Author Topic: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition  (Read 7747 times)

Offline bhobba

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Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« on: July 11, 2011, 03:32:43 AM »
Hi Guys

I wanted to get this out there ASAP even though it will be a while before the audition can take place.

Here is the go.  I had promised to get my personal pair of ML2 speakers I am having built out to Chris (Lonewolfy) for him and his acquaintances out New York way to hear.  This has been made possible because a way to ship such heavy speakers has been found by the maker at a really cheap cost - normally the expense would preclude doing something like this.  

First about the speaker.  These are ML2's - a stand-mount flat to 30hz.  This fixes the problem with the ML1's people really enjoyed at a meet in New York.  Comments were posted such as: 'The ML-1s sounded wonderfull in every way. Giant killers ? From 50 hz up yes indeed.  Even though the ribbons of the Carvers were still connected.  When we noticed some upper midrange and lower treble excess energy Mark actually made the discovery. When corrected these little babies stunned us with their tone. Lacking in the low frequencies the bass at 50Hz was spot on in every way. Depending on the music you listen too a sub may not be needed. For me a sub is required. As designed we found zero complaints. Fit and finish was beyond reproach'

The ML1's were the Reference which is Mike Lenehans all out effort including stuff like hellishly expensive Duelund VSF Copper capacators and other stuff - the Duelunds alone have a value well over $1000 retail.  I am fortunate in that I have a bit of superannuation money so I always get the reference.  However I am pretty sure most people are not that fortunate so the speaker I am getting out is much more reasonably priced.  However I wanted to ensure the performance suffered as little as possible so I sat down with Mike to work out what can be done.

What we came up with is a variation on the middle of the range speaker called the Plus R.  The main difference between the Plus R and Reference is the use of the Duelund capacitors.  They are very expensive but unfortunately once you hear them you will not want to go back - they are that good.  So what was decided is bypass the capacitors with Duelunds so you get most of the performance at a much cheaper price.  Still though the Duelunds used have a value of $360 just by themselves.  Other components will be Duelund resistors which cost about $30 each.  Internal cabling is Ribbontek which sells for $600 when sold as speaker cables.  It is full of up market stuff like that.  The cabinet will also be lined with steel so resonances are for all practical purposes eliminated.  This is about as close as you can get to the Reference at a reasonable price.

The all up cost of these speakers has not been worked out exactly yet but will be under $5K - probably about $4850 but don't hold me to it. An introductory price may be possible as well.  Now I know this is not cheap but it does contain some very expensive parts and has difficult to build steel lined enclosures.  Because of this I believe these speakers are the equivalent to speakers costing much more.  They will do things no other speakers I know of at that sort of price do eg because of the steel lining it lets go of notes in a way that can be startling with comments like 'NY Rave 2007 disc track 3. In the words of Rollo ,"OH MY"'.  When I first got my ML1's it took me a while to adjust. The speakers I know of that are the closest equivalent to these are the Ridge St Audio Sasons which have a factory direct pricing of $10550.  Read the Steromojo and other reviews of those to see what kind of performance you will be getting.  I have heard the ML2 speakers and what the reviewers say about the Sasons is pretty close to what I heard.

Ok what I will be doing is sending these speakers to Chris who will demo them to guys in New York.  But on top of that what I am happy to do is put people in other areas on an audition list so that they pay for the cost of sending it to the next person.  Is anyone interested in this?

Thanks
Bill
 
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 03:42:04 AM by bhobba »

evan1

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2011, 06:30:41 AM »
Bill you are the bomb

Offline bhobba

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2011, 08:26:21 AM »
Hi Guys

I have total egg on my face.

First I want to say I am simply an enthusiastic supporter of Mike Lenehans gear and not privy to his business dealings.  The speaker is my own personal speaker that I was fulfilling a promise of getting it out for you guys to hear.  When that is done with it will either be returned to me or someone out that way may want to buy it in which case, to save in transport costs, I will get another one built.  However I did not make this clear to Mike other than discussing how to get close to Reference performance at a reasonable price and because of that I was not aware of other things going on.  I did not know Rollo has now firmed up something he mentioned to me previously - namely he has now started Swap Meet Audio and is looking to deal in Lenenan Audio.

Bottom line here is it does not really change anything other than I may be sending them to Rollo and he will be demoing them.

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: July 11, 2011, 08:32:22 AM by bhobba »

Offline JLM

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2011, 10:53:35 AM »
Hey Bill,

How about some details to start with (as I can't tell really what you're talking about)?  And how about some specifications?

Oh, I visited the Lenehan site and the price of the ML1 Plus R is $4990 AUD.  With shipping to the U.S. this little 2-way would currently be $5740.  So I'm thinking that the pricing you quoted is low.

Offline bhobba

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2011, 05:24:18 PM »
Before replying I was waiting to see if Mike Lenehan could make time in his busy schedule to post some info - he is obviously in the best position to answer this stuff.  So I will do my best with what little I know - especially about the pricing issue which I is what I know least about.

What I posted about price is what was mentioned to me when I discussed getting a version of the ML2 that was as close as possible to the Reference which will be a lot more expensive.  My understanding is the pricing structure on the site is the ML1 prices here in Australia which has recently been raised about 40% reflecting the move to a retail model.  This is how ML1's and ML3's are sold in Australia.  However the ML2's are very new - I am getting the second one being made - and my understanding is the pricing model for the sale of ML2 has not been decided yet so the quoted price does not reflect the price of a retail model with dealer overheads.  It is quite possible they will go retail here in Australia so the Australian price may go up. However I know Mike, in conjunction with Rollo, is looking at a different model for the US that will likely mean lower prices for that market.  This was the egg on my face I posted about - I did not know discussions on this had progressed on that front.  Anyway I am sure that once the discussions are complete full details of the exact prices that will be charged in the US will be available.  I am not privy to these discussions so I can't really say anything more except what I said in my initial post that the price of about $4850 is the ballpark - but don't hold me to anything.

I know a bit more about technical details since I quizzed Mike about that when I heard he late prototypes and ordered a pair - the pair I will be sending.  It is a 2 way stand-mount with a 6.5 inch Peerless HDS woofer and either a HDS or Morel Supreme tweeter - but probably the Morel.  It is a ported design using a proprietary alignment.  The cabinet is lined with steel and the crossover is the result of many years development designed to be as flat as possible even 90 degrees off axis.  I have seen the plots and it is.

To understand a bit more about the philosophy of this speaker check out an interview with Mike Lenehan:
http://www.stereo.net.au/articles/mike_lenehan_interview/

Thanks
Bill

  
« Last Edit: July 12, 2011, 07:39:16 PM by bhobba »

Offline richidoo

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2011, 06:25:29 PM »
I remember the 2007 RMAF show special something like $2000-2500USD with free shipping.  :thumb:  What has changed to make them worth double that? Currency is at par as it was back then.

Offline bhobba

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 07:38:09 PM »
I remember the 2007 RMAF show special something like $2000-2500USD with free shipping.  :thumb:  What has changed to make them worth double that? Currency is at par as it was back then.

It was not at par back then - it was 1.18264 AUD for each US dollar.  Also that would be for the base model - not the Plus R or Reference.  And specials are just that - specials at a special price.  Then there is the inevitable impact of inflation on wages etc - that was 4 years ago.  But the largest impact is going to a retail model.  Dealers/Retailers need a good margin - I am told 80-120% of the cost they pay.  Now I do not know what margin the dealers here in Australia get as that is understandably commercial in confidence - but I doubt it will be any different from what people have told me over the years ie 80-120%.

You guys are lucky in the US however in that the marketing model that is being looked at may not result in that sort of mark-up hence you may get cheaper prices.  However I must again emphasise these are business decisions for Mike Lenehan and I am not privy to those - nor as an enthusiast do I want to be really involved with that sort of thing.

I can tell you why Mike did it though - it is very well known by anyone that visits his showroom/factory.  During normal business hours Mikes phone rings hot and he can't do any of his speaker design or building.  He has to wait until late at night to do it and has hours of something like 9.00 in the morning to 2.00am the following morning pretty much 7 days a week.  Appointing dealers to handle the queries during the day and demo stuff was pretty much a necessity - those types of hours are unsustainable.

Thanks
Bill

Offline rollo

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 07:39:09 AM »
   The US models will be specially priced. There will not be a distributor or dealer network involved.  Prices will not be raised due to Swap Meet Audio coming aboard. We will make less to bring them to you.  :thumb:
   When the pricing is settled I will post them for all to know. We took this line on because in our opinion they are equal to or maybe a tad better than the Magico Mini for a lot less mulla. The dedicated stands which are resonance tuned offer about a 25% improvement.


charles
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Offline richidoo

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2011, 08:44:40 AM »
But the largest impact is going to a retail model. 

Bingo.

I hope the new sales channels work out the way he expects, and that he has more time to spend with his family, which is why he works so hard anyway. Sales may slow at first due to higher prices, but as reviews move the brand into higher circles the orders will pick back up when the lust factor kicks in for ML3... 
:drool:

I also wish Charles great success in his new venture. A dealer must have great brands, and Lenehan certainly is that.

Offline bhobba

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2011, 06:50:29 PM »
Hi Ricidoo and Rollo

Thanks for chiming in Rollo and letting everyone know the go.  Ricidoo have a listen to both the ML2's and ML3's before deciding on what you might want.  The ML2's are quite close to the ML3's - really there is only 5hz difference. 

There was a lot of discussion here in Aus on our forum SNA about the price rise.  There was a lot of misconceptions about the price rise and it created a lot of heat to the point the moderators had to shut it down.  But people that have actually visited Mikes Factory/Showroom knew what the go was and this really was necessary.

Thanks
Bill


Offline tmazz

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2011, 08:06:16 PM »
Hi Ricidoo and Rollo

Thanks for chiming in Rollo and letting everyone know the go.  Ricidoo have a listen to both the ML2's and ML3's before deciding on what you might want.  The ML2's are quite close to the ML3's - really there is only 5hz difference. 

There was a lot of discussion here in Aus on our forum SNA about the price rise.  There was a lot of misconceptions about the price rise and it created a lot of heat to the point the moderators had to shut it down.  But people that have actually visited Mikes Factory/Showroom knew what the go was and this really was necessary.

Thanks
Bill


It looks like Mike has reached a moment of truth faced by many small businesses when the outfit grows to the point that is can no loner be run solely by the founder (or the initial staff), but is not generating enough cash to support an expanded payroll. So the owner is forced to raise prices to cover the new cost structure and hope that the higher prices don't kill of too many sales. (In this case rather than hiring more people to cover the work, the firm is offloading work to a new network of retail dealers, but the end result to consumers is the same since the retail mark-up raises the prices in the same way that adding internal staff would.) While it sounds like the products could very well be worth the new retail prices (although I have not heard them myself, I based my opinion on the technical descriptions of what goes into the products as well as comments from people whose ears I trust), consumers tend to rebel whenever prices go up, no matter what the reason.

I wish Mike the best of luck and hope the retail channel distribution model works out well for him.

Tom
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Offline bhobba

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 03:38:47 AM »
Hi Tom

You hit it one mate.  But the problem really is in the Australian market not the US and it is up to the dealer/retailers there to sell them at that price by doing what they do ie demoing them and comparing them to other stuff which is why you go to a retail outlet.  It's what you expect them to do and why they charge the prices they do.  IMHO what Rollo is doing is a better way of doing it.  

The interesting thing is I first visited Mikes factory about a year ago because of the delay in getting my AA Spirit SE's and wanting something to get on with - my old speakers were getting a bit old and I gave them away to some friends of my sister.  Mike explained just what I posted even back then and everyone that visited the factory heard exactly the same thing.  Yet when it was announced tons reacted in incredulity - it as if they didn't believe what they were told previously.  I guess its just human nature.

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 03:46:04 AM by bhobba »

Offline rollo

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 07:47:58 AM »
 Well when all is settled a trip to the Carolina's is in order.  :thumb:


charles
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Offline bhobba

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2011, 08:04:28 PM »
Hi Guys

Just letting you know I was down at Mikes yesterday ordering a Burson headphone amp and low and behold guess what arrived from the painting guys next door - my speaker.  As usual the finish was to a mirror gloss and looked fantastic.  It has a slight curve on the sides that really makes it look good.  Evidently the drivers and crossover will be put in shortly - say in the next week or so then comes the most important part - listening to the thing.  Watch out for the write up with some pickies.   After that it out to Rollo for you guys to hear.

Mike also mentioned he is working on a new base model ML2 that will be heading out to Rollo with my speaker.  Very interesting to hear how it compares to my speaker with the uber stuff like Duelunds.  Again watch out for the comparison.

My normal DAC is on the blink so put my WFS DAC2 in.  Not a good match for my ML3's - really cold and uninvolving - great detail and bass but lacks emotional attachment.  I think I have enough DAC's right now and with two more arriving to check out I think a bit of rationalization is in order.

But before that thinking of holding a bit of a DAC shootout so watch out for that write up.

Thanks
Bill
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 08:07:37 PM by bhobba »

Offline LenehanAudio

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Re: Lenehan ML2 Plus R Audition
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2011, 01:56:48 AM »
Hi Ricidoo and Rollo

Thanks for chiming in Rollo and letting everyone know the go.  Ricidoo have a listen to both the ML2's and ML3's before deciding on what you might want.  The ML2's are quite close to the ML3's - really there is only 5hz difference. 

There was a lot of discussion here in Aus on our forum SNA about the price rise.  There was a lot of misconceptions about the price rise and it created a lot of heat to the point the moderators had to shut it down.  But people that have actually visited Mikes Factory/Showroom knew what the go was and this really was necessary.

Thanks
Bill


It looks like Mike has reached a moment of truth faced by many small businesses when the outfit grows to the point that is can no loner be run solely by the founder (or the initial staff), but is not generating enough cash to support an expanded payroll. So the owner is forced to raise prices to cover the new cost structure and hope that the higher prices don't kill of too many sales. (In this case rather than hiring more people to cover the work, the firm is offloading work to a new network of retail dealers, but the end result to consumers is the same since the retail mark-up raises the prices in the same way that adding internal staff would.) While it sounds like the products could very well be worth the new retail prices (although I have not heard them myself, I based my opinion on the technical descriptions of what goes into the products as well as comments from people whose ears I trust), consumers tend to rebel whenever prices go up, no matter what the reason.

I wish Mike the best of luck and hope the retail channel distribution model works out well for him.

Tom

Hi tmazz     quite an accurate roundup of my actual situation ! fly on the wall intuition in fact ! you've had this experience yourself it seems ?
I think our integration with Swapmeet Audio and Charles can bear fruit for all of us ! this is what I would describe as the new world way !! containing prices so high end audio is affordable is a mega challenge for both us and swapmeet. I'm also well aware that it's a challenge for you guys to be able to buy it.

We have a new loudspeaker designed specifically for your part of the world that should be heading your way within a month or so !          Best Regards Mike Lenehan    LenehanAudio