Magnepan's new LRS?

A brief blurb in Stereophile online (by Herb Reichert reporting from AXPONA 2019) gave accolades to Magnepan's new LRS. The local authorized dealer is not carrying it for unclear reasons (at least, the decision to not offer that model wasn't explained to me when I asked directly about it). Have any Forum readers had an opportunity to audition these and, if so, what's your opinion?
There is also a write-up over at the Planar Speaker Asylum by both show attendants and one owner of the very-new LRS.
I heard them at the show and they were mind blowing. One of the best sounds at the show and only $650? People were walking out of that room with smiles.

Herb Reichert’s enthusiastic reaction was typical. Here’s another I just saw:

Anyway, it’s about the size of the old MMG, but it’s miles beyond it in quality. The best imaging I heard at the show, and stat-like clarity and uniformity. It had a lot of punch as well, though like the MMG this isn’t a big speaker -- it’s not going to work in big rooms without a sub, and its bass response doesn’t go much below 50 Hz. It plays loud but it isn’t going to give you the 110 dB of a big Maggie, never mind the 120 of a Wilson. Magnepan considers it an "appetizer" -- they sell it near cost, knowing that a certain percentage of people who buy it will fall in love with the sound and move up to their larger models.

BTW, the reason the dealer isn’t carrying it is probably because they don’t make much money selling it. As I said, it’s intended as a promotion -- the dealer will then sell you a bigger one if you decide you want more output and deeper bass (or the true ribbon when you get to the 3.7 and above). With the MMG program, they used to credit you the cost of the MMG if you upgraded to a larger model within a certain time -- not sure if they’re doing it with the LRS, but its commercial purpose is to let people sample what the larger Maggies can do.

One difference from the old MMG -- the MMG was designed to work with cheap receivers, but the LRS requires a high current amp since the impedance drops below 4 ohms. That allowed them to eliminate compromises in performance. Steve Guttenberg suggested the Schiit Vidar as a low-cost amp for it, though it's good enough so that it will sound better with a better amp (he go the best results from a Pass).
so it looks like this might fall into place somewhere between a mmg and 1.7?
Love it !
lots of whiners about high end $$$$
lets all celebrate the made in USA miracle!!!!

i think I will order a pair on principle 
Thanks for the comments and the links! Very much appreciated!!
Doug1234, yes, but I'd say it's a lot closer to a .7 sonically than an MMG. I had a pair of MMG's years ago and as good as they were for the money, they were veiled. The LRS is crystal clear.
Based on what I've read, I've ordered a pair directly from Magnepan. I expect to receive them in about 3 weeks.

I spoke at length with Eric at the company about the adequacy of my very old (ancient, actually) Classe Audio DR-9 (David Reich's last design for the company). It's a high-current amp (400 stereo watts into 2 ohms, 200 into 4 and 100 into 8) and he thought it would do a better-than-adequate job. Agree? At least in the near-term future, I hope it will do justice to these speakers.

I'm using some equally ancient Audioquest cables (so old I've forgotten the model). Suggestions regarding appropriate replacement cables for this setup will be gratefully received!
 Classe Audio DR-9 (David Reich's last design for the company). It's a high-current amp (400 stereo watts into 2 ohms, 200 into 4 and 100 into 8) and he thought it would do a better-than-adequate job. Agree?

I was a Magnepan dealer for many years.  Your DR-9 will be superb with the LRS.  Should be a GREAT combo!
Thanks mofimadness! Much appreciated perspective!!
I agree
a DR-9 in good shape is a formidable amp
AQ cables w DBS are pretty neutral
copper works great , Silver has more resolution up top but also costs more
have fun
enjoy the music !!!!!!

I remember the DR-9 as one of the better amps of its time.  However that was some years ago now and it may be worthwhile having it checked out in case any or the caps or other components should be replaced.

You will likely have the potential for a very nice system.
Thanks to all for your comments and insights!
I am considering these speakers for another room, can anyone suggest a McIntosh speaker of the appropriate size for this speaker.  I run 501s with my 3.6 Maggies and love the combination.
These have me frothing at the mouth
As I mentioned in another thread, I demoed the LRS and they were excellent on an absolute basis and fantastic for the money, especially $650. They are direct ordered from Magnepan, per Wendell from Magnepan. Great for audiophile newbies. Great for a second system. Great to just try them to see what Maggies are like. These are what Magnepan call their appetizer or introduction to their lineup so you will graduate to larger Maggies.

Pretty sure they factory direct only.

60 day trial.
Do y'all think the Prima Luna Prologue integrated will drive these well?
Does Timbre carry them in Houston?
Do y'all think the Prima Luna Prologue integrated will drive these well?

If it's the 35 watt per channel model, probably not.  Well, it wouldn't be my first choice.  The 70 watt model, however, might be an interesting match...

Does Timbre carry them in Houston?

Factory direct only.  From the page linked to above:

"The 60-day, home-trial program is only available in the USA. The LRS is only sold direct from Magnepan to USA and Canadian customers".

Glad that the best speaker maker ever now has a more affordable item.  Possibly music lovers everywhere will finally realize what I found out that day in 1974 when I turned on the Tympani I-A set that just arrived at my shop and it blew all of us out of the room; truly a revelation, and those were not anywhere near as good as today's Magnepan items.

Jim was a very smart guy; his son is continuing the tradition of making the best possible speakers right here in Minnesota.  By the way, if you hook them up to Audio Research gear, you will hear what you have been missing all these years.

Just remember, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  They take time to set up properly, but once you get it right, you will know immediately--it is that amazing.



PS Funny how so many high-end manufacturers are now making TALL speakers.  Wonder where they got THAT idea???
As I understand it, some dealers are selling the LRS. But not all -- they don't make much money off them, and neither does Magnepan. As kingbarbuda said, they're intended as an "appetizer" -- Magnepan sells them near cost, knowing that some of the people who buy them will move up to bigger Maggies.
Direct quote from website..

"Can I save money or time buying direct from Magnepan?" No, we are not in competition with our dealers. The terms and price, including tax, are the same whether you buy direct from Magnepan or from your nearest dealer. It is a matter of which is the most convenient for you? There is a potential advantage to you, the customer, if you are able to audition the LRS at your nearest dealer. In the event that the LRS is not the right speaker for you, you would have no further obligation.

The 60-day, home-trial program is only available in the USA. The LRS is only sold direct from Magnepan to USA and Canadian customers.”

Maybe they mean for the 60 day trial? 

I've had a pair for a few days now.  I did a review on Steve's channel and also OCD guy.  Tube preamp CJPV10B Mullard NOS, Muse 150 monoblocks, Rega P3/bias 2, HK CDR20, DH Labs air matrix, DH Labs Q10, two (2) REL T5i subs set at 60 hz. 

I'd recommend you buy before delivery is 8-10 weeks.
There are a lot of useless dealers who carry usually their lower line speakers thinking no one will spring for more money and buy better one.  This is why manufactures need to work out a consignment program.  Perhaps delay bill them for 6 months.  If the dealer hasn't sold them in 6 months then invoice the dealer.  The reason why most dealers are struggling is they do not spend a dime to market themselves.  Since when does sitting around and waiting for the phone to work make sense.  What about asking the manufacturers to share the cost of direct mail, radio and TV advertisements.  Better than a stake in their eye.
While I haven't heard the .7, at 2x the price and the 1.7i at 3x the price of the LRS is a big difference.  I did try to get the local Magnepan dealer to get the LRS but they weren't even interested in listening to my pair vs. their 1.7i.  Probably afraid to lol.  In fact they didn't even have a clue Magnepan had come out with the LRS.  Not exactly a vote of confidence. 

Frankly I don't see myself spending 6k to upgrade to the 3.7i but you never know.  How much better is the "true ribbon"? 
Today I called the Magnepan dealer nearest to me (Pearl Audio Video in Portland Oregon) to ask if they are stocking, demoing, and selling the LRS. Nope! Heck, they sell interconnects that cost more than the LRS.
bdp24: That's who I contacted and I got the same report.  I was offered  the "upgrade" to the 0.7 as an alternative. So, I ordered them directly from Magnepan. I hope they will arrive within the next 3 weeks.
Pearl it isn't x3.  Oh well they don't want those 1.7i customers buying the LRS.  I can't blame them really.
I wouldn't be too hard on your dealers. They have a tough life these days.  First, NO ONE is buying huge high-end systems like they used to and you all know that.  SO, the dealer is stuck with the same monthly expenses, and if they do not own the building, rents are sky high even though brick and mortar stores are on the decline.  Not sure why, but it is true.  Next, manufacturers have had to cut back as well.  People today listen to music on their PHONE or in their car using their PHONE.

High-end was ALWAYS 10%-15% of the marketplace.  That marketplace has shrunk in real numbers even as the population increases.

I applaud Magnepan and others plowing new territory--Tesla(?)--by avoiding expensive selling options and giving people a chance to enter the world of high-end speakers, Magnepan is incenting them to upgrade and visit their dealers.  Now, not being in the company, I have no idea if their marketing area is doing a good job working with dealers on this strategy.  If I were still in business, I would visit the owner of the new speakers and set them up for the customer even though I did not sell them directly.  This person is a potential customer for everything else I sell.  

Maggies are so much more accurate than any box speaker that the owner will probably need better hardware or cables or something as he or she starts to appreciate what the speakers reveal.  Dealers who are not into this strategy are, in my opinion, not thinking very well, but then again, that is their choice.  Personally, I would pursue EVERY Maggie sale in my selling area with a note, call, etc., but that's just me!


RIchard: those are interesting and thought provoking points. Thanks for posting them!Keith
Richard, there are posts by some close to Magnepan saying the new LRS was designed to work with higher grade electronics, unlike the MMG which apparently could reach its potential with most off-the-shelf receivers.  So there should be opportunities for dealers to do just as you suggest.

In fact it might be appropriate for Magnepan to notify local dealers whenever a pair of LRS are sold directly just for that reason.  But that might suggest too much of "big brother", even if similar things happen more often than we know about these days.
I think I will dive in the water and order a pair of the LRS.

I have never heard a speaker other than conventional box speakers with piston drivers.

Would it be a fair comparison to say the LRS is to one of the larger Magnepan speakers what a given brand's conventional driver bookshelf speaker is to their larger floor standing models?
pryso and Richard, not to try to pick on Pearl Audio who seem like nice enough folks and who have been very good with me on the phone, I think these are two different marketing strategies with sell direct vs. the dealers.  I literally offered to bring in my new LRS to Pearl and let them listen to them vs. the .7 and maybe 1.7i and they turned me down.  That's OK, I didn't want to waste 4 hours if that's their attitude on that one.  Personally I think Magnepan should be selling systems directly to people and cut out the middle man completely on these LRS.  Give Bryston and REL a call and hook it up.  DH Labs call Greg for cables and wires.  Too much fluff with these dealers already whining they can't make any money but are basically lazy.  OK I guess I did pick on them so be it.
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gammonit, it was not my intent to pick on any dealer.  Merely to point out there could be opportunities for selling other components as Richard suggested. 
I have some older Rotel separates (RB 1080 Amp @ 200watts/ch and RC 1082 pre) in a second system. Would this drive the LRS speakers adequately? Thinking about getting new speakers for this system. 
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pryso I understand and I agree with you.  I was in sales for many years.  This and other reasons as mentioned is probably why brick and mortar is in trouble.  Having said that, try harder!  The LRS situation is a bit odd and I really don't know how the MMG was sold but with this as a replacement it seems some dealers won't carry it and others will? 
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So, I should waste my time driving to their store then if I can't hear the gear there?  To talk to somebody who hasn't a clue and doesn't want to?  Their marketing by selling direct is a strange one but that's OK with me I will pay 1/2 price and avoid traffic and stuffy stores with snobby ignoramuses.  Meanwhile Eric at Magnepan is super nice, super knowledgeable, and super helpful.  No brainer.
I believe Magnepan has a "trade-up" policy on the MMG/LRS. You can trade-in either within a year of purchase towards a higher-priced model, receiving full credit. As you presumably would purchase the up-market model from a Magnepan dealer, I don't know how that is arranged.
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I placed my order directly with Eric at Magnepan after getting the "brush off" and an attempted "up sell" from the nearby authorized dealer.

While I feel a general obligation to patronize locally owned businesses, I'll only do so if they offer better-than-good service, considerate and informed sales staff and somewhat reasonable pricing (acknowledging that they have lease fees, employee obligations and so on to account for). Failing those standards, and as gammonit_2000 wrote, "Why bother?"
Never experienced any Magnepan speakers in my time.  For the price of the LRS I think I may try them. My integrated amp is a Primare i30 which is 100w in to 8 ohm and 180w into 4 ohm with a peak current of 40A.  Would the Primare i30 do justice to the LRS?
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If only Magnepan would make speakers that weren’t so ugly. WAF is very low. 
I find Magnepan's very attractive, especially with black grill cloth and cherry end caps. I consider my Tympani T-IVa's beautiful. As for WAF, who cares? Many are themselves loud speakers, and not so good looking either.
As for WAF, who cares? Many are themselves loud speakers, and not so good looking either.
@bdp24, i seriously laughed out loud when i read this. Thanks for that.
I think folks getting the LRS should consider Sound Anchor stands to lift them off the ground a few inches. I had them with my MMGi model and they made a positive difference by adding some rigidity to the frame as well as reducing floor reflections. I thought the OEM stands were fairly flimsy. The same stands might fit the LRS if they maintained the same dimensions as MMGi. I personally could not warm up to the MMGi sound and sold them after only two months. The LRS seems more promising.
Waiting on my LRS's to arrive. I have 2 amps available, A Sunfire Cinema Grand and an Adcom gfa 555ms. I guess I'll try both but any opinions on which will be better for moderate volumes in a medium size room?