maggie mmg's, and keep the change.
17 responses Add your response
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.
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.
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.