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Maggie 3.7 + Tri-center for HT: looking for in-use comments

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Please - no non-empirical opinions; I'm looking for comments from Maggie owners who use their speakers for both music listening AND HT use.

I'm looking to replace my B&W 803s/HTM2 + Musical Fidelity XP-200s (3 x ea bridged) with Maggie 3.7s + Tri-center powered by NAD amps. Pre is a Meridian G61r. Sub is a Paradigm Seismic 12. I'm going to do an extended listening session in stereo next week but my concern is loosing the "impact" of cone speakers on music (mandolin plucks, kick drums, etc. - ya'll will know what I mean).

My room is 17 x 18 w/8' ceilings, just this side of acoustically dead (slight echo on hand clap). With a SIM LED projector we use the room for a lot of TV and I watch/listen to a lot of concert DVD and Bluray (Oppo BD93). I'm just now getting the time to go back and listen to CD music with plans to download more HiDef audio. I've got my whole CD library in uncompressed Apple and plan to use my Apple TV to stream auto into the Meridian.

I'm fortunate to have the foundation and the funds to make the replacement (old gear will go up on Audiogon). That said, and realizing that I have to trust my own ears, I'm interested in comments from Maggie owners who use their speakers for both audio AND HT.

Thanks in advance,
post #2 of 5
Well Gordon, I use Magnepan 3.6's powered by a NAD 218THX amp, MMGC center channel, and 10.1's for surround sound duty, and an SVS PB Ultra 2 for a subwoofer. My room is 26Lx12.5.w with a peaked ceiling from 7'10 to 13'. My room is more on the live side, with GIK corner traps and bass traps, plus some GIK and ATS QRD diffusor's.

I think your system should sound fantastic, Maggies will crank some sound if you feed them enough power. I have my sub crossed over at 40hz I also MYE Stands on the 3.6's. I have heard they can give you some lower bass, mine go down to 37hz. If more mid bass is needed their is always Magnepan's DWM woofer, if I go that route I am going to have to change my room around, might be interesting as they say you can reach Tympani's leve of quality bass with two of those.
post #3 of 5
I have had very nice conventional speakers and Magnepans. I still have my Maggies, currently doing duty as music and movie speakers with a bevy of MC1s for surrounds and rears plus a CC3 center. They work fine for me, no loss of string plucks, drum slams, etc. smile.gif A good sub certainly helps; I prefer servo and have a pair of Rythmik's. Your Paradigm should do the trick...

Planer speakers in general have lower displacement (excursion) than conventional speakers, limiting their maximum output. They are more directional, so in the real world their lower efficiency is not quite as low as it seems. Big panels also have a large sound stage, and a lot of folk think panels sound cleaner than conventional speakers. Years ago they tended to have much lower distortion than conventional speakers; at least by specs, that gap has narrowed if not vanished for the best cone speakers.

Planer speakers like Magnepans and ESLs are so different you really need to try them and see what you think. If you like them they will do fine for both music and HT, given a reasonably powerful amplifier happy with 3 - 4 ohm loads (I have my L/R MG-IIIa's on an Emotiva XPA-2, C/S/R's on an XPA-5).
post #4 of 5
I have a Maggie setup that I use for HT and music (two channel and multi channel). I had 3.7s as mains but last year graduated to 20.7s. I also have a tri-center composed of a CCR and two MMC2’s. I have two JL F112’s subs primarily for HT use.

You did not mention surround speakers. Do you consider surrounds for only HT? I would not discount surrounds in a music environment. I have 3.7’s for side surrounds, 3.5’s as back surrounds and another pair of 3.7’s for wide surrounds. Krell 400e monoblocks drive the 20.7’s. All the rest of the speakers (surrounds and tri-center) each have their own Emotiva XPA-1 monoblocks. An ageing Integra 80.1 for a preamp, but recently I added a McIntosh C2300 two channel tube preamp for music listening. I have been doing more and more music listening since I added the C2300 and an Oppo 105.

Maggies doing double duty as HT and music? I think they are excellent as both. I guess that is a predictable coming from me. For HT – excellent multichannel envelopment. The sound field is seamless. I have a 140” diagonal screen (1.40:1). With that size screen, the sound from a single center speaker below the screen just seemed “small”. Combine the flanking MMC2 speakers and the acoustic image is now commensurate with the size of the screen.

I have GIK bass traps behind the side and wide surrounds since they are relatively close to their walls. The traps did wonders to improve the bass response. I also have GIK corner traps as well. All speakers (except the tri-center) are on Mye Stands. I run all channels full range except for the center.

You comment about losing the impact of cone speakers. I see that is where the subs and acoustic treatments come into play. I do not lack for HT impact. What also helps are the 20.7’s, but the 3.7’s are no slouch. The movie “Open Range” with Kevin Costner has a shoot out scene towards the end. No music, just gunfire. The Maggies really do a good job of putting you in the thick of things. You can almost smell the gun powder.

Music listening. Two channel is transparent, meaning I forget there are speakers in the room. With the Oppo 105, I am getting into SACD, two channel and multichannel. What a difference over CD/BluRay. The Maggies are capable of producing much more that I could have imagined. The better the source electronics, the more the Maggies will perform. Don’t discount multichannel music. I often listen to 2.0 music expanded out to 9.2. Some might scoff at the “manufactured” channels when expanded, but proof is in the listening.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Wow! I obviously haven't checked in a while - great feedback and consistent with my impressions.

I've pulled the trigger on the 3.7s, the Tri-center, AND a pair of DWMs. I'm powering each of the seven panels with one output each from a new NAD M-25 so the power reserves should be there. My surrounds are second-from-the-top B&W ceiling mounted, 6" speakers. The room has a symetrical "jog" on the listening end, "boxing out" the corners about 2' wide by 5' deep leaving enough space for a large U-shaped sectional sofa to slide into the "alcove". The surrounds are in the ceiling above the corners of the sofa with the tweeters aimed at the walls and just a tad to the rear of the listening position to reduce directionality (I'm a bit of a dipole fan for surrounds but couldn't find a way to make that work in this room.) I would like to replace the ceiling mounts with Maggies, but given the close proximity of the side walls to the sofa (as in, tight against the sofa) I don't see it working. I do realize the importance of surrounds for music (listen to Steely Dan on multi-channel or even the Eagles HFO concert in DTS) so I did spring for quality surrounds...

I think I'll be all set up by the end of March - but I'm traveling from 3/23 - 4/9 with only one night home. Right now I just hope I can get things set up so I can loop a CD for break-in while I'm traveling (the benefit of a "dedicated room").

I really thank you guys for your responses. I'm very excited about what should be an upgraded experience for both music and movies. So much so, in fact, that I ordered a Blu-ray of The Sliver Flute - with this set up good opera should be very enjoyable and it is time I expanded my musical horizons. I'll follow up with a post in April to let ya'll know how things turned out.

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