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Magnepan vs Meridian (haha)

Posted on January 11, 2017 at 14:24:40

Posts: 11
Location: around Seattle
Joined: October 11, 2007
Yes, this is a very odd comparison. If you have any interest or connection to both of these speakers, please let me know your opinions.

I'm a long-time Maggie fan. I currently own 1.4s, an ancient set of partially working I's, and a magnificent pair (6-panels worth) of I-Ds.

I'm about to move, though, sell pretty much everything and downsize a bit. I've been thinking about either the .7s or--more probably--the 1.7is.

However, I've got a lot of Meridian gear (electronics, that is) and I've got the opportunity to buy a couple of sets of DSP5000s at an extremely attractive price, so attractive that even if I get them and don't like them, I can almost certainly resell them and take a tiny $ hit (or maybe none at all). Honestly, I don't know if they have the 24-bit upgrade, but I've heard mixed things about that so the 18-bit version would be fine for me.

But I've never heard the Meridians.

Any Maggie fans out there know both speakers? I'm a musician who plays and listens to acoustic instruments and unamplified voices mostly, btw. I guess what that really means is I don't care a lot about how either speaker handles pure synth, or the kind of hyper-processed stuff that has filled the airways for the last 3 decades or so. I do like a guitar to sound like a guitar, a piano a piano, and a soprano a soprano.

Thoughts? Caveats? Advice? Jokes?

Thank ee much in advance: fbonzo


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RE: Magnepan vs Meridian (haha), posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:04:12

Posts: 1836
Location: Great Barrier Reef
Joined: August 3, 2000
August 2, 2000

Magnepans over Meridian every time

One of the worst Demos I've ever heard

Penta Show Heathrow UK Ground floor Suite Meridian front end and Speakers--Digital at it's worst

Go with the Maggies



RE: Magnepan vs Meridian (haha), posted on January 11, 2017 at 18:10:46

Posts: 1431
Location: San Diego
Joined: July 13, 2009
I have very little experience other than going to my (now defunct) dealer who carried Meridian and Magnepan.

The Meridians on front room display didn't sound particularly appealing in any way, and I treated it as background music.

I heard the Maggie 0.7's with high-quality subwoofers and good bass management & DSP (strongly recommended!), and they were superb at THE Newport audio show. (Though still not a ribbon tweeter).


RE: Magnepan vs Meridian (haha), posted on January 11, 2017 at 18:42:18
Mike K

Posts: 12328
Joined: September 23, 1999
I am a decades-long magnepan fan. I've owned 1.4s (loved them), MMGs,
and 3.5s (loved them too).

If you want a speaker that reproduces acoustic piano and guitar and
female vocals nearly flawlessly, then you want magnepans. I know
of no speaker which does it better (although I do maintain a strong
attraction to Avalon Eidolons, but they are ungodly expensive).


RE: Magnepan vs Meridian (haha), posted on January 12, 2017 at 10:50:49

Posts: 3051
Joined: April 10, 2002
I love the idea of active speakers and the Meridians are well engineered. The design will sound different because the acoustics are different. I remember head to heading an earlier (2008?) Meridian and it was against Focal and McIntosh loudspeakers in a shop in SoCal. I actually liked the McIntosh best, then Meridian and finally the beautiful Focals last. The were all $7-10K speakers as I recall.
"The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat" - Confucius


RE: Magnepan vs Meridian (haha), posted on January 14, 2017 at 01:52:58

Posts: 10194
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
I greatly prefer the Magnepan speakers to the Meridian speakers. I auditioned the Meridian digital floorstanders don't recall the model name but the 1.7 would be my choice over the two.

Perhaps there is a reason for why the second hand value is so cheap. If the market wants it bad enough the price may hold value better. My speakers sold for nearly 20% more than I originally paid back in 2004. The stuff that gets blown out for 50% off is the stuff no one was willing to pay near sticker for.

Not a Magnepan Dan but IMO the best bang for the dollar is the 1.7. It offers a lot for The money. And while it may have some weaknesses, the rest of the field in this price range often have the same weaknesses and often more.

And they seem to hold up fine second hand as well. Get a second hand pair. You probably won't lose $ on them either. Maybe I will buy a set myself just for a lark.


RE: Magnepan vs Meridian (haha), posted on January 14, 2017 at 09:47:27

Posts: 2345
Location: Front row center
Joined: November 30, 2011
You would have to give up flea power if you do go 1.7 ..


RE: Magnepan vs Meridian (haha), posted on January 14, 2017 at 18:22:43

Posts: 10194
Location: Hong Kong
Joined: August 8, 2001
Not really - I have heard the 1.7 with flagship Bryston power amps and I have heard the 1.7 at my dealer - Soundhounds who also sold Bryston - so instead of running the cheap electricity Brystons they were instead running an 18 watt Single Ended Pentode amplifier which surprisingly sounded a LOT better. I also played it pretty loud with pop and rock music. Sounded so much better than the Brystons at 10 times the price- which is why I say I may buy a Magnepan on a lark - not so much a lark but an educated guess that they may have the game raised with superior sounding amplifiers. The Maggies are fairly load stable at 4 ohms.

I hated my KEF LS-50 on SS amps at shows and bought them (on a lark) to try out on my 219IA. I've kept the speakers.

Granted I have the advantage of being in a relatively small space so it doesn't require a ton of power to get loud. I suspect the Maggies might do quite well with my amp.

Besides SS is cheap and according to those blind tests no one can tell them apart - so a Rotel 1090 on the second hand market should be good enough to quiet the complainers if I only have a 24 watt SET. The 1090 "with the toneburst and one channel driven it delivers 527W into 8 ohms and a whopping 2825W into 1 ohm!"
Read more at http://www.stereophile.com/content/rotel-rb-1090-power-amplifier-measurements#EMlqImcl4OtXL3zX.99

I think this is one of the least expensive and good sounding (for solid state) SS power amps you can buy -- run them as monoblocks and get 2825 watts per channel - cool.

I want to upgrade over my Rotel power amp ~150 watts 4 ohm.

I would prefer a SS amplifier that is not stuck to one voltage - something that can be changed from Euro/Asia voltage to North American voltage. Not all products have this switch capability.

And as AN gear doesn't always play nice with other gear I will be looking at a second preamp. Music First Audio Baby Reference tops my list so far because it requires no plug in so works anywhere in the world.


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