Originally Posted by jcgriff
On another topic, I'm curious if anyone has compared the Maggie 1.7's with Eminent Technologies LFT-8b's and what they thought?
A great question, one I'm surprised more magnetic-planar enthusiasts don't ask themselves. I feel it to be THE question anyone contemplating the purchase of a pair of panel speakers should be asking himself before any other. ET has a much lower profile than Magnepan, with fewer dealers and even fewer reviews (since ET doesn't introduce new or "improved" models very often, that's understandable. Who's going to review a 10 year old speaker?! Well, surprisingly, the LFT-8b HAS gotten a few new reviews lately, and they were raves). ET's Bruce Thigpen is generous with his praise for Jim Winey and the Magneplanar design, but had his own design ideas for a magnetic-planar loudspeaker (amongst others. Have you read about the ET Infra-Woofer? The man's a genius!).
I bought a pair of Tympani 1-U's after hearing them in 1972, a pair of 1D's later, and now have Tympani IV's. But not having the room necessary for them in my current abode, and unwilling to listen to music that's squirted out of a box ;-), I went and listened to the 1.7's, and then the LFT-8b's. They were not in the same room, hooked up to the same system (Hell, they weren't even in the same State!), so there's that variability. But I'm pretty familiar with the "Maggie sound", and the ET's were in a system I'm familiar with. I bought the ET's. They sound surprisingly different than Maggies, in as much as the two have so much in common. It may have to do with the fact that the ET has a single (well, two of them) magnetic-planar driver (push-pull, as opposed to the Maggie's single-ended) covering 180Hz to 10kHz, with NO CROSSOVER! Talk about seamless---as a pianist's hands descend down the keyboard from the upper keys to the lower, or as a singer's voice follows the melody from high notes to low, there is NO change in timbre. None! If that's important to you (it's one of my very highest priorities in accessing the quality of Hi-Fi EQ, if not the highest. Most speakers fail this basic test miserably!), you should share my amazement that the LFT-8b's aren't more widely considered the biggest bargain in loudspeakers today. Sure they have their faults---what speaker doesn't? I wish they had the see-through liquid transparency of my old Quads (how many speakers do?!), but then there are qualities the ET's have I wish my Quads had. I consider the LFT-8b's far superior, in ways important to me, to speakers costing many times their ridiculously low price ($2499, but get the Sound Anchor stands for them, $230 from The Cable Company). Go hear them! The 1.7's, in comparison, sounded kind of "whispy", like they were out of phase (they weren't). Not as much meat on their bones, ya know? As for me, the ET's will do just fine until I get a room big enough to use the bass panels of the T-IV's as woofers for the LFT-8b's! Maggie user DonH50 prefers his IIIA's to the LFT-8's (the original 8, not the 8b with it's improved tweeter and crossover---1st order at 180Hz and 10kHz), citing the quality of highs through the IIIA's ribbon tweeter. Ya can't have it all, even if you spend $200,000!