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Manley Labs MAHI Mono Power Amplifier Review Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Article Index
Manley Labs MAHI Mono Power Amplifier Review
Listening Session cont.
Quirks and Conclusion


About the only issue I had with the MAHI's, outside of an easily solved ground loop hum, was that it has an unusually high input sensitivity.  My Audio Research SP16 preamplifier is a superb sounding unit in its price range, but it has one slightly annoying issue.  It only has 70 volume steps, controllable by a front panel button, or via remote; but no volume knob. Because of this for the first few days I got a bit frustrated by trying to find the volume “sweet spot”. One click up and it was a bit too loud, one click down, and it was a tad bit too soft. Interestingly, Audio Research, in upgrading the SP16 to the SP17, added 32 more volume steps!

Volume settings aside, the SP16 and the MAHI's sounded utterly superb to my ears. I do confess to being curious how the MAHI's would sound with the Manley Jumbo Shrimp preamplifier. As a matter of fact, as a side note, I actually wonder how a high quality passive preamp would work with the MAHI's. I wish I had one on hand, as that would a real purist approach. I’d guess it would be a winning combination.

Mahi Overhead View

Towards the end of the review period, I took delivery of a solid state preamplifier by a top flight manufacturer of solid state gear. The MAHI's performed flawlessly with this unit as well, and the luxury of a volume knob allowed me to find a sweet spot for the volume on each disc I played.  The prospective buyer should thus be aware that your preamplifier selection should one with made with care, whether tube or solid state.


The Manley MAHI mono blocks are a remarkable achievement. Did I mention the price? $2500 per pair.  I had to double check, and check again. I honestly have not seen a product at this price point with this level of build quality, sound, and made in the USA to boot. These amps are not huge physically, but the sound is BIG.  I can thoroughly recommend the Manley MAHI mono blocks to any audiophile.



  • Input Tube: 1 x 12AT7EH large plate Eletcro-Harmonix Russian
  • Driver Tube: 1 x 6414 JAN NOS GE or Raytheon branded 
  • Output Tubes: 8 x EL84 Ships with Russian NOS EL84M (aka 6Pi14Pi-EB)   
  • Output Tube Quiescent Standing Current: 25mA 
  • Set Bias for 250mVDC measured across each 10 ohm cathode resistor 
  • Gain: 29dB 
  • Negative Feedback: MIN= 3dB; STD=6dB; MAX=10dB of global NFB 
  • Input Impedance: 110 Kohm 
  • Input Sensitivity for Maximum Output Power: defined as input voltage required in order to produce maximum power output reaching 1.5% THD @ 1KHz
  • Maximum Output Power: defined as power output reaching 1.5% THD @ 1KHz 
  • Triode Mode, 28W
  • Ultra Linear Mode 46W
  • Recommended Speaker Load: Optimized for 5 ohms
  • Dimensions: 11" deep x 10" wide x 5" tall Shipping weight each: 18 pounds 
  • Price: $2500 per pair

Reviewer Setup 1

  • CD Player: Naim CD5x with Flatcap 2X
  • Preamp: Audio Research SP16
  • Amplifier: Audio Research VS55
  • Speaker: Harbeth Compact 7ES3
  • Cables: Kimber/QED/Acoustic Zen (AC)/Transparent (AC)
  • Accessories: Symposium Rollerblocks, Shakti Stone

Reviewer Setup 2

  • CD Player: Marantz 5003
  • Music Server: Squeezebox 3
  • DAC:CIA VDA-2 with XPS
  • Preamp: Belles Soloist 3
  • Amplifier: Revox A722
  • Speaker: Spendor S5e
  • Cables: Kimber/QED/Transparant/Shunyata(AC)/PS Audio(AC)

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