The magnepans will have a better soundstage, be more coherent, overall everything will be better EXCEPT bass output and dynamics. Hey there has got to be some trade offs :o)
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I have a set of three MG1.6. The big question relates to Planar vs Cones. That is something you must decide for yourself. You must also come to terms with the visual impact. If the Planar spatial characteristics are to your liking, Maggies are an excellent choice, and, from the cost point of view, unmatched. Within the Magnepan product line, the MG1.6 is (most people think) the best bang for the buck.
The Maggie is very critical of components upstream from them, especially the power amp which needs a lot of current to drive them properly. Also I think they work best in a larger room, bigger than my 13 x 22 x 8 room I used mine in as the QR midrange driver has considerable output and can glare if everything is not just right. Given these considerations they are truly a brilliant speaker with amazing midrange and I found them easy to set up and get great sound.
FWIW I found Jonathon Valin's review of them in FI magazine to be spot on.
Yep ..I agree with the Magnepan Gurus. Accept on the power.I listened to the 1.6QR on a 400 wpc amplifier with digital a display of wattage output at a buddys home. The amplifier fluctuated between 79.5 wpc on the bass notes and 19 wpc during the rest of the music.The sound pressure levels were near 100 db.This is also when the panels started to flap on the bass notes.
The wattage is great to a certain point but a amplifier with a decent slew rate is even better! You should be able to drive the hell out of these speakers with a 100 wpc amplifier with a high slew rate.
Gmood1...You are accurate in the observation that power levels are never even close to the ratings of the amps that people use. But, my experience is always that higher power amps sound better. This was most clearly illustrated when I changed between two Adcom amps having identical specs except for power...100wpc vs 350 wpc into 4 ohms. There is some other characteristic which goes along with high power capability that does the magic.
That said, Maggies sound very good even with low powered amps. It's just that they sound even better with high power.
This is true of all speakers, but more so with Maggies.
Eldartford...I agree to a certain extent. My Soliloquys 6.3s actually sounded better with amplifiers under 100 wpc but I also used them with amps better than 500 wpc. With no loss of dynamics what so ever,I could rattle the windows with a 25 wpc Monarchy SM 70! I believe the room has alot to do with it as well. I know you use a fairly large room..so the extra power comes in handy.
Also have a friend that uses the MMGs. I keep seeing people say you need all this power.He powered his with a 60 wpc integrate. I could never listen to music as loud as it pushed those MMGs for a long period of time. There would definitely be some hearing loss!
I suppose everyones threshold of hearing is different. But I do believe the louder you play your music..the less noticeable it will become. Making you feel those are normal listening volumes. As time goes on.. you will need to push the volume higher and higher as your ears adjust to the loudness.
The Mid/Tweeter Ribbons in my Maggies will probably pop with more than 20 watts being sent to them. I guess it also depends on what type of Maggie used that dictates the power requirements.
Gmood1...One must be careful about subjective evaluations of loudness. It has been shown that music sounds "Loud" when distortion occurs. Clean audio sounds less loud than distorted audio even if a meter will prove the oposite.
This has been cited as the reason why women are always telling us guys to lower the volume. Supposedly their hearing is more sensitive to distortion. But then I wonder if this is just more feminist propaganda!
I only have experience with Maggie 3.3 and now 3.5. There is definitely a power issue here. With an ARC VT130 amp, rated at 110wpc, it was very evident the amp was clipping regularly. Fortunately this amp clipped rather gracefully. I then lived with the ARC Classic 150s, 150wpc triode, and here the amps' protection circuitry kicked in to shut the amps down at loud passages; this often was not bass related at all. I have since gone with a Counterpoint NPS400 and the clipping issue is gone. Now I have to be careful to not burn tweeter and midrange fuses.
So there most definitely is an issue of these Maggies needing lots of continuous power and a little headroom as well.
Hmmm ... I do not understand. Those two are totally different from each other in term of soundstage and definition of a musical hearing. In brief:
1-Magnepan: soft and fragile detail and great for vocals (only) It's applicable for types like Opera, light blue and early 50's music.
2-Kef: very dynamic and tighten bass (still clean when volum is max) applicable for pop musics, general rock and light classical.