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Thread: MBL Epiphany

  1. #1
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    MBL Epiphany

    Last night my wife and I attended the Halloween Spooktacular event at 3mA Audio in Houston. It was fantastic party with an open bar stocked with top-shelf liquors and wine, an on-site food truck providing the eats, great costumes and a 20 foot tall stuffed panda (with a man inside controlling the movements). We had a blast, and sincere thanks to 3mA!

    But the highlights of the show were the sound systems. First up were the MBL X-tremes with (4) MBL 9011 amps (huge!!), MBL 6010D pre (unbelievably gorgeous) and MBL DAC. I listened from multiple locations and eventually from the sweet spot. As one can imagine, this system presented a huge soundscape, and was also tonally beautiful. Jeremy Bryan was handling song selection, which was heavily biased toward bass heavy, electronic tracks, and played far too loud for my tastes (and I do like loud for my favorites…just ask my wife). I wish I could have listened to some classical tracks and some small-scale jazz to get a better impression of the system, but it was still amazing and something everyone should make an effort to hear.

    Jeremy mentioned that this same system will be in Tampa for the Florida Audio Expo, working in partnership with Suncoast. My hat is off to you, Mike. That is a heroic effort to set up a system of this scale for only a 3-day show. I cringe at the thought of having to move only one of those 9011’s!

    Next up were the Estelon X Diamonds in a stunning cobalt blue. Electronics were mono Accuphase amps and a Burmester 111 preamp/streamer. I love the design of the speakers, and was really looking forward to hearing them after reading such great comments by Mr Valin. But the system was only OK at best, and not because I had just listened to the X-tremes. I don’t know if the room was too small, or if it was a lack of synergy with the electronics, but the system was nothing special. Very disappointed because I really wanted to like these speakers. Aesthetically, these and the Vivid Giyas are my favorites.

    Next up was a Nordost cable demonstration, which was truly an ear opener. The Nordost rep simply replaced a single set of RCA cables between the Berkeley Alpha DAC and MBL N11 pre, going from the least expensive to the Valhalla 2. In each case, there was a clearly discernible improvement in the sound. Even my wife commented on the clearly audible differences, and especially loved the Valhalla until I asked the price ($7500/m). A great educational experience, and something I would have been suspicious about if I had not been sitting 10 feet away.

    But the jewel of the evening for me was the system providing the Nordost demo. MBL 101’s, mono N15 amps and the MBL N11 pre. I am in love with this system. I had demoed the 116 F’s years ago at a truly amazing audio store in Istanbul, Extreme Audio, by far the nicest audio store I have ever visited. But the 116’s were not good at all. I believe they were underpowered by just a single stereo C21, but it really made me wonder what all the fuss was about over MBL speakers.

    Well, the 101’s have rocked my world, and financially that is not a good thing. I can’t wait to do some serious listening with these speakers. I have nothing negative to say about them based on what I heard yesterday, only superlatives. Again, the system I heard used the N15 amps. But the salesman in the room said that he vastly preferred them with Boulder amplification.

    I’ve been thinking recently that my next system would be the MSB Reference, MSB 202 and Vivid G2’s. Listening to the 101’s have me reconsidering. They are really that special.

    Until hearing the MBL systems yesterday, the best system I have ever heard was hosted at a dealer’s home some years ago by Philip O’Hanlon. It consisted of Vivid G1’s, a huge Burmester amp and Brinkmann turntable. I don’t remember other details. But this glorious sound was my benchmark…until yesterday!

    My wife and I leave Thursday for the Capital Audio Fest. I hope to spend more time in the MBL room, and also hope to hear the MSB gear. Have a great week!
    Amps: Devialet E440's (L/R), Classe Sigma Amp5 (C/LR/RR), NAD M17 V2 SSP
    Sources: Innuos Zenith Mk III (Roon Core), Paul Pang Enet Switch w/ LPSU, Oppo BDP-103D
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7i, Magnepan CCR/DWM, Magnepan 1.7i (Rears), REL S5 w/ Longbow (w/ ifi iPowerX)
    Power: Shunyata Triton V3, (6) Dedicated 20-amp Outlets
    Cabling: Shunyata Power, WireWorld Enet & HDMI, Cardas I/C's, Light Harmonic USB
    Racks/Footers: Box Furniture Co Custom Rack, Symposium RollerBlocks, Voodoo Iso-Pods, Herbie's Audio Lab (many)

  2. #2
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Great feedback Bob. Yes, I’m bringing the MBL XTreme Reference system to the Florida Audio Expo. We’ve had the planning in place for months, since having enough power was paramount. The electrician for the hotel has been excellent. We have the right room for it and I’m expecting great things.

    We had the Estelon’s in the store and your comments mirrored what our customers told us, so we sent them packing.

    The 101’s are indeed very special and give you a nice piece of the 101 XTreme system. Add subs to the 101’s and look out!

    Pairing Nordost with MBL came from me. I’ve been preaching it to Jeremy for months. I guess another dealer caught wind of it (as always seems to happen….hmmm….MBL Epiphany). Anyway, the Nordost is really by far our favorite pairing with MBL. The speed and dynamics of their cables, really lend themselves well to a somewhat inefficient speaker.

    Enjoy next week. I’m still on the fence about going, but Florida Audio Expo will have representation there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Bakoon Audio, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  3. #3

    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    ....

    But the jewel of the evening for me was the system providing the Nordost demo. MBL 1001’s, mono N15 amps and the MBL N11 pre. I am in love with this system. I had demoed the 116 F’s years ago at a truly amazing audio store in Istanbul, Extreme Audio, by far the nicest audio store I have ever visited. But the 116’s were not good at all. I believe they were underpowered by just a single stereo C21, but it really made me wonder what all the fuss was about over MBL speakers.

    Well, the 1001’s have rocked my world, and financially that is not a good thing. I can’t wait to do some serious listening with these speakers. I have nothing negative to say about them based on what I heard yesterday, only superlatives. Again, the system I heard used the N15 amps. But the salesman in the room said that he vastly preferred them with Boulder amplification.

    I’ve been thinking recently that my next system would be the MSB Reference, MSB 202 and Vivid G2’s. Listening to the 1001’s have me reconsidering. They are really that special.

    .....
    Did you mean to say MBL 101E (as opposed to MBL 1001)?

  4. #4
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Hi Mike,

    Please let me know if you do plan to make the trip. I'll look for you, and drinks are on me! I've learned so much from your site. Still planning our Sarasota relocation in the spring. Family issues have kept us in Houston longer than we wanted.
    Amps: Devialet E440's (L/R), Classe Sigma Amp5 (C/LR/RR), NAD M17 V2 SSP
    Sources: Innuos Zenith Mk III (Roon Core), Paul Pang Enet Switch w/ LPSU, Oppo BDP-103D
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7i, Magnepan CCR/DWM, Magnepan 1.7i (Rears), REL S5 w/ Longbow (w/ ifi iPowerX)
    Power: Shunyata Triton V3, (6) Dedicated 20-amp Outlets
    Cabling: Shunyata Power, WireWorld Enet & HDMI, Cardas I/C's, Light Harmonic USB
    Racks/Footers: Box Furniture Co Custom Rack, Symposium RollerBlocks, Voodoo Iso-Pods, Herbie's Audio Lab (many)

  5. #5
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Hi Mike,

    Please let me know if you do plan to make the trip. I'll look for you, and drinks are on me! I've learned so much from your site. Still planning our Sarasota relocation in the spring. Family issues have kept us in Houston longer than we wanted.
    Excellent and will do. I’m 50/50 right now.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Bakoon Audio, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  6. #6
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    Did you mean to say MBL 101E (as opposed to MBL 1001)?
    Yes, sorry, 101 E MK II. Guess I was thinking about the BEL amps i had years ago.
    Amps: Devialet E440's (L/R), Classe Sigma Amp5 (C/LR/RR), NAD M17 V2 SSP
    Sources: Innuos Zenith Mk III (Roon Core), Paul Pang Enet Switch w/ LPSU, Oppo BDP-103D
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7i, Magnepan CCR/DWM, Magnepan 1.7i (Rears), REL S5 w/ Longbow (w/ ifi iPowerX)
    Power: Shunyata Triton V3, (6) Dedicated 20-amp Outlets
    Cabling: Shunyata Power, WireWorld Enet & HDMI, Cardas I/C's, Light Harmonic USB
    Racks/Footers: Box Furniture Co Custom Rack, Symposium RollerBlocks, Voodoo Iso-Pods, Herbie's Audio Lab (many)

  7. #7
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    I have heard many fine audio set-ups over the years but nothing has bested the MBL xTremes. It was my audio epiphany. It was as if the room was energized with music. Hard to believe that it was over 10 years ago.
    Jim

    D'Agostino Momentum M-400's & HD Pre-amp
    Wilson Alexandria X2 Series 2 speakers
    Digital: dCS Vivaldi DAC, Clock & Upsampler
    Analog: SME 20/3 with Esoteric E-03 Phono
    Transparent Opus Speaker Cable & Interconnects & Opus Power Cords
    Power Cords on Digital: Shunyata
    Power Conditioner - Shunyata Everest

  8. #8
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    I tried to buy the Extremes from Mike but he said my room is too small.
    Marty

  9. #9
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Quote Originally Posted by nc42acc View Post
    I tried to buy the Extremes from Mike but he said my room is too small.
    Honest, even if it means loss of sale. MBL Epiphany


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Bakoon Audio, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

  10. #10

    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Yes, sorry, 101 E MK II. Guess I was thinking about the BEL amps i had years ago.
    MBL EpiphanyMBL Epiphany
    If you feel like it, you might want to edit your original post as it can help others doing a search for those speakers.

  11. #11
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Quote Originally Posted by nicoff View Post
    MBL EpiphanyMBL Epiphany
    If you feel like it, you might want to edit your original post as it can help others doing a search for those speakers.
    Done, Nicoff.
    Amps: Devialet E440's (L/R), Classe Sigma Amp5 (C/LR/RR), NAD M17 V2 SSP
    Sources: Innuos Zenith Mk III (Roon Core), Paul Pang Enet Switch w/ LPSU, Oppo BDP-103D
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7i, Magnepan CCR/DWM, Magnepan 1.7i (Rears), REL S5 w/ Longbow (w/ ifi iPowerX)
    Power: Shunyata Triton V3, (6) Dedicated 20-amp Outlets
    Cabling: Shunyata Power, WireWorld Enet & HDMI, Cardas I/C's, Light Harmonic USB
    Racks/Footers: Box Furniture Co Custom Rack, Symposium RollerBlocks, Voodoo Iso-Pods, Herbie's Audio Lab (many)

  12. #12
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Bob -

    Thx for sharing your perspectives on the demos this last few days. The Extremes are fabulous speakers. And, the 101Es are superb as well. As Mike mentioned, add a couple of subs and they rise to be “mini Extremes”.

    If/when in Sarasota, you are welcomed to come to my home for a listening session. And, full transparency, I purchased my MBL components (6010D, 9008As, 101E MKII) from Mike (Suncoast).
    _______________

    Mike

  13. #13
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    Bob -

    Thx for sharing your perspectives on the demos this last few days. The Extremes are fabulous speakers. And, the 101Es are superb as well. As Mike mentioned, add a couple of subs and they rise to be “mini Extremes”.

    If/when in Sarasota, you are welcomed to come to my home for a listening session. And, full transparency, I purchased my MBL components (6010D, 9008As, 101E MKII) from Mike (Suncoast).
    Hi Ritmo,

    I truly, sincerely appreciate the invitation! I may take you up on the offer sooner than later, likely this December. I'll be making another house hunting trip on my own...my wife will be out of country. Would also like to pick your brain on Sarasota in general...happy to do so over lunch or dinner. Real estate has gotten so expensive, and we're looking at alternatives to our first choices. Thank you again!

    You have an awesome system! I'm looking forward to hearing it more than you know. And that 6010D...I could stare at that for hours! Pictures don't do any of the MBL gear justice, but especially that preamp.
    Amps: Devialet E440's (L/R), Classe Sigma Amp5 (C/LR/RR), NAD M17 V2 SSP
    Sources: Innuos Zenith Mk III (Roon Core), Paul Pang Enet Switch w/ LPSU, Oppo BDP-103D
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7i, Magnepan CCR/DWM, Magnepan 1.7i (Rears), REL S5 w/ Longbow (w/ ifi iPowerX)
    Power: Shunyata Triton V3, (6) Dedicated 20-amp Outlets
    Cabling: Shunyata Power, WireWorld Enet & HDMI, Cardas I/C's, Light Harmonic USB
    Racks/Footers: Box Furniture Co Custom Rack, Symposium RollerBlocks, Voodoo Iso-Pods, Herbie's Audio Lab (many)

  14. #14
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    Re: MBL Epiphany

    Absolutely! Let me know when you are planning to come down.
    _______________

    Mike

  15. #15
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    MBL Epiphany

    Not to belabor the Estelon point, but I found this interesting:



    MBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL Epiphany

    I saw some guy trying to drive them with REF160M’s……uh…..no.

    Read the measurements, they drop to 0.8ohms and well below 2ohms across several frequencies.

    MBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL EpiphanyMBL Epiphany

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

    Dealer for: Aqua Hi-Fi, Aurender, AudioQuest Cables & Power Products, Avantgarde Acoustics, Avid HiFi, Bakoon Audio, Berkeley Audio Design, Block Audio, Boulder Amplifiers, Bowers & Wilkins (B&W), Bryston, Chord, Classe’ Audio, Degritter Record Cleaning Machines, Esoteric, FirstWatt, Focal Headphones, Franco Serblin Loudspeakers, Furutech, Fyne Audio Loudspeakers, GigaFoil, Harbeth Loudspeakers, Hegel, HiFi Man, ISO Acoustics, Keces Power Supplies, Kharma Loudspeakers and Electronics, Koetsu Cartridges, Kuzma Turntables, Lumin, Luxman, Magico Loudspeakers, MBL Speakers & Electronics, MSB Technologies, MySonicLabs Phono Cartridges, Naim Audio, Nordost Cables, Ortofon, Pass Labs, Quadraspire, Rega Turntables and Electronics, Shunyata Research, SimAudio, Stein Music Products, Stillpoints, VAC, Vicoustics, Viva Audio, Vivid Audio Loudspeakers, VPI Industries, WireWorld Cables.

    https://suncoastaudio.com/
    Phone: 941-932-0282
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Suncoast-Au...1105178279194/

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