A strange thing happened on the way to...

I was auditioning a pair of Talon PeregrineX speakers this afternoon. They are on a short list of speakers in which I am interested. I was very impressed with the sound.
I told the salesman I was looking at the Magnepan 3.6. He said it was a good speaker but that along with the big soundstage comes exaggerated size on voices and instruments too. I have not heard the Maggies yet, but if this is true I would not be interested in them. I like tight defined imaging and have been working toward this end for several years now.
Does anyone know if this is true? Are sizes in the soundstage exaggerated as he described? I want to go and listen to a pair, but it is a five hour drive from where I live. If I am going to be disappointed by this trait I'd rather not take the time. If anyone can offer some insight I would be appreciative!
I would take another dealers thoughts on a brand he doesnt carry with a large dose of salt...a friend of mine has the 1.6s which are amazing speakers...regardless of price...I would suggest taking the drive to hear Maggies...and bring your credit card...chances are u will like what u hear....if I had the room...I would seriously consider the Mags...and just for the record...they have plenty of bass...bring some music..kick back...and enjoy the most transparent speaker on the market...also...nothing sounded exaggerated to me...
I think that you will find the presentation of the Talon's and that of a Maggie to be quite different. Which one you like best will have a lot to do with your room, speaker set-up and personal taste. Sean
I haven't heard the Talons, but I used to sell Maggies (pre-3.6). I personally love the Maggie sound, especially for acoustic music and vocals, but would tend to agree in general with your salesman's assessment. However, I don't consider these aspects as flaws - in fact, Maggies can do some things regarding the casting of a sonic image and space better than just about all other speakers, if correctly set up in an appropriate room. It's just that those things aren't going to strike you as being "tight defined imaging" in the way you are used to thinking of it from box speakers. Frankly, I find the way Maggies present the musicians and soundspace really transcends terms like those, since live music does not have "focus" and the "soundstage" is all around you. If I got big SS amps, listened mostly to naturally recorded acoustic music, and had a more commodious listening room, I'd probably own a pair right now instead of the Thiels I use. But dynamic box speakers can have advantages in bass weight, midrange presence, dynamic impact, and ease of placement. I also feel that Maggies have somewhat more of a tendency to lend everything played through them a little bit of a similar signature character overall which is endemic to the design, than do most good dynamic speakers (although this presentational character is pleasant enough and quite appropos of a lot of music, particularly classical, and is not to my mind a 'coloration' as such, for they are tonally quite neutral and transparently revealing). They also are more of a "they are here" speaker than a "you are there" speaker. If you think your gear, room, and tastes run toward what I've alluded to, you appreciate a natural, open sound that emphasizes coherence and near-tactile immediacy without hype or fowardness, and you're still curious, I would take the drive, just for the educational experience of getting to know a benchmark classic if nothing else.
Nate, as you know, different speaker driver types(cone vs ribbon) will have different sound signatures. You really have to find out for yourself what you like, or don't like, about them. I think my Lowthers sound great, but I'd be the first to say that they're not for everyone. And no speaker is right for everyone. I think that in an expenditure of this magnitude, it would be advisable to make a trip for an audition. I'll bet they have a dealer in Milwaukee or Chicago. That would be in weekend driving distance for you.
I have heard the Maggies and was quite impressed with them. I thought they offered excellent, pinpoint imaging - certainly in the system that I heard. The only speakers superior to the Maggies that I have heard have been the SoundLabs (A1) and the Apogees (Full Range, Scintillas, Divas, Duettas - that order). No dynamic speaker I have heard so far comes close to any of these. They all require careful set up, breathing room, and upstream electronics to sound their best. It take weeks of listening to find their optimum placement but once you do there is nothing like them. Listen to the music not to the reviewers and certainly not to the salepeople. Here is Texas, a five hour drive is considered a hop, skip and a jump. I have flown all over the country to audition systems in search of audio nirvana.

Always listen first.
I've owned two pairs of Maggies, neither with any iteration of the ribbon tweeter. However, I've spent quite some time in a Maggie dealer listening to various new and newer versions. They do have a distinct sound that many fall in love with. I've heard them sound great with ARC and Mesa Eng. tube amps - they do need power. You'll get a very large scaled soundstage with excellent transparency and (with the right electronics) no edge or hardness whatsoever.

They do, however, throw up large sized images which, if you sit too close, can make singers appear as if they have 5ft heads. (I've also heard 15ft piano keyboards.) Be sure to audition them at enough of a distance to reduce this effect. Maggies need breathing room both behind and in front of them.

Oh yeah, they can (again, with the right electronics) sound very harmonically correct. And they do have bass, you just have to get used to the different presentation, you know, the "boxless" bass that panels give us.