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  1. #51
    nightflier
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    Geoff, that was very good info. Thanks. I think I'll be going forward with the MC1s as the mains, and the MMG-Ws as rears. So provided it all works out, I'm looking at:

    McCormack MAP1 Preamp
    Rotel RMB-1077 amp (7-channels, 200/400W ea.)
    Magnepan MG-MC1s front L&R
    Magnepan MMG-C center
    Magnepan MMG-Ws rear L&R

    If the MAP-1 doesn't work out, I'm at a loss for a simple multichannel preamp. Mr.P said that CJ makes a tubed one, but I'm not too crazy about adding tubes because of the heat. Of course, that would allow me to add the "tube sound" to the system.

  2. #52
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    10.1QR can be found once in a while on Agon, and yes they are older than 12s.
    Here is a pick from Agon that is currently being sold.


    Not sure how handy you are, but if you will be modifying its crossovers, this one looks quite easier than 12s or 1.6QR. You would have to cut its socks for other models to access its crossovers. I would love to try another pair of Maggy's but its stock crossovers would have to go. I wish Magnepan offered crossover upgrade on their products.

  3. #53
    Bill L
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    Modifying crossovers on the 1.6's is not too difficult, but you have to settle for an external mount.

    I wonder if Magnepan has made any progress in bringing their mini panel to market. They displayed it at the January 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (see Squeegy's post on modifying x-overs in this forum. In his reply, E-Stat provided a link to Stereophile's picture of the mini panels displayed at the show).

    To me, the mini panels look very intriguing as rear speakers in an HT setup, or even maybe as a center channel, particularly in a smaller/limited space listening area. I haven't seen any news on them other than the CES picture.

    Bill
    Music:
    Magnepan 1.6 QR's, upgraded xovers
    B&K 125.2 reference amp
    SONY SACD 2000ES
    Technics direct drive TT

    HT:
    Yamaha RX-V2500 receiver
    Bang&Olofsun Penta Surrounds
    SONY Bravia 46" HD LCD

  4. #54
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    Geoffcin, where've you been all this time? Modding under cover
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  5. #55
    nightflier
    Guest

    MG10.1 or MC1?

    OK, the 10.1s have similar specs to the MC1s, but the reviews on the latter are far more positive. Some people have had horrible experiences with the 10.1s. If (and that's a big IF) that's just from a couple of disgruntled owners, and I do get the 10.1s, I will have panels that are the same width as the MC1s, 7" taller, that will handle an additional 50W of power and will have easier to mod cross-overs (although that is something I'm still not sure about doing). The drawback with the 10.1s is that they will have to be placed on the floor, away from the wall in what is really a fairly small room.

    The bottom line is that I would only get the 10.1s if they would sound better than the MC1s. Used, the 10.1s are cheaper, but I had budgeted $800-ish for the front L&R anyhow, so the cost difference isn't really the issue for me. Any thoughts / recommendations?

  6. #56
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    NF, have you hooked up the Rotel yet? Have you decided on a preamp? Spearitsound was showing a Refurb CJ MET-1 5-channel tube preamp for $2500.00 retail $7500.00. This is a killer deal, the refurbs usually carry full factory warranty.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  7. #57
    nightflier
    Guest
    Yes, I have. Actually I've been very busy. Here's what I've done so far:

    - Replaced all my speakers with Maggies (MG12s, MMG-C, and MMG-W)
    - Replaced the Outlaw Amp with the Rotel
    - Replaced the Preamp with a McCormack


    I just finished replacing the rear speakers last night (it turns out that the wall measurements in the Magnepan manual are off, BTW). I don't like the sound of the Rotel as much (a bit on the mushy side of neutral), but it eats up half the watts as the Outlaw, so I'll live with it. Anyhow, I'm trying to use the Spectron for the fronts, so that won't be as much of an issue for stereo listening. The reason the Spectron is not there now is because I need RCA-XLR adapters and it has no 12v trigger. Maybe I'll have to rethink this part a little.

    The McCormack is a nice upgrade. Super simple to set up and very good sound, definitely an upgrade from the Outlaw 970 pre/pro. For 2-channel music, it's a bit lush, certainly more so than my Plinius pre, but that gives movies a bit of extra weight and authority, so that's also something I can live with. I only have one source right now, so I don't need an HDMI switchbox. The McCormack remote is a little chitsy, but I will probably get a Harmony remote for the whole system in the near future. One other drawback is that it doesn't have a remote on/off from standby. You have to go over to it and turn it on. My room is small, but jeez, you'd think McCormack could have added that in.

    For the source, I'm using a crappy HK player that is just OK for sound and a bit less OK for picture - in short, my non-upconverting Sony SACD/DVD player runs circles around it. On the other hand, the HK does upconvert (to 1080i only), and has HDMI output, which is what I need to run the video over Cat5 to the TV on the other side of the room. It also has passable bass management and channel calibration, a must for the plain-vanilla options on the McCormack. If the Oppo universal has good SACD, that's going to be the next upgrade.

    For the speakers, I'm toying with Magnepan's suggestion to run the front L&R signals through the sub and let it handle all the bass management. It's a bit odd to do it that way, but they claim it makes for a cleaner integration of the severely hobbled center channel (100Hz-16Khz) with the larger speakers. Theoretically, this should only work with a processor, because you loose all the bass intended for the center and rear MMG channels, but how much bass are we talking about, really? I have to do more testing and see what I like better.

    I will say, though, that the many options on the SVS PB12+, really come in handy in a screwy setup like this one. I'm still dealing with a bit of brightness on the MG12s, mostly because my room is too small for them. In hindsight, the MC1s would have been the better option, but finding a pair of those on the used market is pretty rare, whereas the MMG12s are popping up all the time. The room problem, however, is only temporary, since I don't plan on staying in this house too much longer (we're bursting at the seams).

    I sold my room correction panels when I moved to the smaller room last year, so I need to
    re-invest in some of those. Right now, the MG12's are right up against the wall and they really need some damping behind them. The center channel, according to Magnepan, should also have some damping behind it. I'll probably ask around in the DIY forum what others have done, because I'm really not ready to buy panels at retail prices right now. I know it sounds petty, but I just don't see why they should be that much.

    Anyhow, that's what I've done so far. The sound is very good, even with the room issues. Once I get the Spectron and Oppo in there, I'll spend more time fine-tuning everything.

  8. #58
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    You have been busy.

    I agree with you on the sound of Rotel in general, it's even worse with both pre and power Rotel.

    You might also be surprised at how much bass is in the center and surrounds. Especially the center. I'd recommend getting the Oppo or something similar with good bass management so you can use it to balance everything.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  9. #59
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Nightflier, if your MG12's are too bright you can tone it down with the resistor that Magnepan supplies to replace the jumper's on the back or the speakers.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  10. #60
    nightflier
    Guest
    Blackraven,

    Good point. I had forgotten about that.

    Mr.P,

    Don't get me wrong, it's an OK amp, but not for driving Maggies. When I tested it with my Talon Khites (easy to drive speakers), it proved to be fast and clean. I guess the best way to describe the sound is "without too much weight" which is really not what a bridghter sounding, open & airy speaker like the MG12 needs. The Spectron, in that respect, is a much better match - it has all of the Rotel's good qualities and then adds the "missing meat." Of course, it could also be that the Rotel doesn't have the needed power and that I'm really pushing it beyond what it was designed for.

    This whole business with the cross-over is a whole other pickle, though. I really don't know what to do. On the one hand, the sub has additional dials for equalizing and could really be a great complement to stereo sound. But then I would have to "throw away" the bass in the center and surround channels. If, and that's a big if, the settings inside player are smart enough they should re-direct the bass from at least the center channel to the fronts (when these are set to large), but then I would still loose the bass from the surrounds. For that reason, I'm tempted to go with a more upscale BR player like the Denon so that I know I will have the configurability in the player that I will need.

    This migration away from the many options of a processor is proving to be more work than I had hoped. Of course, it's my own fault for also changing out the speakers at the same time, obviously a big no-no in this hobby. It's just that these were a noticeable upgrade from the Viennas, and consequently a huge cost-savings too. In hindsight, I kind of wish I would have gone with the MC1s instead. That way I would have had to designate them as "small" and avoided the recommended fine-tuning that Magnepan recommends.

  11. #61
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    Well, while you are contemplating spending more money take a look at the REL subs which offer independent separate volume controls for the inputs which allow for one set up for stereo and another for LFE. Or, you could buy a matching sub as the one you have and set the player to "no sub" and run one sub for each channel. For instance, left channel to sub and then out to main left speaker. With this though you'd have to be able to hopefully direct the rear and center bass to mains.

    I'd try a typical HT set up first before anything where the sub crossover is bypassed and use the crossover in the player, setting the Maggies to "small" Hopefully, this will play a 2.1 for you in stereo.

    An odd thing with my SVS, when I had the Velodyne I didn't get bass from the sub in stereo but with the SVS I do. It's great. The only thing I can imagine is maybe the 2-channel signal was too weak to turn the Velodyne on. That doesn't seem likely but I didn't change anything on the preamp. Another thought is the SVS plays higher so therefore I hear the bass with the SVS.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  12. #62
    nightflier
    Guest
    I thought I would give a quick update. I'm now running:

    - HK DVD-48 player (until the next upgrade)
    - Sony SACD/DVD
    - McCormack MAP-1
    - Spectron D1 to the front L&R
    - Rotel RMB-1077 to the center & rears
    - Magnepan MG12s (front), MMG-C (center), and MMG-W (rears)
    - SVS SB12+ (sealed sub)

    The DVD player video is going straight to the TV via a Cat5 connection, the McCormack handles volume control and switching between the SACD and DVD for the 5.1 inputs. The front L&R is currently going straight to the Spectron, but as soon as I get some XLR adapters, I'll pass it to the Sub's XLR inputs so that it can do the filtering instead of letting the crappy HK do it. Fortunately the Sony SACD has more options on that front - and it sounds much better to boot (too bad it doesn't have HDMI or DVI).

    Speaking of sound, I'm not too impressed with the MAP-1's vaulted surround mode from 2 channels, but on multichannel sound it sounds very powerful, which is important considering that the rest of the system is a bit crisp-sounding. I've also driven the MG12s to extremely high levels (the kind that will make you squint, and they did not break up, thin out, or sound compressed. The Spectron can output watts in spades and the Maggies just took it. Now that's not how I plan to listen all the time, but it's nice to know the system can do that.

    On movies the sound is a little less impressive, and I'm still having to turn the center channel up a few decibels over what the pressure meter recommends. But it's still a very impressive and immersive sound. I watched some scenes from TLOTR and the width of the soundstage while keeping the clarity is truly remarkable. I'm still futsing with the sub settings, though and I'm not quite where I wan to be there. Maybe once I get the sub integrated with the front speakers it will sound better. Oh and I still need to try the MG12s with the resistors in place, as well.

    I have a pair of MC1s possibly coming in a couple of weeks. They are black and the rest of the system is white, so color-wise I'm not crazy about it, but I'll give them a listen if/when they get here. The other upgrade is a better source. I'm still not certain on which way to go there, yet. The Oppo certainly looks good, but I'm keeping my options open.

  13. #63
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Sounds like your on the right track, congrats. Magnepans can be very rewarding to listen too with the right equipment and power.

    For a source, consider a DAC like a used Benchmark or PS audio Digilink III, Cambridge Audio 640c, Music Hall 25.2 or Marantz SA8001-80003
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  14. #64
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    Nice set up NF. Glad things are coming together. I am really impressed with the SVS Ultra 13, if you decide you need a sub that will integrate beautifully and remain linear at higher bass frequencies it's the sub for the job.

    The Marantz BD-8002 has been out long enough you might be able to find a deal on it. But it doesn't do SACD though. I wonder how far Sim Audio is from putting out something like this. I heard Arcam is but the price is off the chart.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  15. #65
    old & quite mad
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by nightflier
    One other drawback is that it doesn't have a remote on/off from standby. You have to go over to it and turn it on. My room is small, but jeez, you'd think McCormack could have added that in.
    As a fellow MAP-1 owner, that issue bugged the crap outta me also. Until...

    Point your Harmony remote at that MAP-1 and hold the mute button down a few seconds and see if anything happens. The factory remote will do it also, it takes about a 2 second press of "mute" to bring the unit in and out of stand-by.

    Spread the word.

  16. #66
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    Ah, that's how my Conrad Johnson preamp works. But they were nice enough to tell me in the owner's manual.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

  17. #67
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Ah, that's how my Conrad Johnson preamp works. But they were nice enough to tell me in the owner's manual.
    CJ and McCormack are "affiliated", are they not?

  18. #68
    Forum Regular hermanv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    CJ and McCormack are "affiliated", are they not?
    I think C-J owns McCormack outright
    Herman;

    My stuff:
    Olive Musica/transport and server
    Mark Levinson No.360S D to A
    Passive pre (homemade; Shallco, Vishay, Cardas wire/connectors)
    Cardas Golden Presence IC
    Pass Labs X250
    Martin Logan ReQuests.

  19. #69
    nightflier
    Guest

    Awesome!

    Quote Originally Posted by oaqm
    As a fellow MAP-1 owner, that issue bugged the crap outta me also. Until...

    Point your Harmony remote at that MAP-1 and hold the mute button down a few seconds and see if anything happens. The factory remote will do it also, it takes about a 2 second press of "mute" to bring the unit in and out of stand-by.

    Spread the word.
    Thanks!

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    CJ and McCormack are "affiliated", are they not?
    You are correct sir. I know McCormack is built in the CJ factory but I'm not sure of the exact relationship. I also know that the two differ widely in sound quality. Both good, just different.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

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