Well, I think they can be quite good for any genre of music but you need a high power amp and they will still never be the nth degree in terms of bass weight or punch. Other than that they are hard to beat at the price, but do not underestimate amp cost unless you have a very good one already. Adding a sub can generally remedy the bass dynamics issue if needed. They also can be problematic to place in a room optimally for best sound in that distance from the rear wall is often desirable.
You head the Maggies in someone's office?! Wow, I would like an office like that!
The MMG's are excellent for the price, within their limitations. They are capable of life-like imaging, but can be fussy about placement (they really need to be pulled out into the room more than average), require a high-powered amp, and really do need a sub (or a pair or subs, if you subscribe to that theory). The bass sounds weak relative to box speakers.
It largely depends on your room, associated equipment, and type of music as to whether the MMG's represent a screaming bargain or good speakers that just aren't a good fit for your situation. They excel at chamber music and some jazz, but for rock or dynamic orchestral music I prefer standard box speakers.
I tried the MMG's on Magnepan's free trial, and while I appreciated some things that they did well, I ended up sending them back because I listen to a wide array of music that I didn't feel didn't consistently play to the strengths of the MMG's.
IMHO, of course.
not a rock speaker. There more in line with small assembled classical,folk,jazz and such. I would look towards Klipsch speakers if your taste runs towards ROCK.
The MMG's are a good speaker for the money but you definitely want to have a high powered amp driving them (if you don't already have one) It's not that maggies won't sound good with a low powered amp but you definitely won't hear what they're fully capable of. If you do decided to go with the MMG's I would definitely send them to Magnestand for his his upgrades as your budget allows. http://www.indiespinzone.com/mag/mag5.html
I know it sounds silly to spend 3x the cost of the speaker for mods but it is money well spent, for a little over two grand you will have a speaker that will easily compete with anything under 5 grand and then some, and will play all genres of music equally well. I was very impressed with what I heard and never felt the need for a sub. There is definitely no comparison between the stock version and his "Gunned version" I really wasn't able to identify any weaknesses. More people need to hear these
FWIW I have no affiliation with Magnestand I just had the pleasure of listening to them
The trial period is too short because you need a longer time to break them in. The MMGs sound completely different after about 3 months of normal listening. You might be able to accelerate that by playing them non-stop at moderate to high levels for a couple of weeks.
As mentioned above, there are a number of tweaks that offer improvement. Some are cheap, like getting them off of the floor, bypassing the fuse and replacing the capacitors. Bypassing the fuse offers the most improvement. AA has a tweak section that could keep you busy for a while.
If you have a large room, you probably need a high powered amp. You don't need so much to obtain a high SPL with a smaller room. I run mine with a 30 w/ch push pull 6L6 tube amp in a 12x16 room. I have a subwoofer as well, crossed over at the lowest frequency, 40 hertz.
I disagree with the absolute opinion that the MMG doesn't sound good with rock music. Decently recorded performances of most genres sound fine and gives you the special soundstage and midrange. However, I don't listen to heavy metal or screaming, thrashing stuff that others might.
I have had mine for 12 years and have never thought of going back to a box.
I'll concur with Pckiing about MMGs and rock. I think they are better suited for rock than classical (which is what I listen to). One of their weaknesses is underplaying dynamic contrasts. Well, rock music mixing keeps most songs at a pretty flat dynamic level. The bass is also boosted too high on many rock songs. Rock plays to MMGs strengths, contrary to the cw.
I was also blown away by the MMGs when I got them; it seems you had a similar reaction. I was listening to them yesterday and continue to just love the sound. Get them and be happy.
I have had many pair of Maggies, and I think they abosolutely rock. The don't bloat bass, which many people confuse with punch and impact, but they do measureably reproduce the bass that is claimed in their literature. My favorite part of my Maggies is how they reproduce the kick drum and bass in any song. I particularly love the sound of the Police through these speakers.
That said, they do need power, lots of clean power, and that's not cheap.
If you look at the MMG I would think about a high powered Wyred4Sound amp, the most power you can afford.
Also, a sub absolutely helps once you get them dialed in. I have loved the Velodyne DD's for as long as they have been out, because depending on your set up, they can be very easy to set up and integrate.
Good luck, hope you join the Maggie club.
A sub controller (like the Velodyne SMS-1 that I use) will help get seamless integration of the Maggies and your sub -IMHO, critical for optimizing the kind of set-up you're contemplating. (You'll get room corrected bass out of the deal, too.) There are other models out there that some prefer, but the SMS works well at a reasonable price, app. $400. Once a seamless match is acheived, your sub+main speaker system will be a full range monster that represents ridiculous value for any type of music. Maybe rock isn't the particular strength, but I don't know what will rock better - and offer all the other strengths that this set-up offers - for $1K plus your sub.
BTW, all the comments on amps and power requirements are on the money.
Macdadtexas, that's interesting that you find the MMG's good for rock. What are some examples of albums that sound good through the MMG's? It makes sense that if you're listening to compressed music, then the MMG's might not show some of their downsides.
I tried the MMG's with groups such as Vertical Horizon (one of my favorite rock/alternative bands), REM, Tears for Fears, and Coldplay. My sense was that they were lifeless and lacking in dynamics. Maybe it's just what I've become calibrated to. My amp is an Innersound ESL 300 so lack of ability to drive the Maggies should be taken out of the equation.
The bottom line is that I greatly preferred my Audio Physic speakers to the MMG's for most types of music. Then again, the retail price of the Audio Physics back in their day was nearly 7 times as much as the MMG's, so that does need to be taken into consideration.
When I had an Innersound ESL (what a great amp), I had it driving 1.6qr's and then 3.6R's, both with great effect.
I never listen to compressed music of any kind.
I probably go 90% vinyl, then the other 10% is lossless files through a very good DAC (after auditioning about 10 different DAC's).
I don't know what the deal is, I have had MMG's, that's what I started with, and I have tried many other speakers as well. I always end up coming back to Maggies.
All of my current set up is listed.
I think rock sounds great, I just played Van Halen, Black Sabbath - Paranoid and AC/DC -Back in Black (all on vinyl), and I can tell you, they all absolutely rocked. Huge sonics, massive impact, and crystal clear.
But that's my set up. I have never gotten any box speaker into my system that I could live with. I have heard some great ones to be sure, just not my taste.
Although, a buddy that has a Mac/Klipshchorn/Technics sp-10 setup rocks the world very well, and I have seriously thought of going that direction for a change. I do love the sound of the Klipschorns and the other's in the Klipsch Heritage line. Older JBL's as well.
Thanks for all the great info guys. Definitely a big help.
I have been doing a lot of study on my own as well and have a few more questions.
I can only place them 2 1/2 feet off the wall behind them, maybe I could stretch it to 3 feet but no more. I've always been confused if that's considered the front or back wall, I've heard it called both. Also, I would be driving them with an Onkyo 805 (130 wts). It's a receiver but supposed to have a good amp section. I could replace it in a few years but will it make the MMG's sing until then?
If anyone has other suggestions for speakers in the same price range that will equal or surpass the MMG's for my situation, I'm listening.
Thanks again for all the help.
Anyone have comments on this last couple o questions?
buy a pr of Klipsch Heresy's used for $500 and use your sub..They are much better than people think and you can easily improve them by damping the horns or upgrading the crosover
I don't think you can touch the MMG in that price range, but there is a very big caveat; Maggies take a lot of power to drive, and you don't have enough power. That makes them cheap to buy, but fairly expensive to enjoy.
I am not sure that your reciever is rated for a 4 ohm load to begin with, so I am wondering if there is a possiblity that you could not only be underdriving the speaker, but potentially doing a bit of harm to the speakers and reciever.
I would suggest getting a seperate amp and using the Onkyo as a preamp. Maybe an NAD 218thx? If you can find one, it's a v good, inexpensive amp with tons of headroom.
As far as other speakers in that price range, I don't think there are many if any in the same league, but I would look at some excellent Paradigms or a smaller Definitive Technology (BP 7006), those can sound great. The Def Tech has built in subs, tons of slam, and still excellent resolution, very good speakers.
I think the amp can be improved as mentioned but you have to determine whether what you have meets your expectations or not first.
3 feet out from the wall may be ok, I've seen it work, but again you have to experiment and see. A lot depends on the room. I've seen Maggies and planars in general set up and delivering fantastic imaging up to 1/3 or so into the room from the rear wall. Unfortunately placement away from the rear wall also means greater possibility that a sub might be desirable.