Another very satisfied ML5 Reference owner and Lenehan Audio customer.
Let me introduce myself. I am Cedric music enthusiast from the Gold Coast. I am the owner of the Denafrips Terminator that was compared to the excellent Gieseler GroB Dac by Bhobba in another threat. I have been listening to head fi gear like Stax, Audeze, Oppo but was willing to share with my family members the great tunes that all the members of this forum are used to. For this reason, I have saved money for the last 5 years to get the equipment I wanted. Yep the guy with a plan…It gave me plenty of time to travel and listen to different brands : Focal, B&W, Magnepan, Yamaha, Dynaudio, Pmc, Atc you name it… Obviously, some were good, some were average and some were not really good. However, I always had in the back of my head that I should get a pair of Australian made speakers. Thanks to this forum, I read about Mike and his new upgrades he was just about to implement in his speakers.
Being from the Gold Coast, it was an easy drive to the factory. Mike kindly stopped whatever he was doing and received my wife and I without any appointment. We heard some ML5 without the new upgrades and these speakers were already very good. Mike explained that he was about to make some changes to his design and it would benefit the sound. I was considering purchasing a Prima Luna Hp Integrated with CAPS upgrade because it is also an amazing headphone amp. I asked Mike which amplifier he would recommend in my situation with a pair of his upgraded speakers. Guess what he said “ Cedric, for your needs, budget and my speakers I can only recommend the Prima Luna Hp Integrated with CAPS that I will upgrade and KT 120 valves to open the sound “. At that very moment I understood that standing in front of me was the man that would bring me to the end of my audio search.
Mike is very busy but always says yes. He is clearly a perfectionist and will not let a piece of equipment going out of the factory after an extensive testing. The build took three months. I have Xovers with duelund capacitors, excellent inductors and direct coupling from Xovers to woofers and tweeters like shown by @Celts88 in his images. Woofer and tweeter are on copper plates with cooper screws to dissipate ringing, vibration and heat. Even the vertical position of the tweeter has been tested by Mike as been the best one.The speakers are mounted on house made anti seismic feet. The interior is built like a tank. The images will speak for themselves. Obviously, Mike is much more knowledgeable than me to explain what he did.
The result of this very advanced build and strong attention to vibration is a sound that is simply the best of all the speakers I have heard so far ( we all have different tastes). It is the most comprehensive design for its intended room size. My wife and I have been easily been able to hear the difference between the “ old “ vs the new design. The sound? It made my wife become an " audiophile " !!!!!! ( I have to admit that I do not like this term ). The highs are beautiful, the mid range and vocals are amazing and to top it all you have plenty of tight, fast and precise bass when present on the track . Sound and air blend together to become one. The equipment disappears… just the wine and music stay!! These speakers can play very loud due to their very direct implementation and the efficiency of the tweeter. At high volumes, they will not lose any speed at all. The sound will float in the air at low volume.You can play ANY music genre !!! The ML5 will help you find what is your weak link in your audio chain. They will resolve a LOT of details, if the source is of high quality.
Why are Mike speakers so good? The Ml5 are probably as good as a formula one car can be but such a car is nothing without its engineers fine tuning the numerous small details allowing the car to gain an additional second after each lap against the other contestants. It simply means Mike is here the wizard of OZ bringing life to his equipment.
Not only, Mike is an amazing builder but he is also a very good audio adviser with tremendous knowledge of equipment interactions. A person who is patient, detailed, precise, passionate and at times brutally honest. Isn’t that what we really need? For anyone curious about Mike’s work, please do yourself a favour go to the factory, listen to some gear and have a chat with our national magician. You deserve it.
Thank you Sir for your years of research taking shape in the equipment that brings joy to my family.