Yo Wino, They can play reasonably loud on their own and have decent energy in the midbass. If you want full-range wallop in the lowest octaves simply add a good subwoofer and rock on. :)
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Hello, I have owned both the PSB Stratus Gold and now own the Magnepan 3.6's. I have listen to the 1.6's also. These are two different kind of animals. It depends on what you listen to. I find that rock and country rock sound better on a more dynamic speaker like PSB or better yet Thiel. Light jazz,blues sound great on the Maggies,very open. I run a Classe 300 amp with all balanced equipment and I don't feel as comfortable jamming the Maggies as I did the Psb. For the money they are both great speakers at there price level. Listen again with your own tunes. Youe ear will tell you!
Put on some Van Halen and find out ! They actually play symphonic works better than anything I've ever heard. They do have a slight feeling of 'sound coming from a wall of paper'. With lots of power, they can indeed play quite loud. If you are into hard rock and that sort of thing, the Vandersteen line or some other dynamic might be for you. Matching a subwoofer may interfere with the maggies wonderful range to range coherence. I've never tried to mate a sub to them. A shortcoming of the 1.6's is that there is a 2-5 foot window of good sound. They sound thinner if you are not in the sweet spot. Excellent speakers, regardless of price.
I have'em...love'em, but also keep some dynamic speakers around also... All of these guys are right...if you do choose to use a sub make sure it is very fast and has variable crossover controls with some choices below 50hz. For all things Magnepan...check out the Magnepan Users group MUG at: http://www.sonic.net?~howl/mug/ Your qusetion has been asked a thousand times in as many different ways. By using the search feature you can use their brain trust to keep you in Maggie heaven with your 1.6's