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The Official Magnepan Owners Thread - Page 87

post #2581 of 3515
Soundwise I see the MMC2 as a sidewise step if that from MC1s (spec-wise the MC1's go a hair deeper, 80 Hz vs. 100 Hz). I would get them only if you really want the motorized feature as that is the major difference. Same with the CC5; it is very similar to the CC3, except has an octave'ish less low end (CC5 = 200 Hz, CC3 = 80 Hz). I would keep the CC3, and the MC1s. I do not think you would hear a lot of difference going from MC1/CC3 to MMC2/CC5, maybe none.

The center step-up is to the CCR, which has the ribbon tweeter, but IMO it is a very pricey upgrade with modest at best sound improvement in most cases.

If you want a significant sonic upgrade, pick up a pair of 1.7's or even used 1.6's if you have the room. That would be a big step up from the smaller wall-mounted units and would provide a significant audible improvement IMO.

Bi-amping with an AVR offers no significant (audible) benefit, and in fact Magnepan has removed the bi-amp option up and down the new line.
post #2582 of 3515
Thanks, exactly the feedback I was looking for.
post #2583 of 3515
Great advice from Don
post #2584 of 3515
You might want to consider external power amps that can handle the maggies. They might fill out the room with increased dynamics and innner detail due to less "power compression". Don's initial advice is still the best, I am just offering another option.
post #2585 of 3515
I will keep it Maggie focused in spirit of the thread.

The Maggies are just much, much more Musical in an audio lovers way. They project a soundstage that goes back forever. The instruments and vocals float in the air with no hint of boxy coloration. In addition, with extremely powerful amps, the magnepans are extremely lively. When I play other speakers for a week or so and switch back, the maggies bring a smile to my face.

The Tritons image more precisely (though I have reduced this characteristic by pulling my magnepans out four and a half feet from rear wall to avoid rear image smearing). In addition the Triton 2s are significantly more efficient, with fantastic bass with their internal powered subwoofer. However, you can hear that they are in a box.

When I bought the Tritons I thought my Maggie's were worn out. I matched the tritons to a great 80 watt tube amp, and loved the sound for a year. Then I moved to a larger room and got a pair of 350 watt into 4 ohm mono blocks and tried the Maggie's just for the heck of it. Problem is I prefer my 26 year old speakers.

I just got back from attending the Chicago audio show. Hundreds of speakers on demo. Most of the boxed speakers sounded like box speakers. I was routinely drawn to the planar and electrostatic speakers. Others prefer the box speaker bass and ability to play cannons.

I plan to keep my Maggie's in the larger room with the Emotiva monblocks. I will try to run my Tritons in the smaller room with Sonic Frontiers tube amp and preamp. Then I will evaluate whether I want two systems or if I should sell off my newer gear.

The weird thing is that the magnepan MG3as are so old they are nearly worthless on the used market.

I guess having options is a good place to be. That said, the 3a's are spoiling my appreciation of boxed speakers.
post #2586 of 3515
Conventional drivers are generally much more efficient and can handle greater power and provide higher output. A voice coil around a strong magnet can produce much more displacement than a large panel with distributed magnets (or electric filed, in the case of ESLs). At least with current magnet technologies employed. A sealed box with a large, high-excursion driver can produce a lot of bass, where a panel must be large enough to overcome the smaller displacement. Planer dynamics like Magnepans place the wire on the panel, thus heavy wire adds mass that affects response, and it is hard to make very high-power magnets that are small enough sound is not impacted. ESLs use a voltage field so can get away with smaller wires and a charged or conductive (lightweight) membrane.

Imaging is a challenge with any dipole, planer dynamic (Maggies), ESL, or other (e.g. Apogee full-range ribbons) due partly to the back wave. I have placed significant absorption behind my Maggies and the image is very stable. Diffusors also help, though they usually cost more (or are more difficult to build for DIY'rs), as does having a larger room (mine currently live in one of the smaller rooms they have seen, alas). I prefer room treatment to control the reflections no matter the room size, but a larger room allows the reflection effects to be delayed more and primary reflections/comb filter An advantage Maggies (et. al.) have is that they tend to look like a line source at frequencies above the low bass region, meaning little energy from the sides and top/bottom. That improves their relative efficiency (less energy wasted to the sides, more to you) and imaging (fewer reflections from walls, floor, ceiling). It does mean a smaller sweet spot in a smaller room.

My current MG-IIIa's were purchased new in 1988 and are still going strong despite my teens' attempts to destroy them with movies and games... smile.gif

FWIWFM - Don
post #2587 of 3515
Don,

I got a chance to listen to the 20.7s at a local dealer on Friday. They were driven by expensive Ayre gear, but were also demoing a less expensive $2000 Concept Turntable. The room was way too small ( their main room was demoing the latest Wilson mega buck speaker ) for the 20.7. The sound was dark and Ray Brown's bass was twenty feet wide. Imaging was mediocre. Only take away was that the 20.7s need a real room.

Then I asked to hear the 3.7s in a crowded speaker showroom in a lineup with thirty other speakers stuffed in the moderately large room. The 3.7s sounded magnificent. Image sizes were very realistic. I was impressed and can only imagine how good they would sound when properly set up. I am sure the 20.7 are even better, but they need a lot more space than what these ones had.
post #2588 of 3515
Sounds right. smile.gif IMO, the only way any big panel sounds good in a small room is with good (and plentiful) room treatment.

Back when I got mine, I had the opposite experience: 20's in a big room, 3's in a smaller room and I was thinking I'd have to get the 20's as they sounded so much better. Dealer moved the 3's into the room and shoved the 20's out of the way, and most of the differences went away. Saved me some bucks!

All of this highlights what we've been babbling: rooms are important!
post #2589 of 3515
I'm moving my Maggies into a new room and could use some advice on placement.

The living room has become available to me for my audio system. My maggies are MMG's, although an upgrade to 1.7s is possible in the next year or so.

The living room is 15' 6" by 19' 6" with a 8' ceiling, hardwood floor, with drywall walls. One of the long walls is broken by two open doorways (no doors), and the facing long wall is occupied by a very large heavy German oak cabinet.

One of the two short walls has a sliding glass door, and the facing short wall is fully mirrored, but the mirrored area is almost all obscured by bookcases.

Here's a floor plan I drew: http://wesparsons.com/misc/lr.pdf

I need to keep the cabinet and the bookcases in the room, but I could swap their positions.

Where do I put the Maggies, at least before I start tweaking their placement?
post #2590 of 3515
That's going to be a challenging room... Very live, and those openings are a pain.

Do you use the sliding glass door or could it be blocked?

How deep are the large cabinets, and do they actually take up the whole wall or just a part (how long are they)?

My initial thought due to the sliding door and openings was to place the Maggies in front of the cabinets on the right, perhaps swapping the cabinets and bookshelves to provide more space behind them. The usual approach of placing them on the short wall is more problematic due to the open doorways, but thinking further since Maggies do not radiate much to the sides, placing them at the "bottom" short wall in front of the bookcases might actually be the best location. Bass response would be affected by the openings, however, and the image could be impacted since one back wave will see an opening and the other a corner. But, I'll go with placing them 3' - 4' in front of the bookcases, facing the sliding doors. Unfortunately that puts the listening position near the center of the room, usually worst for room modes, but in this case the openings might make that less an issue. An absorber or two on the right wall across from the open door near the left speaker would help balance the sound. Perhaps you could seal off that opening on the lower left?

There are so many potential issues that I can’t say if that would work well or not, but it is the least amount of initial effort. If that does not sound good, then I would place them on the right wall following my initial reaction. I suspect you are going to have to fiddle around some to get the best sound.

I would also get some heavy rugs for the floor just to kill the reflections a bit, and additional wall treatments if at all possible just to deaden the room a little. Figure out placement first, however.

Note Maggies are sensitive to sunlight so I would not place them in front of the sliding door unless it goes to an inner room or could be covered or shaded (drapes or vertical blinds) to keep light off the speakers.

HTH - Don
post #2591 of 3515
Thanks for the detailed analysis, Don.

The cabinet is about 10' in length, 7' high, and 1' deep. It's heavy and ornate. Here's a photo of something similar: German Shrank The cabinet takes up most of the wall.

The sliding glass door is always closed. There are vertical venetian blinds that are usually also closed. On the other side of the sliding glass door is an outdoor roofed patio with a southern exposure -- but the sunlight doesn't get in the room.

I like your idea of putting the speakers in front of the bookcases. I am not sure how to block the nearer doorway -- construction to close the doorway is out of the question.

Wes
post #2592 of 3515
NP.

IF the sliding door is not used and IF sunlight won't strike the speakers, and IF your drawing is roughly to scale, you may be better swapping ends and putting them on that wall (with the sliding door) as the opening will have less less impact on the rear wave and thus imaging and potentially bass should be a little better.
post #2593 of 3515
Hello everybody,
I am sure Magnepan 20.7 are better than 3.7 but here in France, we can't afford it. Actually, The 20.7 cost more than 22,000 US$ over here! Besides, there is no place where to hear them. If you want to, you have to buy them! No comments....
Anyway, I tweaked my Magnepan 3.7, by using resistors in midrange attenuators plugs. So I connected in parallel two of 0.6 Ohm Cast Duelund Resistors on each speaker (ie two on the midrange right plug and left alike) to achieve a resistance of 0.3 Ohms and it's quite much better. The source is a 16GB Late 2011 Macbook Pro on battery (or Macbook Pro 2007 4GB), connected to tc electronic BMC-2 DAC with glass fiber Toslink, using Audirvana 1.4.6 software under Mountain Lion, "mode 1", which has just been updated. The amps are Threshold SA/6e monos, updated with BHC capacitors to 188,000 µFD each. This update has made a substantial improvement at listening, I am very satisfied! To be continued ...
Edited by teiki arii - 3/12/13 at 12:35pm
post #2594 of 3515
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

NP.

IF the sliding door is not used and IF sunlight won't strike the speakers, and IF your drawing is roughly to scale, you may be better swapping ends and putting them on that wall (with the sliding door) as the opening will have less less impact on the rear wave and thus imaging and potentially bass should be a little better.

Yes to all assumptions -- the reflections from the rear of the speakers at this end of the room seem to me to most consistent, and I may try this arrangement second.

Thanks for your help!
post #2595 of 3515
Teiki,

What are you trying to accomplish by tweaking the speakers? Is there a defect in the 3.7s, or is this just something that takes a good thing and makes it better? Is it easy and inexpensive? What are the major differences before and after?

In other words, sounds fascinating.
post #2596 of 3515
Hello Cardiff Kook,
there is no defect in the 3.7s' at all. But the Magnepan have been optimized with a brand of amplis which is not mine. So, I had to adjust, thanks to the cleaver attenuator plugs, the frequencies' response. We noticed, some Magnepan holders and I, that the nowadays loudspeakers were a little bit analytical in "high-medium" frequencies. I'm talking of someone who possesses the late TAD (Reference One) and SoundLab's as references. I felt alike with my JBL. So, I tried different resistance values combinations, from one to 0,6Ohm and finally I opted for 0,3 Ohms on Midrange attenuators (and perhaps on Tweeter attenuators, to be continued).
The Midrange is better, more articulated, more balanced and more closed to "real" tone, less tiring actually. I have plenty of good bass even if less lower than with my JBL, but better ones indeed according to my Threshold SA/6e renewed. My friend uses Cast DUelund Resistors of One Ohms in his systems: MSB Diamond DAC IV with Femto Galaxy clock and i2S PRO, MSB Data CD IV Signature with Signature supply, ASR Emitter I Exclusive Blue Battery (SoundLab and TAD), and his second system with Aurender S10, Bel Canto 3.5 MkII, Lamm M2.2 Monos, Magnepan 3.7... Hope useful.
Best regards.
Edited by teiki arii - 3/18/13 at 1:57pm
post #2597 of 3515
Thanks. It sounds like an inexpensive way to tweak the sound of the 3.7 to the rest of your electronics.

Are you able to measure how low the 3.7s go in your room? The Absolute Sound was reporting they go into the low 40s. This seems troubling to me since my 26 year old 3as go down flat to 30. I am assuming the 3.7s are at least as good in quantity and probably much better in quality.
post #2598 of 3515
I am sorry, I cannot measure nor compare to anything except with my JBL 1400. The impact in bass frequencies of 3.7s as it is with resistance is much better than without any, not as much as the JBL Array but it is "cleaner", more acurate if you understand what I mean.. Cast Duelund Resistance if you need some, is THE resistance to use on Magnepan. The Duelund is matchless in resistors range, IMO and to have used so many components and valves as a "tweaker" for nearly ten years.... Hope useful. Best regards.
Edited by teiki arii - 3/14/13 at 4:13pm
post #2599 of 3515
Yeah, I get the cleaner bass comment. Since moving my Maggies 4.5 feet out from the rear wall, I have found I prefer them without a subwoofer at all for almost all music (thanks to Don for the idea) That said, when I get bass hungry I can always hook up my Triton 2s. I get bored of them real fast though.

I just use a Radio Shack $20 SPL meter and a Stereophile test disc. That is what I have always used to position speakers so as to smooth out bass bumps and if necessary set sub levels, crossovers and phase. I think they have iPhone apps for it now as well.
post #2600 of 3515
Thank you for the SPL meter advice.
The magnepan are 1.70m (I don't know in feet) from rear and 1m from sides. Between the louspeakers: 2m, and 2m to 3m from sweetpoint to Magnepan...wink.gif
post #2601 of 3515
That is pretty much exactly how mine are set up now. Within inches. Mine sound so good. I can't imagine how awesome the 3.7s sound.
post #2602 of 3515
Hello,
I forgot to tell non Magnepans' owners that our loudspeakers haven't the stage alike the electro-dynamic ones. For example, the sound of a vocal artist when in middle of the stage, emanates from behind the speakers to sweet point: the feeling of the position of loudspeaker is not that they are where they are but that the loudspeakers spread from rear wall thanks to the "dipole" principle. It can explain IMO the kind of pervasion with Magnepan.
post #2603 of 3515
So I feel somewhat sad today, as in my quest for listening to anything I can get my hands on, I sold my 1.7's and MMG's. I'm still not 100% sure why I wanted to give up the 1.7's, as they are absolutely fantastic, but still, sell them I did. My new speakers won't arrive until later this week, so now all I can do is second guess myself and die a little on the inside, until they get here and distract me. I think I'll start devising a plan to get some 3.7's next...
post #2604 of 3515
Quote:
Originally Posted by guteLaune View Post

So I feel somewhat sad today, as in my quest for listening to anything I can get my hands on, I sold my 1.7's and MMG's. I'm still not 100% sure why I wanted to give up the 1.7's, as they are absolutely fantastic, but still, sell them I did. My new speakers won't arrive until later this week, so now all I can do is second guess myself and die a little on the inside, until they get here and distract me. I think I'll start devising a plan to get some 3.7's next...

What are the new speakers?
post #2605 of 3515
Tekton Design Enzos.
post #2606 of 3515
What do they have that you preferred over the 1.7?
post #2607 of 3515
No idea; I've never heard them. I loved the 1.7's, but I want to hear EVERYTHING I can get my hands on...for better, or for worse. Until I know what is out there, trying different technologies, etc. I won't feel like I've got a good understanding of everything. It's just the way I am. I've tried the magneplanar sound. Now I'd like to try the super-efficient sound. It might be worse, it might be better, it might be the same. We'll see. That's the fun part!
post #2608 of 3515
Greetings all!

I'm a life-long (speaker) piston-head and I've given it all up for Maggies. So much so that I've read this entire thread from beginning to end. With the imminent arrival of a whole lot of flat boxes at our door I thought it was time to stop lurking and post what's happening. I'm not only planning to provide some feedback, I'm looking for any additional hints that haven't already been posted.

Our 1-year old house has a 17 X 18 x 8 room over the garage that I claimed for "a TV room" (it also has a couple corner-bumps of about 2.5 x 5 so it isn't totally rectangular). My claim was, of course, pre-approved by the "acceptable use policy manager" who is also a degreed interior designer. The room is dark (indigo), carpeted, has a large sectional "wedged" in between the two "bumps", and is heavily draped (two large windows on the two outside walls). I have an 8' wide (114" diagonal) screen on the 17' wall. I'll post some new photos later after the new system is fully installed and dialed in; I've inlcuded one photo from before deconstructing the current system and selling off the speakers and amps.

I've had B&W speakers for years but I've always been carried away by the ability of Magnepan speakers to take me from the room I'm in to the music. What I didn't care for was the "head in a vice" sweet spot. Yes, I'm aware that the various dealer demos, etc. could have been flawed but here in Seattle the dealer does know a thing or two about Maggies and the guy I deal with has two sets of his own. A couple years ago I heard the "what's behind the curtain" demo that Wendell did using two sets of mini-Maggies and in addition to the incredible reproduction, the execution was such that there really was no single sweet spot. Fast forward....in lat 2012 for some reason the B&Ws started to sound edgy had higher volumes (Don - could that be the "age of the ears" thing?). Combined with some exceptionally good fortune in my sales world in Q4 of 2012, the time was right for a change.

Gone are the B&W 803s and the B&W HTM-3 speakers and the three Musical Fidelity XP-200s (bridged) that drove them. Remaining are the Meridian G61r/HD621, Oppo BD-83, Paradigm Seismic 12 sub, and Rotel RB-1562 and B&W ceiling-mounted surrounds (unfortunately there is not a good solution for wall-mounted surrounds, including Maggies). Useage: about 30% TV (the PJ is LED-based so we use it a lot), 40% movies, and 30% music (mostly concerts). Speaker cable is Transparent 12 gauge (not pre-made with networks) and a mix of interconnects (however, after doing some ABX listening at the dealer, I'm taking the plunge on some Transparent lower-mid-range networked interconnects for LCR from the G61r to the NAD; the science (and sound improvedment) appeals to me even if the pricing does not).

I've added the following:
2 x 3.7s; matte black/gray (as are all the Maggies I've ordered)
Tri-center (CCR + 2 x MMC2 - but "manual" MMC2s - no motors, etc., this is a dedicated room and I didn't need the motors)
2 x DWMs (I wanted more mid-base "slam" in movies)
Aftermarket stands (still debating, have quote from Grant Mye and I had a Sound Anchors stand for the HTM-3 so I know their quality)
NAD Masters M-25 7-channel (I like the Masters sound, the 4 ohm specs for "bursts", and the per-channel line-out adjustment)

As for room treatment, the carpet, U-shaped sectional, and heavy drapes (windows and to the left/right of the screen) make for some room treatment but I know I might have to do more. The room has just a slight hand-clap echo and with the prior set up, for whatever reasons, the room loads bass really well with no apparent peaks at any of the listening positions (using the Meridian correction program undoubtedly helps - it covers 200Hz and below).

The gear arrives this week and due to travel we'll probably install late next week, then turn on AXIS TV and let it run until 4/9 (we're taking a short holiday). We'll dial-in the system sometime between 4/10 and 4/13. I'll have one NAD channel for each of the seven panels. I'll be using a "Y" adapter to share some of the channels across the amp (e.g., left to a 3.7 and a DWM, etc.). At this point I don't have a DWM configured for the tri-center but I realize this might be necessary.

I take what I've read about the cautionary approach to the tri-center, yet I'm very attracted to this approach because of the potential to eliminate "the vice". I'm moving forward based on what I've read, what various reps at the dealer shared about their experience, and because if the whole thing doesn't work I can return it for full credit (and if that did happen I'd probably pick up a demo trio of Meridian DSP5200s).

However, I'm not anticipating "failure". We've sent drawings and photos to Wendell and he's had a hand in how we're moving forward. So failure isn't really something I'm concerned about. In fact I'm totally excited - so much so that I decided to expand my horizons by purchasing a few Blu-ray classical concerts and some opera.

That night of music at the Seattle dealer a few years ago was one of those "hair raising on the back of my neck" experiences that I haven't forgotten and I'm fortunate that I can finally act on that recollection. This is certainly not a"low cost" set up that attracts so many to Maggies (and rightfully so) but I think the result will be the equivalent of systems costing much, much more (or perhaps there are no "piston" equivalents to a well-executed Maggie set up). I suspect that there are others who are interested in the "textbook" tri center set up and perhaps other aspects of this installation so I do plan to follow up with additional comments and some pictures after we get through installation, "burn-in", and set up.

My whole-hearted thanks to the many contributors to this thread. There is a lot of valuable information and informed opinions. As forums go, the posters manage to stay on topic and stay away from the oft-vituperative rants and hyperbole in so many other sites (I only read the phrase "blow away" a couple times in hundreds of posts and posters, you know who you are - shame!).

Okay - long post but hey, I'm excited!!!!

gordon

post #2609 of 3515
Thread Starter 
Congrats! I'm sure it will sound excellent when you get it all set up. How much power does the NAD produce? I had an S300 (? I think - it was a while ago), which was NAD's Silver series and premium line before the Masters series. It drove some 3.6's I had at the time but tended to run out of power. When I switched to a higher power Musical Fidelity Trivista (350wpc into 8 ohms and 600wpc into 4 ohms) I ceased having power related issues.
post #2610 of 3515
Here is a photo of the "sofa wall" opposite from the screen plus a drawing of the room that might be helpful reference for any comments/hint. For all the OCD types I know that the room dimensions might not add up to make a square room - so even though 1/32" seems to matter with some Maggie fans, this is a drawing for "framers", not "cabinet makers" (I think you get the drift). What you can't see at the foward end of the sofa is the 2.5' or so "return" to the side walls...

gordon



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