Which Maggie and Logan are you considering?
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There have been other threads on this subject but I will try again.
I have owned four pairs of Magneplanars including Tympani IVa's (my latest) and also Martin Logan SL-3s. Both companies make interesting speakers that are fun to own.
In general, I have found Magneplanars more musical -- there is something really uncanny about the presence of a good ribbon. (Which also explains the amazing midrange of the Apogees.) However, Maggies require lots of power to perform at their best, they can be tricky to place and they need a bit of volume to open up and sound alive.
Martin Logans on the other hand, have much more resolution at lower volumes. They are easier to place, although the integration of the woofer with the panel is not as seamless as they suggest. If your tastes lean more towards Led Zeppelin than Bach, I would lean towards the ML's. Ditto if most of your listening is at low volumes.
But if you are willing to allocate the space, put in the amplification and time involved in tweaking them to perfection, there is something magical about Magneplanars that is hard to beat.
I haven't heard Maggies, but I do have a pair of ML SL3s with a McCormack amp. They were originally powered by a DNA 0.5, but when I got a pretty good deal on a DNA 1/B I upgraded. The 0.5 was definitely good enough and - while audible - the improvements were marginal in going to the 1/B. Much may depend upon the size of your room and your normal listening levels.
Few years ago I bought ML Auerius and was very, very happy until I heard Maggies. 1.6QR was better in every aspect (that I care for). My experience was that Aerius was more difficult to set-up properly in the room. I am driving Maggies with either ADCOM 5802 or ARC VT-100 Mk III and did not experience "power deficiency".
A word on Martin Logans...since ELS have little bass extension...they have incorporated passive 8" dynamic bass drivers with most of their designs...bad move in my opinion...the bass driver simply lacks the speed necessary to blend with the ELS...hence the "cohesion" issues many have addressed...Inner Sound has had great success incorporating active drivers/crossovers with ELS....but they are pricey...
To Magnepan's credit...they have not buckled to the criticism that their designs lack bass...20 years ago Maggies were bass shy...not today however...and Mags are a better value than MLs...for the money...you could buy the 1.6s and a sub of your choosing that would smoke MLs...also...placement/power issues of Mags have been greatly exaggerated...any decent speaker is going to be 3-4 ft from a wall...regardless of design...and on a 100w Bryston b-60...which are knows for bass output...the 1.6s are simple breathtaking....
I have been extremely happy with my Aerius i's and wouldn't trade them for the world. Cwlondon's explanation is quite satisfactory. I have heard a lot of negative remarks pointing to "cohesion" issues. I have absolutely no problem with the panels integrating with the woofer simply because I believed that ML has solved that problem and thus the hybrid term implies. The sound is seamless and the integration is quite successful. ML speakers have two hard to beat strengths: speed and midrange delivery. For chamber and orchestral works, these speakers offer a more intimate portrait than the Maggies IMHO. However the Maggies bring a more coherent and complete soundstage that may sound smoother and has a bit more punch in the lower bass. It is all a matter of choice. I do agree that ML speakers are relatively expensive- the newest models have price tags that are rather disappointing. If you are shopping for ML speakers, get used ones, otherwise for the value and performance, the Maggies will have to be first choice. If only ML can lower the price tag!
finally i hear someone else who likes their Aerius i! i always hear criticism about these speakers, but i really really love them. i have yet to hear a box speaker that i prefer (and i have heard box speakers costing 3x as much as the aerius).
but, i also live in a small apartment, and like to play music at moderate and sometimes low levels. Zen-- you're right on; the ML sounds fast. i would also say it sounds very unrestricted / "free", with a clarity that hypnotizes me. and i have never felt like the bass doesn't match the panel.
maybe i don't know what i'm missing... if so, than ignorance is bliss! :)
cwlondon your comparison is hard to beat so accurate,i use
to listen tomy friend maggies, i own ML quest,upgraded with
siltech, world of a difference, for logan it took me 5 years
to get the most out of them, like learning how to position
them, sa 100 plinius and siltech and cardas cables,adcom
gfa 750,sony dvd 9000es, did the trick, and i added home
made base trap, and acoustic foam, bought from AA.This
combination is the best I heard the quest in my set up
of coirse IMHO only.Let me add also the maggies to my
own opinion they are also world class speaker, whenever
I listen to them,I want to purchase a pair.