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MBL 1621 A Red Book CD Drive

Here we will talk about luxury

Time never stands still. Neither does technology and our “here and now” has seen convention go out the window. In days past, music listening meant lid up, platter spinning, and gently lowering the tonearm onto your favorite vinyl LP – simple steps in anticipation of the pleasure to come; archaic, perhaps, in this digital age of instant gratification.

Or maybe today it’s just… different. The gold-plated top of the 1621 A CD drive evokes the form and size of a 12” LP record – awakening expectations in the style-conscious music lover. Simply lifting the air-tight drive cover, machined from a solid billet of aluminum that’s perfectly balanced on an ample hinge, is a tactile experience of its own. Insert the CD, secure it with the custom stabilizer puck, close the cover, and prepare to be swept away. Once connected to a well-paired D/A converter, like the MBL 1611 F, a highly stable sound image materializes to deliver a composed, unruffled calm, so often missing from today’s digital sources.

Such technical wizardry demands mechanically engineered support that is equal to the task. The CD drive is suspended on a four-kilogram sub-chassis manufactured from three sandwiched metals. The sub-chassis, in turn, is spring-mounted on three vibration-damping “pillars” for true base isolation. The disc stabilizer is an acoustically optimized, meticulously crafted device derived from solid brass, aluminium, and magnesium. The precision-milled spiral form in the drive cover is more than just a beautiful design; it reduces air turbulence in the drive chamber to ensure the stable and error-free rotation of the CD. It is an unparalleled feat of mechanical and electronic engineering that delivers intoxicating music from the laser-etched pits in the aluminum layer of a polycarbonate Compact Disc. When the first notes emerge, you’ll understand. The MBL 1621 A guarantees lasting enjoyment from every CD in your personal collection.

The Sound of Silence – the drive chamber

A compact disc player can be its own worst enemy! The sound waves from loudspeakers can affect its sensitive pickup sensors, drive parts, and the disc itself with sound-damaging resonances. Even the CD, rotating at 200 to 500 revolutions per minute, can create internal atmospheric challenges in the form of air turbulence and further resonances. To mitigate these forces, the drive chamber of the MBL 1621 A is designed with the utmost attention to detail. The massive drive cover with its rubber sealing gasket ensures complete silence in the chamber and a supernaturally calm scanning process. The inside of the hinged lid itself is milled out in a proprietary spiral shape that prevents any disturbing air turbulence.

Mass and metal – the drive weight

Optimal decoupling from the ambient environment to achieve maximum smoothness – that is the ideal state of a CD drive. And this is where mass is critical: The drive mechanism rests on a massive four-kilogram sub-chassis. In order to eliminate possible resonances, it is constructed of sandwich technology utilizing brass, aluminum, and Terodem insulation material – all of it suspended at three points on vibration absorbers made of highly damping polyurethane polymer.

The resonance frequency is tuned to 13 Hz and thus does not collide with the lowest audio frequency (20 Hertz) or with the highest CD rotation frequency (8.3 Hertz). Thanks to the integrated height adjustment, the drive can be precisely adjusted horizontally like a high-quality turntable.

Small presence, huge effect – the drive stabilizer

A stabilizer placed on the inserted CD ensures firm contact and smooth running of the disc without vibrations, tremors, or pulses impacting the sound. This applies equally to the read quality of the laser unit and, correspondingly, to the final sound quality that is nothing short of impeccable. The solid and astonishingly heavy stabilizer of the 1621 A is the result of extensive material research with countless listening comparisons. A sandwich construction made of brass, aluminum, and magnesium, covered with a dampening coating, has proven to be optimal in terms of sound. Two rubber rings, one on the inside and the second on the outer edge, gently but effectively press the CD onto the drive tray for precision contact…and priceless results.

The MBL 1621 A at a glance:

  • Device housing is milled from a single block of aluminum.

  • CD Drive positioned on a solid 6 kg (13.2 lb) sub-chassis constructed from brass, aluminium, and Terodem, then spring mounted on three points for isolation

  • Adjustable leveling ensures the drive is perfectly horizontal

  • Airtight solid drive cover to protect against external sound influences and rotational resonances

  • Intricately designed and engineered stabilizer puck holds the CD firmly for smooth performance

  • 3-beam laser with high directional stability and maintenance-free positioning

  • Toroidal transformer with sophisticated protective shield technology, magnetic shielding by Mu-metal housing

  • Brilliantly designed output transformer cell with an amazing bandwidth of 98.7 MHz

  • Separate voltage regulator for each of the ten function groups

  • Symmetrically constructed engine and carriage control

  • Separate power supply for digital music signals and digital control signals

  • Group-delay-optimized bi-phase signal path for optimum transmission quality

Technical Specifications

Digital Outputs:

XLR (AES/EBU) Output Impedance 110 Ohm Bandwith 40 MHz

RCA (S/P DIF) Output Impedance 75 Ohm Bandwith 40 MHz

CD Mechanism: CD PRO 2 LF Module


Standard Compact Disk (Red Book)

Resolution 16 Bit

Sample Rate 44.1 kHz

Number of Channels 2

Modulation EFM

Weight 26 kg / 57 Ibs

Price: $ 33,400

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