Best Subwoofer for Magnepan speakers

Greetings Audiophiles ! I would like your imput. My present system is composed of the following: 1. Conrad Johnson PF-R Pre-amp. 2. McIntosh MC-300 Power Amp. 3. Magnepan 3.5 Speakers. As everyone already knows, the maggies have a great soundstage (with a powerhouse amp) but are somewhat weak on the bass. So do I want a subwoofer with a built in amp or do I want to power one with a dedicated amp? What brand subwoofer? Budget around $1500.00
I really value all your opinions! Thanks Kyle
the only one will work seamless with Magnepan is REL SUB. Looking for REL STORM III
I run a Sunfire Architectural Signature sub with my 3.6's. It produces astounding results. I listened to several different subs before purchasing the Sunfire. I have no regrets to this date. I hope this helps.............

I don't know how someone can claim that only one model will work "seemless" here. How on earth do you measure or validate what is seemless? I think it has far more to do with placement, room interaction, crossover points, amps used on the Maggies, etc.

I have 3.5s and use a Velodyne ULD18 with incredible results. The problem with just one sub is that you have to set its level high enough to match the level of the two main speakers. All of the low frequency signal coming from one localized spot can be tricky to optimize with all the room interactions issues. I'd like to find another ULD18 so that I could place one behind each 3.5 and adjust their levels individually to achieve this.

I run the Maggies full range and set the crossover to the sub's amp at 50hz. Ideally I'd like to crossover the Maggies at 40-50hz to increase the headroom of the amps (Wolcott Presence). Ideally you want to find a test CD or LP and set the level of the sub to the Maggies with a sound pressure level meter.

Vandersteen 2WQ.
I might instead demo a new source and preamp. You might recover (find) all the bass you need sight there. Depending on your tastes a sub may be unneccessary at that point. Or maybe try the Mye stands. That should work for most acoustic (except 'blood and thunder' classical) and electric (some jazz and most rock) music unless you need extension below 37-40 cycles or you need to "cave your chest in." You might be suprised that you don't need a sub. But it's up to you.

If you must get a sub, check out REL, Velodyne, or DIY designs based on Dayton or Adire driver. The best are likely to be the Linkwitz dipole sub (DIY design) or a set of Magnepan Tympani 1D panels acting as a sub with a 500W+ buiser SS amp. Though the tympanis play to only 30 cycles or so I believe. But that should be the most "seamless" sub, or it should be.
ACI's Titan would be a great choice in your price range.
I just added a Legacy rf Xtreme, i was a bit skeptical since the thing has 2 15" drivers, and you read all the stuff about maggies being fast and subs not being able to keep up or whatever. Well, from what I can see, it's just a placement issue and having a sub with enough flexibilty of adjustment to get a good seamless blend with the mains. The Legacy works great, I have it doing very little, it just fleshes out the lower octaves and provides that low end impact only when it is there in the recording.
The Rel Strata III works beautifully with my 1.6QR
speakers. The current version is the Strata 5.
You may be still looking for a good sub. I also have the
2.5R's and I spoke to a Mr. Hsu at Hsu Research. He designs
subs that are built in ...ready China! I bought the VTF-MK2
and I couldn't be happier.
Check him out at

Second the Vandy 2Wq.
Does anyone have experience running the James EMB-1200/1500 subs with Magnepans 3.6. Is the passive radiator design effective? Any fans of the Paradigm Reference Servo-15 with Maggies? Would appreciate recommendations for any subs up to $3k.
How about get two Adire Rava 2. Or just make sure your subs are sealed and you will be alright. Just like heads ..two are better than one.If you have the room that is.LOL
Stereo sealed subs are where it's at.No single sub with a single woofer/ input/ amplifier going to compete with two separate units run in stereo for music.Just not going to happen I don't care how much it cost.

Magnepans need subs that can keep up. I haven't heard a ported sub that can do this well. The less distortion the better. It will be easier to mate the subs to the Maggies.When your not running both left and right channels to the same unit.

Good Luck!
REL and Vandersteen are two audiophile quality subs which will work tremedously well with either two channel or HT applications. I am using twin Vandersteen 2W's (older model, but excellent quality. Built in non-limiting 300w amps, so no need for external amp)and they blend utterly seamlessly with planars/hybrids.
Insist on a pair of subs; some may arue it, but twin subs offer a distinctly better listening experience. Used Vandy 2W's are around $6-700.00 and should come with X-2 crossover (a must for proper operation; they allow you to adjust your sub settings to match whatever amp you are running)!
I feel you might be heading in the wrong direction by adding a sub. Your 3.5 can generate natural deep and massive bass notes with more powerful amps that are operating below the clipping line, Magnepans are like politicians they always need more good power.
I have to agree with Terryakhan. Properly set up in a tuned room, and provided with adequate, quality power, the larger Magnepans are capable of bass that is deep, articulate, and fast. The speed of the Magnepan panel makes for finding and mating a sub of equal speed difficult. That said, many Magnepan users have had good luck with the Sunfire and Vandersteen subs. My advise would be to not consider doing it unless you are in a position to use a pair of them.
I have custom designed subwoofer systems that I designed and built embedded in the wall behind my Maggies. I am well satisfied with results. While this design may be impractical for most people, (eg: apartment dwellers) some of the concepts I used may be relevant.
1..Every speaker should have its own subwoofer. This might mean three if you have a multichannel rig. Five would be overkill.
2..A large area of SW cone is desirable. In each of my three subwoofers, I have a 15" and a 12" driver, stacked. The idea here is that the Maggie is a large area low excursion driver, and the subwoofer should work the same way. A line array of four 10" SW drivers would be a good choice.
3..Locate the subwoofer directly behind the Maggie(within 2 feet or less), and raised off the floor so that its center is halfway up the Maggie (centered). The idea here is that the subwoofer "plays through" the Maggie. Good "integration". I have a hunch that the subwoofer works in part by absorbing the Maggie backwave rather than projecting its own sound.
just went through the subwoofer wars, spending weeks reading what everyone else thought and liked. listened to many subs. would have loved to get the velodyne dd series, but due to not being able to justify 5000.00 on a pair of subs, i settled for a pair of the velodyne spl 1200r's. gotta say once i found a happy place for them sitting back in the corners behind my system, they are a very excellent sounding sub. then again its all what your ear likes, not anyone else.