If you have FORTY LARGE to spend on speakers and have to ask 'why' one over the other... ??
Well, the 101e is REALLY COOL!!!! The cool factor of the 101e is gigantic. And forget the MAC gear if you use the 101e.
Try some BIG Pass amps if you do not want the MBL amps. Or Bryston 28B-SST2 pair.
Whatever amps, you should get an Audio Research 40th anniversary preamp. It will always have super panache.
Limited Edition cool.
(If I won the lotto, these are what I would be buying... The MBL 101e, the Bryston 28B-SST2 and the ARC 40th annv preamp.
I am drooling now....
"The MBL 101e, the Bryston 28B-SST2 and the ARC 40th annv preamp."
Yes, that would be I very drool worthy combo I suspect!
Don't forget the big room with 10' or more of space behind the mbl's required in order toreally appreciate what they can do in terms of big, deep, holographic soundstage!
That goes for 101s and 111s.
101s take bass and dynamics to a higher level as I understand it (assuming sufficient amplification to achieve) using the proprietary mbl bass drivers in that model, though the 111s for example are no slouches eitehr in this department.
Without a big room like that, you might get by just as well with the smaller, cheaper models.
Not sure I would even want larger mbls without the ability to have lots of space behind them to do their thing. They come back to the pack more when put in a more standard or typical room in a more standard or typical nearer to rear wall configuration.
The larger SS Mac amps might do OK with mbl (better than all but perhaps the most elite systems out there), but I would not assume they would max out the bigger mbls until I hard them in comparison to teh comparable mbl amplification.
The big BRyston would do quite well I suspect!
Yes, unless time and money is just not a concern ever, I'd recommend you make sure you know exactly what you are getting into and are going to do before dropping big bucks on larger MBL speakers, including used ones.
all three speakers share the identical tweeter/supertweeter radiater unit on the top...the 101'e has the 'football' radial unit in the middle; above the woofer units...the 111 and the 116 have traditional speakers; side firing for midbase..the 116 has a single port on the bottom; and has less base and low frequency response...the new 'f' series has new crossovers and cosmetic design from the earlier 'e' version; and is supposed to play better at lower listening levels.
The earlier posts are all correct in their responses on the need for high quality; high current amplication...I have my 111'e about 6' out from rear wall; and am happy with the sound..which tends to be a bit 'dark', or cool, not a warm, syrupy sound..but great sound stage and transients...hope that helps answer your questions...
I've only heard the earlier versions of both speakers, but I did have the chance to A-B those speakers pretty extensively and on more than one occassion. (I was considering a purchase a few years back, until I realized that a divorce costs even more than 101s.)
My take is that the 101 is a very different animal than it's its less insanely priced brethren. The football/pumpkin Mribib mentions made - to my ear - the 101s much more striking in the "omni-ness" of the presentation, as well as more impressively weighty and seamless in their presentation. OTOH, deep bass was always elevated on the 101s and less natural that the smaller guys. My net take: the 101 is a much more dramatic sounding speaker.
Some could argue that that is too much of a good thing. I happen to love the 101
I had heard the 111F in RMAF in 2009 and was so impressed with its sound from normal CDs like Bill Joel's Stranger they were playing, I had to return three times. Then few months later, I visited MBL room at the CES with 101E MkIIs playing, and it was nothing special... I had to attribute the less than ideal sound to the room. However, if I were to pull the trigger on a pair of MBLs, I'll have to believe the 101E MkIIs are better properly setup in an good room and will be my choice.
The other memorable room was Nordost cable room with their Raidho Ayra C1.0s at the '09 RMAF and same set up at the '10 CES with equally impressive sound stage and one of the best imaging 2 CH trick I had ever heard...
The MBL 101 series is reported by many to be a tough speaker to drive. I have not heard of this "issue" with the other mentioned MBL speakers. I suggest you search threads here on A'gon to learn about these speakers and pros/cons by real users and those who have tried many amps.
Rather than read a bunch of worthless posts on suggestions of one's favorite "powerful" amps and the flavor-of-the-month ARC preamp, I suggest you read this
as a good start.
thanks for the responses
111f is looking good right now
thoughts on mcintosh components w/ the 111f? MC501's + C50?
IMHO, Mac would NOT be a good match.
As I've stated before, the Mac is rated into 4 ohms, which gives the impression of more power than it actually delivers. (Universally, mfgrs rate in to 8 ohms).
I am not damning the Mac, I like it's basic sound, and even went to New York and attended McMasters Training, which gave me a real appreciation for the 'hands on' nature of that company, in terms of build.
It's just that the Mac is 'softish' in the bass, with a bit of 'bloom' and sponginess which would not do well with the MBL...Besides, we're talking about electronics, I believe, when talking about MBL, which cost a bit more, aren't we?
Congrats on chosing from the line that I think makes the best speaker on the market today.
thanks Larry, what brand of electronics would you recommend to match the 111F?
i guess i should make a separate thread in amp/preamp section
but the bryston 28sst2 seems like a prime choice, correct me if im wrong
My father has a set of 101's for sale (NY) if interested.. let me know.
I think that the MBL electronics, if within a price range that's possible, would be the perfect match--the synergism of the product line becomes very obvious at that point.
I've tried the MBL in my home and it's very Gryphon-like in its sound. Not at all hashy or grainy, very smooth, nice staging. Possibly a little 'soft' sounding in the very top. I don't really know if it measures this way, but it sounds to me as if the last octave, (of what is considered human hearing) 10K to 20K is a bit honey colored, and overly smoothed over. This is NOT a deal breaker for me, as I prefer that over the other side of the spectrum.
This kind of overall voicing of the amp/pre and even integrated, may reflect their speakers propensity for a bit of forwardness in it's presentation in that region. So, the process of interactive voicing may be the reason for this result.
If you can find MBL used, (built like a tank by the way) consider that.
Sorry I misspoke above. He sold his 101's, he has the 111's still though. :)
[sorry for multiple posts, I dont see how to edit my other post]
Just to contribute to this thread, we've tried a few amps on the mbls. We owned a set of 101 and 111a (both earlier versions). The installer flew in from Germany and we were able to A/B some different setups.. wiring and amps. The MBL amps are definitely no slouch, and if money doesn't matter, go for it, but we didnt think they were worth the extra expense. We ended up powering the mbls with (dont laugh) crown reference I amps. I believe they were 1100 wpc and they powered the mbls no problem. These amps are as heavy as brystons, and I have tremendous respect for them. A friend of mine also used them and one was submerged in a basement flood. He let them dry out for a week and they powered up just fine! They're built like tanks!
I did at one time try the 111a's on some Outlaw audio 300wpc amps and it was definitely not enough. You could just sense that the speaker was not getting what it needed, and I've heard the mbls really shine before, so I knew what we were missing.
My dad has since moved on to yg acoustics, so thats why he has the 111a's for sale.. :)
This is confusing AND frustrating.
"The MBL amps are definitely no slouch, and if money doesn't matter, go for it, but we didnt think they were worth the extra expense. We ended up powering the mbls with (dont laugh) crown reference I amps."
This is tantamount to saying, 'While I liked the $180K Bentley, we decided on a $6K Yugo, not seeing the extra expense as worth it.'
IMHO, the difference between the MBL and the Crown, (not casting dispersions at Crown, as it's NOT A FAIR COMPARISON) is night and day, and if you can't hear and appreciate the difference, then I don't know where to begin.
Price WAS the factor, not performance, I'm thinking.
I am first to admit to subjectivity in Audio, hell, that's ALL we have in some instances, other than 'core measurements'...but the difference between products is generally so obvious that, if one can't hear and appreciate differences, especially like the difference between the Crown and MBL--I AM laughing.
The Crown and mbl pairing is an interesting one from a cost effectiveness perspective.
I have no idea how this combo would sound, but I believe that judgments on amps made with more traditional speaker designs often do not carry over to the more unique designs out there, like is the case with mbl and other leading omni designs in general.
In other words, all bets are off for me regarding how well an amp will sound with a design like mbl until I hear it.
The two things I would look for on paper with an amp for larger mbls are amps with hefty power supplies that are capable of delivering a lot of current and doubling down their power ratings into 4 and 2 ohms. Not sure Crown falls into this category, but I suspect teh results could still be quite good. However, if you own mbl 101s, it would be a shame to not invest as needed to drive them to the max in taht you have a machine capable of truly extraordinary things if you just feed it the right fuel.
Pass Labs XA160.5 or Bryston 28SST Square with MBL 101E?
I'm driving my MBL 101E with LSA Integrated(e.g Standard) and it sounded pretty good. Just don't crank it up too load..:)