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  1. #1
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    The MAGNEPAN TYMPANI Speaker

    My first real good speaker was a Magnepan mg 1 in 1978. I brought it with me when i first went to college in nothern california. my room mates were stunned at the realism offered by these unique speakers. So many parties and qustions later the local retailer started selling them a couple years after. I then found a pair of magnepan tympani 1Bs. These speakers were three paneled per side to produce a wide soundstage that no other speaker can copy. Each side is a min of four feet wide and can be un hinged at the tweeter panel to be even wider. The speaker i settled on is the tympani 4 and the single panel mg 3.3. These MAGNEPAN TYMPANI 4s will produce such detail that you will hear the guitar players breath and fingers pluck the strings. The main great thing for me is the mid bass slam. They dont produce much below forty hertz but can be the best speaker used in a huge front projector system if you have the room. You will need the cleanest power you can get and also a good clean pre amp. A nice amp to get is the yamaha b2x or anything with a good and clean power supply. They range from a thousand and up. The earlier TYMPANI 1A,1B,1C,AND 1D were two ways but still great sounding. The newer TYMPANI 4 AND 4As had true ribbon tweeters you have to be real carefull not to damage if you play realistic levels in your theater. The older Tympanis work better for theatre because of this but contact MAGNEPAN on their ability to repair these older speakers.

  2. #2
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    You should read the signatures of other posters. Several regular posters use Magnepan's. One of the forums here is devoted to planar speakers; Maggy's, esl's, ribbons etc. I used Maggy's in the past. According to an old Stereophile poll more of their readers own Magneplanar's than any other speaker.
    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

  3. #3
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    magnepan tympanis

    I was just offering my opin on the speakers! ok dude?

  4. #4
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    Oooooohhhhhh......... Do we have miscomunication here?

    JoeE was not challenging you, Mr luckydoggoldminer...................

    Many of us do have Magnepan speakers....................

    I have used Tympani 3A's T/M/W since 1974, with a Velodyne SS coming in below 50 Hz. Only a servo-sub is articulate enough to blend with Maggies. Magnepan will rebuild their older speakers.

    But I chose the Tympani 3A *only* because I heard them driven with a Futterman OTL amp. I even did not like the Tympani's when they were driven with ARC tubies. Go figure......

    Magnepans are simply not all that attractive when driven with SS amps. The Bongiorno-designed Ampzilla I have that works so beautifully on the bass panels was merely OK on the T/M panels.

    OTL amps like the Futterman, the original OTL amp, usually work well with speakers rated at 8 ohm or above because these amps "tend" to operate as constant-current sources. But one can try an OTL with 4 ohm speakers by using Paul Speltz's autoformers....

    http://zeroimpedance.com/products.html

    I also use a Jolida 302B, with Winged-C tubes in it, to drive MMG's in our bedroom with very pleasing results. A Musical Fidelity A2 constant-voltage source amp was only decent with the MMG's.
    Last edited by Mash; 01-31-2011 at 10:50 AM.

  5. #5
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckydoggoldminer
    My first real good speaker was a Magnepan mg 1 in 1978.
    I had MG-IIs in '76 before moving to electrostats. Note that there is a planar speaker sub-forum where you can find others who enjoy them. There's also a Magnepan Users Group forum (MUG) found here.

    rw

  6. #6
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    I once used a Pair of Tympani 1BS for a center SPEAKER ALONG WITH FOURS FOR THE FRONTS AND MG3As FOR THE REARS. THE PRESENTATION WITH A FRONT PROJECTION SET UP WAS AMAZING. I USED A YAMAHA B2 FOR THE CENTER AND A YAMAHA B2X FOR THE FRONTS AND A YAMAHA B2 FOR THE MG3As. I LATER REPLACED THE THEATER SPEAKERS WITH VERTEC SPEAKERS THAT WERE UNIQUE IN THAT THEY WERE MADE OF GUNITE AND USED DANISH AND GERMAN DRIVERS. I STILL USE THE TYMPANIS FOR SERIOUS LISTENING.



    I began to edit your post so it is not in all caps. Please finish what was started.
    Last edited by JohnMichael; 02-02-2011 at 04:02 AM.

  7. #7
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckydoggoldminer
    I once used a Pair of Tympani 1Bs for a center...
    A friend of mine has a multi-channel system built around current Maggies - 20.1s and dual CC3s up front with 3.6s in rear. Drives them with Conrad-Johnson and Edge amplification with a Sony projector and 100" screen. Very expansive sound and wonderful picture.

    rw

  8. #8
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    Magneplanar Tympani bass

    I combine the best part of two great speakers; Martin Logan
    Summits (woofers not used) with Magneplanar Tympani
    IV bass panels (modified). The electrostatic portion of the
    Summits has great low level detail, imaging (no xover) and
    a wonderful sound-stage. The Magneplanar Tympani
    bass panels being a dipole, very light in mass, large surface
    area, provides powerful, well controlled, huge depth, and
    bass with awesome impact. The Maggie bass panel are
    bolted together and to the floor, which improves transient
    response and lowers distortion. I also extend the bass
    response with the Eminent Technology TRW-17 rotary subwoofer down to 1 hz!!!!! These speakers are in placed
    well away from all walls and the room is completely
    treated with 36 ASC tube traps.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The MAGNEPAN TYMPANI Speaker-img_1033.jpg   The MAGNEPAN TYMPANI Speaker-img_1034.jpg  
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  9. #9
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magtrw
    I combine the best part of two great speakers; Martin Logan
    Summits (woofers not used) with Magneplanar Tympani
    IV bass panels (modified). The electrostatic portion of the
    Summits has great low level detail, imaging (no xover) and
    a wonderful sound-stage. The Magneplanar Tympani
    bass panels being a dipole, very light in mass, large surface
    area, provides powerful, well controlled, huge depth, and
    bass with awesome impact. The Maggie bass panel are
    bolted together and to the floor, which improves transient
    response and lowers distortion. I also extend the bass
    response with the Eminent Technology TRW-17 rotary subwoofer down to 1 hz!!!!! These speakers are in placed
    well away from all walls and the room is completely
    treated with 36 ASC tube traps.
    Impressive concept. What amps power the respective speakers and what sort of crossovers do you use

  10. #10
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    Electronics used for speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    Impressive concept. What amps power the respective speakers and what sort of crossovers do you use
    I use an Arcam AVR600 Receiver to drive the Martin Logan Summits
    (woofers not used), Martin Logan Logos center channel, 4 Gallo
    Nucleus Micros for rear channels, and 2 Gallo Nucleus Micros and 2
    Spica TC-50s for side channels. The Arcam has great current capabilities and truly state of the art in sound. It has superb detail,
    imaging, depth and fantastic spacial reproduction. To drive the Magneplanar Tympani bass panels I use a Audio Research D400MKII power amplifier which is controlled by a Mark Levinson 380S preamp.
    The Magneplanar Tympanis impedance is 4 ohms and the Audio
    Research power amplifier provides 400 watts at that impedance.
    This amp has superb bass transient capabilities and also great
    depth. The Summits xover is 270 hz and the Magneplanar Tympanis
    low pass xover is 250 hz at 18 db per octave (modified with quality
    parts) and the two speakers have a very good transition. The two
    speakers being dipole are a wonderful match and integration is
    fantastic. The Eminent Technology Rotary woofer gets most of the
    power from the ac current rotating the fan blades, and the fan
    blades are pitched by a rotor woofer controller, specifically designed
    by Marchand Electronics. A low pass xover in this controller is set
    to 25 hz, at 18 db per octave and the rotary subwoofer provides bass
    down to 1 hz!!!!!!! Once again the integration between all these
    speakers is awesome and is a speaker system that is simply realistic,
    powerful and one that would be hard to beat.

  11. #11
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magtrw
    I combine the best part of two great speakers; Martin Logan
    Summits (woofers not used) with Magneplanar Tympani
    IV bass panels (modified).
    That reminds me of Harry Pearson's mating of T-1Ds with Infinity QRS ribbons in the late 70s. Tympanis have always done very well at the bottom. I confess that I've never been a fan of MLs because of their lack of coherency as compared with full range designs. Mating them with dipolar Maggies is a nice answer.

    rw

  12. #12
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magtrw
    I use an Arcam AVR600 Receiver to drive the Martin Logan Summits
    (woofers not used), Martin Logan Logos center channel, 4 Gallo
    Nucleus Micros for rear channels, and 2 Gallo Nucleus Micros and 2
    Spica TC-50s for side channels. The Arcam has great current capabilities and truly state of the art in sound. It has superb detail,
    imaging, depth and fantastic spacial reproduction. To drive the Magneplanar Tympani bass panels I use a Audio Research D400MKII power amplifier which is controlled by a Mark Levinson 380S preamp.
    The Magneplanar Tympanis impedance is 4 ohms and the Audio
    Research power amplifier provides 400 watts at that impedance.
    This amp has superb bass transient capabilities and also great
    depth. The Summits xover is 270 hz and the Magneplanar Tympanis
    low pass xover is 250 hz at 18 db per octave (modified with quality
    parts) and the two speakers have a very good transition. The two
    speakers being dipole are a wonderful match and integration is
    fantastic. The Eminent Technology Rotary woofer gets most of the
    power from the ac current rotating the fan blades, and the fan
    blades are pitched by a rotor woofer controller, specifically designed
    by Marchand Electronics. A low pass xover in this controller is set
    to 25 hz, at 18 db per octave and the rotary subwoofer provides bass
    down to 1 hz!!!!!!! Once again the integration between all these
    speakers is awesome and is a speaker system that is simply realistic,
    powerful and one that would be hard to beat.
    I may be reading things incorrectly. A high pass of 270Hz and a low pass of 250Hz leaves a 20Hz difference. A crossover frequency in that area is why I along with E-Stat have problems with most ML's. Ideally no crossover is best. However, if you have to have one the lower the frequency the better. E-Stat has none and I envy that. Me, I use 80Hz and wish I could go lower.
    What kind of crossover are you using between the Tympani panels and the ML panels? (IME) I have found passive crossovers to be a major source of veiling. In every instance (that I've heard) where an active electronic crossover has replaced a passive crossover there has been an improvement in the sound.
    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

  13. #13
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    xover

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    I may be reading things incorrectly. A high pass of 270Hz and a low pass of 250Hz leaves a 20Hz difference. A crossover frequency in that area is why I along with E-Stat have problems with most ML's. Ideally no crossover is best. However, if you have to have one the lower the frequency the better. E-Stat has none and I envy that. Me, I use 80Hz and wish I could go lower.
    What kind of crossover are you using between the Tympani panels and the ML panels? (IME) I have found passive crossovers to be a major source of veiling. In every instance (that I've heard) where an active electronic crossover has replaced a passive crossover there has been an improvement in the sound.
    The Tympanis response goes up to 250 hz and the Summits electrostatic
    elements go down to around 270 hz; but combining the two gives
    one a very smooth transition. There is still response below 270 hz
    for the summits and response above 250 hz for the tympanls. I have
    tried electronic xovers and passive as well and each one has there
    good points and bad points (tradeoffs) I ended up with passive using
    high quality inductors (Goertz) for the tympanis and the Summits
    with there own xovers. This combination works extremely well and
    is a major improvement over the Summits with there woofers. So there is
    no xover in the Summits above 270 hz as the electrostatic transducers work
    up to 23,000 hz. The Maggies are just rolled off above 250 hz. If you
    could hear this combination, I am sure you would agree how it sounds. The
    major benefit is now both speakers have a dipole radiation and light
    mass, giving one detailed, spacious, depth, powerful bass with impact.
    Choosing the right tradeoffs makes a difference.

  14. #14
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    I've been using panels of one type or another since I purchased a pair of new MG-1's in 1976. Consequently I have some experience with them. The discontinuities inherent with a 270Hz crossover from dipolar esl panel to point source cone woofer has always bothered me about most ML speakers. Using a panel below that point would certainly ameliorate some of the problems I hear.

    However, there is still the "sound" of a passive crossover. In my experience passive crossovers are always audible. How audible is hard to determine until it's removed and replaced with an active electronic one. Running my ESL's full range (no crossover) results in the best sound my system is capable of producing. Unfortunately, I'm a bass freak. So some augmentation in the low end is necessary. After much experimentation I settled on an electronic crossover feeding dual transmission line subs below 80Hz. Although there is still a difference in radiation patterns, dual subs and an 80Hz crossover frequency are, to my ears, a reasonable compromise.

    The lack of a passive crossover is IMO a major factor in getting better sound. No crossover at all is even better.
    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

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    I've been using panels of one type or another since I purchased a pair of new MG-1's in 1976. Consequently I have some experience with them. The discontinuities inherent with a 270Hz crossover from dipolar esl panel to point source cone woofer has always bothered me about most ML speakers. Using a panel below that point would certainly ameliorate some of the problems I hear.

    However, there is still the "sound" of a passive crossover. In my experience passive crossovers are always audible. How audible is hard to determine until it's removed and replaced with an active electronic one. Running my ESL's full range (no crossover) results in the best sound my system is capable of producing. Unfortunately, I'm a bass freak. So some augmentation in the low end is necessary. After much experimentation I settled on an electronic crossover feeding dual transmission line subs below 80Hz. Although there is still a difference in radiation patterns, dual subs and an 80Hz crossover frequency are, to my ears, a reasonable compromise.

    The lack of a passive crossover is IMO a major factor in getting better sound. No crossover at all is even better.
    We all have are preferences; thats what the hobby is all
    about. You call yourself a bass freak, but have you ever
    heard the Tympani IV bass in combination with the Eminent
    Technology TRW-17 Rotary Subwoofer. This is a match
    of bass transducers that is coherent, with powerful impact,
    transient response that is stunning and response flat down
    to 1 hz without equalization. I have given many demos
    to experienced audiophiles and they all have come away
    with the same conclusion (realistic, stunning, and a
    sound experience that none of them has ever heard before.

  16. #16
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magtrw
    We all have are preferences; thats what the hobby is all
    about. You call yourself a bass freak, but have you ever
    heard the Tympani IV bass in combination with the Eminent
    Technology TRW-17 Rotary Subwoofer. This is a match
    of bass transducers that is coherent, with powerful impact,
    transient response that is stunning and response flat down
    to 1 hz without equalization. I have given many demos
    to experienced audiophiles and they all have come away
    with the same conclusion (realistic, stunning, and a
    sound experience that none of them has ever heard before.
    Regarding the TRW-17, I guess I have a few of questions or reservations.

    First, obviously, the price. Eminent Technology progects the estimated installed cost at $21-26k; the equipment is over $14k, the rest is design & installation. This is reserved for the extremely well-heeled, and also for people who can and will undertake to do the home renovations recommended.

    Secondly, how realistic is it to actually get a very low frequency reproduced in even a fairly large room. From what I gather at least one dimention of the room must exceed 1/2 the wave length of the frequency: On this basis 20 Hz requires a room at least 28 feet in length. Are you really going to feel, (not hear), say 8 Hz?

    Thirdly, music goes down to the 42 Hz of the bass bassoon or, arguably, 16 Hz of the largest organ pipes; lower than that we're talking sound effects, not music. So 8 Hz would be relevant only to movie sound tracks or the like -- were Sir TtT around these days he might comment on whether, in fact, sound tracks ever have such deep sounds.

  17. #17
    Phila combat zone JoeE SP9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magtrw
    We all have are preferences; thats what the hobby is all
    about. You call yourself a bass freak, but have you ever
    heard the Tympani IV bass in combination with the Eminent
    Technology TRW-17 Rotary Subwoofer. This is a match
    of bass transducers that is coherent, with powerful impact,
    transient response that is stunning and response flat down
    to 1 hz without equalization. I have given many demos
    to experienced audiophiles and they all have come away
    with the same conclusion (realistic, stunning, and a
    sound experience that none of them has ever heard before.
    Yes I've heard a full Tympani system with the extra bass panels. Like Feanor I feel that response to 1Hz is a little overkill. Hey, if you can afford it go for it. I probably would.

    My subs are crossed over at 80Hz and Eq'd flat to 18Hz. My audio buddies are favorably impressed with my rig. They include an IRS V owner an MG-20 owner with dual 18" Velodynes and others with very good systems. Yes, my room is long (almost 30') enough to support lower frequencies.

    BTW: I sometimes listen at peak levels above 110dB@ 10'. The sound makes me smile.

    No one here will suggest you don't have stellar bass. My main comments were directed at using passive crossovers. To be frank, replacing them with an active crossover is an ear opener.

    Low E on an electric bass is ~41.2Hz.
    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

  18. #18
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    You should check out the Planar forum here-

    http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=177.0
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
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    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
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    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

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