A-You need to listen to them. Very different sound qualities. Also, where will you be sitting? The Maggies have an awesome sweet spot. From my experiences, ML's are more forgiving.
B-What's driving them? You better have a lot of power.
C-Placement-Both of these sound much better far from a wall. When I had them in my 15 x 25 room, I kept them at least 3-4 feet from any wall.
They can be great but you need to listen to them first.
Another option is MMGs with subwoofers (if the rest of your system can accommodate that). Last I looked, MMGs were about $600 and a pair of top flight 12" subs from SVS or Rythmik ran anywhere from $1k (very good) to $1700ish (superb). I've run the MMG plus Rythmik combo and preferred it to Maggie 3.6s in the same room, FWIW. That's with the pricier subs, however.
Either way, with both of these options you're in the same or lower price range. More good news: All of these products are available manufacturer direct with full refund if your in-home audition doesn't cut the mustard.
Disclaimer, I use Audyssey to manage the subs and provide room EQ. I think it's a big part of the great results that I get.
Good luck with the purchase.
I have the 1.7s and couldn't agree more with elevick. It is so important to get these guys back away from the front wall. I am in a room 13 x 20 with cathedral ceilings and an alcove off the back about 8 x 10. I am using the room length wise, with the speakers about 8 ft. off the wall. With the dipole speakers firing front and rear you have a lot of reflection to deal with coming back at you from the front wall. You have the original sound wave coming directly from the speaker and then the secondary signal bouncing back at you from the wall a split second later. What you are dealing with is what is called the Haas effect, which I understand reinforces positively some of the sound waves and hurts some others. My understanding is that once you get these speakers back off the wall far enough, most of the negative effects go away. I find that the sound I get has an expansive sound stage is is so wide open. The music appears to originate off the front wall. If you stand between the speakers while they are playing you can really experience the sound coming back at you from the wall. Here is a link to info on the Haas effect
The phenomenon of the two different time arrivals also results in what the experts refer to as comb filtering. Here is a nice discussion from PS Audio
I am certainly not an expert regarding acoustics and hope I didn't give any wrong of confusing information. I think it is fascinating, especially when you can experience in your own room. Good luck.
All of the above is excellent advice. Though 3ft. is given as the minimum distance planars should be from the wall behind them, acoustic theory suggests a minimum of 5ft. is actually more like it. That allows for the arrival time at your ears of the direct (from the front of the panels) and reflected (from the wall behind them) sound to be perceived as separate events by your brain, rather than as a single, blurred one. Sound travels at about one foot per millisecond, and acoustic events need to be no less than about ten milliseconds apart to be perceived separately (the precedence effect). With a panel 5’ from the wall, the sound from it’s backside, after being reflected from that wall, will reach your ears ten milliseconds (5’ + 5’) after the sound directly from the front of the panel. The reflected sound will therefore be heard as an event separate from the direct sound, which is what is wanted.
You should also know that, when the rear wave arrives back at the panel, that wave will contain certain frequencies that are in opposite polarity to the same frequencies currently being produced by the panel, the two therefore cancelling (+1 plus -1 = 0). It’s complicated! If you go with a panel speaker, do so knowing a fair amount of trial-and-error adjustment will be required to get the best sound from them in your room. It’s worth it---planars rule!
Thanks to all who responded so. Unfortunately, I would NOT get the Maggies I listed that far into the room I listened .to Martin Logan ESF-EM, and I like them, though they are not the last work word in resolution. Also placement is a problem, like the Maggies, possibly less critical.
To Martiki, that loaner policy does not apply to the new Maggie .7 speakers Reason: unknown. For a company that has been in business for at least 40 years, their customer service is marginal. I called them 3x to find out why .7 was not on the loaner list, only to find out each time that "Wendell" ( who I assume is the CEO of marketing) was out on the road, and there was no one else I could talk to. The last time I called, I spoke to the parts buyer. Wendell come home and answer some questions.
Unfortunately, my closest Maggie dealer is 40 miles away in a town named La Habra, California. I think the product would be bettered represent by a dealer in Pasadena, California. which is a community with plenty of wealthy people and transient traffic..
Jim, Brooks Berdan Ltd. is an Eminent Technology dealer, and last time I was there they had a pair of LFT-8b to listen to. Some people prefer it to the 1.7, roughly the same price. The ET features push-pull design as opposed to the single ended 1.7, and is crossover-less between 180Hz and 10kHz, quite a feat!. It is a hybrid, with an 8" cone woofer for 180Hz and below. Though both magnetic planar speakers, they sound somewhat different. The ET website has some pro reviews of the speaker. Well worth a trip to BBL in Monrovia, just down the 210 freeway about ten miles East of Pasadena, to hear for yourself. I bought a pair from Sheila!
To bdf24, Thanks for the heads up about the BBL. I know about his shop, but never been there. I will check out the ET website for info and reviews, before making a trip to Monrovia. Sounds promising, if I could just get the good wife on the program of having speakers 4 ft into the room from the back wall.