MBL's Stunning Achievement

Oh my God. What a sound! The lighting and my distance from the speaker doesn't allow you to see it clearly, but there's a little cross inside the radiating grille atop the workings of MBL's Radialstrahler Reference mbl 101 Mk.II speakers ($59,990/pair) that drives home the religious experience that listening to an all-MBL system can create.

Music is treated with equal reverence. "Ve don't stop the music midway!" boomed the voice directed at the hapless assistant. "Ve must vait until it has ended. I do not like this!"

Somehow, we all survived, and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances from Reference Recordings' miraculous disc filled the room with the most astoundingly real, three-dimensional presentation I have yet witnessed. Of course, with so many rooms to visit, I didn't want to sit through all 18 minutes of the first section. So, praying that I would not witness a decapitation, I had to beg the hapless assistant three times to do his best to lower the volume and give me back my CD before he dared make a move.

But what an experience! At my previous Show experiences with MBL electronics, there has been a certain pearly shininess to the stunning sound that I've found a bit unnatural. But that was with different speakers. This was some of the most natural sound I've heard from any system. Also responsible were the mbl 6010 D Reference preamp ($23,800), 9011 Luxury amplifier ($42,900.00), 1611 F Reference DAC ($24,750 with 24/96/192 and SACD interface capacity), and1622 Reference transport ($27,500). It's time for me to check my Lotto ticket to see if I can find a way to buy the whole thing.

Buddha's picture

OK, I'm hooked. I am sitting here clicking refresh and watching for new entries.


Edwin's picture

i am about to go crazy i just want you to reassure me that MBL 101 MK2 is better than Genesis 2... i am a bit bias cause i really the look of the 101 MK2 but i really like to know if it is a keeper cause i dont want to buy or change speakers for the rest of my life.please give me an honest opinion that will help me a great deal.May God bless you

Tim K's picture

While I'm somewhat new to this level of equipment, the MBLs were the single most amazing sound I've ever heard from recorded music. It was sitting center seat 10th row at the symphony good. The only thing that came close with classical selections was the scaena setup ($54,000 - including separate woofer boxes and woofer amps).Beautiful to look at, intoxicating to listen to.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Hi Edwin. I always welcome blessings. But no one is capable of making this assessment without listening to both speakers in the same space with the same electronics and cables. There are so many variables. If you read John Atkinson's measurements, you'll often see him make a comment such as, "Given the impedance fluctuation in the bass, this speaker will probably work best with solid-state equipment that has ____ and a system that tends to deliver a ____ sound." Some of the speakers we heard at RMAF might have sounded even better had they been paired with different cables and electronics. It's not a crap shoot, it's an art. I heard the mbl speaker with all-mbl electronics. Hence would expect a synergistic match. I actually found the sound more neutral and to my taste than when I've heard mbl electronics paired with Kharma speakers. Maybe you can arrange a home audition of both. May the force be with you. If you end up with a spare pair of speakers, please consider donating them

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

...to the Serinus Fresh Air Fund. The fund exists to insure that JVS does not end up living in the fresh air without a roof over his head ;-)Gary Koh of Genesis is a very fine man, btw.jason

Curtis J's picture

I was present when the assistant got dressed down (I was setting right next to you on your left) for stopping the music mid-stride. What a complete arrogant asshole Davis P Alexander is. After you requested your CD back I attempted to talk with Mr. Alexander,about his products, he really didn’t have the time, to worried his this hired help fucking up.

Brent Rainwater's picture

Hi Jason , hope you are well. I will get that check off to your Fresh Air Fund if you promise to come hear my MBL 101 E s I have coming tomorrow. Regarding David Alexander , I have met him on several occasions at show conditions . My impression is that is is articulate , professional and takes his responsibility deadly serious. MBL is at the top of their game and the pressure to represent MBL and Wolfgang must be tremendous. To be fair however I was not present and cannot refute your observation.

ed's picture

ok with the MBL 101e MKII, the amps (9008) maybe really good but i like to know what other amps and preamps on the market that are as good or even better that can really and seriously drive the 101ebest regards