I never thought so when I had 1000 watts in my 13 x 22 x 8 room... they had amazing bass that could almost pressurize the room.
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I use maggies for rock and have found no shortcomings to speak of. I have 2 subs in my system and find myself never using them. I personally think that for the price, quality, sound, and reliability they are the audio world's best buy and if anyone doesn't agree then they have never heard Maggies in their life and don't know what they're missing.
Rock music on Maggies is like any other music, garbage in, garbage out. Poorly recorded and mixed recordings will be painfully revealed in any genra on these outstanding but extreemly revealing speakers. Set up properly and fed with good upstream gear and great recordings, Maggies can and will ROCK your world.
I bought in to all the hype I heard about the 1.6's, and picked up a pair. And for certain types of music, they are magical. But they are not rockers. That is just my take on them. And not everyone is gonna agree, but that is my opinion, and I have owned Maggies. I sold them, picked up a pair of Soliloquy 5.3's, and have never looked back.
I agree with Philjolet! I had almost an identical size room, and was also pushing 1000 watts (500/ch). Bass was tremendous, rock (well produced) sounded great, and I never had a desire for a Sub. The 1.6's need a SH*TLOAD OF POWER to open up the bass. I was also was using a tube (Sonic Frontiers Line 3) preamp.
I used the 1.6 as my main speakers for 3 years. They were powered by the Classe' 25 (500wpc @ 4ohms) and I used a Vandersteen 2WQ subwoofer so the Classe' didn't even need to supply energy for the bottom octave and classic rock like the Eagles Hell Freezes over communicated quite effectively. But the ultimate speaker for classic rock in the seventies is the JBL L100 or 4311 studio monitor. Much of the music of that era was mixed on those babies and Pete Townshend of the Who still uses them at home.
I have a pair of 1.5s driven with 100 watts solid state and a tube preamp. I have the impression so far that more power would help them to shine with rock music, but with other music I am totally in love with them. I feel alot of great rock songs were not the greatest recordings and since these speakers really show things the way they are upstream, the higher volume levels most of us would play rock songs at make the bad ones even worse. My amp may not have the iron grip on the panels the way a more powerful one would, and that would definitely help in the bass. If you want to shake things in the house with every beat then I would look elsewhere, but if imaging and purity of tone are important give them a listen.
I have 3.6s, but also had smga's and 2.somethings, here are some comments:
Dark Side of the Moon - absolutely amazing. 'Time' is better than most speakers because of the way things flow from maggies. You will do well with all of the Floyd stuff.
LedZep, Whole Lotta Love - this is an example of a fairly well recorded 70's song, sounds awesome! And the 3.6s at least have plenty of grunt for the grunty sections.
Rush - old stuff - sounds horrible! Very flat and 2 dimensional. I got the 'gold' recent re-release and compression is so high I prefer the original CDs I bought in early 80s! As they got older the recordings got better. Moving Pictures closed the 70s (1981) and it is pretty good, but I still feel a sense of flatness. When I listened to my Rush 'tapes' back in the day I remember always trying to get more out of them via tone controls and never quite making it work.
Fleetwood Mac - well you know how female vocals do on Maggies!
Early Ronny James Dio - pretty moderate/low, but when it is just him singing great, late Dio, darn good.
If you get into some of the rock that is less clean, when they have 3 or 4 guitar players, it kind of sounds... annoying. You can really hear all of what looking back may seem like noise. On the other hand, some stuff that in my memory is a bit 'muddled' like Hendrix for example, cleans up really well on modern stuff - instruments and people separate, there is more music and less 'noise' if that makes sense. I honestly feel more connected on good equipment.
I'd say go for it if you like some of the cleaner stuff, also don't know if you are more on the softer or harder side - if on the softer side (which can potentially include Simon and Garfunkel although technically that is folk, no?) that comes out awesome.
If you want to rock out to bands with all the 'rythm guitar' players added to the standard 3 or 4 person band, then I actually like the horn idea above. Kilpsch does some interesting horn stuff that isn't super exotic or expensive.
Best way to find out - take your 10 favourite CDs to a local dealer and try them on the 1.6s! Try Whole Lotta Love and Time - you'll be blown away!!!
If you want to rock out 70s style, then get these:
and a good record player (which will probably also breathe life into some of the 'flatter' stuff on CD from early or mid 70s). You will have an awesome 70s den. They are a bit more than the 1.6s, but not crazy. (I'm tempted to get them for a 70s garage system now that I'm thinking about this :) )
But, honestly, if you listen to Time and Whole Lotta love on a well-amped 1.6 system, I think you will have a hard time not getting the 1.6s.
Give me a few days, & I'll let you know the difference between modded SMGa's & MMG's with Magnestand frames & crossovers! I just made the deal here on A-gon, & I feel like a kid at Christmas!I'm running a DIY amp with 150 wpc & lots of PS guts, a tube linestage, & Denon MM cart thru a Bugle phono pre. The SMGa's sound pretty damn good- lots of dynamics & imaging is super, but I can't wait to hear PG's magic!
I've had my 1.6's for a few years now and they still never fall short of amazing me. When I first got them there were certain recordings and types of music that sounded absolutely stunning, while other recordings sounded just OK to a little disappointing. Through the years I have made a series of changed to the speakers that have brought them to a level that everything I listen to sounds either very good or nothing short of outstanding.
If you own a pair of Magnepans and have never modded them you owe it to yourself to try some mods and bring out the true potential of these speakers.
There are a couple of ways to go about the transformation. You can do it yourself or Google the word Magestand. If you have not heard of Peter Gunn he completely revamps your existing speakers into a beautiful looking and sounding piece of equipment.
If you would like to do it yourself like I did there is plenty of information on the WEB to assist you through the proses. The first and most simple mod is to bypass the fuse. This gets rid of some of the distortion and muddiness you here in some recordings and increases the dynamic range. If you own a good amp and do not overdrive it there is little concern of doing damage to the speakers without using the fuse protecting.
The next step is to rebuild the cross overs. This truly opens up the speakers- vastly improving the dynamics, eliminates any sibilance of distortion and gives the them a more 3D presentation.
The final step is to either get frame stands or make hardwood frames for your speakers. If you are looking to make your own frames make sure you have the right equipment and have knowledge of woodworking. I made my own and although it was very rewarding it was also much more involved than I thought it would be.
After making all of the above changes I would have to spend a LOT of money to get the same or better sound out of any other speaker.
Now everything I listen too sounds simply amazing. Even minor upstream system changes are easier to identify plus my wife appreciates the way they look now.