Never heard them but they were on Stereophile's Rec Components List for years.
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I have had and enjoyed Magneplanar 1.7s for over two years now. Maggie panels are a revelation. Even though my previous speakers were designed to reduce cabinet resonances as much as possible, I was unprepared for how *quiet* Magnepan speakers are, and how much noise and chesty resonances lurk in most dynamic speakers unless the designers take Herculean (and expensive) efforts to stifle box resonances. Then there's the larger radiation surface, which helps music scale up and down with ease. Even with the MMGs, their radiating surface is closer in size to a piano soundboard than a 6.5" woofer and 1" tweeter could ever hope to be. The effect is mesmerizing.
As for an amp, I find the NAD BEE series of integrated amps to be an excellent match. Buy the one you can afford. I auditioned the 1.7s with an NAD C175BEE (150 wpc) and it was a great match. They are very stable into 4 ohms and have a detailed yet organic presentation.
The MMGs are light. You can put them up against a wall when you aren't listening to them, in which case they take up very little space in your living area. Then you can bring them out into the room for optimum sound.
For more bass you could get the Super MMG package, which adds the $800 DWM bass panel for just $600 over a pair of MMGs by themselves.
I use MMGs with a pair of subwoofers in a second system. The total cost of the speakers+subs was +/- $1600. I'm not sure that anything on the market matches that combo for full range performance for the $. As some have noted, there are quirks (tight sweet spot, power requirements, room placement), but the MMG really offers a compelling value proposition, IMO.
PS Some argue that they're tough to mate with subs, but - particularly with room corrected subs or amplification - I haven't found that to be the case at all. YMMV.
Yes, they are really good. I have had a pair of mg12, and two pairs of mmgs in my life. Just keep in mind that they are a one listener speaker (very directional).
I like the nad suggestion; it makes a killer budget stereo.
on the mmg, make sure to bypass the fuse....they sound so much cleaner and dynamic without. It's a very easy surgery.
I owned a pair of MMG's before and I loved them. They do need to be placed a few feet away from the back wall with a little bit of toe-in to sound properly IMO. The sweet spot is narrow due to the design of these speakers. A pair of after-market stands to level them up to your ear level would help for sure. Without a subwoofer like DWM, MMG's sounded very good already. They will amaze you if you pair them with a DWM or a fast cone subwoofer. The MMG's are very revealing so the quality of the amp is also important. I tried Adcom, Vincent, Hegel and Class-D with the MMG's before. Hegel sounded the best but it's probably above your budget. I'd suggest a used Vincent SV-236 hybrid Integrated amp if you can find one.