Magnepan Or Ascends?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by ErnieGplus, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. ErnieGplus

    ErnieGplus Extra

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    Im lookig to buy some new speakers and Ive narrowed it down to these two:

    Ascend 340M's or magnepan MMG's there both within my price range(550.00)
    Im looking for anyone who has experience with both of these models or has heard either one of them to give there opinion.
    I listen to 95% HT(action movies) 5%music(every kind of music)


    Thanks

    PS: I already have a good sub avalanche 18" sub.
     
  2. Alan M

    Alan M Second Unit

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    Hi Ernie,

    I havent heard the Ascents,so cant speak for or against them.

    I do currently run MMG's in an HT envirenment,and to say I love them is an understatement.Maggies,being a dipole speaker,spread sound around quite nicely.Since I've switched to Maggies,my Ht has a"you are there" quality I've not achieved with box speakers(MHO).

    A full Maggie setup(mine is MMG fronts,MMGW surrounds and MMGC center)is fantastic for HT and music.Placement of MMG's is critical for the best sound but they can be moved into listening position and back to out of the way very easily.The 1st time you hear a piano on MMG's is truly an enlightening experience.
    Since you didnt mention what speakers you plan on using for center and surrounds,I have no idea what you can expect in the way of tonal matching.
    They do need the help of a sub for the low end,but you seem to be set there.
    MMG's do like power,The more the merrier.They are a 4 ohm speaker and will play with a low output reciever,but to reach their true potential require power.I'm pushing 165 watts per channel and I can tell,they can handle much more.

    Theres a thread I started with my experiences upon setting up my Maggies called" Maggie update"you can check out here on HTF.

    Ascent and Maggie both have a money back return policy.This would allow you to try both and let your ears make the decision for you.
    Good luck and happy speaker shopping.
     
  3. David Bikeman

    David Bikeman Stunt Coordinator

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    MMG's and 340's are so different that getting other people's opinions is not going to help much. They are both very good but again they are just too different in all aspects to even be compared.
    Some points to consider besides sound. The 340's are versatile. They are efficient 8ohm speakers that are not placement critical. You can drive them with your current equipment. They can handle as much power as the MMG's, they just don't need it.
    I agree with Alan's suggestion. If at all possible, try both. Once you hear them, the decision will be easy. One will definitely stand out to your ears. Again, both are very good speakers. The difference in the sound is not subtle.

    David
     
  4. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Ernie:

    Just like AlanM, I get very excited when someone starts talking about Maggies. I'll echo the stuff he said, including the suggestion to read through the 'Maggie Update' thread.

    I think the only reservation I would have about recommending the MMGs to you would be the fact that you say you primarily watch action movies. The Maggies have taught me that there is a whole other aspect to HT than just explosions and special effects. There is nothing wrong with those aspects of HT by any means, it's just that if you prefer the greatest dynamics with scenes like that, then you MIGHT not appreciate the Maggies enough to prefer them over a box design. Believe me, my MMGs can take a film like 'Saving Private Ryan' and absolutely kick ass with it. But overall what you find with the Maggies is more detail, more realism, more ambience, more presence, etc. With regard to dynamics and massive SPLs, there are probably other choices you'd prefer.

    Overall, though, I'll advise you in the same way as the other two guys.....give them a go in your system and if you don't like them just ship 'em back. Just make sure that you give the Maggies plenty of break-in time before you decide whether or not you want to keep them. If possible, leave them on overnight....just turn 'em down enough that they don't disturb your sleep.

    Good luck, and don't forget to let us know what you decide to do!
     
  5. ErnieGplus

    ErnieGplus Extra

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    What would be an Ideal center to go with the MMG's?
     
  6. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Ernie:
    I use a phantom center. AlanM uses a MMG-C ($299). Dean uses a CC3 ($990). I think all three of us are pretty happy with our set-ups. If you are used to a center, or simply know you want one incorporated into your system, I'd probably recommend ordering the MMG-C at first since it's such a great value. You can always ship it back and grab a CC3 if your budget allows and you find yourself wanting a little more. Some reviewers have called the CC3 (and the CC2 before it) the best center they've ever heard. I recently listened to it at my local dealer, and even though I prefer a phantom center, I have to admit that it was very impressive. AlanM gives high marks to the MMG-C, though, and for that money you really can't go wrong.

    With that said, to answer your question as specifically as possible, I'd say the CC3 would be the 'ideal' center for the MMGs.....but that the MMG-C would still get the job done.
     
  7. Alan M

    Alan M Second Unit

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    "With that said, to answer your question as specifically as possible, I'd say the CC3 would be the 'ideal' center for the MMGs.....but that the MMG-C would still get the job done. "


    My sentiments exactly Z.

    The MMGC is a "good" center and matches well with the MMG's.The CC3 is a great center that would match well.
     
  8. Alan Pummill

    Alan Pummill Screenwriter

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    Well, I might as well add my $.02 worth, seeing as how I am an Alan who runs maggies!!

    I have a pair of MGMC1's and a MGCC3 center that is just begging for a new home!! And soon, my MG1.6's will be packing their bags to make room for my new MG3.6's!!

    Here is a link to my speakers:
    http://hometheaterforum.com/htforum/...hreadid=229768

    Once you go with maggies, you'll never go back to box speakers!!
     
  9. eddieZEN

    eddieZEN Second Unit

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    Ernie,

    I was in the exact same boat a few months ago, but opted to go with the Ascends.

    Main reason: I have a Marantz SR5400 which works beautifully with the 340s. However, it would've been very iffy with the 4 ohm Maggies---this according to both Marantz tech support and Maggie tech support. Iffy meaning that it would've been able to run them but would probably have some heat issues and during musical peaks and go into protect mode.

    Other main reason: WAF. The Ascends are a lot smaller, easier to position as David pointed out, and generally not as visually room-dominating.

    Now if I had my own listening room and an extra couple of hundred bucks to put into a 4-ohm amp, I'd probably try the Maggies though. Not that I have any complaints about the Ascends of course---in fact I have been heartily recommending them to all my friends!
     
  10. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    Yep, you definitely will need some good clean power to get your moneys worth out of the Maggies. A good 100wpc amp that is stable into 4 ohms should do the trick. I don't neccesarily agree with the WAF, though, since 1)the MMGs are very easy to move around when you want to listen, and 2) Magnepan has 1sseveral other inexpensive models (MMG-Ws, MC1s) that actually have greater WAF than most boxes do.

    The bottom line is that if you have the space and the amp to make them work, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better for five bills. On the other hand, the Ascends are very highly regarded and I would bet are a good value for the money.
     
  11. David Bikeman

    David Bikeman Stunt Coordinator

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    " Magnepan has 1sseveral other inexpensive models (MMG-Ws, MC1s) that actually have greater WAF than most boxes do."

    My wife just voted you off the island. As much as I appreciate Maggies, I stood no chance of having them in her livingroom. [​IMG]

    David
     
  12. AlanZ

    AlanZ Screenwriter

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    David:
    Your wife is more willing to put up with box speakers in the room than thin speakers that lie flat against the wall? You don't hear that every day! I've heard of the WAF coming into play with the floorstanding Maggies, but not the ones I mentioned. That's interesting!
     
  13. Dean_M

    Dean_M Second Unit

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    Oh boy, another Maggie thread! [​IMG]
    Ernie, I can only echo what everyone else has told you - you really need to listen to them to see which ones you prefer. I love my Maggies and I can safely say that I will never go back to box speakers, but Maggies aren't for everyone. If they were, everyone would have them. I think your best option it to take advantage of Magnepan's trial offer and give them a listen. At worst you'll only be out the shipping cost if you decide that you don't like them, which to me is a much better option than being stuck with speakers that you don't like. As something of a bonus, Magnepan also offers a trade-in if you should decide later that you want to go with their larger planars.
     

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