I still, 15 years later, miss my Magnaplanar Tympani 1Ds. Moved. No room. Haven't had the space, since. If I did, (and the $$$, takes some VERY serious wattage to fun these babies the right way) I would get the MG20.1s in a heartbeat. peace, warren
Back in 1976 I bought Tympani I-C's after selling my
Bose 901's (I know, I know....) They were fabulous, but
I was overcome a few years later with upgradeitis, and
sold them. About 10 years and a few speaker systems
later I bought Magnepan MG-IIIA's which I owned for about
eight years. A few other speakers later I bought Magnepan
1.6QR's which I still own. My next upgrade will probably
be 3.6R's. I've owned lots of speakers, but keep coming
back to the Maggies. There's magic in them panels........
Started off in this madness with Maggie SMGa's and went to the 1.4's. Went to Thiels, Von Schweikerts, Definitive, horns, B&W's, and maybe some others that I forgot. When I heard the 1.6 Maggies I knew I was home again. I change audio gear like changing clothes. I have had my 1.6's almost 5 years. Just sold them last weekend to upgrade to 3.6's.
The high frequencies were to harsh in my system. I had to cover up any piece of glass in the room.
Too tight of imaging. I had no choice but to sit in one exact place. With kids, I tend to sit on the floor or play games and listen to music. The imaging and overall sound stinks if you aren't in the "sweet spot". I also hated the inefficiency. I use single ended tubes and maggies love power.
A good friend had tympany IVs and used a pair of Aragons to bi-amp while another friend had IIs and used a pair of 600 watt modified Moscodes! Why not buy a 100 amp generator and just hook it up to them! If you are thinking of buying Maggies, just remember that you will never have enough power.
I listened to Accoustats,Martin Logans and wanted to listen to the Eminients before choosing the Maggie 1.4's.I was living in a Big Historical house and had a great big room for them.I moved into a smaller house and was forced to buy boxed speaker's and only took them out for serious listening.
I added a subwoofer and was quite happy with them until I heard NEAR's.The Near's gave you the same transparency in a box.More so even.They are not a weird load to drive which make them easier to use with amps.I now have 2 sets of NEAR's which are modified and could not be happier.
Have been retooling my system since getting the NEAR's a year ago with better equiptment.
Maggies are really difficult because they lack Bass and are room dependent in my opinion.Although if you have the $$ and the room they are my second choice in speakers.I would choose them over B&W's and Vandies I have heard lately for the same price.Would like to hear Wilsons and VMPS's to see what they can do also.
If small speakers in a small room are the only alternative you have I would not get maggies.People that like them sometimes buy them and put them in rooms I cannot imagine them being used in.
I had Maggie 3.3s for 3+ years and enjoyed them immensely. But I always ran out of power with the tube amps, ARC VT130 and CL150s, that I had during the time. All the talk to use Bryston amps just did not do it for me as the Maggie magic was so awesome with the tube amps that the Brystons simply could not achieve. I could not afford much more expensive tube amps so I sold off the Maggies and went with the much more efficient and dynamic Talon Khorus.
The Talons resolved all the Maggie weaknesses and gave me lower level resolution as well. But now 6 months later, I miss the Maggie midrange and 3D magic immensely. As wonderful as the Talons are in some respects, the simply do not match the Maggies for these strengths. I have heard no other speaker fill the space (10-12') between speakers as incredibly as the Maggies.
I am looking to move the Talons up to my HT system and once again be on the market for Maggie series 3 speakers. I should have just boxed up the 3.3s and put them under the bed until I had the appropriate amp! I am now hoping that my updated Counterpoint NPS400 could be the match that I was lacking with the ARC tube amps. One other option now to try with solid states is with the Plinius amps, perhaps a pair of the SA100's on the used market, as this is quite the great value. Seems universal that these have quite the magic but not the hassle of tubes.
As for Maggies requiring the user to be at one very specific listening position, I did not find this to be the case at all. And I am not sure what is meant by room dependent. They sounded excellent in the large rectangular room at the dealer and so very good in my more square-like basement room with not so high ceilings. I kept them about 2' from the side walls and 3' or so into the room from the back wall; they were up on 4" amp stands. And harsh high frequencies? NOT! Sounds like a problem further up in the chain. The incredible top end extension of these will only show the brightness caused by other components. They do not at all have the forward fatiguing brightness that often occurs with speakers like Thiels or ProAcs driven by lesser quality amps.
Thanks to all of you for your replies.
I have heard it before and now again about Maggie owners leaving only to return later. I gotta get a pair myself now.
The only thing thats worries me is shipping these things. ( I hope to purchase a 2nd hand pair). Many sellers are reluctant to ship I guess due to size but possible shipping
damage. Is this really a concern? Magnepan must ship hundreds of boxes from the factory UPS.
Just to reiterate what has been said...Maggies are very room dependent and visually non-obtrusive...they are anything but "space-savers"...I also think they get a bum rap when it comes to the bass dept...they do have very musical and accurate bass (1.6)...but not deep, boom-box bass...I also believe their power requirements have been overstated...although they are a 4 ohm load...it is a very stable, linear one...a quality 60w amp such as a Bryston intergrated are just fine...ofcourse you can always add more later...I also feel conventional, dynamic box speakers have greatly improved over they years as well...especially in the transparency department...and for this reason...I currently have reference monitors that are very dynamic, detailed, and transparent...they have a much more "live" sound than Maggies...Maggies do create a very large vertical image...but they are very dependent on musical taste as well...rock,electronica,etc. are not their bag...I feel dynamic speakers have improved greatly...and really have no blaring weaknesses...however...Maggies are very intoxicating in the right enviroment...since I recently moved and have the space...I may return...
I did not even think about the sweetspot problem with them.I often lost the sense of getting all the music when listening with another person besides me.
The room dependency and power to run them are another matter to be taken into context,but there are low cost amps that drive them with ease.B&K's modified is what I used and Rotel do nicely with them.
They do fairly well integrating with Subs.Better than other panels.Innersounds are probably the best for having Panels with good dynamics of what I had just read.So thats my opinion.
Amps to drive them
Are all negatives
Brightness-with some amps
Positives are they are some of the best for transparency I have ever encounted.They melt into the soundstage.
If possible and if you have the room, I would recommend you hold out and purchase used 3.5s or 3.6's locally. Reasons:
1) You're right, they're beasts in terms of size and weight. I'd want to physically inspect (torn or dirty socks, evidence of smoker's environment, etc.), and pick up rather than trust UPS or similar.
2) I ultimately decided against new 1.6's in favor of used 3.5's. Price was there and I couldn't get over the reduced bass output the smaller panels had.
3) I held out and missed out on several good Audiogon deals, but finally was rewarded with a listing from a local seller parting with his immaculate 3.5's. I had to promise him that I would call him first if I ever decided to sell. A few months later he told me he missed the Maggies too much, ended buying 3.6's to replace them. I think he still has his Aerial Acoustics 10T's as well.
4) I just spent the afternoon at the Analog Room in San Jose, listening to Sonus Faber Amati Homage & Avalon Eidolon speakers. Sorry, I wasn't convinced or tempted by either and cannot see myself ever going back to box speakers as my primary transducer.
I moved my Von Schweikert monitors to my office. I can still enjoy pinpoint imaging (I grew up in recording studios mixing in the near-field), they're great on heavy drum bass rock-oriented material at the SPL I can do at the office...and I can go home to the Maggie's incredible speed, soundstage and transparency.
As a musician, there are just too many things the Maggies do right to my ears to make me consider their shortcomings reasons for going backwards.
I had three problems with them.
1. To harsh on the highs.
2. To small of a sweet spot.
(I like to listen with friends sometimes.)
3. Needed to much power.
(I am a tube man and beleive it is easier to make a great sounding low watt amp than it is to make a high power amp.)
Though I must say that there are still somethings that they did better than any other speaker I have heard.
It took me a major jump in cash to better them with a dynamic speaker.
Maggie Magic never wears off!
I gave them up only because I changed abode and the room inherited was just not big enough to accomodate them. Moving and buying equipment at the same time is not easy so I had to settle for something reasonable and I think the current choice is good enough for me. Chartwell LS3/5a and Paradigm Reference Studio 40 v.2
If I have an option later I would sure go back to the Maggie Magic, why not! However, never giving up the LS3/5a they also have that "Magic".
Some 20 or so years ago I scrapped my set of three MG II, because I had burnt up the tweeter wires, and the line array of tweeters that I attached to the Magies (before Magnepan did the same thing with their ribbon) just didn't hack it. I salvaged the heavy oak moldings, which still adorn various shelves around my house.
After wandering in the wilderness for 20 years, I am back in the fold with a set of three MG 1.6. Augmented by a heavy duty set of three subwoofers, I have no complaints. And the tweeters have fuses, which will prevent the problem I had before. The MG 1.6 are greatly improved over the older model, which in their day, were darned good.
Mainly because they were not right for my musical taste. They sound wonderful for certain types of music. I grew up with and still listen to 70's rock. Maggies just don't do justice the way cones do.
Emil...Your concern about shipping Magnepans is valid. The packing material set which they use for new units is really good, (and must add at least $30 to the cost of the speakers). They do suggest that the speakers never be shipped except in this custom-designed packaging, and they say that if you were silly enough to dispose of it, you can order the packing material set from them, at some unspecified cost. You might consider this if you need to ship a set.
Like everything in this world, it's a trade-off. And, depending on your situation, they could be great or not-so-great. I have a pair of MG-12's with a powered sub with an active cross-over as these are a little shy on bass. (This is less the case as one moves up the line into the 1.6's, 3.6's and 20.1's.) I'll echo the sentiment that there is a fairly narrow sweet-spot on the 12's, although once again, moving up the line will minimize this weakness. And yes, they do need power- I had a 100 wpc(at 8 ohms)Counterpoint amp which had a tough time getting to a little more than moderate volume, even WITH the active x-overed powered sub, and quickly moved to the 220 wpc Counterpoint amp. (With all due respect to others, my opinion is that the bare minmum would be a 120 to 150 wpc of QUALITY amp for the 12's and 1.6's, and no less than 200 for the 3.6's.) Lastly, they do need space and are somewhat room and placement dependant and, with respect to size, I did find that the 12's are alot less obtrusive than the larger models.
If these negatives haven't run you off yet, I'd say you need to get a pair of Maggies. They are a great speaker for the dough!
BTW- Maggies are very revealing speakers- the HF harshness that some refer to is quite likely to be caused by an amp that doesn't work well with the Maggies.
I have 3.5s and Velodyne ULD 15 sub that work well. Innersound amp. started and finished for a while. Love the sound. Make sure they are insured for replacement cost for shipping errors. It happened to me when I purchased mint condition and the shipping co dropped them. 3 months later I have to re breakin factory reconditioned 3.5s that are basicly new. Love em and I only tell my new puppy that!
I had a pair of MG 3's and although I loved the clarity I just needed to have more bass and the ability to turn the volumn up loud. The 3's just couldn't do either. When turned up loud they would have fits. I can't imagine a classical music lover enjoying them very much because of the lack of deep bass. I tried to solve the bass problem with subwoofers but they all seemed to be disconnected from the rest of the music. Maggies are quick subs are slow hence the bass always seemed to be after the rest of the music. I don't think it was my room causing the lack of bass since it was a fairly large room about 28' long by 17' wide with a 9' ceiling. I also don't think my amp was lacking in power I had a Carver 1.5T which was about 350 at wpc at 4ohms.
Timwat's observation of Sonus Faber Amati Homage and Avalon Edilon in Analog Room is not necessary the most accurate. This particular dealer stuff those big speakers in a tiny 10'x10' room that is filled with speakers and electronics, I don't think anyone can expect any speakers to sound good except maybe LS3/5A.
Maggie's has its strength and weakness, but it's the weakness that I could not live with. All Maggies have bass in an uptilt trend as frequency goes down to compensate for the weak bass output (see Stereophile measurement). So even with a sub, I don't think anyone can correct the fundamental "design flaw". Also, the large vertical image is also annoying. Real instrument rarely has long vertical source, and point source is what any design should try to mimic, not the opposite.
That said, Maggie still has one of the most transparent top and mid range at their price range.
Opivl and others who mention how "slow" subwoofers tend to be...please stop and think about (or experimentally listen to) what kind of music actually comes out of your subwoofer. Mostly organ pipes of 16 feet or more. The, attack time of real big organ pipes is slower than the slowest subwoofer in the world, not to mention the fact that the keyboard to pipe linkage (often pneumatic) can introduce a second or more delay between the keystroke and the pipe sound, compensation for which is, of course, a real challenge to the organist. The lumbering nature of subwoofer sound is probably an attribute of the source more than a characteristic of the transducer.
If I had my choice, I would own a pair of the new 3.6's -- I heard them again at my dealer the other day, and my mouth just watered......I just don't have the space for them in the one place in my house where I can put my stereo. Its not that I have a small room, or that Maggies are hard to place, I just have an awkward listening room that has other demands that just won't allow for proper set-up of even the 1.6's. Magenpans just do everything right for me.
Maggies are still my favorite speaker........as a sidenote, in my system, the only box speaker that I have found I enjoy to a degree close to the Magnepan, was the Thiel CS 2.3
I think the place that Maggies would be wonderful are as surround speakers because they would envelop the listener with sound.I think I might buy a Maggie CC speaker because of the clarity they give to vocals.I really cannot think of a better CC to use than a Maggie.
The thing that really bugs me are the people that like the sound buy them for small rooms.Just amazes me how people cannot think of room synergy before buying them.There are box speakers that are just as transparent along with extended bass and I own a few sets.They are the fix for people wanting the Maggie sound without having to have the room to put them in.Problem is people do not think speakers that have the same magic exist which is sad.
I did buy some SMGa and had them shipped.
Unfortunately after shipping (it could have been before I guess) the mylar got ripped and one speaker is ruined!
So beware of shipping.
Jposs:Magnepan must insure the speakers they ship.Did you contact them.It would be coverd.
Of course I did not buy it from Magnepan, it was used off of ebay.
If they were insured in shipping I would take them to FEDEX or whoever and collect on the insurance.
To Eldartford, I don't know about the pipe organs, what you say may be true but I don't listen to music with pipe organs, most of my listening is Rock or Jazz and the sub woofer just always seemed to be diconnected from the rest of the music.
I enjoyed every minute with my Maggies the last 8 years being the central piece that everything moved and changed around them. The magic of their sound lies on the huge soundstage they reproduce and the airy treble from their ribbons-really addictive in large orchestral works. Now the downsides(ascending order):
1. No real bass
2. Thirst for watts, considerable hidden cost on amplification
3. Persisent opaque quality of midrange
4. Not up to the best in transparency, musicality and detail
I will never forget them.
opivl.. What you hear is what you hear, and what matters for you. I don't do Rock, but I do listen to some Jazz (loud dixieland) and some bluegrass. With my crossover at 70Hz, 24 dB, I observe that what sounds like a lot of Bass, usually doesn't make it down to the SW range. Bass drum in a CD of Sousa marches , and Bass Drum in some Gilbert and Sullivan recordings and the cannons in the 1812 Overture also exercise my subwoofers, but organ music (and not all of it) is the only thing that gets the SW amplifier heatsinks warm. Cannons, by the way, are even "slower" than big organ pipes.
You might be interested to check out the frequency response of pro-sound speakers...the kind used by rock bands. They don't go down that far... they are built to play LOUD! They make lousy drivers for a home-brew subwoofer.
I also have the 1812 overture and when the cannons fire, my current speakers make the house vibrate, the maggies never did that. I have a Cranberries CD with organ music in it and the low notes will shake the floor and can be felt in my chest, not so with the maggies. I go to a lot of live shows and the bass can be felt as well as heard, that can't be said about music being reproduced by maggies. I am not picking on Maggies, over all they are the 3rd best pair of speakers I have owned, I just think that they lack bass and are power hungry.