I am a happy 3.6 owner. i would save up for some 20.7 Magnepan in my future, but not anything else.
I am pretty happy with what I have.
I had Infinity RSIIa dipoles for 18 years..
Then I had (for a short time) some used Maggie IIb. Then I bought some B&W.. I went for the 3.6 as soon as i had the money.
I just like the Maggies
From a price standpoint, you're looking at $5500 for a pair of Maggie 3.7s or $35,000 for a pair of Tannoy Westminster Royal SE's.
Maggies present a challenging load for amplifiers; the Tannoys practically demand a quality tube amp. They are two entirely different ways of creating an illusion of live music. I haven't heard the Tannoys, but I'm familiar with what good tubes powering high sensitivity speakers sounds like. Since I favor emotional involvement and immediacy, I have to say that if I had the coin and space I'd go for the Tannoys.
Still, to be fair pricewise, you could get a pair of Magnepan 20.1's *plus* a pair of JL F212 subwoofers (an excellent match), and although they would sound different from the Tannoys, it would certainly narrow the performance gap.
I've heard both. The right choice is very room dependent. The Maggies I heard, 3.7, did not have a sub so I may have missed something. Assuming you have the right room, I would go with the Maggies plus subs. Otherwise, Tannoy would be my choice.
I prefer Tannoys as I listen to a lot of orchestral and to me the Tannoys produce a more effortless presentation of a full orchestra and a more seemless and coherent sound. If you do listen to the Tannoys though I would recommend you listen to the Canterbury's rather than the Westminster as they are more neutral than the Westminster, no front loaded horn, but still have the 15" alnico drivers.
I have had the 3.6 for many years and if fed properly, they are splendid....pass, bryston, parasound, some high power tube amps, etc. A Tannoy is a very different sound. The maggie treble is legendary and only bested by what I hear from TAD and plasma horn treble by the ionovac tweeter which has a dispersion of nearly 165 degrees and is flat out to about 100k. Acapella uses a version of a plasma as does another maker. But for the money, maggie is a real tough act to economically or sonically do better in natural sound and transparency. A must is have both in your room, play your typical music and then pull the trigger. Jallen
If you have the money for Westminster SE's AND listen to classical music buy them.
Oh, I understood that this is not a fair fight in terms of pricing; however, the purpose is to see if any Maggies' owner would change to Tannoy given that they also like or fall for the SET sound.
I am one of those who like SET sound yet fall for the Maggies type of presentation.
Yet, one recent experience might change my choice for the speakers.
This is because I always find that the Maggies are very demanding on the power as well as the qaulity of the amplifier.
I have used a lot of the so-called powerful tube amplifiers; for example, the Sonic Frontiers Power 3 with all the updates from Parts Connection, McIntosh MC275, Pass Labs and VAC signature 220. The result is good yet, after hearing what the Tannoy will do; it is kind of unforgetable.
(Previous post was because I couldn't log in earlier.)
Based on what I've read, I have a feeling it's going to be the TW's for you.
I've had the Maggie 3.6's for over 10 yrs. I love them and have another system with SET amps mated with the "proper" speakers so I know that sound and I love it also. I don't think one is better than the other. They both have their strengths. The Maggies have that "wall of sound/dipole" experience and my SET/hi-eff system has a dynamic contrast sort of thing. I know what you mean by "kind of unforgetable". I'd say, get the TW's and live with them for awhile.
Are the big Tannoys really SET friendly, or do they like a little power?
Does this means that Tannoy in the Prestige series lower than the Westminister SE can't compete with the Maggies?
At the price of the Tannoys, I think the competition isn't with the 3.6 or 3.7, but the new 20.7.
Hi Robertwolfee, as you may have also already noticed, they are not competing as having different approaches to sound reproduction (flavors). I would categorize them as 'musical' transducers, ie.not the utmost take in neutrality--measurements and all, but are Imo, both musically engaging speakers albeit with rather different set of strengths. Maggie is more about life-like scale and sound staging, whereas, Tannoy's virtue is more that of tonal beauty and timbre hues.
I did went back-forth between them earlier.. MGIIIa in mid '80s (driven by Krell KSA80, VTL300), Tannoy Westminster then the Royal in mid '90s (Many tube variants, ranging from Cary 211, 805, VTL90 to Ichiban, Ongaku etc.), then in mid '00s the MG20.1 (Jadis JA200, ARC REF600). Listening to Ella, Nina, Louis the likes, and smaller acoustic ensembles via 300Bs driven Tannoy will always remain the magical highlights of my audio journey.
Hence, if given a 'must' choice to go back to either one at this point in time, I would probably choose to live with the Tannoy with some fine tube amps and be done with it. Having said that, as always, room, taste, and musical preference, will play an important role in deciding between these two fine speakers.
I'd go with Tannoy and a high-current SET, e.g., Art Audio Jota HC.
Robert, Do your best to own both, if possible. You seem, as I was, torn between desire for two fundamentally different sounds based on two radically different technologies. You will not obtain a dream speaker which does it all; no one can as such a speaker does not yet exist. One has to make trade offs and choices in regards to aspects of performance which they consider more desirable and let the others go.
You must determine how you are wired; that is, you must realize whether you are a System Builder or simply an audiophile. The audiophile is content to buy and play, and they may use one technology for decades. The System Builder is always wanting to explore the system's capabilities, always curious about different technologies and their sound, and will jump between them in his/her rig. There is usually a constant yearning for having both aspects of different technologies at the same time, something which is currently technologically impossible. Suppressing these desires may work for a while but dissatisfaction sets in and the search begins again.
The solution is simply to own both technologies so that one can exchange them whenever wanted. It is perhaps the most satisfying solution to system enhancement I have found in decades of being an audiophile. Feel free to observe my virtual system and contact me if you have any questions.
If it is of help to you I have written up reviews of both the Tannoy Glenair 15 and the Kingsound King for Dagogo.com
If ownership of both is not feasible I feel for you sincerely, as there will remain a gap in your desire to have it all; there is no getting around that. In such a case you may want to consider a hybrid like the Legacy Audio Whisper DSW, which I also reviewed. It combines extremely well attributes of the dynamic and panel speakers accentuating their strengths. You can also see it in my virtual system.
The most obvious difference sonically between a hybrid speaker like the Whisper DSW and the Tannoy would be in terms of coherence; one does hear the multiple drivers of the Whisper vs. the concentric of the Tannoy. Each has particular characteristics which are desirable, and the prospective owner has to determine which set of features is the most engaging.
Tannoy 4 me. Spent much time with maggies and preferred
Again,it depends on the music you listen,Tannoy excells on
both tone,job #1 in acoustc music and dynamics,job #2.
I've owned Maggies for over 30 yrs and like them,if I could
afford the better Tannoys,not many retired teachers can I imagine, the Maggies would be gone tomorrow.
,,just wondering if you've heard the Vandersteen 7's
Schubert, do you mean that?
Some of the Tannoys are almost the same price as the Maggies.
For example, the Taneburrey cast around $6000 and the Maggies 3.7 is around $5,500.
May I ask what components are on your systems now?
Two completely different sounds. If you have the space, I think having both planar/ESL and a high efficiency speaker systems would be the ideal way to go. Having to choose one, go with whatever moves you more. In my case, the SET/HE speaker route has provided me with more spine tingling moments than anything else I've tried over the years.
Not quite the same thing, but in a large cocrete and steel loft, I could never get my planar speakers (Martin Logan) to sound right, even with Tact digital equalization. I bought an old set of 14=5 inch tannoy HPDs, which re highly directional, and haven't looked back.
Sometimes it's about the room.