Magnepan 1.7 crossover capacitor improvement?

In my never ending quest to eliminate "glare" from all components I've recently realized that my MG 1.7's are a contributor. The crossover caps in them are nothing to write home about, a mixture of non descript caps including an Axon totaling 116.8uf in the mid range and an additional 10uf Axon for the tweeter. Since Axon is basically Solens which does have glare issues, I'm ready to move on. After snooping aroud it sounds like a mixture of Clarity ESA series/ 250V + Mundorf supreme replacements in the mid range and Mundorf Supreme for the tweeter would be a good choice. But i'm curious if someone here has already trod this path and found a different path thats reasonably affordable ( not Duelends and Vcaps...grin)
At this point I have glare about 95% tamed but there are still certain CD passages that cause that chalk board scraping sensation.
What is the rest of your system? What cables are u using? How close are the 1.7's placed to rear wall and side walls?
Silver is right...what else you using?

That being said...the development of the LSA Statment Loudspeakers was a primer on 'how to' improve.
I think back on the old statement....'Everything matters...makes a difference.'
To the extent, Kevin Hayes an old friend puts, not only upgraded wire in his designs (preamps for example), but uses different types in different locations.
It's not as if there's a manual that says, OK, use X wire between this and that, then Y wire near the power supply, etc.
It's trial and error Davide.
Certainly changing the caps to better quality will allow you to hear more, have greater musicality from your system.
To help us...let us know what you're using...we'll be nice...putting a system together that sounds just right is an least it always has been for me.

Let us hear from you.

the virtual system "return on the dollar" is mine and up to date. Speaker placement is 3-4 feet away from back wall, but reversed since the magnets on the front panel create a Fresnel lens effect limiting off axis imaging.
After mulling it over, the large capacitance value for the midrange and up makes it pretty hard to find an affordable option that also fits in the allowed footprint. There are basically 4 caps; 6,8uf, 10uf ,25uf and 75uf. The 10uf (GC ?) and 25uf(Axon)look pretty respectable in construction, the other 2 (Erse and no name)look suspect.
So I'm taking a first stab by replacing the 6.8 Erse with a Mundorf Supreme and the 75uf value with an Axon, ordered today and hopefully in my hands by end of month. If this isn't satisfactory I may have to consider creating/wiring an outboard crossover as the better caps want more space than is possible with the stock configuration.
One cap at a time. I think the cap last in line before it goes to the mid panel is a 6.8 Axon. That is the cap u might try first. A safe bet would be to try a Sonicap. They are very neutral, fast and provide very good resolution at a reasonable price. The last cap in the parallel connection is quite influential on the sound. That may do the trick.

As for the tweeter cap, I would bite the bullet and get a Mundorf Silver Oil. It is expensive but I believe u will end up with a speaker that will compete with just about anything out there.

Do it once. Do it right.

Please remember though, a well done Maggie 1.7 can't help a shitty source, weak amplification and crappy cables. Everything should be up to the task before you season to taste.
I forgot to ask. How hard is it to get the sock off of the 1.7's without destroying it? I want to change out the inductor and a few caps myself but I don't want to trash the speakers sock in the process.

Thanks in advance.

Joe, (Silver)
Terrific advice.

There's something else here that has to be understood.
As axiomatic as it seems...patience with the break in is critical.
What you hear in the first five minutes, should be your system from the other room.
DO NOT LISTEN WHEN YOU FIRST MAKE CHANGES. As hard as that is to do, it's essential. First impressions are silly, and wrong.
The caps have a long, long break in...the better they are, the longer it seems to take.
I remember a moment during the LSA's Development (statement)...'What have we done? This is sh*t).
That's because I didn't heed that basic idea. Do NOT go for first impressions.
Let it cook for hours. It most likely sounds ok for the first hour, then goes south...changes character millions of times before, after about 200 hours of playing time...beginning to sound as it can.
Joe has given you GREAT advice.

Good luck...use patience Grasshopper.

I completely agree with Larry. Some caps go through their changes for up to 400 hrs. Teflon can take up to 600hrs to settle down.

As stated earlier, change one cap at a time and let it cook as Larry has suggested. You might even consider taking out that iron core inductor and dropping in a 16 gauge 1.4mh Goertz coil. They are expensive but worth it. As Larry can attest, the use of well placed coils , caps and resistors can take u quite far with an already well done design.

Good luck and any suggestions on cloth removal for the 1.7's would be appreciated.


Taking the socks off a 1.7 is pretty easy

1) use a rubber mallet to tap the side insert bars from the bottom up an inch or two. gently rap the bar exposed to make it pop out of the grove, once started it pops out easily.

2) remove the foot stands

3) the hard work is removing the 2 x 25 or some odd double row of staples on the bottom... be gentle to avoid unnecessary fabric tear

4) remove the 4 screws holding the speaker termination. You should now be able to slide the grill cloth over the terminals and above the crossover location to avoid accidental damage when soldering.

Agree on cap break in time. I'll start with the 6.8uf Mundorfs first and give it about 30 days
Hey David. Thanks for the detailed response. I really appreciate that.

One thing I'd like to mention though. While I really like Mundorf caps, I have never had success with the Supremes. I have used them on tweeters and I've used them as coupling and interstate caps. They exhibit good clarity but they can sound very slightly dry. Not bright just stark. However, the Mundorf silver oil is a favorite of many an audiophile. They have tremendous clarity with superb treble clarity and body that never becomes intrusive. I've never not had success with them in any application. That's not to say I think they are the best for every application but they are never embarrassed by anything.

If your budget allows go for the silver oil. If not, try a Supreme bypassed with a 1uf silver oil. Don't bypass with to small a value as that is the trend now days but it is detectable in most instances. Not all but most. You might eventually try a 9uf Sonic Cap bypassed with a 1uf silver oil on the tweeter.

Good luck and I'll be waiting to hear what you decide and what you feel the results are.

Best of luck and thanks again for your help.

ok, couldn't wait. I started with the 75uf Axons, they gave better mid bass clarity. Percussion like tympani and blocks have improved realism for transients and tone color. But after a few days not much else was different and I move on to the 6.8 Mundorf Supremes. Here a worthwhile change, richer tone color in the mids and smoother male vocals. Letting that bake, still some edge in the highs so will be replacing the super tweeter 10uf Axon in the next week with a Clarity cap 250V ESA model to see if that sweetens the highs.

If anyone knows of an affordable copper foil 1.4mh inductor
out there, please give a shout in this thread? Looking for something preferably at $100 or less, under 3.5 inches in diameter.Really curious to see how a quality inductor could affect bass reproduction.
So how would you know that changing out crossover parts will improve sound. And once done how do you know its better than original? Are you keeping a stock 1.7 about to compare changes too? Or just the old I changed parts for more costly its better now because I spent allot. This sadly is how most upgrade crossovers. And they always sound better to these gents. I have yet to see a actual proper experiment using a control. Its just new parts cost allot its better now....Good luck..
johnk, here's two freebies, work that mouse and you might learn something new. Some assembly required... laventures opinions are tested in far more depth than humbhomemadehifi but theres only a minor overlap for opinion comparison

meantime, I'm happy listening to recordings that before my changes were boring lead performances with diffident accompanists now improved to an equality of musical detail from all players... the surest sign of success with any audio change is when it makes you pull out old recordings and smile because you hear a depth of detail you couldn't hear before.
David maybe reread and answer my ? there's nothing this thread could teach me its you that needs schooling happy listening.
Have experimented extensively with Axons, Solens, Dynamicaps, Mundorfs, VTV Ultratone, both TF & Cu V-Caps, and Duelund Casts in various applications including on my Magnepan 3.6. You might not like the sound of the Axons or Solens, but they are anything but glarey. I'd look elsewhere for the problem before you rip into your speakers. Read the description of Humblehomemadehifi which I think is a roughly accurate decription of these caps. I'm actually fond of some of the sound qualities of the Solens on the 3.6 ribbon tweeter even compared with the Duelund Casts (although the latter only have 250 hours on them). I'd look first at the non-Mullard tubes and silver USB cable first - cheap and easy fixes.
I had the kind of glare issues you are describing with my 1.6's. Treating the corners from floor to ceiling tamed most of it. When I replaced the 1.6's with 3.7's, I was shocked to see the glare completely eliminated. I have wondered if the difference is due to the tweeters on the inside vs. outside. If you have the tweeters, out, it might be worth trying them inside before you start modifying the speakers.
Seen several guys with same complaint cure it with Analysis Plus Oval 9 or 12 speaker cable. I thought Oval 12 OUTSTANDING with Maggys.
the above directions on how to remove the side supports are correct but the cap value is wrong ...its 115.8 not 116.8 and the best combo you can use is 3 33uf Sonicaps gen1.... one 10uf sonicap.... and one 6.8sonicap......Use a 10uf Dynamicap in the tweet position and use Alpha Core 1.4 inductors....and you will die 100 thousand deaths over the improvement. If you want pics and help just drop me an e-mail at prettypugsley@rcn dotcom
The upgrade requires 115.8mf not 116.8 as stated above and a 10mf and 1.4uf inductor. Best is to use alpha core inductor and 3 sonicap 33mf a 10mf and 6.8mf to create your 115.8. You will not fit this in the panel base and must do it external and this will cost about 5-600.00 and will make your 2k speakers soUnd like 20k speakers. The difference is massive if you use the combo mentioned above. Use dynamicaps in the tweeter position the caps and inductor stock in the 1.7 are the worst possible quality on earth and were done to meet a price point because no one in their right mind would use the junk caps and inductors they used for any other wil take some time and patience but is well worth it
After a 2 week period I can tell you all that if magnepan company could hear my crossover improvement they would throw up........... The 1.7's with my external crossover blow away their stock 3.6's by a mile...these things are way more smooth, way more revealing, way more bass that is tighter and faster and the highs more extended and no edge whatsoever. Its unbelievable what a mess they are stock. Just have to realize you might as well leave the stock crossover in place and make it external because there is no way to fit the mod inside the little space that the 1.7's allow for crossover. Very very poor design and overall just a price point setup. The 1.7's deserve better then what they have stock .............they deserve my setup 1000% period!!!!!!!!!!!
after one month i can tell you this is not a slight upgrade it is a massive upgrade and this new crossover assembly has taken me so close to the music its frightening...for shame magnepan for not offering a better setup to your customers or at least the option of getting a top notch setup instead of the junk that is in these speakers stock...
Thats why I quit using Maggies, nobody makes "upgrades" for Totem crossovers.
After 3 months with my upgrade I have been able to now power them with my 50 watt per side Quicksilver 6c33c mono block with plenty of room to spare no need for the 500 watts of solid state I had to use before this upgrade . Took all the trash magnepan put in their crossover circuit and deleted it and replaced it with quality crossover components and now is just a pure state of serious clean musical pathway to my source material.... The problem all along is this crossover trash they used!!!!!!!!!! Feel free to email me for detailed pics on a step by step re-modeling of your seriously and horribly compromised 1.7's
Jordi, I'm interested in doing the same to my 1.7. Wondering why you prefer an amp with lower power now that you've done the upgrade. What did you notice changed the most using the 50 watt amp?
Well the Quicksilver 6C33c'S UP TILL THIS POINT COULD handle any speaker I threw at it and these was just a ton left on the table before the upgrade and then after the upgrade more power then I ever will need full robust power typical of what I came to expect from the 6C33C TRIODE Quicksilver . After questioning SANDERS at Q-silver what I said above are basically his words...for pics just e-mail me pretty pugsley at r c n dot com
12-23-13: Jordi
The upgrade requires 115.8mf not 116.8 as stated above and a 10mf and 1.4uf inductor. Best is to use alpha core inductor and 3 sonicap 33mf a 10mf and 6.8mf to create your 115.8. You will not fit this in the panel base and must do it external and this will cost about 5-600.00 and will make your 2k speakers soUnd like 20k speakers.

Jordi, you pique my interest in finding a way to do this Xover upgrade to my 1.7s. However, I don't think it's fair to take Magnepan to task for their business model. It may be a $500-600 improvement for a DIY-er, but the retail price of just about any manufactured product has to be 4 to 5 times the cost of manufacture to be able to turn a profit, once you account for labor, utilities, rent/mortgage, warehousing, utilities, shipping, and distribution, Therefore, an additional $600 in the crossover would bump the 1.7's price up to $4400. While at that price the 1.7 might be an unbelievable value, so is the stock 1.7 at $2K.

I concede, however, that it would be nice if Maggie had (or would officially outsource) a factory-warranted upgrade path that included such a crossover upgrade.
Sell the 1.7's and buy a used pair of 3.7's; much less work overall and the 3.7 is a far better transducer in every respect. The 3.7's will sound 'smoother' than the 1.7, have better bass and mid-range magic, and are better intergrated; the panels and ribbon speak with a single voice. Also, try increasing the angle a bit by raising the rear and tilting the panels forward slightly, this will help to shelve-down the high end.
3.7's or 1.7's same Ferrari with 20.00 tires on them. Magnepan did not spend more then 5.00 on each crossover in either the 3.7's or the 1.7's and personally I have a huge problem with that. Kind of embarrassing to be honest. No matter how you slice it putting a bigger engine in either of those Ferrari's changes nothing. Without great tires you have NOTHING
By the way Stickman451 I took my 1.7's over to my buddies home who owns 3.7's and we did a side by side and he said my 1.7's blew his 3.7's away in every category. We are now in the process of ordering up everything to do his 3.7's crossovers.
Jordi, I am very much interested in making improvements to my 1.7's and was hoping you share your experience / details / schematics of how you went about making those improvements. What type / make capacitors & inductors did you use in your crossover mod?

Thank you very much in advance for your help. Looking forward to hearing from you soon

Shahir---Danny Richie at GR Research is well known and respected for his cross-over work (including measuring speakers), and may be able to build you one for the 1.7.
Listen to Jordi, he's exactly right. Do it just like he says. I've upgraded the XO's in my MG12's and it TRANSFORMED THEM. They're much , much more of a serious sounding speaker and I mean in Hi-end aspects not Mid-fi ones. Songs that seemed like filler material now have meaning and purpose, The back and side walls sound like they have been relocated way farther back, it images better, just to mention a few ways it improves them. When I first read Jordi's blog elsewhere I thought he was exaggerating grossly when he said his upgraded 1.7 was better than his friends 3.7, but after I did my upgrade (OMG!) I now believe him completely and I just bought me a pair of 1.7's to do the same with. Do just like he says, leave the stock parts in the speaker and create an external box for the new XO. Also, I found that if you replace the 16 ga. iron core factory inductor with a 12 ga. air core, the resistive value will be very, very close to the factory one which is nice, AND the 12 ga, air core will give the mag's better bass authority than a 16 ga. will. My MG12's had 16 ga. and I think the 1.7 does too. I will verify that when I get mine. All I know is going from the iron cores that are stock you want to go with a larger gauge air core inductor to keep a similar ohm value and get more bass authority. I didn't do that with my MG12's and it didn't cause any noticeable problems (its been over a year of heavy usage) I just missed out more articulate bass. Go with what Jordi says on part brands, don't skimp there. I'm think I'm going to go even more exotic than what he did. I'm having fantastic results with Clarity Cap MR 400v caps in my MG12's. I might go all out and put a Mundorf S/G/O on the super tweeter, but at least a Clarity MR 630v. BTW, I kind of like the way Magnepan keeps the stock XO parts cheap. It gives us guys the chance to customize the way we want the level of sound from our panels. I want them putting the value into the panels and XO design, not the XO parts. I can replace a $10 cap with a $100 one easily, but trying to improve the panel drivers?, I have no idea how I would go about that. Upgrading your XO parts is the only way I know to hear what your Magnepans are actually capable of sounding like.
David, I checked out you system...the cables and Prima Luna have some tendency toward glare in some circumstances.  I Demi's a Prima Luna once and sent it packing for glare issues.  You may find yourself chasing your tail by not seeing the forest for the trees!
Demo'd ...damn auto correct!!
Thank you dfarmer. I replaced all the caps to Mundorf aluminum oil caps. 100mf, 10mf, 5.6 mf and alpha core 1.4mh inductors. I replaced the HF caps to Mundorf 10mf caps. The caps are still baking in but the clarity, soundstage improvements are amazing. They are ~ 3 - 4 db louder as well. As mentioned in this thread before, I am hearing the songs & movies a new way - they completely redefined the way these panels sound (in a good way). I also skipped the bass management on the Emotiva XMC -1, using the high pass (63hz) on my dual SVS PC 13,s. They made a lot of difference too as they blend in well and the phasing issues are now gone. I am eagerly waiting for my CC5's (center channel) & MMGW's for surrounds next week. Once the CC5 breaks in, I am planning to change its crossover as well😀.
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