MBL 126 or 120

Any suggestions on where I can find measurements for the MBL 126 (or 120)? Specifically minimum impedance, and maximum power handling. 
Ag insider logo xs@2xsmetzger72

I have the MBL 121 speakers, which are the model that preceded the 120 and similar in size. FWIW, here’s some info from a pdf on the specs.

Impedance: 4 ohm

MBL states 4 ohms for all their speakers. Though I’d consult the stereophile review of the MBL 101E which shows impedance swings I think you are more likely to expect from their models in general.

More on the 121 specs:

SPL 2.83V/ 2π

linear max

82dB/W/m 106 dB

Power handling

peak power

280W /400W 1000 W

Crossover frequencies

600/ 3500 Hz

Hope that helps somewhat.

How do you like them? I have a small room. Is there effect and quality similar to
the rest of the line, minus bass extension?


I love the MBL 121s.

I had been a fan of MBL for many years but they’d always been way beyond my budget, especially the big 101s. I happened on a deal for a used pair of 121s about 9 years ago and grabbed them.

I particularly loved the tonality of the 101s - I found them extremely subtle and rich in terms of reproducing instruments and voices.

As it turns out, the omni mids and tweeter of the smaller 121s really do give that same gorgeous tone as the big speakers, though reduced in size. There is a extremely natural detail, and such a wide tonal pallete to the sound, not to mention the famous MBL 3 dimensional imaging. On some recordings, especially some natural vocal recordings I have recorded in an old hall, it’s eerie how realistic the sound is. Closing my eyes it’s more effortless to think "I’m there" than any other speaker I’ve owned.

And despite the low sensitivity, I’ve actually found the 121s fairly forgiving in terms of amplifiers. They sound bold and beautiful using 140w of conrad johnson tube amps, and even sumptuous with 14W from an old Eico HF81 integrated tube amp. Though I’m sure they would strut their stuff even more, in ways, with some expensive juggernaut of a solid state amp, I’m very happy with their performance with my tube amps.
My room is 13’ x 15.’ It’s fairly well damped acoustically with a good combination of acoustic absorption, and live surfaces (walls). I tend to like listening from between 6 - 7 feet away from the speakers.

They also have pretty good "balls" insofar as they have a solid, punchy midbass presentation.

All that said, I normally use my larger Thiel speakers doing duty. I like the fuller range sound and certain aspects of the Thiel sound as well.

But I’m never going to sell my MBLs. They produce a sound that is too special and I want to be able to visit that sound whenever I want.

I only listen to classical, though big symphonic and organ included. But I have Martin Logan balanced force sub and a McIntosh Amp. Going to audition the 126. It’s very expensive compared to other high end though. I guess it’s all relative. 

The 126 would be a little small for my taste if used alone (the 121 is bigger, goes lower, and is fairly satisfying on it's own).   The 120, if you could swing it, would likely be the more satisfying overall, given it's a slightly bigger version of my 121s, slightly bigger woofer, goes lower, and is apparently even more refined than the 121s.
I finally decided to purchased a pair of the 126s from Engulf Audio. I absolutely love them! They are paired with two Martin Logan Balanced Force 210s, which still brings the system under the price
of the 120s.

Personally I think that because they have the same midrange and tweeter of all the other MBL speakers even the top model, this is an amazing option to get the MBL sound at a fraction of the price. 
@smetzger7 ,

Are you still digging the 126's?
Nice!  Since you use them with subs, how large of a room do you think they would play well in with subs?
My Macintosh amp throws 300 watts into them on big orchestral music and they don’t blink. 

I agree.  Having heard the 101s numerous times, you really do get a big helping of that MBL sound from the monitors.  I know some who own both the big models and the 121s agree.

Funny enough, I never felt the same about the floorstanding MBL 111s, the full range model only using the tweeter/mid.  When I heard them, they seemed to have a slightly different tonality, which I didn't care for.I was happy when I got my 121s to hear they did sound more like the midrange of the 101s.

I actually nabbed mine from an audiogon sale, a pair that got slightly damaged in shipping to a customer - e.g. a grill that I'd never use anyway.  It was at a price that I'd never see again for MBLs so I'm glad I grabbed them.  I switch between various speakers I own, but I still have no intention of selling the MBLs as their sound is unique.

smetzger, what do you like about the sound of your new MBLs?