Magneplanar Tympani Obsession


Following many helpful posts regarding 3.6s vs MG-20s, I have become Tympani obsessed. Can someone explain the configuration and vintages of the model? Also, would it be possible to mimic the apparently amazing Tympani soundstage by using 4-6 panels of late model Magneplanars? Thank you very much.
cwlondon
ello cwlondon exuse my english is not good i am a french from montreal canada actually me worcking a old tympany 1d my electronic is classic 120 monoblock, sp14 preamp, roxan attessa cd transport, micromega duo pro mk2 converter, and old tehcnics sp10 turtable my rom is 17 x 30 x 8 at the past yers me utilising the tympani IVa is not good for me becose the rebon tweter is not good for the hi freckenci ( is my opinion) me a smout men me listening a 5 hours par day me sale my IVa and return my old tympani 1d the tympani 1d consiste a 6 panels total system 2 for the tweter and 4 for a mid bass panels. the tweter panel is puchbull is 2 membrane side by side this tweter is fabulous is spatial detail not metalic (rebon) the imaging of this speckers is fabulous more for the mg20 the mg 20 just little more bass not more imaging. the many guy prefere the more neutral sond me prefere more big sondstage for the orckestral music for more communication my email is mlarouc@microtec.net - ps the tympani 1d is ridicoulus price for the marcket 800 and 1000 depending the condition good lock
I have a pair of Tympany IVA's, which I bought new at least 13 o14 years ago. They are wonderful, but...They are extremely sensitive to placement. When I have moved, it will take me one to two years or more to get them optimally positioned again! You have to crank them up fairly loud to get them to come alive, though I may be underpowered. I have an Eagle2A on the bottom, and an ARC D70MkII on top, (and an ARC SP10Mk11preamp), and a custom built crossover between preamp and amps. The better the equipment is, the better the sound. Of course, they visually dominate the room. The bass is better than other MG's I have heard, but I haven't heard any since the MG3.5, nor the MG20. I wonder if I would like the MG20's. Can they come alive at moderate volume? Is their bass as good? I would prefer to be able to listen at more moderate volume to preserve my hearing (wouldn't it be tragic if we loose some of our hearing?) They also need a great deal of power which would require me to reconfigure my amplification, which would cost a lot of money, and I would probably have to give up tubes on the tweeters. I believe the Tympany IVA's are the best of the Tympany series for an overall balanced sound. Good bass, very good highs, and a good midrange that requires volume to come alive. I have heard most of the Tympany models, and I like the IVA's the best. In my nearly quarter of a century owning Maggies, I've owned 2A's, 2B's, and 3's. When I bought the Tympany's I felt I had finally arrived. In many ways I still feel that way. So go for them!
Martin -- thanks for the feedback. I have heard arguments that any of the Tympanis might be shamed by the later Magnepans and the 20s, but I agree that there is something very special about them. I don't know but I am imagining that the newer models have improved tweeters which might come alive a bit more at lower volumes. Nonetheless, Tympanis are high on my list subject to available space in my upcoming move.
I am currently using some Tympani 1-Ds I had re-done by Magnepan about 8 months ago. New HF& mid-range panels, complete re-wire, new caps, new sox & they even installed new hinges. After several months I finally found the optimal set-up position. To me they sound very good,even better than my 3.3s. The soundstage is huge & they have mid & lower bass that the 3.3s didn't come close to. Although the 3.3s had more extention in the HF I don't really miss it because, being an old musician (drummer)my HF hearing is not what it used to be. For me I like the overall sound of my 1-Ds better than my 3.3s & my friens 3.5s.If you can find some decent 1-Ds & get Magnepan to re-do them I believe you would really like them. I must tell you, it took about 7 months for Magnepan to get them back to me. Good luck with your obsession.
I must admit I have a tympani obsession too. I Have ML CLS2Z's and Tympani 1D's. People are amazed with the ML's, but they dance with the Tympani. If anyone has any mods can you please forward them. Magnepan said they are no longer doing Mod's on the Tympani.
I own both of Magnepan models the Magneplanar Tympani 1D and Magneplanar Tympani IV-a. I have also have the MC1 (not for met at all).

Let's just sum it up. The smaller the Magnaplanar  panel, the smaller the promise of good sound. Sure you can try getting in the near field, but that isn't what they speakers are about AT ALL. The bigger the panel the less the woofer panel has to move to move the same volume of air and the area of air moved  goes up with the SQUARE of the linear dimension. And distortion goes up as Xmax increases.. so the further the bass panel has to move the further from the real thing the speaker becomes. So lets say you have a 2 foot by 1 foot panel... thats 2 square feet. Now let's take a 6 foot by 18" panel thats 9 feet of area..AND THERE ARE 2 of Them. So thats 18 feet of area or 9 times the area of the smaller Magnepan. So that same drive for the same volume of bass only has to move very little. IMHO I feel Magneplanars don't really work at all until they are Tympani size and if they could be bigger they could be even better, but few people have the homes for these. I tune systems for some of the VP's of the Los Angeles and Orange Country Audio society  and for events like CES, RMAF, T.H.E. Show Newport Beach and The Absolute Sound and Stereophile both like my rooms.

So here is a secret about tuning. Tune to a speakers strengths , play music that is within the speakers limits, and put them in rooms that fit them. Never tune to a speakers weakness because you with compromise what eh speaker does well at a much faster rate than the gains of what it does poorly.

Magneplanars are not about a near field experience like a mini monitor. When they are at their best they produce IMHO more of a 14th-24th row experience than 5th row. But they do a fantastic job of this experience and frankly for a lot of music- that the distance you should listen to it. Putting your ear 2 feet from a. violin isn't at all pleasurable or having your ears 4 feet from. kick drum.... instruments were not voiced and optimized for those distances... because why would you want to limit the audience for just people within 12 feet when you could have things sound fantastic for groups of 200? Perhaps the cowboys harmonica might be voiced for smaller close by groups or castanets but beyond that... a Steinway grand is not a near field piano.

I know it is much easier to position a single panel newer model because of size and also there are many more variables in a 3 panel array. However once you understand what movements and what positions affect parameter software the sound the Tympani's are much more versatile towards getting a more believable sound closer to the original event you have to move and voice the Tympani for the experience that it is voiced best for... 

Now understand if you do this, you STILL will get a decent image of more closely mic'd group of chamber music performers , but if you have to understand that the different drivers are going to take some space back from the speakers to integrate. Its not like a Mini monitor where the tweeter is 3 inches from the Midrange and producing  a Quasi  near point source.

SO What is different about the Tympani 1D vs the Tympani IV-a? I feel the 1D does a really great job at integrating its drivers. It can do a decent image in a good size room, but the IV-a really can step up to fill a large room given enough quality power.

If you feel like modding the IV-a using very high quality Duelund Caps and Or an electronics crossover, and high quality copper coils or inductors... You can have an other worldly experience. If you just want to run a good sized tube amp 150-200 wpm .that has headroom, You can get away with the 1D. The 1D is also lighter weight and I bring them to ski houses because I can fold them up- toss them in the SUV and still have room to pack everything .

The ribbon on the IV-a benefits from higher quality fuses and crossover components. If you do that - that ribbon is amazing and doesn't ring harshly like so many other ribbon tweeters. I think ribbons are a great solution for some systems, but a few multi magnet silk dome tweeters with good extension and great crossover design and components can sound more natural than unmodified Tympanis. But Modded tympani's can do amazing things.


Uggh next time I'll proofread this. sorry I hit post instead of preview.
Never know, the OP could still be struggling with it!
Had Tympani 1D with ARC D76 amps was a great set up with awesome sound.Was running Linn TT with SME arm also great.