Expert ear I do not have but, I prefer the ML.
The Magaepan are very good.
Try them both out in your home with your equipment.
The Magaepan are very good.
Try them both out in your home with your equipment.
I've owned both, and sell yet another planar.
I'll assume we're talking about hybrid Martin Logans, and leaving out the sadly discontinued CLS.
In general, the Martin Logans have a bit better detail and better imaging. The Maggies have better coherence and are more forgiving, and give you a wider sweet spot. The Martins have deeper bass (assuming good speaker/room interface - more on that later), while the Maggies tend to have better pitch definition in the bass region. The Prodigy and Odyssey had very good woofer/panel integration for a hybrid, with their innovative cardioid-pattern woofer system. I haven't heard the Summit. Electrostats are pretty much always a difficult load. The Maggies are an easier load (resistive 4 ohms) but their low efficiency (lower 80's) means you need lots of power.
If you peruse online evaluations, you'll find pretty consistent descriptions of the Maggies but a rather wide range of descriptions of the Martin Logans. The reason is the Maggies have fairly uniform radiation characteristics so their tonal balance doesn't vary a lot from room to room. Not so with the Martins - the panel approximates a line source, and the woofer a point source. Sound pressure level falls off more slowly with distance from a line source - specifically, at 3 dB per doubling of distance with a line source, and 6 dB per doubling of distance with a point source. So with the Martins, the relative loudness of woofer and panel at the listening position is dependent on room size and listening distance. If your room is too small for that particular model, the bass will be too prominent and may sound sluggish; if the the room is too big, the bass may be weak and the speaker may sound bright and forward. In either case, adjusting the placement of speakers and/or listeners will improve the tonal balance. I suspect that on-line accounts of Martin Logans having too much bass or too little bass come from setups where there was a gross mismatch between speaker size & room size.
Maggies and Martin Logans are both lovely loudspeakers, and in my opinion way ahead of the typical cones and domes in a box they compete with. If you're unable to listen to either, then here's my overgeneralized synopsis: The Martins are better sound for one person sitting in the sweet spot, while the Maggies are better sound for several people at once.
Wow, what an excellent response from Duke.
As an owner of Maggie 3.3 and 3.5 for 6 years, my experience with these speakers very much echo Duke's comments. And when I went to hear the various Martin Logan models on numerous occassions, I also experienced much of what Duke describes. But everytime I heard the MLs, I simply could not get attached to the music. The Maggies, with their set of weaknesses, i.e., mediocre resolution and not so good dynamics, simply brought on a level of emotional connection to the music because of how they portrayed voice, piano, sax, and other instruments of rich harmonic content. The MLs in comparison were simply too analytical and hifi sounding for me.
Ultimately, I moved onto the SoundLab speakers as they retained all of the Maggie magic and had a resolution and low-end extension that neither the Maggie nor the MLs can even begin to approach. And the SoundLab's sweet spot is wide wide wide.
I own a pair of ML Prodigy's and a pair of Maggie 1.6's. I love both speakers but the Logan's flat out kill the Maggies accross the board......... as well they should given the price difference. I have auditioned the Maggie 3.6's at length in my two channel system, I wanted to love 'em but just couldn't warm up to them like the Logans. I am almost opposite from Jafox in that regard. The Logans are more emotionally involving for me......... I guess what I'm trying to say is you really need to listen for yourself. It's all about personal preference in the end.
A couple more points. FWIW, Even though my Prodigy's are bigger than the Maggie 3.6's, I thought the Maggies dominated the room more becouse I couldn't see through them like I can with the ML's. IMO, the ML's sound best with tubes and the Maggies sound better with SS. My experience was that the Logans are much easier to drive as well(than the 3.6's that is).
I have MGIIIA's & CLS IIZ'S. The CLS are more open and airy.
The MG IIA's have better bass & dynamics they are also smoother. E-mail me with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
My web site>>
Listen to the Duke! I have listened to most of the ML line and own 1.6 maggies. Only the ML CLS (version 1 or 2z) was really coherent. IMHO, the innersound eros and full range soundlab electrostatics sound better but at a price... As with all dipoles, if you don't properly place them and match appropriate electronics they can sound bad. However, if placed and matched properly they can be magic.
After hearing the Logans for an extended amount of time, and owning the Innersound Eros (stat hybrid) and owning and hearing Magnepans I can tell you that I would look really hard into VMPS speakers, they offer the great detail and speed of a Hybrid, less distortion then Maggies, easier load and much wider sweet spot then Logan's
VMPS simply fills in all strengths of these type speakers and gives you great value and excellent sound.
I have owned Martin Logan SL3's and several pairs of Maggies.
Although they share a boxless sound, they are really completely different animals.
The ML woofers are reasonably fast and better integrated than most, but still cant keep up with the panels. This is clearly audible and probably why the ML's sound less "coherent" than the Maggies.
But it also gives the MLs a thump that Maggies cant match without loads of power, proper placement etc.
Coupled with the fact that they are easier to drive, you could make the case that ML's are easier to live with, and also better suited to pop, rock, or other contemporary music.
Low level resolution of the ML panels is much better than the Maggies, which also makes them much better for casual listening at lower volumes.
I would disagree with the observations that the ML's are a one person speaker. For the reasons mentioned above, I found the MLs easier to live with while walking around the room, than Magneplanars. Maggies also need your head to be in a vice if you really want to achieve ultimate, Magneplanar nirvana.
Perhaps Magneplanars are more like Ferraris than BMWs or even Porsches.
They dont do everything well, but they can have extraordinarily high performance - provided you are willing to work with them, tweak them, and spare no expense on associated equipment.
Then, on the appropriate race track under the appropriate test conditions, they may leave the competition in the dust but in any event will deliver a very special experience.
With the right amps, the right room, the right placement, the right source, the right cables, and the right listening chair the Maggies will give you a you are there! magical presence, warmth and coherence that will leave the ML's sounding analytical, sterile, and artificial by comparison.
Now the CLS is another matter altogether. It require much more work and high end associated gear -- like the Maggies - to work properly. They have more coherence than the hybrid ML's, and a greater ability to resolve detail at lower volumes than the Maggies.
If you want to sit around late at night listening to chamber and acoustic music or really get goosebumps from Joni Mitchell Blue or something with single ended triode tube amps, the CLS might be a thrilling speaker for you.
But if Dark Side of the Moon, more run of the mill solid state and digital equipment and/or all day every day casual listening is more your cup of tea, dont even think about the CLS.
Hope this helps?
My first set of Magnepan's were the MG-1s in 1977 which I kept until they were replaced by 2.5Rs in 1990 which I replaced in 2003 for 3.6Rs. In almost 30 years of ownership I never had problem. They are extremely reliable and forgiving, if not efficient to drive. Many of the negative aspects of the speakers have been improved over the years. They perform better with electronics and sources far more expensive than their cost would suggest. Although lots of clean power is best, they can still be enjoyed at lower volumes with lesser electronics. All of which makes them an enduring paradox of high end audio. MLs have always intrigued me, and despite clear advantages in detail and resolution compared to Magnepans, they never seemed as satsifying. Duke's explanation is the best and most logical I've ever come across because I always believed the MLs should have sounded better than what I heard during demos.
I react most strongly to the differences between the dynamic envelopes of the two speaker lines. The MLs are more articulate at low volumes and are more efficient, playing louder with less power. This favors orchestral and big band music that has wide dynamic swings. They also play louder, which is important for rock. The Maggies are just plain more reticent, requiring a lot of power to get to a volume where they sound present, but never getting really loud, regardless of the power available.
Sounds like maybe nobody here has heard the LATEST offerings from Martin Logan? I have owned many Logans (Sequels II, Aerius i's, ReQuests, Odyssey's, Prodigy's) but actually got my first real taste of the "high end" back in the mid to late 1970's with a pair of Magnaplaner MG11a's, and more recently had a pair of 3.6R's (in between the various Logans listed).
I always felt that the Maggies had a much bigger-than-life soundstage, and were always pretty "musical". The Logans, on the other hand, seemed to somehow sound more realistically sized in the image dept. and at the same time seemed to offer more detail, while still retaining that magical, musical qaulity of the Maggies.
Then, just recently, I aquired a set of the new M.L. Summits -- they are a whole new ball game.
With the proper ancillaries, the new Summits are light years beyond anything I have heard prior. IMO, I just not have seen Magnaplaner continue down the same dedicated path in the innovation and R & D department, with new designs, as Martin-Logan.
Between hearing the two at different dealers the Maggies would get my vote. They seem to integrate the music better than the ML's. With the ML's the sense of having the base separate from the mids and highs seemed to tarnish the sonic image. The maggies also seemed to represent a better dollar for sound value as well. Both of course benefit from a solid upstream in gear. Both would be a blast to own.
Owned ML Sequel II's for years, Odysseys for 2 years. Maggie 1.5's for 10 years. I now own the Summits. Yes, I love stats. The Summits combine all I loved about the previous models, great tone in the mid rage, great imaging and stage depth. What the older logans lacked was fast tight tuneful bass, that could match the clarity of the panel. The Summit has made the intergation with the bass almost perfect, when placed properly and combined with world class equipment. With less then world class equipment they are ruthless in exposing flaws in a system.
What I liked about the Maggies they were smooth from top to bottom. However, for me the bottom wasn't low enough. And to me the high's were a tad bright for my taste.
They were more forgiving with lesser equipment, and poor recordings. I haven't heard higher level Maggie's to comment more.
If your a stat lover and looking in their price range buy a nice tube amp and a pair of Summits, and enjoy the music. In a normal home listening room, for one person listening, I don't think you can reproduce better music. Regardless of how much you spend on speakers. (Just my 2 cents)
I have had both maggis 1.6-3.6 , Martin logans in the Request their last mk-2 . The martin logan was fast with a bit better inner resolution , the bass does not match the panel speed even with the prodigy I heard the bigger Maggi s ribbon beat any tweeter out there ,even the smaller 1.6 sounds more seamless than the Martin Logans, If you have the room rhe big 20 is a giant killer, in the Maggi line,but these require high current to make them sing .
also the big Sound labs are probable the most dynamic of any panel loudspeaker, the Innersound speakers are a very good panel conventional speaker setup-although with a tighter sweetspot, this is a 2 year observation overall.