Magnepan Bass, Dynamics and Subwoofers


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Lots of talk of the new ".7" Magnepan series speakers. Below is a quote from a current thread on the 'Gon referencing the weaknesses in Magnepans.
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However, if you are a Maggie owner/lover and haven't heard an Apogee ... when you do you may become an Apogee convert. Apogees improve on many of the things that Maggies don't do so well, like dynamics, bass response, synergy between tweeter and woofer panels, etc.
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Does a well integrated subwoofer remedy the purported weaknesses in Magnepans? If anyone out there is running Maggies with a sub, what improvements did the sub impart?
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Convert?fit=crop&h=128&policy=eyjlehbpcnkioje0otu5mtkymdusimnhbgwiolsicmvhzcisimnvbnzlcnqixx0%3d&rotate=exif&signature=30babad7e4157016a55a009429ddd7b820f6ced6f365413c3be9f0732688771e&w=128mitch4t
IF YOU HAVE THE ROOM, BUY THE MAGNEPAN TYMPANI SPEAKER. THE BASS IS IN FOUR PANELS AND IS BETTER THAN ALL OTHER MAGNEPANS EXCEPT MAYBE THE MG 20 SERIES. OTHER THAN THAT ..A COMPANY BASED IN GRASS VALLET CALIF...VERTEK...MAKES MODEL SPECIFIC SUBS FOR RIBBONS THAT ARE FAST AND EXTREAMLY ACCURATE . THEY HAVE DONE LOTS OF OEM WORK FOR MAJOR HIGH END SPEAKER COMPANYS. I HAVE SEVERAL OF THERE PRODUCTS..530- 477-8126
Mitch,

I rotate several speakers in my main system. Among those, I sometimes use the little MMGs crossed to a pair of Rythmik subs. The crossover (along with the room EQ) is effected in the digital domain by an Audyssey xt32 powered pre-pro (Onkyo).

Several years back, I owned Maggie 3.5s, which I ran full range with an ARC LS 25 and VT130SE. (Caveat: different room, different source components).

I prefer the MMG/Rythmik combo to the full range 3.5s by a very wide margin.

One opinion, FWIW.

Marty
Indoor voices, please. :-P
I run my 3.6's full range and use a Final sub with them. The sub extends frequency response in my room down to 20hz. The blend is seamless.
Alan
I do roughly the same as Arh. My 3.6Rs are run full-range, and I use a REL Stentor II for the bottom end. Completely seamless after spending the time to properly set it up, and it extends waaay down. It's a very different listening experience because with this sub it isn't so much sound as it is a pressurization of the air in the room.
Realistic bass for me is the 12th row and I've never been slammed by the bass at any performance I've attended. I don't sit next to the instruments at concerts or other live (unamplified) music venues. I've always run my Maggies full range for that reason. That's just my standard of comparison based on the music I listen to.
Well, a thread like that, which is devoted for some reason to criticizing a certain kind of speaker, is going to attract a certain kind of post. If you look at the specified and measured performance of Maggies, you'll find that it covers much the same range as dynamics, with -3 dB points ranging from 25 Hz for the big 20.7's to 55 Hz for the little MMG's. Also, while planars of any kind won't play bass as loud as a large floor standing dynamic's wooferw, they'll often play it louder than a small one.

The reason I mention this is that whether you want a sub or not with Maggies is going to depend on the model you get, how loud you play, and the size of your room -- just as it would with dynamics. Some will want a sub with the largest Maggies, some use the MMG's without one. So in my experience you don't want to go running out getting a sub until you have them and know whether the bass is sufficient.

If you do end up getting a couple of subs (always better than one), you can get whatever kind of bass performance you want. Sealed subs are less likely to color the sound than the horribly bloated ported kind.

The sub can also, besides increasing bass slam, take a load off the Maggie and let it play louder. Again, not important for most, but for those who like to listen at exceedingly loud levels, or have a small model like the MMG.

I should add that I've heard the 3.7's and the bass was superbly natural. Like any speaker, they're tuned for an average room. If you want to use them in an unusually large room, you can add diaphragm area with Magnepan's DWM-1 woofers. This will make more difference to the sound than a sub will, because it fills in the midbass, which is more important to the ear than the deep bass. (Not that deep bass doesn't matter as well.)

If you want to combine the naturalism of planar bass with hard rock slam, you have to get an old pair of Tympanis, as Luckydog said. After all these years, they still have the best midbass of any loudspeaker ever made. It's the way I went, but as this thread suggests, most people are happy with conventional subs -- Tympanis really do take over a room. And even the Tympanis can benefit from a sub to cover the range from 14-30 Hz.
When I was using Magnepan 1.6's, I augmented them with a small Sunfire Super Junior sub to good effect. I crossed it over low, around 40hz. as I recall and didn't turn up loud enough to overtly call attention to it. It definitely gave the system a more fulsome and natural sound and it was seamless on the vast majority of recordings. I'd love to hear my current sub, a Fathom F112, with a pair of 1.6's or 3.7's. The Fathoms have such a quick and lithe response I'd imagine they'd be a great pairing.