Magnetostatic loudspeakers

One of the first time I have heard magnetostatic loudspeakers was in a hifi-shop in my home town. My jaw dropped as I entered the listening room. This was something I have never experienced. The speed, the dynamics, the transparency! I realised I was hooked immediatly, because this was just audio from another level. The loudspeakers were from Magnepan. A USA brand that is very known about their excellent quality and value for money

But I have never, ever bought them. However, my current speakers use magnetostatic tweeters. Somehow, there was always something that was holding me back from buying them. If I wanted to have them, I might should listen to electrostatic louspeakers. Because they somehow share the same principal. But, I never got gave me that feeling of blis I experienced with the Magnepans or as they are nicknamed 'Maggies'. I have listen to some Audiostatic ES 100 electrostatic speakers (made in Holland), but they were limited in dynamics and the soundstage was too small for my taste. However, only the ESL63 from Quad, could grap me like the Maggies did. But in that period, it was far out of reach to purchase them.

A nice introduction to the magnetostatic speakers for me was owning magnetic headphones of the brand Flowating. It is far better sounding than most of the ordinary headphones on the market. A little drawback is that the bass doesn't go as deep, so if you are a dance music lover it will not be your kind of thing. But it is undefeatable on classical, pop and jazz!

Eventualy, as every type of loudspeakers do, magnetostatics have their drawbacks. One of of them is the position. You need quite a lot of space, especially behind the speakers. They are dipool, wich means that they produce an equal amount of sound to the back as to the front. The bass, is also limited. If you want to hear the lower octaves, you need big magnetostatics! If you have the space, do not hestitate (and if your spous can live with that.) You need a stable amplifier as well. Although, I would not be afraid my old Russian Priboj cannot handle them. But be sure, the amp is able to get them going. They also need a bit more maintenance than the conventional loudspeakers. And if you are a heavy smoker, I wouldn't recommend them, it will not only kill you, but also the magnetostatics!

If you going to buy them second hand, be sure you will check if the speakers produce the same amount of pressure and noise. Also, listen carefuly if you hear any cracks or other kind of sounds that is not on the cd. It can mean, the magnetostatics are near their end so you should avoid buying them. It will cost you more than you want and not mention the frustration that comes with it.

For me it is just a matter of time I will buy full magnetostatic loudspeakers. For now, I have a lack of space and I have solved this by having speakers with magnetostatic tweeters. And believe me, this is already from a total other league than the conventional tweeters. Yes, also the Esotar from Dynaudio will never get into that realm!