Coming soon to JV's overstuffed listening room.
I will be trying out the ARC Ref 3 preamp (my reference) with the MBL speakers and 9011 amps--to begin to see how the system sounds with non-MBL gear. I'll report tonight or tomorrow on the results.
From the photo it doesn`t look like the distance between the woofer, mid and tweeter (sorry, I didn`t know that) towers is as much as it actually is. I have no experience with these kind of speakers (I have the Indra) and I am sure that they behave much different from mine.
Quote:From the photo it doesn`t look like the distance between the woofer, mid and tweeter (sorry, I didn`t know that) towers is as much as it actually is.
Kiddo, I'm not sure what you mean by this. The Radilastrahler towers (the speakers with the three omnidirectional drivers) have two sets of woofer/midranges/tweeters arranged in a D'Appolito array, one set facing up, the other hanging down from above.
The woofer tower, a separate column, has three identical boxes stacked atop each other. Each box contains two 12" aluminum woofers, in a push-push configuration. The woofers are heavily braced by aluminum bars; the ported enclosure massively constructed.
What I meant is that I was fooled by the photo. I didn`t realize that the distance between the Radialstrahler towers was that big, that`s all. Or indeed that your room is not that small at all, I guess that all the stuff in it makes it look (on a photo) smaller than it actually is.
Elliot Goldman wrote:Dear Syd,
Lighten up man. Don't you have a sense of humor?
Chris is obviously having some fun and so was I.
I am sure Jon can handle himself and please don't walk so closely behind him, he may stop short and you can find yourself in a very compromising position.
Trust me, I'm pretty light these days - I've lost a good 15 lbs since CES and counting!
I got your sense of humor which is why my post was not directed at you. I did not, however, get Chris's sense of humor. If that was meant to be one big joke, my apologies as that went right over my head.
As far finding myself in a very compromising position, I guess you are trying to steer me away from a bad situation that I may be heading towards? If so, I am oblivious to it, so help me out here: How does walking closely behind Jon in trying to keep this thread from being hijacked (which is the direction I thought this was going) lead me towards being in a compromised position? If this seems like a stupid question, I apologize, but I just don't get it...
Quote:What I meant is that I was fooled by the photo. I didn`t realize that the distance between the Radialstrahler towers was that big, that`s all. Or indeed that your room is not that small at all, I guess that all the stuff in it makes it look (on a photo) smaller than it actually is.
Ah! I understand now. My listening room is about 17' x 16' x 10'--approximately 2700 cubic feet.
jvalin wrote:I will be trying out the ARC Ref 3 preamp (my reference) with the MBL speakers and 9011 amps--to begin to see how the system sounds with non-MBL gear. I'll report tonight or tomorrow on the results.
Jon, I am very interested in what your impressions will be with the ARC 610T amps and the Ref 3 preamp.
At the moment I am just using the ARC Ref 3 and the MBL 9011s with the !01Xes. It is a truly swell combination (at least with vinyl--haven't listened to CDs yet), but I kinda already knew that it would be, since I'd previously tried this same duo out with the 101 Es.
The differences between the Ref 3 and the 6010 D are ones of emphasis rather than wholesale differences of kind. (This is how far tubes and solid-state have come together.) As you might expect the 6010 D is faster, harder-hitting, more dynamic, and its own way very beautiful on timbre. The Ref 3 is no slouch when it comes to transient response or dynamics, either, and is a bit airier and bloomier and realistically brighter overall with killer-lovely vocal and instrumental textures and surprisingly strong bottom end. I don't know which I prefer in this setup. That will require more cross-comparison. Clearly, they're both great and I think I could already safely recommend the Ref 3 in an otherwise all-MBL system, if you wanted to add a flavor of modern-day tubes to the presentation.
I, too, am most interested in hearing how the 610Ts will sound with the ever-more-impressive 101Xes. However, to do this will take considerable brawn. Just getting the 610Ts back into the listening room and swapping them out for the 9011s may require a return of the piano movers!
In any event, I'm still listening happily.More anon (as HP is wont to say).
Jon, I hope you tip those piano movers well, or at least let them listen to a few of their favorite records and CDs on your system.
Since I'm going to have to get some help to move the 610Ts into the listening room, I'm back to all-MBL electronics.
I still feel like I'm getting my sea legs with the 101Xes, because so much else has changed. Beyond the electronics, I'm not currently using Tara Labs Omega Gold cable (I'm awaiting a second run of Tara Omega Gold to bi-wire the 101Xes). So...I'm not sure what qualities to attribute to the speakers (beyond sensational dynamics, superb bass and bass integration, nonpareil soundstaging, and imaging that is vastly improved over the 101 Es).
What I can say with some confidence is this: Thus far, on smaller-scale music (such as folk, most chamber, jazz vocals, or acoustic pop) played at low-to-moderate volumes, the Symposium Acoustic Panoramas (powered by ARC electronics) maintain a slight edge in realism over the Xes (and everything else I've heard). But on large-scale music of all kinds or any-scale music played at moderate-to-loud volumes (and often even smaller-ensemble music, such as solo piano, needs to be played louder—to be properly scaled dynamically), the MBL 101Xes (powered by MBL electronics) hold the edge.
The Pans are mainly about nuance, delicacy, neutrality, the smaller musical gestures that appeal to the mind's ear; though higher in nuance than just about anything else I’ve heard save for the Pans (and the Quad 2905s), the 101Xes are more about power, pace, scale, the larger musical gestures that appeal to the emotions. Happily, both offer a very large share of the other's virtues, so it isn't like choosing between vinyl and CD. It's more like choosing between great triodes and great pentodes.
Do note that this assessment is likely to change with changes in equipment (such as the Ref 3/610T) and greater familiarity with the speakers (and their various adjustments).
Though it has only tangentially to do with the 101Xes, I think I should note that the TW Acustic Raven AC-3 with Dynavector 507 MkII arm and Koetsu Onyx Platinum (or Koetsu Coralstone) cartridge is one swell combination, as played back via the ARC Reference 3, ARC PH7, the MBL 9011s, and the 101Xes. Very, very lifelike and exceptionally high in low-level resolution. I actually heard, for the first time, the third to last line of "The Last Time I Saw Richard" on Steve Hoffman's superb remastering of Blue. What had always sounded to me like "only a dark [unintelligible] before I get my golden wings and fly away" is actually "only a dark cocoon before I get my golden wings and fly away." Better still, Joni's voice, which is, for whatever reason, considerably better recorded on this cut than on the other cuts on the same side, was exceptionally realistic (at all volumes). I also, for the first time, heard the tiny tinkle of a single bell during the wash of violin harmonics near the ending of the first movement of Corigliano's Piano Concerto. It doesn't mean much, but it's interesting how different combinations of gear pick out different details and yet, somehow, manage to turn these differently emphasized parts into plausibly realistic wholes.
I know what you mean, Jon. It's like the first time I put on Dylan's "Blond on Blond" or the track Cowboy Movie from Dave Crosby's "If Only I Could Remember My Name" and understood every word.
Tonight my friend and colleague Mark Lehman got his first listen to the 101Xes (with the ARC Ref 3 linestage, the ARC PH7 phonostage, the MBL 9011 monoblock amplifiers, the TW Acustic Raven AC-3 with Dynavector 507 II arm and Koetsu Onyx Platinum cartridge, and Tara Labs Zero Gold interconnect and Omega Gold cable).
Lehman has heard every speaker I've had in house for the past fifteen years and is a very tough audience--strictly classical music (he is a twentieth-century specialist who has written for American Record Guide and Fanfare, as well as TAS). To say that he was impressed is putting it mildly. Even though we were listening at low-to-moderate volumes, he thought the 101Xes were much better than the Symposium Pans (which, I'll remind you, were the least colored speakers I'd heard up till now); indeed, he thought they were the best speakers he'd heard in my home (or anybody's home)--and by a large margin.
They did sound marvelous in the aforementioned system--such extraordinary openness, such a complete lack of "box" coloration and of the limited directivity (point source or line source) that makes music sound as if it's coming from a plane of drivers in an enclosure (as it is) rather than radiating from instruments three-dimensionally into a three-dimensional performing space, such truly exquisite resolution of tone color and instrumental texture, such phenomenal tranisent response and dynamic range and scale.
N.B. These are very sensitive loudspeakers--sensitive to every change of room treatment, every change of ancillary, every adjustment of seating position (and particularly seating height). And yet they are also unsually generous in that you can sit virtually anywhere and, though you may not get all the realism you'd get in the "sweet spots," they will sound mighty good.
Here is a photo of the rear of the MBL 101X tower. At the top you can see some of the adjustments that can be made to the woofer, midrange, and tweeter of the downward-facing set of Radailstrahlers (via selectable heavy-duty jumpers with thick pins). The knob on the top right ajdusts the output of the "ambience tweeter" on the very top of the speaker. The speaker-cable connectors to the left of and below the ambience-tweeter adjustment knob are very heavy-duty and their faucet-like handles make snugging down any thickness of spade lug or bare wire a snap.
These same bridgeable adjustments and heavy-duty speaker-cable connectors are also available for the bottom set of Radialstrahlers (in this D'Appolito array). The 101X Radialtrahler towers must be bi-wired or bi-amped.
Below is a close-up of the top cabinet in the woofer array. The "grilles" are removable. Behind this one you can see one of the two 12" aluminum drivers. (There is a second on the opposite side of the cabinet in a push-push array.) There are three woofer cabinets per bass stack, making for a total of six 12" woofers per channel (twelve total). The woofer stack is self-powered by a 9011-like amplifier built into the center cabinet of the stack and connected to the other woofers via (supplied) heavy-duty cords with Neutrik connectors on either end. The bass-stack amplifier is itself fed via a balanced or unbalanced interconnect directly from the output of your preamp. Crossover frequency is about 100Hz, with (what I believe is) an 18dB/octave high-pass to the Radialstrahller towers.
Here is a close-up of the upper Radiastrahler array in the right-hand Radistrahler tower. The left and right towers are not mirror-imaged (they don't need to be thanks to omni-dispersion), but the upper and lower sections of each tower are matched. Be sure to pay careful attention to the serial numbers on the backs of the top and bottom halves of each Radialstrahler tower to make sure you're mating them up properly.
Here is the control panel on the back of the middle box of one woofer stack. At the top you can see the heavy-dutry Neutrik connectors that run from the middle box to the upper and lower boxes. You can also see the balanced and unbalanced inputs and the three knobs that adjust group delay (phase), Q-factor, and volume.
You're raving about the 101x's and Robert is raving about the Wilson X-2 Mk II's. You guys ever considered visiting each other for a day and listening to each other's system and then writing about it.
Note: I'm not one of those folks who thinks that reviewing can be made more "scientific," etc. I think your reviewing methodology is fine for something as ineffably subjective and elusive as musical beauty (or accuracy). I have favorite books and favorite movies that I know are more obviously flawed in some way than other books that just don't move me as much. And I have close friends, people with similar sensibilities, seeming similar tastes, and we don't agree on the beauty of particular women, men, books, movies, museums. I teach writing, and I know that even when I fully agree with someone in an article or review of a book, there's no way he and I would write the review the same way. The beauty of humanity is how I see it.
But for the sheer thrill of it, I would love (and I imagine other readers would love) you guys listen to each other's systems, especially when you're both writing about ultra-high-end speakers like the X'2's and the 101x's. This would be in addition to your individual reviews, not a substitute for them.
Robert's comparison of the Revel utra's and the Magico V3's really struck a nerve with people, from what I could tell. It was great as a reader to see Robert struggling (in the best, most cautious and honest sense of the term) with comparing two speakers that he clearly loved. And then both of you can throw TAS reader parties where you invite all of us over, and we get to party and then write our impressions as well. You just need to limit the alcohol at the gatherings. But please, have plenty of good food. You can have the movers bring in the food!
You teach creative writing? I used to teach creative writing--many, many years ago.
Yes, Robert and I have given some thought to exchanging visits. The two speakers are so different that they would make for an interesting contrast.
Your comment about the way all of us overlook the flaws of books, movies, and music (not to mention people) that we love is extremely well made--and true. Indeed, I tend to think that our willingness to forgive is a measure of how much we love.
And, yes, I will get the piano movers to bring the food to the TAS readers party. To which you will most certainly be invited.
I occasionally teach creative writing, including fiction writing. But mainly I teach college freshmen and this is non-fiction: essays, analysis pieces, research papers, etc. In the past two years, I have encouraged my students to compose non-fiction narrative stories using all the techniques of modern, realist fiction. So in that sense I teach creative writing. It takes a while for them to master this, but by the end of the year, I have a lot of students who can really write compelling stories full of revealing detail, suspense, foreshadowing, tension, stories that mostly show and don't tell, as the old phrase goes.
You used to teach creative writing huh? In Cincy? I've got to track down some of your novels. I understand you're not writing them anymore. Judging by how much I love your audio writing, I am sure I would love the novels as well. Is the broader audio community aware of your literary pedigree?
By the way, I was stunned a few years back when, in your review of the Magico Minis I believe, you referred to audio measurements and included charts in the review. I like writers (and people) who are open to new ideas and new angles on things. My teaching constantly evolves as I get taken by new ideas and new insights. I can almost never teach the same book or story in the same way from one year to the next.
Finally, to throw out another crazy idea ... I was thinking of suggesting that you and Robert import dancers (swing dancers or Lindy-hoppers, who are a force here in Philly) who can groove to the X2's and the 101xers and report their reactions. But I'm guessing that the 101x's with their omni-directionality would easily win out among a group of dancers spread throughout a room (not locked in a sweet spot).
Is it clear in your mind that a group of people sitting around a room would indeed enjoy omni-directional MBL's more than they would enjoy "regular" sweet-spot-limited speakers? I've been wondering about that.
I taught creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis and at the University of Cincinnati.
I haven't written a novel in thirteen years. But I wrote eleven of them in the fifteen years that preceded this hiatus. Before I'm done, God willin', I'll write a few more.
As for MBLs and sweet spots...like conventional speakers the 101Xes sound their very best when you're seated squarely between them--at the right height and at the right distance from the Radialstrahler towers. However, unlike conventional loudspeakers, all MBL omnis also sound quite astonishingly good when you sit (or stand) well off axis; moreover, they stage and image (including center imaging and imaging in depth) unusually well when you're seated off axis, because of their 360-degree radiation pattern. No conventional speaker, point source or line source, can do this off-axis thing like a Radialstrahler, which in combination with the MBLs' incredible dynamic range, scaling, and low bass make them perhaps the great party speaker. That they are also equally great for intimate, single-person listening gives them one advantage no other speaker in my experience can match.
Great answer on the omni-directionality factor. So there is still a benefit from sitting between the speakers. Great to know. Thanks.
I haven't had any fiction published, but I'm still working on it, and I get tremendous satisfaction from writing fiction. I'm glad to hear you're considering getting back into it.
Was Stanley Elkin at Washington University when you were there? I once sat in on a fiction workshop with him. He was wheel-chair bound by that time and the workshop was held in his home not far from campus, if not actually on the campus.
Quote:Was Stanley Elkin at Washington University when you were there?
He was my mentor.
Just as another aside, I put the Koetsu Onyx Platinum in the Walker Black Diamond record player and played it back through the 101 Xes, ARC Ref 3, ARC PH7, MBL 9011s, Tara Labs Zero Gold, and Silent Source Music Reference speaker cables...omigod, what a swooningly gorgeous sound! And not just beautiful but quite disarmingly realistic on voice and solo instrument, with sensationally deep, rich, well-defined bass. Staging may not be quite as wide as what I'm used to with the Clearaudio Goldfinger v2 or the Air Tight PC-1 (actually I'm not sure of this yet) and the balance may be a little darker overall, but the sheer beauty of the sound kind of made me forget mere stereo considerations.
This afternoon some friends and I listened to music through the 101 Xes. The consensus (and it is unanimous) is that these are mighty damn good loudspeaker. Several of my listening panel were quite familiar with the sound of the 101 Es, which I had in my system for about two years. One of them correctly noted that, unlike the 101 Es (at least in their pre-Mk II version), the 101 Xes do not have to be played loud to come to life and strut their stuff. I think my initial reaction--that the Pans (slightly) outperformed the 101 Xes at low-to-moderate volumes--may need to be reconsidered as I dial in source and electronics, although I'm not really sure about this yet. (The Pans remain great loudspeakers, regardless of the fuss that's been made over their provenance--and, of course, they cost less than half of what the 101 Xes do.) What I am sure of is that these MBLs go a large step beyond the 101 Es (unrevised) in every respect, but then for better than three times the dough they damn well ought to.
Here is a second graph of the MBL 101 X—this one an RTA taken (with the same software and same calibrated microphone) from the listening position, which is about 5-6 feet farther away from the speakers than the spot in which I did my original measurements. As you can see, the low bass response is "up" a couple dB in this graph; the top treble is also "up" a wee small bit which, like the bass response, is the exact opposite of the way the 101 X's treble measured closer in. It is possible, I suppose, that the new measurement (from slightly farther away) is actually taking in the added response of the ambience tweeter atop the Radialstrahler tower and catching more of the response of the woofer tower and the room lift; on the other hand (and I wouldn't sell this one short), these measurements may simply be varying with different microphone placement and positioning (and, thus, should be taken with a grain of salt). Regardless of the differences at the extremes, it is obvious that this speaker measures consistently and exceptionally flat in frequency response, either from close-in or from somewhat farther away. More importantly, they sound surprisingly neutral and natural in balance.
We did an interesting LP shootout a couple of days ago. A friend of mine, Alex Cedeno, brought a white-label promo copy of the famous Merc Vienna and a Philips reissue of same (not a Golden Import, BTW), and I supplied the Speaker Corner reissue of the disc. We listened to the great Schoenberg 5 Pieces for Orchestra primarily (but also a little bit to the Webern 5 Pieces). Man, these were very different sounding pressings. The white-label Merc was the “hottest,” but also the most lively. The Speakers Corner was the most gemütlich (clearly re-eq’d in the brilliance range to tone down the brightness and also re-eq’d in the bass), with far and away the best (deepest, most defined, most lifelike) bass. The Philips was kind of midway between the other two pressings—a bit of the lively brightness of the Merc, a bit of the low-end clarity and extension of the Speakers Corner.
My point is that the differences between these three pressings were exceptionally clearly articulated by the 101 Xes, proving that when it comes to timbres, dynamics, and resolution their transparency to sources (which is important to me) is sterling. True, their soundstage depth and width is a bit exaggerated (albeit in a most beguiling way) because of their omni dispersion, but, as I noted before, it is still a faithful reflection of what’s on the record (i.e., if the record has superior depth and width, the 101 Xes make it sound panoramic; if the record has curtailed depth and width, the 101 Xes make it sound curtailed, within the somewhat larger limits of its soundfield).
JV, had the Koetsu RSP, Goldfinger, and AT-same thought. The other two tracked and were more "accurate", but the RSP is like an old girlfriend with 10 extra lbs-you just don't mind and boy that comfy factor.
Could it be that the twin tweets lead to some cancellation/reinforcement issues-my understanding is putting two tweeters in close proximity given the wavelength is not a good thing (in theory!!!). I think this is the only around speaker that does this for this very reason.
Quote:Could it be that the twin tweets lead to some cancellation/reinforcement issues given the wavelength is not a good thing (in theory!!!)
Yeah. I thought of that, too. On the other hand, look at the results! The other thing I'd point out is that if the twin tweets of the 101 Xes are canceling or comb-filtering the topmost treble, then why did the 101 Es, which uses just one Radialstrahler tweeter (and hence should have no "comb-filtering" or "cancellation" problems), measure almost identically to the 101 Xes (i.e., they too rolled off, even more steeply, above 12-14kHz) in entirely independent FR measurements taken by John Atkinson (see http://stereophile.com/loudspeakerreviews/1004mbl/index4.html). Although i didn't know this until after I completed my first set of measurements, Alon (who, bless his heart, has been a help to me in sorting through these measurement questions--and this about a competitive speaker!) directed me to the Stereophile measurements, where I found that Atkinson had also found the measured response of the Radialstrahlers through the midrange and treble to be "superbly flat."
But instead of exchanging e-mails about the 101Xes, why don't you come listen to them? Just as a matter of intellectual curiosity, you ought to hear these things functioning properly. I'm not claiming that they are the best because they are so fundamentally different in presentation than other (more conventional) designs that I could understand where they might not be to everyone's taste (although, so far, they sure have been here in Cincy). Also I'd readily concede there are other truly great speakers from Magico, Rockport, Symposium, Wilson, Focal, etc. What I will say--at this point--is that I think these things are competitive with the best.
Quote:I think this is the only around speaker that does this for this very reason.
I don't think this is the case, Rupe. For instance, Pipedreams and Scaenas and Nolas are among a number of speakers that I can think of which used and use multiple closely-spaced tweeters (cones in the Pipes, ribbons in the Scaenas and Nolas), and while there was some comb-filtering in the Pipes at very close listening distances (inches away) that comb-filtering disappeared (or evened-out) at normal listening distances.
Quote:had the Koetsu RSP, Goldfinger, and AT-same thought. The other two tracked and were more "accurate", but the RSP is like an old girlfriend with 10 extra lbs-you just don't mind and boy that comfy factor.
This is very well put!
Bon Jour Jon,
I see you are having fun with the new speaker and from reading your reports that you have mentioned some other great products. I just want to break some news for you here. The Focal crew showed a small group of us the future a few days ago and although I am sworn to silence I can tell you that I was blown away.
I also got a chance to hear the CLX as well. Life is not all great food and wine I need a little audio as well even on holiday,
Bon jour, aussi, although it's probably bonne nuit on your end.
It's great to hear that you're enjoying your Focal junket. (I was invited to go, too, but couldn't make the trip.) I'm sure Focal's $200k statement speakers are excellent and look forward to hearing them at CES (where, I hope, they will be intro'd in the States). For the record, two of my best friends own Focal speakers and I myself have reviewed them very favorably in TAS and have seen to it that they are recommended in our Editors’ Choice List and in the TAS Short List.
This is, however, a thread devoted to MBL 101Xes! While this certainly does not preclude the mention of other highly competitive statement speakers (I’ve done this myself, here and on other threads), the fact that you are a Focal/JMlab dealer makes me a little uncomfortable with an interjection in an MBL thread praising Focal/JMlab speakers from someone who sells them.
I don't doubt for a moment that Focal's new statement speakers are outstanding or that you aren't fully capable of hearing and reporting on their merits or that your enthusiasm isn't completely genuine. I just think that, as a not entirely disinterested party, you need to indicate explicitly that you have a commercial tie to this company.
I've talked this question over with the rest of our staff and we agree that, like Chris Sommivigo (who is completely open and above board about the lines he distributes and, to give credit where credit is due, has never once mentioned one of “his” product lines in a thread devoted to a product he doesn’t carry), you really need to add a signature to your posts indicating that you are a retailer and also indicating which lines you sell (or those lines which may compete with the product under discussion)—to avoid any hint of a conflict of interest.
I do not mean this personally, Elliot. I think you are an entirely honorable fellow. And I am not saying or implying that you are not entitled to express your opinion about any products on AVguide or that there is a conflict of interest (rather than the appearance of one), and I am certainly not saying or implying that you are wrong to feel or express sincere enthusiasm about the new Focal flagships. Nor do I mean for this MBL thread to imply that the 101Xes are the one and only great loudspeaker in the high end. For the record, they certainly are not. But it is AVguide policy for manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to identify themselves as same (as, for instance, Chris does) and to identify the products they make, distribute, or sell.
If you would like to discuss this matter further, please feel free to e-mail me at my home. And if you would like to post pix and comments on the Focal flagships on a separate thread, feel free to do so (as along as you also indicate that you are Focal retailer).
Merci, bonne écoute, et bon voyage,
I am certainly sorry if I broke any rules. I was just mentioning it since you listed the product in your post and I was unaware that you were invited or knew that a new product was in the pipeline. I am a dealer for many items and this was not a sales pitch by any means since they are not yet in the market. It was for informational purposes only. I am not a dealer for the MBL but I am still interested as a music lover and have had the pleasure of listening to some of the early speakers in my home.
I only mentioned that I saw some new things but if it is a problem I certainly will not do it again. I have seen many postings about subjects and products not relavant to the thread so I did not think that my mention was in error.
Merci and Au revoir,
They did not let us take pictures so there are none to post.
I am also a Martin Logan, Magico, Scaena, EMM, Dcs, ARC and others as well and have commented on them in the past. Please someone tell me the rules either here or in a private message since I am now confused.
Thank you for the gracious post. It is no biggie, and you were very fair in your reply.
I truly do look forward to hearing the big Focals!
Quote:They did not let us take pictures so there are none to post.
I am also a Martin Logan, Magico, Scaena, EMM, Dcs, ARC and others as well and have commented on them in the past. Please someone tell me the rules either here or in a private message since I am now confused.
That is a real shame about the pix! I'd love to see the big new Focals and the other newly renovated Focals. (Perhaps you could call or write me about this when you return?)
As for the rules, i've explained them. They aren't onerous (and they certainly aren't aimed at keeping you from posting!). Just indicate in your sig that you're a retailer and list a few (of the germane) lines you carry--or at least do this if you're commenting on something that you carry, like Chris does, e.g.,
The Signal Collection, LLC
North American Distributors for:
Continuum Audio Labs
They will be hard to take up three flights of steps they weigh almost 600 pounds per speaker. Too bad you didn't come it was a fun trip and ended with a concert in Vienne ( France) in a 2000 year old Roman Ampitheater with Avisahi Cohen ( an incredible jazz bassist) and Diana Krall.
Quote:They will be hard to take up three flights of steps they weigh almost 600 pounds per speaker.
Hard...but not impossible!!!!
I wish I'd been able to go, too, damnit! I really am a Focal fan. That music must've been wonderful.
It would have been fun to meet you. The best part was they let a few of us play with the new stuff on Saturday when the factory was closed. I think you would have enjoyed the trip and if you get a chance in the future you should definetly go since they are more than gracious hosts.
I was not familiar with Avishai and I am now a big fan and I am going to Virgin in Paris to buy all of his cd's. I have never seen a bass played like that and it was just him and a pianist nothing else. He said his drummer had an issue but we never knew what. The ampitheater is amazing all cut from stone and in the middle of this small town. I would say it is sort of a Roman Red Rocks! :)
I am tired so good night!
Bonne nuit et rêves doux!
I meant in the "d'appolito" sense for the tweeters, as opposed to the nola/pipe/IRS quasi line array. Only ones I know of.
But with the mighty CAT/ARC/Lamm trio here, shouldn't you visit first?
Quote:But with the mighty CAT/ARC/Lamm trio here, shouldn't you visit first?
You have a point. Alon has been threatening to get me out to SF to visit his factory. Maybe I can wheedle a visit to your place as well.
Quote:I meant in the "d'appolito" sense for the tweeters, as opposed to the nola/pipe/IRS quasi line array. Only ones I know of.
Yeah, but don't forget these are boxless, omnidrectional drivers (not direct radiators). I don't know how such things might be expected to behave in a D'Appolito (or quasi-D'Appolito) array--or even if it is fair to call such a thing a D'Appolito array (MBL does not; it calls it "a pair of mirror-imaged omnidirectional Radialstrahler driver array"). All I can say, observationally, is that image focus is much improved with the 101Xes over the 101 Es (non-MkII), balance is exceptionally neutral, transparency to sources is much higher than it has been in past MBL speakers, and measured response is phenomenally good.
Also Rupe, as I said in my earlier reply, if the "mirror-imaged Radialstrahler driver array" is canceling or comb-filtering the top treble, then why did the single-driver (non-mirror-imaged) 101 E measure roughly the same way? I'm going to ask Juergen Reis of MBL for a more definitive answer.
BTW, I can think of closely spaced tweeters that sounded pretty swell (even if they theoretically shouldn't have): Stacked Advents. (Which HP, not too long ago, said still sounded great.)
Elliot Goldman wrote:I was not familiar with Avishai and I am now a big fan and I am going to Virgin in Paris to buy all of his cd's.
Make sure you pick out his Continuo CD - one of my fave releases of 2006. Great jazz with Middle Eastern overtones.
I did not get a chance today we walked to the Louvre and back so I will pick it up tommorow. Are the others good as well?
They are, but I particularly like this one.
Btw, he was the bass player with Chick Corea a few years ago - you might want to pick some of those too.
Also Rupe, as I said in my earlier reply, if the "mirror-imaged Radialstrahler driver array" is canceling or comb-filtering the top treble, then why did the single-driver (non-mirror-imaged) 101 E measure roughly the same way? I'm going to ask Jurgen Reis of MBL for a more definitive answer.
Jurgen's position would be very interesting. I remember reading that Vandersteen hated to add the rear tweeter to the 5a as he considers it 100% distortion but that it sounded better :wink:
BTW, the big Dynaudios run two, but as a 1.5 way (to lessen the effect).
Juergen should get back to me in a day or so on your D'Appolito question, although, if the theoretical case holds water, I still don't understand why the two closely spaced Radialstrahler tweeters of the 101X (which should sound and measure considerably "worse" than a single Radialstrahler tweeter) actually sound and measure better.
The demonstrable reality (as I hope someday to prove to you) is that the damn things sound fantastic! In imaging and soundstaging they come closer to presenting a simulacrum of instruments and instrumentalists in a concert hall than any of the other great speakers (and I’ve had few through here, including the truly terrific ones you currently use) I’ve heard in my various listening rooms. It’s almost like a surround-sound stage; only, instead of filling the entire room and imaging in front of the main speakers, it runs quite voluminously from the plane of the speakers past the back and through the side walls (given a great recording).
There are areas where I’ve heard better—the 101Xes’ very-very-very-low-level resolution may not be quite as fine as that of the ribbon-based Symposium Pans or the incredibly quick and detailed and low-level realistic electrostatic Quad 2905s (I'll know for sure when I try out the 610Ts with the Xes). And its top treble may not be as extended as the Pans’ or the Mini IIs' (ditto), but sheer power delivery in the treble is astonishingly lifelike. Midband timbre is a toss-up, although the 101Xes’ complete lack of box coloration and omni radiation pattern tend to make vocalists and instruments sound considerably more “freed-up” and three-dimensional and “free-standingly there” than even the great Mini IIs or Pans do. In the bass, there is no contest. The 101Xes win hands-down.
Just as I finished posting this last note I got the following note from Juergen, which I'll post in its entirety.
Interesting question. I was waiting for it. The answer is:
If I would measure, or listen to the 101 X-Treme in an anechoic chamber, yes, I would measure the interference between the two tweeters, depending on the vertical position of the microphone (or ears). Right in the middle between both tweeters, everything would look fine; that means I would have the same frequency response as with one tweeter, but with 6dB higher level.
But, if I would go higher or lower in the vertical position, then the first comb filter will come down from 20kHz moving lower in frequency as I increase the vertical deviation. When I reach a certain amount of deviation (before 10 degree), the notch reaches the lower treble region and a second notch will begin to occur at 20kHz. This is basic physics.
But, as with all our Omnis, the 101 Xes were not listened to in anechoic chambers; they were listened to in real living rooms. This is the reason why we have tuned our systems to have a homogeneous sound energy radiation with a natural (to the human ear) decreasing slope of 1.5dB per octave. If we had made our Omnis measure flat in an anechoic chamber, they would sound too bright.
And so, with this background, we tune the energy of our systems with a decreasing slope of 1.5dB per octave--and not a flat sound pressure in an anechoic room; the comb-filter effects (notches) are spread out homogeneously and will not be measured nor audible in a real living room.
It is never as easy to measure or look at ("look at" means here "think about") "non-conventional" speakers in the same way as you measure or look at conventional speakers. I hope your readers will understand this point.
Mbl chief engineer
I had the pleasure of hearing the MBL's at Jon's 2 weeks ago and I second everything said about them. However, the purpose of my post is to mention that in addition to his excellent cd's Avishai Cohen has also released a great DVD, As Is...Live At The Blue Note
Believe me, I understand and agree on the difference between what measures well and what sounds good. (one of the reasons it's fun to read S-pile struggle with JA's measurements vs the reviewer's opinions). If two tweets sound better than one I get it-but I do think Mr Reis is mixing two different things here. How does output level affect the physics? That is, I think they would be the same regardless of rolloff. The 1.5 db rolloff is a voicing choice, the comb filtering an unfortunate byproduct of 2 tweeters.
Maybe a visit is in order!
Quote:That is, I think they would be the same regardless of rolloff. The 1.5 db rolloff is a voicing choice, the comb filtering an unfortunate byproduct of 2 tweeters.
I agree that Juergen was mixing apples and oranges a bit, but don't forget he is not a native English speaker or writer. Moreover, he answered the question you raised virtually in the same way that it was answered by the Pipedream folks when I raised the same question about the multiple tweets in the original Pipes.
Quote:the comb-filter effects (notches) are spread out homogeneously and will not be measured nor audible in a real living room.
Yes, depending on vertical position and proximity to the tweets, there will be some comb-filtering in the very nearfield (inches from the speaker rather than feet) that would be measurable in an anechoic chamber. But in the real-world of listening rooms, and my own ears and measurements confirm this, any comb-filtering is self-correcting, unmeasurable, and inaudible (although the slight 1.5dB/octave roll-off in the topmost octaves may be audible).
Thanks for the rec on the cd's. I picked them both up and I love both of them and the DVD as well. He was amazing in person, really stripped down, just piano and bass and I think by his reaction it was the largest crowd he had ever played in front on his own. He was humbled byhe reaction and the crowd loved him at Vienne. Again many thanks,
this message has been approved by me :)
Most welcome :) I should pick up that DVD some time ..
Its a cd and dvd in the same package its like two two two mints in one!
Quote:Maybe a visit is in order!
I can safely say that you won't regret it, Rupe.