You need proper power delivery/noise control if you're going to get good bass out of a system.
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Before going to a subwoofer, make sure you have tried the Maggies with a powerful amp (at least 350 watts into 4 ohms). It really does make a difference. (My amps are 600 wpc). You didn't mention which Maggies you have. My MG1.6 are really good to 40 Hz or so, and there is not a lot of music that needs lower.
That said, I do have an elaborate subwoofer system, but depending on your musical tastes it might be overkill for you. Try the big amp first.
The others are right. You can get lots of satisfying bass out of maggies, even the 1.6. I have to make sure the rest of the system is up to the task first. amp (most important with maggies), preamp, source, power, resonance control, and acoustics. You might need more neutral equipment (ie, firmer grip on the bass). That's going to sound more neutral than adding a sub. That's one of the reasons I plan to change my preamp soon. I won't need the sub after that point, really. I know, I've heard my system with a more neutral preamp, and I am loosing loads of bass with my current pre. It's just so darn lush.
For you, sadly, it might be the Marantz SACD. Sometime Marantz gear has a softer house sound. It's likely not known for it's prodigous bass output. I'd either consider mods for the marantz or go in a different direction if I were you. I know we hate to receive recommendations to replace equipment when we post like this. Especially if it was so lovingly selected by ourselves. That's why I hesitantly make this suggestion. but I feel it's the right one.
Also, we need to ask if you're "trying to cave in your chest with bass?" If you are, you aren't going to get it with maggies. Not unless you run a real moster sub (or lots of monster subs). But if you're looking for just tad more, I think the maggies are capable of that on their own. Try a bigger amp first.
Maggies will never deliver "oomph" type bass. NEVER. It does not matter what they are connected to.
Having said that, your amp is plenty powerful ( 600+ wpc @ 4 ohms ), but the bass is somewhat lean or on the "highly controlled" side of neutral. Combine that with a speaker that is not known or capable of "thundering bass" and you've got a system that will be lacking in bottom end authority. Once you understand that, it may make some decisions a little easier for you to navigate. The amp can be modified and help some of this out, but it won't solve the lack of displacement that the Maggies themselves aren't capable of.
Before spending any money though, i really would work with speaker placement. Dipolar panels can produce very natural and satisfying bass, so long as one doesn't expect "slam" out of them. Most of the problems typically come from less than optimal speaker placement. Due to the radiation pattern of these speakers, it is very easy to actually increase bass cancellation at low frequencies. Most people don't want to place them properly in a "shared room" as such a design is not real room friendly in terms of "traffic patterns". This speaker DOES have a lot to offer, but there are a few more trade-offs involved that one must deal with in order to get the full benefits of the design.
Since your amp is a true voltage source and your speakers are lower than average impedance, you really need to pay attention to the proper selection of speaker cabling. The use of a low impedance speaker cable will increase current flow between the source ( amp ) and the load ( speaker ). Large volumetric displacement of air and high levels of current are what give you very tight, high output bass with good control.
On the other hand, you can use a speaker cable that is very high in inductance. This will roll-off the top end and shift the tonal balance to something warmer. The problem with doing so is that you tend to lose high frequency articulation, air, separation of instruments, etc...
My one suggestion out of all of this is to get the parts that you already have working as good as is possible within the room that you have. After you've achieved that, and if you're still not satisfied, you might want to think about supplementing the bass or correcting other areas that you're not happy with. If you don't do this, you'll end up introducing more variables into the equation, making it harder to figure out exactly what is going on in the big picture. Keep it simple until you can understand exactly what it is your dealing with and need to do. Sean
I have 1.6's which I am driving with 400Wpc amps, and I find the bass to be very satisfying. I do have a sub which I use mostly for movies. It's a Velodyne HGS-15 which, though not as fast as the Maggies, still integrates well. You might also want to check out REL subwoofers - I have read that they integrate very well with Magnapan speakers.
My Maggie 1.6s had too much bass for my tastes the entire time I owned them. Maybe my room has a node that excites the bass or something. I always thought the bass was excellent on them. I did own a Plinius SA100 MKIII which is a bass champ but tried an Innersound ESL too and both worked for me...
Maybe try borrowing a different set of speaker wire or ICs?
As above a powerful amp is needed and just as important in my findings is power delivery via selecting power cords which offer delivery of current for your amp.
I made stands that weigh 60 lbs. each to load / add gravity to them and although I don't have a meter I think lowered response 5 hz..
I have a Von Schweikert VS-1 sub, and matches wonderfully and gives the impact you may desire when needed.
I don't notice it working at all,very seamless and very easy to setup.Integrates with my spendor FL-6 as well.
I am also a 1.6 owner. Love the speakers. They do so many things right. But, bass is weak. I understand that Magnepan does not officially recommend any subwoofer to be used with their speakers, but did suggest that one which will integrate nicely has a configuration utilizing three 8" drivers. The sub that fits that description is the Vandersteen 2 series.
To make the bass on 1.6's really live, bi-amp and bi-wire each speaker. I'm running four channels of 200wpc into my 1.6's. The change in bass dynamics is impressive. But still not enough to satisfy me. So, I went to subs.
I currently use two Vandy subs (older 2W's) with my 1.6's. talk about Heavenly, powerful, defined, etc. etc. BASS!!!
You can find Vandy subs used for about $600 to $700 on Audiogon. GET THEM! They are a treasure for us magnepan owners!
I also highly recommend you purchase two; it's no joke, there is definitely lower level information which you can hear utilizing twin subs. I would not even consider going back to using only one sub. The difference in the "presence" of the music with two subs is amazing.
The only other brand of sub that comes to mind which is to my knowledge geared for true audiophile listening is the REL line. But they cost about three times as much as the Vandersteens.
Visit the Vandersteen website vandersteen.com
to see how their subs take the signal from the amp versus the preamp. A very critical difference, which IMHO is why they are so special.
I am getting UNREAL - NO! REALLY REAL sound from the 1.6 Vandersteen combo! I think you would be impressed!
BTW in my 13 x 21 x 8 room I used the Cardas method of speaker placement and never moved them after that. I found it the best compromise of imaging, tone and balance.
Also, when I had the Innersound amp (which was modified with a much bigger power supply to give 1000 watts to my Maggies) one time I played a drum solo for a friend and I bet it was louder than if an actual drumset was in the living room. It was gut thumpin bass! The point is, Maggies will play extremely loud and are limited by the amp most of the time, if you think the speakers are at the top of their limits I think it is probably the amp instead. My Plinius SA100 and Rogue Magnum 120's never came close to those volumes...