Soundlab Dynastat v. Magnepan MMG

Hello to All:

I currently use Magnepan MMGs driven by a Counterpoint NPS200A. Does anyone have experience and guidance on whether a Dynastat upgrade would give greater credence to orchestral and other classical compositions given the Soundlabs' hybrid technology versus Magnepan's electrostat engineering on the MMGs?

Thank you for your patience and assistance in this matter.
You are definately on the right track ('true to the original') in a dipole speaker design. The MMG goes down to 50hz (the MG 1.6 to 40hz). If they operate in a smaller room, say 10x12, the MMG will be better suited since the max in that room is 47hz (565 divied by 12).

If you want a significant upgrade I would lose the amp and replace with one of lower distortion. The THD of the Counterpoint is probably more like <1-2% 20hz-20khz, where the more accurate amps show a <0.005% over a 5hz-50khz frequency range (similarly for IMD)

The vintage Halfer DH-200/220 is consistently available for $200, The Muse 160 for maybe $750, or the ATI line, which is probably the best value. Bry$ton is also comparable but pricy, and Jeff Rowlands is $$$ but a work of art in build quality ($8k though).

Other than that, I believe the only step up is to move to an open baffle design . For seamless integration throughout the frequency range, a wide and deep sweet spot (no vice needed for your head, and not so finiky about setup).

In either case, be careful to not put lower frequencies in a room that cannot handle it. It will only corrupt the frequencies above it, and no setup or acoustic treatment will rectify the problem. It takes a 24' dimension to handle 24hz for instance.
First the disclaimer - I peddle Sound Labs. But I also think highly of Maggies, and have often recommended them.

I had Sound Lab Dynastats side-by-side with Maggie 3.6's for two months, and compared them extensively. Once the Dynastats were properly set up (there are a few tricks to getting the bias and level controls set right), it was obvious that each speaker had its relative strengths. The Dynastats were more articulate and had a bit richer presentation along with deeper bass, while the Maggies were smoother, more forgiving, and more coherent top-to-bottom. The weak point of the Dynastats was the wooferbox - the bass didn't blend with the panels as well as it did on the full-range-dipole Maggies, and you could still hear the woofer box. The weak point of the Maggies was that it had a bit less inner detail, quite a bit less bass extension, and that psychoacoustically pleasing 2 kHz to 6 kHz dip also removed some of the liveliness and upper harmonic richness from, for example, solo piano. At low volume levels the Maggies didn't really come to life, while the Dynastats sounded quite good at low volume levels. The Maggies imaged a bit better, and the Dynastats were more efficient. The Dynastats seemed to prefer tubes, while the Maggies seemed to prefer solid state or very powerful tube amps.

Overall I can see how some people would prefer the Maggie 3.6 over the Dynastat, and vice versa.

Hopefully this will be useful information for comparing the MMG's to the Dynastats. The full-range MMG will probably still be more coherent than the Dynastats, and the Dynastats will have more inner harmonic detail and richness.

Here's the trick to adjusting the level controls on the Dynastat: First, set the woofer level to about 5 (this can be changed later). Next set the brilliance control to 10 (max'ed out). Then use the bias control as a midrange level control. I found that the best-sounding setting is well below the crackle threshold. Turn the bias control slowly, listening carefully for how "sweet" the midrange is. Too low and the sound is dull and lifeless; too high and the sound is bright and midrangey, but at the right bias level setting the midrange is sweet and the highs articulate but not edgy.

If you get the Dynastats, it might well be worthwhile to tweak the woofer boxes a bit. I recommend gluing Deflex to the sides and bottom surfaces (you'll have to cut the round Deflex sheet into pizza slices to do the sides). I also recommend filling the port with tightly-packed drinking straws. Pack 'em in until they hold tightly by friction, and assume a honeycomb-like configuration. This will cut down on port midrange resonances and lower the box tuning frequency a bit (which in my room was an improvement). Finally, put a five to ten pound solid object (lump of lead, granite, etc.) on top of the wooferbox. If you want to go all out, affix several pounds of lead to the center (or as close to the center as you can get) of each box panel, on the inside. This will significantly reduce boxiness. It's not that the woofer box is especially poor; it's just that the electrostatic panel is so darn clean and uncolored that little colorations in the woofer box stick out more than they normally would.

Best of luck to you, Somut!

I would just like to convey my gratitude to you all for your patience and assistance in articulating such detailed and helpful thinking on this issue.
Hi. You posted this a while ago, but I've owned Maggie 1.6QR's and now Soundlab Dynastats, and IMHO the Dynas absolutely kill the Maggies. More life, more bass, super low distortion and you can actually move around the room and hear almost the same tonal balance, they're that multidirectional. I highly recommend them if they will fit in your room and be accepted by your loved ones. And you'll need some power, at least 100 W/ch solid state.