Quick take on the MBL 6010D Reference Preamp

I had an absolutely wonderful afternoon, about four hours of listening, sitting in front of my good friend/audiophile/music lover's reference system, in order to tell him what I thought of his new "toys'" sonic performance.

His new piece is the magnificent looking and sounding MBL 6010D reference preamp, that recently was released about six months ago. This preamp weighs in at 90 pounds! The rest of his system is reference caliber: Kharma Grand Ceramiques, Kharma amps and wires, CEC TL-0 transport, Meitner DAC.

So, you could see way this would be a delightful experience to listen to my favorite music on this world class rig, but that's not what I really wanted to share with you GON members, the reason for this post was how shocking better the MBL was over his old and very highly regarded Lamm L2 reference preamp.

I dislike intensely audiophile cliche's, like it "blew it away", however in every meaningful factor(s) such as noise floor, liquidity/transparency, harmonic/dynamic details, soundstage width/depth and just a beautiful sense of natural bloom and air with very natural timbres, the MBL was not just an improvement over the Lamm, but a true qualitative shift towards the sound of music.

So, does this mean the Lamm L2 is now a "hunk of junk" of course not, but for me it means at least two things: 1) The MBL 6010D must be considered to join the ranks of one of the best 4 or 5 preamps in the world today. 2) I would believe that while the Lamm L2 is still a very good preamp it's ranking as one of the best references must be revaluated compared to not only the MBL but some of the state of the art preamps on the market today. As an absolute reference I think the Lamm L2 is starting to show its age.

My friend's system before he replace the Lamm L2 was a real sonic knockout before, with his new "baby" the MBL 6010D its gone to a new level of performance and musicality. Congratulations, Brother Keith, it's a great addition to your system and you will have years of pleasure listening to the music you love even on a higher level now!
I also just replaced my L2 with the 6010D and couldn't agree more with everything said above. I still feel that the L2 is a fine preamp but the MBL does take my system to a new level. In fact, I've been so impressed with the 6010D, I've ordered the 1621A transport and the 1611E converter.
I just took delivery of the latest 6010 pre and it is nothing short of amazing! I am in awe of its extreme degree of resolution while at the same time exhibiting a truly euphoric approach to the music. the sound stage is expansive like I've never experienced before, yet the images within that stage are precise, unclutter, and have a natural roundness to them that is simply indiscribable. Quiet, this pre should be listed in Webster's dictionary as THE "meaning" for the word.
Low level informaton is staggering. Play a well recorded live performance and I am there like never before. Really enlightning. I have always been taken aback by mbl's demos at shows and I mostly atrributed the sound to their wonderous spks. I can now state without hesitation the 6010 is a MAJOR contributor to those musical experiences.
My opinion (for what its worth), the world's greatest pre, YES!
Teajay and other fortunate MBL owners,it is very interesting that the "solid state" weaknesses of past components seems to be diminishing as time goes by.
Yet there is still a contingency who, still, are absolutely resolute about anything solid state being the least bit musical,as compared to tube units.
Now we have some products(I'm sure there are quite a few more,BTW)like the Dartzeel,ASR,MBL and some of the Pass products,all of which I have heard,that are getting very good "press"(sadly too many 'philes are way too influenced by the "mags")and deservedly so.
My own system consists of highly modded equipment,all solid state,but a hybrid tube phonostage(three tubes).I have always felt it competed with the better configurations I have heard,yet if one is/was a tube lover,in my highly biased "tube worshiping" audio group,then hearing my set-up almost always came with a preconceived notion that it would "have to be better" if more tubes were in the circuit.I've actually had it that way,in the past.
I NEVER fell for that line,as I have had every possible configuration (Tubes and solid state)over my years in this hobby,and felt my current rig (one that I have been very careful in voicing to my tastes,and nobody else's)had what I was looking for.
Yet if one goes back,only a year or so ago,and looks at some of the "roundtable discussions" in magazines like TAS,we find the findings of what are considered to be the more experienced journalists around,to clearly not only favor all tube set-ups,but also go on to state that solid state cannot possibly be musical due to certain distortion artifacts,which are endemic to such designs.
"Tubes were music,with solid state being nice,yet Hi-Fi"!!
Personally some of the better systems I like(and don't own)are low powered tube amps,driving simple speakers.Yet they too have limitations.Everything does!If something is good,it's "GOOD".Period!!
My overall point being that I am thrilled to see "quality design" being rewarded,as in the case of this new MBL unit.I don't give a damn whether it's tubed or solid state driven(as I understand it,this is a solid state design).
I never cared for the MBL demos I had heard.Always at audio shows,and played far too loud,for me,but I have no doubts that this preamp is the real deal.

Yet my little audio group,of tube lovers,could never allow themselves to hear the virtues of that design.Say "solid state" and they automatically put the KIBASH on it!Of course if I got one,and told them it was a tube unit,it would be a whole different scenario,and I guarantee a different listening perception would be conveyed.SAD!
Teajay---Good for you(and your friend),that you can be unbiased.Even the most experienced among "many" are hard pressed to simply hear what is in front of them.
Time to really listen with the ears,and not our eyes!

I too just took delivery of a 6010D and was stunned by its performance. I was one of those "guys" who insisted that tubes were the only avenuew to the emotional side of the music. NOT! This mbl pre is so spectacular in its ability to resolve low (I mean really low) level information, dead on focus of localization with a vast soundstage, and dynamic impact that I simply find myself in awe of its performance. Not to mention it is one the most beautifully constructed pieces of gear I have ever seen!
For years, I would enter an mbl suite at a show and be mezzmerized by the sound I heard there. All the time givng most of the credit to the wonderful 101 spks. Well, I truly beleive I was no giving as much credit to mbl's elecctronics as I should have. I am so impressed with the shear musicality of the 6010D that I'm going to get there 9006 mono blocks as well.
Help! I have a pair of Wilson W/P7. Looking for a Preamp.MBL 6010D or Audio Research Reference 3.
Hic, I know the AR Ref 3 has got great reviews and I have heard it, it's quite good, however I really believe it is not as good as the MBL Preamp in such specific's as dynamics, bass, clarity, and believe it or not what I call a "musicality/organic" sense that tube gear is famous for. A final note would be that the MBL preamp also is a champ when it comes to soundstaging and layering in that stage with "air" around all the players in a very real way.

As always, personnal taste and system synergy are the final factors, but I wish you well in your audition process.
When I first bought the MBL 6010D, I was using Watt/Puppy 7's and thought they sounded very good but as you know, your system will be as good as the weakest link. I have also heard the AR Ref 3 and for my taste, much preferred the 6010D.
Do you still have Wilson7 with MBL6010D? Do you have MBL power amp and MBL cd player?
I heard the phono and balance input are extra. Should I use other phono input or MBL.
I'm actually just about to replace the 7's with Kharma Mini Exquisites. Although I was very happy with the Wilson's, when presented with the opportunity to audition the Kharma's in my system, I jumped on it. I wasn't expecting much because I had already heard several other Kharma speakers(3.2's and Midi Exquisites) and liked the 7's better. I had the Mini's for 2 days and needless to say, was very impressed with what I heard.

To answer your other question, I have the MBL 1621A transport and the 1611E dac. My amps are the Lamm ML 2.1's.

As you probably know, your 7's are very sensitive to placement and what is in front of them. The MBL 6010D will only improve them, in my opinion.
Davis,as a very interested party,in the Mini Exquisites,and knowing how good the Lamm 2.1 performs on the 3.2,do you feel the 2.1 handles dynamics well on the Mini Exquisites.

The sound that I heard through the Mini's was unforgetable, I agree with those that have described the sound as magic. If you have heard 3.2's with the 2.1's and liked that sound, then I think that you will absolutely love the Mini's with the 2.1's. I did hear the Mini's with the AR Ref 210's and much preferred the 2.1's. It's well known how well Kharma pairs with the ML 2.1's. This speaker is very special.
Beware od this product. Make sure you have enough money in bank to pay for this premap before you bring home for an audition.
Because once you bring it home YOU have to buy it.
Yeah, it is that good! As Teajay states it makes your system " a true qualitative shift towards the sound of music."
I totally agree with the praise above.. I own this too and it's by far the best preamp I have ever had. As Mike is hinting at, most of the "MBL magic" is in fact in their electronics, and the 6010D has got to be at the top of that! I ended up getting an all-MBL system, and it's really sweet indeed.. Will describe it in my Systems soon. :)