The Martin Logan Vista deal right now is a once in life time to get that 3d sound for a great Price.They sold for $4300 and they are now $1998 a pair
free shipping' from Audio Adivor.I just got a pair and they are just killer.Add a good sub and they will do most all music well.Plus they good to.Bob
Not sure about high WAF, but there are a pair of smaller Apogees (Caliper) for sale here:
Smaller than Maggie's and, in my mind, better sound overall.
If you don't need high volumes try Quads
I would urge you to consider Eminent Technology LFT-8, absolutely stunning in the price range, my very good friend owns it and I have been listening to them in his ever evolving system since 4 years on a regular basis (twice a month for a 6 hour non stop session each time).
I have owned Maggies as well as Kef Reference in the past and can say for sure that if I was in the market today with same budget as yours I would not hesitate to get the LFT-8's. Sound stage to die for, and extremely open life-like sound.
To CDc2's WIFE:
Let your man have his Magnepan speakers. He will be forever grateful. He will stop thinking about that hot babe down the block and just concentrate his lovin' on YOU.
Then also, you can get stuff YOU want, and if he complains: you got him by the balls, (I mean Magnepans) when you can say "Honey ,even though I hated those speakers... just for YOU I let you have them.. Let me have this______."
It will work.
And you may like the sound of the Magnepans...
One nice feature of Magnepans is reasonable bass, that is no disgusting booming. (just do not let him add any subwoofers!!)
Way too many speakers just have too much bass, not Magnepans.
Also the Magnepans can actually BE a plus in the way you arrange the place. They are kind of like Japanese Screens, and can be an interesting addition to a well planned decore.
I own a pair of big Magnepans and love them. They make great music.
Show this to your wife CDc2
Audition some omnidirectional speakers, such as Ohm, or open baffle dynamic speakers. These give you the wide dispersion pattern that helps deliver the stereo imaging/soundstage you want to hear and they do it without the beaming problems of panels, which includes MLs and other electrostatics.
However, high WAF is a matter of taste. And face it, men buy their toys with looks in mind too.
Buy speakers that sound best, Man up!!
good price for a speaker many like (ML's) but i do not know if i would call their sound at all like the presentation of maggies. i find the martin logans i have heard far more 2D than the 3D of maggies & the logans have a narrower sweet spot. (by the way, just sold my maggie III series after 23 years & find myself going thru maggie withdrawals trying to find another speaker near the price of maggies &/or smaller that i could live with.) i have also gone to listen to many well-regarded speakers & been unimpressed, not because they aren't really special, but because i have been so pleased by maggies presentation. obviously, the reviews & suggestions by any of us has to be tempered w/hearing speakers yourself. it's all in what makes us breakout in watermelon smiles the illusion of real we have chosen is pleasing to our ears. elizabeth has mg3.6's - to die for sound, i had IIIa-3.5 but seriously considering the smaller maggies. we'll even tell you our sound systems are preferable to a live performances for intimate sound quality.
First, I would like to thank Quadophile for his kind remarks of the Eminent Technology LFT8bs. IMO, These speakers are Everything, lifelike and seductive if you follow my directions. I am the friend he was talking about when he was describing theses speakers. I would like to further expound by saying when I first purchased the LFT8bs I had no idea my wife would like their appearance compared to conventional box speakers. When I showed her the pictures she loved them. The Pros of these speakers are that they have a frequency range of 25hz to 50Khz and does not require a Sub or two. The Con is they are not that efficient at 83db. If you do not have good components especially a good 200watts/channel amp you will not reach the full potential of these speakers that they truly posess. I first had to purchase a 525 watts/ch. Class D amp to drive them and the finally purchasing the Oddysey Stratus Extreme Se which is 200watts/channel. However, I then decided their were something still missing. How can I make these speakers more effiencent. First, let me say I am a firm believer of tweaking. Its like have sport car and having to fine tune it to reach its top performance. Your Music system is very much the same. Your system is only as good as your weakeast link in the chain. The tweaks are the fine tunning element.
Now, back to the tweak I would like to share with you if your speakers are efficient or inefficient. The weak is of two fold. They are call binding post washers. One is to direct couple the signal to the post alone if you are using spades as conectors. This eliminates the loss of the signal to the screw knob of the posts. If you are using Bananas you are already direct coupled. The second advantage of the these washers is that they will eliminate most of the vibration caused by piston motion in conventional drivers which helps to eliminate vibration to the voice coils of the drivers. Just makes sense. Better signal and and less vibration results in clearer sound. In the case of the LFT8bs you need to use some washers on the secondary posts also which are the posts closes to the planar ribbon panels in which I think are the most critical because the panels are harder to drive than the low Q Sub integrated to the panels. If you would like to discover this tweak it is found at Herbies Audio Lab on line, one of my favorite tweak sites where I have experimented passionately. The main post washers cost about $10.00 for 4 washers. A $10.00 tweak for a $10000.00 of Performance. They are made like a horse shoe and you just slide them over the spades between the tighten knob and the post. The O-rings washes are used for the panel posts where their are spade connectors leading from the panels to the posts. They are metal screws that tighten the spade leads to the post. Place the washers on to the screw and then tighten the spades to the post. If you have four posts make sure you use them on all posts even if you are biwiring or just using jumpers. Remember, your system is only as good as its last tweak. "It pays to discover".
If you use this 2-fold tweak on your speakers. After about a track into one of your favorite CDs get up a go to the nearest mirror and see that Huge Grin on your face. Thanks for your time and Happy Listening.
I am using Analysis Audio, and they really sounds great. Smaller and more stylish that the 20.7, but as good as them!
That was great post explaining the micro detail of how you achieve from good to great sound quality. I have no hesitation in fully endorsing your tweak as I have had the pleasure of listening from my own ears.
I moved from Magnepan to OHM Walsh and sound improved in every way in addition to WAF. Maggies sound best well out into a room away from rear wall usually. OHMs are designed to go much closer.
Planars tend to sound like planars (and non-planars IME do not) so the EmTechs, Logans and and Apogees already recommended probably hit the "sound like Maggie" part of your request best, but also might miss on the WAF. However, if small planars appeal, you might try the small Maggie MMG and hide a sub (or two) behind the sofa/tv/etc and see if you can sneak that past the boss.
I'd also agree that omnis might appeal on the sonics to a planar lover (I own - and like - both MMGs and Ohm 100s), but I'm not sure that Ohm is winning too many WAF contests these days. I've never heard 'em, but the Dec ERR omni is a design that barks up the Ohm tree, but in a slicker looking cabinet.
I've had the Decware Radial in mind for a while. Anyone actually heard it and thoughts on how it compares to Magnepan speakers?
OHM Walsh styling may not be everyone's cup of tea but footprint is small for sound delivered and placement fairly close to walls is possible. Decware is more omni and might require greater distance to walls, not sure. Have not heard Decware but would like to. Styling is nice for sure. I have had OHM Walshes and Maggies for years while married. My wife objected to the Maggies being out in teh middle of the room for best sound mostly. HAs never complained about OHMs and even has allowed them in her sunroom and in teh living room in years past. WAF concerns will vary of course. mmg+sub is a potential more WAF friendly option to consider than larger Maggies. I could probably live with that in many moderate sized rooms or smaller.
You need more modern OHM Walsh series 2, 3 or X000, the more recent models, to compare sound to modern Magnepan. ORiginal OHM Walshes from the 80's are less refined as were the Maggies from then I suspect.
I can speak for Series 3, the line before current up to about 3 years ago or so. FOcus and detail is competitive with Maggies and Quads I have heard. Midrange is most coherent and very musical but is presented much differently than with Maggie. Macro dynamics and bass are exceptional, more like better conventional speakers that also use dynamic drivers, not the strength of Maggie. Microdynamics are very good but the best Maggie setups might have an edge depending in certain cases, hard to call. OHMs can go closer to walls in general. THe most unique difference is the directionality of Maggies versus the omni nature of OHM (or Decware) that enables optimal listening from pretty much any location in the room. Speaker placement is also more forgiving with omnis though small changes there can have significant effect on sound like with any speaker.
You might take a look at BG Radia, I had a pair of their long floor standing ribbons, had Magnepanish sound, and the wife liked thw looks. Needs a sub, though.
In some ways I feel that a good pair of minimonitors comes closest to
approximating the planar speaker experience for these reasons:
1) Well engineered mini-monitors have more of the total price in the drivers,
and therefore can be very light and fast. This is required to approximate the
full-range planar experience.
2) Mini-monitors, having small, thick walls, are less prone to panel
resonances and box coloration than large floorstanders.
3) The small front baffle of a mini-monitor nearly eliminates baffle diffraction
and provides a cleaner, more precise image than a speaker with a large, esp.
However, given that Maggies are dipoles and fire an equally loud signal to the
rear while creating a self-canceling void to the sides, they energize the room
differently than minis or omnis. The room's sidewalls figure less into the
overall sound equation with Maggies.
Omnidirectionals throw a big soundstage and have a near universal sweet
spot. When the tonal balance is right (and of the ones I've heard, they're
usually very good at this), they sound very natural and the entire listening
room has largely the same tonal balance. The image stays stable relative to
the speakers regardless of where you choose to sit or stand. My 2-channel
analog-sourced rig is anchored by a pair of Mirage OMD-15 omnis. These s/b
pretty WAF-friendly as they are small elegantly shaped and finished columns.
If you need bigger w/more bass to fill a bigger room, they offer the OMD-28s
which are only a couple inches bigger in each dimension but have more
sophisticated drivers and bass that reaches into the 20's.
If you want some magic and beautiful unobtrusive speakers, get a pair of B&W
PM1 minimonitors and supplement them with their outstanding, well-
matched PV1D sub.This combo is stunning in its honest tonality,transparency,
soundstage, and imaging. Everything about this rig draws you into the music
and makes you forget you're listening to speakers, let alone whether they're
panels, cones, or omnis. And they're so cute your wife will want to take them
home like a golden retriever puppy.
I second the OMD-28 suggestion. Here's The Absolute Sound review
, which concludes:
...your response to the OMD- 28s may have much to do with how you react to their spatial characteristics. If, like me, you favor a speaker that gets out of the way and simply lets the music flow and breathe upon soundstages of realistic size and scale, then Mirages OMD-28s could be your entry ticket to levels of musical realism....
Martens bought the review pair. Available at Vanns.com
. They are significantly smaller in-room than Maggie 3.7s--11"w x 46"h x 13"d, and they reach effortlessly into the mid-20s.
My primary speakers for the past 4 years have been the OMD-28's little brother, the OMD-15. They throw an excellent, realistic and totally stable soundstage that scales well to the music playing. If I had the space and funds I'd have the OMD-28s in a heartbeat. These were $7500 speakers and considered a bargain at that price.
For hi WAF hard to beat Sonus Faber...they look gorgeous...sound even better...
In light of some of the humorous suggestions above (ET LFT-8, seriously???) I would offer that you need to apply a little psychology to the situation.
When a married man hears his wife say something like "Gee honey, those speakers are awfully big" or "It sure would be nice to be able to walk into the living room from the main entry, instead of having to come into the room through the garage", he assumes that that his bride is simply wishing that he would immediately go out and purchase some new speakers that are a little more attractive or a little smaller.
That would be incorrect. What his wife almost always means is that she wants the speakers to disappear completely. As in Poof!, gone. Now if you have a particularly loving and agreeable wife, she may graciously allow you to play music, as long as she doesn't have to see those unsightly box things. And if you are unlucky, you will probably be instructed to also rid her room of the equally unsightly rack or cabinet, sell the gear and put the money into the kids 529B college fund. Or braces for Jr. Or a couples retreat to work on your relationship skills. You get the idea...
Hmmm. AFAIK, your quest is impossible. A full-height dipole line source is going to have a different soundstage than a smaller speaker. Omnis are one possibility, as someone mentioned. But you run into problem two, which is that it's hard to match the bang for the buck of the Maggies.
I think I'd consider the Magnepan on-walls, which sound close to the floor standers but are quite unobtrusive compared to floorstanding dipoles. Also, if you can listen in the near field (from a few feet away), the remarkable Mini Maggies, which give you 3.7-level sound. But they won't fill a big room with sound, they aren't designed for that.
Most well design speaker will give you 3d soundstage and imagine if you got them set up right. It will all depend on how you choose your gears and how sacrified your room estate is. Just my 2cts.
Audionuts, agree that other well-designed speakers will give you a 3 dimensional soundstage when set up right. They can't do height, though. Only a line source can do that. Also, many speakers aren't well designed. At a minimum, polar response has to be consistent for an optimal soundstage. Dipoles do this, and omnis, but most boxes are omnidirectional in the bass and cardioid in the highs. In addition, the polar pattern matters. A dipole will make a different sound stage than an omni.
Bottom line I think is that if you want a Maggie-style soundstage, you pretty much need a full-height dipole or an omni (which will have more lateral spread but typically not do height as well).