Maggies and rolled off treble


Hi folks, I don't want to offend anyone but I think Maggies, especially the older types have significantly rolled off treble! The sound is because of this rolled off treble rather midrange oriented, which could sound very pleasing, but at the same time there is limited resolution due to this treble behaviour. Of course I could be wrong and I'm suffering some sort of hearing disorder/loss, but this is to me a consistent finding. Listening to those Maggies is a nice listening experience, until... you fall in sleep because of the shelved down treble response.

Chris
dazzdax
It depends on the power-amp & other electronics you are matching it with.
If you have top notch electronics, then I can assure you it is one of most musical speakers ever made.
Especially the midrange of the old Magnepan is au par with the immortal classic Quad ESL 57.
Poor electronics won't let the old magnepans sing !!!
That may be true of the older maggies but from my experience the new maggies are hot on the treble if anything.
Yes I had the newer Magnepans as well, but traded in the very old generation ones, as the midrange was not au par with my former beloved Quad ESL 57.
The new Magnepans are indeed more detailed, but at the same time lesser musical, lesser emotional, and more analytical---> this will result that some persons will interpret this as an technical advancement, and some other persons simply do not like it, so a kind of interpretation, and a kind of taste.
the new maggies are hot on the treble if anything.
Indeed on the 3.3/3.5/3.6 series. Unless the system has a severely rolled off top end, a power resistor value of 1-2 ohms is a must on the tweeter attenuation terminal.

Do the older models also have such terminals? If so, is there a resistor there? And if so, try a lower value or none at all.
I have MG1.6, and a spectrum analyser to determine frequency response. The 1.6 does roll off the top 1/3 octave a few dB, which I can correct using an equalizer. Other than this top 1/3 octave the high end range is really flat, as per the Magneplanar specs. The owner's manual suggests that you may want to use the 1 ohm tweeter padding resistor (that they supply) to roll off the trebble. They say that a flat speaker may sound "hot" on the high end because recordings are often boosted on the high end to compensate for the rolled-off highs of many brands of speakers. With Maggies, the choice of tweeter padding resistor is left up to the user. Nice.

I would expect the Maggies which use the ribbon tweeter to be flat to, and above 20KHz as per the Magneplanar specs. However, they probably also need the resistor to sound flat with many commercial recordings.
My Mg-1's are somewhat rolled off at the top. I changed the IC's from pre to amp from Monster 250's to M 1000 II's and noticed an improvement. I'm looking to upgrade the speaker wires from Radio shack to something more revealing.
Any suggestions under $100, 8ft., bananas at least on one end would be appreciated. Tfm 35 amp, chase technology pre, Sirius and Sony 200 disc as sources, Audioquest quartz as IC's. My goal for my office system is to get the best sound for the least amount of money. So far, retail-$3500. Actual cost- $500. Dan
I can say that older Maggies sound so appealing because of the rolled off treble, the emphasis on midrange, the transparency and punchy bass. Therefore they are quite forgiving with regard to less immaculate recordings. And that's for most people a very pleasant feature. IMHO there are more revealing speakers, but they won't be as appealing to most people as the Maggies. That's why Maggies are so popular among people and that's why many people consider their sound as SOTA, but in fact they are psychoacoustically "tuned" devices and are therefore not truly SOTA. But hey, we want a musical sounding system, not a system that is SOTA on paper but not SOTA with regard to musicality. Or don't we?

Chris
Dazzdax No that is absolutely not true !! again it is depending with what amplifier you are matching it period !
-Old Magnepan has a more natural & musical sound balance compare to the new Maggies.
-New Magnepans are more audiphile sounding you will hear cripy micro details a kind of high techno sound(but unnatural compare with live)

---> If you want pure natural sound then go for the Apogee Diva, it has the dynamic punch,the 3-D, big sound stage, far more lively than Magnepan.
Apogee approaches live music much better than any of the Magnepans
Chris and other fans:

For "older" Maggies, are you including Maggies with ribbon tweeters?

Or the really old Maggies, like MG-1bs, MG-II's, Tympani 1-D's. I have had several pairs of Maggies and now have Tympani IVa's with ribbons.

To this day, my first pair of Ib's (no ribbon0 were one of my favourite speakers.

cwlondon
I agree with OP, at times I hear Maggies and really like them, but I alos hear them many times and its a dull and boring sound so it is either upstream gear or the model but its hit and miss.
Anytime I've heard the Maggies, they behaved as a most wonderful midrange speaker. I suppose most of the sound is in the midrange so that's ok. The problem I have had with them, is that the "picture" is so small...it reminds me of headphone listening a bit. I always wish I could remove the wall between the speaker and the performer..which was indeed playing right there in the courtyard.
Midrange is the unsung hero of good audio and happy audiophiles.

This is why Magneplanars, LS35a's, Quad ESL 57's, Celestion 600's and precious few others are legendary speakers, many years after they were first manufactured.

In the meantime, neurotic audiophiles spend fortunes on things like "extension" "air" "resolution" and and "transparency" making themselves miserable in the process and then spending another fortune on corrective measures like overpriced cables and silly tweaks.

20 years from now, no one is going to be sentimental or seeking out today's best subwoofers or the most extended supertweeters for restoration.

But original Quads will still be very expensive.
Are you telling the newer Maggies and Soundlabs are for neurotic audiophiles?

Chris
I would say the newer Maggies and Soundlabs are a much better fit for neurotic audiophiles than the older Maggies, yes.

I would not necessarily say that either are bad speakers.
magnepans are not rolled off. i own 1.6s and have owned 2.7s. my friend owns 3s and i have heard 3.5s, 3.6s and 20s. this discussion is like asking someone if a particular entree tastes salty. there are many opinions on taste, be it based upon hearing or taste buds.
Mr Tennis

Anchovies taste salty.

And early single panel Magnepans are "rolled off" compared to newer versions with ribbon tweeters, as well as most high priced "audiophile" speakers manufactured today.

Cheers

cwlondon
In the meantime, neurotic audiophiles spend fortunes on things like "extension" "air" "resolution" and and "transparency" making themselves miserable in the process and then spending another fortune on corrective measures like overpriced cables and silly tweaks.
Miserable? Not quite. Some of us just happen to like to hear the detail brought on by the great percussionists, pianists, guitarists, vs. a blob of midrange grain or attenuated trebles so evident in the electronic designs of the 1980s and before. Drop in any number of modern preamps in place of the SP-11 and you will not only hear significantly more clarity and dimensionality in the coveted midrange but much new information that has been hiding in your system all this time. It's on the LP or CD, you're just not hearing it.

... as well as most high priced "audiophile" speakers manufactured today.
That's quite a generality. And how many of these have you actually heard directly compared to each other in the same system?

This is why Magneplanars, LS35a's, Quad ESL 57's, Celestion 600's and precious few others are legendary speakers, many years after they were first manufactured.
Or are they legendary because they do the mids so well but so much else is compromised that the listener is solely focused on the mids. And for many of us, this is the most important range for a system to get "right". But once you hear a speaker do this and so much else, these "Legendary" speakers often get boxed up AND put in the attic. Oh, and you forgot to mention Spendor.

There's too much focus on rolled-off or attenuation and not much about resolution and clarity. The Magnepans I owned and heard at the dealer were never rolled-off....but they were mediocre at best in resolution compared to the SoundLab A1s I run with now.

Sorry Cwlondon, it's not neurotic --- it's magic.
Cwlondon..."Rolled off" is the wrong description for what MG1.6 speakers do. It is not a gradual thing. Based on my measurements they are flat right up to the last 1/3 octave on my analyser. In that octave they take a dive of several dB.
Midrange is the unsung hero of good audio and happy audiophiles.

This is why Magneplanars, LS35a's, Quad ESL 57's, Celestion 600's and precious few others are legendary speakers, many years after they were first manufactured.

In the meantime, neurotic audiophiles spend fortunes on things like "extension" "air" "resolution" and and "transparency" making themselves miserable in the process and then spending another fortune on corrective measures like overpriced cables and silly tweaks.

As far as generalization go - and the obvious limitations of making gross generalizations - I agree fully with this one!

One of the principle reasons for chasing accurate bass response with low distortion - is NOT TO MESS UP the lower midrange!!!

Most people miss this point altogether and focus only on the flat to 20Hz nonsense with bass distortion easily above 10% and terrible impulse response from ridiculously small narrow and often ported boxes...great on brochures and spec sheets, impressively aesthetic, amazing room pounding bass that defies the box size and makes reviewers "Oooh and Aahhh" - but really this is very BAD sound from a musical integrity perspective.

Where are the classic massive Tannoys from yesteryear? Gone because they make ugly furniture - who cares anymore about the sound?

I am a great believer in rolled off bass rather than a bunch of harmonic distorted crap - if it means an electrostat then yes this is indeed a better choice than many commonly available box speakers.

However we must accept that midrange focussed audiophiles have become somewhat of a rarity in a world of BOOM BOOM TIZZ BOOM BOOM TIZZ...

Good point Cwlondon!
I think those of you who know me well realize I like to get a bit cheeky once in a while, in the good natured pursuit of further conversation.

But Jafox you are sounding a little defensive.

I have also owned and enjoyed Apogees, Martin Logans, ATCs, Sequerra Pyramids, Epos and others over the years by the way.

I am sure my SP-11 is not the last word in air transparency and extension.

But in my experience, those attributes have never increased my ability to relax and enjoy the music.

They have, however, often increased my compulsion to buy more audio gear and/or increased my worries and stress that despite all the money I had spent, there still was something that just wasn't quite right with my system....

I otherwise agree Spendor (and also Harbeth) could be added to the list.

Are you a dealer by any chance?

If so, please feel free to forward my details to all of your customers who have boxed up their Quads and early Maggies in the attic and I will be more than happy to show them a fair bid.

Shadorne

Thanks for feeling my pain.

cwlondon
As far as generalization go - and the obvious limitations of making gross generalizations - I agree fully with this one!
Now here's a quote to carve into stone for eternity!

One of the principle reasons for chasing accurate bass response with low distortion - is NOT TO MESS UP the lower midrange!!!
Shadorne ... It's quite impossible for any speaker to mess up the lower midrange when the CD player upstream has already done a phenomenal job of this.

Most people miss this point altogether and focus only on....
Perhaps "most" people not into the hobby of high-end musical system. But I suspect that very very few A'gon members would put themself in Shadorne's "most" camp.

But Jafox you are sounding a little defensive.
My intent is to give a counter-view as I suspect I would be classified as being in the neurotic camp where effort is made to refine a system in every way possible, including cables and tweaks.

But in my experience, those attributes have never increased my ability to relax and enjoy the music.
The idea here is that added tonal coherency and resolution should be exclusive of musical enjoyment is a theme often covered here. There's been a lot written in these threads about resolution/detail/dynamics vs. dimensionality/ambiance/harmonics ..... when in fact, a well implemented system can achieve both ..... and result in relaxed listening. One does not have to sacrifice the frequency extremes to enjoy the great stuff in the middle. And I know this well as I owned the SP-10 for 8 years back in the 80s/90s. As great as it was to bring on the musical enjoyment, I was also aware of its severely subtractive nature. And today I have the magic I had with the SP-10 but so much more.

And no, I am not a dealer. Just another A'gon member here who has learned much from many people here.. They have made me aware of the possibilities because I was willing to take their advice and try some of their suggestions directly in my system ... rather than to discount their value because I had already made up my mind based on my own past experiences.
Is the rolled off treble response (if there is any) from the older Maggies due to the fact that a Magneplanar driver consists of multiple loops of aluminium trace on a Mylar membrane, so there is in fact a high resistance?

Chris
No, there is not.
The modern Magnepans are in fact the back side of the old Magnepan reversed to the front.
Jafox,

My intent is to give a counter-view as I suspect I would be classified as being in the neurotic camp where effort is made to refine a system in every way possible, including cables and tweaks.

And I respect where you are coming from. You are certain that an ordinary CD player will be woefully inadequate, as would an ordinary interconnect or cable. As the saying goes.....one bad apple and the whole lot will turn bad. It certainly has some logic to it.

However, I assure you that significant bass distortion is quite common in almost all popular aesthetic looking speakers with extreme LF response (small but sound big). Distortion is typically several orders of magnitude greater than what one would typically observe from a CD player or amplifier. Therefore you might consider this along with the CD player and wires in terms of what might need to be refined.
Dazzdax...Maggies have relatively low impedance. The wire on the Maggie diaphram is probably no longer than the wire wound on the voice coil of a cone driver, and it doesn't have the inductance of a coil, so Maggies are an easy load for the amp.
I think your problem is speaker cables. I had that problem a while back.