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Masterlink in 2017?

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Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Steve at Sounds Heavenly posted on Wed, Sep 27 2017 2:07 PM

Hi everyone,

As you may know, we have been assembling Masterlink cables to order for over a decade now and it has been interesting to see how popular this early 1990's connection has remained over the years.

From the original CRT Avant TV and Beosound Ouverture in 1994, Masterlink became the mainstay of B&O networks for almost two decades, finally ending up in the Beomaster 5 and Beovision 10 TV until 2013.

I would be interested to hear from fellow Beoworlders as to whether Masterlink still works for you in 2017 and for the future - do you still use it to send music around your home?  If you moved house next week, would you install a new ML network in your new home?

As an example, I use an ever older (pre-ML) Beosystem 3500 at home, linked via an ML/MCL Converter to two Beolink Actives and two Beolink Passives to give me remote controlled access to CD, radio and vinyl records across 5 rooms of the house.  I would probably set up the same system again straight away if I were to move house.

I aim to have Masterlink cables available for many years to come, so I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how/if you plan to use ML products in the future.......

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Founder of Sounds Heavenly Cables and Brand Ambassador for Bang & Olufsen

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

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Sal
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Sal replied on Wed, Sep 27 2017 3:48 PM

Although I currently only have NL products. I used to have a small ML network in my old apartment: BeoVision Avant connected to BL3+2 and a BS9000 in one room, and BS4000 in another room. What I found with ML was that it just worked. It always did what I expected it to do, and how I expected it to do it. NL is great. Cabling is easier than ML, and one can use "standard" ethernet cables (you know what I mean). However it is somewhat clunky in implementation. For example, I don't want my BV11 screen to turn on at all for whatever reason when I want to listen to music via it's connected speakers.

Steve, I think all of us and B&O should thank you and your business for doing the things you do that allow us to enjoy our products more fully and easily without fear of scarcity of finding cables for our systems.

To answer your question -- for me a thought experiment since I don't have ML products any longer -- If I did, and I was moving house, I don't think I'd have ML installed in the walls, purely because it is an obsolete framework. I'd want a new house, to be equipped with current technology and frameworks. However, if I had a many ML products, wired and linked together in expert fashion like beojeff, my opinion would be different.

olvisab
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Hi steve,

little ml network in 3 rooms (main room, room, kitchen, mlgw). I still love it for its simplicity, reliability and flexibility. I don't miss the new capabilities of the nl. When I see the multiroom issue with player and video, I am glad to rely on this old system.

 

4 beolab 5,  beolab 9, beolab 10, beolab 5000, beolab 8000 mk2, beolab 6002, beolab 3500, beovision 7 55 mk2,  beovision 11 46 mk4, beotime, beosound ouverture, beosound essence, beomaster 900 RG de luxe and the collection continues...

Kromer
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Kromer replied on Wed, Sep 27 2017 9:03 PM

For me the short answer is yes i will. I'll be installing Master link to 5 rooms this weekend :-) 

I Think that for many of us B&O is very much about the heritage products from 'the good old days', and for the masterlink era it's just an integral part of the systems. So for the full experience of these system alone I think it's worth it. 

I have both ml and nl products in my system and at the moment I Think ml still has some advantages. It's reliable, simple to use and without delays. I'm sure nl/multiroom is going to be great but then ml can be integrated. Which is a stroke of genius really. I mean I have Essence internet radio available on an early 90's system with a single touch of the remote.

I'll be using ml with 6500 via blc 1611 as Master and linked rooms with bl2000, bl3500, bs3000, bl passiv, and a not yet decided beovision. I'll be open for replacing bl2000 and bl3500 with future nl products but there are non now that I'ld rather have and it just works. Mainly we just use it for every Day stuff like listening to news from the tv while in the kitchen or radio in a couple of rooms . Simplicity of use and reliability is key here. 

Andrew
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Andrew replied on Thu, Sep 28 2017 8:40 AM

As the others have said ML is simple to use and just works, it's easy to link products and sound quality is excellent, plus if you already have a number of B&O products you are likely to take them with you when you move. I use ML to link all my stuff together and I have integrated my main listening system which isn't B&O into it via Beolink COnverter and a lintronic box.

At the end of the day if you just want to listen to the radio or pipe music it is so easy at the push of a button rather than getting your phone out and joining etc. etc.

LarsJensen
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I just recently got my first NL product (BeoSound Moment and I LOVE IT) and installed the NL/ML converter to connect it to my existing ML network (And I love the integration as almost much as I love the BeoSound Moment).

From now on I will probably only be adding NL products and replacing existing ML products but I will keep some ML products for years to come – if I will ever part with them.

So yes, for me ML will live on and I too love its simplicity and reliability. But honestly connecting NL products to your existing switch via Ethernet is pretty easy to – given you have an infrastructure in place.

/Lars

Master123456789
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I still love the design of the Beovox cx50 and Beovision 8, and there are not a NL product (speaker) where I like the design that much yet. Also I still love to turn on the radio with a simple push on the beo4/beolink 1000 remote - easy and simple.

I have bought a Beosound Essence and this can be added on my old masterlink setup with the beolink converter ML/NL. Very nice! I hope in the future the beolink converter ML/NL gets cheeper, I can buy more of these and then I can make all my old ML products wireless.

Right now I have the masterlink cables installed, so I have not intention of removing them. But if I someday moves to another apartment or house, I will maybe look at alternatives. I must say that it have always annoyed me, that the masterlink cable are so thick!

To sum up - I still love to use the beo4 to control the music, and cables are the best for the most stable connection. And the old design ofen still are most nice.

folkdeejay
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Steve at Sounds Heavenly:

Hi everyone,

As you may know, we have been assembling Masterlink cables to order for over a decade now and it has been interesting to see how popular this early 1990's connection has remained over the years.

From the original CRT Avant TV and Beosound Ouverture in 1994, Masterlink became the mainstay of B&O networks for almost two decades, finally ending up in the Beomaster 5 and Beovision 10 TV until 2013.

I would be interested to hear from fellow Beoworlders as to whether Masterlink still works for you in 2017 and for the future - do you still use it to send music around your home?  If you moved house next week, would you install a new ML network in your new home?

As an example, I use an ever older (pre-ML) Beosystem 3500 at home, linked via an ML/MCL Converter to two Beolink Actives and two Beolink Passives to give me remote controlled access to CD, radio and vinyl records across 5 rooms of the house.  I would probably set up the same system again straight away if I were to move house.

I aim to have Masterlink cables available for many years to come, so I would be interested to hear your thoughts on how/if you plan to use ML products in the future.......

Kind regards, Steve.

 

I have 5 ML 'zones' cabled up - linking Bsnd 9000 and Bv5 in one room, then four link rooms (one is the garden!)  all hardwired via ML.

 

Would I add to this with more ML and Beolink products ?  Potentially, yes.  But probably only if I bought a supercheap link speaker.

 

Would I move and re-cable using new ML?   No. 

Aside from not planning to move, the wireless options and verbal interfaces are too tempting.   

So a new property would not be fitted out with ML - with the one proviso that if there were some easy (back to back or wall void drops) cabling routes, I would maybe plumb in our 3500/2000/passives with speakers...   but as 80% of what they do is R4, R2 and Spotify  - and then a few CD's -   I would go wireless I think.   

Maybe even using Amazon stuff for secondary rooms.  My Amazon Echo sounds as good as my Blab2000, and I can talk to it!!  

benjnz
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benjnz replied on Thu, Sep 28 2017 2:48 PM

A big thanks to Steve for still supplying ML stuff. For me I have a mix, main room have NL, and then I have two seperate ML one in a bedroom and one in the kitchen, they’re not linked but one day I’ll get round to linking up the two ML rooms.

I’ll keep the two seperate until overtime the ML products die and I replace them with NL. Being in NZ there no chance in hell for repair as service is non-existent.

 

kallasr
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Back in 2004 we installed CAT7 as network cabling.

Made the mistake not to have the best shielded version installed - but still it work with RJ45 plugs / ML plugs for Masterlink.

Powerlink with RJ45 does not work in all rooms because it seems to be more sensitive to the unshielded cables :-(

So - for Masterlink - CAT / network cabling is the way to go today.

Sure you still need the cables with RJ45/ML plugs,  so Steve is still in the game ;-))

Ralf

Living Room: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-2 (Center), Beolab 9 (Fronts), Beolab 8000 (Rears), no Subwoofer. Screen: Sony KD-85XH9096
Dining Room: Beosound Essence MK II with Beolab 4000 on stands, fed by Amazon Echo Show 8
Home Cinema: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-4 (Center), Beolab 1 (Fronts), Beolab 4000 (Rears). Projector: Sony VPL-HW55
Home Office: Beosystem 3, Beolab 7-4, Beolab 5000, Screen: Sony KD-55XH9005 on Beovision 7-40 stand, ML to Beosound 9000 MK3 and Beosound 5/Beomaster 5 (1 TB SSD version)
Bedroom: Sony KD-65XH9077, Beosound Essence MK II with Beolab 6002 and Beolab 11 (all white, wall-mounted)

In storage: Beolab 5000/Beomaster 5000 (1960s). 

Andrew
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Andrew replied on Fri, Sep 29 2017 11:05 AM

Hi Steve

I will be using ML for some time to come, at least until all the ML stuff I have fails - quick, reliable, easy to install but most importantly the quickest and most convenient way to listen in to music playing elsewhere that doesn't require constantly having your phone with you or wireless connection.

 

Guy
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Guy replied on Fri, Sep 29 2017 11:19 AM

My house in UK is still wired for MCL, but I'll probably 'update' to ML if/when I move back there! Smile

Bertrand
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Bertrand replied on Fri, Sep 29 2017 11:47 AM

Je suis en ML de la pièce principale entre le BeoVision 10mk3 et le BeoSound 9000mk3 puis dans deux autres pièces avec une BeoLab 3500mk2 et une BeoLAb 2000mk2.

C'est un système très simple qui me convient parfaitement et en cas de déménagement je ne changer rien.

J'aimerai bien un BeoSound 5 encore mais il me semble que le ML ne fonctionne pas avec lui ?

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Thanks everyone for all your replies and kind words Smile

Guy:

My house in UK is still wired for MCL, but I'll probably 'update' to ML if/when I move back there! Smile

Glad I'm not the only one who still has MCL at home Whistle so this leads to another question: should I look at getting the "obsolete" MCL cables made again?

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Founder of Sounds Heavenly Cables and Brand Ambassador for Bang & Olufsen

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

jamesfl99
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I also still have an MCL based system used every day. Feeds from a 5500 system in the lounge to the kitchen, bathroom and main bedroom.

In fairness it is brought up to date by the use of a Bluesound Node which distributes music from a hard drive, connected via the Tape 2 connection into the MCL but can then be accessed via phone/tablet around the house.

All good! James

 

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