MMGs


A year ago, I bought a pair of MMGs.  In my 13x22 room, placement was a challenge but finally worked it out.

Speakers are powered by an Adcom GFA-555.  The only source is a CD player through a passive pre-amp.

Now I have a little more to spend and would like thoughts on the following options:

1) Mye stands for the MMGs

2) The DWM panel with the MMGs (secondary question - can this panel be placed on a side wall perpendicular to the MMGs?)

3) 1.7s

Open to other out-of-the-box suggestions as well.

The goal is always to attain that Magnepan soundstage.  Musical tastes are female vocalists, jazz, blues.
kythyn
My choice would be 3): 1.7's   As good as the little MMG's are they only have so much to give.  Given your musical tastes the 1.7's would be sublime and you wouldn't need a sub to muddy things up.
Only thing all that better than MMG 's is dynamic range which is not a  big deal if you don't listen to Symphonies .Your need is for a better amp .
Schubert,

I have often thought about that but am stumped at finding a 200 wpc @ 4 ohm, high current amp under $600..What would you recommend?
Used Odyssey or Belles 150 would be best bet , about 150 a side at 4 ohm which is enough.
Remember MMG's dip below 3 ohms at times , I've seen them blow amps rated for 4 amps, make sure rated for 2 amp. Check the belles rating . 
Odyssey or Belles, and the 1,7
Eminent Technology LFT-8b. Like the Maggies, a magnetic-planar, but with a couple of advantages. A single m-p driver reproduces 180Hz to 10,000Hz (!), a m-p tweeter above 10k, an 8" dynamic woofer below 180Hz. The woofer integrates very well with the m-p, via a 1st-order x/o. Easier to drive than Maggies (an 8 ohm load, the m-p panel itself being 11-12 ohms), bi-ampable (ss on the woofer, tubes on the panels)---the current Maggies are not, more full-bodied sound (none of that Maggie 1.7i "wispiness"), and higher ultimate SPL capability. Read the review by Robert Greene in TAS. The best value in loudspeakers!
1.7s without a doubt

DMGs can be tricky to place correctly and need to be in front of the arc (from the users listening spot) the main speakers are on (IIRC from talking to Wendell)

Mye stands and similar are of no use.  Dipole radiators do not have the same movement issues as box speakers, and you will not improve phase coherence at all.  if you don't believe me call up Maggie and ask Wendell...

I recently upgraded from 1.5's to 3.7i's and the difference is revelatory.  I spent several hours comparing the 1.7(no i) to the 3.7i at a dealer's and they are pretty close.
There is a Belles 150 A on here at $500 and a Bryston 4B-ST for $1000.  For the MMGs, is the Bryston worth the additional cost?
I tried my best to find if either was 2 ohm rated can't find out on net, both spec's go down to 4 ohms .
I'd call both makers and ask if they are  2 ohm rated , if not I'd wait for Odyssey which is .
I have twice seen 4 ohm rated blow on MMG's.
If Bryston says its 2 ohm rated it is worth it because of more power which Maggies can always use .
I ran MMG's with Odyssey Khartago plus and sounded great. But in a smaller room. They are great little inexpensive speakers, but can only do so much...
Thank you for the responses. I am beginning to wonder if the MMGs will work in this room.

If I could come up with a $2000 budget for amp and speakers, was willing to move away from the MMGs, wanted similar clarity and soundstage, and would place the speakers on either side of my 55" tv and closer to a wall than the MMGs, what would be the recommendations?
Used Belles amp and Gallo A’diva speakers on their tube stands and a used sub, preferably a Gallo .
Killer sound, easy to drive, work in any room and easily moved anywhere in two minutes and never heard of one breaking .
AND women love them , they are beautiful . I bought all that used, in great shape for around around 1100$, lives in bedroom . I 'm not saying all that because I bought them , hearing all that was why I bought that .
Which model of Gallo? Did you mean the stainless steel spheres like these? https://www.audiogon.com/listings/full-range-anthony-gallo-acoustics-a-diva-stainless-steel-satellit...

Or the 3s? Like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/Anthony-Gallo-3-speaker-system-amazing-sound/322474979892?_trksid=p2047675.c...

I also have some MMGs and some 1.5qrs. I've always loved the fast response but always wanted mor bass with both pairs. I added dual subs and it was much better... But then I got some used class D amps which provide a kilowatt per channel.. no more problems w bass at all. I have since turned off the subs and only use them for the.. consider blasting your Maggie's w a kilowatt and be perfectly happy w the bass response!! 

1.7 without hesitation if you like mmgs.
The comment made on 2*200w is real, but you could also get away with high current but lower wattage.
I have had mmgs and mg12s.
The mmgs woke up when i powered it with a $200 qsc pro amp 2*280w in 4ohms.  It sounded ok and could play the mmgs at concert levels in the house without distortion.
HUH? A'diva is Al'Diva, I got 2 A'Diva TI  for $470 bucks shipped. 
Read the reviews , I had 4 prs of Maggies, A'diva are better and FAR less hassle.
face it , Naggies are PITA  and need stands, 400 watts to do their best etc.
Schuert,

Thanks, it was the TI part I was missing.  Did you use their sub as well?
Schuert, can you be more specific in what you mean they "blew" 4 ohm rated amps? Also, did the MMGs get damaged in the process as well or not. Thanks.
The amp stoped working and issued smoke because parts inside of it blew up .
MMG were not hurt .
Yes a Gallo Tr1, they are very fast and excellent tone .
 I think all they are selling now is TR3 which is about 800$.
 I seldom buy anything new, think I paid $250 for Tr1.

There is a newer Gallo sub on here now for about 250$ , best buy on here.
And no, its not mine .
kythyn,

Magnepan used Bryston to drive their speakers for years at shows.  I have the 1.7 and use the Bryston 4b sst2 with a pair of REL T5 subs and am very happy with the sound.
Thanks Schubert. The reason I asked was my brother in law has borrowed my MMGs and drove them with his Accurus integrated - I thinks 100wpc, and called me to say the amp was got very very hot to touch before he stopped it. This got me worried if he could have (also) potentially damaged the speakers. He also mentioned something about a bit of an "odor" from the speakers - not a burning odor, which made me very uncomfortable. I'll be getting back tomorrow but am a bit anxious....
Ar best it will degrade amp . MMG's are hardest of Maggies to drive and they all are . Oder could be glue on panels. Or not .
True Bryston is go to-amp for many Maggie owners .
But most buying MMG’s haven’t got that kind of money.
As said byJl, Odyssey Kartago is cheapest amp available i am sure will
handle them.
I used one for about a year on MMG’s, switched to Van Alstine Synergy 450 which really opened them up but they cost 2k , a bargain at that price
but still more than many can pay .
Thank you. I'll find out tomorrow. Hoping they didn't "overheat"....
Just my 2 cents. I've owned 2 pair of MMG's, 1.6's and most recently .7's (my faves). I've paired all with many different amps with various levels of results. Typically, typically the more clean current the better the sound. I drove the MMG's with a Rogue Sphinx (100 w/ch 8 ohm, 200 4/ohm) with wonderful results. The best amp I had for any Maggies was a Wyred4Sound SSi500 integrated. Will mega $$ amps sound better, in theory yes. However, you can drive MMG's without going broke. 

Maggie .7 or 1.7 would be a solution to your needs.

For an amp, how about an outside the box suggestion: Heathkit AA1800.

250wpc at 8ohm
500wpc at 4ohm
1kw pc  at 2ohm

Slightly grainy sound (common in SS amps at the time) that is vastly improved with new higher quality parts. Readily available for about $300 used, and budget another $300-$400 for a full restoration and you are set for another 35 yrs.  
Did you look up their own view of which amp is best for Maggies? http://www.magnepan.com/faq#receivers 

"Class A/B amplifier designs that come close to doubling power at 4 ohms have a long and successful track record."

Not sure when was this written though. See the part about class D amp.

"A new type of amplifier (Class D) has become more popular because it is a "green" design and uses less power plus it is smaller in size compared to conventional amplifier designs. We have heard reports of Class D amplifiers shutting down when driving 4 ohm loads or sound quality that is less-than-desirable. Quite frankly, some sound very poor on Maggies. However, more recent designs of high-end models are much better. Because we do not have the time to determine which models of Class D designs are compatible with Maggies, we must take a conservative approach. Direct-coupled, Class A/B designs with high current capability have proven a good choice for many decades."

I am happy with my Aragon 8008-->SMGc
Have them gunned. You will not be sorry. When you pay for the best you only cry once. John will take good care of you, tell him his favorite russian sent you.

http://www.indiespinzone.com/magnestand.html
Definitely go with the 1.7s. For what it's worth, in my system when my Rel subwoofer blew a diode, I picked up a PSB subsonic 5i for $100 and it integrated with with my 1.7s perfectly and I like its sound better than the Rel which ten times as much! Just my experience. I started with mmgs... 1.7s are MUCH better at everything. You won't be disappointed. They take awhile to break in though. They get better for a year.
I use two Bryston 3Bs to biamp my MGIIIa speakers...no power problem. They sound good, great soundstage.
I'll second what  Chataudio said, I heard both the "gunned Smga's and the 1.6's approx 10 yrs ago and both were outstanding sonically and aestically - a real plus considering Maggie's are butt ugly. I still regret passing up the opportunity to get a pair back then from John at a great price
Trust me and metman, kythyn. I smile every time I am about to power my amp on, because what awaits is a pure sonic bliss. John made it very clear several times that he will be retiring sooner than later, so don’t wait if you want to have this done. Amps will come and go, and so will cables and other things, but he’s the only one who does this in the world. Your speakers will come back looking like supermodels, finished in gorgeous wood of your choice and they will sound like nothing else. Yes, it’ll cost you around three grand to have it done, but it will be worth it. I had my 12 QRs gunned last year and I still cry like a kid every time I put Adele’s "Someone like you" on. She’s in the f***g room, man!  Email him, get in line, go drive for Uber for a few months, get this done.  If you don't like the result you can cuss me out up and down and left to right.
Chattaudio,

I have thought about Gunn before.  While his work is unquestionably worth the price, it leaves me with the Adcom driving the new speakers for at least a year.  Does that make it still worthwhile?  And would you use the year old MMGs or a pair of 1.6s if I could afford them?


I think the 1.6,  1.7 ,  and .7 , are all serious upgrades over the MMG
re Gunn - There is no advantage to changing the surrounds or in bracing the speakers.  If you think there is, then you do not understand how dipole speakers work.  But don't trust me, call up Wendell and ask him.

The x.7's (any of them) are a big advantage over previous speakers.
an Adcom is fine - you want good current output at 4 ohms

Maggies do NOT represent a complex impedance
I’ve seen MMG’s measured in UW-Madison engineering lab at 2.8 Ohms .
Not complex but LOW .
I

I can definitely attest to that MMGs suck up serious current. I just got a pair this past weekend and been playing around and driving them with the different amps I have around the house, e.g., pair of McIntosh MC2200, Vincent SP-331, and an Adcom 555. I thought my Martin Logan Aerius i was hard to drive but the MMGs demand more.

I can't speak to other Magnepan models but I personally would not consider owning the MMGs if I had anything less than 300-400 wpc, preferably monoblocks, and planned to use them in medium to large listening room. It's however a shame as most people who consider these great speakers and buy them because of their reasonable price, are not prepared to spend five times as much to give them the power they need and deserve.

I actually thought the Gunned SMGA.s sounded better then the 1.6's  John thought the 1.6's sounded better but wasn't surprised as several others had expressed the same feeling and it may be more affordable for you.  Didn't' hear the MMG's though

re: "I’ve seen MMG’s measured in UW-Madison engineering lab at 2.8 Ohms .
Not complex but LOW ."

Yes, the 4 ohms is an avg. over some dips & peaks along the freq. range.  That's about what TAS or S'phile measured, don't recall if it was a 3.6 or 3.7.

But he can surely use his present amp and compare it with others to see if he wants to replace it.  Moving them around & building polyfusors will likely be more productive -- not to mention finding some source material with decent DR...
kythyn - I am in the same boat with you, I am saving up for a better amp and currently powering them with a make do 250 wpc amp. They sound good, but one can clearly tell they could use more power. As far as upgrading goes - John recommends three models - MMG, 12 and 1.6. He has a detailed write-up on his website in regard with choosing a model. I don’t see why a year old MMGs would be a problem, according to John a lot of people prefer MMGs. I chose 12s because I wanted a tad more bass, but 1.6s probably would be a bit much for my room. I picked up those 12s used for a song, they barely had 200 hours on them. If you have the room, I’d say 1.6s would be ideal. I am uber happy with my 12s.  Read the following pages carefully, that way if you decide to do it you will have a better understanding as far as what's involved.  If you need further info - email John. 

http://www.indiespinzone.com/mag/mag16.html

http://www.indiespinzone.com/mag/mag14.html

http://www.indiespinzone.com/mag/mag4.html

Forget about the pictures and pointing at pic A and saying "I want mine to look like that".  John does not operate that way, like any custom product each pair is made to exact specifications of the customer and no two look exactly alike.  Pictures are there to serve as a general guide to selecting wood and style of frame.  Also, from time to time he ca be a bit ...hmmm... like John, I'll just leave it at that.  As any artist one should expect certain amount of eccentricity from such person.  Enzo Ferrari once famously said - "The customer is not always right".

randy-11 - Stock Magnepan frames are made from MDF, which does not soak up vibrations at all. Instead, it bounces vibrations back into the magneplanar panel, causing distortion. Wood is able to soak up vibrations much better, resulting in cleaner sound, better defined soundstage and overall smoother presentation. I lived with 12s stock for about a year, then I had them gunned - what a difference! New crossover is a major contributor to sound quality, as well as a 6db gain in efficiency. Stock Maggies are very tipsy/flimsy on their iron feet. John’s frames are very solid, nevermind gorgeous. The only thing left from the stock speaker after the modification is the driver panel. Everything else is supplied new, including crossovers. In regard with your comment about dipoles - if anything, the dipole effect is greater after the mod, and with careful placement one will hear a positive difference right away.
Of course he can use his own amp etc. just saying look for a 2ohm rated amp in future .
There are two alternative sets of speakers on this site now.  3.3Rs at $700 (and in Florida where I am) and 1.6Qrs for $799 in MN.  I would appreciate your thoughts on using either pair in my room in place of my MMGs which I would then sell.
the 3.3 is 24-27 years old,  the 1.6 6-18 years old...age can make them need some work, so that could be a major factor...I prefer the 1.6 but you are at the point where the decisions of model and amp are personal preference...
what makes you think that MDF does not "soak up" vibrations at all???

May I suggest some reading in the engineering literature?

Vibrations, Dynamics and Structural Systems. 2nd edition, by Madhujit Mukhopadhyay

Given that you like your MMGs but are moving to a 13x22 listening room, your situation practically screams for the Magnepan 1.7 or 1.7i.

I have been enjoying my 1.7s in a 16x18 vaulted ceiling living room (plus front hall and dining area in an open architecture) for 3-1/2 years. I like 'em better every time I fire up the stereo.

I must have gotten lucky, but high current MOSFET amps make driving the Maggie 1.7s easily. Here are some candidates:

Parasound Halo A23: 125/200/400 wpc into 8, 4, and 2 ohms respectively. All the power, current, and stability you'd need. $995.

Parasound 2125v2: 150/225/225 wpc into 8, 4, and 2 ohms respectively. $795. Really cool feature: High pass filter settable to 20 or 40 Hz. This can be a help to the Maggies by not feeding them a deep bass signal. Especially handy for getting a smooth blend with a subwoofer should you go to that later.

Odyssey Khartago: 110 wpc and stable into 2 ohms. Considered a major overachiever at $999. These amps are used for testing and voicing the highly regarded Magico loudspeakers.

If you sell your MMGs and GFA-555, it should mkae it easier to get the 1.7 or 1.7i Maggies and a Parasound or Odyssey amp.

Added pictures to my virtual system to show what I am dealing with in room layout and listening position.

Johnnyb53, there is a Parasound Halo A23 for sale on here at $50 less than original list for a four year old unit.  Does that seem reasonable?
Johnnyb53, there is a Parasound Halo A23 for sale on here at $50 less than original list for a four year old unit. Does that seem reasonable?

I saw that A-gon listing and it had me scratching my head. You can get a brand new Halo A23 from AudioAdvisor for $995 with free shipping, probably no sales tax, and a 5-year factory warranty. When you add the A-gon listing’s $944 plus the vendor’s shipping ($37) for $981 total for a 4-yr-old unit, the $14 saving hardly justifies the risk differential.

I’d go for AudioAdvisor or any authorized dealer’s new-with-warranty Parasound Halo A23 over the A-gon listing, no question.

If the 4-yr-old unit was $795, then maybe.
Kythyn, I have a set of Maggie 1.7s in a room much the same size and configuration as mentioned by johnnyb53. I'm driving them with a Rouge Cronus Mag. II 100w per side integrated tube amp and it has no problem driving at any level I can stand to listen to - I listen to much the same styles of music as you. I also have a ADCOM GFA-5500 and with 400w per side @ 4 ohm, it has no problem driving the 1.7s. After 8 or 10 good hours of warm up, the ADCOM sounds pretty darn good with the Maggies, just not as sweet or open as the Rouge.
Just a thought - go for the 1.7s or 1.7i (around $1,200.00 used) go with your Adcom GFA-555 (300w per side @ 4ohm I believe, should work fine) for now and upgrade your amp as you can. 
Best of Luck,
Jim