Why you should listen to Magneplanar speakers

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Lee Scoggins, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Because they are critical favorites! [​IMG]
    Seriously, the new issue of The Absolute Sound arrived and the Maggies swept some good rankings in the new Recommended Products list.
    20.1R - Class 2 Speaker, second highest recommendation (Best Buy)
    3.6 - Class 4 recommendation (price range from $4,100 to $12,000)
    1.6 - Class 2 (Speakers under $2,500) (Best Buy)
    I have had the 1.6s and the 3.6s and highly recommend both.
    For the money, its a great speaker!
    [​IMG]
    P.S. The 1.6 is around $1,600 per pair and the 3.6 is $4,200 and for you wealthy types, the 20.1 is $11,500.
     
  2. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Lee:

    Indeed, many consider the Maggie 3.6, and the earlier Quad, to be two of the greatest deals in high-end audio.

    Larry
     
  3. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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    Absolutely! [​IMG]
    My 3.6s won't be leaving ANY time soon... and for HT, just mate with an SVS 20-39CS+... [​IMG]
     
  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  5. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    The magnepan center channels are rather shitty though. That makes for a rather weak home theater setup, unless you have a perf screen and can actually have 1.6's all across the front.

    Then what do you use for surrounds? More 1.6's or their smaller, not so highly praised models?

    Placement wise, they need a good 2-4' behind and beside. That's not gonna fly in most theater setups.

    Great music speakers with some significant home theater usage issues.

    Or you can just blindly buy them based on a mag rating and hope for the best.
     
  6. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Awesome speakers. I'm tempted to get the 1.6s for my other system.
     
  7. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    I love Magneplanar speakers, but they take a lot of care to get the best out of them (placement, room treatments, and their freakin huge). All speakers require some of this to sound their best, but Magneplanars require such a high level, its like entering a marriage with them. For me, this caused me to look elsewhere.
     
  8. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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  9. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    You own them and of course they rule. At least we're getting an unbiased opinion [​IMG]
    Anywho, please post a picture of how you managed to setup all these rather large speakers with their demanding placement requirements.
    What's the point of this thread again?
     
  10. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Joe Casey

    Joe Casey Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, they rule. I currently own a pair of 3.6/R's, 2 pairs of 1.6/QR's, and a pair of MMG's. I have also successfully converted a few of my friends to the Maggie persuasion by getting them to try the 60-day trial period of the MMG's. I tend to think all of thier models are an extremely good value.
     
  12. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Any planar speaker is going to be harder to place than a dynamic loudspeaker, that's the nature of having to deal with a backwave instead of damping it in the cabinet.
    Magnepan's biggest flaw for home theater is that they can't hit reference levels without running out of excursion. It isn't a pretty sound when you hear the membrane slapping against the magnets. If you don't use reference level playback, this isn't an issue for you.
    The MGCC-2 is no doubt an excellent speaker (I had the MG-CC1), but drops the octave from 80-160Hz -- meaning you have to either have a receiver/processor with variable crossovers, or you need to utilize the Magnepan edition of the ICBM. If you don't, you will lose critical information in the 80-160Hz range.
    Having owned planars for a number of years (15, but who counts?) they are a different experience.
    I could probably live with an all Maggie setup [​IMG] but prefer my Bohlender-Graebener based hybrids which (at least to me) are more dynamic, ie have more punch where appropriate, coupled with the ability to hit reference levels without dynamic compression. Add to that tremendous clarity and you've got a recipe I happen to really enjoy.
    The one thing that we haven't mentioned is that although the Maggies have lower sensitivities than most dynamic loudspeakers, the dropoff is also lower.
    Speaking anechoically, let's look at two speakers, one dynamic, rated 88dB/2.83v/1m, and a Maggie @85dB/2.83v/1m. Consider both speakers as rated at 4ohms impedance.
    Distance....Dynamic.....Maggie
    1m.......... 88dB........85dB
    2m.......... 82dB........82dB
    4m.......... 76dB........79dB
    In a real world and real room the drop off for a dynamic speaker doesn't quite follow the inverse square rule, nor does a dipole such as a Maggie drop off at a uniform 3dB for each doubling of distance. Still, it's a starting point for discussion.
    Regards,
     
  13. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    I thought the sound attentuation vs. distance was much different with a planar speaker? As in much less?
     
  14. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    John,

    That's what the chart showed.

    If you look, at 1m, 2m, 4m, you will see just that.

    The Dynamic starts out louder (at 1m), both are equal at 2m, and the Dynamic has lower output @ 4m.

    Regards,
     
  15. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Thanks John. I skimmed the numbers to fast. DOH!
     
  16. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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    I think I'm in Scott's camp. They may sound amazing in a properly treated room with great placement, but I have never heard a pair of planar speakers image convincingly.


    -Mike...
     
  17. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    I love maggies because I like the way they sound, not because some rag said I should.
     
  18. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    I guess that 80-160hz region just isn't very important to Magnepan owners. They are afterall blessed with the golden ears that the rest of us are so pathetically lacking.
    I'd just like to know where you expect to regain that octave of sound missing from the center channel. Phantom center? Elaborate bass management? Can the ICBM even do a 80-160hz rerouting from center to mains while still having the mains highpassed at 60-80hz?
    Of course it is just one octave. I suppose we could just live without it [​IMG]
     
  19. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Ned,
    Yes, that is exactly what the ICBM (Magnepan edition) is designed to do. It reroutes CC from XX-YYHz to the mains, where XX is the defined crossover frequency for the CC, and YY the defined crossover frequency of the mains.
    Want an excellent example of why you need the 80-160Hz octave? Look no farther than the DTS encoded version of The Eagles' Hell Freezes Over. For kicks and grins, set the crossover for all channels at 80Hz, and what you'll (not) hear is some of the bass guitar as he plays up in the 80-100Hz region. Note: Bass guitar is mixed into the center channel [​IMG]
    Regards,
     

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