Thinking of Magnepan ... finally!

Until recently, most of my amps have been tube-based with the exception of a few great SS integrateds thrown into the mix for fun. That's probably the main reason I have stayed away from Magnepans (or other speakers of its ilk) thus far. Now that I have an Aavik U-280 integrated amp that can do 300 watts @ 8 ohms and doubles to 600 @ 4, I would love to scratch that itch finally. Keep in mind that I do not intend to get rid of my other speakers (Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene, Harbeth SHL5+, Fritz Carrera BE) since I love them all for different reasons. The Magnepans will be rotated in the main listening room with Joseph Audio Perspectives. One thing I like about Maggies is that they are relatively lightweight so I can move them to the closet without breaking my back when not in rotation.

Since I've never owned Magnepans before, I have a ton of questions and doubts. So here we go ...

Bass (or the lack thereof) -- I've been told that the Magnepans are very light on bass and definitely require at least on subwoofer. Is this true in all cases? Anyone using them without subs and happy with the performance? TBH, I really would prefer that I don't use subs but not set in stone for sure.

Breathing Room -- my room is 20' x 15' with 12 foot ceilings. The speakers will be placed along the short wall (15'). I can pull them out by about 4.5 feet from the front wall and 3 feet from the side walls. Seating distance will be approximately 8 - 9 feet. Is this good enough or do you think more distance, especially from the front wall, is required to truly enjoy the speakers?

Mods -- I've also heard that the stock components (crossovers, fuses, etc.) and stands are suboptimal. Is this true? If so, what are the minimum requirements to bring the speaker to a higher standard and at what cost? 

Value -- For someone who is just starting out with Maggies, which model is a good entry point? I know that LRS+ is a good value, but my other speakers are very very good, so I want to do justice to the Maggies as well. But at the same time I don't want to spend more than I need to. Where do you think the sweet spot lies, i.e. which model(s)? I will be looking for used only since I've already spent way too much on other speakers.

Imaging -- I've also been told that imaging on Maggies is not that great. I have never heard Maggies before so I have no idea if this assertion is true or not. Your thoughts?

And finally, I want to hear from folks who love their Maggies. What is that you love most about the speakers? What qualities do they bring to the table that no other speaker does? Are there magnetic planar speakers from other brands that I should also be considering? Keep in mind they have to be readily available in the used market. So please don't suggest something that doesn't meet this requirement.

However, to bring some balance to the feedback, I would also love to hear from those who tried Magnepans and moved on to something else. Why? What was it that you didn't like about them? What did you move on to?

Thanks in advance and a sincere request: Please keep it civil ... no need for haters of Magnepan to use this as an opportunity to diss the brand.


Thanks for the information. I'll call them Monday. These won't be my primary speakers, but the price is low enough I want to give them a try. I've heard them several times at the shows. TMR was telling me approximately 10 weeks wait. I wonder if they can get them quicker than directly from Magnepan. I called Scott Walker Audio and they have them in stock but won't ship them to me even though I'm also in California.

3.6R’s, purchased used as a trade-in from a local audio/video store. The price was extremely aggressive since they just wanted to get rid of them (look up the used price online and it was 1/3 of that).

Yes, these particular speakers need a lot of power. They will suck up the entire output for an 380wpc amplifier and bring it to a reasonably loud presentation.

As far as light bass.... well... yes and no. Some of it is the room and placement, but if you want that tight-punchy bass that you can feel in your sternum, they won’t do it by themselves. I may try a subwoofer, but I tend to listen to all types of music, and I think the presentation is well balanced and very relaxing to listen to.

@tomrk  I’m finally getting punchy bass from my 3.6Rs that I can feel. I always had them in really good custom made stands, but the thing that transformed the bass was to bolt the driver panels into the mdf frames with 28 bolts per speaker (the factory staples are not good enough) and add stiffening members to the speakers that attach to the newly installed panel bolts. If it sounds a little crazy, it is, but it’s so worth it. They sound like a completely different pair of speakers.

@ketchup  Sounds interesting.    Any chance of getting a photo so I understand your placement?

@ketchup  Sounds interesting.    Any chance of getting a photo so I understand your placement?

@tomrk I just added some pics to my system.

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