Maggies and HT

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by AlanZ, Nov 24, 2004.

  1. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    You know, before I ordered my Maggie MMGs in order to take advantage of their in-home trial, I was told several times that if I was primarily an HT guy that I'd be better off sticking with Paradigms. Even my local sales guy (who deals with both brands) said this. Well, I've put over 100 hours on these MMGs since I picked them up a month or so ago, and I have to say that for HT Maggies RULE. I don't know what other people are listening to in order to say this about them. Maybe being an HT guy indicates that I want speakers that just sound good with explosions and special effects.....but that's really not what I like about movies. With that said, however, even with movies that have lots of special effects (e.g. I just watched 'The Day After Tomorrow' prior to posting this) the Maggies are KILLER. When i watch a film I want crystal clear, intelligible, life-like dialogue......I want to be immersed in the soundtrack.....and I want an nice, coherent soundfield. To my ears, the Maggies are not just acceptable in the HT department, I actually prefer them over the Paradigm studios I replaced them with. Last night I put in 'Cast Away' and cranked it up.....I am pretty familiar with this film and the audio track, and the MMGs brought out details that I'd never heard before......it was truly something!

    Anyway, I was almost deterred from even giving the Maggies a chance because of what I was being told about them and their HT abilities......don't believe it! The sound from these speakers is satisfying in a way that no box speaker has ever been able to do for me.
     
  2. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Alan:

    I was following your posts a while back about you trying out some Maggies so I have been looking forward to this post.

    My local audio shop has a room set up with some MMGs and they are pretty amazing. If you want a big soundstage they are the way to go. I guess the drawbacks are that they have zero low end so you need a very capable sub to keep up to the SQ of the Maggies and that they are a difficult speaker to drive, requiring lots of power. I was amazed that the MMGs are actually quite small and can even fold up against the wall when you want them out of the way.

    How are they for 2 channel music? Do you need a large planar for that or are the MMGs with a sub capable?

    It is interesting that you prefer them over the studio line. Is the studio line not more expensive as well?
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Congratulations. Proof positive that the so-called high end has some contributions to make to home theater. I've been a fan of Magnaplanars from the get-go back in the early '70s.
     
  4. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Aaron:

    Two-channel is where the Maggies really shine.....in fact, even though I spend most of my listening time with HT, I've found that I've been listening to music a lot more than before. I think maybe the problem with the Maggies that some people find is that you really DO need to give them plenty of power in order to sound their best. At first, I was listening to them at moderate levels and they sounded good, but I wasn't blown away compared to the Paradigms. The problem was that I wasn't used to a 4 ohm speaker, and when I turned up the volume they just came to life with amazing detail and dynamics. So what everyone told me about the Maggies and power is not only true, it's a must. My Outlaw monoblocks put out 300 watts into 4ohms, and this gives them all they need. When I found out that I just didn't have the volume up high enough, it was like an entirely different speaker. The other thing I noticed is that with the Paradigms at higher volumes it was harsh and tough on the ears......this didn't happen when I turned up the Maggies.....the sound just became larger and more detailed. So to me it's clear that you should have plenty of power on tap if you're going to really audition these speakers.

    I can't speak to the larger Maggies yet, but I do plan on checking out the 1.6s and possibly upgrading. The MMGs would definitely benefit from a good sub, but the bass is not absent by any means. What is there is quite good and punchy. I've also noticed that the long break-in period that people say these speakers require is definitely a fact. They've opened up considerably since day one.

    In short, I feel about these speakers like I do about SVS, which is why I'm so excited about them. For the money, I can't believe what they deliver. Give them plenty of time to break in, and feed them plenty of clean power, and I really cannot imagine doing anywhere near as well for $550. These are killer speakers both for music AND HT.
     
  5. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    i agree. i was told that maggies would be bad for HT. well, i am now using magnepan tympani 1D's (completely rebuilt just last year) as fronts, SMGc's as rears (previous model to the MMG, a bit more stout), and dual velodyne HGS15's to augment the bass.

    i dare anyone in the same price range to come even remotely close. sure, they need power, but for the reasons you mentioned (clarity, sound staging, and overall presense), they are perfect.
     
  6. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Alan. I have a buddy with a maggie 2 channel rig that is amazing. They are very large speakers though, I could never fit them in my room. I could however fit the MMGs so I am pleased to hear that they are also very capable for 2 channel! Thanks for the info.
     
  7. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Aaron: I was trying to think of a better way to articulate my thoughts about Maggies with two-channel, and here's what I've come up with: With the Paradigm studios (again, my main comparison), music sounds really good. But the Maggies are so much more transparent and detailed that I could almost argue that the Paradigms were like sound effects compared to the Maggies which were more "real". I think that's why I have been listening more to music than before.....it just sounds less colored and more natural. The same was true of HT, which is what surprised me. The only thing I have for speakers right now are the MMGs.....no sub, no center, and no surrounds. I wanted to try these out in my home before I made a decision about them. The fact that these speakers are handling everything all by themselves is amazing to me.

    If you decide to give them a go, try not to be too critical of them out of the box.....Mine sounded good, but they tend to be a little harsh at first.....they are entirely different now. Also, try to keep them at least 2' from rear and side walls. They are very easy to move, so you can slide them back toward the wall when not in use if you need to. And by all means, once they have some break in time, CRANK EM UP [​IMG] (And if you really want a nice HT demo, put in 'Cast Away', start at the plane crash scene and watch the next 20 mins.....you'll be shocked at the detail)

    Robert: I'd love to hear your set-up......I'm dying to hear what a full set of Maggies can do......do you run a phantom center?
     
  8. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    Alan,

    yes, i do phantom center. er, well, i just tell my processor im not using one, and it send info to the mains. most people scoff at the idea, but when you have tympani's, there isnt much room left (each speaker is about 1.3' wide by 6' tall, and there are 6 total, three for each side. so i have a wall of sound thats 8' across and 6' tall.)

    the soundstaging is fine without the need to fill in the center at all. it sounds great, but i think i have a buzzing in the left tweeter ribbon [​IMG] gotta get it checked out i guess. however, it still sounds great, just at higher volumes with certain types of music, it crackles, maybe its the recording?

    sigh, oh well. in any event, maggies are great for music and HT!
     
  9. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Robert:

    Yep, I use a phantom center, too......and I agree, most people scoff at the idea when I suggest it, too lol. To each their own, but I find even less need for a center with the Maggies than I did with the studio/100s. The only thing that I could see improving my front stage would be bigger Maggies [​IMG]
     
  10. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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  11. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Nice set up, Robert [​IMG] What are those panels attached to the maggies????
     
  12. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    haha, those ARE the maggies...

    the tympani's consist of 6 panels for stereo... the innermost panels are the tweeter panels (nothing but a tweeter from floor to ceiling, and crossover and connections), the middle is the midrange panel, and the outermost is the bass panel. all three are connected with wires.
     
  13. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Wow, how interesting! I haven't seen 3-panel Maggies before.....what year did they come out? I bet they sound killer!
     
  14. Aaron_Mum

    Aaron_Mum Stunt Coordinator

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    Alan thanks for the feedback. I'll be checking out the MMGs when I have to funds to upgrade. I'm running a Paradigm Monitor setup right now that I enjoy and I was thinking in the future I would like to move up to the studio line. Now I'll be checking into some Maggies! Its crazy that you are getting that excited with no sub, center or surrounds yet. The room at my local shop has a full 5.1 setup and and the immersion in the soundfield is amazing.

    Robert your room is sick[​IMG] .
     
  15. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Aaron:

    I can't believe I'm this satisfied with just the MMGs either.....the trick really was turning up the volume on them higher than what I was used to. Whereas with most speakers this would just make things louder, with the MMGs it made them mildly louder but MUCH bigger in how they sounded.

    My brother was over here last night.....he is much more into video quality than audio quality. He had heard my Paradigm studio set-up a while back, and he asked me about the MMGs. I tossed in Cast Away (quickly becoming my favorite demo for the Maggies), cranked it up, and even he was flabbergasted by the sound. He said he was amazed at the realism and detail of what he heard. He liked my Paradigms, but admitted that he thought these speakers were more impressive.

    Good luck with your plans.....if you decide to give the MMGs a go, please post your thoughts.....I'd love to hear what you think.
     
  16. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    Alan,

    you are right, maggies like power. so turning it up doesnt necessarily make it louder, but more full sounding. that is exactly how mine are. on my pre-amp, from about -40dB to -25dB, it doesnt really get louder, its just a fuller sound.

    i think one of these days i would like to hear a pair of MMG's to see how they compare to my SMGc's... of course one of these days they will be replaced with something bigger, it never ends.
     
  17. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Robert:

    What are you using to power your maggies? And yeah, turning up the volume was what allowed me to realize just how amazing these things were for HT. At first I just couldn't imagine turning it up cause of what I had been used to with my other speakers......but man, the soundtrack just comes to life with a little more volume. It's pretty cool to feel this satisfied with just two speakers for HT......helps me to enjoy the time it will take to complete my set-up instead of constantly feeling like I'm missing out. I still cannot believe these things were only $550.
     
  18. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    Alan,

    right now (that means as of today), i am using dual rotel B-1070's. they are like 225wpc @ 4ohms. and im using one per speaker and they are stereo amps, so im doing like 450 watts to each speaker (each side).

    however, in january, when the xmas season slows down, im trading in the rotels for some more beef. im going to do dual b&k reference 200.2's. those do 375 watts per channel stereo @ 4 ohms. so i will be running a nice and healthy 750 watts per channel [​IMG]
     

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