A better starting point would be the 1.6's ........
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Well for instance, about 10 years ago I paid 550.00 US$ for a pair of MGIII's. I sold them last year for the same. Before that also owned a pair of MGIIc($500). I prefered the sound of the ribbon tweeter better on the III's.
My opinion, get a pair of III's or IIIa's to start with. For the price of a new pair of mmg's. if you can find a pair that has been service at the factory, even better.
Tough question--because if you go entry level and like what you hear, you'll likely end up wanting "more" of what makes Maggie great, and will be looking for a pair of 1.6QRs! On the other hand, a physically big speaker like the 1.6 can really impose visually on the room, and is not for every environment acoustically.
Personally, have owned MGIIIa and liked them plenty. Went away from Maggie for a bit. When the 1.6 was first introduced, I bought them on the spot (love at first listen). They are now the 'senior' components in my system--black boxes have come and gone but my 1.6s remain.
I have owned a pair of mg12's for five years now and still love them. They are a bit smaller than the 1.6's but are just about as good, in fact for the size of my listening space I enjoyed the sound of the 12's more than 1.6's.
Just remember once you have gone magnepan you will never go back (to box speakers that is).
Let us know what you decide