Review: Mye Sound speaker stands Magnepan- MG-20 Tweak

Category: Accessories

In hind sight I have no rational or sane reason why I did not purchase a pair of Mye Sound custom stands for my MG-20's, to replace their stock footers, along time ago. I had read on different websites scores of glowing reviews regarding how the Mye Sound stands dramaticly improved the sonic performance of any Magnepan model. I had never read or heard even one negative comment regarding these custom stands. Well, better late then never.

The Mye Sound stands are beautifully hand built by Grant VanderMye in Kelowna, B.C. Canada. Grant and his wife were a delight to work with and made the purchase a very easy and pleasant experience. If you can handle working with a total of 12 screws/bolts it's a breeze to install these stands on your Maggies. They replace the stock footers with a very heavy and extremely well built stand, which come with very high quality carpet piercing brass points, and a pair of struts which lock the speaker panels into an iron fisted triangle.

I have gone through many upgrades and tweaks over the years, haven't we all, but nothing prepared me for what took place when I placed my dearly loved MG-20's on these stands. The improvement was not subtle or slight but a significant transformational change that brought the already reference level attributes of the 20's to even a higher level. If I had to try to give this a percentage rating I would say at least 25%, which is quite remarkable considering the performance level of the MG-20's with the stock stands to begin with.

Here's the details of what took place sonicly with the Mye Sound stands:

1) I have always found the MG-20's to be sonicly "seamless" and speak with one voice in a very cohesive fashion. With the Mye Stands this quality was taken to even a higher level.

2) The level of transparency/clarity was vastly improved so microdetails and decay trails become more apparent in a very natural/organic way.

3) The location of each individual player became more precise in the soundstage, with greater air around them and a yet still blended in with the rest of the music very naturally.

4) Bass became much faster, more dynamic/powerful, and accurate and blended with the lower midrange in a much more realistic way.

5) Overall timbres became more lifelike in their harmonic structure and tonality.

6) The final change seems the most paradoxical to me. The Mye Stands totally energized and made the MG-20's come "alive" and at the same time made the experience of listening to music through them a more relaxing/emotional situation.

To say I'm enthralled with what the Mye Stands did for the performance of my MG-20's would be an under statement! All this for a total of $600.00. If you own any Maggies, regardless of the model, you really owe it to yourself to put them on Mye Sound stands. My experience now is that you really don't know what sonic performance Magnepans have to offer when used on those dinky stock footers, unless you cement them away from performance killing vibrations with Grant's custom stands!

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Hi Teajay.
Thanks so much for the review, I couldn't describe the improvements as well even after all these years (a reviewer I am not). I'll post a link to this on my site as well. Much appreciated.
Grant VanderMye
Mye Sound
Your system sounds great with these stands. It definitely sounds more organic in a lifelike manner. One thing that really surprised me is the "jump factor" that these speakers now have. They start and stop in a much more convincing fashion. On well recorded Jazz, the horns are sometimes startling if you do not expect them. They sound much closer to electrostats in this regard. The leading edge is there with no hash or sizzle. What you have left is a warmer and more detailed presentation. Another way to say this is that the music seems more round rather than etched which is closer to the way I hear live music. The system is easier to listen to because the brain doesn't have to work as hard. You have made many other changes in the past that I have considered them to be subtle improvements. This is not a subtle improvements. Two thumbs up!! Bob
Being audiphiles, we know that a tweak here, a tweak there, can make a great difference. A difference to us listeners, that is. I accept that the Mye stands make an improvement. But I also want to know how and why they make such an improvement. Any comments?
Listener614, your question regarding how the Mye Sound stands dramatically improved the sonic performance across the entire spectrum, is very easy to answer.

The weakest link in all Magnepan speakers is twofold:

1) The passive crossover regarding the quality of its parts effect the performance of the speaker. In my system I use an active Bryston X-over and bi-amp my MG-20's, so I never had to deal with this aspect.

2) The stock footers or stands allow massive vibrations and spurious frequencies to "muck up" the performance of the ribbon tweeter and panels in a drastic negative fashion. Any speakers performance will be harmed because of acoustic vibrations, but when your talking about a seven foot tall frame housing ultra-light transducers, ribbon tweeters and mylar membranes, you can see why the Mye Sound stands allow the MG-20's to really perform to a much higher level and max out their abilities.
Teajay, the ribbon tweeters are mounted in a heavy steel frame. I think those rapidly fluttering ribbons are well isolated. The midrange and bass panels are also very low mass. Do you think they really impact the hard frame in which they're mounted? How did Grant Vandermye come to invent these stands? And I think they're a little pricey.(Evidently, to his credit, he's on to something!) Speakers:3.6R.
The resonant frequency of a Maggie in its stock stand is easy to measure. Just deflect it about an inch at the top, and time the resulting oscillation when you let go. My MG1.6 is about 2 Hz.

Since the MG1.6 rolls off at about 40 Hz the chance of moving it by playing music is remote.

In my experience Maggies sound best when hung with chain from the ceiling in a very large room.

Congratulations you have sucessfully direct coupled your loudspeakers to the higher mass of ground. You have shortened the delay time and amount of energy storage within the diaphragm and the frame work that tensions the membrane. The wave launch itself has to have a faster rise time and more accurate decay time when coupled in the method you described. Reactive energy must be mechanically discharged to ground as quickly as possible so it does not pollute the next incoming wave.. Way to go. Tom
Listener614, here's some information regarding your questions:

1) In a very interesting conversation with Grant he shared that he owned a pair of 3.6's and believed that the stock footers were impairing the performance of his Maggies. So, he first experimented with stands and struts made of wood and discovered that it actually sounded worse then the stock stands. He then built both the stands and struts out of high grade steel which was a vast improvement, but then he kept the stands/platforms steel but changed the struts to airplane grade aluminum and this combination was the charm. As stated in my review, and just amazed now as I was a couble of weeks ago, all the tremendous changes in the quality of the performance of the 20's without any downsides at all.

2) Regarding your question about the heavy metal frame isolating both the membranes and ribbon tweeters, you could easily feel the whole frame vibrating by lightly putting your fingertips on the front,back, or side of the frame even at low volume levels. I'm no acoustic engineer, but this would have to have a negative feedback loop resulting in not allowing the drivers to perform to their fullest. I believe Theaudiotweak's post makes alot of sense regarding a more specific way of explaining how the Mye Sound stands/struts work.

3) I respectfully and passionately disagree with your opinion that the cost of Grant's stands are "pricey". First, if these were manufactured by some of the well known brand companies I bet they would charge a ton more for these. Secondly, the craftmanship and quality of build and materials is top notch. I'm surprized he does not charge more then he does. Now, that I have these stands and know what they have done to the performance of the MG-20's, I would gladly had payed alot more. These stands are a freaking screaming deal, in my opinion!
Teajay, thank you for the background information. I can't audition the stands and so I need to know, ideally, the theory and development behind them, as well as the experience of others. As a college student, I once bought a pair of Tympani IC's sight unseen. Big mistake. To this day, I rarely buy a component without hearing it first. But, by understanding a product's history, I can much better evaluate it. Thanks again.

Theaudiotweak's post asserts that if the maggie frame is held rigidly the diaphrams are more efficient. That makes sense to me. (Incidently, there are horizontal struts across the maggie frames for a similar purpose. These can become loosened. Magnepan recently tightened mine when replacing socks.)

Yes, I thought the Mye stands were "pricey". It didn't help when I read a review stating the stands were $305 only to discover that they were, 18 months later, $500, and a year later roughly $650. When you read a great review then go to the site to buy only to find the product is twice what you expected, it takes the steam out of the purchase. Reading all these other great reviews changed my mind again. Anyway, some people think everything I spend on Audio is crazy!

Do you have any agenda or commercial affiliations which might bias your views or prompt you to scrutinize any praise of the MYE stands?

I am just curious, because Grant is pretty universally well reviewed, and I also note that that you have enthusiastically jumped into this discussion in what is registered as your first thread.

But as an owner of 3.6s and former owner of Typanis, you certainly don't sound like a "newbie".

In any case, welcome to Audiogon.

I too can confirm the dramatic improvement of the MYE stands which I use on my Tympani IVa's, as well as the good value and no BS service of Mr VanderMye.

I'm an analyst by trade. NO affiliations. Might the stands compensate for loose struts?

I am not an analyst or an engineer.

Intuitively, however, I would think that the stands do at least two things:

1) Couple the speaker to the floor with more weight using the stands and the spikes, and

2) Significantly increase the rigidity of the Magneplanar frames surrounding the drivers

My impressions may be entirely explained by the placebo effect and have no scientific justification.

But it seems to me that minimizing or elminating any front to back movement of the panels would greatly reduce "smearing", increase bass and clarity and bring any number of other sonic benefits as described above.

Although not related to the sound, it is also nice to know that Magneplanars might not be knocked over so easily by a pre schooler, or any friends who drink more than 1 martini.

Look forward to your thoughts as an analyst.

Mye Stands reviews are glowing. Especially by those who have a financial stake in them. I.e., once you pay for them, they had better work, or your decision to buy sound unheard is discredited. Very uncomfortable feeling. Understandably resisted.

Perhaps if there were a "try and buy" option for the stands?
The mass of the Maggie prevents it from moving at any frequency associated with music. And even if it what? A 300 Hz audio sound you hear is projected from the diaphram vibrating at, for example, 100 Hz, and with much greater amplitude than the theoretical movement of the Maggie frame.

Same thing with cones. It's called "Dopler distortion". Maggies have less of it because the diaphram movement is very small compared with a cone driver.

Less compared to cones, but nonetheless the MYE stands might further reduce Dopler distortion?

Or are you with Listener, suggesting MYE stands are an expensive placebo effect?

As for me, I dont remember what I paid for them, but it was worth every penny simply to know they wont tip over as easily.
Placebo? No...the stands reportedly make a difference in too many areas of loudspeaker performance. And the audiophiles who buy Mye Stands are a group to be trusted.

But I won't part with the money on a hunch. Even a good hunch.
Cwlondon...I don't think they're expensive :-)
I like to think I am pretty level headed about these things, at least insofar as I don't own a Tice Clock, Harmonix "room tuning" devices, or croygenically treated anything.

But I am nonetheless in favor of all placebo effects:

Because if you really believe something sounds better - well....than for you, it DOES.

So the MYE stands are a reasonably priced placebo effect tweak?
Cwlondon, I have chosen, until now, not to respond to your increasing silly posts on this review of the Mye Sound stands. First, you have been given very reasonable and rational explanations how these stands would empirically effect in a very postive way the performance of a Magnapan speaker, but you have some weird aggenda to write this off as some hocus/pocus or just a subjective placebo effect.

Very recently a representative of one of the largest retailers of Magnepan speakers in the US came by to audition the Mye Sound Stands in my system. He immediately heard the effect of these stands and became more impressed the longer he stayed. He will be ordering these stands for the Maggies for his shop. Well, he must be under the influence of the placebo effect, like the rest of us "true believers".

So why don't you be a good skeptic, instead of a silly one with some ridiculous agenda, and test out your assumption regarding why these stands effect the sound of Magnapans as placebo or objectively explained with facts to how they work. Come on, I'll give ya the Six hundred bananas back if you try these stands, don't objectively here the difference and with integrity tell the truth.

If you re read carefully, you will see that I have generally defended the MYE stands and the fair dealings of Mr Vandermye.

You will also see that I offered what I felt was a perfectly plausible explanataion of how and why the MYE stands should significantly improve the sound of the Magneplanars.

In other threads, I have also praised the improvements that the MYE stands brought to my Tympanis.

My "silly" comments were directed at the skeptics, initially Listener614 and apparently Eldartford?

I think there is far more to MYE stands than placebo effect, but was simply inviting counter arguments from the skeptics.

Again, I am a fan of Grant and his products and think they represent excellent value as well.

I hope this is clear.
My sincere apologies to you, Cwlondon, when I posted late last night, I meant to address my remarks/comments to Listener614's posts, not your excellent comments. I bow my head and ask for your forgiveness!
Cwlondon...I don't doubt that you hear what you hear. What I am skeptical about is the explanation offered...less movement of the Maggie frame. If not psychological, which I do think is, at least partially, responsible, perhaps all the metal structure modifies the backwave in a way that you like.

Whatever. Enjoy your Myes.
I have a pair of Mye stands on 3.5rs. They prevent the speakers from moving on the flimsy stock stands, which they otherwise do at any reasonable sound pressure level. Most importantly, they lock in the sound stage in a rather dramatic fashion. A very small amount of swaying is enough to create a much more diffuse sound stage. The improvement with Mye stands is not subtle, not subjective, not psychological. You may choose not to believe this, but it's true.

More generally, even with the many positive reviews of Magnepan speakers, I wonder whether more than a small number of people fully understand the extraordinary level of performance of which they are capable with the right front end, high current amplification, and yes, Mye stands. They can and will fully reflect the highest quality signal you can feed them.
Kdc...There must be something wrong with your Maggies if they moved with music before you got the Mye stands. My MG1.6 don't move at all from music. If I move them by hand they oscillate at about 2 Hz which is so far away from any frequency that the Maggie can reproduce that the notion that music could move them is, pardon the term, absurd. However, if they did move would it be a problem? With the exception of a piano and a pipe organ, instruments move around at least a few inches as they are played. Does that screw up the sound?

Whatever. Enjoy your Myes.

I am still fascinated by the debate here.

Whatever. I am enjoying my Myes.
Cwlondon...It's really the same debate about hanging speakers by chains from the ceiling, and whether the music will cause them to swing to and fro. I did an experiment about that, and music doesn't move them at all. However, if the wind blows or you bump them they will swing for quite a long time. My Maggies, if they are disturbed about 3/4 inch by hand the oscillation damps out in about 15 seconds.
Having just recently purchased and installed Mye Stands on my 20.1s I too am a believer in what they do for the speakers. What I am curious about is - what are you all using to weight them down in back? I discussed with Grant the possibility of having low profile metal boxes made to fit and match the framework but the cost was prohibitive in comparison to other options. Currently I am using a pair of concrete flower pots (86 lbs each - low WAF )but the whole set-up really cries out for something more asthetic!! Besides I think the flower pots could be creating some reflective distortion - not sure about that since I don't have an alternative to compare.

BTW, I also purchased three custom-built amp stands from Grant - they fit my Krell's perfectly and look great!! We used 1.5 inch maple for the plinth. I didn't see the stands in Grant's latest website though.
Everything is modulated from either it's own inneraction or from some outside source. Motion is endless, as is the modulated distortion that results. Try hanging a stationary hat on that. Tom
It is always interesting reading these posts.

I had various magnepans for years. The last one I had was the 3.6r. They brought great happiness too me.

For the money I think you get so far down the audiophile road, but at the same time they have so many weak areas where the ultimate performance is compromised.

The cross over has such average and low performing parts it is a must to replace them, let alone that fuse. Then there is the stand! The interaction of all that vibration between the floor and the rocking of the frame and the ribbons is destructive to the sound.

I seem to remember the literature for magnepan in the past used an illustration of the diaphram showing the sound pressure wave as arrows front and back. Remember it? Well imagine those waves wobbling slightly. I always felt there was a blurring to their sound and a lack of dynamic ability apart from the obvious planar restrictions. I guess its like a sprinter trying to get a good start, but slipping as he puts pressure down to accelerate. Much of this can be sorted out.

When I started messing around with stands for the magnepans I owned, I was struck by the image coherence and the bass improvements. They became more taught and cleaner. There was better defined space between the instruments, better leading edge dynamic, and deeper bass response.

IMHO all magnepans need the crossover replaced with better components simplification of the wiring (by passing extra soldering points) bypassing the fuse (if you have never blown it before!) a better stand and powerful amps.

Someone asked in an earlier post are these placebo effects? No. unless your are listening to the band Placebo!
Theaudiotweak...What??? Perhaps "inneraction" means something. One minor problem with any speaker is that higher frequencies, say 200 Hz, are being launched from a cone or diaphram that is vibrating at, say, 80 Hz. That 80 Hz vibration is far and away more than any credible movement of the entire speaker system.
The stock MG 3.6R's are amazing compared to ANY box speaker. The latest version has a new crossover that mounts parallel to the panel which creates a more stable is also larger (Hmmm, an upgrade perhaps?). My new pair does sound a bit better than the older demo pair I heard. I am hesitant to screw bolts into my Maggies anyway, under any circumstances:O) The feet seem to be beefier as well compared to the old ones.
Sorry Dave B, the stock feet are no beefier then they have been in Magnepan's history. You are also mistaken I believe in that you think you have to "screw bolts" into your 3.6's for the Mye Sound stands, the bolts go into the exact same position on the frame of the speaker as the stock stands and holes.
Thanks for the info:O)
I have a pair of 3.6R Magnepans. I separated the crossover box from the back of the speaker panels. Ran the Mid/High output of the crossover box to the Mid/High input of the Magnepan speakers. I ran the bass output of the crossover box to JBL 123A's in 3 cubic foot sealed cabinet's for the low end (bi-amped). Adjusted the JBL's output to blend with the Magsters.

This, in my opinion, improved the sound of the Magsters significantly. Mids and highs are more real sounding. All the bass slam one longs for. No sub needed. Imaging totally intact.

Acoustic upright bass sounds like an acoustic upright bass. (I've been playing upright bass for 36 years and I own a 7/8th fully carved upright bass...I know what they sound like).

Now when I put my hand on the wooden side rails of the speaker, I feel very little vibration because the bass panel is disengaged.

This leads me to suspect that the Mye stands would help to make the Magsters sound more real. Drawing vibrations away from the panel frames, and sending them to the floor.

That's all.