Lamm ML2.1 monos with MBL 101E, OPINIONS

Lamm ML2.1 Single Ended Triode Mono Amps, any one tried these amps with MBL 101E speakers.

I know they are 18 watts but I have learned that not all watts are equal.

I was just reading info. from another member where he said;

"Finally I would love to prove to you that my 18 wpc SET Lamm amps will light up your ears more so than the 600 wpc SS Boulder amp that you love so much."

Opinions welcome but kindly specifically related to these amps.
While the LAMM ML2.1's can drive speakers you would not think they would, I think it would be an injustice to both the speakers and the amps to use them together.

They would truly underpower the MBL's.
A pairing unlikely to work.
Tvad, you were being way too nice. These two pieces of equipment are not going to work well together.

The MBL 101E has a nominal 4 ohm impedance, and a sensitivity of 82 db. If you really want to use a Lamm amp, I think you should be looking at the hybrid Lamm M2.2 (220 wpc) monoblock amps, (and even then, I am not sure that will do this speaker justice). If it were me, I'd be looking at something with several hundred wpc.

Good Luck!
This was also my own initial thinking but you know the way this hobby is just like Jtinn said "the Lamm ML2.1's can drive speakers you would not think they would" so I figured why not just ask others to see if anyone has actually done this thinking could this possibly be one of those rare situations.

The 4 ohm impedance really did not concern me, the sensitivity of 82 db was really the issue.

Thanks for the input.
I just sold my Lamm M1.2 Ref. to a guy who has the 101E. He loves them and thinks that they are powerful enough. I would pass on the M2.2 even though they are rated higher they just don't sound as good.
Don't underestimate amps that provide huge amount of current over watts. I heard the Levinson 33H drive 101E to levels I couldn't believe then he switched over to Mac 501 and the 101E brought that right to it's knees.
BTW that was the best I ever heard the 101E is with the 33H.
Hi Mtdking,

thanks for the info. I hear you regarding current v/s watts.
I have had the ML 2.1 for the past 3 years and would never change...truly a great amp BUT forget it for any speaker rated under 90 Db efficient and ideally nothing under 92 Db. Two great components but unfortunately will not work well with one another
Oneobgyn, I hereby call you a fibber!
(I prefer to not call a fellow Lamm owner a liar.)

You said you would "NEVER" change your Lamm ML 2.1 amplifiers.

Here is an amplifier I am sure you would swap out your amps for in the blink of an eye. (Money not being an object of course!)

Your new favorite amp!


If you go back and read my posts over the past year you will see that Vladimir loaned me his ML3 (s/n 001 and 002) from Jan to April earlier this year. It was a magnificent amp but at $139K I felt the ML 2.1 delivers 90% of the ML3 at 1/5 the price. I love my ML 2.1 and would never switch unless there was a magnificent deal to be had. BTW the output tube on each ML3 gave off light as bright as a 60 watt bulb and this could interfere with my using those amps with my HT. If I were to have a dedicated 2 channel room it could be an option

Actually I had read your posts, and I knew that you had already said that it was the best amplifier you had ever heard, which is why I wrote my reply to you in the first place. (And, the reason that I said "Money not being an object", is that you had said it was terribly expensive and not a good example of it being a good "bang for the buck" amplifier - a SOTA piece of equipment never is!)

Merry Christmas!
I can contribute to this thread and my observations with the ML2 with stated speaker sensitivity.

The Living Voice Avatar OBX-R model (now since 'upgraded' to OBX-RW) had a stated sensitivity of 94db. The Wilson Audio Duette has a stated 89dB @ 1 watt (2.83V at 1 meter).

One thing I have discovered is *how* measurements are stated vs. real world impressions. In my system/room, the Duettes are just a touch louder (all things being perfectly equal) than the OBX-R speakers. Now this was only a subjective by simply switching speakers out.

MBL making a complete line of products, high power amplifiers being their forte, may suggest they would like lots of brute strength.
okay, here is my two cents, you love the lamms? Okay biamp the highs and lows, get a higher power low end for the woofers. Know what else I have done? taken out the jumpers and put three amps on the thing because the football takes a bit of power as well. If you put an amp in the mid output the tweeter and midtweeter are isolated. I love tube amps, I love MBLs more. I wanted to try the VTL Siegfried but couldn't get a pair to demo.
Dev, Dartzeel is comming out with some new monoblocks this summer. JTinn was using a proto type at CES this year. You can see pictures and specs on their web site. Best looknig amp I have seen in a long time and judging from the CES show reports incredible great sounding. Probably not inexpensive though.
Well guys I had a pair of ML2.1's in my system the other day, I was fortunate to have a friend who brought over his pair. I had the mono's paired up with my current ARC REF3 pre and tried RCA and Balanced connection. Well my suspicions and others opinions here that they would not be the ideal match for my current speakers was correct. What I did hear was very nice though, I guess I could always look at bi-amping but unfortunately won't happen in this set-up.

Hi Husk01, yes the new DarTZeel mono blocks look very interesting indeed. I had started a thread prior about these amps but for what ever reason did not get much feed back as it seemed to be all hush hush and then they showed up at the show. Do you know what the power rating is on these.

Karan 1200's have peaked my interest, have you heard.
The secret in each speaker is the crossover. Some can be a very tough load - even with 92dB and 8 ohms -, when you have such a speaker, the only way to make them jump is: POWER.
There are loads of them out there.
A speaker with some low sensitivity AND a simple x-over, no problem to run it with SET...
BTW, never thought about those pics with MBL's and their connected power houses?
Hi Syntax, if you don't try you won't know and in the end trying these didn't cost me anything but some time and patience of a friend but I can say what they did was very nice, POWER isn't everything. There is another member who has the same speakers and actually using MasterSound tube amps so go figure.
You've got great speakers, but Lamm ML 2.1 is poor combination. Its too low powered.

An additional way to get more information would be doing a MBL 101e "search" on Audigon and Audio Ayslum to find fellow system owners. Look at their virtual systems for what they are using. Email them to see what they say.

IMHO, all MBL speakers need lots of power to sound good as they can. A generalization is that 101E's sound their best at loud spl levels rather than at low spl levels. IMHO, avoid bright amps, as the 101e's can lean to the bright side, and really look for amps that have a slight "darkish character" in their sound. Finding that match can produce a wonderful music presentation. The SS amps that should work well are Lamm, MBL, Accuphase, Gryphon, maybe Levinson and others. Bi-amping should be your final goal, but first start out with single great amps.

my 2 cents