What planer speaker to start with? Budget 2k

I've been wanting to try a pair of planer speakers for a while now. I just don't know where to start. I have an Aleph 5 to drive them, and I have a sub. My listening room is 17' by 25' by 8'. So far my favorite speakers are an old pair of Epos es-11's. My budget (which hasn't been cleared by my wife yet...) is $1999. I listen to everything except country and jazz. Thanks in advance.
maggie mmg's, and keep the change.
I agree with Jaybo. Get a pair of Maggie MMGs. Don't know if they still do it, but Maggie used to allow you to trade them up their line for full retail trade-in credit. Even if they don't still have that program, you can re-sell a pair of MMGs for $400-$500 nearly every day here on the GoN.

You almost can't go wrong. Heck, if you buy a mint pair of used MMGs here, you can try them and re-sell for little/no loss if you don't love them.


Love the Maggies, but if I had a room that size- I go with the 1.6's(same efficiency as the MMG). Better bottom end and overall dynamics, regardless of your listening tastes. Usually available for $1000 to $1300 in here, and you won't be tempted to invest in a sub(quite as soon).
I agree with Rodman. I have a pair of MG12 that I enjoy, but wish I had the space for the larger 1.6's. The other interesting planar on my "need to listen to" list is the eminent tech.
MMGs ($600) and a Velodyne SMS-1 ($600) to integrate your sub. If the sub is decent, you will have one awfully good, truly full range speaker system on your hands. I just set this system up (with two Velodyne SPLR 8" subs) and -in most (though not all) important respects- it's the best sounding speaker system I've had in my room. It's also BY FAR the cheapest.

Incedentally, don't overlook the benefits of a small panel. I used to own Maggie 3.5s some years back and room interactions were far more difficult to address with those than with the MMGs.

Good Luck

The MMG's would be cool...and keepers if you go to HT, and can use them as surrounds!
I sold a pair of MG-1s (late 70's issue) which had been factory rebuilt and were a fine intro to Maggie sound, and for less than the above, MMGs.
MMGs will be selling yourself short. You really need the 12's or better to get the full feel of planers. Personally, I'd find some electrostatics, Logan, Soundlab or even older Quads. I had cheap maggies and the difference between those and a pair of Acoustat 2+2's was unbelievable.
I was wondering about an "older" set of quads, the 57's possibly?
For just over half that budget you could have had my pair of Soundlab Pristine II full range electrostats. I had them advertised at a VERY low price at the Asylum because I didn't want to move them. No offers... so they're coming with.
I don't think your amp will work well with Maggies...I could be wrong though?

If you have $2k you need to look at Maggie 1.6qr's as stated above, or a very good condition, in fact with your budget you could send them back to Magnepan, of Maggie IIIa's. Both great speakers, but both need a lot of power, the more the better.
His amp has MOSFET outputs that will drive maggies just fine, as long as he's not trying to rock the house. The Aleph 5 should output a solid 80-100WPC to the maggie's 4 to 6 ohm nominal load before any kind of clipping occurs. Yes: With Maggies- More IS better, but unless he's an SPL freak(like me): the combo(MMG or 1.6) should be satisfying.
The two strongest contenders in this class for $2k are the 1.6's and the Eminent Technology LFT-8B (upgraded version of the LFT-8A). I wrote the review of the ET for Dagogo.com in which I converted the 8A version to the 8B version and describe the improvement.

You can hardly go wrong with either speaker. Either one would love more power, and as long as you don't try to broadcast to the world with listening level you'll be fine with your amp. :)
I suggest avoiding all hybrid planers. Getting rid of the box is only half the advantage available to a planer design. The other half is the full range driver.
Crossovers, especially in the midrange, ruin the continuity of the sound. Full range electrostatics are the most successful designs, despite their power and size requirements. Quads, Acoustats, and Soundlab are the best known, but many choices are available including several DIY designs.
Like Douglas, I think the ET LFT 8 is a great choice at the price point - the Vandy 2 would be the other (non-planar) speaker that instantly comes to mind at app $2K. When asked my opinion, I've recommended these 2 speakers as the "go to" choices at the price point for many years - in the case of the Vandys, for decades.

However, the MMG offers the opportunity to utilize the Velodyne SMS sub interface and PEQ (and an $800 sub of your choice) at the same price point. Since you already own a sub, you can pocket the difference. IMHO, in most rooms, this is simply a better mousetrap. Note that you'll be crossing actively below 100hz and, with a little work, integration issues can be minimized (particularly with the SMS). In my room, the integration could reasonably be called "seamless".

As to the MMG vs. 12 or 1.6s, there are certainly trade offs. But, I've owned 3.5s and never got them to perform nearly as well as the MMG/SMS/SPLR 8 set up I'm now using. Before buying the MMGs, I auditioned the 3.6Rs at a local dealer. Diferent system, different room, etc. Not remotely a controlled comparison. However, I'd note following:

The total cost of the SMG+sub set up I just bought is app $2400 (with 2 SPLR 8 subs) The 3.6Rs carry a current list of $5K. Although the 3.6 certainly has some performance advantages -- it is noticeably more dynamic than the MMG -for me, the cheaper set up would be a no-brainer even at the same price point. No doubt this reflects my personal priorities, so YMMV.

be careful if you elect ML to evaluate panel age and condition. When I bought my Quest I didn't know enough to budget new panels in the near future due to age of the original panels.
take the trash out on time a few more times and ask for enough to get the 3.6..MMG is dwarfed by them...MMG is good for the money, but not close to being within sniffing distance of the 3.6...Jeff