Steve Guttenberg finally reviews the Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeaker.


Over the past few years I and a number of other owners of the Eminent Technology LFT-8b have on this site extolled the virtues of this under-acknowledged loudspeaker. I myself have encouraged those interested in Magnepans to try and hear the LFT-8 before buying. That is not easy, as ET has only five U.S.A. dealers.

I am a long-time fan of Maggies, having bought my first pair (Tympani T-I) in 1973, my last (Tympani T-IVa) a few years ago. But the Tympani’s need a LOT of room (each 3-panel speaker is slightly over 4’ wide!), which I currently don’t have. So I gave a listen to the MG 1.7i, and didn’t much care for it. As I recounted in a thread here awhile back, I found the 1.7 to sound rather "wispy", lacking in body and tonal density (thank you Art Dudley ;-).

Brooks Berdan was (RIP) a longtime ET dealer, installing a lot the company’s linear-tracking air-bearing arm on Oracle, VPI, and SOTA tables. After Brooks’ passing his wife Sheila took over management of the shop, continuing on as an ET dealer. I knew Brooks was a fan of the LFT-8, and he had very high standards in loudspeakers (his main lines were Vandersteen, Wilson, and Quad). The shop had a used pair of LFT-8’s, so I gave them a listen. They sounded good enough to me to warrant investigate further, so I had Sheila order me a pair, along with the optional (though nearly mandatory) Sound Anchor bases.

I wouldn’t waste your time if I didn’t consider the ET LFT-8b to be just as I have on numerous occasions (too many times for some here) described it: the current best value in all of hi-fi. Hyperbole? Well, you no longer have to take it from just me and the other owners here: Steve Guttenberg finally got around to getting in for review a pair (the LFT-8 has been in production for 33 years!), and here is what he has to say about it. After watching the video, you can read other reviews (in a number of UK mags, and in TAS by Robert E. Greene) on the ET website.




Long Live the ET LFT8b’s!! Owned them for 12 years. Something I am not sure Steve mentioned, the Midrange Panel tackles 100hz to 10k. Which I think its very impressive to be honest.

Thinking of buying the LFT16a’s.

A few years back while auditioning my current pair of Quicksilver Mono 120 amplifiers with KT150s installed, they were paired up with the smaller LFT-16a speakers. The room and speakers were set up nice and it was very enjoyable. At that moment I remember saying to myself, man this is all anyone needs in a smaller listening room setting. I’m not sure they’d do as well in a larger room at higher volume levels.

Prior to that heard the I’ve heard larger LFT-16a speakers set up and playing at my local dealer many times. Sometimes paired with various lower powered amplifiers too - Quite surprising how well they sounded at lower volume levels for such inefficient speakers, in the low 80s. Look at the impedance of these speakers to learn more.

I tend to believe they can do their best when paired with a proper set of mono block tube amplifiers with quality iron behind them. I kinda liked them paired with higher power 60wpc+ push-pull tube amps vs lower power tube amps. That could just be me, or my taste. I have yet to hear them paired up with high quality Class-A solid state amp(s). Would be great to hear from others and what SS amps they’ve used with them, and compared running them with various tube amps. What were the results - if anyone here has stories to share about different pairings with ETs?


You’re correct @aniwolfe, Steve didn’t mention just how wideband the midrange driver is: it does 180Hz up to 10kHz, crossover free within it's bandpass! For a small room the 16a would be a nice choice, though you still need some space between it and the wall behind it.

A good suggestion @decooney. I can recommend both the RM-9 Mk.2 and RM-200 Mk.2 Music Reference amps, which put out 125w/100w (respectively) into 8 ohms. If you bi-amp (the dual binding posts make that fairly easy)---with a tube amp on the panel (the m/t panel presents an 11 ohm load to the amp) and a 100w ss (it need not be expensive, just good) on the woofer, that is probably all you need for just about any size room, program material, and listening level.

You will be rewarded with a loudspeaker in the same league as many ESL’s in terms of transparency, but with greater maximum volume (I also own the Quad ESL), besting all the Maggies except that company’s fantastic ribbon tweeter (contained in the Tympani T-IVa, and current MG3.7i, 20.7i, and 30.7). Ans without the Maggies’ lack of dynamics and resolution at low listening levels.

For dipole planar lovers, it’s a heck of a loudspeaker package! That it has remained such a well-kept secret for so long has been a mystery to me for years. Another factor that led me investigate the LFT-8b was reading what Harry Weisfeld of VPI had to say about; he said he considered it’s midrange reproduction the best he had ever heard, from any loudspeaker, at any price. I don’t know if I’d go THAT far. ;-)

These are on my shorter list to try. Thanks for the head’s up.

It's a shame he reviewed the 8b. There's an 8c now.

@hilde45: While the LFT-8c is an advanced version of the LFT-8 in terms of low frequencies and room correction (it contains DSP), the -8b remains available. Not everyone may want or need what the -8c offers, the -8b being a cheaper and sufficient alternative 

Did I read the specs correctly? Sensitivity 83db? That seems pretty low for tube amps. But again, speaker specifications still confuse me.



Sensitivity is low but it does not require a high current amp. This speaker will not go lower than 7 ohms. So lower powered tube amps work fine if not used in a large room, needing concert listening levels. In contrast you need a High Current amp for Maggies which suck at low listening levels.

The LFT’s are especially sensitive to VOLTS = Tube power.

@aniwolfe Sensitivity is low but it does not require a high current amp. This speaker will not go lower than 7 ohms. So lower powered tube amps work fine if not used in a large room, needing concert listening levels. The LFT’s are especially sensitive to VOLTS = Tube power.


I’ve heard the LFT-8bs paired with a very capable 10w AudioNote EL34 amplifier, and a 20wpc QS Integrated. While it sounded nice at low volume levels, in a 12x25’ room, sitting about 8ft away, the speakers tended to lose their steam and dynamics above 1/2 volume level on that AN integrated. A little better on the QS 20wpc integrated. Still needed a little more boost, even for low volume listening levels, imo. Now jumping up to higher power 60wpc+ QS Monos, separate/active tube preamp, yielded larger and more expansive sound. I found the 8Bs seemed to thrive better at lower listening levels with a little more power and drive behind them, for whatever reasons.

Given the chance, once the 8Bs are back in stock at my local dealer, I’m gonna ask to hear them on the Audio Note Meishu Tonmeister 300b amp. While its only 8w, still a capable amp, speaking of current, impedance/match, capability to drive. Might be a few months, hope to try it next to see & hear the pros/cons.


Exactly as @aniwolfe states. Looking at the impedance versus frequency chart on the ET website, you’ll notice the impedance of the LFT-8b remains above 10 ohms all across the spectrum, with the exception of dropping below 10 ohms only between 55Hz and 180Hz (the crossover frequency). Unlike Maggies, a good candidate for tube amps. I had already sold my pair of Atma-Sphere M60’s by the time I got the ET’s, but I’m sure they’d work great, especially on the m/t panels themselves (with as I said above ss on the woofers). In contrast, Maggies never rise above 4 ohms, dropping sightly below 3 ohms at some frequencies.

As far as sensitivity goes, we have to keep in mind that sensitivity measurements are always lower with dipoles than they actually perform in a room. Those measurements ignore the back wave, fully half the speaker’s output! Add 3dB to the stated figure. Still low, but not enough so to cause it to be extremely amplifier-fussy, unlike ribbons, which are low in sensitivity, low in impedance, and reactive in nature (magnetic-planars are pretty much a resistive load). That is why I cringe when I hear Steve (and others) characterize Maggies as quasi-ribbons. No, they’re not. They are planar-magnetics, with the exception of the Magnepan true-ribbon tweeter. The tweeter in the LFT-8 (reproducing the top octave only---10kHz and up, though with a shallow 1st-order high-pass filter) is also a ribbon, the midrange driver a planar-magnetic---as Steve mentions, push-pull in design (most of the Maggies are single-ended.).

Excellent Ric (@ricevs), thanks; I hadn’t seen those videos. For those who don’t know, Ric at EVS was in the past offering a line of loudspeakers employing NEO planar-magnetic drivers mated with the fantastic open-baffle servo-feedback woofer offered by Rythmik Audio in conjunction with GR Research. I have a pair of the OB subs, with two woofers in each W-frame I built from flat pack kits.

By the way Ric, I still have the Audible Illusions Modulus 2 pre-amp you "modified" (redesigned is more apt ;-) for me back in the 90’s ;-) .

eminent i belive is long time company before 1980 ,, just wonder the now  make good speaker? anyone have ever hear beside Steven G.  ,, i must confess that the more opinion about this speaker ,  thr more i maje a good conclusion about quslity on yhisv speaker  ,,, anyone can help me about this transiator   thanks everyone who have answers my question!

For the money they are decent but very inefficient even more so when you consider 

most quality amplifiers double their power or close to into 4 ohms .

these speakers are only 83 db efficient at 8 ohms  , needing a pretty power full 

amplifier ,and cannot compete with the 3.7 which has a excellent separate tweeter panel, at 2x the cost though it should be much better.

I saw the Steve Guttenburg review and thought of those here - particularly that had mentioned the Eminent Tech’s before. Very impressed. I’m with @aniwolfe in considering the LFT16a’s for my 10x14 room. Just been corresponding with Bruce about them. Really nice guy, very responsive as he just got right beck with me today. He explained that they have new woofers, of which I was curious  as the Stereophile Atkinson review of them back in 2008 (he had complained about a low mid bump in his measurements). 


There is a second reason why planars seem more efficient. They drop in level at 3 dB as you double listening difference and regular speakers drop at 6 dB when doubling. The standard efficiency is measured at the same distance for both planar and point sources but we rarely listen at 3 meters, usually more than 6 meters so there the planar plays louder for the same input. 

Excellent point @dynamiclinearity, I had forgotten that fact. That difference in drop off in output level with distance is one reason why monopole subs are not ideal mates for use with dipole loudspeakers (also the opinion of Magnepan’s Wendell Diller): if you balance the two at 1 meter, the balance will be different at greater listening distances.

I’m sure that was one reason Bruce Thigpen decided to design a dipole woofer system, now offered in the LFT-8c. If you already have a dipole sub such as the Rythmik Audio/GR Research OB Sub, you can use it in place of the woofer in the LFT-8b. You merely don’t connect speaker cables to the LFT-8’s woofer binding posts (or use the provided jumpers), using the controls on the dipole sub to create the required 180Hz low-pass filter. Of course very few subs will play up to 180Hz; the Rythmik/GRR OB plays up to 300Hz!

I watched SG today. First time in a while. I think they were at Axpona?

$3k or so. I just received a pair of LRS+ I had ordered last December.

They are quite a disappointment considering all the rave I had heard.

When I placed the order Magnepan offered a 60 day trial period.

Now I see no mention of any on their site.

Anyone know anymore on this?



At Axpona they were playing an unreleased ET speaker that sounded very good. Unfortunately, I don't remember the details. 

@willywonka: It may be the prototype Eminent Technology speaker shown in the two videos linked above by @ricevs, tentatively named the Model 18LS. It is the midrange and tweeter drivers from the LFT-8b and c, with separate dipole woofer towers (6 woofers in front, either 2 or 4 in the rear). Also included in the 18LS will be power amps for both the m/t panels and woofer towers, plus DSP/room correction electronics with related measuring microphone..

When the 18LS Protos were unveiled the info sheet said " features new push pull neodymium planar mid and highs".......and the guy there said they were 90db efficient.....and the speaker could play super loud (110db).  You can see/hear what what I just stated in the above first video, everything is new with this new Proto.  The mid/high planars look the same.....but apparently....are not.  $15K for everything. We will see what might change when it hits the streets.

Ah, okay Ric. More powerful neodymium magnetic structures makes for a whole new ballgame, and explains the higher sensitivity. It strikes me as surprising how after all this time (33 years since the LFT-8 was introduced) Thigpen suddenly shifts into higher gear and gets ambitious with his LFT loudspeaker. And then Magnepan is getting ready to introduce their new model, which will also include powered dipole woofers and DSP electronics. Pretty exciting!

all speakers no matter how much the cost are crap they're all very two-dimensional sounding and they don't throw a very wide three-dimensional and enveloping sound stage there's only one speaker out there that does that exceptionally well, and that's the monitor audio platinum series, get in touch with audio facts in the Netherlands and they'll tell you why and they have 7 $8,000 worth of testing equipment to prove it.


When you make an assertion as ludicrous as this:

all speakers no matter how much the cost are crap they're all very two-dimensional sounding and they don't throw a very wide three-dimensional and enveloping sound stage

readers will be far less likely to look into whatever you are peddling.

@magnuman : the Linkwitz tri-amped open baffle speaker may have the best 3-D imaging of any dynamic system. I doubt that any Monitor Audio speaker can compare.

Not a huge fan of Steve almost everything sounds good , not true 

Eminent  technologies , myself and 2 others I know have had panels go out ,

they are made in China  and found out these cost less then $800 including boxes .

you get what you pay for , you absolutely need a minimum of 150wpc into 8 ohms 

if you don’t want to tax the panels into distortion ,which is the killer of these panels on transients thepower demand can climb many times ,look at the 83 sensitivity.

that’s why you need a minimum of 150 clean power the  Parasound 23A is a good match the 21A much better still with plenty of current on demand . Much better then  tubes especially if you want R&R levels of music over  a long play session .

my friend had a Emotiva and didnot workout too well too much distortion at upper levels. Keep that in mind if you plan on buying them quality counts.



Where is the evidence they are made in China?

And isn't it the case that some things made in China are of excellent quality? Or are you making a political point?

As for your claim that they "absolutely need a minimum of 150wpc into 8 ohms" we already have @decooney testifying to the contrary and Steve G. also explores several different amps with these.  The key issue, it seems, is how loud people want to play them. 


I have been listening to the 8C for six months now, upgraded from 8b. For $1500, the upgrade is a no brainer, absolutely!

The plate amp / DSP is from Dayton Audio and houses a 250W amp, class D (? ). The initial concern was that the A-D and D-A conversions would degrade  SQ. I know there are person here who claims to be able to hear and dislike a DSP in the signal path. I had some problems initially with the sound from the vinyl side of my system whereas the CPD played wonderfully from the get go. But now as I listen to records, I cannot tell what the DSP is doing negatively to the sound. 

There are a couple of settings that Bruce has left to the listener's discretion: the volume of the woofer is adjustable relative to the panels and there is a Time Delay setting to time align the woofer and the panels. I have left the other adjustments ( a total of 7 ) as factory settings. But a fellow over at the AudioKarma forum who is a sound engineer has fine tuned the other settings with measuring software, and he claims the quality of the bass goes up a few notches. 

Compared to the 8b, the  8c is a new speaker. It is  full range, holographic in soundstage, blends better with the my room, and much more matured  / sophisticated.

It would be very interesting to see what Steve Guttenberg has to say about the 8c since he mentioned that a follow up to the 8b will be in a future installment. 

That is a fact , just do the Math , U.S labor is 6x more , and look at the industrial look .my uncle has worked for over 10 years in Asia , they build them ,they may do some assembly testing here that is all . Iowned a audio store for a decade.

rule of thumb for speakers and electronics on 90%  , 25% goes into the build including packaging, the rest R&D overhead, and markup , it’s a business.

that’s why the vast majority of low cost items are mfg overseas  it’s all about $$ 

To stay in business!!

Hi, all

I own a pair of eminent technologies Lft8bs, had them for a 1 year now. After reading all the reviews on the forum. The first point to tackle is the poor crossover components that is built to a price point! I have updated with Clarity caps together with Jupiter caps as by pass caps together with duelands and Jantzen copper foil caps. I can only say that it's worth the cost. Also I am now experimenting with a larger 15" paper bass unit open baffle to improve the bass response as the supplied 8" driver is really useless and does not work with the ribbon unit! Good luck with your upgrade.

@hilde45 .."The key issue, it seems, is how loud people want to play them."


Yep, desired volume levels, room size, and placement options matter in order to decide on the type of preferred amplification and whether these are the speakers are for you (or maybe not). I’ve heard the 8s and 16s placed in different locations in a room, and they tended to sound their best to me out from the front wall a little bit. Was involved in attempted listening sessions with nice 10w, 20w, 60w tube amps. Me, I’d go with 60wpc push-pull tube amps for these, imo. Very few SS amps need apply. I’d still pick really good mono tube amps over most good Class-A SS amps for these particular speakers. .

imo, its not the same type of hollow sound co-mingled/blurred and spread all across the front such as I’ve heard with some of the Magnepan speakers. It’s more of a directed and forward (at you) type of sound when the speakers are slightly tilted to the listener. The speakers, particularly the 8s provide some added upper end detail you don’t hear with most conventional cone speakers. Some may not like this. Really good tube amps, and with big-iron behind them would totally be my preference for these.

Selecting the correct amplification for the room and for these speakers is key, imo. If (decades late on these) Steve Guttenberg does not review them with different amplifiers in different size rooms, and placements, the test and review will be somewhat limited imo. Having heard these speakers at least 15 different times, with different amplifiers. Your hearing, rooms, and experience may vary.  Best of Luck to anyone who jumps in on these.  



sorry but that's not an assertion that's a fact and in fact most stereo salespeople are so dumbo they don't know how to set up a system properly and 99.9% of speakers out there are two-dimensional and flat sounding there's not very many speakers out there that can reproduce all the properties of sound and music.


Tough crowd in here.

Topic is a  speaker which performs above the price point, and perhaps under the radar.

The discussion about how it performs as is, out of the box is what matters-thats all.

The recording has to have the ability to be 3 dimensional. Next speaker placement and room acoustic treatment needs to be dialed in. Amp/speaker/cable/synergy and clean power is need for a 3D effect. Purchasing a Monitor Audio Platinum series speaker will not guarantee a 3 dimensional effect if all the mentioned parameters are not in effect. FWIW I heard the Platinum 3 series(100/200) at Axpona and they were disappointing. The sales rep claimed the room was to small for the 200 model and why were they were using mid-fi electronics Arcam SA 30? My take is the Platinum series is very sensitive with room placement and electronics. At $14k for the 200 is a lot for a Chinese made speaker when the Acoustic Energy AE 520 at $5k outperformed it at Axpona.

@tablejockey :  Agreed! The discussion starts with someone trying to raise awareness about a speaker that may be a good fit for others… aka - trying to be HELPFUL!… and out come the people trying to shoot down something they have zero experience with. I for one am glad that @bdp24 posted this. I’ve owned and loved my Magnepans - several different models - for over three decades, and these speakers (the ET 8bs) have definitely been on my radar. Btw, I did see the Steve G video yesterday, and added his take on them to my mental database. I’d like to hear them and compare them directly with my 3.7s… so I can decide for myself. Maybe it’s time to take the leap….


This was a very important comment you made:

The first point to tackle is the poor crossover components that is built to a price point! I have updated with Clarity caps together with Jupiter caps as by pass caps together with duelands and Jantzen copper foil caps. I can only say that it's worth the cost. Also I am now experimenting with a larger 15" paper bass unit open baffle to improve the bass response as the supplied 8" driver is really useless and does not work with the ribbon unit! 

From these comments, it appears that the Eminent speaker may be a good starting point for those who want to take a good design and press it into great shape. But it won't be close to "done" for some.


There are probably thousands of Maggie owners that are completely satisfied with them [I an one of them] and the fact that they can hardly fill the demand for them should tell you something.  Just because they might not be someone else's cup of tea doesn't mean they do not deliver what a lot of what we like.

@krelldreams: Yeah, a comparison of the LFT-8 (b and c iterations) with the MG3.7i would be fascinating. As I said, the MG1.7i didn't suit me, but the 3.7 is a very different animal. Both the MG3.7i and Tympani T-IVa have the Magnepan ribbon tweeter, about as good as tweeters get. If I had a big enough room I'd still be listening to my T-IVa's, which I love.

Considerations in choosing between the 3.7i and LFT-8b/c---apart from their basic inherent sound characteristics---will include:

1- Room size. The LFT-8 measures 13" wide and 60" tall, the 3.7 24" wide and 71" tall, quite a bit bigger. The 3.7 can be rather imposing in smallish rooms. With either speaker sufficient distance from the wall behind them is non-negotiable; the common wisdom is a minimum of 3', but more is better. 5' just barely meets the distance needed for the returning rear wave to arrive back at the panel delayed in time 10ms, which is the difference needed for our brains to hear the two waves---direct and reflected---as separate events, rather than the rear wave being perceived as the smearing of the front wave. I fortunately have that 5' distance available in my current music room.

2- Choice of amplification. The MG3.7i is a pretty difficult load for most tube amps, while the LFT-8 is a relatively-easy one. If I was thinking about getting into the MG3x series Maggies, I would look for a 3.6. Why? Because the 3.6 has a parallel cross-over so can easily be bi-amped: a beefy solid state amp on the bass driver, a tube on the m/t drivers. The 3.7i has a series crossover, so the drivers cannot be driven separately without internal surgery.

The LFT-8 has dual binding posts, making bi-amping pretty easy (Bruce Thigpen endorses the idea, and provides instructions on how to do it in the owners manual). The m/t panel driven separately is, as I said above, an 11 ohm load, great for tube amps. In moderately-sized rooms the LFT-8 does not require a brute force power amp, but being very transparent is revealing of faults in amplifiers. But, I want to add, not so ruthless-revealing as to make less than great sounding recordings unlistenable. 

The comments regarding tube amps being a good match with the LFT 8 correspond with my own experience. With the 8b, I preferred a 100W triode tube amp with 6550's. Now a 20W amp with 300b's in push-pull mode is sounding better than the higher watt amp. And in my 250 s.f. room, they can go over 100db without stressed. 

@soix: Years before Steve Guttenberg had a listen to the LFT-8b, Robert E.Greene gave the speaker a very interesting review in TAS (in 2014). Sure, one can also ask "Who really cares about Robert E. Greene?" To a degree I do (we both like the Quad ESL, which I also own). If you don't, fine, ignore him. Is it okay for the rest of us to discuss what Greene and Guttenberg (and a number of reviews by UK critics, also pretty interesting) think of the LFT-8b? You're free to state your opinion if you wish.

@bdp24 : I have considered all the points that you mentioned. What gives me pause to replace them are the following: I have very little to complain about with my current set up, so why upset the apple cart? I have worked out my room, best location for “these” speakers, the delicate balance of input sensitivity/output voltage, impedance (I use Speltz Zeros between the amp & speakers), etc. to the point where I’m very happy with what I’m hearing. Aren’t we sometimes thinking about what’s “better” out there though? I’ve tried many other speakers, and many other amplifiers, and lots of source components and source material, and I know the possibility exists that I’ll “upgrade” only to find myself missing what I had! Been there…. I’d like to repeat what some others have pointed out, regarding the ET 8b’s “specified speaker sensitivity”, it’s almost impossible to make a judgement based on what’s on paper because there are too many factors involved in how a manufacturer lands on that “spec” number… also critical is how the speakers interact with an individual’s room and amplifier. As just one example, I purchased a pair of speakers for a second room to use with a small tube amp. The speakers I was already using were PSB alpha B1 - bookshelf speakers (rated @89 db/watt/m), the new speakers were Tekton Mini Lore - small floorstanders (rated @96 db/watt/m). Looking at those specs, one would expect the more sensitive floor stander to sound louder and beefier than the bookshelf speakers (all else remained constant), but surprisingly (to me) that was not the case at all… the PSBs were a better fit in that system. I have no doubt that for many listeners, the LFT8bs will sound great with many high quality amplifiers. It is very important to try things in your own system, or at very least, listen to what you’re considering so you can make a fair judgement. Specs on paper can be very misleading!

@boxcarman: Bruce Thigpen openly expressed his admiration for Jim Winey's invention of his planar-magnetic design. I myself was an early adopter, buying a pair of Tympani T-I in 1973. Thigpen went on to study the Magneplanar, and had an idea for his own version of the planar-magnetic driver.

In the 1980's Thigpen introduced three loudspeaker models: the LFT-3, LFT-4 (of which I have a pair), and the LFT-6, all of which featured the Eminent Technology LFT planar-magnetic driver, which is a push-pull design (the idea Thigpen saw as a way to improve on Winey's design). For years all the Magnepan drivers were single-ended, and the lower cost Maggies continue to be.

Keeping the conductors that are attached to the Mylar diaphragm within the magnetic field of the planar-magnetic design is a means of eliminating the distortion inherent in single-ended designs (in his TAS review, Greene talks about the low-distortion character of the LFT-8b). The more expensive Maggies now have push-pull drivers, the 20.7 and 30.7 for sure, the 3.7i I'm not sure about.

How much this has to do with the sound of the 1.7i I can't say. All I know is that that model sounded---as I said above---"wispy" to me, images lacking body and substance, more like a ghostly apparition than a flesh and blood image. And whatta ya know, Guttenberg characterized the sound of the LRS+ sitting next to the LFT-8b in his living room just that way when comparing the two. I haven't heard the 3.7i, and very much want to. Until I have room for my Tympani T-IVa's, the LFT-8b will just "have to do." ;-)

@krelldreams: I know of only one guy who has had both the MG3.7i and LFT-8b in his room and said he preferred the LFT. I’m sure I could happily live with either! While Guttenberg states in his video that he prefers the LFT-8b to every Maggie he has had in house, I don’t know that that includes the 3.7i. I would think the the MG3.7i and the LFT-8b are loudspeakers for two different groups of listeners: the MG3.7i retails for $8,000 and requires a very substantial amplifier (to get both high current and high sq is not cheap), the LFT-8b $3,200 and a more modest amp. I’ll bet the MG3.7 will better fill a larger room, the LFT-8 better in medium sized rooms. While the LFT-8 looks well proportioned in my 14’ 4" x 21’ room; I think the MG3.7i might overwhelm it.

I was active on the Planar Speaker Asylum site for awhile, and some of those guys really take their Tympani T-IV’s to the next level. Replacing the midrange driver with multiple NEO 8 drivers, rebuilding the crossover with boutique parts, bracing the panels to the wall, using 1,000-2,000 watt pro amps on the woofer panels, etc. I merely got myself a First Watt B4 crossover to use in place of the stock passive one (it’s an external box, which goes between the power amps and the connectors on the planar panels, not the optimum way to bi-amp), and used a 200w/channel PS Audio ss amp on the woofers and a 100w tube amp on the m/t panels. Sounds fantastic, but I just don’t have a room with the required width (a minimum of about 20 ft.: 4’ for each speaker, 8’ between them, and 2’ on the outside edge of each to the side walls).

Speakers ( and the room ) are the most specific of importance, in contributing to the sound one achieves, and it boils down to what you like, and what you want. I have owned Maggies, Apogee Duettas, and ML CLSs, and I understand why people love them. My buddy had a pair of the LF8bs ( for a short time ), and I understand, again, why people like them. A good bubby of mine owns, and loves, his "63s. I will take my Lascalas over any of them, because, for what I WANT, they do more for me, and satisfy my listening, more than anything else....especially at their price point. All of this means, like what you like, but don't knock it, if it is not your cup of tea. And the ridiculous comment " there aren't many speakers that can reproduce all of the properties of sound and music ". Name me ONE speaker that does it all ? Enjoy ! MrD.

@mrdecibel I think the comment you found objectionable should be be qualified as follows: " there aren't many speakers that can reproduced all of the properties of sound and music...... with such a high level of competence at a price of $3200". La Scalas' retail for $ 6,500 and up depending on the vintage...just saying.

And the 8c at $4200 goes further. 

It's interesting the tone of this thread expressed by non-ET owner....kinda negative and questioning in general....something about the LFT 8's that just don't get no respect.

@ledoux1238: It's understandable that a Maggie owner might feel---I don't know, maybe threatened---when a competing and somewhat similar loudspeaker is suggested as an alternative to consider. But if I had just spent $2995 on a pair of MG1.7i's, and then heard the $3200 LFT-8b, I'd be quite pissed off.

For those who love their 1.7i's, fantastic, enjoy the music. I went out and listened to a pair, and they didn't give me what I need. As Guttenberg said, the LFT-8b sounds surprisingly different from the "smaller" Maggies (those below the 3.7). To move up the Maggie line, you have to spend $8,000 for a pair of the 3.7i's, and need to have an amp that can drive them. I would try a Sanders amp with them.

I can't wait to hear the upcoming LFT-16LS, as well as the Magnepan concept speaker, the "30.7 For Condos", which like the 16LS will have separate dipole woofers and DSP. Like I said above, exciting times.

FWIW...The LFT8b's are lovely. During 2020, 2021 and 2022 I had alot of time to evaluate my small collection of panel speakers including, Quad 63's, Lft-8b's and ML ESLs. Evaluation was done in a constant rotation, using an upgraded (resistors, caps, transformers) ELEKIT push/pull KT120/KT77/EL34 amp. I found the 40 - 50 wpc to be lots of power for my listening, in a Treated but smallish (11'.5" x 13'.5") room.

I still rotate between the LFT 8s and the ML ESL (with Spetz Zeros). I prefer the ET LFT8 but the vast majority people who have heard both, including our Vinyl Club members,  like the Logans...

I sold the 63s...

Yes, looking forward to the release of LFT-18LS. The videos links provided by @ricevs really gave a good glimpse of the new speaker. Did I hear correctly? It is a fully powered DSP speaker system, without the need of amps? 

I wrote to Bruce asking him about the use of DSP. He replied that deploying DSP tech is the lesser of two evils, the other being passive x-over. And digital tech has advanced such that he could do things that he couldn't just ten years ago. I personally find the DSP part of the 8c a quandary. How can a plate amp / DSP digital processor that retails in the $250 range make such an impact? I am in effect putting analog play back through a A-D and D-A conversion every time I use the speaker. And analog still comes out sounding like analog!? I guess my question is if 'cheap' digital tech can be deployed to such good effect in speaker design, then why are we chasing digital playback tech in the $10k + realm. Or is it that Bruce is in fact moving up the digital chain with the LFT-18 for even more superior sound in addition of the neodymium magnets?

Sanders Sound System also uses DSP, though a more sophisticated / expensive kind. And Robert Greene in his review of the Sanders speakers claims not to 'hear' the DSP degrading SQ. In fact, he felt it would be the future trend in speaker design. I did not understand that part of his review But having lived with DSP, I can honestly say it woks without degrading SQ, having 8b as a compare.