Magnepan 1.6 vs. Vandersteen 2CE

gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
edited September 2002 in Speakers
I'll never be a reviewer just an enthusiast so please bear with me.

Well, I got my demo on today between the above stated spkrs. Driven by an Audio Research 45/ch tube integrated amp and a very sleek CD player that I can't recall.

First up were the Maggies. I listened to 2 tracks from Sun Ra, Steely Dan-Babylon Sisters and a classical piece chose by the saleman that I'm unfamiliar with. The maggies really showed their stuff on the imaging of the Sun Ra and the vocal accuracy on Babylon Sisters. I asked the guy if he had any techno or metal and he came up with the classical. Saying that it atleast showed the full range of these spkrs. It did. And while each instrument sounded great and I could perceive a 3Dimaging/soundstage, I wanted to hear some full onslaught crescendoing type stuff, but didn't have any on hand. I felt the bass was real nice from what I heard. Not very deep, but ultra clean and fast. Mid-bass and treble were also great. Nothing accentuated nor missing, just smooth. I didn't get a chance to hear any high-treble, but couldn't imagine it being a problem. Nothing screechy or harsh, just sharp and realistic.

Next up the Vandersteens.
They unhooked the Maggies and brought the 'steens to my listening position. I only heard one Coltrane track as the wife and impatient daughter came in. What I heard I really liked. The design of the 'steens (separate enclosers that are almost baffle-less) seems to be a definate plus (and a DQ-10 rip-off). I've never heard a pair of conventional spkrs sound so transparent. There was the openness of the Maggies, but with the oomph of conventionals. The overall sound was 'fuller' especially in the bass region. Not necessarily as compressed as some other conventionals, but not as light as the Maggies.

DRUM ROLL ................................................................... ..................................................
While the Vandersteens gave the sense of authority that it could handle whatever was thrown at it and sounded superb, my vote goes for the Maggies. The sheer detail and accuracy that they portrayed so smoothly is somehting that needs to be heard. Maybe in future tests I can vary the material a little more and give the 'steens the much deserved time.

Coming soon LSi vs Kef vs Energy.

BTW: I originally went to listen to the Maggie surround system, but it's not up yet. Maybe next time.
Make it Funky! :)
Post edited by gidrah on

Comments

  • brettw22brettw22 Posts: 7,700
    edited September 2002
    Why the hell does your text run clear off the screen? Weird..............
    .
    comment comment comment comment. bitchy.
    .
    meterdq8.gif
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited September 2002
    Good question. I have no idea, but it may have something to do with the ".........."

    Had I known, I wouldn't've done it. Then again maybe it just follows my thoughts.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,144
    edited September 2002
    IMO, I think the Maggie 1.6 is one of, if not the best deal in audio. If (God forbid) the DQ's went tango uniform, and I decided to go with a new speaker, it would be the Maggie 1.6's.


    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,432
    edited September 2002
    man my eyes hurt from scrolling back and forth.......

    I personally like the Vandersteens,they are a **** ugly speaker but man they sound good.I don't care for the Idea of some of them with the older type of screws for binding posts,or some force you to use banana ends,but damn they are such a good 2 channel speaker.
    I don't care for Maggies,Martin Logans allday,but the maggies always seem loose down low and the sounds seems mushy.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited September 2002
    BDT - I really like the 1.6s. I know what they can do. Next time I'll find out what they CAN'T do. Have you heard any of their lesser lines? I've heard higher models, but nothing below. If the MMGs sound as good I'd have $1K for a sub. The 1.6s are in the top of my considerations, but I'm also really drawn toward the whole SET high effiency thang. If I could only find a place to demo Lowther, Pi, Altec VOTs, etc. I'd be set.

    Mantis - I didn't mind the appearance ot the 2ce too much. You could always take off the grill and get the little stack effect. It'd also stop somebody from putting a drink on top at a party, as I lunge across the room with a broken beer bottle in hand.
    When I retun for a 2nd demo, can you suggest a track that will show the loose and mushy in the 1.6s. Remember, pick something I'm likely to have.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited September 2002
    I didn't realize the DQs had Tangoes to go Uniform. No wonder you like them so much.:D
    Make it Funky! :)
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,144
    edited September 2002
    Mark,

    No, I haven't heard the MMG's. The maggie dealer here (who is a Maggie fanatic) says that for the price though, you can't beat them. Obviously, they don't have the bass capabilities, but according to him the mids and highs are quite similar. They don't have the presence that the 1.6's do either. For 550 plus a money back guarantee, that's pretty tough to overlook. The other bonus is if you trade up, you will get your 550 back. To me, trying the MMG's is a win-win deal.

    I still maintain that the 1.6's (and the MMG's, really) are the best deals in audio. I am frankly, not as impressed by ML as I would like to be. IMO there is a noticeable disparity in sound where they cross over from the panels to the bass driver. I also would like to demo mantis recordings as (and I'm not questioning what Dan hears) I've heard a lot of things about Maggies and done a lot of listening to them myself but loose and mushy isn't among them.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • joe logstonjoe logston Posts: 882
    edited September 2002
    i wonder how the maggies would sound with a good sub, is there any one that haves a maggie & sub conbo.
    my self i dont like the martin logons, if the maggies sound like the ml. i think i will pass on the maggies.
    i like power on the botten end.
    . rt-7 mains
    rt-20p surounds
    cs-400i front center
    cs-350 ls rear center
    2 energy take 5, efects
    2- psw-650 , subs
    1- 15" audiosource sub

    lets all go to the next ces.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,432
    edited September 2002
    I don't remember what the last track I ran on the maggies.....nor the last track I listened to on a friend/co worker of mine who owns a pair.My experience with magnapan speakers where always dissapointing.The very last time I listened to the was at a local dealer called the Audio Lab.They where running off a Classe pre and amp.The track I just can't remember what it was............I think I had Al Di Meola with me that day but I don't recall it being the last track I ran............The bass also was just loose and sloopy.....lacked punch and warmth.The owner of the place which I know pretty well said they really need a sub blended to hear them go.I wasn't into that comment as they turned on a Sunfire junior and it made things worse.

    Martin Logan in my opnion is one of the very best speakers in the world.When driven with Audio Research tube monobolcks,the sound comes across as real...........in the room there with you.....I could have sworn the drummer was in the room tapping on the symbol with the tip of the drum stick.I could hear the stick clicking on the symbol.....like it was there in the room.........O so nice.......this speaker is called the Prodigy.........awesome!!

    Panels are hard to drive.....without proper power, they sound awefull........even the Mighty Martin Logans do underpowered.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited September 2002
    Huh? symbols? I don't remember what I demo with? Loose and sloppy bass, from a speaker that hardly moves?

    Oh god, im gonna PUKE.....
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,432
    edited September 2002
    Make sure you clean up afterwards.........and Brush Your Teeth!!!
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited September 2002
    Don't worry, I side step, and attack the plaque....
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,432
    edited September 2002
    Don't forget to breathe
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,144
    edited September 2002
    Must be something new, a long throw ribbon or some such...

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • gidrahgidrah Posts: 3,031
    edited September 2002
    BDT - I think you replied what I was expecting. The guy offered to let me borrow a lesser pair for the weekend. Time to see how they sound on a Dynaco.

    Mantis - If you can remember a prime example, I'm all ears. As I said; I know what they can do, it's time to see what they can't do. The whole mush bass thing has me at a loss. From what I heard the bass was phenomenal for what was there. There was a sharp drop between what they could and couldn't do. IMHO I'll take a $1.5K pr of Maggies over a pair of $2.5K MLs any day of the week. Then again maybe I heard the Maggies with Transparent interconnects.
    Make it Funky! :)
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,432
    edited September 2002
    girah,
    I will have to make a trip down to the Audio lab with all of my demo music and give you an up-to-date listen/review.It's been awhile since I sat down and listened.The last demo I had with them was out of my control.

    But again dude please don't go on what I say about them..it's my opnion, like yours about the Martin Logans.I feel they are one of the best around.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
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