@go-sox. This one is kinda long, but maybe can help someone
The reason I suggested maybe 1.7’s to you is that they are also 3-way speakers as are the 3.7 and 20.1.
They are not that much smaller than the 3.7 and with 500 clean watts/channel, it may rival my system or even beat mine.
With the money you save on the speakers, you could buy 2 Vandersteen subs and have a more complete and overall more gratifying system because the subs will help make definition and help create that holographic sound stage.
What I did was buy the 3.6’s new from my audio dealer and hooked them up to my Onkyo. I played the same song I took with me to the store (on cd) and I was so disappointed that I called the store and asked the guy what was wrong? Where was all that pinpoint imaging?
That’s when I learned about the electronics end of it. The store owner didn’t tell me that the Maggies were hooked up to a $10,000,00 ARC amp, a $10,000,00 ARC pre-amp, and a 8 or $9,000.00 ARC cd player, all from their Reference series products, when I first listened to the speakers. Plus everything had the exotic cables and interconnects and power conditioners in the mix at the store too. I didn’t know about any of that stuff. I just knew I spent 5 grand on these speakers and they are not even close to the magic I heard in the store.
The speakers still sounded nice, clean, etc. at home, but the magic I thought I was buying was not there, at all.
So I borrowed a Rogue Audio pre-amp from him to see if that would fix it. It did change things some but put a hum in the system that I couldn’t get out. That was lucky it hummed.
Then I borrowed a used Parasound amp from him and that was a nice, nice improvement. So I bought that and hooked my old Onkyo pre-amp with it and I knew something was there then. The amp was 385watts/channel 4 ohms. There was still lots of magic still not there though and I would turn it off after listening for awhile because the music was boring me I guess, and I wasn’t happy with the sound quality really.
Then I learned this Parasound amp was 1000 watts run in mono mode 4 ohms. So I went shopping on ebay and got the 2nd one for $425.00. I paid $742.00 for the 1st one.
Now that woke things up. Each speaker had its own amp, and with some really clean power. That was just lucky too. Still have that Onkyo pre-amp, but now I am starting to hear some real magic.
Now I am wondering how to get the rest of the magic, upgrade cd player or pre-amp?
I try a ARC LS 17 pre-amp, nice but seemed the timing wasn’t in sync with the music dvds, and I just wasn’t happy.
The new ARC Reference 5 had just come out at this point. So I bought a used ARC Reference 3 off a audio website because the guy lived in the neighborhood and could deliver it. I paid 5 grand for that.
At first I wasn’t sure it was worth it. But then as I am listening to it for awhile, I realize its like it isn’t there, the speakers are not there. All there is, is this wonderful magical music.
That was a WOW moment, and I have had plenty of WOW moments since then.
To try to describe the sound:
The current set-up turns the whole wall from end to end, from floor to ceiling into a wall of music and it’s a few feet thick (depth). It doesn’t hit you for a few minutes about the depth of the music. Somewhere along the line it hits you that the music just is. That it exists in space.
It also has soooooo much clean power that you can transport yourself
Into the fabric of the music itself. I don’t know how else to explain it, but it is a mind-blower. You can’t believe the building is still standing.
I have blown fuses, tripped breakers, and activated the auto-shut off on the amps for overheating them and sometimes do all that in one night to see if I can break anything with the bass or bust a glass with all that clean highs. Sometimes just because you can not believe what you are hearing, it is sooo loud! But sooo real.
I have done nothing special to the speakers other than abuse them.
Well I did put them on top of my amps, so now they are 80” tall. I don’t know if that is a good idea, but they fit perfectly and have been there for over a year. That let me make a set of speaker cables that are a foot or less in length and they are suspended in mi-air. The amps and pre-amp are linked by xlr cables.
I was thinking of modding the speakers when I 1st got them, but they sound so good already that I can’t do that.
I hope maybe any of this can help you in deciding your dilemma over what to do.
I know one thing. I bought the speakers and it turns out that was a good thing. Getting that ARC Reference 3 was maybe the game changer. I can NEVER let that go…unless there is a Reference 5 coming. The amps provide uncompromising power. But I think the pre-amp is the real boss here. It gives the directions and the commands. These speakers deliver the directions/information precisely.
If my credit was cool and I didn’t mind having a car payment for a few years so to speak. I would get the 20.1’s with the reference series ARC products and live happily ever after. I have heard them is why I say that.
Anyway good luck and have tons of fun.