Remember this is just my personnal opinion,even though I think its an educated one, based on audtioning all the speakers your interested in.First,the ML Prodigy has been dicontinued for good reasons,they were lousy sounding speakers. ML has not made good sounding speaker since the Monoliths many years ago. I own MG-20's and think their great speakers with many virtues that compete with some of the great speakers of the world at a very reasonable price for what they offer.[I know its kinda sick to call 10,000.00 speakers reasonable!] Your final question about are they twice as good for twice the cost, compared to the 3.6s the answer is yes. They just take it to another level on all parameters, if you admire 3.6s,and have the room and right electronics you will be in sonic bliss with the 20.1s.Hope this helps.
You really need about 7' behing the 20.1's to make them really shine. So you need a relatively large room. If you have the room, the 20.1 is more coherent through the crossover regions and, goes a little lower in bass response. Also a bit more dynamic.
This takes nothing away from the 3.6 though so be careful interpreting my comments. Properly positioned (and they need some room too) the 3.6 will produce a stunning soundstage.
Actually, I could argue the 1.6 is a more coherent speaker than the 3.6. But, the 1.6 treble will not match the true ribbon for transparency and truth of timbre. The ribbon does a better job of separating out the individual textures and naunces in the music. But again, this takes nothing away from the 1.6 because it is also an outstanding speaker - especially considering it's price.
What are your room dimensions?...that's really the first thing to consider, do you have the space to realize the potential of the larger 20's?
Regarding Nealhood's comments about having 7' behind the speaker to make them really shine. There's some truth in that but it comes down to personal preferrence. I had my 3.6's at around 7.5', when I brought them out to 9' I found the stage depth increased considerably but the bass became a little softer and the midrange just a tad leaner. I enjoyed the extra stage depth so accepted the downsides as being a reasonable trade-off. The point is, depending on your preferrence you may prefer the 20's a little closer to the front wall than 7'.
I've heard the Prodigy's and some of what they did was spectacular. The midrange, the 3-dimensional stage were excellent attributes, but the bass was all over the place. I'm sure people have had good success getting the dynamic woofer to integrate with the stats, but I've never heard a successful Logan installation in that regard.
One other consideration. The performance of the 3.6's can be elevated via basic modifications. I've heard people claim that the 20.1 performance can be surpassed by a tricked-out 3.6, but I have no direct experience of any comparison between the two, so I can't comment. I do have a heavily modified set of 3.6's and can attest to their performance being noticably improved over the stock units.
In the next few weeks I hope to be testing a DEQX unit as a replacement for the passive XO's. I anticipate another slight lift in performance, but that remains to be seen.
In summary, I know many Logan owners are happy with their hybrids, I just think it's difficult to get the woofer integration seamless, and maybe a little hit and miss depending on room/equipment.
A modified 3.6R might give you all of the performance of a stock 20, in a smaller footprint, if space is an issue.
You might want to consider the Eminent Technology LFT-VIIIA.
One AudiogoNer said he had the Maggie1.6's and then auditioned
the ET's --he switched almost immediately and hasn't looked back.
I believe someone else on AudiogoN favorably compared the ET's
to the much more expensive 3.6r's.
Just a thought.
I have 3.6's, and have had the 1.6qr's as well. The 3.6 is a much better speaker in all aspects, as long as the electronics behind it match the speakers. A lot of clean power is needed.
That said, I believe the 20.1 is the finest speaker made, period, regardless of price. You need to run it with ridiculous power, such as the Innersound ESL monoblocks (800's, or the over the top KW blocks), Krell or Bryston Monoblocks, Plinius as well.
They are a much more cohernt speaker than any hybrid, they are seemless. Like any equipment, definitely take a good test run before purchasing. But you will find many people, not just me, who find the 20.1 to be the finest speaker made, regardless of price.
I'm the Agoner that Sedona spoke of, the one who switched to Eminent Technology speakers from the Maggie 1.6's.
Right now I'm running twin pairs of LFT-8's with 8 channels of amplification. You can see this in my virtual system. I have recently posted commments on this setup.
It seems you have deep enough pockets if you're inquring about the 20's. Honestly, I can't say that the Eminents would challenge the 20's and 3.6's since I haven't heard them side by side. The 20's are probably in another class altogether. But we're talking a $1,500.00 speaker vs. one that's multiples more.
I did side by side at home comparison of the 1.6's and LFT-8's. I put the 1.6's up for sale two days later. The Eminents walked all over them.
I would suggest the in home trial period for the Eminents; return shipping is a small price to pay for a serious comparison, especially when you're talking some of the speakers you've mentioned. It would be interesting to see if you also feel the Eminents are a step up from the 1.6's.
One of the things which motivated me to try them was the universally high praise they garnered on audioreview.com
I have never seen a speaker get ALL 5 of 5 rating in something like 17 reviews, but the Eminents did. I concur, a solid 5 out of 5.
My impressions of the comparison were:
1.6's won in width of soundstage (but not by much), but that's about it. They are physically wider than the LFT-8's.
But as far as detail without harshness, bass presence, depth of soundstage, imaging and chanel separation, and less listening fatigue, the LFT's were superior. The are somewhat inelegant looking, but the sound is luxurious.
They are a truly unbelievable steal at under $1k used.
Teajay take it easy dude............... I happen to own ML Prodigy's and in my "educated opinion" think they sound pretty good............ In fact a lot better than the 3.6's I auditioned at my dealer. Having said that, I don't think my dealer had the Maggies set up very well and that is why I'm posting these questions and will be enquiring as to a home audition soon.
My room is aprox. 20x16x8-12 ft. high ceiling. I could probably allow around 6-7 ft. distance behind the speakers, so maybe 20's are a bit large for my room????
Thanks to everyone for the input on this. I really do like the ML's (the bass integrates in room pretty well) but just kinda have the bug to try something different.
Hey Rooze, how will you implement the DEQX? Do you just run the actively x-overed high/low through the passive x-over for the maggies or do you need to wire this directly to the individual drivers, bypassing the passive x-overs? Sorry for my ignorance...I've got 3.6's and have thought about either modding the 3.6 x-overs or possibly trying an active x-over, but really wasn't clear how to optimally work the active x-over.
Cmo...not trying to hijack your thread...Rooze just brought up something very interesting to me. I don't know how the Prodigy's sound relative to the ML ReQuests (I owned these several years back). My general impression of the 3.6's and the ReQuests are that 3.6's are less spectacular, but much more relaxed and natural to me in my room. Aside from not being happy with the woofer mating, the panel on the ReQuests seemed to have a "glare", for lack of a better word, in the midrange. Despite trying a couple of different amps, I was never able to get happy with them. I have been unimpressed with the 3.6's in dealer showrooms usually. For some reason dealers can't seem to get them setup up correctly for my tastes. I still took the plunge, feeling they had more potential and have been very happy with them in my room. They do some things amazingly well, yet don't draw attention to themselves with "spectacular" sounds...they just play music, to use an often overused cliche'.
You can get a quality active crossover for the 3.6 from this place:
Sorry that it is in German but, email them and Mr. Schneider will respond in English. His English is excellent. The crossover is about $500 and he has been making these for several years. He is an authorized Magnepan dealer. Mr. Schneider is an astute audiophile so you don't have to worry about his implentation of parts or circuit topology in this crossover. He knows what he is doing. He is not a shyster trying to make a fast buck with some fashionable mod.
On the Eminent Technology LFT-VIII subject, I too have owned these and, they were credible speakers. The soundstage is where I had reservations. It had a constrained (or perhaps recessed) air about it. And, it was not very wide. And, the vertical dispersion stunk. But to many, these will not be issues. After all, depending on the room one may not want too much vertical dispersion. And, many audiophiles prefer a more relaxed or laid back soundstage. I happen to prefer a more vivid and immediate stage. So preferences will play a big role. In any event, as someone pointed out, the Eminents are very competitively priced at $1500 so they deserve consideration.
Those Martin Logans are more of a mixed bag for me. I like them and, I don't like them. The stunningly pure tonality of the midrange was accompanied by the glare (or beaming). The Innersound Eros does this as well. In auditioning them, they sound immediately impressive and it is easy for one to overlook the bit of glare. But living with them worries me. When it comes to electrostatics I like the Soundlabs. Their method of panel construction tends to solve the beaming and limited dispersion issues.
Nealhood, thanks for that tip, I hadn't seen that website before.
Germanboxers, when I rebuilt my XO's for the 3.6's I built both the internal and external XO components on one external board (per speaker). To do that I needed to bring leads direct from each of the three drivers, through the backplate and terminated each lead with a silver spade, that now connects to binding posts on the external boards. So I have almost the perfect setup for trying active XO's. Though I do need to bolt my speaker wires directly to the spades/leads coming off the drivers when I'm using the active XO, which won't look pretty! Email me if you want more info, I'm taking liberties with Cmo's thread!
Sorry Chris, I truly meant no offense commenting on the ML Prodigy's. I would like to share just a few respectful comments on them regarding why I find them not to be a very good speaker. They never truly intergrated the panels with the woofers and ML panels for me have an unnature sonic signature to my ear regardless of what's driving them. All speakers have their virtues and shortcomings,including MG -20's, however the ML Prodigy's retailed for 10 grand! At this price range their shortcomings would not be acceptable to me. As far as your room being large enough for 20's, I believe it is. Unlike other posters I have never had my 20's more than 4 to 5 feet off the back wall for optimum sound and have a similar room to yours. A final bit of information that you might find helpful,I have never heard MG -20's give their best without being bi-amped. I use a Bryston x-over. I have tried other x-overs and have always gone back to the Bryston for the best performance.I just posted my system so if your interested on what electronics I use to drive them take a look. I hope that I never come across as condescending towards anyone on this great website, if I did towards you,Chris,I apologize, just trying to share my opinion in a helpful and respectful way.
My experience is I have owned the 3.6 for 2 years and heard the 20.1 at dealers and shows...I have not heard the ML products.
I think the 3.6 is one of the most complete speakers you can buy. I did spend a lot of time mod'ing the crossover and the stands (Cardas is a good source). I used them with VTL MB750 and they were great...in many ways I still miss that system.
IMHO nothing in audio is twice as good for twice the price. Frankly, it's possible that nothing in audio is twice as good as the 3.6 at any price. Having said that, the 20.1 are better. They can move more air and have a bigger more lifelike presentation. If you have the money to get 20.1 and great amps VTL, Atma Sphere etc. then go for it....if not, the 3.6 with great amps and some mods are better than the 20.1 with lesser gear. BTW I also agree that having the right size room is a must...hope this helps.
Thanks everyone for all of the thoughtful comments. Teajay, no offense taken.......... My point was only that if I was going on what I heard at my dealer, I probably wouldn't think 3.6's were that great of a speaker. Maybe the same can be said for the Prodigy's (they didn't sound so good until I got them home either)......... I have spent a lot of additional time getting things to sound the way they do now.
I am really enjoying all of the talk on moding too. If I do end up going with a set of maggies I'll probably get the bug to try to make them better, so the more I can learn in advance the better.
Thanks again everyone for the great info.