What kind of power amp are you driving them with? I have a pair of 1987 vintage MGIIIA with the ribbon tweeters, and they have been replaced once since new, back in 1992.
Can you show me how to repair the ribbons? I have the 6 feet tall panel magneplar 3.3r. The volume has gone very very very low. I am not sure what the problem is so I have to bring them to a repaire shop 80 miles away(from Philadelphia to New York City). This is the first problem I have had in many years of use. Thanks
When I was considering purchase of Magnepans recently I was concerned about the ribbon reliability. I was told that Magnepan does not deny that these units can and do fail, but they provide repair service at very reasonable cost. In the end I bought MG 1.6 which don't have the ribbon, but not because of concern about ribbon reliability.
My suggestion...Let Magnepan do it.
That is highly unusual to be replacing 2-3x/yr. Check your fuse value, better to just change with new ones, you might also post at the maggie users group:
I used to own a pair of MG-IIIa speakers, and in
about 4 years of ownership, I NEVER replaced the
ribbons. I had them biamped with a Dynaco 400
amp on top and a Threshold 400a on the bottom...
and I played them LOUD at times.I think more damage
will occur by underpowering them than by using a
large, clean amp.
I had MGIIIa also and only replaced one tweeter in 7 years, and that was because of a movie soundtrack clipping my 255watt a channel amplifier. Movies would melt the fuse adhesive and the fuse would appear good, but wasn't. Make sure the fuses you are using are fast blow, not slow blow and the correct size.
Also are you bi-amping the 3.5's without the external crossover? This can cause problems.
Low line voltage might be starving your amplifier when it craves the current.
My guess is you are popping tweaters because you don't have enough current. Think 4ohm and get as much power as you can afford. I used my ARC D400MkII to moderately loud without any issues and my EAD PowerMaster 2000 (800watts into 4ohm) was even better.
Look at Bryston, EAD, or some other high current 4ohm stable load amplifier and check those fuses.
I am a big advocate for fuse bypass, but in a case like your get high quality fuse holders and fast blow fuses of the appropriate value. You should blow a fuse before you blow the tweeter.
Have you ever replaced the tweeters or just repaired them? If you just repair them, try getting new tweeters from magnepan and make sure your fuses are right. If you have any other problems you have a big problem some where else. Do you use vinyl? a big static charge could potentially blow a ribbon. I have played my fuse bypassed maggies(3.6R's) incredibly loud and NEVER had any problems what so ever.
I have the same speakers. I listen to a lot of music, including heavy metal/hard rock, real loud, and I've never blown a tweeter. I agree with the previous posts. Check your fuse value, and make sure you have enough power. A clipping underpowered amp can actually do more damage than over powering.
I have 3.6's and have blown fuses rocking with a Spectron digital amp with 650 wpc available. It's incredible how it does not strain. But, to have the tweeters being replaced every couple of years I have not heard of. I am sure you have discussed this with the factory. I wish I had more to offer you except the thought that loud music might be a stressor.
Based on my experience, clipping an amp will blow those tweeters every time. Tons of clean power is the key to avoiding damaging those tweeters. I also agree with other posters' comments here that the fuse value should be checked.
I would not even consider powering Magnepans with less than 300 wpc (minimum) if I wanted to play them loud and not risk damaging the tweeter.
To follow up my previous post, the responses re: power are oh-so-correct. The MGIIIA (all 3.X series and up), demand power, current and finesse. I have driven mine with the Sunfire Signature, and the Aragon Palladium Monos, both put out >400 WPC. The only time the ribbons were replaced in mine were before I took ownership. Care must also be taken when moving or shipping these things: Use the magnetic ribbon protector strip even when moving them from room to room. They may be delicate, but they sure can sing.