I used Maggie 1.6s for about a year and a half and a pair of MMGs before them and they are awesome speakers and a great value. My space requirements changed after college and I explored smaller options, mostly bookshelves and couldn't find happiness there. Eventually I tried Cain & Cain Abbys which were nice, but much less versatile than the 1.6s and led to me missing them at times.
As of late I've been using some Zu Soul Superflys and no longer miss anything about any speaker I've owned or heard previously. Keep thinking Zu--I never heard the Druids, but I think there are about to be a bunch of them for sale in your price range once the next shipment of Souls goes out. There is also the option of a new Soul at close to, but above your budget when they ship those...
In short these are the most versatile speakers I've heard and sound good with everything from Jay-Z to Cowboy Junkies.
If you are still running the stock x-over or have not updated the resistors to the tweeters then you have not heard your 1.6.
Updating them with stands also makes a difference, i have a friend who has done both mods and powers them with Bel canto's which replaced his Krell(KSA250) you will not surpass their performance for 1500, not even if you doubled that amt. for a box speaker IMO...
Not even stock 1.7's better's the sound he currently have...we did the comparison when he was thinking of upgrading .
take a look , there are other mods and people doing mods, i have no affiliation , just throwing another option out to you from what i have heard and was pleasantly surprised by the sound ...
Ohhh. many rave over 3.6's and 20.1's i have never heard any of those in stock form sound better than modded 1.6's , sounds strange until you hear it for your self......
Here is a letter from a guy who liked his magies also but want to try something different and This is where we took him.
In your case i think like many circling the drain you may never put a hand on it whats wrong with digital amps but if 45 min later you are wanting to watch the news play with the dog or wife and not wanting to listen please don't say I didn't tell you how a turntable and regular amp could fix ya up.
I was writing to tell you how pleased I am with the Vandy 3aSig speakers I purchased recently. They are an ideal match for my Musical Fidelity gear and have proven to be surprisingly versatile across a wide range of types of music. (and movies!!). You've done it again!!
Thanks and Best Regards,
I think your budget is too low to compete with the magnepans in a box speaker. Used I think you could get into a comparable speaker for $2000-3000. I would not consider Gallo or ZU conventional (never heard either).
You might like some used Thiels too. Being that they are quasi point source they will stage/image much differently than the magnepans. That is if you are just looking for different for the sake of different. PSB is another band that has very good "cheap" speakers. The list of box speakers is nearly endless but very few (if any) will outclass the magnepans in your price range.
It make take a few hours to get back into box speakers. At first they may sound odd. So give your first demo a little more time to adjust.
Try turning your panels around.....just where they sit. Front/Back swap. Tweeters will now be on the 'inside'.
Let us know if you note a better / worse difference.
I don't know when, but years ago, Magnepan swapped orientation of there drivers. I personally think it was a mistake.
I flipped my 1.6s and won't go back. Smoother, better dispersion, and less strident highs.
Take a woodworking class and build full frames...not those bridgework stands. My class starts in 3 weeks and I'm looking forward to it.
Thanks all, magfan I will switch them around and see how it sounds. I have also noticed that playing them out of phase can also produce some interesting results. I really love the sound of Maggies, I guess my curiosity is starting to get the better of me.
Playing them out of phase ? .............. (:)
I've had panels for 30+ years.......starting with MG-1s. At one point I was forced to use them in a VERY small room.....almost a cube, really. about 10x10x8. it was a hard, awful but fortunately temporary space.
when installed 'normally' there was an awful 'image' in the upper left corner of the room.....from where I sat. Really weird. Since I used dual banana plugs with color coding, my relative phase was good.
I swapped 'em left / right and problem solved. Never revisited so I never figured it out. Nasty small room.
BWP, please give it a try. It's free and easy......and if there is a change to YOU, it may be for the better, as it was for me.
GOING FROM MAGS TO A BOX/why? At least try the above suggestions or Mods before making such a change.For what you are looking to spend you could have Peter Gunn OR Magnestand RE-WORK YOUR Mags cross over.You would have another speaker entirely.I have a pair of stock MG3-S.also have Von Schweikert VR-3,a box type speaker.The mags WIN HANDS DOWN.
I did switch the panels around and I can say it made a big difference. I suffered from a similar problem of my image being more focused towards my boundry wall on the right, switching the tweeter orientation really focused it. Just to clarify, I do not intend to get rid of the Maggies! Instead of swapping something new into my main rig, I think I will set up a smaller system in a separate room. I have always been intrigued by high efficiency systems so I will likely go for a HiEff floorstander with a low power tube integrated. My source will be my laptop running wirelessly through an Airport and into a MF VDAC, then the amp(same as main system). We frequently entertain so I think it would be interesting to get peoples thoughts on the different sounds, hi power/low efficiency vs. hi efficiency/low power. Off on a tangent now, thanks for the suggestions everyone!
Try Martin Logans. Had the 1.6, MMGs, MG1, 2.5R, etc. Maggies have a nice warm sound but Logans are more transparent.
The Maggie mod route is a waste of time and money IMO. Tried that many times.
As my help fee, please remit 10% of what you probably saved to the charity of your choice!
Enjoy your 'new' Magnepans.