Diva by Swans 6.1, ACI Jaguar LE, vs. Magnepan

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Colin Dunn, Jan 13, 2002.

  1. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1998
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    6
    Due to the current economic situation in Austin, I am being forced to relocate elsewhere to find gainful employment.

    This relocation will likely force me to take a major step down in the size of my home. That means I will be living in a place that won't accommodate Magneplanars. Planar-magnetic speakers require lots of space to the sides and rear to sound their best, so they don't fit well in a typical 12x16 living room.

    So while I look for a new job, I'm also beginning to look for speakers that I can buy once I'm working again. I'd like to preserve as much of the good qualities of Magnepan sound as possible (very realistic string/acoustic instruments, natural and unrestrained sound, extremely accurate tonal character) but in a speaker setup that fits in a smaller space.

    So here are the options as I see them...

    - Hang on to the Maggies and jam them into a small space.

    Or sell the Maggies and get one of the following:

    - 5-channel ACI Jaguar LE setup (limited bass but draws raves as a quality mini-monitor speaker. Expensive at $2,500 per pair)

    - 2 pair of Diva by Swans 6.1 + the Diva center channel. Less expensive and has drawn lots of rave reviews, and it's a full-range speaker.

    - Something from the upper end of the nOrh line (in ceramic or marble). Same pros/cons as the Jaguar.

    Any thoughts???
     
  2. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 1999
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Colin,

    Which Magnepans do you own? You might want to hang on to them until you lock down new digs. Maybe the room size you end up with will work.

    It seems the only people that move away from Maggies and stay happy are the ones who never realy warmed up to them in the first place(?!!), or went to S.E.T.s and horn speakers. I am sure there are others though.
     
  3. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1998
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    6
    Jason:
    A few more details about my situation...
    The place I'm living in right now has a 17x26 room for home theater. That room is barely large enough to run a 5-channel Magneplanar home theater comfortably. The fronts I'm using (3.3s) require about 4-5' of space to the back wall to develop good bass response and avoid shrill early reflections. The rear speakers, MG1.6s, require about 3' of space to the back wall. The MGCC1 center really isn't an issue when it comes to placement.
    I work in a technology field (Windows 2000/NT admin). Due to an overwhelming number of layoffs and a horrible job market, I am likely to make significantly less money in my next job, but end up living in a more expensive area (at least as far as housing is concerned). Bottom line: My next home - if I'll be able to afford one at all - will not be big enough to have a 17x26 theater room. Just a 12x16 room is probably wishful thinking unless some companies start hiring soon...
    I am extremely unlikely to stay in Austin, as the job market here for computer/technical people has all but collapsed. I don't have enough money to wait 3-5 years for the job market here to recover. The same may have happened in Houston, with the Enron layoffs flooding the job market there.
    That leaves Dallas, but housing costs there are up 20% compared to a year or two ago... [​IMG] Outside of Texas, it's tiny homes at outrageously high prices. In the Denver area, where I used to live, 1,500 sq. ft. starter homes are approaching $300,000 in many neighborhoods!!! (And no, prevailing salaries are NOT in the 6-figures like they are in the Bay Area.) I came to Texas so I'd pay
     
  4. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1998
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    6
    Now that Outlaw makes an ICBM just for Maggie HT setups (I just read about it in the Vandersteen thread), I wonder if I should find a way to keep those Maggies after all.

    An ICBM that crosses over the center at 160Hz and redistributes the midbass to the front left/right, as well as letting me pick other crossover frequencies, would eliminate the problems I've had with bottoming out MG1.6s with heavy surround bass, and allow me to get a lower sub crossover point than 80Hz (which is too high for my tastes).

    But it isn't on Outlaw's Web site. Does that mean only Magnepan dealers sell this version of the ICBM?
     
  5. Brett Miles

    Brett Miles Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 1999
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is the only thing I've ever seen about this unit, and it took me long enough to find it again. From the newest news letter:

     
  6. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Colin: Have you considered buying the ACI Jag speaker kits and building the speakers yourself? Even if you hired a cabinet maker to make the cabinets you would still save a ton of money versus buying the finished units. Look HERE for more info and pricing.
     
  7. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1998
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    6
    Brett -

    That implies that all channels' crossover points are this higher range, from 80-240Hz. I think I'd rather get the standard ICBM and deal with the midbass hole in the center, rather than cross over all channels at 80Hz. Part of what I like about Maggies is the tightness and accuracy of planar bass. I'd probably be looking for a 60Hz crossover on the 1.6s, and a 40Hz crossover on the 3.3s. It would be best to get a 160Hz crossover for the MGCC1, but I'd settle for 120Hz and deal with the mid-bass hole before I filter out all channels at 80Hz...

    John -

    Those kits are cheaper than I thought. Do you know what's involved in assembly other than the cabinet construction? I would definitely have to hire a cabinet maker, as that kind of precision woodworking is way out of my league.

    If I bought the kits with the assembled crossover, would it just be a matter of plugging in wires and mounting drivers? Or is there more to it than that???
     
  8. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 1999
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Colin,

    I think the Magnepan edition of the ICBM is available through Magnepan dealers and possibly from Magnepan. I thought about it but am loath to put anything in the signal path that might degrade the sound. Especially to the stereo pair.(Read this months SGTHT for comment) As bass managment for the center and surrounds it might be ok though. As it stands now, I let the Ref 30 cross over the MGMC1s and the MGCC1 at 120hz. I run the 1.6s full range and with a good quality tee,run two interconnects down to the controller for my Sub2i and set the low pass x-over at 50hz.This works great for 2ch. SACD! The Sub2i controller is wonderfully versatile allowing for a LFE input at the same time. With this hook-up,along with a built in video contour switch and boost dial, I get nice output for movies when I want it. I have been thinking of setting the MGCC1 to large in the B&K,and moving my Babyboomer sub to center channel only duty. I have heard that this can provide good results.

    As far as your situation, I hope you can find a way to make the Maggies work wherever you go. However, if you decide to sell the 3.3s,and they are black,(wood color unimportant) let me know. a good friend just bought 3.3s and moved his 1.6s to surrounds. While I am happy with the MGMC1s for my surrounds, I would upgrade to 3.3s or 3.5s if given the chance. That true ribbon sound is so nice.

    Jason
     
  9. Colin Dunn

    Colin Dunn Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 1998
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    6
    Jason -

    (Edit: I reread your message, and noticed this time you're crossing over to the sub at 50Hz.)

    Have you bottomed out the panels on your Maggies yet? I've managed to do that on the 1.6s (as surrounds) in "Titanic," "Star Wars Episode 1," and "Unbreakable." All three of those titles have bassy surround channel content. I had to go 'small' on the processor (80Hz crossover) to avoid overdriving the panels. (If you haven't done this yet, you'll know it when it happens. An ugly cracking sound during loud bass rumbles means BACK OFF...)

    My pre/pro shuts down the sub in 2-channel stereo. That wasn't acceptable to me, so I'm mixing LFE and all bass to the front channels, and crossing over the sub at 80Hz. The sub takes all bass for front left/right/center and LFE (which was mixed into the front). With the surrounds set to small, that bass is also mixed to the front.

    I think the ICBM would be less of a compromise in my setup. It would allow me to go back to a dedicated LFE channel, and allow me to set a different crossover point for the 1.6s and 3.3s, and run all channels in 'large' mode.

    But I'm not going to bother with the Magnepan-specific ICBM. Apparently, ALL the channels have the higher increments (starting at 80Hz, topping out at 240Hz). I want crossover points of 40-60Hz for the 1.6s and 3.3s. So I'll probably go with the regular ICBM and deal with the mid-bass hole of 120-160Hz on the MGCC1.

    If I'm forced to get rid of the 3.3s, I'll let you know. Yes, they are all black (black wood finish, black fabric).

    I may have gotten a potential job lead in Houston. Hopefully that will lead to a new job, so I can move to Houston (cheaper housing, better salaries than Austin) and have room to keep the Maggie setup...
     
  10. Jason Watson

    Jason Watson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 1999
    Messages:
    139
    Likes Received:
    0
    Colin,

    I have yet to bottom out the panels on the 1.6s. I have not even thought about it since even a very loud demo of TPM has not caused it. Could it be a situation where the amp is clipping or loosing control of the panel? Can the loss of control even occur with planars like it does with cone drivers? If so, I wonder if the mega wattage I am sending to the fronts have helped to prevent this. I will have to pay very close attention the next time I am playing them at stupid levels.

    I hope the Houston position works out for you as the housing market is still pretty buyer friendly. The traffic stinks though and the heat and humidity are pretty bad in the summer. Austin gets rather hot, I know, but at least is not so steamy.

    Jason
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can bottom out my 1.4's if I set them to large so I cross mine over around 80 and that seems to work really well. I really don't like the maggie centre so i'm using a single MMG which IMO works extremely well and its a lot easier to integrate into the HT since the 80 hz crossover is easy to deal with
     

Share This Page