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  1. #1
    nightflier
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    Giving Magnepan another try

    I've had my share of misfortunes with Magnepan speakers, the last one being a completely defective pair. Since they have such a large following, I wanted to give them another try and purchased the least expensive ones: the MMG-Ws. This time I can honestly say: wow! For one thing, I never heard this before, so I have to conclude that the times that I did have other Maggies in my home, things were seriously wrong. In short, for $325, there's nothing that comes close. I know they are the bottom of the line, but for me, they are keepers. However, I do have some questions for those who have more experience with Maggies:

    1. The mid-range is great, but the top end is very easy to reach. I'm pretty deaf, but I can easily hear where the speaker ends. Would a super-tweeter help?

    2. Are the MC1s that much better? I can see that the top end would be much improved, but the bottom only adds 20Hz. For more than 3x the price, are they worth it?

    3. Can I comfortably use a MMG-C in the front with MC1s on the L&R? Or would I then really need to step that up to the CC3 (also at 3x the price)?

    4. What are my options for the rear channel(s)? My room is small and these speakers throw a huge sound stage, so two more MMG-Ws in addition to the rears would really be overkill. Would I be able to use a single MMG-C or am I blaspheming with that suggestion?

    5. Due to circumstances, the only multi-channel amp I now have available to me is a 125/180W one. Frankly it can't do the job and peters out with loud effects. Someone suggested the Rotel RMB-1076/1077 since it can dip down to 2 ohms. I'm partial to Class-D and have had several so I don't have doubts about the technology, but it's only a 100/200 watt amp. Has anyone used these amps with Maggies and had good results?


    I know the higher-end Maggies have substantially greater range, but they are also more expensive, larger, and as I've found out, very heavy too, which makes them a pain to ship. So I really want to stay with the wall hanging speakers. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    nightflier
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    No input? Maybe I should have posted this in General Audio....

  3. #3
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
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    Hey NF,

    I toyed with getting a system of Maggy's a while back. D'm nice sounding speakers IMO.
    Do you need to have wall mounting speakers? If not, I'd go with a pair of the MMG or MG12 floor standers. These would serve you well for music as well as HT. IMO getting above 16kHz is a non-issue for the center and surounds. I'd go with a MMG-C and pair of MMG-W. This is what I had planned for quite a while. The cost of a new amp is what had me switch plans. The new Emotiva amps seem to have plenty-o-pep for way lesss than what was available when I was shopping. I'm sure their are others that would be better, but for a price. Then again, if price is no issue, then maybe the MC1's are in order.


    MMG 2-way Quasi Ribbon Planar - Magnetic 50-24 kHz 86 dB 4 Ohm 14.5 x 48 x 1.25
    MMG W Planar - Magnetic 100-16 kHz 88 dB 5 Ohm 10 x 38 x 1
    MMG C Planar - Magnetic 100-16 kHz 88 dB 5 Ohm 36 x 9 x 5.5
    MC1 2-way Quasi Ribbon Planar - Magnetic 80-24 kHz 86 dB 4 Ohm 10.25 x 46 x 1
    CC3 2-way Quasi Ribbon Planar - Magnetic 80-20 kHz 85 dB 4 Ohm 35 x 10.5 x 8
    MG12 2-way Quasi Ribbon Planar - Magnetic 45-22 kHz 86 dB 4 Ohm 17 x 51 x 1.5
    MG 1.6 2-way Quasi Ribbon Planar - Magnetic 40-22 kHz 86 dB 4 Ohm 19 x 65 x 2
    MG 3.6 3-way True Ribbon Planar - Magnetic 34-40 kHz 85 dB 4 Ohm 24 x 71 x 1.625
    MG 20.1 3-way True Ribbon Planar - Magnetic 25-40 kHz 85 dB 4 Ohm 29 x 79 x 2.062
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular luvtolisten's Avatar
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    Here is a website which may help you with the differences between models:

    http://www.indiespinzone.com/mag/mag14.html

    Here are some mods for the MMG's (This one takes a little longer to load):

    http://www.indiespinzone.com/magnestand.html


    http://www.integracoustics.com/MUG/M...aks/index.html

    Congratulations on your purchase. I have never owned, but have been interested in the MMG's. Did you buy them online? (you got a good deal, Magnepan direct wants $550 for them). The only criticism I've heard, and not just this model, is that it has a very narrow "sweet spot", about 2 ft. Is that truth or myth?

  5. #5
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvtolisten
    ....

    Congratulations on your purchase. I have never owned, but have been interested in the MMG's. Did you buy them online (you got a good deal, Magnepan direct wants $550 for them). The only criticism I've heard, and not just this model, is that it has a very narrow "sweet spot", about 2 ft. Is that truth or myth?
    True.

  6. #6
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    My experience is very limited but Class-D may not reveal what Maggies are capable of. 3.6R with Naim components sounded very good to my ears, if that means anything to ya.

    Good luck with your experience. I'll give panels another try once day, and hope to experience half of your exhilaration.

    JRA

  7. #7
    Suspended
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    Any one try or hear what happens when Maggies are driven by tubes?

  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I auditioned the Van Alstines FET Valve Hybrid tube amp and preamp in my home with my 1.6's and the bass really came alive. They sounded warm and liquid. Many people use VA tube gear with Magnepans on the VA forum. I'm using a hybrid tube preamp and DAC.

    Nightflier, if you can swing it, go for the MG12's. They are much better than the MMG's and approach the 1.6's in sound.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    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

  9. #9
    nightflier
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    luvtolisten, I actually purchased two off-white colored MMGs for $250 from a local seller, which I think was a great deal. I am now on the lookout for a MMG-C to match these for the front, but was thinking that I might be better off putting the MMG-Ws in the back instead. That way I could use something larger for the fronts.

    The MMG-Ws as L&R fronts are very good. Yes, I'm giving up anything above 16 kHz and everything below 100Hz and that's a problem I'm struggling with. As a point of reference, I'm A/Bing them against my Vienna Weberns (also on-walls), and while the Maggies have those shortcomings their mid-range, particularly with voices and chamber music, is astoundingly good if not better.

    As far as sweet spot, that can be adjusted by changing the angle on the wall, but yes, w/o a center channel, the sweet spot is really just a few feet. I can even tell when I just move my head to the left and to the right.

    jrhymeammo, my experience with Naim is that most of their gear is way under-powered. Somehow I don't think that would be a good match for 3.6's, or does that include a pair of superchargers in between?

    Mr.P., I was using a tube preamp (Odyssey Candela) when I tested the Maggies with a class-D amp, and that sounded very good. And I don't even think I heard that combination to its full potential since I had to use XLR-to-RCA adapters. I will also say that this sounded better than the Parasound P7 preamp (which may not be a completely fair assesment since it's having RCA cross-talk problems which could be indicative of other issues). It also sounded considerably better than my Outlaw 970 pre/pro although that one is also having problems, albeit only on the digital inputs, I think.

    I should really stick to gear I know works....

    ____________________

    Anyhow, what I've been struggling with is improving the sound in my surround sound room to perhaps in the future get rid of the 2-channel system altogether. I have a large collection of SACDs and I really have not enjoyed their full potential. Also, until these Maggies arrived, I had not found a speaker that I liked more than the Weberns. All my previous attempts with Magnepan were filled with problems, some of them quite costly ones, so I'm now taking things one step at a time.

    The MMG-W purchase was more of a whim/impulse buy. They were inexpensive, local (so no shipping), and a heck of a lot smaller than even the MMGs. Size is a big problem for me as I'm working with a small room with lots of stuff in it (and that's not likely to change any time soon). So if I do go for floor-standing Maggies, they'll have to be as narrow as possible. Several people recommended the MG12, but unless I can also mount those to the wall, that's going to be a problem. At 17 inches wide, they are large for me. Hmmm, maybe I can mount them to the wall.....

    The other problem I'm trying to deal with is heat & energy consumption. Here in SoCal, that's particularly important, so digital amps are kind of a necessity for me. That little Rotel RMB-1077 is small, light, and runs cool, but I'm worried it won't have the power to drive the Maggies. My current amp, the Outlaw 7125 just doesn't cut it. I had the volume cranked to 80% and it sounded like it wanted to tap out. In contrast, my Spectron amp has no such issues, but it's 2-channel and XLR-only. Ironically, just before I got the Maggies, I had to return a PS Audio multi-channel amp that would have been perfect.

    Aaarrrggghhh. Sometimes I think this hobby is making me loose my hair faster than my kids are....

  10. #10
    Forum Regular luvtolisten's Avatar
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    Feanor, thanks for the quick response!
    Nightflier, thanks for the correction on the Magnepan model# and info on your experience with them. I'd be interested in your final results and what you decide as a set up. Sorry about your equipment issues, when it rains it pours I guess. I wish I could say "it keeps you young" but like kids, it adds a few years. and gray hairs

  11. #11
    Suspended
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    I'd be interested in knowing what set up gave you the impression Naim is under powered. I've never thought that at all. I've mostly heard separates though and our dealer quit carrying them before the Nait stuff took off. But this is the first time I've heard any one even say this about Naim.

  12. #12
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Pairing those small Maggies with a good non-ported sub will give you some really good sound.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    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

  13. #13
    nightflier
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    Non-ported is the way I now roll: SVS PB12+, baby.

    I traded down from a pair of 16-46 cylinders because I needed to downsize - it was very sad day when I shipped those off....

    Mr.P., Maybe I only have experience with the lower end of Naim, but everything I've ever had was nearly flea-watt powered and not very sub-4Ohm-friendly. Granted I never powered Maggies with anything Naim, but most full-range speakers I did try were too much for the little Naims. What amp were you suggesting for the job?

  14. #14
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Naim had plenty of juice to drive 3.6R so it would work just fine for all Magnepan, maybe except for 20 series.
    Unfortunately, I cannot recall the model#, but I can tell you amps were enclosed in those typical slim Naim cases.

    I can understand what you hear from Naim, since it never sounded powerful to my ears. It almost sounds a bit lacking to my preference. But Naim with 3.6R did not sound underpowered. I can understand how you think of Naim though.

    As everyone repeats, Magnepan loves current. My 2nd Tube integrated sounded fairly sweet for small emsemble music, but as soon as music become more complex at higher volume, the amp stated choking and midrange became lifeless. I'm positive Mr. P's CJ would work better, but they wouldnt be able to keep up with Maggies.

    When I told the dealerI had planned on matching 1.6QR with PS Audio Class-D amp, he was extremely concerned. The reason being, he used to carry Rotel's digital amps and most of Maggie owners had returned or expressed dissatisfaction of RMB amps.
    For that reason, he had stopped carrying Rotel Class-D amps at his stores.
    Just somem for you to consider. Remember, these are his words not mine.

  15. #15
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I would give the Emotiva amps a try. They have plenty of power and current. They should do really well with the Maggies. I'm surprised that your Outlaw amp ran out of gas then again, I did shut down my Adcom HTR with 260wpc at 4ohms when playing some complex music very loud one time. But I was driving the 1.6's.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    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

  16. #16
    Suspended
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    Too bad Elapsed isn't lurking around. I don't know Naim well enough to recommend anything, they just seemed pretty hardy driving Dyn's and their own speakers. Dyns like current but actually their impedance is relatively stable. Maybe Maggies are the real test. Our defunct Maggie dealer used to drive them with Levinson and lesser systems with Adcom.

    I think you could get away with some Krell 250 watt monoblocks. I heard them drive the Evidence to concert level SPL and remain crystal clear.

    I hate to make generalizations but I've heard the claim that class D can't drive difficult loads way more than once. Then again, my Linn drives 5 Dynaudio and hasn't shut down or distorted, well, yet again, I don't know how much difference it makes but Linn calls theirs class V. The Onkyo 9555 got some criticism for not being able to drive difficult loads but I don't see how an amp that good at $400.00 could be criticized at all.

    You could try the ARC 150x2 digital amp. It has some weight to it for a digital amp. I wish when I had it to play with I would have tried a different amp to see what difference it would have made in sound. I don't know how it does at low impedance either.

  17. #17
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    How about a pair of Musical Fidelity's 550K at 750wpc at 4ohms. Audio Advisor has demo's on sale for $1K.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    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

  18. #18
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    As for amps

    'Flier, I'm going to (once again) recomment a pair of Monarchy SM-70 Pros to drive the MMG. I'm trying to remember who had a pair of these (besides me): was it you? I can't imagine that you'd be disappointed driving the Maggie fronts with these.

    But the idea of using Maggies in an M/C setup bothers me. It's indeed true that the Maggies have a narrow sweet spot, so unless you're the only listener I don't seem them working.

    One thought is intriging, though, for HT use. For a long time various people recommend diapole speakers for the surround speakers. This is exactly what the Maggies are of course. A pair of smaller Maggies sitting either side of the listener, edge-on, might just work quite well. However this is not the recommend set up for SACD where all speakers are supposed to be directed at the listener.

  19. #19
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    'Flier, I'm going to (once again) recomment a pair of Monarchy SM-70 Pros to drive the MMG.
    Those are probably some sweet sounding amps. Simple topography, well built with a big power supply designed to drive challenging loads. For me, that's a formula for success. Those first few watts really make the biggest difference. They are also "passive friendly" with their 1 volt sensitivity and 100k input impedance.

    rw

  20. #20
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Those are probably some sweet sounding amps. Simple topography, well built with a big power supply designed to drive challenging loads. For me, that's a formula for success. Those first few watts really make the biggest difference. They are also "passive friendly" with their 1 volt sensitivity and 100k input impedance.

    rw
    All true. The SM-70 Pro is a high bias, zero global feedback design, with 60,000 uF per side. For quite a while I drove them with an Adcom GFP750 in passive mode by way of 6' XLF cables; that work flawlessly.

  21. #21
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Feanor, what do you think of the GFP-750? I have a chance to get one cheap. I know it's Adcom's best ever preamp especially in passive mode. I run long cables from my preamp (20Ft) would that be an issue in passive mode?
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  22. #22
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Any one try or hear what happens when Maggies are driven by tubes?
    I used to use an ARC SP-3AMKII and ARC D-51 power amp with the first planars I ever bought. They made those MG-1's sound damn good! Of course more power would have been better. Within the power limits the sound was wonderful.
    ARC SP9 MKIII, VPI HW19, Rega RB300
    Marcof PPA1, Shure, Sumiko, Ortofon carts, Yamaha DVD-S1800
    Behringer UCA222, Emotiva XDA-2, HiFimeDIY
    Accuphase T101, Teac V-7010, Nak ZX-7. LX-5, Behringer DSP1124P
    Front: Magnepan 1.7, DBX 223SX, 2 modified Dynaco MK3's, 2, 12" DIY TL subs (Pass El-Pipe-O) 2 bridged Crown XLS-402
    Rear/HT: Emotiva UMC200, Acoustat Model 1/SPW-1, Behringer CX2310, 2 Adcom GFA-545

  23. #23
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    Feanor, what do you think of the GFP-750? I have a chance to get one cheap. I know it's Adcom's best ever preamp especially in passive mode. I run long cables from my preamp (20Ft) would that be an issue in passive mode?
    Pretty decent in passive mode. I find active mode just a bit sharp, solid statish if you will.

    From what I know, you can tolerate a longer run if you're source has a relatively low output impedance and your target has a high input impedance. I've heard it said that the latter ought to be at least 10x former, but that 100x is better. A higher number permits longer runs I presume.

  24. #24
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Smile Love my Maggies

    Love the Maggies. BUT they love lots of POWER. 200W @4ohms minumum! thats the key. I am in the process of upgrading to the MC-12 or 1.6R. I am looking at the odyssey or parasound 5250 amp. probably in the 250W -300W. A nice HSU sub or sunfire sub helps as well!

  25. #25
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    The 750 may be Adcom's best but I'd be surprised if you found it better than the SP9.

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