Difference between Burmester 979 and MBL 1521A

In the market for a new transport upgrade from the CEC TL1X. Heard the Burmester 979 in my system and loved it. Less colored than the CEC while retaining the emotion and soul of the music. Also better at the frequency extremes. This is the best that I've heard in my system. Only heard the MBL at the shows and liked what I heard. Has anybody heard them side by side. I wonder if the Burmester belt drive mechanism has the edge in musicality.
Himiguel, I just added the MBL 1521A to my system and I'm delighted with what it has added to the overall sonic performance with my Accustic Arts Tube Hybrid DAC. If you want more details regarding the 1521A's sonics, either go to my review of AA DAC or my system here on the GON.

To answer your question directly, I believe the MBL transport has as much musicality as either the CEC TL-0 or the Burmester 979, but offers much "punch" in the lower end and generally better macrodynamics across the board.
As a happy owner of the MBL 1621A transport, I'll say you can't go wrong with the MBL. Coupled to a nice DAC (like MBL's own DACs, they are fantastic at all price points) I strongly doubt you'll ever need a new Red Book front end.

The 1521+1511 combo is quite close to the 1621+1611. They basically sound the same but the 16xx's just goes that extra step. If you can't afford them, don't compare the two.. The 15xx combo is wonderful in its own right, and compares favorably to most other digital sources I've heard.
Osgorth, could you further elaborate on the differences between the 15xx and
16xx combos? What digital sources actually surpassed either or both combos?
Slam at the bottom end as well as an overall relaxed sound are very important to
The 16xx duo has that extra bit of refinement I'd say. When you go from 15xx to the 16xx in the same setup, it's like you go from "this is great!" to "ahhh.." ;)

The presentation has more air, the resolution is slightly better, and it all sounds so natural and real. The relaxed sound you mention, I've never heard it better than this. Plenty of slam too, when the music allows.

Honestly, the differences are not huge, but then again they are. Sorry for being vague, but it's difficult to describe.

See, when you listen to the 15xx setup, it's not as if you're missing something. They are truly great, make no mistakes about that. But, when you move up to the 16xx, you realize that there were in fact something missing before. Something holding the music back. Hard to put the finger on it, but it's clear as day when you do the A/B.

This might differ in mixed setups - I've only listened to them in an all-MBL chain. Which is absolutely recommended too, the MBL synergy is huge.

I'm sorry, I'm not sure if I've actually helped you here. I find it hard to talk about the sound of MBL gear because there's not much to describe. All their gear is very coherent, and the differences are various grades of refinement and resolution. I think what you need to do is to arrange for an audition, and hear for yourself what I'm struggling to describe. :)
Osgorth,(and others)
Based on your comments on MBL gear I would like to get some feedback from you. As any of us audiophiles have experienced at some point, the equipment can pull headgames on us and I'm a bit confused/frustrated right now.
In short- I dismantled and sold off my old system a couple of years ago consisting of 111e's, 9007's as mono's, 1621a/1611e(after I dumped a 5011/1531 combo which I was unimpressed with) and a 6010d tied together with Tara The Ones and a Wireworld dig. cable. This system was set up in a 18x14 room against the long wall. This setup was just amazing, really exceptional, close to the best I've ever heard at any cost- and I've owned/heard alot of high end gear.
I recently decided to jump back in as there has been a glut of MBL stuff on the used market.
I set up my room with a pair of 101e's, a 9008a in stereo mode(I still have the other one but wanted to see how it would push the 101e's), a 6010d and a 1521a/1511f combo using the same cables.
I can't get this rig to come close to what I had and despite a more powerful amp and a speaker upgrade, I'm thinking the differential is the 15xx vs. the 16xx. Just can't find that "Ahhh" to get the resolution or spacial perfection I had before. I am clearly missing the nitty gritty fine detail. I've been playing with placement and corrected a phase problem which have helped, but I'm still getting a somewhat compressed sound compared to the previous setup and seem to be thinking it's the 1521a/1511f which was my original beef with the 5011/1531 combo. I found the 6010d to be a huge, quantum leap over the 5011 last time so I didn't even go there this time around but was told that the 15xx separates would offer a significant improvement over the 1531 player, and the "f" dac board should have been an upshot over the previous generation "e" dac. I find it hard to believe that a larger chassis could offer such a dramatic difference and was told that the transport mechanism is the same in the 1521a/1621a but after closer review of the spec's I don't think they are the same. The 1611a claims to have a "Pro Spec" transport that the 1521a doesn't have.
Any thoughts or comments?

Jackaroe, without doubt the 1621A/1611E that you had before is better than the latest 15xx duo. Sounds to me like you're missing that old Reference sound.. If possible where you're at, try borrowing 1621A/1611F and see what happens! And yes, you're correct - the 1621A has the Philips CDPro 2M transport, whereas the 1521 uses the cheaper Philips transport. The 1621 is also a much sturdier construction overall.

Also, I've heard the 9008's quite extensively, and personally don't think they're as agile as my small 8011AM's (much newer model too). Not sure if the 8011's would be enough for the big 101E's though, but go ahead and try if you want to. Fantastic amps, I tell you. :)

The 9007's are also of a newer design, and although I haven't heard them much, I would suspect they'll beat the 9008's. If you have a dealer nearby, perhaps you can borrow a 9007 and check for yourself? By the way, all models work much better as monos, the stereo switch is quite a compromise and shouldn't be used too seriously.

I totally agree with your feelings for the 6010D. To my ears, that's where most of the "magic" is in an all-MBL setup. It is indeed much better than the 5011.

Feel free to email me if you want and we can continue privately. :)
I have had the 5011 in my system and thought it was very open, transparent
and smooth. I felt it lacked mid-bass fullness and slam and sounded very much
like a ML 326. I preferred both to a ML 32 which I found to be amuscial. How-
ever, I kept my Ml 380S which I felt was more liquid, with greater slam and body,
although not as open and smooth as the 5011 or 326. The 6010D is definitely
something of interest to me....as well as the MBL digital pieces.