Magnepans or...Martin Logan

Dear All, ....sorry very interested but only newby.

Could I have insights on which to choose - up to USD 2.500 - and the reasons. Used or new. Brand and models.

Live in Santiago, Chile so very high addtional shipping and insurance costs - at least double.  Furthermore no possibility of local testing - no models available I must get it right blindly first time. 

Type of music I listen to: Folk, Jazz, Movies, New Age.

Much appreciate your help.

Thanks and regards !

Having owned both Martin Logan Summits and various versions of Maggies through the years I would say that the Magnapan 1.7i at about $2K plus shipping will outperform the Entry level ML stats. They will also be easier and less costly to ship. The one caveat here is that the Maggies do their best with larger quantities of quality power which could affect your budget.

Another thing to consider is appearance. The MLs look like...well, speakers with a semi transparent top. The Maggies look like room divider panels and can easily be worked into most dacor in case you have WAF considerations.

Another thing that you should be considering; if either break it’s highly unlikely that you will find anyone in Chile to fix them. ML has provided me excellent support in parts and guidance on the Summits. None of my Maggies ever broke so their support is untested by me, but others say that it is also stellar.

Good Luck with your adventure, Amigo
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With both done right, ESL’s (ML’s) everytime over Planer’s (Maggie’s)
Less "mass" in ESL’s = cleaner, more dynamic, micro detail, but both need dynamic bass driver from <150hz, if you want to move some serious air.

Cheers George
Given your budget, the music you listen to, and your country of residence, I second (or is that "third") the Maggies; the sound is good, they are simpler to operate & maintain, and they are cheaper.

If given a choice I would definitely go with the Maggie 1.7i which I have owned( moved up to 3.7i).
When auditioning thet sounded far superior to similar priced ML.
What brands of speakers are available to you locally, maybe you'd be happy with one of them and save the shipping and tariff hassle.
Check out the Martin Logan owners forum:
One member: roberto is in Costa Rica.  He could probably help you with advice  on owning MLs outside North America.
Have to agree, and with two people I seldom agree with at that, but given where you are and all its just not wise to even be considering either of these speakers.

In addition to everything cleeds and elizabeth said above you have the additional problems or should I say limitations these speakers create with your choice of amplifier. You already live where its hard to get good gear to audition. Now you want to make it even harder with speakers that even further limit your choice of amp?

What you want to do first and foremost is look for efficient and well regarded speakers that are easy to drive. Speakers aren't nearly the big deal everyone thinks. You can build a really impressive and satisfying system with a lot of different speakers. Everyone here knows its true. Everyone here has heard great systems that were neither ML or whatever. Because speakers are only one part. Its what you put with them. So to the extent your speakers limit those other choices they also limit your ability to build a great system. 

One more thing no one has mentioned. Some day, hopefully not soon but you never know, some day you will want to be able to sell them. Which do you think is likely to sell easier, faster and for more money? Some nice efficient easy to drive speakers anyone can use with whatever amp they already have? Or speakers that rule out a lot of buyers because they don't have the amp, or the room, to use them?
I am going to agree with the others. I am a Magnepan owner and have been for 25 years. Both Magnepans and Martin Logans are love them or hate them speakers. If you love them, you don’t want anything else, if you hate them, you are unwilling to live with their compromises. There is no right side in the love them or hate them, just what the individual’s priorities are. Spending this type of money on a type of speaker you have never heard, with no support, and no ability to return is not wise. If you insist, Magnepans, as they are lighter, have a smaller shipping package (single box) and easier to repair.
Totally different animals I owned them both the latest elolutiin 11 
with powered dual woofers and bass room correction 
these were very good , the maggi from the 3.6 on up ,the 1.7 
no for the 3.6 has that great ribbon tweeter, with maggi you need a great sub  the new Svs 3000 great match and under $1k 
you needmuch more room also from behind with a maggi 
and room panels are a plus for both behind them.
Dear Amigo´s you are all being very helpful with your kind and full of wisdom comments. Please keep them coming...much appreciated !!

Certainly helpful to get the "big picture" to make a decision. 

Best regards,
I would agree with those who suggest the Maggies - they have more weight and substance than the ML’s. The ML’s have great clarity, detail and resolution, but there is more to music than that.

Of the Maggies any of the LRS, .7, or 1.7 are great. the LRS are a real bargain, and get great reviews.

But... If you want something that does acoustic music about as well as it can be done, and which is trouble-free and easy to place in small space, which sound engineers revere - get the Proac Response D2. When driven with the right electronics - there is very little that sounds as good in all respects for Jazz, and acoustic sounds. When driven by the Line Magnetic 518ia, there is very little that can compare. Check out the YouTube videos of this set up - nothing quite compares.

If you want a "giant killer" amp that can drive the Maggies, or the Proac R D2, that is a real value, you will be wowed by the Class D Audio SDS-470C with enough power to drive the Maggies well, which require a lot of power. At $695, nothing can compare for less than $2500+. 600 watts rms per channel into the 4 ohm Maggies. It has none of the Class D gremlins - but sounds like a tube / SS hybrid with resolution and clarity that can only be found in much more costly high-end amps. And it’s light and runs cool - so, you don’t spend a lot on shipping, and air conditioning, or electricity.
If OP lived in the US, I would vote ML. But I'm biased because I've owned MLs for over 25 years. While I like Maggie's, I prefer MLs due to their clarity and resolution, and lack of "Maggie slam". Having said that, MLs are very unforgiving of poor recordings, which may not be as big of a problem given OP's music preferences.

Because I bought my most recent pair of MLs used and paid almost as much for shipping as I did the speakers, I can't recommend shipping them to Chile. On top of that, as others have mentioned, if anything goes wrong he's going to have a lot of trouble getting affordable, reliable service.

As much as I love planar speakers, I would go with easily obtainable quality box speakers, as others have suggested.

Buena suerte! 
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I have owned Magnepans and ESL's exclusively since 1973. Both sound much better to my ears than anything else.

I have owned ML hybrid speakers, in fact, still have them in my home theatre. But not for music. The crossover distortion (at 250Hz) bothers me a lot. So does the disconnect between cone sound and ESL panel sound: the ESL panels are very accurate and fast, the cones sluggish and ugly. In my opinion. In my system. In my room.

Magnepans tend to sound a lot more integrated, and this is especially important for acoustic music like folk. Also, they are a whole lot simpler than ESL's. ESL's have (1) high voltage supplies (2) step up transformers and (3) protection circuits, none of which are used in Magnepans.

More things can go wrong with ESL's. And if you try and fix them yourself, well, ESL's can kill you 2 ways if you don't know what you are doing. So bring your will up to date first.

If you are far from a qualified high voltage technician, I suggest Magnepan speakers over any ESL's, but especially over ML hybrids. But be aware, some people just don't like either Magnepans or ESL's; exactly how that can be beats me, but I know it's true. Something to keep in mind.

Good Luck!

PS: I have used Quad ESL's for years now.
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OP, I have the Magnepan LRS and frankly it's bass is lacking without subwoofers.  I use two REL T5i at $599 each plus the $715 for the LRS still puts you under 2k.  Unless you have about 150 good clean watts a side to deliver to the LRS into 4 ohms I'd probably go a different direction.  No clue on ML sound.  The LRS are nice with my tube preamp and about 250 watts a side monoblocks.  The LRS may be tough to ship to Chile, and Magnepan is just lucky they weren't damaged more.  Their box while OK is something Fed Ex will put a hole in just about every time.  At least each speaker also is in a box and was OK.
I have owned both Maggies and MLs, Reality doesn’t match the hype or the reviews. Emerald Physics is open baffle, but with ample bass and much better integration of drivers AND they are easy loads to drive
+1 for Emerald Physics, BUT- ask them to pack more securely, than they do for domestic shipping. That’s after four decades of owning planars(Acoustat and Magnepan).
I was also thinking maybe open baffle would be a good compromise in size for shipping and efficiency for amp as well as getting much of the ESL sound. Special Audio and Pure Audio Project are two that are well reviewed and in your price range. Actually Pure Audio Project ships from over seas already they may be easier to deal with since they already ship world wide.
I guess I'd probably agree that the Emerald Physics open baffle speakers might be a better option than the Maggies for the reasons noted.  However, they're pretty heavy and will be more difficult to ship safely.  

The Pure Audio Project open baffle speakers might also be a good option - though, I think the Emerald Physics may have a better sound.  But, the PAP's with the Voxativ driver do sound great.  And, you can try different drivers fairly easily - since they're "plug and play."  

But... again... I'd likely take the Proac Response D2 stand-mount monitor over either of them, when matched with the right amp, for acoustic music.  And, they're much easier to ship and manage.
Years ago I want from ML to ProAc Response 2.5's and it was a very good move. proac's make music and their stand mounters disappear in the music. I've also owned tablet 50sig's. 

cant go wrong with ProAc's imo 
If you’re paying to ship something like a Magnepan or Martin Logan halfway around the world, invest in a wood crate. There’s a reason that works of art, like large paintings which are very similar size and shape to a Magnepan!, are shipped by museums in crates and not boxes. Better to invest in a sound shipping method up front than have to scramble after the fact with a hole punched straight through.
NO SPEAKER is better than Magnepan speakers BECAUSE boxes, by definition, change the sound that was recorded. Otherwise, there would be no investment in engineering them Every box would be whatever the designer decided "looked good." (Funny fact: After about 1973, most "high-end" speaker manufacturers began making taller speakers. Wonder where they got THAT idea from?)

Period, end of discussion.

Now, having typed that, your ROOM is the most important element in your listening experience. Think of it as YOUR "box" if you will.

Magneplanar speakers require sufficient clean power as they are somewhat inefficient. Also, they reproduce what you send them, so if your source material is poor or your hardware is not of a fairly good quality, you will only hear what you send them. Doesn’t mean you have to spend a million dollars on cables or amps or whatever. Most audio products today are pretty durn good, especially when compared to many years ago before many famous designers got into the hardware game.

Finally, setting-up (placing them in the room) Magneplanar speakers is somewhat difficult in some instances. You may need to work on this one inch at a time. Pretty much all speakers are like this, but Maggies are particularly sensitive to placement. Your listening position has to put your ears in the middle of the panel for best results.

If possible, have a professional--Santiago certainly has them--help you with all this. If not, keep moving them and listening and you will find the "sweet spot."

The experience is one that is hard to describe, but when you find it, the music "opens up" to you and your actually hear the recording as made. Whether that is "good" or "bad" to you is personal.


richopp159 posts08-09-2019 8:54am
NO SPEAKER is better than Magnepan speakers BECAUSE boxes, by definition, change the sound that was recorded  ... Period, end of discussion.
Of course Magnepan is not even remotely the only "boxless" speaker system.
I still have Martin Logan’s CLS 2s. They’re incredible. I also have box speakers- Wilson Watt/Puppies. They are beyond incredible. 

Don’t believe everything you read about box speakers being inferior. There are excellent ones out there if you’re willing to spend the money.
@cleeds, richopp is obviously unaware that were both tall and/or boxless speakers long before Magnepan introduced it’s original model the Tympani T-I in the early-70’s (which I bought in ’73. I currently have a pair of T-IVa), including the 6’ tall KLH 9 (an ESL, reviewed by JGH in the October ’68 Stereophile), available for years before the Tympani was introduced. And he doesn’t even seem to know that there are today MANY planar speakers other than Magnepans, including the bargain-priced ($2499/pr) Eminent Technology LFT-8b, a real MG1.7i killer.
Having owned several to get to what my current speakers(ML), Magnepans are great for jazz and folk, but no bass, you will need a sub. A used pair will ship cheaper than Thiel(great) and Martin Logan( awesome).  Used will also get you a great speaker at a better price.
As a current owner of the Maggie 1.7 and having owned many other speakers, both box and other ribbons and stats and most costing considerably more than the 1.7s, I can say, I am quite impressed and satisfied with the little Maggies. They do require a bit of power to drive but, unless you are trying to fill a large room with 90+ db, a decent 100 W high current amp (capable of delivering more power into a 4 ohm load such as the Maggies) would do a nice job. In my slightly large (14’w x 24’d x 10’h) room, I have no problem driving them to moderate levels (listening mostly to light pop, jazz, folk and acoustic) with a 100W per side Rogue, integrated tube amp and it does a beautiful job.
Regarding set up and placement with the Maggies, I agree, but with a bit of patience and work, the rewards are astounding. In my set up, wether in the sweet spot or not, the image and stage stays right where it belongs - no head in a vice demands, what so ever, in my audio room.
My point is, for the type of music you are interested in, there are few speakers, at your price point, that can make as nice of music with as large and detailed stage as the little Maggies.
If power is a problem - I agree the next best option, to get a comparable sound, would be a very efficient open baffle speaker such as the Spatial Audio’s Hologram M3 or M4 or Emerald Physics.......Jim

These new LRS are barely broken in and sounding better day by day.  They do like tubes although I use the tube preamp with SS monoblocks and the two REL T5s.  This Nak ZX-9 shows me just how good not only the deck is but how good the LRS are capable of sounding.  The placement issue is over done along with the "sweet spot" notion and further all this room dampening nonsense IMHO.  I listen to them 20 ft away and looking at them on edge as they reflect the whole way down the room that is 10x50x8 ft ceilings.  There are other placement possibilities in this room.  The sweet spot is nice but the point is the dipole is a plus not some kind of disadvantage as to placement as you point out.
Dear Amigos !

Thank you for taking the time to give such excellent opinions. Certainly valued !

Muchas Gracias !!
Dear Amigos !

Once again thank you for all your Help ! Very valuable !

I finally did get the Magnepan´s 1.7. With the kind help from Peru´s Magnepan Distributor I had them built at the Magnepan Factory and shipped directly to Santiago, CHILE.

They are sitting in my music room !!

Now I need to put them into working status...very eager !

Could you please help me with some Amp alternatives ? to drive them .

Thank you in advance,

Best regards,


What Amps are available there. When I had 1.7 I used a Parasound Integrated and the sound was magic . It gives you 2.1 so adding a sub at some point is easy, you also get digital as well ad mc and mm phono inputs very hard to beat for the money if available there.
Enjoy your Maggie's you have selected magnificent speakers.
Johnto, Thank You !

What model of Parasound Integrated did you use ?

Local alternatives are far & beyond and expensive. Better to import !

Thanks again !
Man, I am late to the game. I hope you found happiness in your purchase whatever you got!

I have owned about 5 pairs of Martin Logans. I kept chasing the sound because it was never right for me so I upgraded and upgraded and upgraded. Last year, I purchased the LRS on a whim. I have been using some Thiel CS 2.4’s but at the price of the LRS I thought it would be fun to try a maggie in my system.

Well, long story short, the Thiels are boxed up. I am astonished how well the Magnepans sound. Their bass imo is pretty strong for a panel. I mean I dont recall any martin logan I ever owned having the same amount of texture. Some of the larger Martin Logans will produce some reasonable bass, but it always sound like the bass is turned down vs the electrostat. That is not the case with the Magnepans. And I mean, I fully expected the Maggies to sound "thin" like martin logans...but they don’t at all.

I should preface that I sold Martin Logans for about 10 years. I was trained at their HQ in Lawrence Kansas. They are imo a party speaker. I mean not in the same way Klipsch is a party speaker, but I mean a show off speaker. They are more about showing off. Magnepans are all heart, all soul. Its all about the music.

I don’t mean to disparage Martin Logans, they are really nice speakers but I can see now why I lost so many sales against Magnepans.

The only Martin Logan speaker that "wow’d" me, was the Statement we heard at Gayle’s house. Those were pretty amazing, but any speaker that is a solid down payment on a house should be.

EDIT: I should state also though. I have a Pass Labs X-150.5. It has a bias meter on it that shows you when you are moving out of class A and into AB. It's rarely ever moved in the 15 years I have had the amp. The Magnepans make it dance like a techno song. 

I can't say about the other Magnepans, but the LRS are extremely inefficient and require a BEAST amplifier. The Pass is rated at 300x2 into 4 ohms, but they are extremely conservative in their ratings. Its actual output is closer to a 250w 8 ohm/500w 4 ohm amp....and I dont even listen that loud.
Amplifiers. Given where you are, and the difficulties of shipping back to the factory for service, I would suggest Bryston. I have owned three, which I kept until I went DIY. They are a perfect match for Magnepan, especially the SST (personal experience) and the SST cubed (so I'm told).

They are close to, but not at, the state of the art, and are built like tanks. Actually, better. Bryston has a 20 (yes twenty) year warrantee - which tank has a guarantee like that? Not that you'll need it (the Bryston warrantee - don't know about the tank).

The net is full of Bryston stories, and I doubt if even one of them is negative. I myself shifted one (4B SST) when it was turned on, and shorted the outputs against an aluminum chassis. Sparks sparks! Ozone!  Basically, I was using the amp as an arc welder.

The amp shut down immediately. Twenty minutes later it restarted - it was undamaged. Try that with anything else.