Three electrostat choices and my room-- need help

I am going to replace my old speakers. My wife wants only electrostats. I have wanted enough bass to finally have a full range set, good for organ, bass fiddle and maybe kick drum. I think our little club here has enough offerings for me to be ready to buy. So I start with three choices, but in each case, the ads here say "too big for my room".

My music room is 12 by 24. I like Martin Logan Prodigy, but feel the mark-up is a bit high, even used. We both like the Quad 989. And my wife likes the big Magenepans. What can my room tolerate? And all your wisdom is appreciated!
You might try a pair of Wisdom Audio M-50 which is a 50' planar magnetic driver atop a 12' woofer. It will fit your room well and give you bass down to about 18-22 Hz without any boominess and the planar/electrostat sound but with a wide sweetspot.
Call me at 248-626-2780 or e-mail to discuss further.
My wife wants only electrostats
We both like the Quad 989. And my wife likes the big Magenepans.

doesent sound like you have a problem at all man!
FWIW, here was my experience auditioning electrostats:
-Prodigy, at least the way the dealer set it up, was so fatiguing I had to stop the demo after 10 minutes. Sure, the soundstage was impressive, and they had plenty of resolution, but they were overbearing in both the treble and bass. Electronics were McIntosh solid state. The room was probably too small for them.

-Quad 988: nice sound, enough bass for my taste, but just a tick to the bright side. It took me about 45 minutes of careful listening to decide this.

-another electrostat you did not mention: The Soundlab U1. To me these were the most natural sounding, and they had impressive bass power and clarity. The soundstage was not as focused as the Quad's.
My only concern is your room dimensions, 12 X 24. Tough room for any speaker, never mind panels.
Big maggies are great(I own a pair and they are one of a small hand full of speakers I would ever own) but they are not electrostat's they are planer's- similar in shape(sort of) and have some of the same sound characteristics but that's where the similarities end. If she considers them electrostat's then by all means take a good listen to the 3.6 and the 20.1(if its in your price range). I am not a huge fan of ML's they tend to lack the coherency that make an electrostat great. I think the Innersound Eros MkIII is the "budget" electrostat to beat, in the hybrid configuration that is. Soundlab's do somethings wonderfully, but if you like to listen LOUD and to extremely heavy music anything short of the U-1 or U-B1 sub will leave you wanting more. That being said if you don't listen terribly loud and don't like heavy complicated music there may be a Soundlab right for you. Even maggie's have there short comings, if your room isn't right and you don't have the right amp it just won't happen, and you can't be affraid to turn them up! The louder they get the more resolution you get, which doesn't bother me, but some people really don't like that. Soundlabs are the opposite, they get maximum resolution at around 60dB! They are capable of playing much louder but you won't get much if any more information at higher volumes.

Of course as you've noticed electrostat's and planer's have speed, transperency, imaging, coherency and image density to kill for. Yet some folks still prefer the dynamics from point source drivers, so there are always trade offs.

In other words I think your heading in the right direction and suggest adding Innersound Eros MkIII to your list, besided Roger Sanders of Innersound a great guy :)
Slappy be makin' this forum topic happy! Go with it!
Martin Logan prodigy,at 7500.00 or lower used you can't go wrong Period!! These are Awesome speakers. You need to say what your price range is and what your system consist off??The Odyssey and Ascent are lower in price and offer excellent sound and value. I have owned all 3 and listen and haven't had one complainant on any of them. happy hunting.
I think you've got enough room for electrostatics. They really need to be off the back wall, but with 24' you should be able to do that.

If you liked the ML Prodigy, consider an Odyssey. They're available here used for about $4500/pr.

The Magnepans should fit too, and the 3.6s are even less - new. Great value. Not sure about placement of the 20.1s although they would seem to have the same requirements as the 3.6's.

Well first of all, let me compliment your wife on her fine taste in loudspeakers, and you on your fine luck in marrying her!

The Martin-Logan Prodigy, with it's cardioid-pattern bass system, ought to work quite well in your room, as you can position it fairly close to the wall without getting excessive bass reinforcement. Personally I prefer full-range electrostats, but the Prodigy is probably the best hybrid for your room.

If you and your wife are inclined towards a full-range planar, may I mention for your consideration the Sound Lab Millennium-2. The dimensions are comparable to the big Maggie 20's, so they ain't small, but they are arguably the most articulate loudspeaker on the market (along with their siblings). Sound Labs' resolution of low-level detail is superb, and they have genuine bottom end extension. The catch is, they like powerful amplifiers - but there are some reasonably-priced amps that will drive them quite readily. The Sound Labas are pretty much unique among electrostats in giving you an extremely wide sweet spot (the discontinued Beveridges did likewise), and this is especially welcome if your wife is going to listen with you. In fact, the tonal balance really doesn't change throughout the listening room, and is quite enjoyable even a room or two away. This is because their radiation pattern is extremely consistent up and down the spectrum, so as you move farther away and the reverberant field dominates the tonal balance stays correct. This is a characteristic of live music that few speakers can recreate, but back in the listening room it contributes to long-term fatigue-free listening. You can listen to Sound Labs literally all day long and never begin to get fatigued - their presentation is warm and rich and totally devoid of coloration. And if your nighttime listening calls for low volume levels, with the Sound Labs you'll still be able to hear all the little nuances that most speakers can't resolve at low levels.

The Millennium-2's are in the price ballpark of the Maggie 20.1 and the Martin Logan Prodigy, and therefore are a bit more expensive than the Quad 989.

Your room size wouldn't be a problem at all with Sound Labs. They are easily integrated into a wide variety of room shapes and sizes, and indeed are considerably less room-dependent than most speakers. You could even put the full-sized Millennium-1's in there if you wanted.

I'd me more than happy to take a shot at any questions you might have, and if you let me know where you're located I'll put you in touch with the nearest dealer or try to find a local Sound Lab owner who can let you have a listen.

Best of luck to you in your quest!


Here's Sound Lab's site:
And, here's my site:
I always felt my Maggie 1.6s were too big for my 13 x 22 room, I felt the QR midrange overpowered the reflective surfaces of walls that close, I do not think a 12 x 24 room would work for the bigger Maggies.
I have a pair of Prodigy's and tried moving them out of my living room (and wifes way)to a room in my house of similar size to yours (12x22x8). I did not have good results, the room was just too small in my opinion. The speakers would not image very well and I had to place them almost right next to the side walls. To make a long story short I built a saperate listening room (15x22x11) and this size is just enough......... I still feel like I would like a bigger space with these speakers though.
Had you considered the Innersound EROS or ISIS.If you decide on the EROS,get it with the passive crossover.It is far superior to the biamped version and gets rid of the "hole' near the xover point.May have a connection for a new pair.Cheers.
Hello Aceto. Gotta like your dilema.Your wife obviously has a pair of very good ears! You didn't mention any thing about your amplification.Most of the bigger planars and e-stats require some very healthy amplification which would obviously impact on your decision to be sure, not to mention your concern with your room dimensions .Take note of Tireguy's very imformative post as well as the Dukes.It is imperative that you give any planar type speaker the room to breath, meaning well away from the back wall! You will have to experiment with what will work best regarding distances from the side walls as well as your listening seat in relation to the back wall. The listening seat must "not" be up against the back wall[very important!]I am in the Soundlab camp as far as the elotrostatics are concerned... however I have not heard the new Quad 989.I have owned and played with many planars types since the early 1970's, from the Quad 57's,stacked 57's, Dayton Wright's, acoustat x,acoustat 2+2's,magnaplanar tympani 1V's,Quad 63's, and soundlab A-1's.The soundlabs A-1's are without any doubt the finest "full range" electrostatic speaker I have ever heard or had the pleasure of owning...that said,they also require a rather large room and some very powerful amplification to energize them.I prefer tube amplification with all e-stats... The soundlabs as well as the big maggies need gobs of tube power which can obviously be rather expensive. In my case...I experimented with a ton of different amps and found[to my dismay]that only the big atma-shere OTL's would fit the bill! I am sure there are a "handful" of others out there as well.You can certainly drive the Quads with far less power.It appears that you like to have the ability to be able pressurize the room with some extended bass response.The sound labs can do that. With most of the other E-stats, you may or may not have that luxury, and keep in mind it is extremely difficult to mate an electrostatic with a subwoofer[s].I am not suggesting it is impossible to accomplish,just very very difficult to get it to sound coherent... given the purity,speed,and resolution that e-stats are noted for! Most of the current E-stats I have heard that incorporate a woofer just don't quite cut it for me and seem to be a comprimize the beauty of the stator!To get it right.. you would certainly need a very good sub and a "top shelf" crossover. The crossover is extremely critical here and would certainly be very expensive as well! I am getting a little carried away here gang.. I apologize. Anyway...gotta like your dilema here.Good Luck with your journey. The world would be a sad place indeed without music! Cheers David.
Yankee Audio FPR-72s? Full range planars.I replaced the ML CLSs with them and was amazed at their linearity.They only need 100w/ch max,50 would probably suffice.
Congratulations on having a wife that likes these big things in the room. That is indeed a rare find.
I concur with the Soundlab vote. But only if your ok with tireguy's description and Duke's (Audiokinesis) observations. Duke is as gracious and helpful as they come. I've owned Apogee and Logan reQuests, and the Soundlabs (mine are M1's) are in another league. With a good front end and preferably tubes, they really shine, and my room is only 13' wide and about 24' long.
Sound Labs get my vote, too. Not just because I sell them, but also because I've owned several other electrostatic speakers through the years and have found Sound Labs to be the elusive kind of "end of the road" product. There's nothing like a full range electrostat to get string bass right - listening to someone like Edgar Meyer whose range extends up to violin notes can be a revelation due to the seamlessness of the presentation - it gives me goosebumps every time! The same goes for piano, organ and many other instruments. Any of the Sound Labs will work well in your room, although I would suggest either the M-1 or M-2 (I have the U-1s in a room slightly shorter than yours). As Mrmb suggests, they work very well with some tubes; I've had great results with both solid state and tubes and demonstrate both. Sound Lab themselves have used both, and we dealers have a pretty good idea of what works well.

If you're in the midwest (I'm in the Chicago area) and would like to visit for a good listen, let me know. If you aren't nearby, perhaps I can help you locate another dealer or a local Sound Lab owner.

Warm regards,
Brian Walsh
Thanks to everybody for making my 'short' list three times bigger than when I started. I shoulda known this would backfire on me. At least a plurality has arisin for Sound Labs. Of course you'se found something more expensive than anything I started with. Oh well, as the good book says, He that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. At least I get to be jealous for the many kind remarks about my golden ears wife.
Don't forget about the Sound Lab Dynastat. Nice fit in your room (only 17" wide), not "beamy" like the Eros, under $5K, ample bass, great SL sound. If you get to San Antonio, I'd be happy to demo mine for you.

What a great problem to have! All 3 are fine choices. I personally use the Magnepans with all McIntosh solid state gear. My room is about the same dimensions as yours. The Maggies work superbly!

On a side note, I had the Martin Logan SL-3 speakers prior to the Magnepans. I like the Magnepans better. If you fiddle with placement you should be able to zero-in the Maggies to a perfect sound. Get the Maggies!