Magnepan 1.7 and Seaton Sound Submersive Sub vs. Anthony Gallo 3.5 w/ Ref. SA Amp - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-29-2013, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I've been a lurker on this forum for quite some time but finally decided I need some direct advice.

I currently own a pair of Gallo 3.5 speakers with a SA Amp. My listening space is 20 X 30 X 12. This area is in a basement finished with drywall on wood. The interesting thing is that only half the basement is finished. My listening space is literally a finished room within an unfinished basement. There is literally a one to three foot space all the way around the finished drywall which can be accessed through a set of doors. I can literally walk around the entire exterior of the listening room. The total footprint of the basement is about 2200 sq/ft.

As you can imagine, I am having some bass issues. I believe the drywall and space between the drywall and concrete/cinder black is literally killing all bass. Does this sound accurate? Frankly, the bass of the 3.5 is tight but not at lacking impact and tactile response that you might expect form a subwoofer (which is closer to what I hoped to gain with the addition of the SA amp).

The remainder of my equipment consists of a Windows 7/Jriver Music Server feeding a PS Audio PWD MKII and D-Sonic M2 1500M Amps via XLR with Spatial Audio Cables throughout and Blue Circle PLC conditioners.

I just purchased a Seaton Sound Submersive HP to assist in the bass department.

Now, the other question in my mind is, should I keep the Gallos, which have an amazing midrange and intoxicating soundstage. I love big soundstages. I love being surrounded by the sound, which is why I think I like the Gallos so much. That said, Magnepan is known for being a wall of sound with amazing soundstaging. On larger pieces, I think the Gallos can sound small. I'm thinking the Magnepan 1.7 with Seaton Sond Submersive HP could be a killer combo. What are your thoughts?

I have a few worries about the Maggies. Can they hand Progressive Metal like Tool (when paired with the sub)? How would they respond to a movie soundtrack like the Matrix? I like loud music, but I'm not a headbanger. I doubt I watch movies at reference levels, but I still like to turn it up. I'm just concerned as to how fast the ribbons start to give up as the volume and more importantly dynamics increase.

I want to get my ears on a pair of 1.7s, but there is nothing local right now.

Can anyone offer some good advice?

Regards,

Mike
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-29-2013, 07:57 AM
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I'll leave the equipment questions to others that are more familiar with Gallos and Magies and talk about the space.

If your listening space is defined by a single layer of drywall on wood studs without any insulation then the total size is effectively the full size of the basement, 2200 sq ft, if it's all 12 ft tall then you're looking at a listening space of more than 26K cu ft. The first thing I'd do would be to add insulation to all the walls, regular fiberglas would be OK, mineral wool or sprayed, closed cell insulation would be better with a second layer of drywall outside the room. This is going to help, but you'll still have the issue about the overall size of the room. Even with perfect insulation you still have a huge listening room- 7,200 cu ft, trying to fill this size space with bass is going to take some serious push.

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post #3 of 11 Old 04-29-2013, 09:35 AM
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I've read that Magnepan has introduced some bass modules that integrate seamlessly with their electrostatics. Have you looked into those?
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-29-2013, 09:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I did check out the Bass panels, but I opted to go for a dedicated sub for the low end bass.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-29-2013, 10:00 AM
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I've seen this phenomenon in basements before.

When you build the interior walls to finish the room, those walls are non-load bearing and not firmly connected to much, leaving them with far less rigidity than normal walls on the above ground floors. I've even seen them built with wider than standard stud widths because the builder figures he can save money and the wall isn't supporting much other than itself.

What happens is without that rigidity, the drywall vibrates and moves, much like a drum head, effectively sucking energy from the room. The less air tight your room, the worse this gets because the walls vibrate more, and you get more leakage to the outside. Also worse if your room is not rectangular.

You might try to evaluate if that is happening. If so you can help it by adding structural rigidity (more connection to the frame of the house, add bracing between studs) and insulation may help to some degree.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-29-2013, 10:05 AM
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Oh, and re: Maggies vs Gallos, I've owned them both

In a perfect world, I'd pick the Maggies hands down. But you don't live in a perfect world.

Maggies are very room dependent and need room reflections to do what they do. It may be very hard to get them sounding good if you have a poor room. With point source speakers like Gallos, you aim that at the listening position and get a higher percentage of direct to reflected sound, so it is easier to get better results in a poor room.
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-29-2013, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting, I actually think the mids and highs sound wonderful in my room with only a minimum of acoustic treatments. The bass is what is suffering. Generally speaking, I think my room dimensions might be perfect for a Magnepan 1.7. Thoughts?
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-30-2013, 05:39 AM
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Sounds like you're lusting for a pair of Maggies! As has been noted above they are very dependent of the surrounding walls to sound as good as possible. Fix the walls, buy the Maggies and you'll never come out of the basement.

Norm
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-30-2013, 08:05 AM
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The kind of high-amplitude music and movie tracks you are talking about are way beyond the amplitude limits of the Magnepans.

The Vandersteen Treo speakers might be the answer.
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-30-2013, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the recommendation. I was also looking at VSA V-33 speakers and Tekton Pendragons.
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-30-2013, 02:44 PM
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If you're already running everything through JRiver, consider moving to a 4ch DAC and letting the PC handle the panel/sub integration. I've recently heard and had customers playing with both Dirac Live software and Audiolense software in conjunction with JRiver.

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"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood..." Daniel H. Burnham
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