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  1. #1
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    Magnepan MMGW speaker stands

    Several years ago I bought Magnepan's complete surround speaker system of 4 MMGW's and MMGC (center). I kept one pair of the MMGW's and used them for the rear and bought a pair of MC1 (w/tweeter) for the mains. For those that don't know, the MMGW's are entry level speakers that are full range, but without tweeters. Their range is 100hz to 16khz, so a subwoofer is recommended.

    The other pair of MMGW's that I didn't use, just sat there for a couple of years. I couldn't decide what to do with them. My girlfriend had B&W 601 S2's which were out of service because they fell and the binding posts broke off and her TV was out of service needing a bulb replacement. So I decided that she needed these extra maggies more than I did, so...

    A couple of days ago I went to Menards and bought an 18 inch round table top, some galvanized pipes (5 foot) and the bracket to mount the pipe to the table top, the table top became the base of the speaker stand. Using the brackets that came with the MMGW's for wall mounting and some hose clamps, I mounted the speakers on the pipe. I offset the pipe mounting bracket toward the edge of the round table top so that the speaker would always be over the round table top when positioning (rotating) the speaker. Granted, that at this point, it isn't the prettiest speaker stand, but it is interesting to look at and a little cosmetic work could turn that all around. I also mounted the speaker towards the top of the pole so she would be in the sound field when standing up. FYI... planers of this sort have very little vertical dispersion so when your ears are above or below the speakers the highs drop off considerably. Also, the reason that these wall hanging speakers needed a stand is because there was nowhere to hang them in her room (too many windows).

    I took them over to her house and set them up about 8 feet from the back wall and about the same from her couch. She has a Panasonic XR25 receiver and I upped the treble a little and the bass a lot. The results... Phenomenal!

    The bad: The bass is a little anemic, but she doesn't like a lot of bass so that's okay. ( A sub is needed for best results). The highs are bright and clear, but lack that final sparkle of a good tweeter. The sweet spot is rather narrow, but I suppose that could be improved with a little positioning. Also you need to be sitting for the best sound. Without a sub, I would only recommend this set up for vocals and instrumentals which don't require a great deal of bass or dynamics. This would all change with a sub.

    The good: Everything else. They create a soundstage to die for and the speakers disappear into the room. I was flabbergasted at what I heard. Voices and instruments sound full and harmonically rich and the soundstage is huge. I've heard expensive systems that don't hold a candle to “what these do well”.

    I suppose that the MMG's (with tweeter) would do even better, or Magnepan's more expensive models. But for the $300 that these cost, they are mind blowing. Also, she paid $300 for her Panasonic receiver and DVD player for a total cost of $600 plus the cost of the speaker stands. Compared to her B&W's, well... it can't be done. BTW, her panny receiver uses a digital amplifier.

    I won't argue that more money will net a more high end sound, but the point is what can be accomplished with $600.

    This got me thinking. Many people here, especially the new people just getting into this hobby, ask for help with what equipment to buy. As I have done here, perhaps we could mention “complete” low price, but exceptional systems that we have or have had in the past, mentioning the strengths and weaknesses of these low cost systems.

    Addendum:

    I added a Yamaha servo sub (about $275 new - given to me) to the system and now it's a different system all together. The price goes up to $875, assuming everything is new.
    Last edited by StevenSurprenant; 11-22-2011 at 05:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    These DIY TNT Stubby's are all I ever use for speaker stands of any size. The same concept can be used for audio stands.

    TNT-Stubby - A DIY Speaker Stand Project on TNT-Audio [English]

  3. #3
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist View Post
    These DIY TNT Stubby's are all I ever use for speaker stands of any size. The same concept can be used for audio stands.

    TNT-Stubby - A DIY Speaker Stand Project on TNT-Audio [English]
    Those are nice. If my friend had those instead of what she was using, she wouldn't have knocked the B&W's on the floor (repeatedly).

    $37.98 is a bargain.

  4. #4
    Audio casualty StevenSurprenant's Avatar
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    I have also seen DIY stands made for the MMGW that supports it from the bottom which would be nice if your speakers would be set away from the walls like a typical speaker.

    Also, I've read where people have done the same to their MMG's which raises the image to to ear level instead of hearing it from the floor. The last person that did this reported that the soundstage improved a great deal by doing this.

    I realize that not everyone likes dipole speakers and that some box speakers do a pretty good job at soundstaging, but at this price point, what these do are amazing with low cost electronics.

    The funny thing is that I've been to many stores and have heard maggies many times, but only once did they sound exemplary. Except for that one instance, they all pretty much sounded anemic, lacking bass and dynamics. Their soundstage was spacious sounding but lacked definition. I would never have bought them considering what I've heard in the stores.

    Thinking back to the pair that "did" sound good, the proprietor of the store had taken the time to set them up correctly in the room.
    I set these low end models up correctly too and the results far exceeds my expectations. So much so, that I had to rethink what I considered acceptable audio. It also made me realize that many stores are doing Magnepan a disservice by not taking the time to do it right.

    In the past, I have been critical of Magnepan's and for that I apologize.

    I will say this... "When set up correctly", maggies far exceed their price point for sound quality.

    I'm sure that some will say that my post sounds biased... it is! There are many other speakers that I like too that exceed maggies performance in a number of ways, but not at this price point.

    Anyway, there doesn't seem much interest in this thread, so I'll leave it at that.

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