Bi-amp a pair of Jeff Rowland model 10T. You won't regret!
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I agree that you will need a MONSTER amp. Finding something that is both powerful and has great bass control while still retaining finesse, sweetness, air and detail is a trick in itself. Since the price of these speakers is up there, i'm assuming that your price range is "less constricted". This opens up quite a few options. The Rowland's, the big McCormack, older Threshold mono-block's, etc... are what initially come to mind. All of those are up to the task. What you use as a preamp would be the deciding factor on tonal balance, etc... Like anything else in audio, this is all up to personal interpretation. Like you, i find these speakers very intriguing. Definetly not good for "shaking the house" though : ) Sean >
Thanks for the input, guys! I have not heard the Rowland amp, though I can imagine that they would sound great. Sean, these speakers are expensive, but I'm getting a pretty good deal on them, so my amp budget is probably more constricted than you might imagine. In terms of their "house-shaking" ability, I've wondered about that myself. I've been demoing them in my house with my Denon 5800 (believe it or not!)as part of my HT (believe it or not!) and even with this amp they sound very good (believe it or not!), but there is something lacking, mostly with music that is more dynamic (ie. rock, more uptempo,propulsive jazz). In a word, I can't get these things to rock, they seem more reserved. I think it's because they need a more powerful amp, hence my question. The flip side of this coin is that they are suprisingly excellent with HT material. Their inherently wide soundstage and imaging has really brought movie sound to life. And given their frequency extension they have really added punch to the bass, augmenting the subwoofer I'm using tremendously. So if they can rock with movies, why not with certain music - I am perplexed. I have been considering biamping them with the EAD Powermaster 2000, using 4 channels for the MBL's and the remaining channel for the center channel. Any opinions on whether this amp might do the trick? Thanks for everyone's input, Brian
OOPS !!! I was thinking of the MBL 101 Radialstrahler's. I looked up the 111's and they are quite different from the 101's. I have NO idea as to what an "Isotropic tweeter" is. I did notice that they too are "low impedance/low sensitivity power suckers", so i wasn't off by much in that respect. I am somewhat at a loss as i really know nothing of this speaker other than printed specs. With that said, i'll have to refrain from making specific recommendations and could only resort to generic observations. Since there is plenty of that going around already, i won't add to the confusion. Should you want to, feel free to contact me via email. Having someone to bounce ideas off of can sometimes come in handy. I do have experience with low impedance / very low sensitivity speakers so i can relate to where your coming from. Sean >
I too have only heard the 101's, and can make only a generic observation. I've heard them with Jadis JA500s, Cello monoblocs and the mid 90's Gryphon stereo amp. The latter amp was the one that really made the mbls sing without too much brightness. You might check your old Stereophiles to see what they used when they reviewed your speakers; I think it was in 1997 or so. Perhaps you can get by with one of the Parasound high-current amps. I always loved the mbl's speed and soundstaging, but the bass below 40 hz was a problem, because the speakers didn't go that low by themselves and there was no subwoofer that could match their speed.