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Details about  mbl 1511 Digital/Analogue Converter

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mbl 1511 Digital/Analogue Converter
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Item condition:

Very good condition. US spec so configured for 120V input. Can sell you an excellent power

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28 Apr, 2013 20:51:26 BST
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London, London, United Kingdom


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Item specifics

Condition: Used : Split the cost with friends
An item that has been previously used. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or an item that has been returned to the seller after a period of use. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
Seller notes: Very good condition. US spec so configured for 120V input. Can sell you an excellent power transformer also for £50 if needed for use here in the UK.The blue perspex screen has come loose previously (poorly glued at the factory). This has been re-done.
Brand: mbl Model: 1511 D/A converter

For sale is my MBL 1511 DAC in very good condition. Purchased in New York in approx 2000.

This has to be one of the best sounding Redbook DACs ever made but it is also a 24 bit/48Khz capable DAC. This has a very analog like sound that is less analytical and more relaxed and natural than other DACs. This is equipped with a Delta Sigma converter that has built in jitter reduction, thus also improving the sound.

It has 4 digital inputs. One AES/EBU, one Coaxial RCA, one BNC, and one Toslink optical input. It also has a digital output, and three analog outputs. Two RCA and one set of XLR outs. A very versatile DAC.

The front panel and case are in excellent condition. Rated perhaps 8/10 for age only.

This DAC sold for $6000 when new. The current model is listed at €8,800.

Please see the mbl site for an idea of the current line up...

Here is a review of the 1511D model for reference. The item for sale is the 1511 NOT 1511D which is a later model. I cannot find reviews of the original model.

Unblocked: the mbl 1511 D DAC arrives

Of course, in order to hear these differences in transports you must have a DAC up to the job: I had two, the Zanden and the vGA.

Then I was provided with a third: the mbl 1511 D DAC came in. This supported everything previously said about transports. As I have nothing further to add, you can jump to the Conclusion now, or stick with me if you want to hear about the mbl Noble Line DACs.

First, I switched to balanced mode, because mbl prefers it. The German DAC served up a wide cluster of improvements along the lines of pace, clarity, imaging, micro-dynamics and tighter bass, all reflecting its more accurate—and also more solid-state—voicing. The concert space it conjures would be Carnegie Hal's smaller venue, Zankel Hall, if only that poor hall had more bloom. (I'm thinking in terms of clarity and transparency.) Where the vGA is easy listening, the mbl demands your attention. It's hard to keep music in the background, even with the DACs introvert personality. It lets you hear everything—maybe too much.

It's interesting to note how the mbl front-end reproduced the piano. Each note is heard quite distinctly and there's less of the case resonance. It sounds like a different brand of piano, maybe even a fortepiano. The instrument is brighter, more in the upper midrange, less warm, and images smaller in center stage. It is also emotionally cooler. Now Mieczyslaw Horszowski is displaying admirable restraint. With the CEC and either of my reference DACs, I was entranced by his luxurious, regal bearing and relaxed pace.

the mbl 1511 F replacement

And still later on, I upgraded to the F version of the 1511 DAC, bringing me up to current spec. (This took me up two steps, from the D to the F. MSRP $9270.) Superficially, aside from the F being SACD ready and having some cosmetic changes, there was about 92% in common. The obvious differences in that 8% were along the lines of greater pacing, focus, depth and texture.

Less obvious was how these two 1511 DACs handled low-level signals. Before the upgrade, I was aware of a lack of vitality in low-level passages. I used to sit back, wondering "When is something dynamic gonna come along? Maybe it needs more volume?" These soft sections were somewhat flat dynamically and midrangy in terms of frequency.

I know what to attribute that problem to, because it went away with the F version. And now, with the 1511 F and 1521 A, I can truly say the mbl Noble front-end is one of the best examples of unforced dynamics I've come across. It stays open and composed regardless of signal level.

By the way, the F DAC sounds good after 50 hours, but you won't know what it's really capable of until its clocked a month of run time.

and this is the current 1511F

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