• 11-25-2008, 02:42 PM
    Well, I've been fiddling and fiddling and have been able to improve the sound. But it's been a lot of work and little improvement overall:

    Current system:
    - PS Audio GCA-250
    - Audio Refinement CD
    - MMG speakers

    Tweaks tried:
    - Raised the speakers 5" off the ground using ceramic tiles
    - Straightened the speaker angle with the included little thingies on the feet
    - Changed out to Belden custom speaker cables (heartlandcables.com) with bananas
    - Tried several different interconnects with no real improvement
    - Moved speakers closer to back wall & moved sound absorption panels around the room
    - Integrated SVS sub into the mix (that was no easy task)

    Now they sound much better. But let's be serious, that's a whole lot of work for these speakers. I mean, I know these speakers are bargains, but how much more expensive would it have been to add a couple of extra screw holes to the stands to adjust the height? And how about a threaded hole in the back to adjust the angle instead of that stupid flipping thing that won't stay put? Would it have killed them to use standard binding posts (I'd settle for plastic-capped at this price point)? And if you have to buy a $3000 amp to drive them, then that kind of makes the bargain factor obsolete, no? I actually found that my Spectron amp (500W into 4 ohm) is the best fit, but then I would have to use a different pre, since the PS Audio doesn't gel well with that amp.

    So now I'm left wondering if it's worth it to get the 1.6's or the next model up. Will I have to get a $6000 amp, too? I know they can be driven with 70W Monarchies (which I also have on hand), but I like my music loud and I don't think they'll do well in that capacity. The contributions above, by the way are very enlightening. I presume the stands on the bigger speakers are better as well, but they still have those asinine speaker connectors. And apparently many people need different external cross-overs, which will add to the cost and complexity, too.

    Anyhow, that's my story so far. Thanks for the help & links. Very useful.
  • 11-25-2008, 03:34 PM
    blackraven
    I drove my MMG's with a high current 120wpc JVC AVR and they sounded very good. But they are what they are, a $550 pair of speakers that needs a sub. Magnepan believes in using bare wire and even my QR1.6's use the same bindings as the MMG's. I've been to the factory and spoke with a couple of the engineers about the binding posts. Magnepan does sell a nickle plated adapter for Banana's and spades for about $25.

    I drilled a hole in the back of the speaker stands and screwed into wood shims to get the MMG's to stand more upright.
  • 11-25-2008, 05:32 PM
    Feanor
    Absolutely
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nightflier
    ...

    So now I'm left wondering if it's worth it to get the 1.6's or the next model up. Will I have to get a $6000 amp, too? I know they can be driven with 70W Monarchies (which I also have on hand), but I like my music loud and I don't think they'll do well in that capacity. The contributions above, by the way are very enlightening. I presume the stands on the bigger speakers are better as well, but they still have those asinine speaker connectors. And apparently many people need different external cross-overs, which will add to the cost and complexity, too.

    Anyhow, that's my story so far. Thanks for the help & links. Very useful.

    The Magneplanar MG 1.6QR's are absolutely worth it over the MMG's. They are better in every way but especially in the ability to play a lot louder without compression.

    I drive my MG 1.6s with a pair of Monarchy SM-70 Pros, as you might recall. Aren't these what you've got? Bear in mind that they are 120 wpc into 4 ohms and have great dynamics given 60,000 uF capacitance per channel. Some people make a big deal about crossover upgrades but they are by no means essential to enjoying these truly great speakers.
  • 11-25-2008, 05:48 PM
    blackraven
    Well said Feanor. The 1.6QR's are a truly remarkable speaker at their price point and they are worlds apart from the MMG's. I ran the 1.6's with that 120wpc JVC and they sounded just fine. They do like more power if you like to play them loud though.
    Any of the Emotiva amps will do them justice as would the Parasound Halo A23, B&K reference 100.2 and 200.2, and NAD amps.

    I like to play them loud at times and my wife likes to rattle the neighbors house so the 1.6's liked the 260wpc of my Adcom AVR and they really came alive with the Parasound A21 at 400wpc at 4ohms which peak at 750wpc.

    The 1.6's benefit from high current amps and 200wpc. 10g speaker wire helps as well.
  • 12-05-2008, 07:07 PM
    I've been filling in the bass with the sub, and that does do wonders for these speakers. One thing nobody mentions is how quickly the sound drops off below their spec'ed range, never heard anything like that, very mechanical/analytical. I wonder how the 1.6's fare in that department? also, getting the subs to gel with them is an exercise in frustration, but if I sit just so, and I hold the speakers at just that angle, and I lean my head 3 degrees to the right, and I.... Oh fer cryin' out loud, what am I expecting for $500?

    Feanor, I get the best sound out of the Threshold pre and Spectron amp. The monarchys sound good, but not quite as good. I guess synergy plays a role here, because logically that shouldn't be so definite.

    Anyhow, the tweaking goes on....
  • 12-06-2008, 06:14 AM
    blackraven
    The 1.6's have much deeper bass compared to the MMG's. In addition, the sweet spot is much larger. With the MMG's you have to find the right spot to really enjoy them.

    I have a sub that I used with the MMG's, but I don't use a sub with my 1.6's. They sound just fine with out one.

    I found with the MMG's, they sounded best when I set the sub Xover at 50 or 55Hz, what ever the cut off was for the MMG's. But I also had my MMG's pushed out to the corners of the room slightly which helped with bass.

    Magnepans are definitely finicky about subs and they definitely sound better with musical non-ported subs or servo controlled subs.
  • 12-06-2008, 01:37 PM
    RoadRunner6
    Stop by the Emotiva Forum and talk to Accurus and other guys who run their Maggies with one of these beasts.

    http://www.emotiva.com/xpa2.shtm

    http://www.emotiva.com/xpa1.shtm

    RR6
  • 12-06-2008, 01:49 PM
    audio amateur
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    Stop by the Emotiva Forum and talk to Accurus and other guys who run their Maggies with one of these beasts.

    http://www.emotiva.com/xpa2.shtm

    http://www.emotiva.com/xpa1.shtm

    RR6

    Those things look like a steal.
  • 12-06-2008, 09:54 PM
    RoadRunner6
    I'm really pleased with my new XPA-5. Reading through their forum there are a number of folks who use the XPA series amps (mainly XPA-2 and XPA-3) with their Maggies and seem to be extremely please about the results. The prices in my opinion are simple amazing.
  • 12-07-2008, 05:02 AM
    audio amateur
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    I'm really pleased with my new XPA-5. Reading through their forum there are a number of folks who use the XPA series amps (mainly XPA-2 and XPA-3) with their Maggies and seem to be extremely please about the results. The prices in my opinion are simple amazing.

    Not sure I congratulated you on that one. How are you liking it??
  • 12-07-2008, 02:39 PM
    RoadRunner6
    Thanks AA. I posted a review over in the amp/preamp section. It is a very impressive beauty. See my photos there.

    I have a friend who was in his family audio shop for years then worked at Pacific Stereo in California for 20 years. He is into building his own speakers and also knows the guts of amps very intimately. When he came over and I pulled the cover, he thought it looked like a very high quality amp. His remark having heard my speakers before was that the Emotiva sounded very nice for a solid state amp. He could not get over the price.

    RR6 :D
  • 12-30-2008, 02:32 PM
    squeegy200
    Of late, I've been using a Carver TFM-45 with my SMGs. Seems to work just fine.
    No need for a subwoofer in my 14'x18' listening room. The Carver seems to fill the bottom end quite nicely with the SMGs using stock crossovers.
  • 01-02-2009, 05:25 PM
    eberniewon
    I am running an Odyssey Extreme Stereo amp with my Maggies. While the amp is superb with plent of current, the addition of Nordost Blue Heaven cables puts the sound on another level.
  • 01-02-2009, 06:01 PM
    Feanor
    Which Maggies
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by eberniewon
    I am running an Odyssey Extreme Stereo amp with my Maggies. While the amp is superb with plent of current, the addition of Nordost Blue Heaven cables puts the sound on another level.

    Hi, eberniewon, and welcome to AR Forums.

    Which Maggie model are you using?
  • 01-03-2009, 05:51 AM
    Geoffcin
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nightflier
    I've been filling in the bass with the sub, and that does do wonders for these speakers. One thing nobody mentions is how quickly the sound drops off below their spec'ed range, never heard anything like that, very mechanical/analytical. I wonder how the 1.6's fare in that department? also, getting the subs to gel with them is an exercise in frustration, but if I sit just so, and I hold the speakers at just that angle, and I lean my head 3 degrees to the right, and I.... Oh fer cryin' out loud, what am I expecting for $500?

    Feanor, I get the best sound out of the Threshold pre and Spectron amp. The monarchys sound good, but not quite as good. I guess synergy plays a role here, because logically that shouldn't be so definite.

    Anyhow, the tweaking goes on....

    If your running mega-buck amps then you owe it to yourself to at least consider the 3.6r. I've driven them with everything from a Classe 401, to a battery power T-amp! Get the Mye stands for them.
  • 01-03-2009, 11:27 PM
    Geof, I may do that someday. But for now, the Maggies had to go. My friend (who I borrowed them from) needed some fast cash for x-mas so he put them up for sale. I helped him pack the speakers, too. He gave me back my Meadowlarks, so I didn't mind at all - much easier to drive & place in the room.

    So for now my foray into the world of Magnepan has ended. I may be getting a pair of Vienna speakers to play with soon, and I've been told they are a handful to drive as well, so we'll see. Thanks for the help with the Maggies. I'll certainly be back if I can get my hands on one of the bigger Maggies.
  • 03-16-2009, 09:09 PM
    vincedog3
    I use the Emotiva XPA-2 with my Maggies MMGs with terrific effect. Has great control, tight bass, good midrange, just woke up the Maggies. Best amplfier for Maggies in the bargain price and more range I think. I noticed that someone mentioned the A23 Parasound, I would actually use the A21 instead, pricey sure but the extra power is worth it.
  • 03-17-2009, 11:16 AM
    JoeE SP9
    nightflier:
    Are the MMG's you're talking about the same ones you said in a different thread were not working right? If so that could explain the lifeless sound you were experiencing.
  • 03-17-2009, 03:30 PM
    Yes, those were the ones, so I'm still open to planars, but the size thing is a whole other problem for me.
  • 03-17-2009, 03:45 PM
    JoeE SP9
    Just curious, how can you be disappointed in the sound when you knew they were broken?
  • 03-17-2009, 03:54 PM
    audio amateur
    He didn't :)
  • 03-17-2009, 04:02 PM
    I didn't.
  • 07-02-2009, 11:05 AM
    jt1stcav
    When I owned a pair of now-discontinued MGLR1 planars, I drove them with a Carver TFM-35x (350Wpc @ 4 ohms), and a classic McIntosh MC7200 (300Wpc @ 4 ohms) with excellent results! Although I'm into low powered tube amps and efficient horns at the moment, I still love that planar transparancy and detail that Maggies provide. I have no experience with the entry-level MMGs, but I assume the MGLR1s were only a slight improvement at $900 a pair, and they sounded fabulous IMO with classic rock and pipe organ recordings in my 12' x 13.5' room. I'd love to check out Magnepan's MG12s and MG1.6s when finances allow.
  • 07-02-2009, 11:44 AM
    jt1stcav
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mike Anderson
    I've been using ICEpower Class D amps on my 3.6Rs for quite a while now, and I love them:

    http://www.6moons.com/industryfeatur.../icepower.html

    I'm actively bi-amping them: 1000 watts on the bass panels, and 500 watts on the mids/ribbons. The bass is outrageously tight and full. Highs are velvety sweet, not the least bit harsh or fatiguing.

    Amps with these modules can be found relatively cheaply. They are small, cool, and extremely efficient. Perfect in every way.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but you're using Class-D amplification modules to drive your Maggies? Or are you using amps from other manufacturers that use the ICEpower power modules installed?

    After briefly viewing ICEpower's website, I get the impression they provide other amp manufacturers with their modules. Or do you purchase the modules direct yourself and build a chassis to house them? Where can I find info on amp manufacturers that use these ICEpower modules?:confused5:

    Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.
  • 03-09-2010, 10:42 AM
    Looks like someone revived this thread, so I'll join in. I now have MG12s in my 2-channel system and MC1s, MGWs, and an MGCW in my HT setup. I drive the MG12s with the Spectron amp and the HT with a Rotel RMB-1077 slimline little guy.

    Frankly, the Rotel leaves a lot to be desired but it's small, sleek, and runs reasonably cool (although nothing like the Spectron). My biggest gripe is that it exhibits all the expected behavior of class-d amps: so-so midrange and not much up top. I previously had a PS Audio multi-channel monster in its place, and that was a whole different story, but now I'm slumming it with the Rotel.

    The MG12s with the Spectron are an order of magnitude better than the HT setup. That said, I have an itch to go a step further on the 2-channel system and try bi-amping with a pair of tube monos for the treble and keeping the Spectron on the bass. It's just a thought at this time, but it sounds intriguing. I'm not saying the Spectron is lacking in the treble (at least certainly not like the Rotel), but I just want to see what I may be missing there.