MBL alternatives


I have a pair of Final Sound 1000i's. The only speaker that I've heard that rival's it to ME is the MBL 101E. What else is there that would be great less expensive MBL?

Thanks-
jtwrace
the ohm. legendary(certainly not wannabes), and i guess given the prices of mbl...a steal in comparison.
German Physics might be worth a look. Also omni-directional like MBL, although perhaps even more expensive.
Beolab 5 - not my cup of tea but excellent tight bass, lovely wide soundstage and they look awesome.
I dont know what kind of money you have in your budget for speakers, in my view, Vandersteen at any price point sounds like music, and gives great value. Except for the 5A's or perhaps the Quattros, they dont have a good look, but they certainly have a good sound...and thats what you should be buying.
For omni-directional speakers, check out the Model 7 and Model 17 speakers at Morrison Audio. They deliver the musical goods exceptionally well.

http://www.morrisonaudio.com
Yes, it's all about the sound. I could care less about what it looks like. $10k on the used market is fine as well.
Are the Ohm 5-S3 that good?
Yes, it's all about the sound. I could care less about what it looks like. $10k on the used market is fine as well.

At this price used you have plenty of alternatives. If you like MBL's and final sound then I assume you listen at low levels and you like a speaker with great ambient sound? Neither of these will play loud. What genre's do you like?

Is this correct - can you elaborate a bit. It hard to make a suggestion as it is not clear why you think Final Sound and MBL are the best speakers out there (for you)
I currently own the Final 1000i's and they play very lound. I listen to ALL genre's as well. Everytime that I've heard the MBL's I just "feel" the magic. Don't get me wrong, the Finals are the "best" to me with all that I've heard. Except the MBL's but at 5x the cost.....

Last, I've heard many speakers that I could easily live with but when you get to a certain point it really becomes small little things that take you in.
What do you think of Soundlabs A-1 ?
Soundlabs.

Love them but don't have the room (size) for them...
Morrison and Dueval are some other omni designs to consider that I have heard some good things about.

I own and run six pair of speakers. 2 are Ohm Walsh giant killers. Others are more conventional box designs.
Soundlabs.

Love them but don't have the room (size) for them...

OK - then try to audition ATC SCM50ASL - Gordon Holt had sound labs for ages (and loved them too) - apparently ATC are his current favorites - as you know he has probably heard more speakers than most.
I run the Classic Audio Reproductions T-3. It is set up with dual 15" woofers, has 20Hz-45KHz bandwidth, nice flat impedance curve, 97 db 1 watt/1 meter and matches the transparency and detail of the best ESLs with its field-coil drivers. Nuance, bandwidth and efficiency all in one package, plus they are easy to set up (mine are about 8" from the rear wall.

Sound: they image beautifully, easily play 'outside the speakers' (try out Amused to Death on LP...), plenty of dynamic range that no planar can reproduce, bottom end impact that most speakers (including the ATC) only hint at, smooth and extended... its hard to argue with them. I've had the speakers for a long time, and the field coil setup is something brand new that I just got updated. The improvement was stunning.

All amplifiers including solid state will sound better with higher impedances like 16 ohms. Although a solid state amp might drive low impedances easily, do not confuse that with offering the best sonic performance: just like tubes, SS amps need higher impedance speakers to *sound* their best.
I run the Classic Audio Reproductions T-3. It is set up with dual 15" woofers, has 20Hz-45KHz bandwidth, nice flat impedance curve, 97 db 1 watt/1 meter and matches the transparency and detail of the best ESLs with its field-coil drivers. Nuance, bandwidth and efficiency all in one package

That is like a custom studio main monitor design - this is serious stuff - only the highest quality drivers period. And four 15" 1602 TAD woofers to boot! I could live with these and be in heaven - although I have not heard them the driver pedigree is enough to know they must sound awesome - unlike anything else - outside of a prestigious studio...

I don't doubt you when you say you get the bottom end impact that most speakers (including ATC) only hint at! (Certainly true for ATC's domestic line which stops at one 15 inch woofer and ATC tend to be voiced bass light)

How about a pair of these ? Now 8 15" TAD woofers in one room is sure to knock one's socks off - as well as precipitate the filing of divorce papers! Wonderful stuff - drool, drool...
That. Looks. Awesome.
Ralph- have you heard the T-5s, the smaller version?

Cheers,

KeithR
Sure. They don't have the impact of the T-1 or T-3 (they go down to about 30 Hz), but they do everything else about the same. I don't know if John Wolfe is working on a field coil technology for that model or not.
Strange question. The best omnidirectional speakers besides MBL are Diapason by Shahinian Acoustics for many centuries - but only if you are willing to wait half year on their waiting list

At the end, obvious must be obvious?

Rafael
Dob wrote:
...but only if you are willing to wait half year on their waiting list

The Morrison omni-directional speakers are wonderful, and without the 6 month wait!
In Chris Martens' review of the $7500/pair Mirage OMD-28 speakers, he writes:
Moreover, the Mirges distinguish themselves through their ability to vanish into the soundstage. Many speakers claim to offer "disappearing act" imaging, but I think the OMD-28s take this to a much higher level--one bettered, in my experiene, only by speakers such as the reference-class MBL 101E (an omnidirectional speaker against which all others can be judged).
For a downloadable pdf of the entire TAS review, click the link provided by AVGuide.com on this page.
"The best omnidirectional speakers besides MBL are Diapason by Shahinian"

Strong statement.

Why?
ATC SMC100's or any other ATC. thoughts?
Check out Dlanselm comments on ATC. He used to have the 50's and I think he still has the 20's. ATC are not necessarily "the last word" in sound in any one area but they load a room very evenly (wide dispersion) and have among the most convincing natural sound and timbre, IMHO. Kind of panel-like midrange but with some of the most serious dynamics a box speaker can deliver (close to big horn like dynamics/loudness). They don't have huge bass which is more understated - solid, tight and detailed - meaning most tracks sound markedly different in bass but very few are overwhelming (apart from organ or that occasional kick drum that hasn't been compressed by the sound engineer) Imaging/soudstage is excellent and solid life like convincing but they certainly won't play impressive tricks like some "holographic" speakers. I think they are very easy to listen too or non fatiguing non demanding on the ear, however, they do like to be played loud - so be warned - the thinner bass and effortless clarity, with low distortion at extremely high levels, will make you listen louder than normal - NOT a good thing if you are in an appartment. Two cents and yes I am biased.
In addition to their very sophisticated room-filling dispersion, the MIrage OMD-28s'
-10dB point measured anechoically is 18 Hz. In-room, these things are linear to around 22 Hz, which should give you more than a taste of the MBL experience.
Shadorne, now those are some speakers I could DEFINITELY use in an HT system!!!! Infact, I might just look into em for such.
Likely superb dynamics, and focus for sure.
Thanks for the link/pic
Looks like another very busy RMAF this year for me....looking forward to it though. Making my demo disk this weekend.
The best omnidirectional speakers besides MBL are Diapason by Shahinian"

Strong statement.

Why?
Mapman
===================
Just listen.... that's it. Just listen!

When old Dick Shahinian was bringing them to CES - people spent hours, literally hours in their listening room and could not leave....

All The Best
Rafael
If you are looking for wide-angle dispersion, the High Emotion Audio speakers like the S7 have a tweeter that is really amazing- the 90-degree off-axis response is nearly the same as straight on! It is also one of the fastest tweeters I've heard.
Shadorne, now those are some speakers I could DEFINITELY use in an HT system!!!! Infact, I might just look into em for such.

Indeed. Given the hypercompression in modern pop/rock music, the dynamic range of ATC's are more useful with classical orchestral, big band jazz & funk, and movie soundtracks - or similar stuff. They are used in mastering studios for soundtracks. Gavin Lursen uses them.
With the exception of full blown loud music >100db, I prefer my Maggie 3.6 with james 1200 sub and Quicksilver heavily modded silver monos 115wpc with Polystyrene caps at 0.3%THD from tubes full smoke. Set up now the way they are, I now don't feel the "wants" when I hear the 101's. At modest volume, the Maggies are superior. Better dynamics and speed. Jallen
Jallen,

I would agree with Jallen that, within certain listening parameters, and with either set up correctly, Maggies are a very reasonable alternative to MBL.

Having said that, realize that the two are like night and day in regards to how they accomplish their mission and should not be equated in general.
I would like to hear both the High Emotion Audio S7 mentioned above and here's another option I think I would consider if I was thinking omnidirectional.

http://www.warrengregoire.com/hifi-stereo-ikonoklast3.htm
I'm one of the biggest fans of mbl, so this may help: I own merlins now and they are incredible, no listening fatigue, excellent imaging, dynamic transparent. But I would like to add, IMHO get the source right before, judging speakers.