Magnepan 20.1

Can owners or those in the know tell me if these rock, classic rock, Blues, jazz? I haven't heard these but plan to soon. I would drive these with Mcintosh 501's, CJ premier 14 line stage, ARC PH 5, and primarily analog with basis 1400 - hadcock - ortofon jubilee.
For the ultimate experience you'll need to add a sub. The 501's will have plenty of power.
My friend Teajay has the 20's and they definitely do jazz very well. You might want to email him. Bob
I have the smaller 3.6r and they rock in my system. It was not always the case though. Adding the Spectron mono-blocks was a huge improvement. But it was after I got the Joule Electra Marianne Electra preamp that I felt how much slam the Maggies can have.

I think the Maggies 20.1 should be fine in your system, assuming your listening space is not too large. They can certainly handle a lot of power.

I have a Velodyne HGS-15 and it is not fast enough to keep up with the bass driver in the Maggies. Based on my listening habits (mostly jazz and classical, occasional rock), I don't really have a need for it. So right now the Velodyne is a nice, glossy side table.


Thanks guys, my room is large, 18 X 40 even though I only use 1 end it is an open space.
No takers? Come on Maggie owners - help me out...
The 501 is transformer coupled. I am not sure it is a good match for the 20.1. It may sound soft. I haven't heard that particular combination but I have heard a 252 driving a pair of 3.6 and it sounded soft. I think you better find ways to do an actual audition before spending that kind of money.
I have heard the Mac 1201s with the 20.1s many times and the combo is very good together. Anything but soft. I wonder if the 501s will be enough?
Wow, maybe not enough juice. I am driving Thiel 3.6's with ease in a large room. Are Maggies even more difficult?

I think the only way to audition these with my amps is to haul these 100lb boulders to the store.
Pops, Maggies are very difficult to drive, need a lot of currents.
Hello Pops,

My experience with the Maggies 3.6r and amps is that the listening satisfaction increases with watts. I tried the 3.6r at my local dealer with a Mac integrated amp (I don't remember, but it was <300 watts). From the mid-range up, it was simply magical, but the little Mac didn't have enough juice to have control over the bass driver. Then my dealer set the Maggies with more power, this time with a Classe amp. The Mac magic was gone, but the bass had more control. I also tried the Maggies with a Krell 400 watts @ 4ohms, and still no much control over the bass driver.

I then went for a single Musician III SE (800watts @ 4 ohms) and the sound was much more coherent from top to bottom. A few months after that, I went for the Spectron mono-blocks by adding another amp and bridging them. This is 2400 watts @ 4 ohms for the Maggies 3.6. This made a huge improvement over a single amp. The bass driver is now driven with absolute authority. My listening room is 14' x 23'. In this room, the Maggies can fill the room with powerful sound that shakes the floors and walls. Strange enough, the shaking aspect of the listening experience started after I added the Joule Electra preamp.

The Maggies can virtually be driven with a few hundred watts, but they really sing with a lot of power and current. I would try to audition them with a similar amp than what you have, if you can.


Thanks guys!
My take would be that you'd be initially left impressed with them (a change can be refreshing in many ways..), but which soon wears off after a long while and be missing back those energy behind snaps and plucks of string, as well real heft/power behind bass drives you used to be getting from your dynamic speakers (with maggies you get big full bass but generally lesser impact). And although the soundstage and imaging larger--lifelike in size, scale and presentation, in comparison, they are also slightly vague and diffused--not as pin-point or defined.

Therefore, as it is quite a dramatic change in musical presentation from what you are accustomed to, it is advisable to spend longer hours with them at dealer or friend's first (with your favorite records) to get a better grasp of their sound, and make sure they are right 'for you and your music' prior to taking the plunge.

I have to respectfully disagree. Maggies are capable of pinpoint imaging and producing layered and realistic soundstage. I had done extensive audition while I was shopping for speakers a few years ago. If not because of placement limitation of my room and my love of tube amp, I would have bought a pair of 3.6 instead of the Vandy 5; it was that good. But they need high power amp with a lot of current to shine. The more current the better. If you hear diffused soundstage or softness, it usually mean power amp mismatch or placement problem. Due to bass cancellation nature in panel speaker, Maggies don't have very deep bass so you won't get room shocking pipe organ but it should produce very realistic rim shot and kick drum.
I have to disagree as well. My Maggies 3.6r do very well all those things that Bvdiman says they don't do.

One thing the Maggies don't do well at all is boomy bass and diffused imaging. So if one is looking for single bass notes for all the records, then the Maggies are not for you.

Imaging is simply breath-taking with the Maggies. I have not heard this kind of imaging from any other non-planar speakers, regardless of price.

Bring in your little 50 watt integrated and they'll sound thin and constrained. Give them a lot of power and top notch gear, and they'll produce glorious sound. Ultimately, it all depends on the associated gear.


I was just listening to a pair of Maggie 20.1s last night at a local high end open house. They were powered by an all Ayre signal chain, including the Ayre 300w monoblock amps. They sounded really good--very engaging--on a wide variety of music, including jazz and classic rock. They played Bowie's "Ch-ch-ch-changes" from an EMI LP anniversary pressing and it sounded pretty spectacular, as did jazz and pretty much anything else. The 20.1s were augmented by a pair of 2x12 JL powered subwoofers, but it was a fairly large room.

The amps certainly weren't struggling to power the 20.1s. They had excellent dynamics. They didn't sound quite as dynamic and transparent as the Wilson MAXX 3's, but those are over twice the price. I liked the Maggies.
Played around with my MG20.1 for 3yrs ('03-'06), using dCS (4pcs) as source, through VTL REF7.5/ARC REF3, and alternating driving amps were ARC REF600mkIII, Jadis JA200 or FMA 611.

Well yes, they were certainly good and even excellent in some ways as many above have correctly mentioned. Loved them enough to have lived with for many years. But that was the brief and general description of what I, and a few 'phile friends experienced, in my room, where side-by-side, direct comparison, was conducted for a period of 3 days with the SF Strads which ultimately replaces them back then.
Johnnyb53 : They had excellent dynamics. They didn't sound quite as dynamic and transparent as the Wilson MAXX 3's, but those are over twice the price. I liked the Maggies.

< These more or less summarized what I felt too back then..
Nonetheless, I believe Maggies is still one of the greats in audio bargain out there today. Especially when putting cost to performance ratio into perspective.
I'm low power.

Winey bi-amps his 20.1's, and I've bi- or tri-amped every Maggie I've owned (T-III, IC, IIIA, 3.6). My experience is that when you bi-amp with these speakers the power requirements take on another dimension. More IS better, but overall you can get outstanding dynamics with less power if you bi-amp. I have only 130W per side for Jazz, blues, orchestral. I would describe my listening levels as "moderate".