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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All.....

I have an opportunity to go and listen to a pair of Magnepan MG 1.4's tomorrow. They have previously been used in a recording studio, and have been refurbished once, and according to the current owner, sound exactly as they should with no rattle. Of course, I'll be checking them out in person with my own recordings, etc. The owner does not have the original stands/feet, so they'll need to be replaced. And the wood frames will need a refinishing (they're currently painted to match the interior of the studio they came out of).

I'm not a true audiophile, but I appreciate the notion of a large sound stage and attention to detail. I first heard Maggies in the 80's and have always wanted to try a pair in my own home.

I currently have a gigantic pair of American Acoustic Labs 154's with 15" woofers, which to my untrained ear sound great across the spectrum, just super heavy on the bass (surprisingly not muddy at all, with very clean highs).

My amp/preamp is a Yamaha M-50/C-50 combination, which will provide about 200wpc at 4 ohms.

The room they would be placed in is about 13 x 20, hardwood floors with a decent size oriental rug. It will be difficult to place them in a centered location on any particular wall, but I do have some flexibility in placement.

I can get them for $150, maybe a bit less. Just trying to do some due diligence. $150 isn't a ton of money, but I'm also not the kind of person who would ever spend any serious cash on my stereo equipment. E.G., $500 speakers will never happen in my lifetime!

At that price, and given my setup, can anyone think of a good reason NOT to get them (if they do, in fact, appear to be problem free upon inspection)?

Thanks!!
 

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A few things to consider about Maggies:

1. Maggies need some space behind them, preferably around 3 feet or more, but one can get by with a little less.
2. Maggies are an imposing speaker in a room because of their height and width.
3. Your amplifier should work great. I drive my Maggies with 200 watts/channel as well.
4. These were initially released in 1989, so it's great you will be auditioning them. Check with Magnepan about the feet. They are pretty simple, so it wouldn't take much to build them.
5. The price worries me ($150 for Maggies is simply giving them away). Bring your favorite music and do some very careful listening.
6. Enjoy the audition!
 

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I would emphasize #5 in dsrussell's post. Bring a bright flashlight to inspect the panel for delamination around the panel's low and high frequency wires. They are dipoles so that is going to interact with your room a lot more differently than your current speakers.
 

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^ +1. Good point. BTW, I use to live in Cedar Rapids :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
At the price, even if they are delaminated some, should that be a deal breaker? I'm pretty handy, and am not intimidated by the notion of reattaching the wires. Would $150 still be a reasonable price to pay for speakers in need of rehab?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I noticed those too. $400 shipped vs $150 in the back of my van. Looking at Peter Gunn's recipe, I'm thinking I can spring for the materials and a few hours work to reattach the wires if need be! I'm just wondering if they can be had for even less money in need of rehab. Of course, these speakers are available right here, right now-and that has some value in and of itself.
 

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Rehab is a noble pursuit.

Good luck with it, I hope it turns out well.

I've never heard a Magnepan, the only ones I was ever around weren't working.

I've had electrostats for 20 years now, so I know how satisfying panels can be.
 

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Yeah, I noticed those too. $400 shipped vs $150 in the back of my van. Looking at Peter Gunn's recipe, I'm thinking I can spring for the materials and a few hours work to reattach the wires if need be! I'm just wondering if they can be had for even less money in need of rehab. Of course, these speakers are available right here, right now-and that has some value in and of itself.
No, that shouldn't be a deal breaker. And if you notice any problems (visually or audibly), it couldn't hurt to make a lower offer. But $150 for 1.4s could be a steal. Let us know how the audition went.
 

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They could be asking that price because of the lack of feet and that they painted the frames. A couple red flags would be that they were refurbished (how and why?) and if you notice the seller smokes and/or if the speakers were set up near a window with direct sunlight. Otherwise, it seems like a rare opportunity.
@dsrussell: it seems like you're in a much better place now :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, bought 'em for $150!

They're playing as I type this, and despite being propped up against a wall, I have to say that they sound darn near amazing.

The guy I bought them from knew very little about what he had. He purchased them for his recording studio, thinking that he could mount them to his wall. When he learned that was not possible, he just wanted to get rid of them, and sold them to me for a fraction of what he paid.

Cosmetically, they need some work. Obviously, the neon green has to go. And there are no "socks," just a grill cover stapled around the rear to cover the front. That worked to my advantage, though, as it exposed everything in the rear and I was able to examine things very closely. I found a single spot where the wire had delaminated and come away from the mylar. Maybe a 3/4" flip on one end. That's it. Everything else looks to be stable.

He had them propped in two corners on top of that high end audio foam (I forget the name), and they actually sounded pretty darn good in that room (vaulted ceilings, placed in the corners of the wide walls).

I spent about thirty minutes with different music, and could not detect a hint of damage as far as sound quality. After getting them home, if I rattle the house with volume, I can maybe make out a tiny rattle in the one speaker with the small delamination spot.

So home they came!! I'll either repaint or strip the nasty neon green this weekend.

A couple questions:

How important is it to deal with that small spot where the wire has pulled away if I'm not noticing any impact on the sound?

Outside of just contacting Magnepan and trying to get my hands on some original stands, any recommendations on how to prop these babies up nicely and firmly (and rigidly) without breaking the bank (particularly interested in short term "solutions," as I'll probably build custom stands at some point)?

Thanks for all the input and help. Thus far, I'm feeling pretty happy with things!! (Still don't wanna part with my giant AAL 154's though.....but it's part of the deal. Staying married is important!)
 

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That's great news! And it's obvious the guy knew very little about Maggies.

First question. Yes, it's important to get that area fixed. If not, it will put more strain at the points adjacent.

Second question. Contact Magnepan. Even if they don't have the feet available, they'll have drawings so you can get them made, or perhaps ship you something that could work as well. That's a quick fix for a very small amount of money. Your other option is to get a quote from Magnepan to repair the delaminated portion, inspect the speaker and repair anything else they see, plus make stands that will work. That won't be cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the responses!

Does anyone know the screw size/type of thread that I need to mount stands to the back of these? I'm just going to try a temporary fix with A66 angle brackets and a few cinder blocks until I get time to make something more permanent.
 

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What an amazing deal for an amazing pair of speakers; welcome to the electrostatic / planar speaker family! :D
 

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Thanks for all the responses!

Does anyone know the screw size/type of thread that I need to mount stands to the back of these? I'm just going to try a temporary fix with A66 angle brackets and a few cinder blocks until I get time to make something more permanent.
I find

10-24 thread

Or maybe give them a call:
To contact us at MAGNEPAN please call 1-800-474-1646 Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 4PM CT
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So I managed to put a few of the A66 brackets on and have the Maggies positioned about 30" from the wall, about five feet apart on center, and slightly toed in. The room is about 13 x 20, and just due to the position of doors and windows, the speakers are placed on the shorter wall, shifted to the left of center about 4 feet.

I really can't get over how incredible they sound. Over the past few years, my ear has really developed. Even on less capable equipment, I've been learning to identify high quality recordings vs. those that have been sort of hacked together. Maybe it's just me, but I'm finding it about 10x easier to identify the lower quality stuff on these speakers. And I'm enjoying the high quality stuff far more than on any other speakers I've ever had.

Right now, I'm listening to Pink Floyd's The Wall. Just wow.......

My fav's so far have been:

CD: Norah Jones-Come Away With Me, The Police-Synchronicity, Led Zep Remastered Box Set

LP: No Nukes Concert (1979), Copland Appalachian Spring, Bernstein/NY Philharmonic

I haven't really touched any jazz or blues yet.

The kicker? Even my wife thinks they sound amazing! I mean, she can actually tell the difference. She always thought I was crazy before.......

Oh, and is it me? Or do they sound better and better the longer they're playing?????
 

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^ Welcome to the world of panel speakers :). Glad to hear the wife is enjoying them as well.
 
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^ Welcome to the world of panel speakers :). Glad to hear the wife is enjoying them as well.
I had the same response from my wife with my electrostats. :)
 

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I had the same response from my wife with my electrostats. :)
Until one sits down and listens to panel speakers, it's difficult to convey their unique properties with words. But your wife had an advantage over metsno1's, in that his wife had to overlook the Maggie's imposing size. Difficult to overlook two small doors standing in your living room ;).

BTW, I hope the PSA subs work out better for you than the SVS. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts between the dual-opposing sealed design of the S3000i and the ported monster of the V1500.
 

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Until one sits down and listens to panel speakers, it's difficult to convey their unique properties with words. But your wife had an advantage over metsno1's, in that his wife had to overlook the Maggie's imposing size. Difficult to overlook two small doors standing in your living room ;).
I really look forward to demoing a pair of Maggie's; I've never heard them and I'm sure I'll be really impressed. I'm not sure I could convince my wife in my current setup; however, when we move to the new house, I'm hoping to have a dedicated room. :D

BTW, I hope the PSA subs work out better for you than the SVS. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts between the dual-opposing sealed design of the S3000i and the ported monster of the V1500.
Thanks--I'm really looking forward to experiencing them! At this point, I've chalked up my experience with that SB-13 Ultra to *something* being wrong. I don't know what it was; and, at this point, I don't care. The price / performance ratio of SVS doesn't look as good as either PSA or Rythmik (or even RA) so I think I'm stepping away from them for now in my main room (though, I'm seriously considering an SB-1000 and their Prime bookshelves for audio at my desk).
 
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