The 3.6R/SE in bi-amp with Denon 6600A and 4400A works well. Tweeters inside.
The 3.6R/SE in bi-amp with Denon 6600A and 4400A works well. Tweeters inside.
This is quite an old thread you've resurrected here, lol.
If you read the initial post you'll note that I used the Maggies with amps plenty capable of providing the requisite amount of power - Krell and Perreaux among others. I also bought a pair of SimAudio W10 monoblocks, not mentioned in the review as they came along later.
My experience is my experience. I believe I gave the speakers every chance to shine, and ultimately they did, in many ways....but not quite in the way that I wanted.
I moved from the Maggies to a set of large horns, then later to a set of Carver Amazing Platinum (hybrids).
The Carver gave me everything I wanted from the Maggies but could never quite get - impact, dynamics, deeper bass - more of a 'lifelike' sound.
Anyway, all that was a long time ago and from a forgotten land ;)
Thanks for stopping by...
I own a pair of Magnepan 3.6R and I repalced all caps and inductor coils and installed silver wire internally and binding posts for spades. All which came from North Creek Audio. I use a Sonic Frontiers Line 3 SE preamp and a Krell KSA 300S. I use silver speaker cables with a total of 64 strands (bi-wire x 32 strands). Let me tell you the bottom end kicks booty. The transparency is exciting! The sounstage is steller. I will never own another speaker unless I get the MG20.1. The most important thing I can stress is the more TRUE power you get the greater the performance. Cables that have better cuurent performance and bigger amps will transform the maggies.
It's a bloody nightmare. Still waiting for the last of the caps to come in from Welborne. Spent the last 2 weekends sanding down a 2" thick mahogany board and making the binding post brackets.
Woodworking was never my forte. In high school WW class we had to come up with a term project and make something. Everyone else in the class made a coffee table, I made a wine-press. Go figure...
I reckon another 6 months at this rate and I should be cooking.
What's the plan for Saturday, what should I bring? (refreshments?)
Rooze, I have had the MYE stands for my 3.6's for about 3 weeks and 1 hurricane. They made a big improvement in my system. Deeper, stronger bass, much better imaging, bigger soundstage, just crisper acroos the board. I think if you tried these your never ending quest for "better" amps might just end. I did notice an improvement with the tweeter by-pass, but the stands really finished it off. Keep in mind my speakers are on carpet and you could rock them back and forward about an inch when pushed, now they are solid. They sounded much better without the cone feet than the stock stands but once you put the cones on there is no going back.
Thanks for your input Quadophile, and thanks for setting Nrchy straight on the Perreaux amp stand....don't these Krell guy's know anything!! (LOL). Maggies are an absolute work in progress, I'm still moving them around and trying different things, even after almost a year of ownership. On the weekend, I moved them to the other side of the room, which involved some temporary hook-ups of amps/cables, but was worth the effort. The opposite side of the room has them placed just overlapping a large window. Despite the large reflective surface, they sounded great - more punchy and dynamic, without any detriment to the midrange or treble. I was expecting the sound to be harsh, with the proximity to all the glass, but it sounded great. Now I have to organize mains and equipment racks to make the move permanent....and so it goes on!
I haven't heard the Tympani's in donkey's years, I think Magnepans explanation of why they ceased production would probably be 'superceded by the new models with superior sonics'....but as we know, progress isn't always progress in a forward moving sense!....Thanks again for your comments.
Dolfan, I snipped the cheap push-on spades off the attenuator cabling and replaced them with basic gold plated spades from RS (a crimp-on type). It's not ideal, but it's a lot better than what is there now! I plan to redo the internal wiring, at which point I will bring all of the wiring out through the backplate and have it spade terminated onto binding posts inside of the crossover (new crossover box, that I'm planning).
What did you think of the fuse bypass mod, did you get the same good results?
Nrchy...you gotta get with it. Next time you come over bring your FPB700c and we can try and use that as an amp stand in place of the Perreaux.
I am most impressed with the way you describe the Maggie sound. Very good review indeed.
I had the pleasure of listening to the older Maggies (Tympani IV), that was the first time for me to hear the sound of the maggies and I was stunned to say the least at what they could produce in terms of soundstage and clarity. Those were capable of going down to 28Hz if I remember it correctly. The amplifier being used to drive them was a huge beast from Krell not sure which model as it was very long time ago and I was at that time not too familiar with Krell amplification. I wonder why Magneplanar stopped making similar type of three panel speakers.
Jimburger, I know this isn't for everyone, but this past week or so I've been doing some basic upgrades to the speaker and crossover, and the results have been amazing. Bypassing the fuses and also bypassing the tweeter attenuator brought a significant change in tonal presentation, and took less than 10 minutes to complete. I'm getting a much more fluid sound and more dynamic. I know that fluid and dynamic seem at odds with one another, but it's the only way I can describe it. Yesterday I replaced the speaker posts with Cardas binding posts that accept both spades and banana's. The improvement in bass and overal warmth, with no loss of transparency, was astounding.
I know it's not good for the resale aspect, but anyone handy with a soldering iron can take these speakers into another league.
Tireguy has been very helpful in both providing the motivation to make these changes, and also the technical know how.
I had have had success using Infinity Audio's Silverbridge jumpers on my 3.6R's. They are pure silver with teflon dialectric. They are terminated using the Cardas pins. They are of a heavy enough gauge to facilitate good current flow which improved the bass weight and dynamics. My Maggies had a slightly rising frequency response in my room with the standard tweeter jumpers resulting in the installation of a 1 ohm tweeter resistor. So I am sacrificing some transparency in exchange for a smoother overall room response.
Hotsauce, I took your advice and yes it looks easy to bypass the tweeter attenuator link on the 3.6. The 3.6 uses push on spade connectors, so I'm going to try and find some brass ring connectors to replace them. I couldn't believe how cheap the whole arrangement is behind that backplate!!! Those fuse holders and the spade connectors would look cheap inside of a $20 transistor radio.
The quest continues.....
I have a pair of MG 20's, so my comment may not apply, but construction is virtualy identical, so it should.
I bypassed the tweeter attenuator jumper entirely. If you remove the 4 screws holding the terminal panel on you will see that the internal wires have ring terminals, and are just held to the posts with a nut. By swapping a few wires you can just bypass the jumper, and if you wish, the fuse too. I took the opportunity to replace the terminals with Cardas posts. You do need to open the holes in the cover plate slightly to use them. Since my cables have spades, I eliminated the needed bananna adapters. You will definatly hear an improvement bypassing the fuse and jumper(undoutably voids warranty)
Rooze- Nice and detailed review! I know I have said it before, but you are spot on with something being amiss with magnepan. With my hot-rodded 3.6's the level of performance is nothing short of amazing- clearly they could make a similar speaker and sell it for MUCH more then the current 3.6. If most audiophiles saw the insides of there speakers(crossover construction, components used and in general a feeling of cheapness) they would not believe they sound as good as they do stock!
Thanks for the input, it's great to hear other peoples experiences with Maggie's, and thanks for the various emails that I received regarding the post.
John, I'm envious that you are using Wolcotts, I've heard others say that this is an exceptional match. I'd thought about an ARC VT200, since I have a LS15 it would probably be a synergistic match, but I'm not sure that it would be powerful enough - the Cary V12 Monos have a similar spec and they don't have enough power.
The Cardas kits are available from www.dedicatedaudio.com they have the full range of accessories and are an excellent company to deal with.
I just bought an extra two sets of the tweeter attenuator cables, and I'm going to use these to replace the bi-wire shorting pins. I have bi-wire cables presently, but just bought a couple sets of single cables, so I need to replace the pins.
Jallen - that's interesting that you've had good results with silver cables. Many people would say that silver cables should be avoided with Maggies, since they can be a tad bright. I used DH Labs silver ref XLR's and they sounded very good.
No one has mentioned stands, which surprised me. Are you all using the stock feet, or has anyone tried MYE stands?
That may be my next investment, though I don't care much for them visually - are there any other options around that anyone has tried?
I recently reviewed my friends system of the 3.5 Maggies with the Rowland Concentra II, Music Reference RM 200, Odyssey, EAR 509, and they all had a distinctive character. These speakers are as I am sure the 3.6 is, very revealing and involving to varying degrees depending on components. Overall, the RM 200 was the best fit with the 3.5. We also used silver cable between crossover/speaker and silver speaker cable which made a substantial improvement. The bass slam and treble speed were markedly improved. There was also an added warmth to the midrange. Jallen
Good job on the review. I recently upgraded my speaker cables from biwire to a single run of Shunyata Lyra. I could locate the jumper pins for the xover so I had some 6" Lyra jumper cables made. Although the cables are still breaking in, there is a dramatic increase in midrange clarity and micro dynamics. The highs are smooth without being harsh.
I'm just breaking in a pair of 3.6's. Please tell me about the Cardas crossover pin and tweeter pin replacements. I am using a Consonance 2.2 CD player direct to a pair of Musical Fidelity M250 mono's and I don't have a brightness problem at all, smooth as silk and the best sound I have have ever heard. They replaced a pair of Vandy 2CE's and are a quantum leap improvement albeit quite a bit more money also. Thanks for the review!
Wow, nice review. You clearly put a lot of time and experimentation to achieve such great results.
I have owned Maggie 3.3 and now 3.5 for about 5 years now and like you, I tried many amps. The ARC VT130 was an awesome sonic match but just did not have the required headroom. The ARC CL150s were just too analytical and not much more power than the VT130. What surprised me was how incredible the Counterpoint NPS400 amp was with these speakers. For pure value, I suspect nothing else under $2k or so would be even close to this match for the 3.X series.
Today I use the Wolcott monos which have that incredible richness as did the VT130 and the drive capability of the Counterpoint. If you ever come to the twin cities, you're welcome to stop by.
And yes, I understand your comments on the Peregrines as I use a pair of Khorus and a pair of Peregrines for my HT setup. I find the Talon speakers to be so incredible for HT and music applications but in the end, for pure musical enjoyment, I am a Maggie fan all the way.