I forgot... many thanks in advance!
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Strooper, it's hard to give you an exact answers to your questions. If you are handy with tools and repairing things, it is possible for a Maggie owner to make their own repairs to a delaminated speaker panel. This is the most likely encountered repair that older Maggies might need. The only other thing to watch for is a fried ribbon from being overdriven with an under powered and clipping amp. There's no hard and fast time frame for whether panels develop problems with delamination. If you are handy and the panels need regluing, there are detailed instructions on the Maggie owners' forum for repairing them. If you are not willing to undertake this fairly major disassembly and repair in the event of problems, I'd be cautious about buying Maggies this old if I couldn't send them back to the factory. The 1.6's would be a safer purchase. That said, I owned a set of SMG's for over 10 years with no trace of a problem.
Photon46, thank you very much for your reply. Yes, it is also my feeling to be safe and to go with a new pair of 1.6QR.
However, I believe it is only right to give the 2.6R (despite its age) a fair listening before making up my mind.
The problem is I do not have enough listening experience to know how to detect a worn out (or a fried) true ribbon due to underpowered amp clipping and therefore, seeking some input on this aspect. I understand the quasi-ribbons are quite robust, hence, I'm not too worried about that.
Any tips, anyone? Thanks!
In my opinion they will very likely need work done if they are 10 years old. What happens is the wires that are glued to they mylar start to come off at the ends. They curl away. You can actually see this through the cloth at the back of the speaker on the ends. If not you can feel the back at the tops and the bottoms. If the wire is off you will know. They glue and system they used in the past was very prone to this. I visited with Mark Whiney their engineer and they now have a new mixture they think will be much improved. Most likely the ribbons will be sagging and need to be replaced. I just went through this and have 2.6R's at the factory now being repaired. They had been redone 5-6 years ago and were in need again. If you just listen to them its hard to hear that they have this problem with out some experience. All that being said they are wonderful speakers. Well worth the trouble. However if I lived outside the US I do not think I would go this route. I would probably but new 1.6QR's and not have the worry for many years to come. I assume money is an issue over the 3.6's or I would look very closely at them. There was a post recently at Audio Asylum where someone was having their IIIa's redone at Magnepan and wanted to sell them cheap as he didnt want to wait. Magnepan would then ship to you. This could also be a very good option as they are excellent as well and would last many years.
The ribbons are user replaceable. (should they ever need replacing) You just send back your old ones.
As far as repairing the mid/woofer panel, go to Maggie Users Group click on tweeks and scroll down to repairs. You can judge for yourself if you can repair a delaminated panel.
When you audition the 2.6's, listen for buzzing noises from the mid/woofer panels. (especially at a loud volume) As for the ribbon, I have never known them to work damaged (they either worked or not worked) but I would suspect there would be an audible buzzing or distortion that you could hear (if they are damaged).
I have owned several used Magnaplanars and have never had to repair or replace any parts. (KOW)
Only you can decide, but if I had the choice, I would go for the 2.6's