Monitor selection

I hope you guys can help me out with my dilemma. My system consists of:
Ah! Njoe Tjeob CDP with the Burr Brown OPA627 Op-amp upgrade
Van Den Hul The Bay C5 IC
Parasound HCA 750 power amp
Acoustic Research speaker wire (to be replaced soon)
Magnepan MMG

The problem is that I don’t get much clarity and detail from the MMGs, so I plan to sell them and buy some used monitors. I need some monitors that are bright and have really good midrange, bass is not really critical because I have a subwoofer. I’m in a cramped dorm room measuring 14 x 21, and I can only spend about $700, maybe $800. Here is a list of used speakers that I found in my price range.

Totem Model One
Meadowlark Audio Vireos
Vienna Acoustics Haydn
PSB Stratus MINI
Omega TS-1 R
Angstrom Legato
Silverline SR-11
Soliloquy 5.0
Linn Katan

I need some help in deciding which one to buy, also let me know if there are better monitors out there.

MMG's are supposed to be very good when it comes to midrange quality, I am not sure why you did not like them. Can you not listen to any of the speakers and decide which suits you best? This would be the best option.

My or as matter of fact anyones recommendation may not be the best solution as you have to live with them not the folks who tell you what to buy. If I were you I would start with the first model you mentioned. Totem Model 1 and take it from there.

I reiterate that your own ears will tell you more about what is RIGHT than any of us on this forum.
Of the ones you have listed, I've owned the B&W and also the PSB's. B&W's are first rate. Especially when you have the positioning just perfect. The PSB's in my opinion, are terrible. Again, just my opinion. I've heard the Linn, but have not owned it. I didn't care for it all that much, but that could have been associated equipment. I have owned the Meadowlark Swift. Not the same speaker, but I think close. I could be wrong. I wasn't real impressed with the Meadowlarks, it didn't live up to all the hype. I don't think I can speak intelligently on the other models. Hope this helps.
Hard to imagine why maggies are not clear, considering that's there long suit. I would encourage trying different amps, and speaker cable before replacing them. My bet is that something upstream is preventing them from reaching their potential. Also, are you sure they are not damaged? Electrostatics can arc when pushed, killing off sections. Sorta like my brain at a Pink Floyd concert during the animals tour.
Quad 11L or 12L(at the high end of your budget)...they offer incredible resolution,speed,dynamics, and a very wide soundstage(wide sweet spot)...they dont quite have the"see through" transparency of Maggies...but nontheless...they have very low box "colorization"....and very tight, punchy bass for a monitor...they are rear ported in design...
Duddley, Magnaplanars are not electrostatics, and cannot arc. You haven't got any experience with these speakers, do you? Please don't blame it on Pink...
Triangle Titus for $250-350 pop up on this site often...with a sub...they would be exactly what you are looking for...detail, transparency, and huge soundstaging from such a small speaker...good luck...
The PSB's and Linns fit the bill.
the psb's are probably not what you're looking for...

Totem ones would be nice. They offer quite good soundstaging / imaging and reproduce midrange in a very realistic manner.

btw, i suspect that your Parasound is a hindering factor in the overall equation.
Kinima G1s are a very transparent, nonfatiging, great soundstaging and craftsmanship that is only found in more expensive speakers. I heard the b&w and PSB, which are nice speakers, but the Kinima g1s has a little cleaner deeper bass, smoother highs and midrange that is very musical. I am using an Audio Aero Prima amp and cdp with cardas bi-cross wires. Go to zetagcorp for info. These should be in your price range, or less.

Are you sure that the Kinima G1 sounds better than the B&W CDM1NT, considering the price difference?

Anyone else feel the same way?


I stand corrected. As Zaikesman so enthusiastically points out, Maggies are not electrostatic, and hence can not arc. I have, however, heard them on several occasions, and simply assumed, based on their sound and appearance, that they were electrostatics, and I apologize to you for my mistake in this area. I do, however, maintain my opinion that maggies are clear sounding speakers, and I still recommend experimenting with various upstream components before giving up on them.

Now, Z, are you planning to offer some useful advice to Lawbadman, or will you continue to lurk on his thread until another opportunity arrives for you to piss on the next guy who makes on honest mistake? You could have pointed out my error without making accusations and snide remarks, and I would have been grateful to you. Instead, I'm disgusted. I can only guess at what motivated you, but I'll wager the security of distance, anonymity, and the need to feel superior play a role. Whatever the case, I'll thank you to refrain from addressing me until you're prepared to apologize as publicly, and as effectively as you insult.

Lawbadman, I also apologize for this distraction to you and your readers. I thought about responding to Z privately, but he pulled this crap publicly, and I believe he should be afforded the opportunity to apologize (to us both) in kind. I hope he doesn't abuse it.

Well, I won't take up anymore of everyone's time. Good luck with whatever you decide to do Lawbadman, and please share what you discover along the way. After all, we're all here to learn.
I'm sorry if you feel that way Duddley, but I'm not sorry for what I wrote, which to me is not nearly as bad as you make it out (I mean, I wound up with a joke, fer Pete's sake, and there's a difference between being 'snide' and being terse). But what were we supposed to think? I asked you an honest question about your experience, and you still haven't answered it. It seemed like you were offering advice about something you were unfamiliar with, and from what you've written in response, I'm still not sure that you've ever actually heard MMG's, which is *not* the same thing as having heard other Maggie models. If this is indeed the case, then it is probably you who should apologize, and your touchiness about being questioned on it makes me wonder. I did not set out to attack you, but please make it clear for us whether or not you've ever heard the same model of speakers that Lawbadman owns. If so, you are certainly entitled to your own take on the matter. When speaking of the anonymity of the web and the need to feel superior, the temptation to comment authoritatively on topics where we may not have specific knowledge is something about which I feel we all must be ever-vigilant, and it can be tough to refrain.

As for my being more constructive, this particular thread in large part exists because of a suggestion I made on Lawbadman's previous thread related to this topic. If you want to read my advice - and especially if you want to see what I write when I'm *really* calling people out - click on his threads and go read that. (Yes, what I wrote there is also just my opinion, but I've even gotten a couple of congratulatory emails on taking the unpopular hard-line stance that I did in that thread, FWIW - I would be curious to know what you think after reading it, but please believe me when I say that I'm not *always quite* such a jerk :-) You will see there why I feel a bit of a need to be somewhat protective concerning the accuracy of info posted here about the MMG's - it's a matter of personal responsibility, and I'm further out on a limb with a relative neophyte's system on the line than I would normally care to be. The reason I'm not making specific suggestions here is because, as I alluded to there, I lack enough experience with recent speaker models in the catagory I'm recommending to him to be of much help, something I can honestly state is not the case concerning the speakers he presently owns.

I've only been seeing you on the forum since pretty recently from what I can recall, but you are obviously a well-written and intelligent poster. I hope to be able to not only read what you've written, but to engage in constructive dialog with you in the future, no apologies necessary. (And if you ever feel like you want to continue this discussion offline beyond whatever you may post, by all means do not hesitate to get in touch.) Sincerely, Z.
Quads:fast,clean, brainer
The impressions I shared are regarding "Maggies" as a breed, and not specific to any one model. I have heard them on several occasions and in different venues and simply don't recall which models in the alphabet soup they may have been at the time. I apologize if I wasn't clear on this point, and, again, for the subsequent side line conversation it provoked.

I any case, I still encourage you to experiment with sources and cables before making a final judgment on your MMGs. You may find the time well invested regardles of the outcome.
The B&W can cause fatigue. They sound great at first and then begin to grate on you. Totems are nice but can sound a little closed in. Play with placement on them. The Vireos are very musical and detailed. They sound best off the wall and 6-7 feet apart. PSB are not bad for the money, but are dark. I would take them off the list. The Silverline are sweet and worth more attention as are the Soliloquy. Sorry, but I cannot comment on the others.
Lawbadman, the Kinimas are easier on the ear compared to the B&W. With what I have, Audi Aero Prima int, cdp, Cardas wires and Van Den Hul cords, the Kinimas really sing. You can spend hours with these without any listener fatigue or ringing in your ears afterwards. I work nights and come home to an empty house where I can relax and chill. The only problem with the Kinima's is they take a long time to break in. Go to google, search Kinima G1, select Wondermill Eclectics and call to speak to the designer. He will answer you questions. Good luck.
Thanks for the help, I have narrowed down my selection to the Quad 11L and the Totem model 1. I think I will play around with the MMGs a little longer. Like Loose said, it might be the Parasound, so my next move is to go buy a better amp. If that doesnt work then I will go get one of the monitors.

To Zaikesman and Duddley, yall just relax. Stuff like this irritates me becasue this web site is not about trashing each other, its about sharing ideas and information. Zaikesman, your reply was a tad harsh, Duddley was only trying to help me out.
I know you narrowed it down, but you may also want to look into Epos M12's. I think they have the exact qualities you are looking for.

Lawbadman, you'll be happy to know that Duddley and I have kissed and made up offline...

Although I've used similar amps with the MMG's before, and suspect it would be a decent/appropriate match, I'm not in a position to tell you anything about the Parasound 750 combo in particular, and obviously better amps do exist. Let us know what you find out, and best of luck. Happy listening, Z.
Lawbadman...great choices...if you need help locating a pair of Quad 11Ls let me know...