How big is the room your going to use them in ?
177 responses Add your response
I have owned Maggie 1.6s and 3.5s in the past. I now have Spatial Audio X3s. The Spatials are just as open and natural sounding as planars but with some things being so much better. Soundstage depth is one of them. Also midbass slam, bass depth and dynamics are also greatly improved. And you don't need a massive SS amplifier to drive them either.
The X3 might be out of your price range, but the M3 or M5 Sapphire would be a contender.
As the above poster mentions, room size will be a factor. Planars and OB speakers need to be away from room boundaries.
I would think due to room size and placement limitations that planars and OB would be out.
The Ohm Tall 1000's could work and they offer a generous home trial period.
I heard Wharfdale's Diamond 10.7 several months ago and thought they decent little speakers.
You could always go the bookshelf route too. Lots of great choices.
Do you have a budget you're working with?
I had a set of Maggie 1.6qrs that I really enjoyed, but they do take up a lot of room and have to be out from the walls. This really complicates their use in a smaller or multi-purpose room. When I moved a number of years ago, I had to sell those. After trying several other speakers, I settled on a set of Ohm 1000s that I really, really enjoy. The current room is roughly 13' X 15' with some odd openings. The Ohms work perfectly for me.
@soundchasr The three speaker examples you listed have very different presentations of sound. I'm a big fan of omnidirectional speakers and horns (which you did not mention).
Besides the Ohms, which are great speakers, I would recommend Shahinian Obelisks (my personal choice) and Larsen. Obs are in your price range used and the factory support is great.
In the horn camp, there are Klipsch Heritage (Heresys would work great in your room) and other vendors. I just purchased a pair of JBL L200T3s for one of my daughters. Baby butt cheeks! They sound great and work in her room which is similar to yours. Powered by a tube amp - she's happy.
I've been looking at a similar group of speakers: Magnepan, Ohm, Spatial, and Eminent Technology.
Amongst several unknowns and challenges is the "direct sales model", used by all but Magnepan, which makes auditions difficult here in Dallas.
I just made my choice of speakers based upon available room placement.
Three of the contenders require 3 feet of rear clearance from the wall: Magnepan 1.7i, Eminent Technology LPT 8b, and Spatial M3. That is doable only on the short wall of my 14' x 24' living room.
HOWEVER, that position creates a cascade of issues: furniture placement, re-installing a tiled-in HDTV, removal of a beautiful bookcase to gain space, and odd room orientation once accomplished.
Choosing the long-wall position and a narrow Ohm speaker, which must be used close to the wall, has multiple benefits.
Positioning the Ohms on the long wall flanking my fireplace allows the use of the stereo gear in support of HDTV videos. The HDTV itself will not have to be removed from its tiled-in nest in the fireplace, and the resulting room will focus on the fireplace and HDTV as I think it should.
It might seem strange that I've given so much consideration to things other than speakers' sound. As I cannot easily audition 3 of the 4 contenders, and that a good used pair of Ohms has come available, makes it very reasonable to me.
I have the M3 Sapphire and absolutely am amazed at everything these speakers do right.
horns, amazing, piano amazing, acoustic and electric guitar bass and drums incredible. Imaging Soundstage just everything is there. I was truly a skeptic being a box time/phase aligned guy all my young life now...OMG amazing results from these speakers!
heres my room
@audiosaurusrex Are those rollers on the bottom of the speakers so you can move them out of the way?? THAT IS AWESOME.
My wife works in MN pretty often and there's an Anticable shop there that has the M3s. She's going to try to get out there soon and give them a listen on my behalf. :-)
@melvinjames - What are your thoughts on the two? What type of music do you listen to with them?
Are the Spatials good with rock, metal, blues, jazz, all that?
I would expect to be able to tame that room using the adjustments right on the 5000s.
Mine are in an L shaped room.
Also what gear is upstream? That makes a big difference in resulting sound as well and most tweaks as well.
I had Maggie’s, replaced with large Ohm F5 s with 12” drivers. Have heard Spatial at shows. Both are viable choices. Ohms work very well in odd shaped rooms. Biggest difference is Ohm will have the large sweet area and may be easier to place for good results whereas Spatial specs as somewhat more efficient and is probably more flea power tube amp friendly though beefier tube amps seem to do well with Ohm as well.
That amp should do quite well with either I would expect. For me getting the right speakers to fit the room is job 1, then amp match job 2.
The thing the Ohms do uniquely is the very large sweet area. They will do soundstage and imaging coherently throughout the room with most any decent placement. Spatial will be tougher placement I expect. Both sound great when set up well.
soundchaser, I have Ohm speakers in my 13x20 living room with a ceiling that runs from 19' to 9' on the long wall. My Ohms are Ohm F cabinets upgraded (all new drivers, etc.) to 3000's one year ago. I bought them from the first owner after the upgrade, so thought I should phone John and talk to him about these particular speakers before closing the deal. I was shocked that it was John who picked up the phone! We talked about my room and how these speakers might work in it. He even looked up the sales invoice and confirmed the seller's story. You mentioned that you've spoken with John, did he mention the "upgraded" speakers? My Fs' cabinets are too big for your short wall (they're on my long wall), but he might have some upgraded smaller cabinets for a lower price. As far as their performance (in a challenging room placement), I enjoy vinyl, streamed music and 4K movies with these speakers immensely. I think John's willingness to talk with potential customers is worth a lot. Good luck!
I also had the Spatial M5 Sapphire for a few weeks and couldn’t stand them. They had none of the magic that the Vandy’s have. AND the speakers were damaged in shipping returning them to Spatial and Clayton put me on the hook for the costs. If it wasn't for the buyer protections on my Citibank credit card I would have been out the $2300 or whatever the costs were. Buyer beware.....
I have listened to Spatial at LInear Tube Audio, and PAP at shows.
Both share many similar characteristics. As mentioned, min distance from wall behind baffle. Clear defined bass and great sound staging.
Generally speaking, the room needs much less treatment than with most boxes. Both designs are highly efficient. SET amps may apply also. PAP xo’s allow future customization via a screwdriver. Caps, resisters, etc, can be changed in minutes to match your hatch.
PAP has just come out with a product in your price range. Enjoy.
With your budget, you could consider something like my own setup, which is a pair of Ohms augmented with a pair of subs. I am a bit of a bass freak, and my Vandy subs will bust your budget unless you find them used, but a combo of the Ohm 1000s with a pair of subs would be my choice. I am beyond thrilled with my Ohm 2000s after 10 years, and I have no desire to change speakers.
@soundchasr .. I listen to Jazz and Rock predominantly and at reasonable levels in my typically appointed 13’ x 18’ living room. The room has large archways on 2 walls.
I suspect a pair of Ohm speakers would be perfect for your room, they just don’t sound like Maggie’s, which are polar opposites in their presentation. Ohm’s are easier to place, very room friendly, have a very wide sweet spot, and a nice tonal balance. The MicroWalsh Talls benefit from a subwoofer or 2. The Maggies have better detail, image specificity, a smaller sweet spot, and also benefit from a sub. Both are wonderful speakers and is why I keep them. (I like variety and have enough storage space.) I’m using my MMG’s (with sub) now in fact, with a Marantz class d integrated. Sounds wonderful.
Not sure I agree about Maggies having better detail or image specificity.
I will say that Maggies and Ohms both have unique presentations.
Also that Ohms especially will deliver what you give them and respond to upgrades upstream and tweaks. No two setups are likely to sound the same.
Maggies excel at inner detail of smaller ensemble acoustic recordings.
Ohms get the edge for overall delivery of all kinds of music. If you listen to pop/rock or large scale dynamic productions you want the Ohms in order to deliver the excitement. They can also do delicate beauty though that is probably Magnepan's powerhouse.
Another huge difference is placement of Maggies needed to perform versus Ohm.
I ditched the Maggies after many years in favor of Ohm specifically due to placement issues and lack of excitement with many things I listen too.
I am on the open baffle bandwagon. As mentioned by Ozzy68 they are very open. They have good texture and tone as well. I was lucky enough to land a used pair of Spatial Audio M-1 Triode masters and I am happy with them. If you are open to buying used, you may get more bang for your buck. Also, if you don't mind kits and want to get more bang for your buck you may try GR Research NX Oticas : http://gr-research.com/obseries.aspx