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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:29 pm 
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Location: North Brampton, ON, CA
Hi All,

I really enjoyed the Quad ESL 63's I had years back. How do they compare to the 1.6's or 1.7's? For power I would be thinking crown XLS 2500 kind of thing. I liked the wall of sound in certain areas and airiness of it all. Had a certain breathe to the waves I really enjoyed. Don't think the newer Quads are for me price wise.

Any opinions?

Thx


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:06 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
The 2 speakers share many of the same qualities, but that does not mean that they sound the same. Nor do Martin Logans, Acoustats, Soltanus, Kingsound Princes or Apogées, yet all of them share many fine qualities that separate them from conventional box speakers. You might prefer the way one of them does certain other things over another, which is where you have to do your homework and choose.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:31 pm 
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Location: Scarborough, ON, CA
I have owned Maggie's and listen to the 63's regularly at my in-law's.
I would say that the Maggie's are more dynamic, but need lots of current to get that way. The Quad's are much easier to listen to at lower volume levels, and seem to have a greater sense of micro dynamic's when played at lower volumes.
Just my experience. YMMV


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:12 pm 
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As a dealer for both, I always felt the 63's were a good stepup from Magnepans.The sense of stage depth was better and the vocals sounded much more natural.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Location: Quebec, QC, CA
I sold my esl 57. replaced them with magnepan 1.7i with DWM sub. Better sound stage, more high, more bass,

everything is better for me


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:29 pm 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
I have owned 1.6's and paired them with a Crown XLS 1500 for a year. Very good pairing for me, especially when using XLR inputs from preamp to Crown.

I cannot comment on the other speakers you ask about.

If not for my young cats climbing the 1.6's, they would never have been sold. They reminded me of a high end sports car - they were demanding. Of amp pairing, of placement in the room, everything. But great sound when setup well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I have a great preference for the Quads, and think they are one of the best designed speakers of all time.

I think the maggies are an ingenious design, but built out of very cheap parts.

In musical terms, the Quads make music. They are great at low volume levels, and do detail and soundstage the maggies can only dream of. I sold my maggies as the lack of dynamics, the need for volume, and the tendency to oversize everything wore me down. Make no mistake, they are great speakers, but they are not perfect.

I think one area maggies are incredible is long term maintenance. Anyone with basic skills can work on them, and the company has amazing support for their speaker line. With Quad, it is much more complex, and I am not even sure they have a north american distributor any more. Their made in China offerings, while a derivation of the same design, seem to have notorious quality control problems.

Bottom line, I think the newer maggies are the safe bet. If you want superior sound, and are prepared to maintain them, the Quads are the way to go. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:55 am 
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I've not listened to both Quad and Magnepan in the same system to be able to compare the two side by side. While on the hunt for a dipole I had a chance to hear a Quad 63 for several hours. These were very sweet sounding: the midrange had fabulous tone and all the music seemed to be right there in front of me; the top end was silky without any harshness. These were speakers that I know I could listen to all day without fatigue. The only reason I didn't go for them right there was I like to punish my neighbours on Friday nights and these speakers just didn't have enough in the tank to do that. I don't recall the amp driving them, but it was either a Sanders or a Bryston.

I have lived the a set of Magnepan 2.5 for over a year now and while they do have some flaws they do everything I want. I do think they require the right amplifier (so far, it's been high current solid-state for me), judicious placement (well away from walls, not too far apart from each other), and a suitable room (large enough and with modest acoustical treatment). Now, as I'm continuing to learn things, I know that the right speaker cable also helps. I was loaned a home-made cable that utilizes 8x18AWG wires braided into an interesting kumihimo weave, the resultant effect is what I perceive and less noise in the signal (I can hear more detail), smoothness from the ribbon tweeter, an extension of the bass response, and even more SNAP to transient attacks.

As to longevity, this pair was assembled in 1985 and the speaker shows no sign of needing repair.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Location: North Brampton, ON, CA
[color=#000000][/color]
mdl_tor wrote:
I have a great preference for the Quads, and think they are one of the best designed speakers of all time.

I think the maggies are an ingenious design, but built out of very cheap parts.

In musical terms, the Quads make music. They are great at low volume levels, and do detail and soundstage the maggies can only dream of. I sold my maggies as the lack of dynamics, the need for volume, and the tendency to oversize everything wore me down. Make no mistake, they are great speakers, but they are not perfect.

I think one area maggies are incredible is long term maintenance. Anyone with basic skills can work on them, and the company has amazing support for their speaker line. With Quad, it is much more complex, and I am not even sure they have a north american distributor any more. Their made in China offerings, while a derivation of the same design, seem to have notorious quality control problems.

Bottom line, I think the newer maggies are the safe bet. If you want superior sound, and are prepared to maintain them, the Quads are the way to go. Good luck.


Thank you all and thx mdl for this. Maintenance is why I sold the 63's. I think I would like to try a Maggie audition with a class D amp as the class AB required amp would be extremely expensive and I would like an apples to apples comparison to what I am looking for versus what can be had.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:20 pm 
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Location: Vancouver Island, BC, CA
luxmanfan wrote:
[color=#000000][/color]
mdl_tor wrote:
I have a great preference for the Quads, and think they are one of the best designed speakers of all time.

I think the maggies are an ingenious design, but built out of very cheap parts.

In musical terms, the Quads make music. They are great at low volume levels, and do detail and soundstage the maggies can only dream of. I sold my maggies as the lack of dynamics, the need for volume, and the tendency to oversize everything wore me down. Make no mistake, they are great speakers, but they are not perfect.

I think one area maggies are incredible is long term maintenance. Anyone with basic skills can work on them, and the company has amazing support for their speaker line. With Quad, it is much more complex, and I am not even sure they have a north american distributor any more. Their made in China offerings, while a derivation of the same design, seem to have notorious quality control problems.

Bottom line, I think the newer maggies are the safe bet. If you want superior sound, and are prepared to maintain them, the Quads are the way to go. Good luck.


Thank you all and thx mdl for this. Maintenance is why I sold the 63's. I think I would like to try a Maggie audition with a class D amp as the class AB required amp would be extremely expensive and I would like an apples to apples comparison to what I am looking for versus what can be had.


I was not that impressed with the 1.6 or 1.7s unless accompanied by a decent sub. However, I was very impressed with the 3.6 and 3.7s without a sub. I would try to arrange a demo with the larger Maggie's. They are a keeper albeit a bit large.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:45 am 
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Location: North Vancouver, BC, CA
Old thread but thought I would add some thoughts. I am a quad fan and own the 63s and the 57s. I recently bought a pair of magnepan 1.6 and was blown away. I then bought the 3.7s.

I would say that your choice may depend on the music you listen to. I loved the quads when I was listening a lot to solo vocal and some chamber music in a small room. There s a sense of intimacy that is unrivalled and I still go to the quads for those quiet times. Lately I’ve been listening to large choral pieces. The 63s shutdown at the volumes I want and the instruments get conjested and lose their separation.

This is where the magnepans come in. The 1.6 can play full orchestral music at moderate volumes in a small room. The 3.7 however, when placed in a large room, and when powered sufficiently will make a HUGE wall of sound with pin point vocal and instrument separation and a colossal soundstage. It is the closest I’ve come to a full orchestra and chorus in my living room. It is a whole other experience to the quads. I should add that they can also do the intimate soft moments as well with a stunning level of detail.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:21 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
malthuse wrote:
It is a whole other experience to the quads. I should add that they can also do the intimate soft moments as well with a stunning level of detail.


My two issues with maggies have been low level resolution (I *hear* they have improved this) and the maggie wall of sound.

Do you really prefer the wall of sound presentation vs the point source presentation of the quads? The tendency to "maggie-size" everything is why I went away from them and generally prefer quads. I think it shows how we all have our sonic "hangups" for what sounds right.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:23 am 
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Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, CA
Both speakers are more sensitive to upstream electronics and room acoustics then conventional speakers but when you have those 2 factors resolved it can be as good as it gets.As the OP has opted to go with Maggies and having owned several models I would suggest a robust ss amp such as Bryston.I'm not a fan of pairing Class D with Magnepans,they simply don't have the gravitas required to provide that full rich musical experience.Audition,if possible,before you buy.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:51 am 
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Location: Waterford, ON, CA
Markwatkiss wrote:
I'm not a fan of pairing Class D with Magnepans,they simply don't have the gravitas required to provide that full rich musical experience.Audition,if possible,before you buy.


I'd like to second this. When I had the 3.3R I didn't find them to be big power hogs, but forget about any amp that isn't capable of doubling down. My best results were with the Odyssey Khartago + a fairly simple, quiet tube preamp. I've had or lived with four other Maggie's, but the 3.x are in another league completely. I still miss them once in a while, but I settled on the simpler audio philosophy that listening to music should be a habit, not an "event". -)

I also owned ESL63's for a couple of years, a very fine speaker but the age of the electronics gave me issues, and I had trouble (within my budget) finding an amp that really made them happy. I'm not sure if the 63's are THAT limited dynamically, but I was always reluctant to push them hard.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:01 pm 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
Sarchi wrote:
I've had or lived with four other Maggie's, but the 3.x are in another league completely. I still miss them once in a while, but I settled on the simpler audio philosophy that listening to music should be a habit, not an "event". -)


I still miss my 1.6’s. A lot. I liked the Focal Electra 906’s I had next. And I am enjoying the fruits of my DIY labour with some single driver speakers again.

But I am haunted by what the Maggie’s could do at times.

Perhaps I miss the “event”!

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