MBL: Space is the Place

Too often I’m more impressed by a system’s high price than by its high performance. But, in the case of this MBL system, the $260,000 price tag seemed completely understandable. I’m also fascinated by how a system’s sound can be transported from room to room, show to show, across oceans and states. The MBL system I heard at the California Audio Show sounded a lot like the MBL system I heard at the Munich High End Show—a good thing, indeed.

MBL’s Jeremy Bryan played a series of demo tracks that displayed the system’s many strengths: speed; clarity; detail; well-focused images on a large, wraparound soundstage; drama; momentum; impact. This is a muscular, athletic sound.

I was kinda freaked out, though, when Jeremy Bryan suggested we listen to Sleigh Bells—Alexis Krauss is hot!—but I was happily impressed by how the MBL gear handled the band’s aggressive, driving sound. The system found space in the music where I thought no space existed. Which is part of what $260,000 buys you.