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A Larger Martin Logan or a Magnepan 3.6

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Tustin Dave

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I am re-posting a post I just put up on the planar section of the Audio Asylum. I feel they have a bias there and to some extent there is probably one here.

To the below post I will add, in your opinion will a larger ML give a larger soundstage or is what I am hearing, small sounstage compared to Magnepans, the result of electrostatic technology?

Thanks for your input.

I have owned a pair of Magnepan 1.6's for about three years nows. I think they may have been the best audio investment of my life but lately I had been wondering if there might be something better while still not requiring a second on the house. In particular I agree with several observations that the 1.6s seemed to lack clarity especially at lower volumes.
I recently bought a pair of used ML Aeon I's. At first listen I was especially disappointed at how thin and recessed the vocals sounded compared to the tubelike silkiness of the 1.6s vocals. The same could be said of strings. I also was dismayed at how much smaller the soundstage was. As I continued to listen to them though, I found to my ears that they did sound more precise and had greater clarity. For example, my perception is that I can hear individual piano keys more clearly on the Aeons.

Tonight as I slid my 1.6s back in for a listen, I wondered if there was a way of having the best of both worlds. I would guess the best chance of that would be either a larger ML for a larger soundstage, perhaps the Prodigy or the Odyssey, or the Magnepan 3.6 for greater clarity. When I listened to the 3.6s in the showroom, I did not discern a great improvement over the 1.6s. Perhaps I should listen again.

My amp and pre-amp are what I determined, largely from this website, to be great values. I have a AMC 1030 tube pre-amplifier and a ATI 1502 amplifier. I also have a Panasonic digital amplifier that I did not care for.

Has anyone attempted to run MLs and Magnepans simultaneously in the same system? My wife rarely comes into this room.

Thanks in advance for your advice.
 

Spike

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Tustin Dave said:
I recently bought a pair of used ML Aeon I's. At first listen I was especially disappointed at how thin and recessed the vocals sounded compared to the tubelike silkiness of the 1.6s vocals. The same could be said of strings. I also was dismayed at how much smaller the soundstage was. As I continued to listen to them though, I found to my ears that they did sound more precise and had greater clarity. For example, my perception is that I can hear individual piano keys more clearly on the Aeons.
Perhaps the ML Aeon Is are exposing the weakness of the upstream electronics. ML are notorious for being too revealing and unforgiving when it comes to the quality of all the components in the chain. This revealing characteristic in addition to the tough load presented at the amplifier interface, make things difficult for the owners to find the matching electronics for their taste. Once found, the sound presented by the MLs are glorious. Maggies are more forgiving in this regards.

Spike
 

roberto

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Spike said:
Perhaps the ML Aeon Is are exposing the weakness of the upstream electronics. ML are notorious for being too revealing and unforgiving when it comes to the quality of all the components in the chain. This revealing characteristic in addition to the tough load presented at the amplifier interface, make things difficult for the owners to find the matching electronics for their taste. Once found, the sound presented by the MLs are glorious. Maggies are more forgiving in this regards.

Spike
Hola. Just a few words...the diaphragm of ML weight less than the air that it moves...you cant say this with no other speaker in the whole world. The diaphragrm of the Maggies has a wire attachet to it, giving a mass and making it to become slower than ML. The size of the instruments is an example of what it is happening. The Maggies (with all respect) in some notes, the resonance becomes bigger than they should, making this effect to make you jump from your seat and in miliseconds you are at the throat of the singer in certain notes, and then back to your seat. You don´t have this kind of problem with ML. I´m not saying that ML if perfect, no...but they do have minor flaws than Maggies. The size of the instruments, the scenario and the air between isntruments are more evident in ML. I do like the Maggies for the big scenario and to make us being closer to the musicians...but I like to be some feet away...I like to sit in the 10th rod...and with the Maggies I´m always at the, at least, third rod or closer...to close to the musicians...and making the size of the instruments too big some notes only!. This is way I love ML. Before ML, I had a lot of different models of Magneplanar...I knew this kind of sound though them, until I met ML. Truly different sound and different proposal. Of course, if you make a choice, it depends of your liking...so trust your ears and not in specs...happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto.
 

kach22i

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I think that in general, the larger the speaker, the larger the image size is. This goes for Maggies, Martin Logan's and even most conventional speakers.

Example:
Mini monitors are said to be able to reproduce female vocals like no others, some say this is because of the size of the original source "voice box" of the person and "Voice Coil" of the speaker are close to the same size. Hey, it's just a theory, not hanging my hat on that one - but sounds good on first blush.

The larger panel speakers like the CLS (and 3.6's) make the image so large, that I've equated to headphones for a room - a two edge sword (good and bad).

The Magggie 3.6's I listened to 15 years ago (almost purchased the 1.6's) made a sound stage so large that when I played a live Roxy Music CD (recorded in France) it was like I was there. The best part was the crowd noise, really sucked me into a fantasy of being there. However, this same scale did not work so great on female vocals (Holly Cole), the little Roger's in the next room (for a fraction of the price) did a better job on that.

If you want a suround sound like stadium event in your home, then get the largest speaker you can and squeeze into your room. However if you want something more intimate and better in more and different situations, I would get one of the smaller or medium sized panel type speakers and put really good electronics in the path along with a really good souce player (CD or LP).

Just my two cents.

I think you can get more life out of your 1.6's with better electronics and perhaps improving your room acoustics - presuming all rooms could stand a little improvement.

Cheers.

Edit: It would be interesting for you to home audition a pair of Martin Logans and or newer/better Maggies than you have. It's the only way you will know for sure what works best for you.
 
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jjqiv

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kach22i said:
I think that in general, the larger the speaker, the larger the image size is. This goes for Maggies, Martin Logan's and even most conventional speakers.

Example:
Mini monitors are said to be able to reproduce female vocals like no others, some say this is because of the size of the original source "voice box" of the person and "Voice Coil" of the speaker are close to the same size. Hey, it's just a theory, not hanging my hat on that one - but sounds good on first blush.

The larger panel speakers like the CLS (and 3.6's) make the image so large, that I've equated to headphones for a room - a two edge sword (good and bad).

The Magggie 3.6's I listened to 15 years ago (almost purchased the 1.6's) made a sound stage so large that when I played a live Roxy Music CD (recorded in France) it was like I was there. The best part was the crowd noise, really sucked me into a fantasy of being there. However, this same scale did not work so great on female vocals (Holly Cole), the little Roger's in the next room (for a fraction of the price) did a better job on that.

If you want a suround sound like stadium event in your home, then get the largest speaker you can and squeeze into your room. However if you want something more intimate and better in more and different situations, I would get one of the smaller or medium sized panel type speakers and put really good electronics in the path along with a really good souce player (CD or LP).

Just my two cents.

I think you can get more life out of your 1.6's with better electronics and perhaps improving your room acoustics - presuming all rooms could stand a little improvement.

Cheers.

Edit: It would be interesting for you to home audition a pair of Martin Logans and or newer/better Maggies than you have. It's the only way you will know for sure what works best for you.
I think we may have danced this dance before, but, here goes:

Sounds like a good hypothesis. However, to my ears, the experiment results do not support this belief. The larger panels and lower cross over points just seem to do a better job with height, width, and dynamics, midrange magic, etc.

B.T.W., I've been playing around with cross overs and have found that pair of CLS's can be made into one the best sub/satelite systems that I have ever heard.
 
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Tustin Dave

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Thanks to everyone for their replies so far. I have found them very informative.

Would it be safe to assume that if I went for something like the CLS or Monolith instead of the Aeon I that I have, that I might get the greater clarity that a Martin Logan has while getting a larger soundstage and more immediacy such as those in the the Magnepans?

Thanks for your response.
 

roberto

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Tustin Dave said:
Thanks to everyone for their replies so far. I have found them very informative.

Would it be safe to assume that if I went for something like the CLS or Monolith instead of the Aeon I that I have, that I might get the greater clarity that a Martin Logan has while getting a larger soundstage and more immediacy such as those in the the Magnepans?

Thanks for your response.
Hola. Everything is just a matter of taste. Magneplanar is a great speaker, so ML. To my ears, ML has the right size of the instruments, all models without expeption, due to the electrostatic panel. Some models presents wider scenario, but the size is almost the same. On the other hand, Maggies on some notes only, resonates more than they should, making you (the listener)to jump from your seat and almost touch the instrument in that particular note (my last speakers before ML was the Magneplanar Timpany IIIB, 8 panels and bi-amp only) and then back to your seat. So, I can say that I did play a lot with Mag. The transparency and the right size of the instruments again, are what we, most ML users, like most. All depends of your liking and hability to set them right as any other speaker. To my ears, first is ML, then the Maggies. My ears are very sensitive to distortion, and if you get closer to the high frequency panel section of the Maggies, or any cone speaker, you can hear this distortion. If you get closer to the electrostatic panel of any ML, all what you listen is clear and transparent. No distortion, just pure signal. Trust your ears, happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto.
 

timm

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Just my 2 cents.... when I was looking - I listened to B&Ws / Maggie 3.6 / Odysseys and Ascents. I went with the Odysseys - (I got a great deal... but that is here nor there)... It really boiled down to the 3.6s and the Odysseys. The 3.6s just sounded fantastic with jazz - and the guy giving me the demo made we sit about 7 feet from them. However, I found the Logans to be more dynamic/ more alive / and I thought the Odysseys bass response was better than the 3.6s. I listened to the 3.6s for about a solid hour - and thought they sounded great - but, again went with the Odysseys which came in pricewise at about where the 3.6s were.
 

twich54

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Tustin Dave said:
Thanks to everyone for their replies so far. I have found them very informative.

Would it be safe to assume that if I went for something like the CLS or Monolith instead of the Aeon I that I have, that I might get the greater clarity that a Martin Logan has while getting a larger soundstage and more immediacy such as those in the the Magnepans?

Thanks for your response.
Having owned Maggies(3 and then 3.6) for twenty years and just recently switching over to M?L Vantage the first thing that I noticed is noticed bass definition that was not present with the maggies. That being said, I loved my 3.6's, the only reason I sold them to my son was Magnepan's center channel speaker was one of the worst I ever heard. I also think the maggies are more critical to your upstream componet selection than M/L's
 
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Sunnyboy 1956

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MLs vs Maggies

My 0.5 cents worth.Yesterday I was fortunate, actually deliriously happy to hear a 4way demo between the B&W 801D, B&W 802D, Summits and Maggies 3.6. The electronics and music were constant(Theta and Norah Jones). This was in a real high end showroom in Mumbai, India. The electronics, cabling etc were in the vicinity of 100k plus!! The B&Ws were breathtaking in their transparency. It was not me alone but a couple of buddies in the room that agreed that the Summits came out tops. On balance they seemed just right and the bass was awesome.
On the specific issue of Maggies vs MLs, for me the clincher was the way superior bass of the Summits. In all fairness it would be more appropriate to compare the 3.6s to the Vantage(due for delivery in India in May, 2006). As has been said on this thread ,the Maggies create a virtual soundstage that is almost thrust in your face, while the the MLs create more space between instruments. Roberto is spot on...with the Maggies you are in the first row.
For my kind of music, jazz, female vocals etc, I prefer the MLs anyday.
 

kach22i

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Sunnyboy 1956 said:
In all fairness it would be more appropriate to compare the 3.6s to the Vantage
And now you will have to go back in May and do it all over again - you poor bastard.

Looking forward to your next installment. :)
 

twich54

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nothing wrong with front row....escpecially when Faith Hill is the one on stage !!!
 
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Sunnyboy 1956

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poor english

:mad: kachi 22
Unlike most folks on this forum English is not my first language and I had a tough time learning it at school and am still in the process of learning...the last word that Kachi used (first line ...bast...) is it a term of excessive endearment that audiophiles use when in a state of orgasmic bliss ?
Just wondering!!
 

roberto

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Sunnyboy 1956 said:
:mad: kachi 22
Unlike most folks on this forum English is not my first language and I had a tough time learning it at school and am still in the process of learning...the last word that Kachi used (first line ...bast...) is it a term of excessive endearment that audiophiles use when in a state of orgasmic bliss ?
Just wondering!!
Hola Sunnyboy 1956. I am also like you. My English is bad, and sometimes I can´t express exactly what I want to say...but the meaning of that words are a natural good envy from all of us :eek: (Kach 22i friends) that you have the luck to be there where you can make all this tests. It is a friendly used words...not an insult!!! Means that you are lucky to be there listening to all those very good speakers and all the tests that are doing, and that you are a very lucky person to be there, and we are not!!!... :D
Happy listening,
Pura vida,
Roberto.
 

kach22i

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I meant no offense - sorry for causing any confusion.

Poor Bastard

and or

Lucky Bastard

Can and were in the context of what I wrote used as "terms of excessive endearment ".

Slang and or use of sarcasm are difficult to convey in type, something I need to keep in mind.
 
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Sunnyboy 1956

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All cool at my end

kach 22i and Roberto
No offense taken or meant. Was just pulling your leg.
Have a great season and a super New Year.
Bye for now :)
 
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