Speaker dilema? Maggies, Newforms, or Merlins

I have had Rogers LS3/5a's for 25 years with complimenting Rogers sub-woofer. I have a Lazarus hybrid amp, CJ preamp, Nakamichi CD Player 1, Van den Hul The First interconnects, and Audioquest cables.
I am looking to change speakers. I have always been mesmerized by the openess, air, detail and soundstage of planars and ribbons. However, I have loved my Rogers for years. I would appreciate feed back on the above mentioned speakers.


Hi, Can't speak of the Newforms or Merlins, but I have owned several sets of Magnepans and Martin Logans. The dipole impact and speed of 'stats and planar type speakers is something that people either seem to get into and like..or find not to their liking..
That said, I feel the biggest difference between most Magnepans and the woofer box with an electrostat on top is in that low freq. area. The speed and amount of info that you get from a planar bass driver is much different than the dynamic cone.
You might want to compare an acoustic string bass, the lower end of a well recorded piano,..and some male voices, like Johnny Hartman..etc. on Magnepans vs. the others...and see where that takes you.
I recently heard a set of Newform R630's at a friend's house. As a Spendor owner, they sounded bloody poor to my ears. I was amazed how a ribbon speaker could sound so "boxy". Anyway, my friend seems to be happy with them which is all that counts.

Maggies on the other hand have always sounded remarkably open, natural and detailed.
Hi, Steve. I own newforms and am presently driving them easily with sim4070Se[80 wats rms per side]. All of the three speakers are very good...can you try any of them with your equipment first? This is where friends can really help if you know someone so you can try first....You don't want to change anything else just to buy the new speakers, do you? It is hard to say which will produce the best synergy? Perhaps none of the three....How powerful is your amp? Good luck with your quest. Cheers, Bluenose
I have no personal experience with any of these, but I know that Final has major discount available on their 0.3s right now if you want to consider another alternative. I got an email from them offering them for $1,299 through the end of this month.

I have the R645's as well as a ten year old pair of Maggies. I was fully expecting to purchase the 1.6's but was not thrilled with the dealer audition and went with the Newforms instead.

To my ears, the R645's have a better overall dynamic range with better top and bottom end. Midrange is excellent also but this is Maggies strong suit and I would give the Maggies the edge here. Newforms are easier to place and drive (91db) and take up about as much space. Maggies (to me) look better cosmetically. Overall, I have found that the Newform's work well on my tube equipment. Maggies need additional horsepower (generally Solid State unless you have the cash for 100+ Watt tube amps)to shine. Both have excellent soundstage. I give the R645's the advantage of having slightly better clarity.

My very subjective opinion is that I preferred the R645's over the Maggie 1.6's and felt they were a toss-up with the 3.6's. Since the Newforms are over $1K cheaper than the 3.6's and work well with lower power tubes, I happily went with the R645's.

Ultimately, I suggest you try out the R645's and 3.6's in your own listening room with a wide range of music and electronics. I think they are both top notch speakers both for performance and value. They are also very tweakible (especially the r645's)if you want to go down that road.

Good luck.
On the surface the Merlin VSM Milleniums look like a slam-dunk-obvious choice. They have a very similiar footprint and placement requirements when compared to your LS3/5A-AB1 combo and they also easily offer the air and immediacy of the best planars but...

They are a bit fussy about both wires and upstream components. Get that nailed and they are simply the best loudspeakers anywhere close to their size and price. Don't however, expect to simply plop them into your existing system and "see God". I've been listening (and enjoying) various itterations of the VSM for about 6 years and truely believe there is simply nothing better available in a monitor suited to small-medium sized rooms. The VSM is very much a monitor though, and you will most definitely get out what you put in. Contact Bobby P. at Merlin. He is an honest, honorable man who will give great fair-minded advice to those who are serious about getting the most out of a pair of his speakers. Good luck!
I have to concur with Vince. I have compared the Merlins, which I currently own, to the Magnepans. The Magnepans have a beautiful airy, wide and transparent soundstage, as can be expected from a dipole speaker. The Merlins, however, surprisingly have the same amount of airiness and soundstage width, but with more accurate timbres and MUCH more pinpoint soundstaging. When listening to the Magnepan 1.6s, I was mightily impressed. I felt as if there was a guitar really playing on the left side of the stage. When I listen to the Merlins, the guitar became a guitar became a solid, guitar-playing man sitting on the left side of my listening room. Also, as Vince mentioned, Bobby is one of the most approachable manufacturer/designers in the business. I have talked to him on numerous occasions, and he is a fine person. Just search Audio Asylum for Merlin VSM posts, and see how often he contributes to conversations.

Happy Listening!
Vince and Kurt echo my sentiments. When I first got into this hi-end business over 15 years ago I was much enamoured with the Maggies (2.6). The only problem I had with them was I didn't have the room to let them shine, they didn't have the dynamics I really was looking for and bass was not very good.

Since that time I have listened to bookoo speaker systems and a lot more live music, my real reference in these matters. The Merlins came to my attention on Audio Asylum based on the consistent comments concerning their virtues. Their shortcomings were primarily their ultimate bass performance and the requirement that system matching is critical but with the correct synergy they were capable of magic. I bought them and found that everything above is true. They are not a plug and play system but with the correct synergy of components they offer the best that hi-end has to offer IMHO. Are they the best? To some not. But they are honest transducers that can convey the feeling and nuance of music at the "real" level as close as anything I have heard anywhere close to their cost. They are indeed what I was looking for since not only were among the best I EVER heard, more importantly I could afford them.

Don't pass on any of these systems, the Newforms I haven't heard but good things. Music reproduction is not real or close to real so opinions will vary and only your own two ears can tell you what you need to know to make your decision. Take your time and LISTEN!!! Good luck and enjoy your journey.
In my communications with BBC monitor lovers and makers, the Quad electrostats are often used or mentioned with great favor. You might want to give them a listen, as well.

Tubegroover, I really don't understand people who keep on talking about the same speaker again and again. I think some might find those types boring and obnoxious. [:)]

Harbeth Charlie [:)]
Its a funny thing that you should pop up on this thread Charlie as I was thinking of you and that maybe the Harbeths might be a real good substitute for Steve's Rogers 3/5 which even by todays standards ain't too shabby. I only wish I had 3 or 4 systems like some guys so I wouldn't have to go on so with my Merlins everytime the opportunity presents itself :^)