Wake Up Maggie ... Owners

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Doug_B, Sep 5, 2001.

  1. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    To all you Maggie owners out there. I have a few questions concerning their line, as I may choose to audition them as part of purchasing a new audio/HT system (there is one Maggie dealer in NJ). First, here are some specifics of my situation.
    Room size: 13x20x8, with equipment on short wall.
    Percentage of Use: Music/HT would be at least 50/50, possibly a bit more towards music in terms of time spent.
    Equipment: All audio equipment will be new (with exception of existing DVD player). I will likely try out Odyssey Stratos 2 and 3 channel amps, Outlaw pre/pro (if they come through), and SVS CS-Ultra sub. Speakers will be a 5 channel setup; no 7.1 in plans.
    Questions:
    - How do the Maggie MG 3.6s, MG 1.6s, and MG 12s compare in terms of sound, if used as mains? Note that the 3.6s may be beyond my budget, but if convinced,... How much breathing room do they need behind them? Can there be obstructions behind them, such as an SVS sub or part of an equipment rack? Do they need breathing room from the side walls? I am concerned that their width is too big, esp the 3.6s, given the 13' wall and the room needed for other stuff (maybe 5' wide RPTV in the future, an equipment rack, the SVS, etc.).
    - What would one use for a center speaker? The MGCC1 is earmarked as such, but its freq response is documented on the web site to go down only to 160Hz.
    - What would be good for the surrounds? I doubt that floorstanders can work in my room due to the need for space off the wall (whether due to the sound or even for the length of the legs), unless there are lower models that don't need as much room (MMGs?). In any case, wall-mounted side surrounds would be preferable. How are the MGMC1s as surrounds?
    - How stable are the various floorstanders? I have kids, and even though the room will be locked, ...
    - Is there typically a long wait to receive them once ordered? I would be interested in black all around.
    Thanks.
    Doug
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    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
     
  2. Neil R

    Neil R Agent

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    Check out audioasylum.com in the planer speaker section. All your questions have been answered there, do a search. You will love maggies and the stratos is a great combo, I use it with a pair of 1.6s.
     
  3. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    I am using Magnepan MG 3.6s in my HT as the main speakers. I also have the MGCC1 center. My surrounds are holdovers from my previous all Def Tech system, being floor standing BP-20 towers (and for 7.1 I am reconfiguring to incorporate the BP-2000s that the Maggies replaced in front). If I had ever been able to find a buyer for my Def Techs, I'd have replaced them with Maggie surrounds. (They do make a wall mounted model that would serve my purpose well.) In addition, I have a Velodyne FSR-18 subwoofer which I added because the Def Techs didn't go low enough (loud enough, yes, but not down deep enough) and then kept as part of the Maggie music ensemble because it is so musical and it blends so well with the Maggies.
    The Magnepan MG 3.6s, when properly set up and driven with the appropriate electronics, are the finest speakers I have heard for music. (And this includes way-more-expensive models such as, and including, Wilson Watt Puppies, Vandersteen Model 5 and the completely digital/powered Meridian suite.)
    If budget is a concern, the Maggie MG 1.6s are a very strong contender. But frankly, at that price point, there are at least half a dozen other models that produce a very pleasing sound and I'd be hard pressed to say the1.6s are the absolute only choice in their class. BUT -- I am very partial to the soundstage, detail, resolution and sense of "air" that the Maggies produce and which only other planar speakers can duplicate. So if constrained by budget, and wanting to do the whole 5.1 at once, I'd go with the 1.6s as the mains. But as a music lover first and foremost, I'd probably defer part of the 5.1 setup until later and get the 3.6s. For example, with the 3.6s, the phantom center mode can be quite effective, and depending on how many people are watching at once, may be all you need for quite a while. (Note, though, that I do have a Maggie center, and am thrilled at the sound it produces -- dialog is rendered crisply and clearly -- and it goes lower than 160hz, although not nearly close to 80hz.)
    In a pinch, and especially in a very small room, the MG 12s would do, but I'd try stay with either of the larger ones for front mains in a room of your dimensions.
    quote: How much breathing room do they need behind them? Can there be obstructions behind them, such as an SVS sub or part of an equipment rack? Do they need breathing room from the side walls? I am concerned that their width is too big, esp the 3.6s, given the 13' wall and the room needed for other stuff (maybe 5' wide RPTV in the future, an equipment rack, the SVS, etc.).[/quote]As I said earlier, I have mine out about six feet. Four feet would work for sound, but not for traffic in my room. I witnessed a dealer demo last week where some 3.6s were about a foot and a half out from the wall. That is too close. While they didn't sound "bad", being that close, they simply didn't render the width and depth of soundstage that makes listening to them such a jaw-dropping experience when properly set up.
    They also work well with about two to three feet in from the side walls, although that is not as critical, since they basically are radiating "null" at the sides. I have mine three feet out because of traffic again, and symmetry dictates that distance on both sides.
    quote: - What would one use for a center speaker? The MGCC1 is earmarked as such, but its freq response is documented on the web site to go down only to 160Hz.[/quote]On the test tones, my MGCC1 still has useful sound down to about 120hz. I had thought about adding a dedicated center sub to fill in the gap, since I cannot set the x-over at anything but 80hz, but haven't done that and frankly, the center sounds fine without it. Some have criticized the Maggie center speaker's sound as "thin" (and I think in many cases it is a matter of having read that somewhere and echoing the verbiage without really experiencing it) but it sounds convincingly full to me -- considering that other speakers are in play at the same time, too, there is a lot to listen to. :>)
    quote: - What would be good for the surrounds? I doubt that floorstanders can work in my room due to the need for space off the wall (whether due to the sound or even for the length of the legs), unless there are lower models that don't need as much room (MMGs?). In any case, wall-mounted side surrounds would be preferable. How are the MGMC1s as surrounds?[/quote] I'll have to defer to others on the Maggie surrounds, since I amn using floor standing bipolars (the Def Techs). In my experince, if the surrounds are reasonably close in timbre, even if all the other characteristics are different, non-planar speakers can fit into the 5.1 setup without losing the effectiveness on movies. This may not be the case with true multichannel music where the music in the surrounds is not just a gimmick, and more than just ambience is in the rear channels.
    quote: - How stable are the various floorstanders? I have kids, and even though the room will be locked, ...[/quote]Don't let them step on the equalizer box (which looks like it might be a nice stepping spot to a kid) or push the panels too vigorously. A hefty bump can tip one over face first. A really heft bump. A lesser bump can make them "wobble" a bit, but not fall.
    quote: - Is there typically a long wait to receive them once ordered? I would be interested in black all around.[/quote]The wait today is about two to three weeks, according to my dealer. When I bought mine two years ago, there was a fourteen week wait, confirmed by people I knew who had ordered them around that time. I lucked out because the factory sent an all-black pair in a box labeled "dark cherry/gray" for a customer who had waited the full 14 weeks and the dealer was going to have to ship them back to Minnesota. (They didn't make the other guy wait another 14 weeks -- he got bumped to the front of the line.) But being in the right place at the right time, I intercepted the shipment by handing over my credit card and got them that week.
    Black/black for the finish and grill cloth is very effective in a home theater setting. I like the way they just "disappear" visually and sonically; they are not obtrusive -- you hear the music, not the speakers, and in black you don't see them, either, in a darkened room.
    quote: Thanks.[/quote] You're welcome. Feel free to follow up with more questions.
    Burke
    Club Integra
    [Edited last by Burke Strickland on September 05, 2001 at 10:12 PM]
    [Edited last by Burke Strickland on September 06, 2001 at 12:48 AM]
     
  4. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I'm running the equivilent of 1.6's as mains, and MMG's as rears and a centre. The SMGa's that I'm using as rears are on custom built stands that make them vertical and elevate them up approx 8". This allows me to place them behind my couch out about 1.5 feet from the rear wall and they work very well in this position. Granted they won't image like the mains do this close to the wall but for rear purposes they do just fine. I've heard of people using piano hinges and mounting maggies on the walls allowing them to be folded back when not needed...seems do able I guess. For the centre I couldn't justify the cost of the "real" maggie centre so I just bought a single MMG and am using that as my centre. For me it works perfectly but its dispersion patterns aren't that wide but it would work ok in your narrow room so give it some thought. If I could afford the 3.6's I'd definatly buy those over the 1.6's since they utilize a real ribbon tweater vs the 1.6's quasi ribbon...not that there's anything wrong with the 1.6's at all but the 3.6's really are in a class by themselves. I've got some pics of my HT in the link below if you're interested.
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    http://www.attcanada.ca/~itisi
     
  5. Jon_B

    Jon_B Screenwriter

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    I think you can't lose with the ribbon sound of maggies. I've heard many people report good luck with the use of the mmg as a center channel speaker. Since I first started looking at magnepan the price has risen considerably. I believe it was just under 1500 and now look at the price.
    Let your ears do the decision making for you. Good luck.
    Jon
    My setup
     
  6. Doug_B

    Doug_B Screenwriter

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    Neil,
    Thanks for the link. Some useful info already, and it's good to hear that the Stratos works well with them.
    Burke,
    Didn't know you were a Maggie man (your reputation with the RDC-7 precedes you, though [​IMG] ). As usual, a detailed response overflowing with useful info. Where'd you get time to post 4000+ messages with so many of them like this? [​IMG]
    quote: I guess if the MG 3.6s are a stretch, then an Integra Research RDC-7 pre/pro would be out of reach, given all the other new stuff at once. But it sure has been a wonderful partner to the Maggies in producing exquisite music and stunning sound track reproduction, even though the RDC-7's bass crossover is limited to the THX standard 80 hz.[/quote]
    Yea, if I'm going to stretch my budget a bit more (why not - I've done it multiple times already since I first started auditioning), I would probably go with the 3.6s, assuming I hear the level of difference that is being attributed to them by you and others. Not sure what to do if Outlaw doesn't come through, though.
    quote: The wait today is about two to three weeks, according to my dealer. When I bought mine two years ago, there was a fourteen week wait, confirmed by people I knew who had ordered them around that time.[/quote]
    In some of my readings in the last 24 hrs, it seems that the longest waits were for new models. It also seems that repairs can take quite a long time.
    Andrew,
    I figured you'd respond if you were around [​IMG]
    quote: I've heard of people using piano hinges and mounting Maggies on the walls allowing them to be folded back when not needed...seems do able I guess.[/quote]
    It would seem as if the MGMC1 is a hinged speaker. However, it appears, based on the Maggie web site picture, as if one would have the MGMC1 flush against the wall when in use. Does the MGMC1 create a sound pattern behind it, or just in front? I would think there would be advantages to having a hinged Maggie as a side surround mounted so that it's perpendicular to the side wall while in use, assuming sound is emanating in both directions. That is what I interpreted was being done above with the piano hinges. Maybe I'm off on how the MGMC1 is used.
    quote: For the centre I couldn't justify the cost of the "real" maggie centre so I just bought a single MMG and am using that as my centre. For me it works perfectly but its dispersion patterns aren't that wide but it would work ok in your narrow room so give it some thought.[/quote]
    Sounds like a good idea. How do you support the MMG on top of your TV? Do the supports that Magnepan provide work in the horizontal position? Also, there's no problem ordering a single MMG?
    OTOH, on just talking to the Maggie dealer, he made a mention of a new center channel speaker coming in. I didn't grill him on this.
    Jon,
    quote: I've heard many people report good luck with the use of the mmg as a center channel speaker.

    Let your ears do the decision making for you.[/quote]
    Good to get additional votes for an alternate solution for the center.
    Lucky me. I just talked to the dealer. It appears they have an entire 5 channel setup in their showroom and have 1.6s and 3.6s. He said it's powered by the Rotel 1095 5ch amp (200W/ch @ 8ohms).
    Thanks again all.
    Doug
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    "Today is a good day to die." ...Old Lodge Skins
    [Edited last by Doug_B on September 06, 2001 at 03:55 PM]
     
  7. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Doug,
    I've not used the electronics you're playing with myself, but a short story and then then two points I'd recommend considering:
    I was initially introduced to Maggie magic via a pair of 1.6QRs being driven by some better quality Conrad Johnson equipment. Wow! I was impressed. Enough so that I immediately placed an order for a pair of 1.6s.
    After that interminable wait (about 4 months at the time) for the speakers to arrive, I set them up in a system incorporating a Lexicon DC-1 preamp and a Cinepro 2K5 amp. Having heard the Maggie's were power hungry I figured the 2K5 would be just the ticket.
    But the magic wasn't quite there.
    I took my preamp and amp into a Maggie dealer to try swapping out different components and cables and see whether I had a weak component or whether I was a victim of an overinflated memory.
    Tried a lower-end Bryston vs. the Cinepro, an Aragon, and a couple others lying around. While the 1.6's sounded a little different with each amp, none quite had the sound I recalled.
    The dealer said "one last amp to try" and wheeled in a Krell KAV-250a. We hooked it up and. . . the magic was back! I actually A/B'ed about six times, the Krell vs. the Cinepro vs. the Bryston to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. I was pretty sad about the whole thing--that Krell cost a lot more than I wanted to put out at the time.
    I did wind up with the Krell eventually. And I've been pretty happy.
    The experience taught me the importance of hearing components together before making a purchase, that amps can make tremendous differences with at least some speakers, and that credit cards are dangerous.
    Two specific thoughts to share with you:
    - in my estimation a high quality amp and/or preamp could make a considerable difference in what you hear from your Maggies (or what you hear at the dealer)
    - buying an amp or preamp used might be a way to maximize your $$, though having an opportunity to audition the amp prior to purchase (which is important) may be difficult
    Regards,
    Mike
     

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