Not having to sit directly in one spot to do all of my listening!
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Ake, when I switched from my Maggie IIIAs to Proac 3.8s, I noticed the following differences.
The Maggies throw a much bigger sound stage due to their larger physical size.
Setup and HF dispersion, imaging, focus...
The Proacs are much better. The Maggies are very sensitive to room location and toe-in. The Proacs can be aimed straight ahead with little loss of imaging, and the Cardas room placement works very well with them. I was continually playing with the placement of the Maggies.
There is more apparent bass from the Maggies, again due to their larger physical size, but the bass from the Proacs is very well controlled and accurate. I do think the Maggies may go down a few more Hz.
Midrange, vocals, dialog...
I prefer the Proacs. I feel they are more natural. The Maggies are euphonic in this area.
The Proacs impart less of a sonic signature on the music and render a more natural and balanced presentation. I do miss the larger sound stage of the Maggies, but not their directionality and limited sweet spot. I still remain a Maggie fan and would encourage anyone thinking of parting with them to audition the possible replacements carefully.
I understand the Proac Future series has a ribbon tweeter, but I have never heard them.
Yeah the Maggies are PRETTY sounding with the right gear, and do things that sound great with instrumentals and vocals and such. But I second the 'SITTING IN FRONT OF THEM" as a bother for me. I like to move around the room and hear music most often. Cant to this with the Maggies.
Also, forget ROCK and HEAVY PERCUSION OR DYNAMIC STUFF! The maggies are made for mellow light listening, more delicate music if you ask me. And that goes for HT purposes...YOu can forget that too with the Maggies! Definitely a more DAINTY POLITE kind of speaker.
When I listen to my MUCH HIGHER SENSITIVITY, MORE BEEFY, PISTON DRIVER speaker rig, it's FAR MORE DYNAMIC AND AUTHORITATIVE, and sound much more like a real speaker should to my ears.
I mutch admired a lot of what, say, the Maggie 1.6's can do in respect to certain sonic attributes. However, they just aren't PRACTICAL enough for my real world purposes and practicalities. If I were to switch to listening to strickly DIANNA KRALL OR string quartets and such, and was confined to my WHEEL CHAIR, I think the Maggies would work for me...
The main thing I would miss is the lack of a box sound, the Maggies open and three dimensional qualities are refreshing and less distracting than any box speaker I have heard.
The next best thing is the smooth transition from bass to midrange/tweeter (I have the 1.6) which is an area that is very critical for me (the upper bass to lower midrange) there is so much information (with any music) in this area and I have no idea which driver is reproducing it because they blend so well so there is one less distraction and I can concentrate on music.
The last thing I really like about Maggies is the quality of the bass which is very fast and defined, you really get a sense of what is going on down there. This is especially nice with any synthesizer music (or anything percussion)which can go up and down the frequency range quickly and I guess this relates to the second quality I like which is the blending of the drivers.
To try and answer some of your other concerns,
I do not have an especially powerful amp and my speakers do not jump out at you like a dynamic driver can. If I had 500 watts with a lot of current there would be no problem, the Maggies can really jump on it with amazing dynamic range.
Sometimes I miss the 'weight' or sense of a 'solid mass' that a dynamic speaker has. The Maggies can sound lightweight, but this quality largley goes away with tons of power (which I had at one point when I auditoned an Innersound amp).
I can not really comment on missing box speakers because I have never owned one in a serious system (one time I had a Linn Index speaker in a 'transitional' system, when I thought I would not miss quality HI-FI I guess, BTW someone kick me if I do that again). I have gone from Maggie MG1 to Quad ESL 57 to Maggie 1.6 over the last 25 years.
this post is very biased and the only box speakers I get really excited about (that I have heard) are ATC's, Avalon's, and Wilson's which are all amazing.
It was fun ranting about my speakers, thanks
Nothin' cuz I ain't never gonna give them up! Been through a lot of box speakers over the years and never had anything come close to Magnepan for the quality of sound. I currently have a pair of MGIIIa's, a pair of MMG's doing rear channel duty, and am in the middle of a rebuild of a classic pair of MGIs: new wire, new binding posts, new socks.
Don't get me wrong: there are a lot of HQ box speakers that could smoke my MGIIIs, like Kharma, Watt/Puppy system 7, etc., but dollar for dollar, the Maggies are the best investment I ever made.
Not one thing!
That's because I never sold my MG 1.6 QRs after I bought a pair of box speakers. I couldn't bear the thought of losing the magical things my Maggies do:
1) Large soundstage i.e. big sound,
2) Fast and detailed transient response i.e. fast, light and airy sound,
3) Coherence of frequency spectrum and soundstage,
4) Musicality with certain types of music such as the female voice, baroque/chamber and large orchestral music.
I doubt I'll ever be without a pair of Maggies in my stable.
If you are considering getting rid of a pair of Maggies in order to purchase a different speaker, I would suggest considering keeping the Maggies as, at the very least, a back-up pair. I sure am glad I kept mine.