AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day I visited a dealer nearby and listened to a pair of Magenpan 3.6. The audition was probably the best I ever had at a dealer, ever!


Today I own a pair of Vienna Acoustics Beethoven and this is actually the first time I have even thought of deviating from that brand.


Previous, current and future Magnepan-owners! Please provide me with your feed-back regarding Magnepans.


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,114 Posts
Ouch... I do not know about the Vienna acoustics. I have never heard them, they are supposedly good. I am an audiophile and a Magnepan fan. IMO Maggies as they are affectionately, called are one if not THE best values in High-End. The 3.6 is one of the best speakers around bar none... I do not know any speakers in its price range that offers so much... To be better than the Mag 3.6 requires some serious expenditures and way before that you could get the 20.1.. This one Ah!!


I am investigating mating the Maggies with a sub. I will run the Magnepan full-range, the sub will just "augment" the low end. I want a sub that goes flat to 16 Hz. I am being very careful not to mar the clarity and verisimilitude with a not-well-matched sub...I am taking my time, I am not bass-starved


Maggies are very room-sensitive and take up space, their footprint is small but they require to be well off the walls. Placement is a little different from box speakers and because. They are kind of viusually overpowering. I do not care about that and neither does my wife..


To have an idea just go around and see how many Maggies are up for sale on the used market, not a great deal...People with Magnepan tend to keep buying Magnepan


They are simply great and priced right



Frantz

Port-au-Prince, Haiti


Curious, what Electronics did you audition them with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Frantz,

Thank's for your reply! What would be their strenght and weakness (bottom end bass since you mention adding a sub?), if any?


Does it present most kind of music well? What I auditioned was a Choral/Classical piece and it was outstanding. I enjoy many different kinds of music but prefer acoustic presentation, easy listening and female voice.


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,284 Posts
Maggies are excellent for orchestral/classical music, since they give an expansive and realistic soundstage. For vocal, it is also very good, with realistic size imaging. It might not have the pinpoint imaging of monopoles, althogh its deficiency could be minimized with careful placement, room diffuser treatment behind the speakers, and in my case, with Meridian's Trifield process.


Some people who have been brainwashed by the thumpy bass coming from a distortion box will not like the bass coming out of a magnepan. Magnepan produces a fuller, more natural sounding bass as opposed to the ones that makes you feel lilke a punching bag.


Dipole has problem with really deep bass, since the wave from the other side will tend to cancel it out. Some maggies tries to get around it by having a very large and wide surface area. But then, SPL would be limited by the excursion capability of the driver. If a subwoofer to be used, it would have to be integrated carefully due to the different nature of planar bass sound when compared to distortion boxes. A crossover freq as low as possible would reasonable be preferred.


I don't think bass augmentation works best with the maggies since the extreme excursion required for the deep bass would normally take the bass diaphram out of its linearity range, affecting the mid and upper bass performance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Quote:
Previous, current and future Magnepan-owners! Please provide me with your feed-back regarding Magnepans
I have a 23 year old pair of MG-1A's that I love to this day.


I still have people come into my home and comment on their looks and their sound!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
lwang & Brian, Thank You!


lwang; then I am not as concerned about the bass as my Viennas are quite natural in bass presentation as well. What struck me with the dealer demo was the incredible presence that the system provided.


Speaking of systems: what more feed-back can anyone provide? Tubes, solid state, vinyl, cd etc. Where do Magnepans show their strengths?


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,114 Posts
Pesa


The 3.5 do go low.. 30 Hz in a good room with proper placement. Output drops very abruptly from there. In most instances a sub is not even needed. In term of SPL, they play loud enough for me and any type of music equally well. I have not heard the 3.6 in a HT environment where material with bass content below 30 Hz and more than 100dB are common. I frankly do not know how the Maggies react when subjected to loud bass transients in an HT environment, I know they are unfazed by those found in most music including a scary cut I heard at my house from a friend CD, I think it was Bass Mechanics or something...

Yet there exist a lot of sounds below 30 Hz. hearing even chamber music on a full range speaker is an incredibly satisfying experience. Nowadays there exist Subwoofer combination that play flat and a with low distortion down to 16 Hz. That is why I would like to investigate maggies plus sub.. In themselves they do have great bass...and this from the 1.2 to the 20.1..


Frantz

Port-au-Prince, Haiti
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
607 Posts
Quote:
Where do Magnepans show their strengths?
IMHO they show their strength on well recorded material, acoustic and/or vocal in nature. Orchestral can be fantastic but the most dynamic parts are a bit troublesome for my model. I do not know if the later models can handle it better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank's again guys!!!:)


Does anyone have experience playing rock/pop on them. Take Springsteen, U2 and Janet Jackson as examples. Can they reproduce also this kind of material in a good way?


I will have to audition these, for sure...;)


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,114 Posts
Peter


They just play anything well. They are one of the few speakers whose impedance does not vary at all across the frequency range. They are extremely easy loads for most amplifiers but they are not terribly efficient. 88 db/w/m. They sound to me less efficient that these numbers would suggest. You need some clean power to drive them to their full potential. Think about at least 100 watts/ch, the more the merrier...


Maggies are good across the lines. man all of them, but the 20.1 are stellar.. One of the best speakers around, including price no object designs..


Frantz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
838 Posts
I am in absolute love with my 3.6R's. One of the best moves I made was to switch from a Yamaha receiver to a Sunfire Cinema Grand power amp. It's rated at 400 watts into 4 ohms, and feeds the Maggies all the power they can want. It's scary how much power the 3.6s take and are happy with.


- Chris
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
I have owned almost every Magnepan model from the MMG's up to the MG20's which I currently own. Each model is hard to beat at its own price point and each model is a significant improvement over the model below it.


Once you own a pair you probably will never be able to go back to conventional box speakers. Their biggest weaknesses is deep bass output, but the MG20's have pretty good bass output. I still use subs most of the time, but it really depends upon the recording. Placement and associated electronics can be issues as well. The pinpoint imaging and soundstage are

the Maggies biggest stregnths. Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Classical, Jazz all sound incredible. If you do decide to purchase a pair I would recommend looking on Audiogon for a used pair. You could purchase a used pair and after a year you could sell them for close to what you paid if you wanted to upgrade to the next model. That is what I did!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,114 Posts
Maggie Guy


Out of curiosity what sub (s) do you use on your Mag 20.1? I am very curious on the results. Associated components for the sub would help me also...


Thanks


Frantz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
635 Posts
Frantz,

I have the MG20's not the 20.1's although there is not much difference between the two models.

I am using a custom made setup with four 2.5 cubic ft sealed enclosures. Each enclosure has a 12 in Shiva driver. They are powered by a Samson S-1000 after the signal is run through a Paridigm X-30 sub-crossover. I am crossing over in the 60-65Hz range and running the MG20's full range. All of the subs are evenly spaced across the front wall to minimize room interferences and since the MG20's are 3ft plus from the wall, two of the subs are somewhat behind the Maggies which is fine.

As i said before the MG20's don't need much help in the Bass department, but with this setup I am not missing anything.

If you are looking to add a sub to your setup I would highly recommend a DIY setup. You can get alot of help here on the forum and save alot of $ at the same time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,114 Posts
Maggieguy


Thank you. I do not have much time to DIY, My new house is to be finished late next year. I am working with my architect for distinct and isolated rooms: One for HT and the other for Music, 2-channel for now. Provisions are being made for a IB in each room....


Right now I am thinking SVS for the subs. Dual 16-46 + Paradigm X-30 + QSC Amp + BFD. I will let the Maggies will run full range, I will let you all know how it works out.


Peter


You should try to give the maggies a more careful audition with your electronics, in you room if possible. A week or so will give you a pretty good idea.


Frantz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The setup I'm currently thinking about would be Audio Research tubed pre-amplifier and power amplifier as well as their CD3. For vinyl I'm looking at the Basis 1400 with a Rega arm.


Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,896 Posts
Peter, a few words of experience:


Magnepans have three disadvantages IMO...


(1) Space/positioning requirements - small footprint, but require more thought for placement than traditional box speakers (or, at least, are not as immune to misplacement) and require a few feet behind them for optimal sound.


(2) Lack of pinpoint imaging. Their large surface area results in a very wide and realistic soundstage when properly placed, but the line source high frequency and large surface area for mid/low frequency tends to smear the image just a bit. This tends to be coupled to optimal room treatment. I've found that diffusor treatment of side walls enhances the surreal soundstage at the expense of imaging, while absorbent treatment of side walls focuses imaging but takes away the "magic" of magnepans. My methods are pretty crude, but I like the large soundstage better. Otherwise, I'd go with a pair of bookshelf speakers with great imaging accuracy. (note: though this is a shortcoming, they still do quite well for imaging. What I've noticed is that left/right horizontal imaging is not as precise, but you gain a sense of realistic height and depth not often heard with box speakers).


(3) Low end response. The bass is tight, accurate, and very musical, but definitely lacking in output in the lower frequencies... even with the 20.1's. What this translates to is a speakers that (unsupplemented) is perfect for many types of music and not so perfect for many others. HT without a sub is out of the question.



Now, the good things. Integrating a sub is not nearly as difficult as many make it out to be. Maggies sound better with a low Q sub from my experience, and that isn't always easy to find (though I think low Q subs sound better with pretty much any speaker). Crossover and phase settings do take some tinkering, but the result is very satisfying. If you are willing to actively cross over the maggies to remove a bit of the lowest content (say, below 80Hz), then you free up amplifier power and diaphram motion for use in the midbass and mid/high frequencies. The result, when done properly, is a system that can handle any music you wish to play, be it rock, metal, jazz, vocal, piano (ooohh... nothing like classical piano heard through maggies), or orchestral. Actively crossing over (or bi-amping for the larger models) gives you the "slam" many find lacking in maggies.


So far I've been limited to the smaller maggies... MMG's at first, and now SMGc's. I'm heavily leaning towards 3.6's for my new HT. Even the smaller maggies can play loud enough for most rooms given proper amplification.


About amplifiers... maggies like power. More than the recommended power is a good thing IMO. Many have found that the tweeter fuse tends to blow at high listening levels when the amplifier is close to its maximum output. Probably intolerant to the increased distortion. Multiple owners have found that a powerful amp that is running in "cruise control" at high power levels really brings the maggies to life. In my case, I'm using Rotel separates with 170W @ 4ohms into each speaker (I running maggies all around). I'd consider that the bare minimum. Fore 3.6's, I'd recommend around 400W @ 4ohms per channel as a good starting point.


Many like the sound of tubes + maggies, but you definitely give up dynamic range due to the limited power available (unless you have some crazy monoblock tube amps). Good for intimate listening in smaller rooms with many types of music, but not quite the "all around great for anything" setup I'd want.


Now for my truly biased opinion. :) I've extensively auditioned dozens of speakers, including KEF, B&W, Energy, JMLabs, Vandersteen, Dunlavy, Paradigm, and many others. The only speakers I've heard that would make me ever consider changing from my small maggies and sub are the Dunlavy's.... and at what cost? Instead, I'll probably just upgrade to a pair of true ribbon maggies, build the 'perfect' sub to complement it, and enjoy the goodness. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks to all of you!


Bigus; oustanding feed-back. Since I'm considering moving into having a separate two channel system I would use the Maggies for that and not for HT at all. The one thing that concerns me in your feed-back is what you consider to be lack of pin-point imaging as my speakers today image well. I will definetively have to audition them at home first to see what my impression will be.


Regarding the sub part I first wonder what a Q sub is :eek: ?

In general I'm not looking forward to a scenario with a sub. However, when I do serious listening I almost always listen to to the kind of music that isn't really sub-dependant (except for some classical pieces), per se. It's mostly with casual listening that more sub-dependant music will be played.


Do you play vinyl and/or CD?


Thank's again! Peter
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,896 Posts
The imaging is "good," but at the same time it is "different." I guess the best way I could describe it as that it seems the entire soundstage is "inflated" compared to box speakers. That means the width, height, and depth all seem to be increased, but so is the "area" that each instrument occupies. To my ears, it is very much like taking a picture of the jazz ensemble, orchestra, etc. that is reproduced by a box speaker and enlarging the whole thing. The soundstage is larger, and individual instruments are correspondingly larger.


It's a compromise. For larger instruments, like piano, harp, marimba, etc., it is much more realistic. The real instrument is large, and the reproduction is very true to the original. IMO, it isn't as fitting for some instruments. For example, while I love the majesty of orchestral trumpets played through maggies, a solo classical trumpet recording inflates the instrument to an area slightly larger than I would prefer. You can still easily pinpoint the center of the instrument, but it's size may not be as focused as would be appropriate.


So, there's the compromise. Box speakers for smaller instruments, planar for larger ones. IMHO the larger soundstage is much more preferable to the undersized imagery typically reproduced by box speakers.



About subs... you might be surprised how much a good quality sub can enhance orchestral recordings. Pipe organs, kettle and bass drums, string bass, contrabass clarinet, tuba... all benefit from good sub reproduction. I've found that while planars are very pleasing for most of these instruments, some supplementation in the lowest octaves is still beneficial.


Low "Q" refers to the "Q" of the sub system. Q is a quality denoting the resonant behavior of the sub/enclosure system. A Q of .5 is what is called "critically damped." Q under .5 is "overdamped" and a Q of over .5 is "underdamped." I guess the best way of explaining this would be to say that an underdamped system will "ring" or vibrate, meaning that the sub will continue to vibrate for some length of time after power ceases to be applied. Critically damped and underdamped subs will not "ring" or resonate like that, and the sound is more controlled and dry. Qualitatively, high Q subs are assiciated with more volume, and a "boomy" sound often preferred for home theater, while low Q subs are often associated with "tight, dry, fast, accurate, etc." bass often preferred for classical and jazz music. It really comes down to personal preference. Many think a Q around .6 or so is the ideal. I think around .5 or even a bit lower is ideal, but again it's personal preference.


I could be mistaken, but I think Vandersteen makes a wonderful sub that would be a great match for planar speakers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
Indeed they do; and Peter if you happened to audition the 3's at Audio Dimensions in Royal Oak, then you'll be happy to know that they also carry Vandersteen subs... I heard one of their models (forget which) augmenting 1.6QR's (forget what electronics were upstream), and would rather have that combination then say a pair of ML Prodigy’s; and I own Martin Logans.
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top