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Hello, I have a set of MMGs with a Klipsch Reference Sub and a NAD C356BEE (80w per Channel into 4ohms) I have them sitting on small wooden cubes raising them about a foot off the ground, which has actually done wonders for the sound, they're sitting about 4 feet from the wall. About 8 feet away from each other, its a fairly small room and while the sound is great I feel like its lacking the ability to fill the room with sound.. if that makes sense. I was wondering what upgrades I could do to my setup to make it more "satisfactory"
 

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Hello, I have a set of MMGs with a Klipsch Reference Sub and a NAD C356BEE (80w per Channel into 4ohms) I have them sitting on small wooden cubes raising them about a foot off the ground, which has actually done wonders for the sound, they're sitting about 4 feet from the wall. About 8 feet away from each other, its a fairly small room and while the sound is great I feel like its lacking the ability to fill the room with sound.. if that makes sense. I was wondering what upgrades I could do to my setup to make it more "satisfactory"
I think your amp is plenty sufficient to drive those MMGs, but they don't extend down very deep. I think a subwoofer would be a nice addition to your setup, and fill in the missing low end and give you a more balanced sound. Given the small room size, I would go with something sealed from Rythmik, what is your budget?
 

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Hello, I have a set of MMGs with a Klipsch Reference Sub and a NAD C356BEE (80w per Channel into 4ohms) I have them sitting on small wooden cubes raising them about a foot off the ground, which has actually done wonders for the sound, they're sitting about 4 feet from the wall. About 8 feet away from each other, its a fairly small room and while the sound is great I feel like its lacking the ability to fill the room with sound.. if that makes sense. I was wondering what upgrades I could do to my setup to make it more "satisfactory"

I have owned amps from NAD for over 30 years, including the 3020, the 3070, and the C326BEE and C356BEE.

I loved them all except for the C356BEE.

After trying the 356 with 3 different sets of speakers, I was mystified. There is just something wrong with that amplifier.

The sound from it is just "flat'-sounding; it has no body or depth to it. By comparison, my old Cambridge 40W amp sounds MUCH better, as does the C326BEE.

I am an engineer with over 50 years of amplifier design and testing experience, and I don't have clue why that amp is so lacking in definition, but there is something missing there.

I suggest that you sell it and get another amplifier. That is what I did.

I would suggest the Cambriidge Audio 651A or the Music Hall A15.3; they are both very good amps and reasonably priced.
 

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Go here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1086093-official-magnepan-owners-thread.html

I have MMGs as well, they are inefficient and very 'power hungry'. I drove mine with a 400 w/pc (at 4 ohms) Mc Intosh amp to loud enough levels in a 20x16 room. A Yamaha AVR rated at, I believe, 120 w/pc at 4 ohms only played at acceptable levels. Be sure that whatever amp you end up with has headroom for the dynamics of a well engineered disc - you'll need the juice for the peaks. Anyway, go to the 'official' thread - you'll get lots of help there.
 

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Go here: http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1086093-official-magnepan-owners-thread.html

I have MMGs as well, they are inefficient and very 'power hungry'. I drove mine with a 400 w/pc (at 4 ohms) Mc Intosh amp to loud enough levels in a 20x16 room. A Yamaha AVR rated at, I believe, 120 w/pc at 4 ohms only played at acceptable levels. Be sure that whatever amp you end up with has headroom for the dynamics of a well engineered disc - you'll need the juice for the peaks. Anyway, go to the 'official' thread - you'll get lots of help there.
This is a common audiophile myth. For some inexplicable reasons, audiophiles believe that overhead (unused power capacity) has an effect on sonics. The only power than can possibly affect sonics is the power that is actually dissipated by the speakers. A 50 watt amplifier dissipating 20 watts drives a speaker just as well as a 400 wpc amplifier dissipating 20 watts. The Maggies have an efficiency rating of 86db for 1 watt at 1 meter. My speakers, have an 87db rating which is close enough and they have never dissipated more than 18 watts on peaks in my home theater. How do I know? I've measured it. The subwoofer dissipates most all the power in a home theater.

Furthermore the impedance dips for the maggies are way up at around 20khz, above where the sound is recorded. What all of this means is that MMG's are a simple load for amplifiers. The one you have will handle the job as well as any other.

You may be able to improve the sound with better placement or work on your room acoustics but anything an amplifier will do would only matter in your hearing bias, not in the sound. Personally I like the sound of Maggies and have heard them driven beautifully with 25 watt per channel tube amps. But you did say you liked how they sound. I can understand that.
 

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This is a common audiophile myth. For some inexplicable reasons, audiophiles believe that overhead (unused power capacity) has an effect on sonics. The only power than can possibly affect sonics is the power that is actually dissipated by the speakers. A 50 watt amplifier dissipating 20 watts drives a speaker just as well as a 400 wpc amplifier dissipating 20 watts. The Maggies have an efficiency rating of 86db for 1 watt at 1 meter. My speakers, have an 87db rating which is close enough and they have never dissipated more than 18 watts on peaks in my home theater. How do I know? I've measured it. The subwoofer dissipates most all the power in a home theater.

Furthermore the impedance dips for the maggies are way up at around 20khz, above where the sound is recorded. What all of this means is that MMG's are a simple load for amplifiers. The one you have will handle the job as well as any other.

You may be able to improve the sound with better placement or work on your room acoustics but anything an amplifier will do would only matter in your hearing bias, not in the sound. Personally I like the sound of Maggies and have heard them driven beautifully with 25 watt per channel tube amps. But you did say you liked how they sound. I can understand that.



The dynamics of an orchestra or large band can require power peaks that are over 100 times the average dissipated power. These peaks may be very brief, but attempting to reproduce them without stifling the dynamics of the music requires power reserves that most smaller amplifiers cannot deliver due to power supply capacitors that are too small.

I am curious how you think you measured the peak power, since this requires rather expensive precision equipment to measure brief peaks accurately. I will guarantee you have never measured the actual instantaneous peak power delivered to the speakers on dynamic peaks of music; your claims make this obvious.

Your claims regarding peak power delivery to speakers display a profound lack of knowledge of the subject, and will be quickly refuted by any competent engineer. This is the danger of acquiring a small knowledge of a subject without the extensive education and experience to fully understand the complexities involved.

Another area where most people are woefully ignorant is in the published power ratings of amplifiers relative to their performance in reproducing music.

One amplifier rated at 100 watts may have a limit of 200 watts peak before it distorts, while another one can deliver several hundred watts or more instantaneously during brief musical transient peaks. This is because the better-quality amplifier with much larger power supply capacitors and power transformers can draw on the stored energy of those capacitors to instantaneously deliver a very large amount of current to the speakers. It is quite common to have an average RMS power to the speakers of 5 or 10 watts when playing music and peaks in the same music requiring the delivery of several hundred watts to prevent distortion.

This is why high-quality amplifiers that are rated at 125 watts from such companies as Audio Research, Bryston, and Musical Fidelity cost several thousand dollars and sound wonderful when driven hard, while a typical AVR with a 125 watt rating (and costing less than $1000) will sound awful when it is pushed hard and its inadequate power-supply capacitors simply cannot deliver the needed instantaneous current and the amplifier distorts badly. A cheaper design with less peak capability does not deliver the goods.

Professional audio techs and engineers spend the extra money for the amplifiers that are designed with those peak power reserves because they understand the difference in design and performance that cause the more expensive amplifiers to sound so much better. A large percentage of "audiophiles" are actually technicians and engineers with extensive education and experience in the design and performance of audio equipment. Their expertise allows them to identify gear that is better-designed and know why it sounds better.

Anyone who has actually designed and tested an amplifier (as I have many many times) knows that it is simply not possible to design a high-performance amplifier for the low prices that some AVRs and amplifiers sell for. If you think you can get something for nothing, and one 125-watt amplifier is the same as any other, you are woefully ignorant of the basic facts of amplifier design and performance. The RMS power rating is not a very useful indicator of real-world amplifier performance and sound quality. It tells you only one thing, and it is not the most important thing.

What you smugly call "an audiophile myth" is actually absolutely true and based on the dynamic capabilities of an amplifier. The RMS power rating of an amplifier is derived in a very simplistic constant-signal test procedure with a resistor load that tells you very little about the real-world dynamic performance of the amplifier when connected to speakers and playing music with the wide-ranging dynamics typical of most music.
 

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Hello, I have a set of MMGs with a Klipsch Reference Sub and a NAD C356BEE (80w per Channel into 4ohms) I have them sitting on small wooden cubes raising them about a foot off the ground, which has actually done wonders for the sound, they're sitting about 4 feet from the wall. About 8 feet away from each other, its a fairly small room and while the sound is great I feel like its lacking the ability to fill the room with sound.. if that makes sense. I was wondering what upgrades I could do to my setup to make it more "satisfactory"
Do you blow many fuses with the MMG's?

When I bought my first pair of Mags (MG1b's IIRC) 20 something years ago, I drove them with a receiver. I believe it was a Technics delivering 60wpc. I blew fuses on the Mags constantly. I upgraded later to an Adcom GFA 545 I think and the fuse blowing dissipated but did not disappear. I later bought a pair of 3.6's and an NAD S500 delivering 200wpc into 8ohms. Still blew fuses. Upgraded to a Musical Fidelity Trivista 300 and the fuse blowing almost disappeared.

The point to this long winded anecdote is that the more power I fed the Mags, the less clipping occurred resulting in fewer blown fuses on the Mags. As an aside, the bass improved (as in more of it) with the MF over the NAD.
 

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The one local audio shop which sells maggies has an interesting setup in their maggie room. They use a beefy amp connected to them which put out something like 400w/channel @4ohms and is 2ohm stable. They have the amp connected to a fancy power conditioner that measures power draw. When I went to listen to the maggie 1.7i they hooked them up and played a really dynamic track. At normal listening levels in some parts the amp was using some serious power even though it was for a maybe a second or two. Based on what I saw there is no way a small amp can play those things to their potential. The sales guy said this characteristic was the throughout the entire maggie line so I would just get a beefier amp.

I use maggie MMGW's for surround duty and I am still powering them with a Crown XLS 1500.
 

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One other thing is that the sensitivity specs for the MMG's are 86db/2.83V/4ohms which is really 2 watts so a 1 watt sensitivity spec would be 83db.

Plus, you lose 6db for every doubling of distance though this is probably lessened due the Magnepans acting as a line source. If you assume a 6db drop and 83db at 1 watt, you would start clipping somewhere between 95-98db at the listening position. Lower if you sit more than 6.6' away from the speakers.

You'd probably need 750 watts at 4ohms to hit reference at 10'.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
 

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You'd probably need 750 watts at 4ohms to hit reference at 10'.

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
Probably not because we don't put our listening areas outside or in anechoic rooms. Your formula does not include boundary gain. The only thing that does is actual measurements. The 18 watt example I gave above is a measurement, not a calculation.

Furthermore, few people listen at reference volume. It is too loud for comfort for most people. Whenever I'm dragged into a movie theater, I take ear plugs. I understand why a dealer uses and recommends huge amplifiers but it is harder to understand why someone else would if they aren't necessary. And they aren't necessary with these speakers.
 
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