After the thrill is gone

I think we all understand there is no “perfect” speaker. Strengths, weaknesses, compromises all driven by the designer’s objectives and decisions. 

Whenever we make a new (to us) speaker purchase there is a honeymoon period with the perfect-to-us speaker. But as time wears on, we either become accustomed to the faults and don’t really hear or hear past them, or become amplified and perhaps more annoying or create minor buyers remorse or wanderlust.

I am guessing the latter would be more prevalent when transitioning to a very different design topology, eg cones vs horns vs planars etc.

While I’ve experimented with horns, single drivers, subwoofer augmentation …  I’ve always returned to full range dynamic multi-driver designs. About to do so with planars but on a scale I’ve not done before, and heading toward end game system in retirement.
So I just wonder what your experiences have been once the initial thrill is gone? (Especially if you moved from boxes to planars)


A bit like looking over the fence when you've been with wifey a while.  But the relationship with wifey should deepen over time as you get to know each other even better.

Can this work with speakers or an audio system?

Serjio says "if you had PBN Montana ref speakers + the right room, your search would be over."

I guess I am done because that's exactly what I got! See house of stereo system. Love the dynamics of the PBN. I need all the dynamics I can get for the type of music I like best: prog, alt prog, metal prog and starting to even get into electronic. And fully retired at 68! No ethereal speakers for me, even recently went from Lyra Kleos to Sumiko Starling to that effect. I need slam! Rock on, age does not apply, in my case anyway.

Agree with all the responses regarding Maggies. Recently tried floor-standing (floor sitting?) Klipsch Heresies. Not my cup of tea. Kept my 1.7s and sold the Klipschs. I’m quite happy with that decision. 

About 4 years ago I was able to buy Magnepan 3.7i's. I've added a couple of REL subs.  I've heard many brands over the years and unless you're spending 10x the money or more, nothing (IMHO) has come close. Love a good pair of Wilsons, or Magicos, but I feel I'm 98% of the way there with these, and can retire without the guilt of spending 6 figures.  Every time I sit and listen, I am truly amazed.

This question really speaks to me. 

After reading all the glowing reviews of Magnepan, I took the plunge. I dumped my boxes and blindly ordered a pair. I live very rural and there simply wasn't an opportunity to audition them. They arrived, I did all the "things" recommended to bring out the sonic bliss I read about. I fired them up know the smiley face emoji with the straight mouth line? That was me. I felt almost sad and perhaps a bit duped. They were.... Ok.  This was a big deal for me and I was so disappointed. I kept reading, kept dicking around with them, following more advice I would read. The result? Pffft.  I blew all this hard earned money and I had gotten these big, thin sounding, far over rated speakers that mostly just sounded annoying. Buyers remorse? Oh yes Sir. 

I quit reading all the "expert" advise given. I decided I don't like them anyway so let's try a different approach. They are just going to sit there and gather dust anyway. One day, a couple months after buying the Magnepans (and still kicking myself for my stupid purchase) I received an email from Klipsch. There was a sale on subs. Of course I had read all the "expert" opinions that subs were impossible to integrate with Magnepan- unless you wanted to waste more money with their bass panels. No way would I spend another penny on a panel that to my ears, could not do squat with real bass. Incidentally, I am not a thundering bass guy. Anyway, I looked at my meager checking account balance and thought "gone this far, what have I to loose?".  I ordered a 12" sub and waited. Yes snobs... I know... a Klipsch. Keep in mind the idea of a REL or anything like that was out of my financial scope and considering how I was feeling, it was remarkable I even bought a THAT!

The sub arrived and without any anticipation or excitement, I hooked it up. I went in and changed my crossover, draining all the bass out of the Maggie's. Sent everything below 100 to the sub. 

I fired the system up, expecting to be kicked in the teeth again.

OMG..... These wimpy, tin-sounding overpriced weaklings lit up! I mean they came to life! For the first time I smiled. They were lovely. 

As for not being able to easily integrate a sub with Maggie's? What a crock. I keep the sub pulled way back.. I am barely aware of it- no thumping or banging. What it (the sub) allowed was for the Magnepans to shine where they are able. The sub added the warmth and richness that was absolutely missing.  

So, here's what I think in regards to switching from a box to a Maggie. You will lose the ability to play back ALL types of music- say goodbye to Madonna but hello to Shubert!  The speed and crystal sharpness of electronica will dazzle you. Out of the box you MIGHT be  disappointed but with some fussing, you will get it right if you like that sort of thing. To much fussing and you have diminished returns. You MIGHT find that at higher volumes they are not pleasant. At lower volumes, they can be sublime.  Irrespective of what "experts"  say, a sub is your friend.   Probably it can be summed up like this- Magnepans are like a mail-order bride. You won't have a honeymoon period but instead, you will grow to love them.  It was not what I personally expected when spending that much money but, in the end, it's ok.  

As an aside, I am 59 and though I never thought of this as my "retirement" system maybe it is lol. I suspect I will be buying again in the future and run two systems. I won't get rid of my Maggies- I truly appreciate them for what they are.