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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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

the ideas are endless........... but man the rewards.
 

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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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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.

Steve
http://www.kn7f.com/Theater/Finished/
 

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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!

Jeff Aguilar
 

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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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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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I updated the thread title to add "Planar" speakers.

Planar speakers would include electrostatics, ribbons, etc.
 

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About a year ago I bought a pair of Magnepan MG12/QR. These 2-way planar speakers are quite amazing. I am driving them now with a Jolida 1501A tube hybrid amp (Sovtek 12AX7LPS); which is a marriage made in heaven. At 100W/ch the Jolida has no trouble at all driving these guys.

As everyone says, Maggies are a little weak in the bass and are dificult to locate, but when its set up right the sound can be hugely rewarding. Female voices are right in the room with you. The sound stage is vivid and 3-dimensional. Instruments are clearly delineated even in complex orchestral arrangements. Of course all of this depends on the quality of the source material. With the maggies I can easily tell the difference between a mediocre and a very good recording.

Though the box speakers in my HT system really sound great and are quite musical, when I truly what to hear great sound I will turn on my 2-channel system and let those maggies sing.
 

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Maggies are wonderful speakers -- But even the 3 series need a sub for the bottom end. Be sure to high pass the mains. When I changed from running the mains and sub in parallel to running them crossed over was when the magic happened.
 

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Maggies are wonderful speakers -- But even the 3 series need a sub for the bottom end. Be sure to high pass the mains. When I changed from running the mains and sub in parallel to running them crossed over was when the magic happened.
I agree. I am running 2 Outlaw LFM-1 EX's with my 1.6's. Plenty of bass when needed.
 

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I have never really listened to the Maggies. How would you compare them to the ML? I know that everyone has a strong opinion when it comes to these two technologies, but I am curious what the differences are. When I had my Martin Logan's, I needed a sub.

Jeff Aguilar
 

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Never had a chance to hear the ML's so I could not say. Honestly I think the bass from the Maggie's is pretty good. Most of the time I don't run the subs with them for music.
 

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The main benefit from this type of speaker is the lack of box/cabinet panel coloration and internal cavity coloration that results from the overwhelming majority of box speakers.

I believe many people get used to this lack of specific coloration, and some people may even like the unique rear radiation reflected contribution that most of these speakers provide, and then find most box speakers to be sub par in comparison. But, a box speaker can be every bit as good, and even superior: it is simply a very rare occurrence that a box speaker is produced/engineered to such standards. Also, don't presume that money will solve this problem instantly. Even if you have heard 15k-20k box speakers that are 'highly regarded', it is not a very high probability that the cabinet is built/designed to be neutral just because of the price. Then there is the issue of the back firing acoustic energy common on most ESL speakers.....

-Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #18
this has turned into a great thread. and thank you all so much for participating thus far.

I cannot wait too own mIy first pair of electrostatic speakers.
I sitll remember how it all started.......

I was in Best boy one day (yes best buy) and we all know that Bust Buy is rarely a best buy. anyway. I decided to wonder back in that littel room they have way in the back. with the "really over priced high end stuff" in it.

there they sat Martin Logan Purity's I slowly turned the knob on the nearby reciever and slowly began to hear the clearity creep into my ears. untill BAMMMM the smooth bass of a deep voice from the lower poriton of the cabinet came to life and brought the clarity and smooothness too complete fullness in my ears.

the further i steped away from them the more they dissapeared. There were not far enough apart for proper seperation however my moving back helped with that.

i left there with one thought in my mind. that one day. somehow I would live with sound like that and it would not just only during breif visits when my wife can drive me there to visit them.

some folks go on and on about bass and while bass has it's place hehe.

I personally am all about realness the ideal soundstage where the speakers dissapear and the room opens up and your tranplanted into a world created by an artist.

once again thanks for sharing in my thead.
 

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I was researching subwoofers and came across a review of an ACI sub which stated that "when mated with Maggie MMGs and properly set up, the Force subwoofer provides a very high value music system. For less than $1500 you get great sound from 20 to 20kHz."
 

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Built these in 2005, haven't looked back since... BG RD 75's with 4 sonosub EBS's to manage nass and infra modes in room for HT and critical listening

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Beat anything I've heard in 40 + years of audio wide soundstage, great imaging, articulate.... and I've heard alot of speakers/systems

John L.
 
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