If you haven't already done so - post this at the planar speaker section over at Audio Asylum - thats where many Maggie owners hang out...
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I have had Maggies for 13 years in 4 different listening rooms with 3 different amplifiers (class A, tube, and class AB) and have never tired of their sound. They are very sensitive to room placement and are very revealing in high frequency information. After extensive experimentation, I found that the distance from the back wall, toe in and separation (in that order and to within a tolerance of 1/4 inches) were all critical to getting the best sound. I also found that a modest treatment of the ceiling corners, wall corners and back wall with a set of Room Tunes was essential. If you like the Maggie soundstage, don't let your room contraints deter you from a potentially rewarding purchase, but you will need to devote many listening sessions to proper setup. Enjoy and good luck!
I've moved my Maggie 1.5QRs through better and worse adapted rooms, without ever regretting them. I find that even in poor rooms you can get a small spot where imaging and sound really blossom, its just hard to enlarge the sweet spot. Even in a sub-optimal setup I think you have to spend twice as much to equal the sound of the Maggies. As for position advive, getting them AT LEAST 18 inches or if possible 2 feet from the back wall makes a huge difference. also angle them in slightly in a small roomand try and leave at least 6 or 8 feet between the speakers.
The magnepans will work wonderfully in your room. In fact your room is near ideal. The only catch is that you will have to bring them out into the room a bit - 3 to six feet. I have mine (which I admit are for sale) 4 feet out into my 20 x 12 room. They actually sound even better if they are brought out more. Magnepans are supposed to sound best with a brick wall behind them. If you can, I would actually put them on the long wall. Try both ways - they are light !
If you buy a set, and get a good deal you will not lose much if anything at resale time. Magnepan 1.6's are in the enviable position of selling champagne quality at a beer budget price. I've owned a couple of speakers in the last few years, most of them 4-8 times the price of the magnepans. The 1.6QR's ran with all of them. I do caution you that they are visually distracting. That is my problem with mine. Much as I like the sound, I hate having these huge black panels sitting in my room. Another thing to consider is that you will have less capital invested in magnepans, thus less lost investment income.
You do need some major juice to get a big soundstage out of these. I never realized that my 100w vt100 was underpowered with them until I put a set of 220watt (actually measure at 275w) Wolcotts tube amps on them. Completely changed the speaker. The soundstage tripled in size. The wizard of oz returns !
My listening room is nearly the same dimensions as yours and the results with my 1.6QR's was absolutely wonderful! You may need to damp your rear wall but you should be able to achieve excellent results. Good luck!
I've been in the hi-fi biz since 1975. The last 20 of which is in manufacturing record playing products. We use Magnepan 1.6QR's in our test lab and they are great. When my Dad and I owned a very well regarded hi-fi store we lost a bunch of sales to the other store that sold Maggies.
For build quality, dependability, superb sound, tonal accuracy, transient response, and dollar value, you will be hard pressed to find better!
Listen to all that you can with your music from reputable dealers and choose wisely.
Good Luck Don,
As an ex-Maggie owner, I agreed with all the positive qualities that Hififile stated in his post. However, as a friendly warning, I'd like to add that Maggies are visually intrusive and can be easily tipped over -- not the speakers if you have young childrens or big dogs around the house. I was forced to depart with my MG2 10 years when my 2-year-old son simply coulnd't resist the thought of seeing how those large white panels collapse. Nonetheless, sonic-wise, the Maggies do present great value.