Here is a list of the equipment being used.
Highly modded Thorens Td 850
Highly modded Thorens Td 150
Benz Glider SoundSmith ruby upgrade
Audible Illusions 3a
Well, I sold my Maggie's and purchased these as a way to save space. They actually arrived in mid June but, alas, a driver was damaged in shipping. I sent it back to the seller, who ordered a new driver from Focal and honored the sale by making it right. It took about a month to get it in from France and back to me. The repaired speaker arrived today, so I set them up and kicked out the jams for the past 3 hours.
My initial impressions are positive. However, keep in mind that I am using 2 MK 150 subs with them. I'm still dialing them in but I feel they will integrate well. The good news is that nothing stands out and they seem well balanced. They are a bit more midrange prominent than my highly modded MG 3a's and they don't throw as large as sound stage. More listening will tell me if they go as far back.
During the repair interim I've was using a pair of Celestion SL6S's that I modded, which are true over achievers. The Micros of course are better but not by a large margin. There is more clarity and extension but the Celestions are certainly a good speakers and the mods I've done allow them to play louder without breaking up or compressing.
Are the Micros an improvement over the Maggies? Well, only time will tell. Right now they are pleasing but the ribbon in the Maggies are truly world class, as well as the large sound stage they deliver.
So, here is what the Micros offer over the Maggies; smaller foot print, more pronounced mids. The rest is yet to be heard and determined over time and longer listening sessions. What can be said is the the person who bought my Maggie's got a screaming deal and world class speaker. If I had more room, my family is needing more space, I would be happy with the Maggies till the end of time.
Later that night.
A little low volume, late night listening and the Micros played well. This is an area where the Maggies always struggled. Often, with the Maggies, you feel like you need to continue to turn up the wick to get engaged in the music. During the day time this is no problem but at night when the family is a sleep it is problematic. You either had to strain your ears and suffer a bit or grab the headphones to fully get into what you are listening to. The Micros allow you to listen at less volume and enjoy it more. Therefore, the Micros allow you to listen in the open air of your music room. That in my book is a good thing, as I don't always want to wear headphone. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
So, the Micros seem to play well at low, moderate and loud volumes and in doing so they do not lose their balance, while providing even handed impact, both micro and macro.
Now, I can't wait until tomorrow morning when I can get some alone time with them and really give them a shakedown!
The next morning.
I was able to give them a good run this morning before leaving for work and my general impressions are positive. However, I feel strongly that my Maggies MG3a's out perform them in the areas that impress me the most so here is the run down.
1. Sound stage width and height: Maggies
Maggies throw a huge stage!
2. Sound stage depth: Both
About the same, which surprised me.
3. Overall transparency: Micros
Slight nod goes to the Micro's but the Maggies have it in the highs.
4. High end: Maggies
Maggies ribbon can't be beat but the Micro's tweeter is very good.
5. Midrange: Micros
My Maggies are a bit laid back in this range and the Micros give more presence and jump.
6. Upper bass: Micros
The cone has got some punch.
7. Low bass: Maggies
The Maggies can go lower but what the Micros have is very good and can be used without a sub.....however, they won't be full range.
8. Play loud: Both
Both play loud and with in the mid 90's they keep dynamic shadings.
9. Moderate levels: Micros
The details really come out at moderate levels with the Micros
10. Low level: Micros
Maggies don't really play well at low levels they need to be goosed. The micros keep the dynamic shadings even at low levels.
11. Truth to timbre: Both
Each has a different sound signature. I preferred the Maggies but the Micros are natural with maybe a touch of midrange favoring. Placement and adjustment might take care of this.
11. Ease to drive: Micros
The Micros can be run with less watts and quality watts cost money. Nod to the Micros.
13. WAF: Micros
Smaller foot print, traditional but exotic look favors the Micros.
14. Overall: Maggies
I love the Maggies and after my kids leave the home I will be going back to them. That being said, the Micros are a speaker I can live with until that day.
Further thoughts: Listening to my mixes and masters on the Micros fulfilled my wishes in a small monitor. They have beat out every monitor I have played with and modded over the past 2 years in search of a replacement for my Maggies. Further tweaking and set up should push them to a higher level and bring even more satisfaction. But what the past 2 years have demonstrated to me is that my Maggies are world class speakers that are hard to beat.