Hansen Emperor or MBL 101E or Avalon Isis

I have heard these three speakers, but in differents systems, MBL 101E always with MBL electronics, Hansen with CAT electronics and Avalon with spectral electronics, all sounds very well, but which one do you prefers if you have heard them?
MBL 101 , for me, has a problem, you need a lot of power, Avalon sometimes goes to the thin side(sometimes I will wish to be more organic.
Thanks for your opinion
I'm not an owner, but IMHO.

As the server says about the restaurant's menu, "its all good you can't go wrong". Then, "I'll take the Hansen's please", especially if you're looking for organic. I liked them every time I've heard them.
Bonjour Emigene,

I haven't heard the Hansens, but really like Avalon as well as MBL. I would probably be an Avalon dealer if I wasn't pursuing my own speaker venture.

I have worked with speakers having polydirectional radiation characteristics, conceptually similar to the MBL's as far as room interaction goes. In my opinion the MBL's should be positioned far enough from room boundaries that the extra reverberant energy arrives 10 milliseconds (or more) behind the direct sound. This corresponds to a path length difference of about 11 feet, or 3.4 meters. You see, the ear/brain system tends to interpret early-arriving reflections as colorations, but late-arriving reflections are interpreted as ambience and richness. Given proper setup and proper amplification, the MBLs would be my choice from your list.

But as Gerrym5 says, everything on that menu looks good!


p.s. - You may be wondering why I said I'd consider being an Avalon dealer when here I'm picking MBL over Avalon (by a slim margin, and stipulating correct setup and amplification). The reason is, I'm already dealer for a speaker line that (in my opinion) is competitive with MBL in the dipole/bipole/polydirectional/omnidirectional/quasiomnidirectional category.
I would go with Avalons, but def with different electronics. I have personally never liked the Avalon/Spectral combo since it always sounded too thin to my ears. I would consider CAT (tube) or Vitus Audio (SS) to go with Avalons.
I agree with Elberoth2. Avalon Isis with Vitus SM-101/SL-100 combo would be an excellent choice IMHO.

If money is not an object I would also suggest Rockport Altair speakers http://www.ultraaudio.com/twbas/twbas_20071001.htm.

Regarding electronics Hovland Stratos/HP200 combo is also very good choice for both Isis and Altair.
I think that are differents speakers, the Isis need a lot of power and better tubes as CAT, VAC than SS, except for FM acoustics, Vitus, Soulution, Boulder.The system became EXPENSIVE.
MBL needs a lot of power but as is more organic can work with more SS amplifiers.ALSO a very EXPENSIVE system, because the amplifiers tsill are more powerful than for the ISIS.
Pioneer and Hansen are more easy to drive, you need less power, and you can use both tubes and SS, smallers amplifiers, these speakers let you to have a less expensive system, you can change more often the electronics..

If you don´t like what you says as "thin sound " better to use Pioneer, MBL and a little less Hansen.I´m not saying that ISIS don´t have a excellent sound, I owned one Eidolon and I have a great memory of them, for me I can close the eyes and be happy with any of these four speakers, but the cost of electronics is very important for me to feel free to change them.

thanks for your insight into the omnis like the MBL. I was really dying to buy MBL's as I love the sound, but being in a small apartment where the speakers have to sit no more than 24" from the back wall, I had my doubts.

You confirmed for me it was right for me not to go this direction. I am now thinking of the Polymer Logic with the diamond midrange, but it seems that speaker needs to be 10-12 feet from the listening position, which I may not have the room for either.

How far should be placed the MBL 101E from the boundaries? Boundaries are for you rear wall or also real and side walls?

Hello Emigene,

For the sidewall, a distance of two meters (6.5 feet) would be nice but is not necessary if you treat the first sidewall reflection area. I prefer diffusion instead of absorption, but if your room is too bright then use absorption.

For the wall behind the speakers, I would like about the same distance, two meters or 6.5 feet. Even more would be better, if it is practical. This distance is more important than the sidewall distance, as it affects clarity more and also depth of soundstage more. You may want to use diffusion in the reflection zone even if you have sufficient distance.

This is my opinion based on owning wide-pattern fullrange electrostats and designing bipolar speakers, but I have not owned an omnidirectional speaker. Still, I think the MBLs will work fine as long as you can get the speakers out in front of the wall by about 2 meters or more. I would not worry as much about the sidewall distance - just treat the wall if you have to.

Best of luck to you,

What speaker line are you a dealer for that is competetive with the mbl?
Dear Emigene: Like almost all the people posted: " you can't go wrong with either ".

Now, if I was you and if I have that kind of money for an audio system speaker's quality performance improvement first I ask what do not like me about my current audio system quality performance? and second what are my sound reproduction performance targets?. Maybe you already do it and you found/decided that changing your loudspeakers you could be " there " but maybe changing your speakers you could not be " there ". The speakers is a very important link in the audio system chain but ( other that the speaker own performance signature ) depend on the other links in that chain: sources, preamp, cables, amps, room interaction/treatment, etc, etc.

I'm talking about because I read this that you posted in other thread:

++++++ " and as the Eidolon is a little cool and lean, perhaps I need one amp that can compensate them. " +++++

IMHO if we need an amp ( or other audio item ) with a " signature " to COMPENSATE the speaker performance then I think that we are in trouble somewhere through the whole audio system. I could agree that Spectral sometimes is not the best match to Avalon but some times it is.

An audio system customer sound reproduction satisfaction is a very complex equation where not always a top rated ( $$$$ ) audio items combination achieve our targets.
Any of those top rated speakers could satisfied you if the other audio system links in the chain have a quality synergy ( not to compensate but a true synergy. IMHO compensate can/could means add wrong " distortions " to something that already are wrong. ): neutrality, tonal balance top tp bottom, dynamics, full range, etc, etc, we have to remember that the quality performance of any audio system will be at the same level of its " weak " link in the chain.

I know that you have the money to spend on that speakers or anything in your system and my advise is to be sure how can you be sure that with that change ( or any other ) you can achieve your music sound priorities.

Btw, IMHO and through my audio experience I think that a pair of good monitors plus a pair of subs in real stereo way could be better than a full range speakers. A satellite + subs configuration has many advantages over a full range passive speaker set up.

Regards and enjoy the music.