The Official Magnepan Owners Thread - Page 139 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 06-05-2015, 06:00 AM
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How possible would it be to use some Magnepans as the screens in a home theater? Maybe with acoustically transparent screen fabric draped over them?

This article on The Audio Beat made me wonder if that would be possible and a workable/good idea.
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Old 06-05-2015, 11:35 AM
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^ Yes, I do remember Acoustic Research, Advent and many others back in the 60s and 70s . I heard my first Quad back in the 70s. While I’ve never played a musical instrument in my life, my younger brother was a drummer and my son is trained in classic piano.

There were two non-panel speakers that really impressed me at The Show (one was a dipole design). Magico I already listed (extremely impressed) and Kyron Audio’s Kronos dipole (a ridiculous $112,000). The McIntosh line arrays were extremely impressive for HT, but I didn’t hear them for music (although I’ve heard several McIntosh line arrays in the past).

I was at the Wilson audition, but unfortunately I couldn’t hear anything because the boss at Sunny’s AV (a place where I auditioned the JL Audio F212 Fathom) was holding a meeting in the front row with a client (?) and talking too loud, plus several other people were holding their own meeting at the back of the room. A waste of my time and those who were there to listen. Sunny had several rooms, so I went next door to audition the GoldenEar, but a teen was at the controls and he couldn’t stop skipping all over the place with music he liked (10 seconds here, 5 seconds there and so on). Another terrible audition that left me unimpressed.

As I stated earlier, Synergetic Research was conducting the Magico audition, but in truth he was there only to show his esoteric magic dust (a ground and a small “black box” that was suppose to act as a bass trap). Prior to him beginning his sales pitch, I was fortunate to hear what the Magico S3 could really do (the Synergetic guy said the Magico speakers were S5s, so he didn’t bother to even get the model number right, since it was evident he didn’t care).

Unfortunately, I haven’t heard the Vandersteens, but then again, I wouldn’t put that much into any speaker, especially since I’m thrilled with the 3.6s.

Sunny strikes me as a fast-talking New York hustler. No offence, any New Yorker's out there! The younger, semi-heavy set guy with the greasy, curly hair, who appears to be Sunny's right-hand man, used to work for Sheila at Brooks Berdan Ltd. I'll have to ask Sheila what happened with him next time I'm at her place. By the way, the best repair/tech guy in SoCal works Wednesdays and Saturdays at BB Ltd. His name is Tom, and he's a treasure. As is Joe, who also is in the shop on the same days, and has a great stash of vintage tubes and knowledge of them.


Something I find amusing is how much emphasis Vandersteen places on the time-coherence of his speakers, a capability he has put a lot of time and effort into to achieve. Yet that coherence is good at only one small listening position. A panel speaker possesses that ability naturally, and at multiple listening positions, along with other inherent qualities a dynamic-driver loudspeaker has to be forced into coming close to matching. Similarly, a large part of the price you pay for a pair of Wilson speakers is for their low-resonance enclosure, also a problem avoided naturally in a panel speaker, costing you nothing. The only reason I can see for having a box speaker is if you have a room that precludes a pair of panels. A modest panel speaker with a good sub or two (Rythmiks and GR Research are particularly good with planars, GR even offering an Open Baffle/Dipole design) is THE best value in a speaker system IMO.

Last edited by BDP24; 06-05-2015 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by BDP24 View Post
Sunny strikes me as a fast-talking New York hustler. No offence, any New Yorker's out there! The younger, semi-heavy set guy with the greasy, curly hair, who appears to be Sunny's right-hand man, used to work for Sheila at Brooks Berdan Ltd. I'll have to ask Sheila what happened with him next time I'm at her place. By the way, the best repair/tech guy in SoCal works Wednesdays and Saturdays at BB Ltd. His name is Tom, and he's a treasure. As is Joe, who also is in the shop on the same days, and has a great stash of vintage tubes and knowledge of them.


Something I find amusing is how much emphasis Vandersteen places on the time-coherence of his speakers, a capability he has put a lot of time and effort into to achieve. Yet that coherence is good at only one small listening position. A panel speaker possesses that ability naturally, and at multiple listening positions, along with other inherent qualities a dynamic-driver loudspeaker has to be forced into coming close to matching. Similarly, a large part of the price you pay for a pair of Wilson speakers is for their low-resonance enclosure, also a problem avoided naturally in a panel speaker, costing you nothing. The only reason I can see for having a box speaker is if you have a room that precludes a pair of panels. A modest panel speaker with a good sub or two (Rythmiks and GR Research are particularly good with planars, GR even offering an Open Baffle/Dipole design) is THE best value in a speaker system IMO.
I agree. He’s aggressive, to say the least. Sunny has a huge facility in Covina CA as well as a huge storage area. His righthand guy at the time I was there was ex-Israeli military (special forces) and looked it! Even in his 60s, he was someone you didn’t want to mess with .

One of the most difficult tasks I had was to find a non-panel speaker I actually liked. That’s why I decided to go for budget speakers for movies (although it had to pass music tests first). I know I’d have been much happier with panels, but they just wouldn’t go in that room. When I went to the show at the Irvine Hotel, the only speakers that piqued my interest were either panels or ridiculously priced hi-end speakers. I’d walk in and within under a minute, I’d know whether I wanted to sit down or not.

There is a spacial (especially depth) quality I found missing on so many speakers. There were a pair of HT speakers that I was highly disappointed in. Everyone absolutely raves about them here and they left me (and my son) cold. I figure my sonic tastes are so polarized from the rest of society, I think I’ll stop giving speaker recommendations . What I hear and everyone else hears are NOT the same thing.

Thanks for the Brooks Berdan recommendation. It’s always good to know a quality repair shop.

Music area: Magnepan 3.6, McIntosh MC2205 & C48, SVS SB13-Ultra, Oppo BDP 95 and assorted equipment.
Movie area: EMP Tek R5Bi, PSA XS30, Denon X2000, Oppo BDP 83.
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Old 06-05-2015, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by artur9 View Post
How possible would it be to use some Magnepans as the screens in a home theater? Maybe with acoustically transparent screen fabric draped over them?

This article on The Audio Beat made me wonder if that would be possible and a workable/good idea.
I don't see anything in that article to indicate that video is being projected onto the speakers?

Personally I think there are a few drawbacks:

  1. Audio could modulate the video by moving the screen (making strange patterns in the video);
  2. Dipoles generally need to be a few feet out from the wall, which could limit your screen size and position;
  3. For stereo separation the speakers need to be apart, and if you use a panel for the center it's a pretty narrow screen -- I assume you'd construct some sort of frame/support for the screen/fabric to span the gaps;
  4. I have very little experience with screens, but what I have seen and read indicates acoustically transparent screens do not make for the best video; and,
  5. To me it sounds a bit cumbersome and a lot of work to get suitable video and audio performance.

IMO - Don

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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Old 06-05-2015, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
I agree. He’s aggressive, to say the least. Sunny has a huge facility in Covina CA as well as a huge storage area. His righthand guy at the time I was there was ex-Israeli military (special forces) and looked it! Even in his 60s, he was someone you didn’t want to mess with .

One of the most difficult tasks I had was to find a non-panel speaker I actually liked. That’s why I decided to go for budget speakers for movies (although it had to pass music tests first). I know I’d have been much happier with panels, but they just wouldn’t go in that room. When I went to the show at the Irvine Hotel, the only speakers that piqued my interest were either panels or ridiculously priced hi-end speakers. I’d walk in and within under a minute, I’d know whether I wanted to sit down or not.

There is a spacial (especially depth) quality I found missing on so many speakers. There were a pair of HT speakers that I was highly disappointed in. Everyone absolutely raves about them here and they left me (and my son) cold. I figure my sonic tastes are so polarized from the rest of society, I think I’ll stop giving speaker recommendations . What I hear and everyone else hears are NOT the same thing.

Thanks for the Brooks Berdan recommendation. It’s always good to know a quality repair shop.
I sure know what you mean about a Hi-Fi enthusiasts taste (especially one of the panel persuasion) vs. a "civilians". Another huge gap is between an audiophile musician and his non-audiophile peers. Man do musicians have crappy "stereos"! One reason is their low level of disposable income, of course; another the fact that they think the band's PA would make an awesome hi-fi! It's nice to be in a recording studio and find an engineer who is actually aware of audiophile concerns (as little signal processing as possible, transparency and the natural timbres of instruments captured on tape), and to check out the gear. I was in one that had a Manley vacuum tube microphone pre-amp! And one of his pairs of monitor loudspeakers were Tannoy Gold's. British products are always a good sign, ay?!
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:08 PM
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Musicians listen to the music; audiophiles listen to the gear. A musician is more likely to comment on the mistuned chord than how the equipment sounds. That said, I know some musicians with killer audio systems.

I did like that old Magnepan advertisement: "They don't look like speakers, they don't sound like speakers, they sound like you're there."

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:45 PM
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Musicians listen to the music; audiophiles listen to the gear. A musician is more likely to comment on the mistuned chord than how the equipment sounds. That said, I know some musicians with killer audio systems.

I did like that old Magnepan advertisement: "They don't look like speakers, they don't sound like speakers, they sound like you're there."

And then you have a guy like Ry Cooder. He works real hard to get his guitar tone (his biggest fans are other guitarists), and looks for that tone to be captured in a recording. He heard about digital tape recording the 70's, and said let's give that a try (his Bop Till You Drop was the first digitally recorded "Pop" album)). He heard the resulting sound, and, like Neil Young, said digital sucks. Years later he heard a Water Lily label LP recorded by perhaps the best engineer in the world, Kavi Alexander, and said "That's what I'm looking for", and made an album for the label. The sound of Ry's guitar on that LP is EXACTLY what he sounds like live. I've seen & heard Ry many times, and that LP is a great one with which to judge speakers. It's simple; Q: How much does a given loudspeaker make that LP sound like Ry live? A: THAT is how good that speaker is.
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Old 06-07-2015, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by artur9 View Post
How possible would it be to use some Magnepans as the screens in a home theater? Maybe with acoustically transparent screen fabric draped over them?

This article on The Audio Beat made me wonder if that would be possible and a workable/good idea.
I'm not sure why you'd go with draping a screen directly over the speakers when the more mechanically sound solution is to just build a false wall with which to hang a proper screen frame. This technique allows you to put up more black masking material around the screen frame which enhances perceived image quality. You would also be free to manipulate speaker placement behind the screen in order to improve imaging. As long as you're working with a high quality woven (vs. a perforated) screen material then you will experience minimal degradation in video and audio performance. Seymour's center stage XD screen material is a great performer in this regard.

Life is Lambertian
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:38 AM
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Magnepan mg 10.1 QR crossover

Have an opportunity to pick up a pair of the rare MG 10.1 QR and was wondering if anyone has had experience in modifying the crossover. I read the tnt-audio review but found it lacking in detail.
Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2015, 07:20 PM
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I cannot recall modifying the crossover of a 10.1 but have modified many others. Some claim significant improvements but IME there has been very small if any audible change over the numerous times I have modified crossovers over the years. Maybe I just can't hear it... The change I made that was noticeable to me was removing the crossover and bi-amping my old Maggies. I am not doing that now and feel no need to jump through those hoops again.

I always thought the 10.1 a bit of an oddity. I always wondered if they downsized from the 10 to make room for the 12...

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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Old 06-23-2015, 08:44 PM
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I cannot recall modifying the crossover of a 10.1 but have modified many others. Some claim significant improvements but IME there has been very small if any audible change over the numerous times I have modified crossovers over the years. Maybe I just can't hear it... The change I made that was noticeable to me was removing the crossover and bi-amping my old Maggies. I am not doing that now and feel no need to jump through those hoops again.

I always thought the 10.1 a bit of an oddity. I always wondered if they downsized from the 10 to make room for the 12...

If a speaker allows it, and for that matter warrants it, bi-amping with an external cross-over before the two required power amps can greatly improved the speaker. Short of that, messing with the speaker's built-in x/o is a risky business. Yes, sometimes a manufacturer will cut corners on the x/o implimentation by using cheaper parts, to be able to price a speaker competitively. Replacing those junky parts with "better sounding" same value parts can bring about improvement in a speaker's sound, and there are those who've made a career out of doing that very thing. Then there are the Saturday morning quarterbacks who have enough ego to think they know more about speaker design than a given speaker's actually designer. They don't just substitute same value parts in a x/o, but actually redesign it, changing the inherent nature of the speaker. The cost to do that can be greater than the price of the speaker itself, the results being questionable.
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Old 06-24-2015, 06:47 AM
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Don good to see you back in the fold, yes I know you are swamped. As a matter of fact so am I. Be well and please open your XMC already!!!!!

Magnepan 1.7's (LR), Magnepan CC5/DWM (Center Channel), Magnepan MC1's (Surrounds), Rythmik F12 (Sub), Emotiva XMC-1 (Processor), Emotiva XPA-2 Gen2 Drives the 1.7's, Emotiva XPA-5 Drives the Center and Surrounds, Oppo BDP-103, Sony PS4
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Old 06-24-2015, 11:28 AM
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Don, I just read your post in the XMC Forum ..... Be well .... Buddy!

Magnepan 1.7's (LR), Magnepan CC5/DWM (Center Channel), Magnepan MC1's (Surrounds), Rythmik F12 (Sub), Emotiva XMC-1 (Processor), Emotiva XPA-2 Gen2 Drives the 1.7's, Emotiva XPA-5 Drives the Center and Surrounds, Oppo BDP-103, Sony PS4
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Old 06-24-2015, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by smallspaces View Post
Have an opportunity to pick up a pair of the rare MG 10.1 QR and was wondering if anyone has had experience in modifying the crossover. I read the tnt-audio review but found it lacking in detail.
Thanks!
Read http://www.10audio.com/mag_10-1.htm. Tweaks for 10.1 crossover described.

Be seeing you!
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Old 06-24-2015, 02:33 PM
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Read http://www.10audio.com/mag_10-1.htm. Tweaks for 10.1 crossover described.
A great article, and just the kind of modding I like to see. Replacing the crappy x/o parts with same value better sounding ones, resulting in the hidden potential of the speaker being realized. I had planned on having the Skiing Ninja build me some cross-overs with top quality stock value parts, but he has closed up shop, damnit.
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Old 06-25-2015, 08:47 AM
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A great article, and just the kind of modding I like to see. Replacing the crappy x/o parts with same value better sounding ones, resulting in the hidden potential of the speaker being realized. I had planned on having the Skiing Ninja build me some cross-overs with top quality stock value parts, but he has closed up shop, damnit.
I've read the article, good info, but wish the author had included photos of his work. I own a pair of Skiingninja 1.6's and the improvement is huge and Sean is a great guy. But my current listening room is small (9x12), plus the wife and I will be downsizing in just a few years, so I'm trying to stay ahead of the game.
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:02 AM
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Hello Guys, New to the forum. I'm seriously considering an MMG system for my home theater, I have an Onkyo 609 receiver to power these. I plan to purchase a new Marantz receiver within a year. A couple of questions would the Onkyo's power suffice the MMG's for now?

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Old 06-27-2015, 09:11 AM
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Probably but it really depends upon how far away from them you are. The Onkyo is not rated for 4-ohms speakers, but is for 6 ohms, and MMG's are a pretty benign load (no real low dips) so you'll probably be OK. You can check out an SPL calculator to see about where you fit: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

I drove my Magnepan MG-IIIa's a long time with a 75 W/ch tube amp and it was plenty loud.

You said "couple" but I only saw one question; next?

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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Old Yesterday, 08:25 PM
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Maggy 'Rebuild' / Repair

Have owned a set of 1.6QR's for a decade or so, and was recently faced with the (apparently inevitable) buzzing sound coming from my speakers - so read up a bit on the Web and had at er'.

First off, the "feet" that come with Magneplanars are utterly ridiculous! I cut those suckers in the first week or so of owning the speakers. What kind of company charges thousands of dollars for a loudspeaker, then attaches ugly, rough-welded, spray-painted angle-iron to them as stands!?

Frig that. Check out the picture below, the large block that you see out back is a slab of polished granite, available from any headstone maker for next to nothing (I paid $10 each). It weighs the speaker down perfectly, and 'strain factor / chassis flex' is virtually non-existent, as the speaker 'almost' stands up by itself without it.

Regarding the 'rebuild' of the mylar / wire sections. The feet are removed with a few screws, as is the crossover. Steel yourself for a serious session of pulling staples! Once you’ve pried the pathetic little wooden strip off the sides of the speakers (a half-dozen brad nails) you are faced with some 60 (not a typo) little staples holding the over-sock (‘grill’) onto the chassis. The number of staples is serious overkill, and you won’t have to be so overzealous when reassembling the units. Note the two staples hidden in the side-channel, beneath the wooden strip, on each speaker as you progress.

Once you have the sock slipped off you are faced with the mylar / wire / magnet setup. Upon close scrutiny, you will see many imperfections in the lay of the wire and tweeter film. The random distribution of the ‘damping buttons’ that pierce the mylar will also find you wondering if there isn’t a better way to accomplish the task. I like hand-made, but perhaps, after nearly 50 years, Magneplanar might want to invest in a machine-laid wire and ribbon system. Ya’, they still do all this by hand, and it shows in the [many] imperfections that you’ll see.

If it buzzing that you’ve been hearing, then you will now find the problem before you. Run your fingers gently across each wire, whereupon you will quickly feel the wires that are no longer affixed to the mylar backing.

Get yourself a vacuum that allows you to tone-down the suction level, and affix the brush tool. Now (gently) vacuum every inch of the mylar / wire surface - you are going to need to do this if you’ve owned the speaker for any period, and I’m guessing that you must have if they are old enough to be delaminating. Close scrutiny will show a layer of dust on said surface; remove it.

Now comes the fun bit. You need to decide which of the many glue products that you’ll use in order to reaffix the wire to its mylar base. I read dozens of suggestions / recommendations online and each seemed to have it pros and cons, never mind vehement supporters and detractors.
After many hours of careful label reading, I settled on something that none of the aforementioned had suggested; a solvent-free product by Lepage called “100% Glue”.

I repaired my first Maggy several months ago, and the ‘long-term test’ has shown no ill-effect. I repaired the second Maggy today. As such, I am confident that the glue used does not negatively affect the mylar or wire, nor does it appear to peel off. As such, I can confidently suggest its use for this application. Apply it thinly, evenly and if you are working in a hot climate, quickly. The glue sets in a matter of minutes in a hot environment.

I used two fingers so that I could feel every undulation and the overall evenness of the application and spread. I chose to cover every square inch of the mylar film with the glue, as I didn’t want to be doing this whole task over again in a few years. Cleanup involved 99% isopropyl alcohol - have some handy before you start, it’s available at any pharmacy for a few bucks. Each Maggy takes about three quarters of a 50ml bottle of ‘100% Glue’.

Upon application, and post-curing, this glue presents somewhat of a shiny surface, but it looks slick beneath the sock. The Maggies sound great (as usual), but are now buzz-free.

Upon reassembling the units, I elected to rid myself of the eyesore that it the pathetically thin strips of wood that once adorned them. I replaced these with 1.5” wide oak, which was created by purchasing slightly rounded threshold material, and running it through a table-saw on edge in order to remove most of the protruding groove on the backside of the threshold.

Once affixed with small, lightly counter-sunk finishing nails, I filled the resultant holes with wood-filler, stained it with some Early American water-base stain, sanded the wood with steel wool, applied a thin coat of clear, non-toxic oil and viola’, a beautiful set of loudspeakers that are not only more durable than what I originally purchased, but a hella’ lot more aesthetically appealing to boot!

Andrew Drouin
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Old Yesterday, 09:00 PM
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Nice job! Brings back memories of the many I've fixed and/or modified over the years...

Note applying glue everywhere will reduce the resonant frequency of the panel and reduce efficiency slightly (more mass) -- unless you cleaned the old glue off (I always used acetone to clean the old glue from the wires and panel -- be careful!) and applied very, very thinly.

Warning to others: low suction and very gently, and do NOT try to vacuum the ribbon tweeter if your model has one. Don't ask how I know this (and no, it was not I!) Also, be very careful when working with the speakers to not drop them flat, like when taking off the socks. Too easy to rupture the membrane. Don't ask how I know this, either...

There are approximately a bazillion "feet mods" out there for Maggies but I have only seen yours rarely, kudos. An interesting variant I have seen is to actually create a granite (or marble) base with a channel for the speaker. The one I recall used a fairly large base with a couple of steps up to hold the speaker. Think of a broad flat plate with "bricks" behind an din front of the speaker to hold it.

There are also a number of other stand concepts, many of which add bracing and stiffeners. The MUG has a number of articles about them and various other mods. John's ("Peter Gunn") Magnestand is perhaps most well-known: http://www.indiespinzone.com/magnestand.html (though I noticed he has gotten pretty selective about the models he mods now). I have seen (and made) some pretty elaborate stands over the years. And of course there are all sorts of crossover mods and such.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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Old Yesterday, 11:36 PM
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Or, one could just get rid of failing Maggies and replace them a set of magnetic-planar speakers built a better way---without those high-mass, troublesome wires. You'll never have to reglue the wires on the panels of a pair of Eminent Technology LFT-8b's---there aren't any.
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Curious, since we're off-topic, how does the longevity of the ET panels compare to Magnepan? Different failure mechanism but I would expect conductor flexure to be a long-term problem for ET? I remember the problems Infinity had with their EMIT/EMIM panels... I do not know, am curious. Of course, my 27-year old Maggies are working OK, knock on wood.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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Magnepan , Magnepan Mmg , Magnepan Mini Maggie System , Magnepan Mg 1 7 , Magnepan Mg 3 7
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