Magnepan MMG or something else


Hi,

I'm looking for input on speakers. I am trying the MMGs and going into my sixth week with them. They do sound good but there still seems to be a little lacking in the musical involvement. I know that's subjective. They don't seem bass shy in my setup which is a McIntosh MA6600 and an ARC CD2 with a Pro-Ject 9 turntable. What are some opinions on these speakers or perhaps another moderate cost speaker that might fit the bill or is someone's favorite?
rtaylor
you can try Mye stands for them and do not forget speaker wire like Alpha Core MI2 Veracity (ribbon) which Maggies like

BTW Maggies can be broken in hard, they can take a beating and probably need more time to sound their best at which point they will express more nuance
Are you sure the bass couldnt be added to with a sub? Sure it may not sound lean but the extra punch and weight may make you really happy. Whats your budget and room like and also musical taste? Those will help for offering advice.
Look at the value of your other pieces...do the speakers really match your system?
I agree that they may not be fully broken in yet. There is a pair of Mye stands for sale today (check for fit). MMG's will also improve with a quick sub like REL, and wires are also very important. Peter Gunn's mods will take your MMG's to a whole new level that will certainly be up to your other components. Check out Magnastand.com.
I'm about to send my MMG's for the full mod.
proper 'placement' within your listening room is critical for maggies. your other components are great, so its either the room/placement, or you're still adjusting to a planar/ribbon character difference. did you have drivers in boxes before? sometimes your ears/brain is the last thing to 'break-in' with any new pair of speakers.
Greetings
Have you tried inserting the 1.2 supplied resistors into
their place in action?
Best JohnnyR
Couple of options and my own 2c of opinions...If you generally like the maggies sound and think you may keep them..May I offer a few suggestions to get the most out of the stock MMG you have....

First...

read Peter Gunn's Magnestand site as mentioned above, AND the MUG site for as much info as you can. Email and talk to Peter for some very good info on the MMG..He really knows how good the MMG can be. MMG is a very good speaker, even stock, despite the size and natural comparisons made to the larger maggies. But larger Maggies are not always the answer, especially depending on your room size..( which would help us to know) BTW..Larger maggies are NOT MADE BETTER, just bigger, with more driver surface and different crossovers as well as adding the ribbon tweeter..all of which require their own set of requirements especially in power feed to them. Thus the semi-fallacy of having to get bigger maggies to "upgrade"..be careful about size here..it can ruin the experience if your not prepared to move mountains to accommodate them!.

A MG12 may fit the bill and sonicaly presents a picture with the musicality and generic soundscape of the MMG, but adds the better detail and clarity of the bigger 1.6, in a more room friendly size. I have owned the 1.6 a few times and find now the 12 matches my 19x22 room much better. The key( also for the MMG) is lots of room to breath off the front and side walls and proper room treatments to get the best of Maggies. Too many Maggies users try to stuff their speakers to fit in their small rooms or dont set them up to get the best from them and are quickly dissapointed..when all along there is superb sounding transducer that lies within...and just needs some proper placement and room attention. If you dont have sufficient room from the side wall to the speaker, you will find them a bit bright and thin sounding. I have 4ft to my side wall on one side and still needed to treat the wall with heavy sound absorbing material (carpet!) to smooth out the sound. Things like this make a huge difference with planers such as maggies.

Also, MYe stands while seemingly nice, can ruin the overall sound of the mids and highs and bring a bit of beaming of the sound at you. ( read the Magnestand site) You tend to lose the air and decay with them standing straight up.. I have yet to hear maggies( or anything for that matter...) sound better when you set them up with them tilted back and slight toe-in and spread apart at least 8-9 feet.

I completely agree with Magnestands recommendations on set up and rake, which is Magenepans positions as well.

of course, Gunned Maggies are a whole 'nother story and as Peter would say, they sound nothing like the factory sounding maggies. I have not heard them myself and have considered this, but am just not in a position financially to go this route.

Subs are a logical choice to try with MMg's..but make sure you investigate fully what subs work and those that may be too much or ill matched. Most REL subs with 10" driver size would be a good choice and driven of the speakon connects only for best sound. Many here have used REL's with great sucess.. No one has ever been shot for using a REL! You should also email and chat with Duke (Audiokenesis) about his "Swarm" subs which use multiple arrays of subs positioned about the room and incorporate smaller drivers for better integration.There's chat here and on the MUG site about his excellent subs that are made for speakers such as maggies and planers in general.

As for using the tweeter attenuators, they work at the expense of taking the life away from the upper mids and highs. Id throw them away and work on the room and placement..then use a very good cable to connect, the stock jumps are nothing special either and many find that a good aftermarket cable works better, especially if it matches your speaker cables, and lastly, if you still think you need one..try a sub.

All my own jaded opinions ;-)
Thanks Everyone for the input. Some really good advice here. My room is about 12 wide and about 25 feet deep total. It is a living room and dining room combined kind of thing. The speakers at the narrow end and about 5 feet apart with about 3 feet to each side. It interesting to read that no really suggests another brand. I think the MMGs are great so far as I mentioned with some reservations. Maybe a sub will do the "magic".

I'm thinking of the Martin Logan Dynamo. Any additional advice on this sub with MMGs.
I love Mac gear, I have always believed that there is a reason it holds it's value so well, and it's not soley for the wonderful aestethics. I have had a C2200 in my system before where it was spectacular, that was with Dynaudio speakers and an Innersound ESL amp, but when I switched the speakers out to my beloved Maggies, the system sounded flat and lifeless with no real depth. I have never gotten Maggies to match with Mac gear. Just not a match in my opinion. I also tried mc501's with my (near)current system and once again I was disappointed. Those wonderful amps ended up driving some incredible B & W Nautilus' in a friends system, but didn't match well with my Maggies.

If you love your MAC Integrated, I would try a different speaker, if you love the Maggies, I would try some different gear, I think even the MMG's need more than 200w to really wake up.

Good luck.
I had MG12's in my 13 x 14' room and I initially drove them with a modded Dynaco ST 70. Excellent sound. I wanted more power and detail and I purchased a Moscode 300 and AVA Super PAS3i (VA design not Dyna) and the results were excellent The MG12's opened up and the sound was better than I ever imagined. The MG12's were about 41" from the back wall and 22 inches from the side wall. So the speakers were nearly in the middle of the room. Not good! But once I hit that sweet spot that wonderful midrange, tight bass along with sweet and smooth highs the sound made me smile. I had several audiophile friends tell me it didn't get much better than that.
I then added 1 Dali Suite 12" acoustic suspension model 1.2 subwoofer. This gave me more much deeper soundstage than I expected. With the sub in place the midrange opened up tremendously. And since I didn't have to deal with boomy bass I added another Dali Suite 1.2 sub. At this point you couldn't pry the Maggies from my room until one day I need more space in my room My listening room was now my office and I needed more space. I purchased a pair of Spica TC 60's to compare to the Maggies. They were so close in the their presentation of sound but the subs blended oh so wonderful. I contacted JB (designer of the Spica speakers) and he assisted me in setting them up. Once that was done things were pretty even and the Spicas gave me much more space than the MG12's. I ended up keeping the TC60's because of space limitations and I sold the Maggies and the Moscode. Spicas are Tri Wired which gives me a wider and deeper sound stage and it adds a level of refinement that is scary.
With that said the Maggies simply played louder and with more power but the TC 60s were at that time only the thichness of thin wire behind them at that time. They don't require a big beefy amp and that had alot to do with my decision. I added a VTL ST 85 to the system and it's sweet.
I would suggest that if you are adding a sub,get two.Many will argue that only one is needed,but the other will add more separation and more uniformly load the bass.Akin to a true full-range set of speakers.I don't believe the claims of non-directional bass below 100Hz-there are left-center-right ambience cues in the low frequencies.
I had MG12's in my 13 x 14' room and I initially drove them with a modded Dynaco ST 70. Excellent sound. I wanted more power and detail and I purchased a Moscode 300 and AVA Super PAS3i (VA design not Dyna) and the results were excellent The MG12's opened up and the sound was better than I ever imagined. The MG12's were about 41" from the back wall and 22 inches from the side wall. So the speakers were nearly in the middle of the room. Not good! But once I hit that sweet spot that wonderful midrange tight bass along with sweet and smooth highs made me smile. I had several audiophile friends tell me it didn't get much better than that.
I then added 1 Dali Suite 12" acoustic suspension model 1.2 subwoofer. This gave me more and a deeper soundstage. This cleard the bottom end up tremendously,I didn't have to deal with boomy bass. Shortly afterwards I bought a 2nd Dali Suite 1.2 sub and I was in hog heaven. You couldn't pry the Maggies from my room until one day I need more space in my room My listening room was now my office and I needed more space. I purchased a pair of Spica TC 60's to compare to the Maggies. They were so close in the it's presentation of sound but the power with the Maggies was better. I contacted JB (designer of the Spica speakers) and he assisted me in setting them up. Once that was done things were pretty even and the Spicas gave me much more space than the MG12's. I ended up keeping the TC60's and space limitations were the reason. The Maggies were more extended on top but with the right wire they were wonderful. I ended up with Vampire Wire 12 gauge hookup wire for the speakers. My Spicas are Tri Wired and gave me additional refinement and depth in my little room.

With that said the Maggies simply played louder and with more power but the TC 60s are only the length of a wire behind them. But they don't require a big beefy amp and that had alot to do with my decision. I added a VTL ST 85 to the system and it's sweet.
I have 3.6's, and had the MMG in the same room. Spring for the difference, get the 3.6, it is better in every way except price. The MMG was too small sounding and not detailed like the 3.6.
I had a Fiat 500 in my garage, not nearly as good as my Ferrari though both made in Italy.
Maggies sound is very sensitive to placement in the room and where you listen from accordingly. Have you tried tweaking the placement for best sound at you prime listening position? There are lots of possibilities on how to place MAggies that can have a big effect on their overall musicality.

Most good mmg setups I have heard are strong on musicality and micro-dynamics but weaker on bass and large scale dynamics. Could large scale dynamics be the aspect of "musicality" that is not happening?

If mmgs alone are scoring with bass levels but not musicality, that could well be a setup problem.

Regarding macro-dynamics/slam, if that is the issue, the common solution worth a try is to add a sub.

IF all this fails, then it might be time to move on but I would do whatever might be possible to max out performance of what you have first before making that decision.

Were you to move on, I would recommend a decent pair of Dynaudio monitors might be a good option. I also like OHM Walsh speakers in that they have a lot of planar-like musical traits but also excellent dynamics overall.
Have you considered replacing your MAC-6600 with an amp with more PRaT? Maybe you don't have synergy with your cables? Remember a Magnepan needs many hours(500+)for a complete break in!
You need to identify what aspects are contributing to your lack of involvement, otherwise this is just a crapshoot. Is it timing? Is it a lack of tonal richness or image density? Or a lack of dynamics? Involvement may be subjective but that doesn't mean you can't identify what's causing it, and it would make this post much more helpful and productive.
Some good advice here, and I agree with Soix -- you need to tell us more about why they aren't involving, if you can put it into words.

As several have said, placement is key. In particular, they want to be out from the front wall behind them -- at least 5', the more the better.

Also, that wall should be reasonably flat so you get a good image.

Agree that the bigger ones are improvements over the MMG's, but you can get much of the way there by mounting your MMG's so that they're standing vertically and raised off the floor, with the driver centered vertically on your ears. Try it with some boxes first. It makes them image like the big ones. Then there are various options for stands. Raising the up and vertical will make them image like the big boys, almost.

Finally, adding the DWM woofer will extend the bass. You have a relatively big room and you may not be getting the low frequency foundation you need. The midbass region in particular is crucial to a sense of heft and involvement.
The OP's last response was over four years ago. I wonder if he's still reading these replies.
Good point Rodman!

I'm sure he has either worked it out or punted by now.
Lots of prople still read these for the collective wisdom imparted.
Here's one, if you have MMG's run, do not walk -to beg, buy or borrow Analysis Plus Oval 12 speaker cable, this is THE cable for these period.
Oh, and use anti-cable jumpers with the Oval 12, MMG are very sensitive to jumpers, I tried many till I hit the magic combo.