Magnepan 1.6 vs. ML Aerius i owners opinions..

Would like to hear from owners of these two model speakers that have either owned both or did serious compairsons..before buying one of them....what are the differences, strengths and what choice you made.

The Magnepan is substantially more dynamic and has better resolution in my experience. The newer ML speakers are far too dependent on the woofer module and no longer provide the image height and expansive soundstage of a more traditional flat panel speaker. Good luck!
To quote a famous philosopher:
...'In matters of opinion, debate is irrelevant' ...

So I am NOT going to generalize here, other then to say that speaker placement, amplifier choice and room acoustics have a MASSIVE affect on panel speakers more then anything else.

I currently own and have extensively compared ML Aerius i's to other designs - WITH AN OPEN MIND (I am not brand-loyal) - and just kept coming back to them after each audition as my speaker of choice *** IN MY ENVIRONMENT - IN MY SYSTEM ***. For the price, characteristics and availability in my area at the time, there was NO better speaker FOR ME. Funny thing was, I really did NOT want to buy these because of their potential limitations, but I didn't let that stop me, either.

Since purchase, I have moved from:
--Rotel to Bryston to Pass Labs x-series amps
--MIT T4 to Analysis Plus Oval 9 to Shunyata Lyra speaker cables
--REL Storm to MartinLogan Descent subwoofer
--Monster cable to Shunyata Aries balanced interconns

Each of these changes seriously upgraded the quality of sound the speakers are able to produce.

Now for the limitations of planar speakers:

--1 Location, Location, Location...
It's all about placement and room acoustics with these guys. I have a 30x20 vaulted room, but have better acoustics without special treatments then my dealer's best listening room - so Lucky Me. I also listen alone typically, so a large dispersion pattern isn't needed (focus and imaging is more important). Toe-in, distance between speakers, materials in the room and walls, etc. - ALL affect these speakers dramatically. You may NOT have an environment that can tolerate these conditions, so an in-home audition and alot of experimentation with placement is the only way to tell. Little adjustments can make big differences, especially in stage width and lower-octave response.

--2 Amp synergy...
Though rated at 200WPC max, these speakers REALLY like power. They are a difficult load, going down as far as 1.2 ohms at 20KHz, so a high-current amp is essential (one that is rated to fully DOUBLE power output from 8 to 4 ohm and preferrably again from 4 to 2 ohm). The Pass Labs x-series amps are balanced, differential designs with Zero feedback, which helps too. They are slightly warm-sounding, which further helps the Aerius as they can sound harsh & fatiguing when driven by certain amps (like Bryston 4B-ST's, as I found out).

--3 Speaker cables...
I found out the hard way that these speakers HATE the lower-end MIT's Terminators. They really killed the synergy between the speaker's woofer & panel. My Analysis Plus fixed alot of that, opening up the lower octaves and adding smoothness, and the Shunyatas add yet another level of detail, dynamics and stage depth.

--4 Gotta Have a SUB...
Significantly, without a dedicate subwoofer, ML speakers are missing the lower octave information that acts as a foundation to support all other frequencies (Aerius do not work below 40Hz). Without a quality sub, I agree that the soundstage IS smaller, the dynamic range IS compressed and the internal 8" woofers are noticeably hard-pressed to keep up. REL & MartinLogan subs are especially suited to help in this regard - and this affect is instantly distinguishable by simply turning the sub off/on and listening for the stage to expand/collapse. So, moral of the story is: unless you are a real sub-hater, get one when using these speakers.

If you are still interested in the Martins, I recommend that you visit and ask some more specific questions.

I hope that helps, -BUT- remember ...Your Mileage May Vary...
I owned both. Same room, same everything. I stayed with the Maggie 1.6's. I liked the female voice alot more on them and everthing else a little more than the Aerius i.
Keep one thing in mind as you read the results of your poll: Anyone who tells you one is better than the other is just stating their opinion and taste whether they use acronyms like IMO or YMMV or not. If they really believe they can tell you what you will like best, then they are an idiot!
Of course I don't know what you'll like best in your own listening room with your own electronics. I can only say that after many years as a serious audiophile and musician, when I first heard the MG1.6 against the Aerius in the same system, I felt that the 1.6 was much more palpable and realistic in tone/timbre. On all types of music. Bottom line: it's worth extra effort to audition both to see what you think.
Both are very fine speakers, and I have owned both. I started with the Magneplanar 1.6qr's and loved them. I sold them and bought the Martin Logan Aerius.

The Aerius sounded like it had a gap in the midrange and did not get full orchestral works quite right. I was also suprised that the ML, with a dedicated woofer did not have as well defined bass when compared to the Magnepans.

I used both with the same McIntosh amp system and placement, and then adjusted the ML's for optimum placement. I just could not get the ML's to sound as good as the Magnepans.

I sold the ML's at a loss, and purchased another pair of Magnepan 1.6's. The glorious sound was back!

Just my experience. Hope this helps.
Hi all...thanks for your thoughts. I had owned ML-Sequel II at one time,..then went on to Maggie 20's. Financial times forced me to scale back to the 1.6...when I visited a friend that I had sold the Sequel II's to..they sounded I started to think of picking up a pair of ML...likely Aerius or the SL-3,...least till I can afford the new version of the 20s.

Maybe I will stick with the 1.6 'till then..but thoughts of the two small ML's had me thinking.

I don't have quite the experience you seek, but I've compared the 3.6s and to the Odyssey, and frankly I prefer the 3.6s. Oh- and I'm an Odyssey owner.

However, the 3.6s are even harder to place than the Odysseys. As far as I'm concerned, both of them are the speaker equivalent of spoiled rotten brats when it comes to placement. The Maggies need a sub a lot more than the MLs, IMHO.

If I ever get enough space to have a 2nd setup, the MLs will stay in the theatre and I'll get some Maggies for 2-ch.