Originally Posted by nickwin
Question to people with maggie theaters that are using full range maggies in front and small maggies for center and surround. Do you run your fronts full range with the subwoofer set to off on your AVR/processor and sub hooked up to L/R output like Magnepan recommends or do you cross over all your speakers to a sub using the bass management system on your processor as you typically would?
I have a set up consisting of 4x MC1s for fronts an surrounds and a CC3 with an Epik Empire doing bass duties. I have all my maggies set to cross over at 120hz as thats about as low as they go with any oomph. I enjoy the sound, but Ive never really been able to get the sub to blend with the fronts, especially the center. I was reading the manual for the CC3 and noticed Magnepan recommends setting it up with large fronts and routing the bass info from the center to the fronts instead of the sub in order to get a proper soundstage.
This has me thinking about replacing my front MC1s with 1.6s or 1.7s and running them full range but I see some disadvantages to going this way as well. The biggest is that I am asking a lot more from my amp playing the fronts full range, and they will not be as clean below say 60hz as my subwoofer. Because I want to route bass info from my center to my fronts I would have set my processor to no sub which means would also loose bass management on my avr including Audyssey and its EQ and timing adjustments and would have to do those manually. I would probably loose some mid bass and bass impact, but if the overall sound is more coherent that might not be a bad thing.
On a side note. Will an Emotiva xpa5 (350wpc@4ohms) be able to drive a pair of 1.6s full range in addition to a CC3 and two MC1s crossed over at 120-150hz?
If anyone has experimented with this or gone one way or the other please let me know what you found. Thanks!
I have a dedicated almost all Maggie Theater/Music room that consists of 1.7's for the LR, CC5/DWM combo for the center, MC1's for the surrounds and a Rythmik F12 for the sub. An Emotiva XPA-5 originally drove all the Maggies. After a few months, as an experiment, I purchased an Emotiva XPA-2 Gen2 to drive the 1.7's. I was curious how the 1.7's would sound when playing 2 channel music being driven by an amplifier with more power.
The XPA-2 Gen2 was a not a revelation in terms of immediate and obvious improvement, however, the subtle improvement in the 1.7's presentation was worth the price of admission. The 1.7's gained a relaxed refinement in terms of "dynamic expression", a clearer delineation of simultaneous sounds loud and soft. I would reword it as such: The dynamic contrasts were more apparent. The sound stage grew a touch wider and deeper with a greater sense of acoustic space as well as a better defined "spacial boundary" between instruments. Instruments had a bit more "roundness and body" than before. Overall tonal balance was nearly unaffected.
The biggest upgrade the XPA-2 Gen 2 brought to my Theater/Music room was in the theatrical realm. The improvement in my center channel (CC5/DWM combo) was profound. Freeing up the XPA-5 from driving the entire Maggie ensemble allowed my center channel to find it's voice ….. finally. The CC5/DWM instantly became firm and authoritative in its presentation, no longer thin, restricted, and recessed. It was a revelatory transformation, so much so that I was finally able to find an ideal placement that eliminated a slightly "phasey" interaction between the CC5, the DWM, and the LR's. That was the "Deal Keeper"…..I now had a center channel that spoke with authority, detail, anchoring a LCR that seamlessly stretched wall to wall.
I never suspected my XPA-5 was "running out of steam". It never exhibited any audible signs of stress, never felt hotter than warm. I was quite happy with my system for two channel playback and merely satisfied (but frustrated) with my system theatrically due to my center channel's "thinness". I am mentioning all of the preceding because I think an XPA-5 amplifier is a beefier, and a more robust amplifier than you will find in the vast majority of AVR's. I don't think many AVR's can drive an all Maggie surround system to satisfying levels and a believable and enjoyable "aural presentation". I strongly recommend (based upon my experience) you consider an XPA-5 or any of a number of high current/high wattage amplifiers. Later, you might want to purchase a dedicated two channel amp for your system, as I did.
I do not run my Maggies full range. I experiment sometimes running my 1.7's full range, no sub, when listening to music without deep low end. I invariably return to bass management as I love the honest tactile feel of my Rythmik's and how they support the foundation of music. A properly set up sub can add the "weight of the acoustic space" in those recordings that presents a realistic acoustic environment. Proper theatrical playback/presentation is another beast and, in my opinion, a sub is a necessity with any type of speaker.
My crossover points are as follows. Music playback: I fiddle with the crossover at 40 <-> 55 Hz, the majority of the time 55Hz. Theatrically my crossovers are 55Hz for the 1.7's, 60Hz for the CC5/DWM combo (I just had a thought to try them full range as a lark! But only on a dialog driven movie!), and 80Hz for my MC-1's surrounds.
I tried the Magnepan recommended Center/LR scheme for about 3 months and while I found the tonal balance to be superb there was, in my room/system, an interaction that drew my attention and disturbed my concentration and enjoyment. The problem that I gradually became aware of was the lack of image focus, solidity, and stability the center channel presented. Any voice or sound that was below the 200Hz limit of my CC5 no longer had the same image width of those sounds above 200Hz radiating from the CC5. In other words the lower frequency center channel info was playing as phantom center from my 1.7's and that phantom image width was wider than the CC5's image width. A male voice or sound effect began to stretch in width as the frequency dropped. I abandoned the Magnepan Center/LR scheme and tried using traditional bass management and crossing the CC5 at 200Hz to my sub but that experiment/listening session lasted less than 5 minutes!!
Purchasing the DWM to support my CC5 effectively made my center channel "full range" 40Hz to 20kHz. This completely and immediately cured the problem of my frequency dependent center channel varying stage width. It also anchored and solidifeid the "center" of the LCR image. Sounds that were meant to be heard from the center did not wander towards the LR 1.7's. I returned to traditional bass management crossing my CC5/DWM to my sub at 60Hz. My processor is a decently behaved Emotiva UMC-1.
I agree with Don…..I always seem to agree with Don……try a pair of 1.6 or 1.7's for you LR's. They will mate well with your CC3, which I believe digs way deeper than my CC5 without the DWM. I believe the large paneled Maggies and your CC3 will throw a more coherent LCR than MC1's and a CC3…again my opinion only.
It is my belief, again my belief only, that the large panel Maggies, due to their larger radiating area throws a greater "wavefront" at you. It is my belief that this greater rush of "air" enveloping you acts as a 'reminder" of what we experience when we hear and "feel" the world in our everyday interactions. This "wavefront" adds a sense of "familiar realism" fooling our senses somewhat ...… and that allows us to cross the threshold of reality and be fooled into believing what we are hearing is real….allowing us to experience a musical event or a film….allowing us to be transported vicariously without distractions ….. allowing us to see/hear/feel our movies and our music.
We merely listen when the audio is sub-par…..we are transported when the audio is superb.
I apologize profusely for the abundance of words……but I feel like I am amongst friends here.