Originally Posted by ocezam
After considering Maggies the last few months, my wife and I went to Denver to listen to Maggies for the first time today. They had MG12's, 1.7's, and 3.6's set up to audition. The 1.7's were set up with a CC3 and MC1 surrounds and could play either 2.0 or 5.1.
I went up there expecting and wanting to like the MG12's. We listened to them first. I wasn't blown away but very much enjoyed the open soundfield. My wife, not an audiophile and only there to support me (silently hoping I'd just be happy with my Polks). Thought they sounded "nice" but really weren't any better than my R50's.
We went to the 1.7 room and listened to the same CD (Dire Straits). NOW I WAS BLOWN AWAY! Man did they sound fine! The soundstage was huge! Before I said anything, my wife exclaimed "Those are much better!" instantly knowing she opened a can of worms. I asked here if they were too big aesthetically..."no they look fine". I'm thinking "wow do I really love you"!
We turned the music down some and discussed finances. We could buy the bigger set but really should buy the 12's.
We went back to the MG12 room and played with the placement a lot. Toe in more and less. Closer and farther from the walls and from us. We sat on pillows on the floor in an attempt to emulate the speakers on stands so our ears would be more in the middle of the panels. In short we did everything we could to make ourselves really want to buy these speakers. After a half hour or so the speakers seemed to be sounding better. To my ears much better than my Polks. My wife was starting to be happier about spending less money.
We went back to the 1.7's. We listened for a few minutes... I said "these sound way better". "Yep, way better", she said. Bigger sound field, more detail.
I guess my question is this:
For those that have heard both, is the 1.7 significantly different than the 1.6?
A 1.6 used is better in tune (pun intended) with my budget than a new 1.7. Will I be as happy with it? Will it more resemble the MG12 sound or the 1.7 sound?
I didn't write down the specs of the amps on each, but he did say they were both being driven by 125 Watts. They were in different but similar rooms. I don't want to buy a 1.6 and find it significantly less than a 1.7.
Note: No disrespect to MG12 owners or MMG owners or anyone else. These were my thoughts on this day, in this setting.
Congratulations on being one of the converted.
It's hard to go back to box speakers once you've heard a good audition of a pair of magnepans.
I own a pair of 1.6's as well as a pair of 1.7's so let me see if I can articulate my perception of their differences and similarities. The first thing I'll say is that either is better sounding than the MG12's. One of the big differences is the physical size..especially the height between the 12 and the 1.6/1.7. The 12 is shorter and because of that and the way a planer speaker's treble response doesn't have near as much vertical dispersion as say a dome tweeter in a box speaker, when you stand up listening to a 12, you lose some of the high frequency response.
That is not an issue with the 1.6 or 1.7 because they are each tall enough to avoid it. The larger size of the 1.6 and 1.7 panels also provides a larger image.
The 1.6 and the 1.7 are physically identical in size. The insides are quite different though. First, the 1.6 is a two way design while the 1.7 is three way. The super tweeter in the 1.7 makes for a noticeable improvement in high end extension. That manifests itself in added detail in the sound.
The quasi ribbon design directly controls a larger area of the mylar membrane than the planer magnetic design...that's just the physics of it. The 1.6 uses the quasi ribbon on the tweeter and planer magnetic for the woofer. The 1.7 is all quasi ribbon. Because the entire frequency spectrum in the 1.7 is produced by the exact same type of driver, there is an added coherence to the sound. It all blends together seamlessly.
I bought the 1.7's because when I demoed them in march, they sounded better than the 1.6's I have enjoyed for 9 years. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy my 1.6's, I just moved them into my bedroom system and put the 1.7's in the living room...they both sound like real music.
Were I in your position, I would go with a used 1.6 ahead of a pair of new MG12's. Used 1.6's are a great buy now after the release of the 1.7. If you can swing the added cost though, the 1.7's do sound better.