Magnapan vs. Von Schweikert

I am considering upgrading my speakers and there is virtually nothing I can audtion in the city where I live so I have to depend on the ears of others.

A couple of well repescted AudiogoNers suggested I look into the Magnepan 3.6R when I told them I was interested in the Von Schweikert VR4. They didn't say anything bad about the VR4 they just recommended the Maggies.

If anyone has experience with either of these that might be helpful, or offer insight, I would appreciate it.

I've looked at some of the threads about both but I did not find anything that I thought applied to this particular question.

Thanks for your help.
I had the Von Schweikert-designed Vortex Screens about 10 years ago after having the Maggie 1.4's. I have seen a lot of other speakers in my system since then also. I have had my Maggie 1.6's for over 4 years. It feels so natural. No other speaker does it for me like the Maggies.

Last Friday I got to hear the 3.6's for the first time. I just can't believe how much more natural they sound even over the 1.6's. I now have my sights set on the 3.6's. If I find them used, great. If I don't, I won't cry to spend list for them.

If you have the room to let these babies sing, you can't go wrong.

That's my take on the matter.

I have 3 complaints about the 3.6's.

1 - The more power you feed them the better they tend to sound. This can get you into a viscous power upgrading circle once you realize this.

2 - They are not very dynamic. However the more current you can feed them, the more dynamic they become (another viscous circle). The 3.6's dynamics just do not compare to great box speaker dynamics.

3 - Bass performance below 35hz or so is lacking. This is very forgivable.

Everything else about the 3.6's is world class. Mids and highs are darn amazing as is transparency. I had the 3.6's for almost 3 years, and loved them dearly.

I would guess these two speakers are VERY different sounding, no? (i've heard VonSchweikerts 4.5 mk3 as well as planars... totally different strengths)

which one you prefer i think would be pretty subjective.
I have a set of VR4 Gen III's & if you want bass down to 20Hz these will do the job. I understand the SE goes down to 16. I put some Soler points on them & that tightened up the bass & even cleaned up the highs some.

I'm using an Ayre V-5x with them & have no complaints whatsoever.

I have a good friend not far from me who was a big Maggie fan, yet he still needed a Janis sub with the maggies. He finally decided to go with a full range box.

I think it boils down to what you like to listen to & how you like to listen. I don't think either speaker will disappoint but you've already pointed out you can't audition. The VR's are more dynamic sounding & I can listen to all kinds of music on them w/o fatigue. Of the two different Maggie's I heard, which don't include the 3.6R's, they lacked the necessary cohesion to play rock. They had a great mid & upper range but lacked the bottom end.

BTW, I did a review of the VR4 Gen III's back in Sept. Here's the link if you're interested:

Good luck in your search.
Well..I hope you have a dedicated room for the 3.6s...because they are huge....and ideally they need to be 3-4ft from all walls to perform at their best...I am not familiar with the VR4s...however...a friend has the Maggie 1.6s...which is more than enough speaker for large rooms...and they are the speaker to beat below 5k or so...also...Maggies from 20 yrs ago were bass anemic...not anymore!
You are comparing apples to mangos. These are two completely different kinds of speakers, not only in construction but also in sound. Anyone who's read my threads before knows I am a maggie fan but the vons are good also. Do you prefer acoustic music, voices, jazz classical, blues etc? The maggies work great for this but if your tastes are closer to a lot of Zeppelin and Hendrix type of R & R a planar might not be the best choice for you. Finally, The 3.6 is an amazing speaker especially at its price point.I also dissagree with the perception that Magnepans don't do bass, they have kick ass bass, it isn't bloated so some people think its weak. It's not weak it's accurate.
I have a very large cross section of the the musical spectrum, but having grown up in the north in the 70's the majority of what I own is classic rock. I do have a fair selection of Jazz and a smaller amount of classical too. In an evening I will go from Jethro Tull to Carl Orff, to Bob James or Al Jerreau, with a little Hoyt Axton thrown in for flavor.

I like female vocals like; Jennifer Warnes or the Cowboy Junkies, Clair Marlo, and Sara K.

I also Like Mangos but the only apples I'm all that excited about are Granny Smiths.

I don't know how hard it will be for me to find the speaker that will statisfy all those types. Maybe I will have to settle for one that excells in the styles I prefer the most, but I'd like to think I could find one that does it all.
I'm in complete agreement with Banksfriend here! To me, these speakers are sooo different from each other that the poster really needs to decide which type of sound suits him more: dynamic cones or planers. IMHO if you really want to compare these two particular speakers then we might as well start another impossible discussion like: which is better, great tube gear or great solid state?

The again, I only eat Mangos ;-)
You should try Mango Daiquiris. Good for you and gooood for you.
From your musical list I see nothing that won't sound good with the maggies, I also am from the NE so I understand your tastes. Magnepan is a very friendly company, if you contact them and explain your geographical problem they may be able to help you audition the speakers.
Another speaker you may want to consider if you decide against maggies are Avalon Radian HCs(available used). These were some of the best imaging speakers I ever heard, They were the only things that even came close to luring me away from my maggies.
When I was in the biz I needed to eat 6 apples a day, and now I still like apples but I love my maggies :) The only upgrade I am considering in speakers is to 20.1's
For what it's worth I just concluded a search for speakers and was torn between the 1.6 QRs and the B&W Nautilus 805s...that was until I heard the Von Schweikert VR2s. In the under $3000 range, a few $35000 speakers too, the VR2s are the best I have heard in my area.

This whole thing started when I heard the 3.6QRs by the way. That sound stuck with me for a while. However in the same demo with the VR2s I heard the VR4 Gen III SEs. It is an absolutely amazing speaker.
I have heard hundreds of speakers, from travels over the country while working for a speaker company. I have heard the Maggies many times, and they are good speakers. They present some issues for women typically, because of their large physical presence. They sound excellent, and require very good(as do all really good speakers) amplification to sound their best. They are almost resistive, as opposed to reactive load, making the amp see a more consistant load, albiet one which is, depending on your room, requiring a lot of power. The bass, is more rear wall/distance dependant than most speakers, as they require loading the rear wave. Overall, excellent speakers.
I own the Von Schweikerts and find them to be one of the most musical speakers I have heard. They are fast and diminsional, with bass which plummets into the 20hz (almost exactly an octave below an upright double bass' lowest note, open "E" string)region. The rear firing tweeter allows the speaker to sound very transparent, and not at all gimmickey. Overall, I prefer the Von Schweikert, of course, since I bought them, but you are definitely considering two very good speakers. Your ears are the final judge. I think, as a final comment, that Von Schweikert has trumped almost everyone in dynamic speakers at this point.The VSA's are better than almost anything up to about 20K (this is only my humble opinion). Good luck, and if you need any advice you can privately email me, you have a million choices.