I certainly wouldn't make this move without an extensive audition of the MM Three, ideally in your room.
There is no advice anybody who has heard both speakers can offer here that would be worth the change.
One final thought, Wilson will undoubtedly be around in a few years unlike many flavors of the month that come and go. The audio world is replete with meteors.
No financial interest in either product.
Bill's advice is very solid. Wilson, like B&W - like 'em or hate 'em - both are a force in the Audiophile Industry and will more likely have service support and better resale value for years to come.
there is an Audiogon'er Eddiesudz, who upgraded his MAXX2's to MAXX3's, and then switched to Evolution Acoustics MM2's.
here is Eddie's system page
i'd recommend e-mailing him and ask him that question.
i am an Evolution Acoustics MM3 owner. i also like the MAXX3's. i do prefer the MM3's.
i like the ribbon tweeter/ceramic mid-range combo of the Evolution's. i love that i can use a modestly powered amplifier and still have all the bass performance you could ever want. i actually prefer the aesthetics of the Evolution overall but the MAXX3's are beautifully put together with perfect fit and finish.
you cannot go wrong either way and like the earlier posters i recommend that you listen to both and then decide. if you are in the Seattle area you are welcome to come and listen.
Papaya. I actually have lived the scenario you are inquiring about.
I had Maxx 2's. They were good but never really meshed with my room. Could never get the bass correct or close to correct. I have a very challenging room and through many efforts of moving them.... throwing more power at them (went from VTL 450's to McIntosh 501's to Siegfried's) we could not get them to lock into the room.
Had an opportunity to upgrade to the Maxx 3's. I understood that the speaker was a marked improvement over the 2's so a promise of hope..... maybe this pair would be the answer. Well..... 3 months later the 3's arrived. Placed in the room, almost where the 2's were. Sound was a marked improvement indeed. Highs were so much smoother, mids were killer but....... as you can guess, bass didn't seem right. Figured I'd have to give it some time to break in. Months later the sound improved. Highs and Mids setled in but the bass still remained a challenge.
During this time I had acquired the Playback Designs CD/SACD player from Jonathan Tinn. We discussed my issues with the Maxx's and he suggested that I listen to the MM2's. I of course thought..... I have a lack of bass foundation, I should really be looking at the MM3's. Based on my room dimensions he said that the 2's would be plenty sufficient and if I ever wanted to upgrade to the 3's it was as easy as adding the top woofer modules.
I was able to setup an audition of the MM2's. Almost immediately I liked what I was hearing. Full presentation from top to bottom and also from side to side. The speakers just blew me away. I'm sure you're thinking what I was thinking.... this room was probably more speaker friendly and that the Maxx's would have probably been a top notch performer as well. Will the MM2's sing in my problematic room? The question was posed to Jonathan and he assured me that based on the adjustablility of the crossovers and outputs that it could be dialed right in.
I then was lucky enough to make it over to Mike Lavigne's in Washington. He has MM3's with quite a remarkable room to boot. The 3's were just stunning. At Mike's the speakers revealed all of the nuances of everything he played. I didn't want to leave! Just amazing!
So.... what do I do now? I have a brand new set of Maxx 3's at home. Do I move from the speaker that everyone has highly reviewed? Do I hold on to them and hope that some day I move and find a room that they would finally mesh with? What if that never happend? My decision? Sell the Maxx's and order up the MM2's.
When the MM2's arrived I placed them right where the Maxx's were. Fired up a very familiar tune. A tune that sounded great at my dealer's and at most every other location but not at mine. It took maybe 1 minute or 2 before I could breathe a sigh of relief.... I made the right choice! The 2's were not even fine tuned yet but provided the sound I had been chasing for at least 4 years! A full bodied presentation..... solid bass foundation, smooth yet revealing mids and highs. Soundstaging that was layered and impressive.
As the speakers progressively broke in, the sound kept getting better and better. The bass tightened up, mids and highs settled in..... the best sound my room has ever produced.
You owe yourself the opportunity to listen to both. Is the Maxx 3's a great speaker? Absolutely!!! But.... not for me. Is the MM2 or 3 a great speaker? No doubt! The best part is that is was and still is a great speaker for ME.
Really, at the end of the day it's about what pleases you.
For me, it's the MM2's. Those who know me think I'm crazy because I've changed components and speakers to keep chasing my nirvana sound. I can safely promise.... these MM2's aren't going anywhere!
Sorry for the long post. I hope that I've been able to shed a bit of light on your original question. Please feel free to email me if you need any more info!
Hi Mike! How funny.... sorry my post didn't do justice for my listening experience with your MM3's. See you RMAF!
you might want to ask your self what are you missing currently or want to gain by switching, you obviously like Wilson so going to the MAXX3's will ??? You might be able to gain such by other component changes etc.
Reading Eddies thread it appeared to be a room issue.
That all being said in the end you will be the one having to live with your choice, I wouldn't trust others ears but your own and take your time in doing such so which ever direction you make you don't regret it.
Something that needs to be mentioned is that the MM2's and MM3's drivers are all in the same positive polarity. The Maxx 2's and the Maxx 3's have the tweeter and woofer in positive polarity and midrange is inverted. This could explain the difference in what one hears between the two speakers. IMO
I currently own MM3's and have owned Wilson Watt Puppies 5.1
Thafler, I don't own any of these speakers mentioned and have no financial ties nor connections what so ever so I'm really acting biased in this conversation, what you wrote about the polarity you would agree there really is allot more going on than just those differences for both manufactures. It all comes down design and in the end what one prefers right.
If I currently owned MAXX2's as the OP does and was looking to move up the food chain I would be asking my self what benifits will I get doing this.
Now when looking at a totally different speaker manufacture be it a speaker in the Evolution line or another speaker manufacture that would be a whole new adventure.
Ed, looking at the pics of your room, it doesn't surprise me a bit that you were having problems with the Max 2 and 3's! Your room is waaay too small for those speakers. Also, your speakers are firing into your couch! One of the most important aspects of this hobby is to match your speakers to your room....
BTW,The MM2's seem to be also firing into your couch..:0(
Perhaps a better option for your room would be likes of a TAD CR-1.
I am surprised that your Wilson dealer would sell you Max's in a room of that size, a better match would have been the Sophias or the Duette's IMHO.
Janeb: With all due respect, how can you know Ed's room is "waaay too small?" He never even posted his dimensions.
Ed mentioned that he had a lack of bass foundation, not a situation of bass overload. If the room was "waaay too small," wouldn't you expect a large loudspeaker to put out too much bass?
I would sure like to hear the MM2's. From the specs and what I have read, they are truly a bargain in that league for the performance they offer. The MM3's with the extra woofer should offer more bass than what the specifications state on the home page. I love my B&W 800's, but I am slowly acclimating towards a leap in speaker performance. Must have a powered 15" woofer though. I have never come to like the looks of the Wilson's even if they sound good, they are part of the decor.
JaneB: The room is actually larger than portrayed in the pics. Unfortunately it isn't audio friendly and has to serve primarily as a living space so my understanding wife and I can share the space effectively.
Is the sofa in the wrong spot? Absolutely..... but short of moving it every time I fire up the system I live with the trade off.
Jtinn is right, I would expect the speakers to overload the room if it was too small. Instead they sounded like smaller speakers which could not load the room effectively.
The MM2's adjustability helped me work with the room's shortcomings and provide the bass foundation I was searching for.
Dev: You're right, a room problem exists but my point was to highlight the fact that the MM2's were able to be adjusted to provide the response that the Maxx's never were able to. Not many can claim to have heard BOTH the Maxx 3's and MM2's in the same room. I can. I am not slamming the Maxx's not one bit. They are an incredible speaker. What I am saying is that the MM2's open the doors to more environments due to their adjustability and to take this into consideration when making the upgrade leap.
Enjoy the tunes!
The MM2's look wicked .... nice setup !
Ed, please describe how the frequency response graph was derived. Is that curve at the primary listening position?
The MM2's certainly get me salivating! Wish I could fit them into my budget.
Ed and JTinn, look up the wave length of a 20hz bass note.. I think you will find that the effect of trying to reproduce low end notes in a small space is to fall off the propagation of the wave of the note. This is akin to the effect that one hears when you are several feet away from the car with booming subwoofers...you can hear and feel the note far more in fact than the driver of the offending vehicle.
Additionally, you are artificially damping the wave from the speaker with your couch, thereby altering the note and probably diminishing it as well. Which all leads me to my conclusion as to why Ed has been so unhappy with his bottom end reproduction... Frankly, I am amazed that he is pleased now! I wander if you had a more appropriate sized speaker on stands that could span the couch height what you would think then!
the MAXX3 is a rear ported speaker; the Evolution Acoustics MM3 and MM2 have a sealed box with a powered subwoofer and many bass adjustments.
a rear ported speaker is definitely more limited in set-up choices than a powered sealed box with many adjustments.
looking at Eddie's room the closeness of the rear wall is likely more significant to the MAXX3 and it's ultimate bass performance than the furniture has for either speaker.
i have opinions on the quality of the bass from both speakers in general due to this differing design approach, but that's for another time.
Janeb: Please re-read my post. I think you missed my question. It was:
"With all due respect, how can you know Ed's room is "waaay too small?" He never even posted his dimensions."
Your response was:
"I think you will find that the effect of trying to reproduce low end notes in a small space is to fall off the propagation of the wave of the note."
You keep talking about small spaces, which his is not. If I am misunderstanding you, please let me know.
Hi guys this thread seems to be a debate about Eddies set-up etc. but if you re-read the opening thread by Papaya who already owns MAXX2's and looking for advise, I don't read anywhere mentioned of any issues etc.
Papaya if you refer to my threads that's my best advise for you.
Everyone is going to have an opinion and in the end that's really all it is their opinion which is fine, enjoy which ever journey it may be you choose as I do with my MBL 101E's.
How much are the tickets to get in ? -) Beautiful room and setup..
Nice touch ...
thanks. my wife thinks i should charge. :^)
seriously; if you are ever in the Seattle area you are welcome to come by for a listen.
my brand of Scotch is Lagavulin.
Jtinn, I agree that i have not seen Ed's room dimensions. However, with the pictures of his room and the relationship of the MM's to the side walls, It seems highly probable that this room is sub-par, size wise, for a speaker like the Maxx's. Sure, the Maxx's may work in some areas very well in a room like this, BUT Ed says he wasn't able to get the bass response he was looking for.. which as I said doesn't surprise me. I don't think that you could argue that the Maxx's are a bass deficient design!
IMHO, it is a given that in order to hear true bass extension you need a truly large room.( and of course a speaker than can deliver the goods). My point about the wave length of a 20hz note is well known. Shoehorning in a speaker that is too large for a given room is a very common occurrence in our hobby-- Many dealers try to upsell a larger speaker, either with little regard for the room that it is going to be used in, or what the listener is trying to accomplish, again IMHO.
Mike, the fact that the Maxx 3 is a rear ported speaker may have in fact assisted the speaker, given that the front wave has to overcome the stuffed couch which it is being asked to fire into..:0)
What kind of sound is Eddie getting when one channel is facing a couch and being partially absorbed?
Thank you Tabl10s! I can understand the WAF factor that Ed has to deal with, I think my hubby understands this too..;0)
BUT, I do think that a speaker that could have spanned over the top of the couch would likely sound much better. Particularly, if that speaker had no chance of overloading the room or the decor. Maybe a subwoofer in another part of the room would have been a thought? Anyhow, i guess if Ed is happy, that's all that counts, after all it is his system..:0)
I was in this situation a few months ago. I had Watt/Puppy 7's and needed a taller speaker. The speakers that were available were the Wilson MAXX2/3, Avalon Isis, Focal Maestro and the MM3's. I listened to all of these speakers extensively over a year. The only drawback I had was I "only" had 100 watt monoblocs. I could get the needles to move using my WP's and needed an efficient speaker. That ruled out the ISIS. I like the sound of the Wilsons since the Sophia 2 came out. On several ocasions, I felt the MAXX speakers were bass deficient, unless you were pushing them with >300 watts. End the end, we bought the MM3's. They are very efficient and can move more air than any Wilson can. Being adjustable, made them a no-brainer.
We've got about 1000hr. on them now and couldn't be more thrilled. We've mastered several albums with them and have done 100's of transfers/edits for HDtracks. Yes, they're that good. But as always... spending this kind of $$, you'll definitely need to try them for yourself.
I own the MM2 and also love them.
I have all of Tinn's stuff ; Dartzeel amp and pre amp , and Playback and unless I go crazy I am keeping all what bI have .
I also concur that the MM2 works better for me than the Wilson did. The powered woofer as well as the various bass/treble controls that the MM2/MM3 allow make a considerable difference in dealing with room issues.
I have also heard the Wilson Maxx several times at shows and have never been overly impressed by them. The Maxx 3 are often used in very expensive big rooms at shows and while technically impressive never seem to move me as a cohesive musical expression.
David Wilson drives a Ferrari so you know he is making bank on his speakers and I don't think Mr. Tinn got one yet so perhaps more of the money is going into the Speakers. Sure sounds like it to this music fan.
The type of car the owner drives has nothing to do with it, or perhaps you are
joking, can't tell. These are completely different speakers and very different
companies. Both have loyal and happy customers. Compare the speakers by
listening to them and you should know pretty quickly which one you prefer.