MBL Corona C15 monoblock power amplifier Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Linn Sondek LP12 turntable with Lingo power supply, Linn Ekos tonearm, Linn Arkiv B cartridge.
Digital Sources: Ayre Acoustics C-5xeMP universal player; dCS Vivaldi SACD/CD player–D/A system; Apple 2.7GHz i7 Mac mini running OS10.7, iTunes 10, Pure Music 1.89, Audirvana Plus 1.5.10; NAD M50 media player with NAD M52 and NetGear RAID arrays; Logitech Transporter media server; NAD M51, Auralic Vega D/A converters; Arcam rBlink Bluetooth DAC; Ayre Acoustics QA-9 USB A/D converter.
Preamplification: Channel D Seta L phono preamplifier, Pass Labs XP-30 line preamplifier.
Power Amplifiers: Lamm Lamm M1.2 Reference, MBL 9007, Pass Labs XA60.5 (all monoblocks).
Loudspeakers: Joseph Audio Perspective, Rogers BBC LS3/5A, Vivid Audio Giya G3; EnigmAcoustics Sopranino supertweeters.
Cables: Digital: Kubala-Sosna Elation! AES/EBU, AudioQuest Coffee, Belkin Gold USB, Transparent USB (with dCS Vivaldi). Interconnect (balanced): Kubala-Sosna Elation!, Transparent, AudioQuest Wild Blue. Speaker: Kubala-Sosna Elation!. AC: Kubala-Sosna Elation!, manufacturers' own.
Accessories: Audio Power Industries 116 Mk.II & PE-1, APC S-15 AC line conditioners (computers, hard drive); ASC Tube Traps, RPG Abffusor panels; Ayre Acoustics Myrtle Blocks; Target TT-5 equipment racks; Shunyata Research Dark Field cable elevators; AC power comes from two dedicated 20A circuits, each just 6' from breaker box.—John Atkinson

MBL Akustukgerate GmbH & Co.
US distributor: MBL North America, Inc.
263 West End Avenue, Suite 2F
New York, NY 10023
(212) 724-4870

iosiP's picture

If I'm not wrong, the same amount of cash allows you to buy a Constellation Centaur or Boulder 1060 stereo. Yes these are not monoblocks, and maybe they don't look quite as good (but this is disputable, as industrial design preferences are highly personal), but at least you don't get to cope with the traditional class-D idiosyncrasies.
So sorry, but I'd rather look for somethind else for my Raidhos C3.

corona user's picture

I auditioned the Corona C51 Integrated Amp as a potential replacement for my Boulder monoblocks. My speakers are demanding, Wilson Sashas, and I am using A DCS Dac. To my considerable surprise I found that I greatly enjoyed my system when using the C51. Music sounded more realistic, with a greater sense of acoustical space. Orchestral and piano music are spectacular with top notch recordings. I listen to many opera recordings and found the sound stages opening up with greater vocal definition. I purchased the C51 and as a music lover and listener of over 40 years have never enjoyed music more.

corona user's picture

In my previous comments I did not clearly state that the Corona Monoblocks use the same LASA technology. The same sonic benefits I have noticed in the C51 are applicable to the C15s. They have none of the "traditional class-D idiosyncrasies."

xsipower's picture

This amplifier uses a Hypex’s UcD700HG module. This technology is created by the brilliant engineer Bruno Putzeys at Hypex and not MBL. MBL is purchasing OEM versions from Hypex.
You can find the specification and pictures of the module at https://www.hypexshop.com/ .

You can see pictures of the module inside the MBL C15 here:

The only difference with the MBL version is that they have their LOGO on the PCB instead of Hypex LOGO. The UcD700HG has the same exact specifications and performance that was measured by Stereophile. It has the same 28A peak current capability that Stereophile's Footnote says it has.

Now here is the interesting part. You can buy the module for 150.00 Euros from Hypex. That’s of course without power supply. I’m not sure why the MBL C15 should cost $25,000/pair when the only thing that is designed by MBL is the power supply, digital controls / display and chassis.

You can get the same UCD technology and performance from CIA Audio for a fraction of the price of the MBL. The D500MKII is rated at 500 watts @ 8 ohms/800 watts @ 4 ohms. It costs only $6000/ pair:


Just to clarify I do not work for any of the above companies.


Doctor Fine's picture

Each of the other amps used as references have earned special attention for having unmatched non-fatiguing, realistic timbres.

Each has also already earned reputations for extraordinarily palpable three dimensional imaging capabilities.

How fared the C15? If not as good as the Pass then where exactly does it fail in imaging prowess? Is it "good for class D" or a real believable performer, period? Same thing with timbre.

In my experience it is these two parameters in particular which lift an entire system into the higher realms of audio integrity and sheer intoxication.

The description of the C15 in these two areas would be more meaningful to ME if you could clarify how high up the food chain the amp really goes.

After all any good public address amp with decent modern design can be expected to provide lots of grunt and a real loud clear presentation. But truly musical, non-fatiguing, three dimensional "life" in a power amp is the sign of a top performer, as you well know, Mr. Atkinson.

sasami's picture

MBL C21, AVM, Micromega, Channel Islands Audio, all of these uses the same Hypex UcD module just like so many different ICE module. UcD designed MBL C21 is $10,000.

As for listening I still like MBL C21 best, next is AVM. The wost UcD400 module base amplifier I heard is AURALiC Merak. And it's not cheap. It just base on person experience.

Anyway this review is about MBL C15, which use NC1200 that is the NCore module. Take it from AURALiC, NCore stock design unit cost $10,000/pr that far from optimal, a tailor design will cost $20,000/pr upwards. Which is what MBL C15 cost.