I try to avoid hyperbole whenever possible, but the sound I'm getting from my new MMG's (approximately three weeks) has easily exceeded my expectations. They do not sound anything like $600 a pair speakers (though I understand they would cost more if sold through dealers). The MMG's have effectively provided exactly what I was looking for: High quality planar satellites. A little background:
I've been in to AV as a hobby for over 20 years and have owned many systems in that time. I'd have to say that this one ranks among the top three (Conrad Johnson-Thiel, Theta Casablanca-Martin Logan, and what I have now):
- Maggie MMG (L+R mains)
- Maggie CC3 (Center)
- Maggie MMG-W (Side and rear surrounds)
- Ascend Acoustics Rythmik D15se servo subwoofers (2X)
- Denon AVP-A1 Prepro
- Wyred 4 Sound 500x7 Class D multi-channel amp
- HP s3300t PC running Vista Media Center as a music client
- Buffalo Terrastation NAS serving .WAV files to the PC client
- Panasonic DMP-BD35K Blu ray player
- JVC RS-1 1080p projector
- Samsung FP-T5884 58" plasma TV
As you can tell from the equipment list, I don't have the luxury of a dedicated room so my system has to serve double-duty for music and HT (50/50 split).
Planars (preferably taller line sources) have been my speaker of choice ever since I was first introduced to Martin Logan Sequel IIs over a decade ago. I owned Maggie 1.6s a few years ago and really liked them but decided to sell because a cross-state move was pending and I didn't know if I'd end up in a space large enough to handle them (which proved to be correct). As others on this thread have stated, I missed the Maggie sound ever since. I recently moved into a rental home with a living room large enough to handle 1.6s (barely). However, since I knew I'd be doing HT as well, I thought it would be interesting to try and get the best of both worlds by using MMG's (elevated 18" off the floor) to get the image height and sound quality of 1.6s combined with the bass extension of stereo subs. That's exactly what I've achieved.
To my ears, the MMGs (even on their own sans subwoofer) sound just like the 1.6s I owned previously (actually better with my current electronics and room) with less bass extension.
To those considering MMGs:
1: They provide sufficient bass extension that you can get away without a sub for "mainstream" music (rock, pop, R&B, etc.). I was not prepared for the midbass power the MMGs delivered. Frankly, I really only missed the bass on large scale orchestral material.
2: Maggies are known for bass quality, and the MMGs deliver it. IMO, You'll be hard pressed to find equivalent peformance in another $600 pr. of speakers.
3: Midrange-World class: When artists sing, I hear every inflection in their voices (good and bad). The palpability of voices on the MMGs is simply spooky (in a good way of course).
4: Treble-Fantastic: Close to, if not world class. The MMG is one of the very few speakers I've owned that can produce high frequency tones accurately at high levels without distorting. This really has to be experienced to be appreciated.
5: The MMG's soundstaging and imaging (especially when elevated off the floor a bit) is amazing; superior to any dynamic (box) speaker I've owned and competitive with any other planar line source I've owned (all of which were far more expensive than the MMGs).
6: Micro-dynamics are excellent and competitive with any speaker I've owned. Macro-dynamics are good, but not the best I've heard. If the MMG has a weak spot this is it but honestly given everything else it does so well, I don't notice this much day to day. One caveat: I've found that the louder the MMG's play, the better they perform in terms of macro-dynamics.
7: Detail: Simply put, the best I've experienced at home. In all fairness, the Denon AVP probably has something to do with this, but I'm hearing a lot of fine detail for the first time on many tracks I've owned for 10 years or more. As I go through different albums in my collection, I instantly know how well they were-or were not-recorded
8: Transparency: Excellent-subjectively (which applies to this entire review of course) about 95% as good as the best I've owned (Martin Logan Prodigys), which says a lot given the MMG's price tag.
9: Power Handling: Fabulous; much better than I expected. Though I didn't expect the MMG's to behave like mini-monitors, I'm frankly amazed at how loud the MMG's will play without distorting. Simply put, they'll play as loud as I can stand.
Adding the Rythmik subs to the mix added icing to an already tasty cake. Thanks to the Audyssey EQ system within the Denon AVP, I was able to integrate the subs such that the MMG's now sound (literally) like a fine, full range speaker system.
If the planets line up correctly, I should be in my own custom designed home before the year is out. If the design (pending) provides adequate room, I may move up to 1.6's or even 3.6s for mains but the beauty of the MMG's is that I won't feel compelled to do so. This is a system I could live with for a long time.
If anyone is setting on the fence about Maggies in general or the MMG's in particular I'd say go for it. The MMGs are simply a steal at $600 a pair.
PS: I've never heard Maggies on HT before so I'm really looking forward to it. Most of the HT pieces are in place-I'm waiting for a projector screen to arrive.