All statements are suspect because I haven't heard the system personally johnto.
I currently own the 20.7 loudspeakers and have known of, owned and/or sold Magnepans since 1983, off and on.
Their core sound is smooth, very much so. How much power, which recordings, wires, sources... are you having problems with... with this info, it will help responders get a better feel for what is happening.
Do you have the ability and resources to try switching out the system, piece by piece.
Ultimately, with the right gear, you may find that the Maggies best feature is their mid range.
Hope we call all help.
I don't have the resources to switch out pieces, I may try to borrow a friends amp.
Prior to the 3.7i I had 1.7i and 1.7 which sounded smooth. The 3.7i brings more of everything but the harshness in the vocals are aggravating.
Is the harshness present no matter the volume (SPL)?
I would suspect it's either the Halo integrated or cables. I always thought the Halo was bright when I had it in my system.
I really like my Halo 2.1 with MG12 speakers. It has mellowed out their aggressive nature. I play it medium volume at most as I live in an apartment.
also the guy who sold me the Halo said it's sound changes a lot when using different speaker cables. (I use AQ Type 4)
Are you using stock jumpers? Your amp probably isn't powerful enough either.
Yes the stock resistors also tried solid copper wire.
Classic underpowered sign is the harsh high . More power !
Try swapping the left and right speaker and see if that helps!
Although the Halo Integrated puts out 160wpc into 8 ohms and 240 into 4, it doesn't put out that much current. Look at the power supply in the amp, at best there is 40uf of caps per channel. That isn't much energy storage. I would try an amp that is known to drive the Maggies well and then go from there. If you want the band aid approach, I would try some warm sounding speaker cable, Audioquest comes to mind or the older MIT cables. I would also ask on the Planer Asylum over at Audio Asylum. Those guys will know for sure and be able to help.
Ditch the Parasound Ingegrated amp and buy a PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP Integrated amp and throw in some nos Mullard tubes and sit back and let the magic happen. PL HP amps work great with Maggie’s.
240 into 4 isn't enough for the 3.7i's. Get a Sanders Magtech and be amazed.
@limniscate - That is more then enough for the 3.7i’s. It’s not about the watts it’s about bandwidth and current. I drive my 20.7’s with 200wpc PL Dialogue Premium HP monoblock amps and they have never sounded better. Trust me it’s not about the watts. Maggie’s are so misunderstood IMHO.
Did more critical listening and the problem seems to be rock CD's and lp especially during chorus singing. Even the new Chris Hillnan is awful( does any one else have this).Jazz, opera and all other types of vocals and music are great at any volume.
I'll try some different cables soon.
Just popped on CSN and the vocals sound wonderful now wondering if it has something to do wirh things done in digital.
@bluesy41 At what volumes do you listen to music?
No too loud probably about the 10 o'clock position
@limniscate - I listen at around 85-107db with the max at any given time reaching 125db during a particular song.
Talked to Wendell yesterday he suggested trying 2ohm resistors in the tweeters and maybe som diffusion.
If anyone in the Boston Ma southern NH or RI area has the same speakers and wants to do some mutual listening let me know.
I have owned Maggies 3.5Rs and Parasound 2.1. I finally got rid of the Maggies for similar reasons as you, replaced them Emerald Physics KC IIs, an absolute bargain, I also upgraded to Parasound Halo P 5, which has a lot more more balls than the 2.1
Waiting to receive some 1.5 and 2 ohm resistors in the mail.
Also looking into possible amp replacement.
Purchased 1.5 and 2.0 resistors fron Magnepan arrived but when installed take all the life out of my listening. Gone is all the high end magic . I'll go back to just jumpers maybe try a different amp or more diffusion .
The higher ohm fuses will only attenuate the high frequencies and will not affect midrange where most vocals live. Try diffusion but I doubt that’ll address your issue. I tend to agree with an earlier posting pointing to this harshness as a possible sign that the amp is straining although the harshness should normally be more evident in higher frequencies.
I did it spent above my means and bought a Pass 250.8 and XP 10 pre.
While the Parasound Hint was a great match with the 1.7i the sound wasn't the same with the 3.7i. The Pass takes control and is more musical in every aspect as it should be at 5X the cost. There is still some grain in some 60's rock but I'm guessing this is just bad recording.
Congrats on your Pass X250.8. I’ve not heard the XP 10 pre but I’m sure it’s very good. I use an older X250 and love it with my ModWright LS 36.5. If you’re not using good balanced cables I would recommend that and don’t use the stock power cords regardless what the Pass manuals state; my X250 manual stated aftermark power cords don’t make a difference but they do. Hopefully your X250.8 and other components have dedicated circuits or you’re not hearing their best; made a huge improvement with my X250. If you can’t run a dedicated circuit then at least pick up some decent receptacles if you’re only using $2 spec grade which is what most homes have.
Hate to throw in this tidbit after your awesome x250.8 purchase, but a very simple, and easy error for anyone to make, that could cause your issue, is if you have directional cables and just 1 of them is going in the wrong direction. The parasound is a good piece of equipment, but very detailed and tinnie compared to the x250, which is amazingly smooth compared to most any SS. I bring this up, because you mention still hearing grain on 60s recordings....sooo, it is possible that your ear is aclimatized to the reveal of the parasound, and you only think the problem is fixed with the pass labs because of how smooth that amp is...hearing is often just relative perception....take a peak at the directional arrows of all your interconnects and speaker cables. If you find 1 that is turned wrong, be prepared for your audio nirvana. If that is not a problem, then hopefully at the very least this comment might help someone else in the future that does make that exact mistake.