Brett, watch out. This sort of thinking is just going to get you a permanent e-ticket ride on the endless merry go round of gear acquisition. In all seriousness, as a fellow 1.6 owner who spent an hour listening to the VR4's driven by a new Electrocompaniet cd player & Cary electronics in a mediocre listening room at a dealers, I'd say they are very fine speakers but I didn't feel the urge to lay down more coin for them. You get used to not hearing drivers in a box as a Maggie owner and I find myself very distracted by the sound of cabinets. Thats just my preference and prejudice. They did make me wish to hear them in a good room though. Personally, I found adding a subwoofer to my 1.6's provided the missing bit of bottom end and slam that I craved.
Those VR-4 are pretty cool, I demeod them a month or two ago along with Maggie 1.6 and 3.6, to me the Von was more exciting, the Maggie sound great but never made me excited, the Von however was pretty neat to hear and is alot easier on amps, they need to be out in room a few feet aswell to open up the rear tweeter. I guess I liked the Von better....no wait I DID like it better.
The Vons had a lot more bass energy. A little darker sounding. Yeah, I could see the excitement thing. You can get some of that sparkle back with the ribbons on the Magnepan 3.6/R, though. I actually went into the demo wanting to like the VR4 geniii, more, but in the end, I was drawn more to the planars. I thought the presenation was more natural.
For the missing bass, you might try an updated CDp with more bass slam. not a slam (pun not intended) on tube cdp, but that's something to consider. I know with my former Acoustats and now Magnepans, that my bass impact has been pretty dependant now how much bass impact is conveyed by both my front end and preamp. What is lost there cannot be regained downstream.
I'd try that first, or look at the sub option.
The vons will have more bass, but it's also a much different speaker.
OK, I am going to chime in. For more "slam" try more power. Byston makes great amps, you would be surprised at how much more slam you could get by moving up in the Byston's, to the next power level. I had a 14 SST with my Maggie 1.6Rs and I couldn't believe how much the lower end tightened. Also, adding the excellent Vandersteen 2wq (or older 2w actually), is a great way to augment the Maggies.
That said, I really like the Von S's as well. Great speaker, detailed, open, definitely more of a "Slam" factor. Try the Vandersteen 2ce Sig as well if you want to move away from Planars. Or a hybrid, such as the Innersounds (I like the older, rather than the newer models), or there are some very adament fans of the Eminent Technology speakers.
I have not heard the VR4's but I have Maggie 1.6's in a second system with a REL StormIII and they will ROCK. I'm driving them with a 300 watt SS Classe' amp in a 16x21 ft. room.
the maggies are made in minnesota. the vr4's are of dubious origin. the maggies are classics. the vr4's give a great audition. there are no 3 fingered kids working at the white bear lake facility.
Well Fellas - These are some interesting and educated responses. Your perspectives have helped quite a bit. I am especially taken by using an even more powerful amp than the 4BSST. I thought I had plenty of power. I am also intrigued by the sub suggestions. These are the two I have considered.
My local dealer has been trying to get me to purchase the same speaker for quite some time- IMHO, for imaging nothing beats a planner. But subsonics are another story, what our local high end dealer has been doing, offering 8", 10", and 12" Velodyne subs with the maggies for the "bass" lacking customer. With the right room/crossover point, the maggies are breath taking. If I didn't have the money I have in my self built speakers, I would own what you have and a decent sub. I am presently looking at Martin Logans to clear some space and allow for a much more spacious sound that the maggies/ml's provide, yet the ML's offer this in a single package due to the addition of an actual cone woofer present. Floor space is saved and spl comes up due to the cone woofer.
Even so, if out right impact is what your after, the Von's will get you far better performance then your maggies or the Martins, but then so would any cone driver speaker of decent quality- imaging, however would suffer.
Remember, air movement is what creates the sound we humans hear, it's how this "air" is moved that creates the sound(s) we want and desire to hear as music.
who cares if 3 fingered kids make the speakers?
Child Labor ROCKS!
To me these two speakers are like apples vs oranges. Totally different approaches to design, totally differnt flavors. Each has its specific virtues and weaknesses.
The 1.6s might want highercurrent and/or more refined amps. And a fast sub like a Nola Thunderbolt would give you a lot more impact. If you haven't treated your room, fersher do that. You have a nice preamp that should be very dynamic with ample bass. There are some things than planars do well that are very hard to give up. (I had Maggies for years.) Try to audition a sub and different amps before you get on the speaker merry-go-round. The 1.6s are hard to beat for the money.
OTOH, faced with a large room and similar problems, I must confess I went back to cones 'n domes a few years ago, albeit not VRs, and the speakers I did end up with retain many of the planar-like charactaristics I liked with my 1.5s (Alons, now Nola.)
After trying amps and sub(s) with your 1.6s, if you can't get happy with them, listen around to a variety of speakers. You might also want to consider VMPS speakers with their ribbon tweaters in addition to others already mentioned.
If you go to a sub for music only to match with Maggies I would recommend the Vandy sub. Best match in my opinion. But I own a Velodyne DD12 because I use it for movies as well and I don't have a perfect room. The Vandy is great though, super fast.
another good part of child labor and audio, maybe they will become Audiophiles hehehehehe.
The maggies will always be some of my all time favorite speakers. Not much to add to what has been already said.
Planars have an addictive sound that's just not duplicated by any other speaker. I gave my first pair to my father.Went back to cones...that didn't last but a couple of months.LOL
Turned right around and bought another pair. Enjoyed the hell out of them.Reason I sold them was because of the space issue in the room and power requirements to get the best out of them.The Eminent Techs are also great at this with more impact. You need a boat anchor with power to get them sounding as they should though.
So far the only other speakers I could live with besides planars have been single driver cone speakers. They image just as well..images aren't as large though.The power requirements aren't much.Unfortunely most still need a sub to really get good low freq extention. They don't have that boxey sound and maybe a few pegs more transparent than the maggies.
Honestly there's no real replacement for a planar except another planar.LOL
i have the 1.6's, mated with a rel b3 sub -- great match with plenty of bass response. I have heard many subs with maggies, to my ear the rel's work great with maggies -- very fast and tight, without being bloaty. look at the storm 3 or b3, you can't go wrong with either.
Thanks alot fellas. I am really having a hard time considering parting with the planars. I really do love them. I guess the only thing I'm really missing is the bass with rock and roll. It seems based on your comments that there are sub woofers that will get me a musical bass without the bloat. Maybe I should go there first.
It's funny how people get all caring about $5-$10k speakers being made in China , yet 90% of what they have comes from China including the computer they are typing the post on - bunch of hypocrites.
Where do the electonic components inside the Maggies come from???
It's so heroic to take such a bold stance, but in the end, do nothing about the kids in China while you live in luxury. You are so noble!
Part with the planars, test the waters. But you will be back, that's what I did. Once you go Planar, you never go back.
Sorry, but all of you are wrong. The ultimate speakers are not planars, and they are not point-source speakers (no matter how good they are). The ultimate speakers are very large line sources. Once you've lived with them for a few months, you can never go back.
The Maggies are very hard to beat, regardless of the cost. If you find a sub that will integrate with them you will come out ahead, you will have it made, at least in terms of cost perhaps. In my case I was all set to go with the Maggies 1.6, but then came across the VRjrs. They seemed to match the sense of air and sparkle and detail of the Maggies which I loved but could handle the low end better without the need for a sub. And could be driven with less power, in my system, a integrated 55 watt tube amp. The Vr's seemed a little more room friendly which may be a factor to consider as well.
i think the issue regarding china is....as with other big ticket items, manufacturers should disclose information to the origin of parts and assembly. cars, major appliances, tv's,etc....high end companies that use 'built to spec' factories or one's who source components from china should be forthcoming to consumers. also wood products(i.e. speaker cabinets etc.
The Line Source comment is a little off, it is first only an opinion, probably the best would be a single driver if it was possible to get everything right, second to that would most likely be a dual concentric driver...notice I only said probably....I feel everything in this hobby can be "probably" at best.
Hmm, what is nobility? Would it not be fair to say that the Chineese should be noble and do the right thing to begin with? if you have such a problem with this issue perhaps you should write your congressman/woman, and dictate world ethics to them, but before you do so, examine that which you are so dispareged by, consider it's source problem, then consider your own ethics, AND what your DREAM would involve if YOUR desires were to be met, that is to say- consider the lives YOU would waste changing all of our opinions to meet that of yours, BTW, most likely these would be AMERICAN lives- go figure.
I didn't quite get that was it? The maggies or the vr4s?