Magnepan vs Martin Logan

Which ones are better in general terms and why? Thanks in advance for your comments. Joel
Hello Joel:

You're comparing apples and oranges here. Maggies with the ribbon tweeter are wonderful, delicate sounding speakers that can reveal every nuance in a good recording. Midrange on the bigger series is a thing of great beauty, for a time I had 3.5r's and enjoyed them greatly, however I prefer the slam of a hybrid.

Martin Logan are a bit more difficult to place for proper imaging, a sweeter sound overall than the maggies, but with
the addition of low frequency "slam" that you may find lacking in the maggies. Some folks say that Martin-Logan has yet to properly integrate the crossover between the woofers and the panel in their line, others cannot hear the transition at all. Neither speaker is "better" than the other. You've got a bit of listening to do to find which sound will be right for you!

I've owned both the Maggie 3.5r, and ML request. In the end I went back to a speaker that I had owned previously, and found that I like better than almost anything out there today, the Infinity RS1b.

Hope this helps!

I agree with Beemer--it's not an easy call. I have listened to Maggie's and own Martin Logans. The placement is critical on the MLs--there are several threads on this topic. Once it's right--it, in my opinion, is hard to beat. As to the cross-over, it depends on which speaker. I own the Monoliths and the cross-over point is at 125Hz (it's also active). At that low a frequency it is very difficult to detect, but some of the other MLs have higher cross-over frequencies. The room and the placement also have a tremendous effect on how discernable the dynamic driver is compared to the panel (again, see the threads that discuss bass and treble integration and speaker placement for MLs). Neither of these speakers will reproduce large scale dynamics like the Infinity or most other dynamic speakers--that's not to say they won't play loudly with the right electronics--they will--but not with the same punch (dynamics). Good luck--and if you can listen to these and decide which is right for you.
Joel, I have listened to the big maggies. They did sound nice and were driven by bryston 4bst. I did not get to compare them with the ML's, side by side. But I did end up buying the ML aerius i's. At the time I bought the aerius I's I also bought the 3bst. Then I discovered the bat vk200 amp which I bought to replace the 3bst. No regrets at all. I auditioned the bat 3i pre amp in home with my bat vk200. The surenergy of the 3i/200 was incredable. I know what people say about the Martins not being dynamic, but apparently they have not tried them w/the 3i/200 combo; very dynamic and pletty of power. I will be buying the 3i in the future and won't look back. All I can say is WOW. pete
Very good posts regarding this. Many years ago when I was shopping for new speakers I auditioned Maggies and loved them. Ended up with Martin Logan Sequels because of the better low end. Have had them now since 1988 --- gee, has it been that long?? WOW. Have had wonderful luck with MLs - both are great speakers - audition both and bring your own CDs to the store to check them out and buy what you feel sounds the best...


Tom. - take a look at the EROS. You get ESL's with balls.
Both Maggies and Martins are fine speakers.

One of the lesser-known, perhaps more esoteric, kids on the block is Sound Lab. While best known for their world-class full-range electrostatics, Sound Lab makes a hybrid called the "Dynastat" for a bit under four grand. While conceptually similar to the Martins, there are a few differences - for one thing, the Dynastat's electrostatic element radiates over a 75 degree arc instead of a 30 degree arc and so gives you a wider sweet spot and a better energized reverberant field, at the expense of greater sidewall interaction. The Dynastats go pretty deep (27 Hz) as well, and the woofer-to-panel integration is in my opinion very good (because the panel's radiation pattern is more similar to the woofer's). The Dynastat also has an abundance of controls, useful for optimizing for different rooms, listening distances, systems, and preferences.

If by any chance you are in the price range of the Maggie 20.1's or Martin Prodigy's, then you might want to consider one of Sound Lab's full range electrostats.

You can check them all out at, or drop me a line with any questions you may have.

The InnerSound speakers mentioned by Angela100 are very dynamic and have superb imaging, but a very narrow sweet spot. I prefer the wider radiation pattern of the Dynastats, but it's very much a matter of personal taste. The InnerSounds are also equipped with a variety of useful controls.

All four of these lines - Maggies, Martins, InnerSounds, and Sound Labs - are in my opinon significantly more musical than virtually all box speakers in the same price range. They have different virtues and so appeal to different listeners, but if you love the boxless sound of planars, then from among their ranks you can probably find the speaker that's right for you.
In 1985, I auditioned four speakers:Acoustat2+2s,Maggie IIIas, ML Monoliths, and Apogee Scintillas. The MLs came
in dead last. The final two were Acoustats and Maggies
mainly due to pricing and their timbre/tonality/transparency
for piano and cello. I chose the Acoustats, the golden ear
of the family chose the Maggies. In 2001, I have looked
at three speaker systems: Maggie 3.6s, ML Prodigies, and
Avalon Eidolons. ML Prodigies were dead last with the
Maggies slightly less tonally correct/holographic soundstage than the Avalons Eidolons, but at 5 times the price. I have not auditioned the Sound Labs pure electrostats(being a pure electrostat means that they surely will be perfect). All
dipoles need gobs of clean power, I prefer my Spectral
DMA 200 or my pair of DMA 50s, to practically all others
including my ARC equipment. However, I have not heard
OTLs or Wolcotts. All 2001 auditions were with Spectral
gear. Tubes add warmth and the big debate is whether
warmth is natural or artificial enrichment of the music
being produced. If you have ever heard a live string quartet, and the cello is on, and the cellist is trying to chop wood, boy can it get steely and hard. Why add some
warmth to what is naturally harsh sounding to your audio
I also have a pair of Innersound EROS speakers...auditioned Soundlab, and ML's and found EROS to be the best sounding hybrid out there. Paired with Sunfire True Sig Sub for HT only...EROS really need no sub in 2 channel mode...base is terrific.
hello I prefer the Martin logans. The maggies are very forgiving but the logans tell you like it is. Both good products. I own a new pair of Martin Logan ascents and they finally got the bass to intergrate with the panel. Its the first time I have ever heard bass like that out of a logan. I had aerius is good but no bass I had sl3s great but the bass sounded so sloppy the intergration was aweful. And now I have the ascents and I cant say enough abou them. Great. I use all levinson equipment and harmonic tech. cables. good luck I hope this helps
Nicely said audiokinesis. Lev I too enjoy the martins. Apparently you have one of the amps/pre's I've never had the chance to audition with my aerius i's. But I've tried many others to name a few okay ones were bryston & rotel. To name the ones I did not like with martins were meridan, krell kav(I've heard the fpb was good with martins), signature grand, audiomat, plinius, AR, classe, b&K(okay for the price). I know these are probably very good amps/pre's but they don't work that good with MY martins. The bat 3i/vk200 is incredible with martins and they are picky with cables. The nordost blue heaven bal interconnects work great, but the nordost speaker cable sucks with the martins(don't know why). Transparent is good and I did like the analyse plus, but my amp(vk200) was just breaking in, so I did not get a fair audition with the analyse spk wires. I did like to try the moon and lev stuff one day. But for now I am completely happy with bat. Good luck to allllllllllllll. Pete
i love both,for different reasons,the maggies i think,are sweet,and very emotional speakers.especially in the midrange.female voclas just put me in a trance,in particular im reffering to the 3.5's,hell even the old smga's were great!with the brief listening ive done with the martin logan's though.ive been awe struck!at how clear,crystal clear they were!such great detail!id say it will most likely boil down to musical prefference though,as to wich is best for you.dave
I switched from Logan reQuests to the Maggie 3.6´s. I prefer
the "single driver" sound of the Maggies. The reQuests have
stronger bass, not as tight as the 3.6´s though.
Listen to both brands before you buy. Happy hunting.