The Official Magnepan Owners Thread - Page 125 - AVS Forum
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post #3721 of 3730 Old 08-16-2014, 11:43 PM
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Yep, even less sensitive than Maggies. They can be bi-amped, however. Another thing to know about them is that they have a higher impedance than the 4 ohm Maggies, so they will have less power available from solid state amps. The ET panels themselves are 12 ohms, so bi-amping with a SS amp on the cone woofer and a tube one on the panels will work great.
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post #3722 of 3730 Old 08-17-2014, 12:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post
Guys, I into my third day of enjoying my Maggies and I already craving for something better. What will an upgrade to the 3.6 bring to the table? How different are they from the 2.7s? Apart from being newer (lets not forget the 2.7s are probably 15 years old).
Before you do anything drastic, I'd suggest that you pull the Maggies away from your wall. Try them at 4 or 5 feet. I know, I know, you couldn't ever keep them there. But do it anyway, move the seating position back temporarily in order to have an equilateral triangle from the speakers to your listening position. Once that is done, spend a half day testing them out. If there is a significant difference, perhaps all you need is a little room treatment on the walls behind the Maggies when they are moved back to where you had them. If there isn't any significant difference, then go to a Magnepan dealership and audition the 3.7i's.
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post #3723 of 3730 Old 08-17-2014, 08:04 AM
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How did everyone setup the surround portion of their system? I am trying to figure out what others did to get ideas for either 5.1 or 7.1. My new room isn't terribly big. I right now have a set of 1.6 that I have used for surround in the past but I only have 3' behind me in the new room to the rear wall.
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post #3724 of 3730 Old 08-17-2014, 08:50 AM
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^^ Probably with wall treatments behind each speaker. If you have your surround Maggies (or front, for that matter) 3-feet from the wall, that's very good indeed. Actually, I think it's outstanding. Congratulations. Many of us can't get them that far away. There is an in-your-face-thumb-your-nose review of the Magnepan 3.6 vs audiophiles that cracked me up that I had URL'd in post 3680.

People normally have Maggies, or any planar and ESL speaker setup in a stereo 2.0 or 2.1 configuration. Not many of us are rich enough or have enough room for a 5.1 or 7.1 setup. Of course there are exceptions. Gary Reber who writes for "Widescreen Review" has a 7.1 system all Maggies and there is a member here on AVS that has a 11.x system of all Martin Logan ESLs. I suspect it takes a pretty impressive room. And since Maggies don't play well with conventional speakers, it's usually all Maggies or forget it.

However, some people use a Tri-Center configuration of Maggies and forgo the normal setup. Tri-Center is when, along with your normal center channel Magnepan, you also use two other panels to add to the center, like the MMC2s. I think this takes a ProLogic II processor. You can find this info on the Magnepan website here: http://www.magneplanar.com/tri-center
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post #3725 of 3730 Old 08-17-2014, 09:15 AM
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Let me clarify a bit... I only have 3' from the back of the couch to the rear wall. I don't have 3' behind the surround speakers (I did in my old house). I don't need to worry about the fronts or the front center, it is the surround channels that I am challenged with for space.
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post #3726 of 3730 Old 08-17-2014, 09:21 AM
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^^ Place them on the side walls, perhaps? Is there a law that your surrounds must be behind you?
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post #3727 of 3730 Old 08-17-2014, 01:39 PM
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Random comments:

I have a 7.x Magnepan system. I use MG-IIIa's (old, old Maggies) for L/R. they are only about 18" - 24" from the wall behind but that wall (and all others) are heavily treated so no comb filter effects. A stereo pair of Rythmik F12's sits beside the mains, after an active analog crossover. Center is a CC3 and the surrounds and rears are MC1's. The MC1's are only inches from the wall and seem to do fine; hair more bass, and cancellation effects I do not seem to notice for surround and back material. Speakers are driven by an XPA-2 and XPA-5; frankly, my Pioneer SC-27 drives them fine but I already had the amplifiers. The room is not large (about 13.25' wide, 17.5' long, 8.5' high after hanging the ceiling from Kinetics IsoMax clips for isolation).

I have mixed other speakers for surrounds and it was OK. I needed them for another system and went with Magnepan surrounds/backs sinec I was able to afford them and had a plan for their installation (using DIY stands). Maggies all around sound great (natch!) but I would not let that deter me from saving money and space on the surround speakers. I do prefer the sound of a Maggie center, however; it makes the transition across the front stage more seamless.

Most planer speaker like Maggies and ESLs, or really just "most speakers", exhibit quite high distortion when driven by loud LF signals. I much prefer to use a good subwoofer and integrate it with the mains, rolling them off to preserve their performance and amplifier headroom where it is useful. I do not own 20's but have heard them a number of times and would still use a sub with them. YMMV.

The 3.x series and above adds a true ribbon tweeter. When I got mine the difference was significant and I much preferred the big ribbon tweeter. I have not heard the newer models enough (hardly at all) to see if the step-up from quasi- to true-ribbon is as large a difference today. The other difference is the larger panels provide a larger sound stage and bit deeper bass with a little more LF output.

Magnepans are nominally 4-ohm speakers with the top end on the ribbon models falling to perhaps 3 ohms. However, the impedance does not have the large excursions in impedance magnitude or phase that many conventional speakers have, nor the extremely low HF impedance exhibited by ESLs, so is not as difficult to drive as you might think. They also behave as line sources over much of their frequency range (upper bass on up). That means SPL fall-off with distance is less than with conventional speakers, increasing their relative efficiency/sensitivity at the listening position, and less interaction with walls, floor, and ceiling (first reflections not a big deal). IME room treatment for planers should start with the wall behind them, then the opposite wall (especially if the rear wall is near the listening position). Sides and ceilings last if needed at all.

Often times people come to listen and ask me to turn them up. Sometimes they just want it louder, sometimes they have bought into the "crank them to hear them sound their best" myth. The usual result is shock and awe when they turn to tell me how great they sound only to find out they can't hear themselves speak. Clean sound is a wonderful thing.

All IME, IMO, FWIWFM, YMMV, my 0.000001 cents (microcent), etc. - Don
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post #3728 of 3730 Old 08-18-2014, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grigorianvlad View Post
Guys, I into my third day of enjoying my Maggies and I already craving for something better. What will an upgrade to the 3.6 bring to the table? How different are they from the 2.7s? Apart from being newer (lets not forget the 2.7s are probably 15 years old).
I recently upgraded from a 27 year old pair of MGIIIa's to a brand new pair of 3.7i's. I am amazed at how similar they sound. I expected all the years and various model changes would lead to a completely different playing field. Not the case.

I can switch back and forth between the two, and the differences are subtle. There is more difference from moving the location of Maggies than there is in difference between my models at the same exact positioning.

First a warning. The 3.7i's sound bad out of the box. It took 200 hours to get them to sound as good as the old speakers. I now have at least 400 hours and they are still improving. I would now give the nod to the new ones on almost all music choices.

The big differences are:
Low bass is dramatically and significantly better on the IIIa. No contest. At normal listening volumes, my old speakers play 25 and 32 hz about eight db louder. I suppose further break in may help, but as below I doubt it. The new speakers also have a weird suck out at 63 hz in my room which the older ones do not.

Upper bass is clearly stronger and more impactful on the new speakers. Deep male vocals and stand up bass sound better on the new ones by a small margin. I suspect Magnepan has tuned the speaker to emphasize mid and upper bass at the expense of low bass.

Mids are cleaner and less glaring on the new.

Treble may be a bit better on the new. May be.

The old ones are more dynamic. The new ones sound more relaxed.

Imaging and soundstaging are now about equal, but as above, I think the new ones are still improving with time. The new ones may have more substance in the imaging (rounder, more palpable instruments and singers).

By the way, I run mine via a pair of Emotiva XPA 100 amps, I supplement mid bass with DWM panels and I have a Rythmik sub for support on the foundation. I prefer mine 8 to ten feet out from the front wall.

In summary, old Maggies are a fantastic buy. And no I am not selling my old ones. I am not saying that someone won't enjoy upgrading. I would strongly recommend the greatest bang for the buck though is optimizing the positioning. A 27 year old model properly positioned smokes a new model positioned less effectively.
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post #3729 of 3730 Old 08-18-2014, 10:36 AM
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A 63 Hz null may be due to positioning of speakers or listener but may also be influenced by the phase relationship among the mains and the bass panels. If the crossover is different between the two models (highly likely) then that can change the frequency response at the listening position.

In the past I did not find break-in to take nearly so long, more like tens of hours instead of hundreds, and the major change wsa the bass -3 dB dropping slightly. A change of 8 dB sounds very suspicious, like something else changed or something else is going on. Could it be minor placement issues?

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post #3730 of 3730 Old Yesterday, 11:49 AM
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In comparing the speakers I am referencing differences between models when measured in the exact same spot(s). I have both sets and am continuing to listen and measure both in various locations.

I agree the 63 hz dip is probably position dependent and that I can find probably find a position closer to the front wall without the dip. I do not have a consistent 63 hz dip in the old ones.

After 400 hours I am pretty sure I am describing differences between old and new models, at least within my room with my positioning. The new models appear to be tuned for slightly more upper bass and considerably less lower bass. Considering the introduction of quality subs in the past twenty seven years, the marketing logic is probably sound. Their literature also reflects that new models have less low bass than their older ones.

The 63 hz issue is probably not a factor for others either. Most people don't run Maggies eight to ten feet from the front walls. My assumption is that Magnepan tunes the speakers for the average user not me. I would if I was them.

If anyone is interested in my running comparisons of them set up conventionally (four feet or so from FW) I would be glad to do so. My guess is that the improvements of the new model over the old would be more noticeable in a more conventional position.
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