Why add any sub? Does statement sound, whatever it is, require high volume ultra deep bass, or is it just exceptional sound?
No loudspeaker is perfect, but the Mag 20.7 sets very high standards for a moderate amount of audiophile money.
In my experience the deepest bass provides significant benefits in imaging/soundstaging in addition to reproducing the lowest frequencies, so I guess I may differ from Onhwy61 on this. The cost-no-object designs provide this foundation so I think Mitch is correct in incorporating multiple subs into this exercise.
Also in my experience, where the cost-no-object designs really set themselves apart is in terms of scale, dynamics, and ultimate physical presence of the performers and performance (along with ultimate refinement, but I think that's not quite as big a deal on an absolute basis relative to the other issues if you're starting with $40k speakers). While the Maggies can probably match the scale, dynamically they're different from cone-derived speakers so not sure adding subs will get you all the way there. Some may actually prefer the Maggies, but it's still different.
To create the presence and scale of the models you list in a room that size I believe is just going to require a lot of high-quality drivers in a large cabinet to move enough air from the upper bass on up -- at some point size matters (although I think the subs can match or maybe even surpass them on the bottom end). This precludes a lot of great speakers (i.e. Sasha, Pearl, Vandy Model 7, etc.) from contention, although I'm sure they'd sound fantastic with 2 or 4 high-quality subs properly integrated. You're specifically asking to match the larger benchmarks, and not sure they could produce the dynamics and scale to absolutely match them.
My best shot at it would be to take some of the smaller siblings of the best cost-no-object models and add some subs. I'm thinking speakers like Magico Q3, Rockport Avior, Vivid Giya G2 (a little over budget unless buying used), etc. My guess is this still won't quite do it but could get you tantalizingly close. And the extra $120k to $160k in your bank account might help cushion the blow that you maybe didn't quite get there.
This was fun to think about and can't wait to see what others come up with. Best of luck.
Do you have crawl space or an attic? You could save yourself $20,000 with infinite baffle subs. Experiment with an equalizer like Behringer Ultra Curve Pro dsp8024
or if you have money burning a hole in your pocket, get a Rives Audio Parc.
The other solution that I personally would look at is Tappe Horns: https://sites.google.com/site/diyfirefly/38-hz-tapped-horns
Find a good local Audio Video set up tech and pay by the hour.
In theory, adding multiple powered subs to any good quality full range speaker is one way to tackle optimizing performance in a larger room and making a "statement" accordingly, possibly even a bigger more impressive "statement" than the ones from others that you are targeting to emulate.
The thing I would question more is the planars ability to sound like conventional dynamic designs or vice versa in this case, mainly in terms of large scale mid to upper bass macro-dynamics that blend in well with the lower bass of the dynamic subs. The "statement" should still be quite impressive, but I would expect the resulting sound to be a somewhat different flavor due to the basic design and physics of planars versus dynamic speakers.
After that, what can substitute for what and how much it costs becomes more of a subjective matter of what it takes to get system A to sound like system B. At this point its no longer just about speakers, but overall system synergy and sound.
I have thought about this for some time. I would answer "yes" to your question, provided you like planar speaker sound. And remember you would need a lot of power for those Magnepans.
I disagree with Mapman regarding subs. A pair of big REL G1s or MJ Acoustics 800s will blend well with planars. Just connect them at speaker level (JL Audio subs can't), at their lowest frequency, and don't be tempted to go high on the volume (so you won't notice them). The improvement in soundstaging and ambience are immense, as Soix says, as well as musical foundation, most of which you will feel more than hear. JL subs can't be connected at speaker level and their lowest frequency is 30Hz.
I disagree with Soix's idea of small speakers for such a huge volume.
A very different take on the problem (cheap brute force, a typical American solution to almost everything) would be a pair of GR Research LS9
speakers, now built and sold by Angel City Audio in California. I listened to a pair long time ago and they were impressive in both looks and sound. No need for subwoofers, for sure, and all the soundstage width, depth and height you would want with more bass depth and impact than almost anything.
Vladimir makes an interesting suggestion. Might be fun to email Rick Craig (Selah Audio) and see what sort of Line Arrays he could build you for 40k (or even 20k, 10k). I'm guessing the improvement curve of the next 16ok wouldn't be incredibly steep.
To answer the question in general the answer is yes. I know at least one speaker that will do it - and at $13-15k not $40k:
However that is not the real issue in your situation IMHO - its if you will like them. It doesn't matter how good a speaker is it will not be everyone's cup of tea. For example Willco in the last link I gave doesn't like Majico (neither do I for that matter) - to his ears both the speakers mentioned in the link (ML2 Limited Editions) and the Rockports he owns are way better. Dont worry about if it will be the equal of some uber expensive stuff - listen to stuff to get what you like. Take your time - its not a race.
Forget about trying to equal stuff you have read about - you may not like them anyway. Instead listen to stuff you can afford and pick what you like best. Also some Rockport gear is in your price range - give them a listen - guys whose ears I trust tell me they are uber good. Of course the Limited Editions in my links would be a great speaker for you to hear but unfortunately unless you are out in Aus where I am its highly unlikely you will get the chance.
The cost levels you guys are talking about are really super specialty products that don't conform to regular rules regarding quality. i.e. the quality level is already so high you are really just distinguishing between them based on personal preferences they are all great at that level.
Holy cow...your "large room" is bigger than the footprint of my house. I knew that Ivy League degree meant zippo.
It's crazy to think that my recommendations of the Aviors and Q3s as "small" since they weigh about 500 lbs. per pair each, but it is all relative in our hobby isn't it? I still think with good subs they could be compelling even in this space.
However, my first impulse was to suggest a line array but didn't think it could be pulled off for $40k (or, at least not well). The GR Research speakers Vladmir mentions look very interesting (along with Selah and any others who might meet the price point) assuming they have the engineering chops and the company survives for the long haul (not a small consideration). Not sure the drivers and other components are up to the quality of the cost-no-object designs -- probably not. Anyway, I like the line array concept in this application as well.
If you like line arrays, the Gallo 5LSs might be a good way to go. Couple these with some Velodyne DD+ 18" subs (with built in room-correction DSP capability) and I think you'd be 95% of the way to the "statement" speakers...
My Silverline Preludes cost $400, my REL Q150e was $200...both bought used of course. The sound is splended. I mean really...splended...who knew?
I have the Q3/dual sub system that Soix mentioned..My room is not as large as yours..(26x18x9) and employs substantial treatments and almost no 90 parallel walls...The system was professionally tuned to the room employing some very sophisticated equipment to both place the Q3 as well as the subs. The results are quite good and would definitely consider it as a very very viable option.
Bhobba, you are right on the mark. This is almost another troll post. Just because a speaker is 100,000.00 does not make it great. I will say again don't listen to reviewers and go to as many HI FI shows that you can go to and listen for yourself. You will find that a lot of those speakers you thought were good are not. Please buy what you like and stop talking foolishly.
I am also a fan of Lenehans, but here we're talking 16,000 cubic feet of space. Same thing with Q3s in Jerry's 4,200 cu.ft. room. Apples and oranges.
Hi Jwn and Vladimir
Yea forget this reviewers rubbish - listen to gear at Hi Fi shows, friends and acquaintances places, at Hi Fi stores that stock interesting gear - that is the real key - not worrying if it will best some uber expensive gear you have read about. Hear the uber gear - its an interesting experience - but don't fret if what you get is up there with it or not.
I was not necessarily suggesting the person concerned get Rockports, Lenehans or any particular brand - merely to seek out gear and hear it. I was speaking in general terms about uber expensive speakers and lower priced stuff being up there with it. Knowing the Lenehans I think they would be ok in the space mentioned because they reach FRIGHTENING levels at zero signs of distress with suitable amplification. But there is virtually zero chance of the person concerned being able to check them out so its moot anyway. I do suggest he checks out the Rockports - seriously good from what I have been told.
"Can you get the above speaker and sub combo to approach the sound and performance of the Evolution Acoustics MM7, Magico Q7 or the Genesis 1.2?"
No. Not even close. You are comparing super high volume, cost no object dynamic cabinets to a planar with a couple subs. If you really like planars maybe you will like the Maggies better... but to someone with a taste for a big, high end dynamic speaker like a big Magico, it is not even close to a fair competition.