Magnepan for Background Listening


As the title suggests, how are Maggies for background listening? The new LRS model is so affordable, I was thinking about pulling the trigger. Realistically though, I am not going to pull up a chair and sit in the sweet spot very often. I know that the sweet spot is small, but outside of that sweet spot is what I am most curious about. Thanks! 
seanheis1
That's the point....they are too good for casual listening...they deserve your attention.
Any model and vintage of Maggies will excel for background music easily. I have a pair of MG1’s in the conference room of my office that will blow your mind for their age. If you have the equipment and space for them, go for it.
I'm not sure how speakers pulled out from the wall behind them at least 3' are going to work as "background". ;-)
True. Part of the appeal is that they can be shoved against the wall when not being played.

seanheis1,

     I think you'd enjoy them as background speakers and actually having them at least 3' out from the wall will only enhance their performance as background music speakers.  The fact that they're dipoles and there's direct sound from the front, as well as an equal volume level of reflected sound coming from the rear, adds a sense of depth that is noticeable and enjoyable whether your in front of or off to either side of the speakers.  Adding 1-4 subs in the room only adds to this spacious perception.  Plenty of quality amp power also benefits the sound quality.  
     I enjoy the sound of my Magnepan 2.7QRs with a 4-sub Swarm distributed bass system even from nearby rooms.

Tim
     
     
I used MMG’s for years and found them perfectly fine for background listening. Just because they sound best when you’re in the sweet spot doesn’t mean they don’t sound good otherwise. I’d love to hear the new LRS. I bet they're hard to beat at that price.
Just fine. The sweet spot is small for every speaker made it is just that the better speakers are better at displaying it for you. The sharper the sweet spot the better the loudspeaker. 
Background music is just that. You are really busy doing something else and just like to tap your feet which you can do to a first generation Sony pocket radio.
Hellomijostyn,

I agree and very well said!

Tim
Sean, they work extremely well as primary or background,  I have 5 sets, from the MGIII to the small on wall.  High frequency is the only limitation.  The sound "travels well, and is coherent", ie. down the hall in the bedroom or outside, imho.  The MGIII has the ribbon tweeter and is balanced from top to bottom.  I also use two  DWM bass panels.  The worst you can do is send them back for credit on your dime.  Combined with a DMW bass panel, you will be able to rock. 
Jerry
Maggies as great for background listening as sound radiates from both sides of the panel. Plus let’s get real, what better speaker can you buy for $650 than the LRS?! In my mind...none. Plus they are so light and you can move the panels around easily. Very little downside in trying the LRS. 
Cool. It sounds like the biggest limiting factor is going to be treble since these guys aren’t very tall. Do the stands allow you to tilt them back or has anyone tried the book trick to fire them higher?  
I set mine up in my old office (MMGs) and sound was significantly improved (seated position) when I raised them up about 12 inches and set them pretty much vertical. A "milk carton" with some nice fabric draped over it makes a decent looking stand. You could also play around with solid hollow stands to see what it does for sound (I don't think the plastic open web milk cartons had much impact, other than height, on sound).

Mine were along the long wall, about 5 feet from the back wall, and the depth effect on soundstage was impressive. Sadly, at home I cannot get them sounding their best in my (our) living room.
Maggie owner off and on for 20 years. Whether you’re listening critically or have music on in the background, they will not disappoint. I know this has been said a thousand times...Maggies need power (and volume/loudness) to really sing. You might be disappointed if you’re only listening at low levels. I had an all digital integrated with maybe 75 watts (4ohms), and it just struggled to make my 1.7s wake up. I hope this helps. Happy listening!
Maggies are great speakers for any type of listening where you want music and not distortion.  Placement is key for "serious" listening, but of little consequence when used for background music as we and many others do at xmas and other holidays where music is fun to hear during all family times.

I have been listening to them since 1973-4, and can tell you without question that no other speaker I ever heard gives you less "listening fatigue" than Maggies no matter how softly or loudly you play them. 

UNFORTUNATELY, for serious loud listening, you need the best possible equipment in front of them.  I suggest (usually very expensive) Audio Research gear, but many others make equally excellent tube products.  Typically, high-current solid state electronics are OK for the bottom end if you are bi- or tri-amping Maggies, but my experience is that tubes seem to sound better.  Naturally, pick your own poison, as the cliche goes, but Maggies are ALWAYS the best choice in speakers regardless of the listening volume given the best electronics.  Enjoy the music!

Cheers!

Richard
You might be disappointed if you’re only listening at low levels. I had an all digital integrated with maybe 75 watts (4ohms), and it just struggled to make my 1.7s wake up.
You bring up an interesting point. I have heard several people say that Maggie’s don’t sound good at low volume levels and I have heard several people that have said they can’t be beat at low volume levels.
I have both the 1.7i and the MMGs. I think as long as you have them oriented so that your casual listening is in the realm of on axis more than off, you will be delighted. Additionally, if they are on axis you will be rewarded with dynamic stability as they present as a line source speaker keeping the decibels more consistent across larger distances from the speakers. I had previously had the 1.7i's oriented across my rectangular room with the speakers on the long wall. I recently put them along the short wall and have realized bigger bass, better imaging, and better dynamics in this type of room.YMMV

Happy Listening and +1 for all who emphasized the need for adequate power (benefits both quiet and more dynamic listening)
The 'good at low level' vs the not good is ...100% all about the equipment the speakers are connected to. PERIOD.I currently own Magnepan 20.7 in a smallish apartment, and play them at 45db to 70db ALL DAY every day... With occasional blasts as high as 80dB maybe once every few months playing opera arias.
This morning I am playing Telemann oboe sonatas sound levels are from 38dB to 54dB peaks. And it seems as loud as if I was listening to a small live orchestra playing it (the joys of listening at low levels all the time)
@elizabeth How much tube power to drive a Magnepan 20.7 45dB to 80dB?  


Davidwillett sez: " @elizabeth How much tube power to drive a Magnepan 20.7 45dB to 80dB? "   
My answer: I have no idea.   
I use a Bryston 4B-SST² I bought when I bought some Magnepan 3.6 in 2010. My dealer, when I bought the 20.7 (same dealer) said: " you do not need a new amp". And he was right. I spent that money on a better DAC/SACD player, and a few tweaks.  
So the Bryston 4B-SST² has up to 500 watts per channel at 4 ohms. How much of that is being used listening at 45dB to 80dB?? As I wrote. I personally have no idea. 
I would bet I could use a pair of Carver 350 watt tube amps..  
I'm not sure the Carver 275 would be enough?? (75 watts per channel)