Maybe give some more info on your setup. What’s your room setup? Large room small room? Do the speakers have to be small? On stands? Can they be out in the room like Maggies, away from the walls? If it’s a size issue have you looked at the new Maggie LRS? http://www.magnepan.com/model_LRS Should be even better than the 1.5’s but smaller. Heck they take up less room than bookshelf speakers on stands. 48" h x 14.5" w x 1" d. Same Maggie sound but even more refined and smaller footprint and only $650. Whats not to like?
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There are some options to capture some of the technology of a panel in a small form factor:
The Eminent Technology LFT-16A.
Also look at the King’s Audio Kingsound Princess III or Queen V.
And one cannot forget the Mini Maggies, which may work for you.
I reviewed the LFT-8A/B as well as the Kingsound King III for Dagogo.com
Thank you both! Yes, I think they need to be stand speakers. I've moved a couple times since I bought my first Maggies and this house ... just isn't built for them. The only place is in front of big windows that look out over a nice view, so nothing I want to block. I've read terrific things about the LRS and they would be my go-to suggestion for anyone starting up in this hobby, but alas they're too big. I need true stand/bookshelf speakers.
There's a world of speakers that I just don't know. Frankly, I assumed that I couldn't get the sound I wanted from a bookshelf but many of the comments out here have made me rethink that. I've listened to the Dynaudio Contour 20 and Special 40 (I hope I have those names right from memory), and they were impressive. I was intrigued by the mention out here of Joseph Audio Pulsars; I looked into them but they're out of my budget (probably).
Douglas_Schroeder, thank you for those suggestions. Honestly, I don't know those speakers, so I'm excited to do a little research!
Thank you all. I genuinely appreciate your suggestions. It's something, isn't it, when $4,000 may not be enough for (what I still call) bookshelf speakers--but I get it. One of the things about Maggies, as you all know, is that they're relatively inexpensive speakers.
I have another question, if anyone is following this thread. Many of these high-end speakers sell through a very limited dealer network. The Alta Audio website lists ten dealers in the country. Some of the websites (Joseph Audio, Silverline) don't even list dealers. And obviously there are even fewer dealers who would carry a range of such elite speakers. I'm at least five hours from any dealer who would carry even one of them. (My go-to dealer for all things musical recently closed.)
So how do people audition speakers? I know that many companies will ship speakers and take returns, but that seems like a project if you want to hear a few different speakers. I'm considering spending $5,000-$10,000 (my budget is going UP!!!) on a pair of speakers, I'd sure like to listen to a few options. How do people do it who live in the hinterlands? Do you travel to LA or NYC for a few days of listening? Do you go through the process of buying/returning three or four pairs to find The One?
The world that I know, the world of Magnepan, Mark Levinson, Dynaudio, Revel--these all seem positively bougie out here!
You may want to consider the Legacy Calibre it is a bit more expensive but it does not sound like a mini monitor it has real bass and throws a gigantic sound stage. The Calibre use a large custom Heil AMT tweeter so in the top end it is delicate and resolute like the Maggies.
As per your dilemma you do need to visit a major city or go to shows.
if you can visit our shop located 15 mins from Newark airport we have:
Quad, Kef, ATC, Paradigm, Alta Audio, Legacy, Elac monitors on display.
You should also check out the ATC SCM 19 which are huge sounding monitors also very detailed and clean extremely dynamic.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
If you can listen to the Vandersteen VLR's, do so.
They are made to be used near the corners of a room, but even on stands they sound great. If you are serious, get the CT version, but for relaxed listening the non-CT's are amazing.
I use them in my office.
Match them with a Belles integrated and you will have one sweet system.
Add a pair of Aq William Tell speaker cables and you will be in heaven.
Other speakers you should consider the Jantzen Valencia monitors, the Quad Z series uses a fantastic ribbon tweeter and are very inexpensive $2,500.00 for the Z2 monitor.
You may also want to check out the Scansonic line and the higher end Elac monitors.
Many of these systems with high technology tweeters capture some of the Maggie sound and in terms of image placement all of these monitors will recreate a more realistic sound stage then the Maggies.
If you have the possibility to go to stores in New York you could listen to Boenicke W5 or W8. The W5 is very small and beautiful but sounds much larger than it is. I have heard it at shows and really liked it. The W8 might be better if you have a large room, they are only about 80 cm (32 inch) in height and will probably not block the windows too much.
Once again, thank you all. I'm keeping up with this thread and at least researching all these speakers. Mostly I'm thinking: "how'd they do that?". I can get to New York or Boston relatively easily, and I'll plan on that. There's also an audio show in Montreal in March which is not far from me; I plan to hit that up. Looking at last year's exhibitors, only some of the speaker companies were on that list--but I'm excited to check out the scene. (Do they give discounts if you buy at a show?)