I have heard both, would take either, but not discount the Ayre MX-R or the VTL MB 450 Signature. The latter could be the inside slider that knocks it out of the park, so to speak.
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On mbl101e's, I found the arc's missing a bit of info on orchestras, a bit congested,,,loved the soundstage though. Love female voice, but, needed a subwoofer for the base. Listened to both 9008,9011, arc ref210, halcro dm-88 (worlds better than the original Halcros, to me, like a different amp) Treble on ARC is a little low, not perfectly flat I think, treble on MBL is hopped up, so nice match there, but in my opinion, just not enough juice, but I would bet they sound absolutely wonderful on Watt Puppies, the new Ushers or big JMlabs. The MBLs are very liquid, very of a whole, very organic and I just bought 9011s after being a huge ARC fan for 10 years...course for the difference in list price, they better bloody well sound better on the same brand of speaker.