Magnepan 20 vs Sanders 10c

Has anyone heard both and could they contrast/compare/opine on relative weakness/strengths of both?

Of particular (but not exclusive) interest are transparency, imaging, bass performance.


Let me put the disclosure first that I am a manufacturer and also owner of the Sanders.

I heard the 20.1 and I own the Sanders 10c. So you know what my response is.

The Sanders has a much cleaner sound, to me, much more detailed ("much more" being relative at 98.9005 to 99.4126 - you get my point). I also see the sanders as faster, snappier and since it is a hybrid, much, much better bass. The bass is as fast as the top so you don't hear the difference between panel and bass speeds. Could the bass be improved? The frequency response range excellent however the control of it could be improved. Having heard and compared active woofers in the same room with the Sanders, a sealed enclosure will improve the bass sonics significantly.
Regardless the bass is much better then the 20 and very respectable in sonic response.

Where the 20 is better is it has a softer sound. I heard both the speakers with the same amps - Merrill Audio VERITAS Monoblocks, driving them. The sources were both tubes however 1 was AMR (Sanders) and the other was Acoustic Research (Magnepans). It is also much slower on the attack and transients. So good for mellower listening, not so good for the rock and roll, fusion jazz, pop. Subjective for the classical and voices. Both are directional (flat planars).

Looks, the 10C is smaller looking and in width. The 10C is also less imposing - there is some transparency with the panels.

Last note, the Sanders 10c requires Bi-amping with an active crossover while the 20's do not.

On separate occasions I had several chances to hear the above systems that Merrill discussed.

I liked both very much but I liked the Sanders more for several reasons.

1) Bass! For me without it you loose the impact of the music. Not on all songs of course.

2) Better transparency and detail, both micro and macro.

3) There was more "you are there" and the instruments timbre was better.

4) Foot print and room integration.

Now some of this was very small margins.

I also agree with Merrill on his observations.

As Merrill said the one down side (as an expense) of the Sanders is the need to bi-amp with the active crossover.

PS When I heard both systems it was when the owners were demoing Merrill's Veritas amps. I heard the systems with both their own (ARC and Sanders)and the Veritas. Regardless which speaker you end up with do yourself a favor and get the Veritas amps, if budget permits. Otherwise start saving your pennies.
Hello all
I own the 20.1 maggies and a close friend owns the sanders 10c and in my opinion the 20.1 sound much more musical with a room filling relaxed sound with a great sound stage with depth and positioning and are very musical. Have had lots of compliments on the sound from the 20.1. My front end is all audio research with macintosh amps.
My friend has all sander gear ahead of his 10c's. And as he says when several of us audio goons go to listen to each others system, their is only one listen position to listen to the sanders in and thus only one person can come at a time as there is only one listening position and they do not sound well in any other place. I like to refer to them as the head vise speakers because if you move your head the sound falls apart, very harsh and make me blink. I disagree with the previous comment on the speed of the speakers unless irritating sound is the speed difference. One other thing I don't like the occasional snap they make if the humidity is high which I understand is a normal for all electrostatics according to the owners of the electrostatic speakers that I have listened too. When he comes over he often says I don't hear that at home and the 20.1 never do anything objectionable, now I need to go figure out how to try to make my Sanders sound like the maggies. I have asked him why he doesn't buy a pair of good headphones if you want that effect.
"As I always say, if everyone liked the same sound there would only be one brand". Listen to each and then make your own choice as everyone is looking for something that pleases themselves would be my advice.
You may even hear something else that sounds better to you!
I've owned both the Innersound Eros 3.5 and the Maggie 3.6 so I might have a little insight. I prefer the sanders speaker for the same reasons as the poster above. I will add and to me this was of major importance the sanders speakers only sound good in a very narrow sweet spot. The sound in that spot is great but they sound dull and boring even just from the side of the couch. I play music most all the time that I am home and can't always sit in the sweet spot for it so for this reason I could not live with them. I knew this going in but thought it wouldn't bother so much. It did.
You should all hear the new 20.7. Much closer to the transparency of the electrostatic Sanders
I made special 7hr trip to listern to a pair of Sanders and was very disapointed consider what read,I could listern to more than a couple tracks of Patrica Barber night club. I gave them a second chance a couple days latter on our way home, as I was determin to like them and then a third time with a friend, ended up buying a pair of maggies 3.7,where I demo was a dealer,just did'nt mesured up, could of been setup, but I could'nt take the chance on them, very happy know.
I just bought a pair of 3.7s