the-line. I can only begin to imagine what this system would have sounded like had it been tied together by Nordost Odin.

It turns out that Juögen plays lead guitar in a heavy metal band, sings in a chorus that specializes in performing musicals, and has his own small recording studio. His frustration with what he heard from other loudspeakers led him to pursue and, I'd say, perfect mbl's omni-directional approach. I tested out how well the speakers image from other than the sweet spot by standing, then moving up a step to the higher level in the Venetian's two-tiered rooms. The music still sounded fabulous. I think this will probably turn out to be the only room at CES where I could have invited the designer to play his favorite crunch metal, in this case by Chevelle, and find the sound non-fatiguing. Just fabulous.

Larry Greenhill agreed that the 101 Mk.II's sonics were outstanding, in particular the imaging and the natural quality of the vocals when playing the Reference Recordings CD of John Rutter's Requiem.

Michael's picture

Great. You can save several hundred dollars on cables if you buy a $30,000 speaker.

bob D. Stuckiez's picture

I think Dieter's designs are interesting. Very chic. It is worth paying for the mod aesthetics, regardless of sound quality. High WAF or PAF.

Arkadiusz's picture

Mr Wolfgang Meletzky and Jurgen Reiss words are the greatest recognition for the design and execution,incredible Radialstrahler!So far the only one who can build a column of natural acoustics records.Natural excelence throughout the band conection frequencies so perfect if it were one speaker!Putting all the nuances details of recordings to an absolute confusingly similar to a live recording!MBL 101E loudspeakers is still timeless!Bravo!!!That is why I am building this speaker.