Electrostatic and Planar Speakers - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 45 Old 03-19-09, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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Electrostatic and Planar Speakers

while I may not be able to afford a pair of electrostatic speakers. I have gone to local audio stores and auditioned them many times. the sweet clarify and the tingly highs. the crisp roll and sharp pokes. everything that makes electrostatic what it is.

I must say that I for one, have and will dream of the day that the tooth fairy leaves enough for a pair of these for me. hehe

I'd like to open this conversation up for comments and the like.

please share your experiences with electrostatic speakers and your dreams reguarding them.
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post #2 of 45 Old 03-19-09, 09:34 AM
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Re: electrostatic speakers

I had some Magnapan speakers years ago. They were very hard to drive, but, had a great smooth sound. Not much in the low end, tho. Dennis

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post #3 of 45 Old 03-19-09, 02:25 PM
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Re: electrostatic speakers

The Magnepan MMGs at $600 a pair are a great value and can build upon a foundation of a good subwoofer like the SVS SB12-Plus. You'ld be hard pressed to find a box speaker for $1300 a pair that would sound as good as this combo. I'd suggest good amplification for the MMGs with around 200 wpc @ 4 Ohms.
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post #4 of 45 Old 03-19-09, 04:52 PM
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Re: electrostatic speakers

That's if you have the room and the ability to place them properly. They can sound great in the right place, but placement is a big deal.

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post #5 of 45 Old 03-20-09, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
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Re: electrostatic speakers

well as long as it's not stadium size. i would imagine a 18x20 room would be reasonably close to large enough.

and yes $1300 for a pair isn't a bad deal over all. not when you compair the martin logan equiv.

most rinky dink AV receivers could't drive them properly from the sounds of it. you'd probably need a separate amp. hmmm

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post #6 of 45 Old 03-20-09, 09:47 AM
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Re: electrostatic speakers

You really have to step up to get a pair that will not be hard to drive and will not be so finicky with placement. Something like the Martin Logan Purity's, which are fully powered, can be purchased off Audiogon for a couple thousand. The Vantages, which are very highly regarded, have powered bass and are easy to drive with a receiver... also not too picky with placement.

I had a pair of Ascent i's, an older model of ML's. While my small Denon receiver would not do them justice, my NAD receiver made them sing. These were in a very small, 11.5' wide by 19.5' deep room... and they sounded spectacular. They changed my entire outlook on great sounding speakers.

I have Spire's in the storage room, waiting on the HT room to get finished. I can hardly wait.

I will tell you this... now that I have owned electrostatic speakers, I will most likely never look back. I have not heard anything that can match the clarity, imaging, and the huge, very wide and deep sound stage that they can produce. They are truly amazing!

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post #7 of 45 Old 03-20-09, 01:12 PM
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Re: electrostatic speakers

For $600 a pair I would look for a used pair of Magnepan MG3s. I've seen them for this low recently but I paid an average of $900 for the four pair that I have.

My original theater was going to be 24' by 19' but due to extended unemployment I could not afford to remove and rebuild the space I had planed on, so my theater is only 22' by 15'. I don't have enough room to put the MG3s at the side of the seating area so I had to put them in the back corners. I have a pair of MMGs that I will put in the back center. The MG3s have much better low end than the MMGs they still won't rattle the furniture but the four 18" subs in the ceiling do rattle the siding out side my theater. As you can see in the pictures of my theater I used one of the MG3s on it's side for the center channel. This sounds great in the two center seats in both rows but is not nearly as loud at the end seats. When I find a good timber matched center speaker with better dispersion I will replace the one that is there now.

And just to set things straight since this started with a discussion of electrostatics, Maggies are not electrostatics. They have a similar sound but the highs are not nearly as bright/sizzling. I love what these speakers do for the human voice. I have not had any trouble driving these with any reasonably modern amp but I would go for at least 110 watts for the MG3s. The MMGs are much smaller and I had no problems driving them with 90 watts.

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post #8 of 45 Old 03-20-09, 01:45 PM
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Re: electrostatic speakers

Once you experience electrostatic speakers, it's hard to want to listen to anything else. I once had a pair of Martin Logan Aerius i speakers, and I ran a small tube amp with them. I think it was about 35 watts a channel. They really needed more power, so I upped the watts to 100. Those tubes made the ML sing. I do miss the sound! They were incredible. I now have a dedicated theater room and downsized the speakers and amps. I long to hear tubes with ML again someday! One day I will invest in them again. But, once you experience that sound, you cannot help but always come that to everything else you hear! Dangerous thing you did by going to audition them!

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post #9 of 45 Old 03-21-09, 02:52 AM
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Re: electrostatic speakers

Guys dangerous is a good description! I was in my local shop on Wednesday and saw a pair of Maggie MG 1.6''s and tonight they are sitting in my HT. All I can say is they are amazing!

All I went in for was a motor upgrade kit for my Rega.

I can't stop listening to them tonight.
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post #10 of 45 Old 03-21-09, 07:17 AM
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Re: electrostatic speakers

Just to avoid confusion, the Magnepans are not an electrostatic speaker. The are a planar magnetic. The use a magnet to move the diaphram, not electrostatic drive like electrostatics.

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