On The Feeding And Care Of Vienna Mahlers
As already you may have gleaned from several threads, I have fallen in love with the Vienna Mahlers during the 2006 RMAF, where I listened to them repeatedly and at length in the excellent Rowland / Soundings / Sumiko suite. At the time, they were driven by a Primare CD21 CD player, Rowland Concerto preamp, Rowland 312 stereo amp.
No longer able to resist, I decided to retire my Maggies IIIAs, and ordered a pair of Mahlers in Rosewood livery during late August, and have received them a couple of weeks ago, crated in their coffins. Soon after, they were hoisted up the stairs to the loft with the help of a stout hand-cart and of a 'few good men'--you know who you are. . . and thanks a bunch guys! Why is it that anything good has to weigh almost 200lbs?
Well, now they are all connected, via a set of emergency Monster speaker wires, while my trusted Cardas Golden Refs are awaiting to be shipped to Cardas for retermination. They are at the end of a fully balanced chain consisting of TEAC Esoteric X-01, ARC Ref 3, Rowland model 7M balanced (latest series made 1989 with trans-impedance modules and rear primary power switches). ICs are Audioquest Skys. Temporarily, I am running the Mahlers with woofers facing outward, speakers cantered in by perhaps 7 degrees. Speakers are approximately 22 inches from a half wall behind them, and are standing about 77 inches apart center to center. Because of the shape of the listening loft -- which has a passage on its right leading to the stairs -- i cannot center them evenly from the side walls: the front of the left speaker is 28 inches from the wall, while the right speaker sits 60 inches from the right wall. The listening loft is a carpeted area having stippled walls approximately 17 feet x 19 feet with a half wall along the long side where the system is situated. The ceiling is coffered with a max height of perhaps 12 ft. The half wall opens to an even larger area that extends downstairs to the house entrance. The carpeted floor of the loft is in turn covered by an extremely thick 9 X 12 ft wool rug. A couch sits close to the windows opposite the stereo.
At approx 60 hours of break in, the Mahlers were already making wonderful music; the treble opening nicely; midrange already solid and textured; the bass deepening; staging and imaging fleshing out. At 68 hrs some -- I trust temporary -- excessive warmth sat in. I can only guess about their sound once they stabilize, and only then I will write a full review. In the meantime I'd like to hear from other audiophiles about their experiences/opinions of the Mahlers.
Here are some possible topics for discussion:
Any experiences connecting speaker wires to Mahlers via maggie Pins? The socket on the 5-way binding post of my Mahlers is marginally too narrow for the Maggie Pins on my Cardas Golden Ref speaker wires. . . I can fit 1 connector out of 4 only.
Total speaker break in time, and expected performance/sonic fluctuations during break in.
The eternal debate. . . woofers out or woofers in?
Experiments with bass and treble management dip-switches?
Effect of front grilles on/off?
Ideal distance from back wall / side walls?
Amplifiers and speaker wires that in your experience match well or do not match well with Mahlers.
Things that in your view Mahlers excell at, and areas they may not do so well.
That's it from my end. . . . 'tis your turn now guys & girls!