Magneplanar 1.7s to Recruit New Audiophile?

I may be asked for advice on an office/retreat system over a garage or poolhouse to be completed this summer.

Although the budget could be $5-10K plus, this would presumably be if domineering wives or architects were expecting an array of in wall speakers, Creston touch panels and multi channel home theatre junk blah blah blah.

There is hope, however, because this person genuinely loves music and movies.

Therefore, I am hoping to somehow propose the following:

* Oppo Blu Ray / Universal player
* Lenovo or Apple notebook for Pandora, music and movies
* Benchmark DAC / Pre 1
* Odyssey Khartago Monoblocks
* Magneplanar 1.7s
* Signal Cable cables throughout
* Sony LED HDTV from Costco

If anyone thinks they could do better for the money, please let me know,but to me, that would be a great little system for music or movies!
With the exception of the Sony TV, I'm on principle.
I've had some bad luck recently with Sony. My SXRD is dying from the same disease every RPTV made by Sony has died........

I'd go with a 'd' amp, too. An ICE based amp would be nice.

Top of the line Vizeo, perhaps?

Send wives to spa for weekend while you and your buddy 'do the deed'.

Ha - thanks Magfan.

I dont know about RPTV's but every CRT and LCD Sony screen I have ever had was great and lasted for years.

Sony gets bashed a lot, but its perhaps the one brand where I drink by the label.

And although they sell out quickly, Costco gets the just barely discontinued models, sells them for huge discounts vs. say, a Best Buy and has a 90 day, no questions asked, no restocking fee, and no problem if you threw away all the packing and original box return policy.

How can you beat that?

Re ICE why would that be better? Any specific suggestions?

I would also think a monster pair of Bryston monoblocks would work great on small Magnepans, but in keeping with the budget on this project, the Odysseys sound pretty bulletproof and are significantly less money.

In a related thread, there is a debate going on about new 1.7s vs used Tympanis, 3.3s, 3.6s etc.

So we could also work that into the argument, although I think the person in question might not like used anything, regardless of the logic.
see my new related new topic on the form regarding sony sxrd units.
Maggies need a lot of room (at least 3-4' from the back wall and 2-3'from the side walls) and IMHO lots of power & propper placement to sound good. If you don't have the room get other speakers. Used 1.6 speakers should be considered as well as a used innersound esl 300 mark 2 amp. Let someone else break them in and you'll save 50-60%. Or, you might consider the EAD Ovation signature theatermaster and powermaster 2000 presently for sale on Agon. That should run you around $4,000 for speakers/proccessor and amp. If you don't go the EAD combo (can be upgraded by noble electronics) I'd add a tube pre-amp to an innersound SS amp and separate DAC to warm up the SS sound. I use a lector zoe and McCormack dac deluxe. You might consider the Zoe and Bel Canto dac 2 for another $2-3,000. As for a TV, The new panasonic plasma ST models should outperform LED LCD TV's. Look for plasma and LCD Easter sales at 6 ave electronics or electronics expo in NY/NJ. So, that should bring you up to $7-8,000. The blu ray/cd player is up to you. If you play blu ray through your laptop get a good transport for music to use with your dac PS audio lambda, pioneer PD65,proceed CDD etc. or keep it simple with an all in one Oppo. As for cables, you will experiment & eventually upgrade. Signal cables and Blue Jean cables are a good place to start. Good luck with your project.
Personally, I'd go with an MMG/subwoofer combo. Whatever the cost to the "purist" audiophile approach may be, the extended, smooth bass of the subs and the placement flexibility of the smaller Maggies is likely -IMHO- to more than justify it.

The trick, of course, is getting proper integration. I use the Velodyne SMS-1 Digital Room Correction unit (DRC to the subs, only!) for precise control of level matching and all other crossover variables. It's a PITA to set up, but works like a charm. I also use an NHT x-2 active x-over, ahead of the SMS in order to keep the Velo unit out of the main signal path. More complex than most audiophiles prefer, but very, very effective.

Good luck.

I have owned or used for extended periods of time pair of 1.7s, 3.6Rs and of Tympanis and the 1.7 kill the 3.6s and Tympanis. The only other two models of Magnepan speakers I have heard sound better than the 1.7s is the new 3.7s and 20.1s. I heard them at my friends store. The A-B comparison proved that that the 1.7s were better than the 3.6R's but the 3.7s are killer and I thought actually sounded better than the 20.1s. For $5000.00 to $10,000 budget for entire system. I would start with the 1.7s. You will need a little power. I would grab a used Threshold SA500 for $1500.00. With a $5000 to $10,000 budget and 1.7s it will be a tight budget.
Can't argue with Bryston and Magnepan. Or ARC, either.
As for ICE amps? Well, the W4S gets some good press. Bel Canto is on any short list or perhaps even PSAudio (pre loved).
Spectron? lots of $$$.

Sony? I, too, was a long time fan. I bought a 19" trinatron when they 1st came out. It lasted for 20+ years. My 'new' SXRD? Won't go 1/3rd that.

Hot rodded MMG? Sub? Modded 1.6s?

Something like THIS::
may help WAF...if it comes to that. They are Beautiful to look and reviews indicate improved sound over 'stock'.

Isn't it fun spending OPM?
Have you heard the 1.7s? There are things electrostats do great, and areas they are less strong. You will want to see how they compare to other designs with the type of music & movies you will be playing.

On the DAC side, you could do much better IMO. I would look at the Eastern Electric and Wyred4Sound DAC2 for starters.
I been there. Magnepans are cheap, but that is just the speakers. After that you will spend much more on the ff(in any order):

1.) Amps
2.) Crossover tweaks
3.) Room treatments
4.) Cables
5.) Preamp
6.) Stands
7.) Subwoofer

You do not own Magnepans. At some point, they will own you.
I love Magnepans, but don't like them at all for home theater.
I don't know about current practices, but at one point bi/di pole surrounds were part of either the Dolby or THX standards? Do I remember right?
I think your system is right on target with two exceptions:

1) I think the Benchmark is very harsh, and bright, especially with revealing speakers with Maggies. I would try DAC's from MHDT (Havana) or Eastern Electric instead.

2) I like the Wyred4Sound amps better than the Oddessey. To my ear they have much more depth and warmth.

for rear speakers only.

For me, I could never get my all Magnepan setup(1.7's up front) to phase just right. Also Magnepans have the weak bottom end issue you have to work around. Specially if the phase is not in sink all around.

Just not choice for HT speakers personally.
I have had 4 pairs of Magneplanars in the last 30 years or so, and on reflection, Amandarae makes a good point! But to me, the biggest struggle has always been space and power, not associated gear.

Nonetheless, they have a special magic that no other speakers I have ever experienced can match.

I have not tried them for home theatre, but always thought they would be very good and especially immersive for home theatre, particularly with the dipole aspect for the rear or surround channels, as pointed out by Magfan.

As Magneplanar has been one of the most enduring brands in all of high end, it seems to always stir up the "haters"....

Further to the original reason for this thread, I am thinking a well set up, adequately powered pair of 1.7s, with or without stands, subs, or exotic cables, should put a smile on a non audiophile's face, who would otherwise end up with the usual multi room, multi channel garbage as peddled by countless "independent" and/or "custom" installers undoubtedly known to the architects, designers and/or chattering wives in his high priced zip code.

Thank you,
If you are going to add additional surround sound speakers to the Magnepan 1.7's, the system could be difficult to set up properly as setting up just the 1.7's properly won't be easy especially if your room isn't large enough. For home theater you could add a subwoofer. The EAD theatermaster/powermaster has the advantage of plenty of power for your 1.7's as well as any other speakers you add later on with the addition of automatic room set up calibration for multiple speakers (and I believe a built in crossover for subwoofers). If interested, google EAD or ask the seller or call noble electronics. If you are are careful, you could spend $7-10,000 for near mint used equipment and get a $30,000 system or spend $10,000 on new equipment and have it worth $5,000 a year from now. My advice is to let someone else pay for the depreciation. I love magnepans but would be cautious about using them for surround sound unless you have a large room. You might be better with just 2 front speakers and sub and perhaps trying a center channel later etc.

Thanks and yes, I have heard some accuse the Benchmark of being "bright" or "clinical" but others think its pretty good.

Mainly, it seems like a good utility device given PC, DVD, HDTV etc. which also elminates the need for a dedicated preamp?

Perhaps the Eastern Electric can function that way, too?

Having heard good things about the sound, the MHDT looks pretty homemade to me and not sure I could ever get comfortable with the 1970's smoked plastic (?) finish.

Might look at home in a car stereo for a pimp my ride style custom van renovation.

As an aside, I am always curious why the first Google hit for both of these - and it seems every other quirky brand recommended on Audiogon - is, but I will try to keep an open mind.
The MHDT, well in person, does not look home made. It sounds fantastic, and I tried many.

I think you will find many, many, many Benchmark comments where they think it's bright, mainly because it really is.

With a warm system, it would work very well I am sure.

I also loved the Bryston BDA-1 when I owned it, and have heard the Wyred4Sound DAC2 recently, and thought it sounded stellar as well.
Gosh, CW, poking through old threads while lazing about on vacation, occurs to me that I have both a MHDT Havana and a Bryston 4b-st lying about, in the box, just waiting for me to get off my lazy butt and try to sell them (a date that I have successfully put off for years, mostly 'cause I don't seem to want to part with them although I'm not even using them...). But, before I do -- once you get the Tympanis fired up again -- sounds like perhaps I should bring them by for a try...? My money's on the Levinson, but why guess?

I think you will find many many many Benchmark comments stating how fine the DAC1 is, not bright at all.

And I've commented in the past about your multiple multiple anti-Benchmark comments - two in this thread alone.

I'm sure you're just trying to be helpful and you hear what you hear, but others hear what they hear but don't go around restating it multiple multiple times.