as a point of reference, I have 3.6's, CC3, MC1's for surrounds.
Wendell Diller @ Magnepan and most Maggie dealers will probably highly recommend the CCR over the CC5 but it is a huge jump in price. I have found the CC3 to integrate fairly well with the 3.6's & I have no doubt the CCR is a better choice but is it 3.5 times better? If you can find both at your dealer, audition & decide for yourself
I have listened to the CCR minus its bass panel speaker stand and it is a very nice speaker.
The CC5 & CCR are both severely bass limited speakers vs. the CC3 (discontinued) so you'll definitely want a good sub and hopefully your prepro/AVR has flexible independent crossovers per channel. Mine doesn't. Magnepan has a work around that has you turn off the sub in the processor, set the fronts as Large, sending all bass from center & surrounds & LFE to your L/R's, then connect the sub to the fronts in a way that the sub takes the bass and uses its own crossovers to cut the highs from being reproduced by the sub. They have decent explanations in the center instruction manuals & you can always call Wendell & he'd explain it if you are confused, which I was
I don't use this method.
If you elect to use the std THX crossover of 80 hz for the LFE & bass redirection, then the CC5 & CCR will have a freq hole between ~ 80 and 200 Hz. What u can do is get the DWM bass panel or speaker stand if using the CCR and use it to fill in the missing bass between 80 and 200. I got a DWM for my CC3 and placement and integration so center sound is seamless took a little work but it does do the job. Tthe DWM's own internal crossover is at 200 Hz but surprisingly its roll-off freq response extends well up into the upper bass / lower midrange where vocals can actually be heard from it. That's why you can't just put it anywhere - for a seamless center, you need to locate it below, in front of, or close to the CC5/CCR to have sound be "seamless". Magnepan's preference is to just use their connection bass mgmt scheme as the workaround but if you don't like that approach the DWM is a good alternative. In my case, with 1 crossover, I set it at 80, let the DWM handle 80 - 200 and CC3 handles rest, even tho theoretically it can reach 80 (but my results says 80 is not realistic)
Bottom line - if you use Magnepan's hookup scheme for bass mgmt, then a good sub will be all you need. But if you use the traditional & common approach of connecting the sub to sub output on your prepro/AVR, and you don't have the ability to use different crossovers for ea channel, then you should consider adding the DWM bass panel to help the center. Denon/Onkyo/Integra/ I think Marantz have independent crossovers. Pioneer & I think Yamaha only have 1 global crossover. Prepro's Anthem, Lexicon (is Lexicon a player anymore?
) Bryston, Classe, the Denon AVP, & other hi-end processors have independent crossovers. Anthem, Lexicon, Classe are among those that have the most flexible bass mgmt setups.
IMHO, and I don't know the MG20's per se, but if you have a ribbon tweeter, the CC5 should work well. But the CCR is the ideal match if you have the ballpark $3500-4000 for it. It was designed specifically with the 20.1/20.7/3.6/3.7 in mind. However, and there are others who will agree, I've found that other than the bass issue, the CC3 does integrate pretty well, it is thinner sounding no doubt about it, but adding the DWM helped with that. I have listened to the CCR (not the CC5) and just can't quite justify spending that much money for it vs CC3 or CC5 but that's me. If I had 20.1's, different story but the cherry finish CCR would cost more than I paid for my new 3.6's. Maybe your situation is different.
Be aware that Magnepan's bass panels - the DWM & its table variant & the CCR speaker stand are NOT subwoofers, they only extend to 40 Hz, not much different than your 20's
So they really should not be used for LFE channel for optimum results. You should plan on getting a true subwoofer for LFE duty for ~ 20 Hz & below. I use a Velodyne DD18 & find it integrates well plus has onboard parametric EQ'r but there are REL devotees, and fans of other brands to mate with Maggies - that's another discussion
MC1 vs MMC2 - if you are not planning to add a DWM & don't care about the motorized feature, go with the MC1. It is supposed to be able to reach ~80 Hz, while the MC2 is even more bass limited at ~100 Hz. Plus, you're not paying for the expensive motorization - $800-900 vs $2K
My own experience with the MC1's is that they integrate very
well with the 3.6's as surrounds, better than the CC3 sounds with them. Playing multichannel music, depending on the recording, I can sit in the sweet spot and have certain sounds triangulate so they sound literally like they are at my head, as if I was wearing headphones. So, their quasi-ribbon is pretty darn near seamless with the 3.6's ribbons. If they didn't have similar sound characteristics, they couldn't pull off that effect. I originally bought them to go with 1.6's but upgraded to the 3.6's and never felt the need to swap them. But they will need a sub in your mix for < 80 Hz.
Hope this helps
you're on the right track. And I wouldn't go different speaker brands, especially for center, if you can avoid that. I tried that once upon a time, using DefTechs with my original old MG-1's and never sounded right. You might get lucky getting some buying blind but unless you can audition them in your home or dealer along with Maggies or have a no fee return policy in case they don't work well, I personally wouldn't go that way. That said, recently I did add Martin Logan Motion bookshelves as Height speakers as an experiment but I bought them having listened to them in a Magnolia store with 30 days to return. And they do work pretty well but I would never use them as replacements for the main center or surrounds. They're only purpose is the subtle height effect which is not that noticeable most of the time, just adds a touch of added ambience so do not call attn to themselves. And I positioned them very carefully. Forum member purdyd uses little Mirage OM5 sats for the same purpose w his maggies.
Stay with maggies for your center & side surrounds.Edited by ss9001 - 11/16/12 at 6:33am