Panel speakers: is there a way back?


Well-known member
May 1, 2012
Where I live, there's not many places to audition electro- or magnetostats. My first attempt failed – the dealer had forgotten about our appointment. :wall: He looks like a nice guy though, so I’ll give it another try in the near future.

Having said that, I get a feeling as if there were two kinds of music lovers: those with panel speakers, and those who haven’t heard panel speakers yet. So the question is: who consciously prefers dynamic speakers over ‘stats, and why? Positioning issues, spousal veto, sound characteristics, …



Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
I bought a pair of Magnepan MMGs and had them for a few weeks before selling them on. I've also auditioned the new Magnepan 1.7s on several occassions. There's a lot to be said for these panel speakers. I totally understand why they have such a hard core fan base. However, I still prefer box speakers. For one thing, the panel speakers are large and ungainly. A lot of rooms cannot really accomodate them. Another thing, they are very tricky to position for great sound because they are dipole speakers that radiate front and back. The ribbon panels like Magnepan also require a very powerful amp that can deal with the special impedance issues. They also have weak bass which robs some music of the full drama.

The last time I auditioned the Magnepan 1.7 I also got to listen to the proac D18. I thought the proac was more enjoybable. With that said, if you want something that has the absolute most realistic "you are there" vocals and midrange, they are hard to beat.


New member
Oct 1, 2011
I am relatively new to owning panel speakers, but heard quite a few ESL57, 63 and Apogees and always loved the open, fast and just size of the soundstage. Drums/Vocals are portrayed really well.

They do miss out on the deepest bass and really dont like poorly recorded, compressed music.

If you can afford to room, then there are not many other types apart from big horns that give you the scale that Panel speakers have.


New member
Mar 4, 2010
I heard a large(ish) pair of £15k magnetostats a few months ago and was impressed, they did lots of things very well indeed and the high volume with low distortion. I did feel they perhaps lacked a little bit of snap and drive compared to more traditional speakers but overall they were special. The room was clearly too small for them though and I doubt I heard them to their best despite being on the end of good kit.


New member
Mar 11, 2011
to answer your question in the title; simply put - no. I have panel speakers and I do intend to upgrade them at some stange but definitely for another panel speaker. for me they simply create much more realistic impression of music being performed live.


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