I have the Mahler's and they are definately power hungry. I would not want to use a 200 watt or less integrated with mine. But I like listen to mine at concert levels, that is what big speakers are for aren't they? The wattage seems to be sapped up to me. I have a Mac 300 watt and I wish I could afford their new 500 watt mono amps for them. They are a soft bass boomy speaker with those dual 10" woffers on them. Definately not a speaker for tubes. And they are not bi-wireable. My Mac amp seems to work fine together with them. They are not a good rock speaker because of the extra bass kick on them. But they excell on classical, jazz, and bluegrass that I play.
the best iv'e ever heard the mahlers sound was with an ayre v3x amplifier,it really had a firm control of those 4 woofers,yet was very sweet in the mids & top end
I originally used Bryston 7BST's with my Mahlers and they worked well. I have since changed to Sonic Frontiers Power 3SE's and they control the bass very well for tube amps.
I have Mahlers and have used four different amps with them.
A Bryston 4B-ST worked fine and, provided the Bryston is surrounded by first-class associated components, especially interconnects and speaker cables, the sound can be surprisingly good. That would be a relatively inexpensive option.
I ran my Mahlers for two years with a VAC Renaissance Mark III 70/70, which is rated at 70 watts/channel. This would at first glance seem to be a mismatch, but, with all due respect to the above post, there are tube amps and then there are tube amps, and the VAC 70/70 is a beast. In a 2,500 cubic foot room, the amp made the Mahlers go really loud, cleanly, and with more than adequate bass control. An important consideration was that I was running Kimber Select all-copper and then Kimber Select all-silver speaker cables, both of which have unusually good bass control (Sumiko, the Vienna Acoustics' distributor, has demo'd the Mahlers at shows with Kimber Bi-Focal, a more modest cable). My dealer's impression of the sound was that the VAC 70/70 was great with the speakers and said that I definitely did not need additional power (his only suggestion was to get rid of the standard power cord on the amp for something better).
I bought VAC 140 Renaissance Mark III monoblocks (appr. 130 watts/channel) for my second system, and ran them with the Mahlers for a few months. I had a bit more head room as compared to the 70/70, but the improvement was subtle. For the record, all VAC amps were run with zero negative feedback with the Mahlers, and from the 8 ohm tap on the 70/70, and from the 4 ohm taps on the 140/140's.
I now use the VAC 140's with Salons and Rowland Model 6 monoblocks, with battery power supplies, for the Mahlers. The Model 6's are surprisingly close to the VAC 140's in all areas on the Mahlers. They are very refined and very powerful for their wattage rating (appr. 180 watts/channel), and are even more powerful if used on a 20 amp circuit straight into the wall without the battery power supplies (the stock power cords with the Model 6's are 20 amp cords).
As for controlling the bass on the Mahlers, the VAC and Bryston amps were equal (I know it's hard to believe that a 70 watt tube amp could control those woofers like a nearly 300 watt Bryston, but yah' get what you pay for). The Rowlands, however, do control the bass a bit better than the other amps.
Addressing some of the points raised in previous threads, the Mahlers usually have a big hump somewhere below 60 Hz. in most rooms that can make them sound boomy. The best way to address this is to use appropriate speaker cables with (i) a beefy solid-state amp like Bryston or (ii) an amp like the VAC's or Rowlands that have really high quality power supplies. If you are budget conscious, the Bryston 7B-ST's mentioned in the above post would probably be a really good way to go. On the other hand, Rowland Model 6's can now be had for less than $4,000 used (they were $10,600, new). To summarize, I think, overall, they sound better by a hair on the Mahlers than the VAC's (and a quantum better than the Bryston) - very refined, transparent and musical, and make no mistake, LOADS of power (incredible build quality and looks, too). Only if you are using the Mahlers in a gigantic room could I imagine you needing more power.
As for Krell, I have never heard Krells drive Mahlers -- I would imagine you could get good sound. I believe that Anthony Cordesman, reviewer for TAS, used a Krell FPB amp with the Mahlers in his review and reported excellent results.
I just read a couple of responses to you, one was particularly interesting. The Mac owner reasoned that he used a MAC 300 watt, and also that the speakers were soft and boomey on the bottom.
First as McMasters attendee,(which includes extensive mac training at the plant for three days) I know that mac gear is rated into 4 ohms, so the reality here is that the mac into 8 ohms is more like 150. Plus the mac tends to be soft sounding in the bottom compared to the Krells of the world.
Using his logic about the amount of power you need is not completely accurate (and I am not being critical of him, he probably doesn't know this).
I used a VAC Avatar with 50 watts, (I believe someone else mentioned VAC) and it did a great job.
As to the bottom, the speaker, as are all speakers are at the mercy of the room, below the 200 hz region. However, the Mahler has a switch which allows for boost below 50hz. Sort of a built in loudness switch, ( not, obviously the Fletcher/Munsen inverse curve, since no treble is involved). I found the plus bass to be fun on certain music, and certainly on television programs, if you are enough of a heretic to use your high end audio and video on the same system, like me.
A really good integrated amp will do fine with this speaker. The Rowland is a prime example, as is other High Quality integrateds like the Simaudio Moon I-5 or the I-3. Actually, the BV which is little known, is touted to have rock solid bass and be extremely neutral. The romantic sound of the Mahler is heightened by tubes, and great fun. I finally ended up using a Gryphon Callisto which was 100wpc into 8 ohms, 200wpc into 4. But, alas like the Rowland, not cheap.
An amp worth considering is the Spectron, or Bel Canto, digitals. Very tight and not dry, especially with a sweet speaker like the Mahler.
Good luck, and congrats. Bill Peugh and John at Sumiko are great guys and deserve your business. They work hard to make the high end a better place.
Larry R. Staples
Has anyone tried a Sunfire amp with the Mahlers?
I use the Mcintosh MC-501 mono amps and am in love with teh sound. The MC-501 amps control the Mahlers very well and do not run out of steam.
A friend of mine has "Music" which is very similar to Mahler but more expensive. They were driven by the pair of Spectron monoblocks with full upgrades and it was a "heaven", particularly if you like sounds of orchestral or symponic music (or hard rock) !
I heard someone say: "When in doubt first try Rowland and Gryphon - it won't be bad at all".
I owned the VA Mahler for near an year already and I have to agree with the prior comment on tube amps: If you have the VA Mahler, you may as well rule out 99% of tube amps out there.
The difficulty in driving VA Mahler is the two bass drivers. The tweeter and the mid plus mid-bass are quite easy to drive, even my Baby Ongaku 2A3 monoblocks could do admirably. I also once tried the Mark Levinson ML3 and ML27.5 - the bass is still boomy and loose. Jadis Orchestra Reference failed quite badly. Kora Galaxy Ref (50wpc pure Class A) has better luck, still not realizing the full potentials. I borrowed VTL 125 and an McIntosh 6800. Still boomy (actually the Mac sound very muddy).
The VA Mahler is on the laid back side. I am using Llano A200 which gives a way way better sound- full orchestral sound with superb authority and impact. I'd expect Krell could even do better (FPB300 and newer). Lamm would be a great match too I guess.
I do know someone who owns VA Mahler, Mahler 1.5 and now Music: His formular of success is Spectral.
One tube amp that may work well would be Ayon Triton.
I am about to get a pair of these Mahler speakers to replace my current Proac Response 2.5.
I have a Simaudio Moon W-5 power amp matched with pre Moon P5.3.
Never auditioned this Mahler before but just doubt it would be a good match with my current system.
Need your comments on Simaudio gears and Mahler. Thanks
If you like ProAcs, you'll like the basic sound of the Mahlers - they are rich and smooth. The Mahlers have slow, thick bass, however, and the Sim amp will only be average at controlling the woofers - the Sim, to its credit, is a no-global feedback design and relatively low-powered, both of which are great for the overall sound, but will typically result in less than best control over woofers. But I think it is definitely the right type of amp to use with Mahlers, as they are surprisingly transparent for their cost and make high-powered amps that use global feedback sound mediocre (which is what those amps are - mediocre). In summary, the Sim and Mahlers should be very nice. You can help yourself by asking Sim Audio what speaker cables they like for maximum control of woofers. I had excellent results with Kimber (see my post from 2004 above).
Any thoughts or experience regarding how a Linn 2250 (which is rated at 200 w @4 ohm, 100 w @ 8 ohm) would work with the Mahlers?
Raquel, thanks for your comments.
I first thought 190 w/c @8ohm of Sim W-5 would be a bit less. But considering 90db sensitivity, I relax a bit.
BTW, Tpy, interesting though for your Linn 2250 with 100w/c @8 ohm.
Let's see what experts say.
I have been using the Classe CAM 350 monoblocks to drive my Mahler's for several years now. They are doing a great job in controlling the motion of the four 10" woofers and the overall sound is smooth, balanced across the whole frequency response with all the micro and macro dynamics needed to make listening exciting. I can listen for hours without any listener ear fatigue. I also concur with the other postings that suggested the Mahlers liked a powerful amp. The Mahlers love the extra power and headroom to bring out their very best sound.
Would the Audio research VS115 drive the mahlers well?