Master Class at Kyomi Audio (Chicago)

aangen

Member
Dec 10, 2020
20
44
20
Minnesota
www.weirdenergy.com
We enjoyed a Master Class in high end audio at Kyomi Audio in Chicago today!
We were using mostly MBL Reference Series Electronics.
MBL 101 E Speakers
MBL 9008 Amps each with two power cables so both internal power supplies could be used. George removed the Stealth Audio power cables and replaced them with four MBL power cables.
MBL 6010 Preamp
MBL 1621A Transport connected directly to an MBL N31 DAC via a Stealth Audio Octava-T AES/EBU cable.

We started out listening to the 1621A Transport. The Redbook CDs we played were absolutely stunning! I have never in my life heard anything that could touch the CD sound we got from this most amazing transport! No other Transport I have ever heard comes anywhere close to what it can do. Nothing. It was a standout performance.

After that we listened to Streaming via Roon on the most excellent N31 Roon interface card. The five people in the room all agreed it was a large step down sonically to what we had just heard via the 1621A.

While listening to Roon George installed and setup an Acoustical Systems Palladian cartridge with 30 hours on it to an Acoustical Systems Axiom 12 inch tonearm on a TechDAS Air Force III Premium turntable. Once he had it setup properly we started spinning vinyl. We never returned to any other source after we switched to vinyl.

As good as the 1621A sounded the Turntable/Tonearm/Cartridge setup treated us to sound that Digital SIMPLY CANNOT MATCH. It was so very obvious.

The turntable was hooked up to a Burmester Phono Preamplifier 100 phono preamplifier running through Stealth Audio Indra XLR Balanced cables into the MBL 6010 preamp. The Burmester has front panel controls to easily change any possible setting one might want to change while enjoying vinyl playback. George and I were sad he forgot to bring the Stealth Audio Helios phono cable as we both know what an improvement that would make. As it was the sound through the MBL 101E speakers had us all just awestruck at what we were hearing.

At one point while playing a great recording he disabled the vacuum hold down on the TechDAS. We heard the clarity suffer obviously until he turned the vacuum back on. The change was very obvious. The clarity increased dramatically, the instruments became more lifelike and the whole presentation just got way more realistic. It is interesting what happens when you suck a vinyl record down until it becomes one with a 75 pound platter. Very convincing.

Then George remembered that he had a Stealth Audio V17 Sakra Limited Edition pair of balanced cables. (1m, $27,600 list price) He swapped the Indra out and the Sakra in and we were stunned by the obvious improvement that pair of cables made to the sound. Everyone in the room heard it and a few of us gasped.

So we are listening to this and enjoying it very much when Matt noticed that all his MBL Noble Line gear was in the room. The Nobel line is the middle level of MBL gear and we had been enjoying the Top of the line Reference Line gear. He asked George to swap out the Reference Line gear and switch it to his Noble line gear. It wasn’t exactly a fair fight as the Reference gear had been playing for over two hours and the Nobel line gear had been powered off. But we did it anyway. We lifted the cartridge off a most impressive album we had been enjoying and then switched gear. When we dropped the needle back on the record we were all taken back by a most severe drop in the quality of the sound. Same speakers, same vinyl source gear and phono preamplifier, same cables, but oh my goodness! After getting used to the sound of the top of the line gear the Noble line gear just did not cut it at all. Had we started there we most likely would have been very impressed with the sound. But playing it second, I for one did not even want to bother listening anymore. It was more than night and day obvious. It was crushing.

We listened as long as we wanted, which wasn’t long enough for the Noble gear to get up to temperature. Then we switched back to the Reference level gear and it all came back.

We listened for another hour while Matt and George discussed the realities of bringing back his Nobel gear and stepping up to the Reference line gear.

I was so very impressed with the MBL 1621A transport. I think I have to get one. No, it does not play anything but Redbook CDs of which I have several thousand. I also decided I need a Stealth Audio V17 Sakra LE balanced cable to replace the V12 Sakra I have between my Gryphon Pandora Preamp and my Gryphon Antileon EVO amplifier.

I picked up a Stealth Audio Dream V18 UNI Special Edition power cable and four Mobile Fidelity LP Boxed albums. I got off light today but the V17 Sakra is in the near future and the MBL 1621A transport will come some time next year. Unless I opt for an Acoustical Systems Axiom 12 inch tonearm for my TechDAS AFIII Premium turntable and another cartridge. They both cost about the same when all is said and done.

It was great meeting Paul172 and his friend Doug. Paul texted me afterwards and said he and Doug felt that they had truly heard vinyl for the first time. It is so true.

A good time was had by Al. This hobby is endless!
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
5,883
3,264
870
Utah
We enjoyed a Master Class in high end audio at Kyomi Audio in Chicago today!
We were using mostly MBL Reference Series Electronics.
MBL 101 E Speakers
MBL 9008 Amps each with two power cables so both internal power supplies could be used. George removed the Stealth Audio power cables and replaced them with four MBL power cables.
MBL 6010 Preamp
MBL 1621A Transport connected directly to an MBL N31 DAC via a Stealth Audio Octava-T AES/EBU cable.

We started out listening to the 1621A Transport. The Redbook CDs we played were absolutely stunning! I have never in my life heard anything that could touch the CD sound we got from this most amazing transport! No other Transport I have ever heard comes anywhere close to what it can do. Nothing. It was a standout performance.

After that we listened to Streaming via Roon on the most excellent N31 Roon interface card. The five people in the room all agreed it was a large step down sonically to what we had just heard via the 1621A.

While listening to Roon George installed and setup an Acoustical Systems Palladian cartridge with 30 hours on it to an Acoustical Systems Axiom 12 inch tonearm on a TechDAS Air Force III Premium turntable. Once he had it setup properly we started spinning vinyl. We never returned to any other source after we switched to vinyl.

As good as the 1621A sounded the Turntable/Tonearm/Cartridge setup treated us to sound that Digital SIMPLY CANNOT MATCH. It was so very obvious.

The turntable was hooked up to a Burmester Phono Preamplifier 100 phono preamplifier running through Stealth Audio Indra XLR Balanced cables into the MBL 6010 preamp. The Burmester has front panel controls to easily change any possible setting one might want to change while enjoying vinyl playback. George and I were sad he forgot to bring the Stealth Audio Helios phono cable as we both know what an improvement that would make. As it was the sound through the MBL 101E speakers had us all just awestruck at what we were hearing.

At one point while playing a great recording he disabled the vacuum hold down on the TechDAS. We heard the clarity suffer obviously until he turned the vacuum back on. The change was very obvious. The clarity increased dramatically, the instruments became more lifelike and the whole presentation just got way more realistic. It is interesting what happens when you suck a vinyl record down until it becomes one with a 75 pound platter. Very convincing.

Then George remembered that he had a Stealth Audio V17 Sakra Limited Edition pair of balanced cables. (1m, $27,600 list price) He swapped the Indra out and the Sakra in and we were stunned by the obvious improvement that pair of cables made to the sound. Everyone in the room heard it and a few of us gasped.

So we are listening to this and enjoying it very much when Matt noticed that all his MBL Noble Line gear was in the room. The Nobel line is the middle level of MBL gear and we had been enjoying the Top of the line Reference Line gear. He asked George to swap out the Reference Line gear and switch it to his Noble line gear. It wasn’t exactly a fair fight as the Reference gear had been playing for over two hours and the Nobel line gear had been powered off. But we did it anyway. We lifted the cartridge off a most impressive album we had been enjoying and then switched gear. When we dropped the needle back on the record we were all taken back by a most severe drop in the quality of the sound. Same speakers, same vinyl source gear and phono preamplifier, same cables, but oh my goodness! After getting used to the sound of the top of the line gear the Noble line gear just did not cut it at all. Had we started there we most likely would have been very impressed with the sound. But playing it second, I for one did not even want to bother listening anymore. It was more than night and day obvious. It was crushing.

We listened as long as we wanted, which wasn’t long enough for the Noble gear to get up to temperature. Then we switched back to the Reference level gear and it all came back.

We listened for another hour while Matt and George discussed the realities of bringing back his Nobel gear and stepping up to the Reference line gear.

I was so very impressed with the MBL 1621A transport. I think I have to get one. No, it does not play anything but Redbook CDs of which I have several thousand. I also decided I need a Stealth Audio V17 Sakra LE balanced cable to replace the V12 Sakra I have between my Gryphon Pandora Preamp and my Gryphon Antileon EVO amplifier.

I picked up a Stealth Audio Dream V18 UNI Special Edition power cable and four Mobile Fidelity LP Boxed albums. I got off light today but the V17 Sakra is in the near future and the MBL 1621A transport will come some time next year. Unless I opt for an Acoustical Systems Axiom 12 inch tonearm for my TechDAS AFIII Premium turntable and another cartridge. They both cost about the same when all is said and done.

It was great meeting Paul172 and his friend Doug. Paul texted me afterwards and said he and Doug felt that they had truly heard vinyl for the first time. It is so true.

A good time was had by Al. This hobby is endless!
Nice to see such venues starting up again and people are getting together again. Sounds like everyone enjoyed themselves, thanks for sharing!

david
 

LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
13,207
1,591
698
What a great write up! I have been a huge fan of Gryphon audio for well over 10 years now, having owned their Antileon, Colosseum and Mephisto during that time. The MBL1621 is a transport among transports by all accounts. The original legendary Esoteric P-0 (for Japan market only, and owned by most of the senior leadership of Esoteric as the story goes), the MBL 1621 and perhaps the Kalista Reference Transports (possibly the CEC) are the legendary transports people speak of most often and most highly. The Zanden Transport got its own significant coverage back in the day...but largely when attached to its own DAC...vs these others which people often buy to be used with their own DAC or with others.

A write up of the legendary Esoteric P-0.
1636293369814.png
 

racerxnet

Well-Known Member
Apr 30, 2014
66
13
138
Then George remembered that he had a Stealth Audio V17 Sakra Limited Edition pair of balanced cables. (1m, $27,600 list price) He swapped the Indra out and the Sakra in and we were stunned by the obvious improvement that pair of cables made to the sound.
27k for a 3 foot cable. Some have more dollars than sense. As usual, the more coin lost the better the sound.
 
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Minnesotafats

Member
Aug 27, 2020
18
16
10
We enjoyed a Master Class in high end audio at Kyomi Audio in Chicago today!
We were using mostly MBL Reference Series Electronics.
MBL 101 E Speakers
MBL 9008 Amps each with two power cables so both internal power supplies could be used. George removed the Stealth Audio power cables and replaced them with four MBL power cables.
MBL 6010 Preamp
MBL 1621A Transport connected directly to an MBL N31 DAC via a Stealth Audio Octava-T AES/EBU cable.

We started out listening to the 1621A Transport. The Redbook CDs we played were absolutely stunning! I have never in my life heard anything that could touch the CD sound we got from this most amazing transport! No other Transport I have ever heard comes anywhere close to what it can do. Nothing. It was a standout performance.

After that we listened to Streaming via Roon on the most excellent N31 Roon interface card. The five people in the room all agreed it was a large step down sonically to what we had just heard via the 1621A.

While listening to Roon George installed and setup an Acoustical Systems Palladian cartridge with 30 hours on it to an Acoustical Systems Axiom 12 inch tonearm on a TechDAS Air Force III Premium turntable. Once he had it setup properly we started spinning vinyl. We never returned to any other source after we switched to vinyl.

As good as the 1621A sounded the Turntable/Tonearm/Cartridge setup treated us to sound that Digital SIMPLY CANNOT MATCH. It was so very obvious.

The turntable was hooked up to a Burmester Phono Preamplifier 100 phono preamplifier running through Stealth Audio Indra XLR Balanced cables into the MBL 6010 preamp. The Burmester has front panel controls to easily change any possible setting one might want to change while enjoying vinyl playback. George and I were sad he forgot to bring the Stealth Audio Helios phono cable as we both know what an improvement that would make. As it was the sound through the MBL 101E speakers had us all just awestruck at what we were hearing.

At one point while playing a great recording he disabled the vacuum hold down on the TechDAS. We heard the clarity suffer obviously until he turned the vacuum back on. The change was very obvious. The clarity increased dramatically, the instruments became more lifelike and the whole presentation just got way more realistic. It is interesting what happens when you suck a vinyl record down until it becomes one with a 75 pound platter. Very convincing.

Then George remembered that he had a Stealth Audio V17 Sakra Limited Edition pair of balanced cables. (1m, $27,600 list price) He swapped the Indra out and the Sakra in and we were stunned by the obvious improvement that pair of cables made to the sound. Everyone in the room heard it and a few of us gasped.

So we are listening to this and enjoying it very much when Matt noticed that all his MBL Noble Line gear was in the room. The Nobel line is the middle level of MBL gear and we had been enjoying the Top of the line Reference Line gear. He asked George to swap out the Reference Line gear and switch it to his Noble line gear. It wasn’t exactly a fair fight as the Reference gear had been playing for over two hours and the Nobel line gear had been powered off. But we did it anyway. We lifted the cartridge off a most impressive album we had been enjoying and then switched gear. When we dropped the needle back on the record we were all taken back by a most severe drop in the quality of the sound. Same speakers, same vinyl source gear and phono preamplifier, same cables, but oh my goodness! After getting used to the sound of the top of the line gear the Noble line gear just did not cut it at all. Had we started there we most likely would have been very impressed with the sound. But playing it second, I for one did not even want to bother listening anymore. It was more than night and day obvious. It was crushing.

We listened as long as we wanted, which wasn’t long enough for the Noble gear to get up to temperature. Then we switched back to the Reference level gear and it all came back.

We listened for another hour while Matt and George discussed the realities of bringing back his Nobel gear and stepping up to the Reference line gear.

I was so very impressed with the MBL 1621A transport. I think I have to get one. No, it does not play anything but Redbook CDs of which I have several thousand. I also decided I need a Stealth Audio V17 Sakra LE balanced cable to replace the V12 Sakra I have between my Gryphon Pandora Preamp and my Gryphon Antileon EVO amplifier.

I picked up a Stealth Audio Dream V18 UNI Special Edition power cable and four Mobile Fidelity LP Boxed albums. I got off light today but the V17 Sakra is in the near future and the MBL 1621A transport will come some time next year. Unless I opt for an Acoustical Systems Axiom 12 inch tonearm for my TechDAS AFIII Premium turntable and another cartridge. They both cost about the same when all is said and done.

It was great meeting Paul172 and his friend Doug. Paul texted me afterwards and said he and Doug felt that they had truly heard vinyl for the first time. It is so true.

A good time was had by Al. This hobby is endless!
Thank you for summarizing our day at Kyomi. I love the sound of the synergy of my current all MBL Noble electronics. (N15 monoblocks, N 11 pre, and N31 CD/Dac) in front of the 101 MK II speakers. However, I could not unhear the sound created by the Reference MBL 6010 preamp and the MBL 9008A monos. I am glad that MBL created the Noble line so I could start my journey with MBL. I feel fortunate to have been blessed with the resources to head towards the reference gear..
 
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thedudeabides

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2011
1,902
483
505
Alto, NM
As good as the 1621A sounded the Turntable/Tonearm/Cartridge setup treated us to sound that Digital SIMPLY CANNOT MATCH. It was so very obvious.

A good time was had by Al. This hobby is endless!
Another A vs D rant. Golly. And yes, our hobby can be endless but it is also totally subjective.
 

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