I'm not sure that any special room treatment is really needed for Magnepans vs most other types of speaker... It is best however to set Magnepans 3 to 6 feet out from the front wall if you want to maximize the soundstage depth. The Rule of 'Thirds' is a good start; one third into the room from the front wall and one third into the rooms width. If your room is too square (or cubed) then some bass traps may well be needed. What are the dimensions of your room?
Use a reasonable balance of diffusion and absorption throughout the room; too much absorption and you suck-up all the detail. I personally like as much diffusion behind the listening position and on the ceiling as possible. You don't have to use fancy (expensive) RPG panels to get decent diffusion (though the real thing does work better), book shelfs loaded with records or CD's work well too.
I believe that Jim Smith addresses room treatments for the wall behind Maggies in his book and on his DVD. I can't remember what he said though because I don't have them, so it wasn't something I paid close attention to.
I own Magnepan 3.6s
I have them at the 1/7 distance of full room depth. This is to avoid other even fractions of the distance. This is actual 42" out from wall behind speakers (for my room size) with the tweeter at the 42" (as the speaker is toed in) with the tweeter on the 'inside' rather than the outside of the speaker pair.
IMO 1/3 is impossible in the average room, so try 1/5 or 1/7... actually calculate the distances. 1/3 is only reasonable if the speakers are on the short dimension wall.
I use tall bookshelves on the rear sides, (right up to corner) then the back corners happen to already be heavy draw drapes, opened. Middle back is a very large window, just have stuff on sill, plants etc.
The speakers are toed in about 30 degrees. And are rather close to side walls, about 18" from side wall to outer edge of speaker.
Very similar to the picture of the recent audio show, in which a room the maggies are near the side walls. mine very similar position.
I sit out into the room so i am about 10 to 12 ft from speaker plane. With room to walk behind the listening chair.
Feet: if the feet are on hard ground, the speaker will be brighter. If the feet are in soft carpet, the speaker will sound more mellow. You can stick thin bits of thick nails etc at ends of speaker feet if sof carpet and the speakers will be brighter, and bass firmer, but it is a big change in sound for such a small addition.
tried just pins under the bass side, and not the tweeter side, and finally went back to nothing extra under the feet ends. (mine are on soft carpeting)
I just moved...the most practical room for my music has carpeting (and log walls) In this new environment my maggie 1.7's sound so bad, I can't enjoy...Are you saying that if I put a metal plate between the speakers and the carpeting they will get that brightness back?
I would try to stick something under the end of the legs to squeeze them up a bit. I used some pins for shelving, one under each end of the legs (total eight pins) You could use some thick 3/16 diameter nails, stick the heads out each side near ends of legs (16 nails would do it).
They really stiffen the speaker. If you rock the speaker now, it will sway XX amount. If you stick the nails or pins under the ends, and then try to sway it, it sways way less! and tighter. And the sound is tighter, and brighter too.
If that helps but is not enough, then try the solid something under the legs.
I would try something like a large patio stone if you want to place a solid hard object under the speakers. 2 foot diameter round cement ones are about 75 pound each, or a 24" or so square ones. You could paint them flat black (if concrete, they will take a ton of paint! to cover them. I know)
I used to use round concrete slabs under my previous speakers, Infinity RSIIa.
I put the slabs on tip toes, and the speakers on the slabs, to cut the bass going into the floor (apt dweller)
Using a solid base, not a thin metal one would be better.
Absorption ,Absorption, Absorption. Bass traps in the corners of your room. If you are a Diy person buy some Johnsmaville 814 2'x4' acoustic panels and cut them into triangles and stack floor to ceiling. I did all 4 corners of my room. Also a wall of the panels behind the speakers.
The bass probably quadrupeled. And the added bass makes the mids and highs better too.The highs are less forward.It just adds weight to all aspects including sounstage depth and width . My system does not even sound close to what it did without the room treatments.The best $700 ever spent .Like night and day difference. You have no idea what you are missing. I read people saying to use houshold items for absorption and diffusion and it is not even close to the real thing.I could go buy a bigger better amp/preamp and not get the same results as what the treatments did. also made some knockoff stand out of 2x4 's for $20.00.You will notice better bass with them.
IMO typical room treatments will make your place look wierd. You better already BE married, cuz few and far between will be the women who will dig the look you will have going with standard room treatments. Use the normal stuff people own, instead of outer space trinkets.
Elizabeth, I agree. Very few rooms need commercial acoustic treatment, but making your living room look like a recording studio seems to be popular these days. Furniture and window treatments make great acoustic treatment and Maggies are one of the easiest speakers I have ever worked with.
Hmmm-Liz,'dats why you have to very careful not to marry a woman who gives you any grief,just saying.
If you have never heard maggies in a treated room you will never know what you are missing. Like the saying goes "Ignorance is bliss".
"Perfect stereo sound.... or a normal life.
Elizabeth , You mention the waf for room treatments. If your wife will accept one of the largest speakers known to man (magnepan speakers) in a room, i think they would accept something less abtrusive as room treatments. No ?
No. The speakers OK, room treatments my be the straw too far.
Treatments are TEN TIMES uglier than the magnepan speakers.
One of your wifes friends might ask what are those? (magnepan ) and the answer would be reasonable/slightly annoyed.
Room treatments, The answer would be a string of obscene comments...
Ignorance IS bliss! Some folks think room treatment will make up for their inferior electronics.
Listen to Maplegrovemusic.
Unlike a couple of posters on this thread who lack first-hand experience in their own room with treatments (Elizabeth and Rrog, correct me if I am wrong about that, but you previously have acknowledged that with your silence), you will find hundreds of posts by people with actual experience in their own rooms talking about the dramatic improvement room treatments can make. It is not voodoo; it can be explained by physics. It is hard to believe what a huge difference it can make until you actually experience it.
As far as the best place to start to maximize impact, I would agree with Maplegrovemusic that it is absorption/bass traps. One thing to be careful about on the absorption is that for it to be "broad band" (that is, effective for a broad range of the frequency spectrum), it generally needs to be at least 4 inches thick. This can the DIY corner traps (sometimes called super chunks) that Maple speaks of. The GIK Tri-Traps are a reasonably price version of these that are pre-built. GIK (I am not affiliated, just a happy customer) also has absorption panels that are broad band, such as the 244 panel. While thinner absorption panels may have their uses in certain spots, ONLY using the thinner ones can result in a room with uneven frequency response because the lower frequencies are not being dealt with.
The main difference in room treatments with Maggies is how to approach the wall behind the speakers. Most people prefer diffusion for the back wave, but others prefer absorption. In my experimenting, I found that both diffusion and absorption sounds better than a bare wall, but that diffusion sounds the best and keeps that big, live Maggie sound. I actually have a combination and have GIK tri-traps on the floor below the diffusion, which really enhances the bass. It is surprising to find out you were not hearing certain notes that you can now hear after the room treatment. Also, I completely agree with Maple that when the bass is improved, it also improves the mids and highs.
(((Is there a best place to start that will maximize the impact?))Dsper
What resistor values have you tried with the tweeter attenuator?
I am a novice. Please explain what the resistor does and how it impacts the sound. What happens if you change to one with a "higher value". With a "Lower value".
Currently using stock setup from Magnapan.
Having owned several upper middle level amps (Krell FPB, Levinson, Pass, BAT etc. . ), preamps (ARC, Aesthetix, Ayre, McIntosh, etc. . ) and digital electronics (Esoteric, Levinson, DCS, EMM Labs, Wadia) and a slew of decent speakers (B&W, Von, Thiel, Wilson [4 dif pair], Gemme, Maggies, Martin Logans, etc. . .), I can say with absolute certainty that in 3 of the 4 different listening rooms I have set up in my house that acoustic treatments make as big or bigger of a difference than pretty much any single piece of electronics.
If you are blessed with a very good room, consider yourself lucky. But if you haven't player around with room treatments to some degree it is impossible to recognize the impact they can have.
Hey, Elizabeth, I have always had a lot of respect for your comments. This past weekend I was in Chicago picking up a pair of Thiel speakers and the shop had a used pair of SMG-A (??? I think that's the model) Maggies used - and they actually fit in my truck after putting in the Thiel CS6's, so I bought them ( to a large degree on your Maggie comments). Now I just need to figure out what to do with them (my 7th pair of speakers in my house!!!????) I have an pair of Bel Canto Ref 1000 lying around, are these any good with maggies?
I have owned the six foot Magnepans (IIa,IIIa,3.6) in 9 different rooms in the past 40 years.
Here is my advice.
1) they work best in rectangular rooms, set at the short end, 4 to 5 ft from the back wall. Rooms wider than 20 ft or longer then 30 ft are too big.
2) Sit about 10-12 ft from the speakers. No further. At least 3 or 4 ft from the rear wall. Chair height, ear level with the center of the speaker height.
3) Damp the wall behind the speaker, but not too dead. Keep the front corners and wall on the sides, bare or live. Keep the rear wall live.
4)Move the speakers, and listening spot, fore and aft, a few inches to a foot, to avoid bass peaks or nulls.
5)No bulky equipment between, or behind the speakers.
6)Minimum furniture except for a comfortable listening chair, or love seat
(why listen alone).
7) Nothing else is needed! Do not buy ANY room treatments!
re 3 "3) Damp the wall behind the speaker, but not too dead. Keep the front corners and wall on the sides, bare or live. Keep the rear wall live."
How do you recommend damping the wall behind the speakers without room treatments?
if i didn,t dampen the upper corners and rear wall in my room [14 x 18 ft] i couldn,t stand to listen to my magnepans. standing wave boom is awful. and i have the spks 5 feet away from front wall and 3 feet in from sides with home made stands and support rods. but thats just my experience
I have used draps or hanging blinds over glass windows or sliding doors. Try large stretched fabric wall portrait art work, tapestry, or a Navaho rug, on the wall behind the speakers. Fake large plants look and work well also. Anything that scatters or slightly absorbs sound, and has decent WAF. After all, women also like to listen to good music. You do not want to insult them with poor taste.