Anyone owns the mbl 116?

Hi folks :)

I'd like to hear from people who own or have demo'd the mbl 116 speaker in their homes.. What is your experience with this speaker? What electronics did you use? Please also describe your room setup and dimensions if possible.

I have listened to the full Noble Line setup at my dealer rather extensively and I like it a whole lot.

I'm strongly considering buying the mbl 116 and a complete mbl electronics setup (6010D pre-amp, 8011AM or 9007 amps, 15xx or 16xx CD+DAC). In case you are wondering why I'm looking at the 116 and not the 101E: it's because of a limited room size (13' x 18' x 8'). I think this is too small for the 101E, unfortunately, but I know that the 116 works well in small to medium size rooms.

Any insights you may be able to give me would be greatly appreciated.
I demo'd the 116 in a room a little larger than yours with MBL electronics and an esoteric cd player (sorry all model #'s forgotten) at Katli Audio in SoCal. I also heard the MBL 101 at the LA Audio show.

I'm pretty sure the 101 will not work in your room, as bass is balanced for larger spaces. For me, it was bass heavy in a very large room at the show. OTOH, the 116 will probably produce a nicely balanced sound in your room. My issue with the 116 is the lack of true deep bass. I'm not sure I need it (my musical taste doesn't really run that way), but the demo indicated a speaker with extended, rather than full range, bass.

Prior to demoing the 116, I listened to the same program material on the Acoustic Zen Adagio in the same room since it had been previously set up for audition. Bass extention on the two speakers was similar, though the MBL clearly had more punch. The MBL also produced a certain sense of "body" that the Adagio did not. Overall, I clearly preferred the 116, but...

At its price, I just couldn't pull the trigger. For full range reproduction, 101s, Vandy 5As and Quattros, and Sound Labs all feel like better choices to me at their respective price points- my taste only! If your taste/space demands less than full range, I'd probably go with the Adagio -again, my taste only! Bottom line, I've stuck with my Verity Parsifal Encores.

Hope this is helpful,

I currently have the MBL 116 at home reviewing them as a possible replacement for my JM Lab Mezzo Utopia

My system is Musical Fidelity Tri Vista CD and Pass Labs Alph P and 4 power amp. Room size is 20ft x 12ft

In my opinion they are a great speaker, if a little expensive in the UK (£11500 or $22000 at todays exchange rate). However, I do not prefer them to the JM Labs. Overall the JM Labs have a bolder, bigger sound with better bass and a more natural sound with guitar strings and vocals.
The MBL's are low efficiency and have to be driven loud to give their best, something I cannot do all the time in my house.
are there any MBL users using solid state electronics (other than MBL amps)? I use Ayre MX-R monoblock and I wonder whether the sound may be too or "neutral" for MBL 116 (which seems to like warmer electronics, like MBL amps or tubes)....

I have heard the 116 with the ASR Emitter II Exclusive, and that was very good.. Until we plugged in the MBL 8011AM monoblocks into an MBL pre-amp, that is. They were a LOT better than the ASR! Everything improved, and not subtly either. I was quite surprised to be honest, it sounded fine with the ASR but with the MBL amps, I realized I had been listening to recordings on the ASR, but now I was listening to the real events. Very brutal difference, I felt. Impressive. :) Especially considering the 8011AM's cost less than the ASR, and the fact that the ASR is a great amp on its own (it really is, I've listened to it extensively before).

Dave_ptr: I had the same opinion early on, the MBL sound takes some getting used to since it's not "thrown at you" as it is with all dynamic speakers. Brief demonstrations can be anything but impressive, but they sure grow on you. At least they do on me, I'm hooked & I've ordered them now. :)

I wouldn't call the MBL amps "warm", Simonw. I'd rather call them dead quiet, very dynamic & VERY "natural". I have not heard your Ayre monos, but I'm sure they could work. Hopefully you can audition the 116 in your home?
I finally bought the MBL 116 this week. It is still being run-in (driven by Ayre MX-R mono), and so far the result has been very positive: big soundstage (even in my small room), piano very dynamic and real-life. Ayre is definitely powerful enough to drive them.

The strings/violins right now is a bit thin/bright, but I hope the glare will be reduced after run-in. Any MBL users would like to share their experience on cabling to get the best out of them (or reduce the brightness)? I am using Ayre interconnects and Kubala Sosna spk cable...
Congrats Simon! :)

I have ordered them as well, should be getting them late March if all goes well.

As for cables, the best I've heard so far is a silver/copper hybrid cable as interconnect (balanced) that my dealer makes, and Audience Au24. That's a great match, very neutral and natural-sounding. You might want to look for similar stuff. Send me an email and we can stay in touch when I get my gear, and we can exchange experiences on this - I'm planning to try a bunch of cables when they're finally here. :)
Hey Simonw, I had MBL111E speakers with Kubala Sosna speaker cables running on MBL9007 amplifiers but Tara Labs The One clearly to my ears sounded much better. Kubala Sosna was too laid back and polite where as Tara Labs The One opened up the sound, became more dynamic and life like. I now have replaced MBL11E speakers with Dynaudio Evidence Temptation which I hear string section more than MBL11E which to me sounded bit muddled. I still have MBL111RC for home theater center channel and MBL121 as rear surround speakers. MBL111RC has a much clearer sound in the same mids and highs because they use the same selected drivers as the MBL101E speakers which in restrospect I should have dished out more money to get.