which one?

Vandersteen model 1 for $300 or Magnepan MMGs new?
If you don't have an amp that will put out 300 w @4ohms and is stable to 2 ohms, Vandersteen.
Have a Hafler DH-220,Sony TA-N55ES and NAD 3020 Series 20.Use the 3020 possible as a preamp.
The Vandies will have more bass and be a little easier to set up.

The Maggies will need some room to breath, but throw a terrific soundstage for their size. Your room will be the biggest factor.
Room is 20'x 15' roughly.But are the MMG's worth the extra $$$.Listen to R&B,Soul,bit of jazz.No rap or heavy rock so either speaker would work well from that aspect.
The MMGs present a near constant 4 ohm load and almost all high end amps will be fine with that (tho some budget model Japanese receivers may not be). They don't need a ton of power, but they will need a bit of grunt to show their best. IMO, it's a great speaker, but the bottom end rolls off quickly enough to make a lack of bass power evident with a lot of program material. I use a pair subs with mine and - provided you take the right steps to integrate the MMGs with the subs - this arrangement might represent the best value in full range speakers that I've ever heard.

I haven't heard the Vandy 1 in a while, but from memory I believe that it will have noticeably more impact in the bass registers (kick drum) right out of the box. Tonally, it's not too far from the Maggies from the upper bass on up. Both speakers have a lovely mid-band and gentle treble region.

Spatially, di-poles have a distinct "feel", but I believe that the Vandy actually gets closer to this than most box designs.

Two excellent speakers for the money - so it's mostly about the bottom octave and a half, IMO. If you want that included in the price, go for the Vandy. If you don't need it, or are wiling to pony up for a subwoofer or two don the road, I'd go with the Maggies.

Vandy 1 + (Vandy sub for future upgrades) will humiliate Maggies easy with any type of music and any type of amp too.
My planar impression that no matter how good they are made and no matter how good the amp is to drive'em there will be always something missing in sound vs. trivial dynamic speakers.
buy the vandy's . Then take advantage of Magnepans free in home trial .
"My planar impression that no matter how good they are made and no matter how good the amp is to drive'em there will be always something missing in sound vs. trivial dynamic speakers."

Total BS!
MMG, if you can drive them. The Vandersteen 1 is ok, but not much more.

no bs. there are no planars in professional application since they're too far away from reality, but they make every instrument sound beautiful even if it isnt.
The big thing working against planars for pro apps is their relatively low efficiency which limits their practical ability to go loud and clear compared to other designs.

PRo apps are mostly about being efficient as a result of having to manage costs yet utilize gear often required to fill large venues/rooms/halls. Hence the tendancy towards high efficiency speakers in particular that can be driven to high volumes by more modest powered amps.

Or more recently, highly efficient amp options are available (Class D) for pro apps as well, but there is still no practical case to be made for using planars for pro apps.

Also most planars tend to be very delicate not designed to be able to take a beating like good quality pro gear.

Most peoples rooms at home are not nearly so large so the options there are broader, plus aesthetics and other factors come into play as well.

So planars not used in pro applications probably can be attributed to many things that have nothing to do with sound quality really.
Have always read good things about both speakers.
Soundlab speakers are used professionally and play music wonderfully.
Yea,I've got $30,000 in my back pocket at this very moment!They better be good at that price!
Will the Hafler or Sony amps I have do the job?Have read where my NAD 3020 can as well at low volume.
The 1's are very easy to drive. You can use just about anything to power them. As far as comparing the 2 speakers you list, I would go with the Model 1's. I put my 1's next to my Magnepan 1.7's and thought that the Vandersteen's were much better. But keep in mind, thats my opinion. Some people like Magnapan better.
Paid $4500 used for my Soundlabs. Point is they are used professionally.
That's still much more than I'm able to afford.
Your Hafler has plenty of power unless you have a large room and play at loud volumes. I use YBA YA201 at 100w/ch with MMG and they sound great
Either speaker is a great deal at $300. I think that MartyK1 pretty much nailed it - if you're gonna also use a sub, go for the Maggies. Otherwise get the Vandys...

I have owned the Vandersteen 1C as well as Magnepan 12Qrs and I would go with Vandys. The only issue I have with your situation is the price of the Vandys you're looking at. If they are a pair of the older model 1s and not 1Cs, then $300 is way over priced. I sold my 1Cs for $275, and that was probably 3 or 4 years ago.
Good luck which ever way you go.
Yes,they are the basic model 1,not 1c.Thank you for that info.
I agree with Timhru. You should nego for $200 or bellow and chances you succeed are high.
I feel the new MMG is way better than the 30+ year old Vandersteen 1
Well I don't listen to music very loud so the MMG's and Hafler should be ok.Will use the NAD as my preamp.
Get the maggies and get a Crown XLS2500 amp for $500 . Add your pre and there you go .
Your DH-220 will easily output 200WPC, into a 4 Ohm load.
Plenty of power for the Maggies. You'll want to install a
couple 5 Amp fuses, in the output/speaker fuse holders, or
they'll blow earlier than needed(because of the 4 Ohm load).
Lots of easy mods to the Hafler, that will make it really
sing. Happy listening!
You want to get the most out of those panels ? the Crown puts out 775 watts into 4 ohms .
I feel the new MMG is way better than the 30+ year old Vandersteen 1

Agree with this. That being said, you can find a good pair of 1Cs used for around $300 if you're patient. If you're in Connecticut you could go for these.
Kinda leaning towards the MMG's from what I've read.
"11-14-14: John421
Kinda leaning towards the MMG's from what I've read."

Make the decision yourself. Use opinions to get ideas, but in the end, you need to choose for yourself or you won't be happy.
That's why I asked the question for never hearing either speaker I wanted opinions of people who have.Don't have the money or time to go back and forth and audition different components..Just trying to settle on one simple basic system I will be happy with.I really appreciate all the opinions.
Let me ask one final question. How tall are you? The reason I ask is with Maggies there is a vast difference in what you hear sitting in the sweet spot and what you hear almost anywhere else in the room. You can get the sound you're looking for but only in a very small window.

If possible, you should listen to a pair. And when you listen get up and walk around some. The first time I stood up from my chair I was shocked.
I'm 6'.Yes I've read about that.Tell me your thoughts on it please.
I wrote to Magnepan long ago, they said the speakers are designed to be listened to sitting down. Not that the small Vandersteens sound great when standing up. Their is no right choice, but they are very different sounding speakers. And while both are very popular, there are many listeners who do not like Vandersteens or Magnepans.
All personal choice I know.All speakers have there faults.Some people swear that full range are best,but others say they have no bass and only play but so loud.Can't have it all!
Neither, save up for better speakers.
My thoughts on it are the Maggies can sound great when seated in the sweet spot, they can sound good seated outside the sweet spot, but they sound terrible when standing. There is a marked difference between the Maggies and Vandys when standing. The Vandys will maintain most of their character while the Maggies sound like someone turned the volume down 50% as you were in the process of standing. It's something you have to experience.
Magnepan does still offer a 30 day return policy? I
f so, you can try them for yourself. It really is the only way to know how they'll work in your room.

Please let us know whichever way you go.
If you are looking for "background listening speakers" and do not plan on sitting down between them get some Bose . Who stands and listens to a hifi system ?
Your right,I sit when listening to music.
Please forgive me for telling you how to manage your money, but, for just a little bit more, a used pair of Vandy 2's in that sized room would be very hard to beat for overall value.
"That's why I asked the question for never hearing either speaker I wanted opinions of people who have.Don't have the money or time to go back and forth and audition different components."

That's exactly why I said what I did in my last post. Its more expensive to make mistakes than it is to go audition equipment.

"Just trying to settle on one simple basic system I will be happy with.I really appreciate all the opinions."

Of course you do. We all want that. But even though our goal is basically the same, we all have different tastes. Of the 2 speakers you list, there's just no way to tell what one you will like better (assuming you like either one), until you listen.

If you are committed to not auditioning, I can raise a point that no one has brought up yet. If you look at the percentage of people who own planer type speakers like the Magnepan, its very low. Probably less than 1% of all high end speakers are of this type of design. The vast majority are traditional dynamic drivers. That doesn't mean they're bad, but its a much more risky purchase if you've never listened to them. The Model 1's will appeal to a much broader range of people. Looking at the post on this thread, though, you would think its a 50/50 split on what one you should go with. In reality, that's not the case.
Good advice ZD
The only other speaker that I've read about that I feel would be. a
good speaker for my taste are Rega RS1.Know they are monitors but they are easy to drive and not fussy about placement. Nice looking speaker at a reasonable price.
Love or devotion is when feelings dominate mind, Logic is visa versa.
And people can rationalize any emotion they want to into logic. And 99% of the time that is just what we do.
John421 I own both RS1 and MMG, if I had to choose one as my only speaker, I'd choose the Rega hands down.
Sounds good on any kind of music, in any placement at any volume.