Your amp should drive the 1.7's with no problem. The main thing you have to take into consideration is they need to be 3 to 4 feet into the room. Also a couple of feet from the side walls. Also they do not like a heavily damped room. The wall behind the speakers should be on the hard side. By the way my 3.6 crossover box takes bananas with no problem. Take a cable with bananas to your dealer and see how they work with the 7 series. The 7 series crossover has changed from the 6 series
they need current delivery at 4 ohms but are easy to drive as they are not a complex load
they are hard to ship if you ever sell them
they are best 5 ft from a front wall; you can do side wall tmts and stick them inches from a side wall (ARC has tested their amps that way)
the bananas are fine
worst thing is you may tend to brag to friends about how great they are for the price
To add to Schubert:
also lack of durability and lack of music, very hard to find sweet spot and right placement. once fabric gets old, it will sound terrible
In fact they lack more than they give. They’re different from conventional speakers as toys vs. instruments. Nowhere in the studios these pieces of fabric on the frames being used. They’ve been designed to prove an alternate technology rather than bring music, but desire for toys always exists in homo-sapiens so ones who’s on to it deserve enjoyment of such. I also enjoy toys(certain kind of course:), but for listening music do prefer instruments and tools.
[Magnepans] Lack of Dynamic Range . If you play Classical Music is a problem with rock/pop is not.Not in my experience with my 1.7s, but then I cheat a little bit. I have sandbags on their feet to dampen vibrations, use the tilt-back spacers to energize the room better, and have them perfectly mated with a pair of small, fast powered subwoofers (1400w peak) to fill in the 36-50Hz region. The panel/sub coherence popped into focus when I dialed in the continuous phase control. That adds a lot of power and dynamics. I use this rig almost exclusively for LP playback. My amp is rather modest by today’s standards--a Perreaux PMF-1150B rated at 100 wpc into 8 ohms. Factory specs didn’t specify output ito 4 ohms, but with the results I’m getting, it must put out close to 200 wpc into 4 ohms.
Anyway, this rig does dynamics gloriously. I love playing bombastic large scale orchestral works--Russian showpieces, Holst’s "The Planets," Beethoven’s Eroica, and big band--Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Harry James on Sheffield D2D, etc. When I play these records the dynamics knock me around the room. The dynaimcs really took off when I acquired a MAGI Phonomenal phono stage--all tube handwired PTP. I also have the matching line stage. Together they transformed my rig.
... Going from my 1.6 to proac d48r has been a revelation. Dynamic range is definitely a component of emotion. While the maggiea served me well, they are no match for my new speakers.That’s hardly a fair method to make a general characterization of Magnepan products. The 1.6 is a 20-yr-old design and was discontinued at least seven years ago. It is not representative of Maggie’s current product line. The 1.6’s replacement, the 1.7, was such a quantum leap in performance that the technology was applied throughout the line: the 3.6 became the 3.7, the 20.1 became the 20.7, the the .7 was introduced as well. I can also attest that with the right setup and appropriate-sized room, the Mini Maggies are also *very* dynamic.
And let’s not forget that your new speakers retail at $10,900. Let’s hope they sound better than 20-yr-old $1500 speakers. You could buy a pair of Maggie 3.7s plus $5500 worth of subwoofers for the price of your Proacs,
Sideways move. Different technology with very different presentation. Obviously will sound quite different, but not a slam dunk improvement.
If you can afford it I recommend you consider having both types of speakers on hand, as you can enjoy what each brings to the listening experience.
The BAT will not provide enough power to open up the Maggies fully unless it's a higher current design. You likely will be disappointed in the dynamics, but enjoy the soundstaging properties of the Maggies.
Both speakers are quite compromised in terms of absolute sound reproduction, but offer different flavors of experience.
Most everything stated above is accurate so I won't repeat. To me the most important aspect of owning Maggie's comes down to musical taste. If you want to blast hard rock and such I'd look elsewhere, however, if your tastes run more towards Jazz or softer rock like Steely Dan, Maggie's are capable of things that box speakers simply can't do. Admittedly they need lots of current and placement wise they need a minimum of 3 feet behind them. I would also add that stiffening the panels will pay dividends, there are several ways to achieve this that I won't get into but search the web you will find Maggie owners who are doing this. I've seen many an audiophile come unglued the first time they heard Maggie's, they're certainly not for everyone but for those that love em' nothing else will do.
Sunnyjim (the OP) posted in part:
I currently have a pair of Golden Ear Technology model 7's....which I like and generally sound good However, I would like to confirm what a planar design brings to the table in sound quality. I have read many times about the box-less sound provided by this design, and its wide sound staging and low distortion.3-1/2 years ago I did a fairly comprehensive search for a pair of $2K floorstanders. Final contenders came down to the Goldenear Triton 7
and the Magnepan 1.7. I took my wife along plus one of her favorite musical works, the cantata "Elijah" by Mendelssohn. She has a strong history in vocal music, especially ensemble, oratorio/cantata, and opera.
I was looking for a tie-breaker. There were things I liked about the Triton 7s, including price ($1400), small footprint, and top-to-bottom tonal balance. But I didn't find it quite as engaging as the Maggie 1.7s, but I wasn't sure what it was.
My wife knows "Elijah" backwards & forwards. We played Elijah through the TRitons, and then the Maggies. There was the tie-breaker. There are passages in Elijah that have EIGHT-part vocal harmonies. She couldn't hear them all from the Triton, but easily picked them all out through the Maggies. Inner detail, anyone?
When I asked if she was OK with the Maggies' imposing size (5'5" tall x 19" wide), she said, "Are you kidding? It's the sound that matters." And we took them home right then and there. Did I get the world's best wife? I think so.
The more I listened to the Maggies at home, the more extraordinary they revealed themselves to be. First of all, the Maggies showed me how noisy most box speakers are--how much vibrations, resonances, and pent-up and released backwaves obscure inner harmonies and details that otherwise make the music come alive. I am continually enthralled by the effects of subtly applied background vocals that largely go missing on other speaker types. I also found that the dipole pattern with out-of-phase backwave does wonders for taming the 100-200 Hz hump that seems to plague in-room response curves with conventional speakers
Also, SunnyJim, I have a listening room similar in size and feature to yours, including the room dimensions and the open architecture. However, I even have a 15' cathedral ceiling. My amp even has the same power rating as your BAT--100wpc into 8 ohms and 200 wpc into 4 ohms. The 1.7s are easy to drive with this amp, and the speakers fill the space with clarity and dynamics. You may want to get a fast sub or two to help the bass energize the room.
For a little more than the price of the 1.7i, you can get the Eminent Technology LFT-8b, a better magnetic-planar loudspeaker. It requires less power, plays louder and lower, and is more dynamic. It also makes music sound more "there" than the 1.7. Nothing against Maggies---I have both ET's and Tympanis.
Sideways move. Different technology with very different presentation. Obviously will sound quite different, but not a slam dunk improvement.If you’re talking about the Proacs vs. Maggie 3.7s plus subs, no argument. I was just trying to put Audiolover718’s comparison into perspective--comparing some new $11K Proacs to 20-yr-old budget Maggies is hardly fair. Compare current Maggies plus subs (e.g., a *pair* of JL E-Sub e112s) in the same price range and it’s at least an even contest. Actually, that would be a *very* dynamic setup and still be $400 cheaper than the Proacs.
The BAT will not provide enough power to open up the Maggies fully unless it’s a higher current design. You likely will be disappointed in the dynamics, but enjoy the soundstaging properties of the Maggies.
The BAT *is* rated at 200 wpc into 4 ohms, so it is absolutely a good match for the 1.7s. My amp has the same rating. I will admit that the 1.7s on their own might sound a bit thin on large scale music in a space as large as SJ’s, but a quick sub or two with the right blending controls (continuously variable crossover down to at least 50 Hz, and continuously variable phase control 0-180 deg. or more) will get those Maggies with the 100/200 wpc amp to fully occupy a fairly large listening space. I’d say a JL Audio Dominion d108, Gallo TR-3D, or GoldenEar Forcefield 3 or 4 would do the job nicely.
I have had both the 1.7s and 3.7s. They both are wonderful speakers which I can't imagine would disappoint any audiophile.
The main downside (thesis question) centers on the sound. Power is an overrated concern. I've used Pass Labs XA60.5 and XA100.5 which both sounded very and could produce high SPLs--not eardrum breaking.
The maggie sound is more a wall of sound (think being at a concert) versus pinpoint (listening to traditional hifi from something like a ProAc minimonitor). If you love the hifi thing, it can take some adjustment. I considered used Wilson and could have been happy either way. Different but not worse.
it is easy to get better speakers than any Maggie -- just spend 3x as muchAdd in a good powered subwoofer or two and it competes with even more expensive speakers. I go to a high end vendors' open house almost every year. The first time I went (in 2006), Wilson Audio Specialties was demo-ing their $160,000-ish Alexandria V2s. In another room were a pair of Magnepan 20.1s augmented by a pair of JL Fathom F212s, total retail price $25,595. That was less than 1/6 the price of the Alexandrias while being competitive in performance.
I have owned planars exclusively since 1973. Obviously, I agree with the positives above. Inner detail, natural sound, etc. Yes, for head banging you do need a lot of power, it's true.
The big thing, to me, is that some planars, and I don't know about these, use the same technology for all frequencies. That lends a coherence to the music: e.g. a piano doesn't change into a harpsichord at 2 KHz.
I would hold out for a speaker like that. I use Quad 2905's.
Let me preface my comments by saying I have owned Triton 7's and 3's. Magnepan MMG's, MG12', 1.6's and most recently .7's (my favorite). Planers and box speakers are apples and oranges in some ways and neither is superior to the other IMHO. First, all Maggies respond well to good, clean current. An amp that doubles into 4 ohms is a good place. I used a Rogue Sphinx with nice results but better yet was a Wyred4Sound SSi500 pushing 550 w/ch into 4 ohms. It brought the speakers to "life" as it were. To me, the biggest challenge with Maggies was room placement, they need to be a minimum 3 feet from the front wall and away from sidewalls, this is not always easy. Also, they sound will benefit from NOT having an entertainment center (or furniture) between the speakers. To my ears it lessens the imaging markedly. So, for the full monty you need to tailor the room to the speakers. I tried and eventually had to concede and 2 days ago purchased the Triton 3's. Let me say when properly set up, with proper amplification (no A/V receivers here) the Maggies can be magical in their detail and imaging. I used Speltz Anti-Cable with great results as well. There are some other well known tweaks, stands etc. that do have merit as well. I hope my experiences helped somewhat. Your listening tastes of course come into play, Maggies aren't Klipsch when it comes to rock music....
I'm a big fan but I wont sugar coat it. The Maggies MUST be placed well into the room (5 feet minimum), they just don't work if you have them 2 feet out. This is an important consideration. Your 100wpc amp may or may not be enough power, that is up to you and your listening preferences. For me it would be marginally adequate and I don't do loud. Finally the tweeter on the smaller Magnepans including the 1.7 is a step down from the 3.7 or 20.7 tweeter. It really is a good tweeter. Having said that the 1.7 can present a satisfying musical experience.
Couple of additions to the above comments. Maggies are like Porsche 911s or Lotus Super 7s. They either work for you, or they don't. If they do, nothing else really comes close and their shortcomings are irrelevant. If they don't, you just won't get the hype and will be left wanting, Neither view is universally right, but one probably is for you. Audition a pair and figure that out.
Yes, they do need to be placed well out into the listening room (6' in my case) but they are so easy to move back and forth, that should only be an issue unless furniture is in the way. I leave my 1.7s about 18" from the back wall for TV, and simply pull them out to marks on the carpet when listening to music.
Well, I don't have a Super 7 but I'm on my 2nd 911 and 2nd Maggie pair.
I find that soundstaging is the most critical SQ factor to be impacted by position. Freq. response is still pretty good if I'm lazy and leave them 2 ft. from the walls (3.7i).
The oval bases make them easy to move and do not alter SQ -- the projecting feet do seem to make aiming them easier. I swapped to the oval bases after verifying the lack of impact on SQ with Wendell.
If you don't like Maggies, Vandies are another xlnt speaker. I had those before getting my 1st set of Maggies (and did extensive comparisons for about 5 months).
I agree with the 911 comments and subs. I tried the DWMs with the 3.7i's which sounded nice but a pair JL Audio F110s gave the visceral feel that both the 3.7is and 3.7i + DWMs lacked.
I'm not one for loud or boomy sounds, but I was surprised how much deep bass information the two F110s offers below what the 3.7i offered.
The maggies plus sub still have different sound than other speakers but don't lack anything.
And the 911 (991) is as close to 'cycle as I've ever owned, I still prefer being on the bike but no other "cage" seems the same.
...The maggies plus sub still have different sound than other speakers but don’t lack anything.Absolutely right. The standard criticisms of Magnepans don’t apply if you add and integrate a good subwoofer or two. With bass augmentation you don’t have to bring them 5-6 feet into the room. 3-4 feet will do nicely because the sub(s) compensate for the dipole’s out-of-phase backwave that cancels bass from 50 Hz on down.
Nor do you need a mega power amp. An amp that’ll make 150-200 wpc into 4 ohms will be plenty because the powered subwoofers do the heavy lifting for the bass. It is bass extension and transient response that establishes the dynamic impact, and my dual 1200 watt powered subwoofers take care of that nicely. It’s time to set aside the myth that dynamic subwoofers can’t keep up with panel speakers. My subs have an 8" active driver and two matching passive radiators in a 9" sealed cube. The internal amp makes 1200 watts. The active driver’s frame occupies most of the interior to enable a long diaphragm excursion.
Then you get the best of both--the bass extension and dynamic impact characteristic of a full-range dynamic speaker, and the noiseless, boxless presentation of a line source using a large area membrane speaker.
I know this is kind of an outlier comment and I don't mean to troll this thread, but let me suggest that if you're interested in hearing what the fuss over "boxless" speakers is about, you might look into an open baffle design like the Spatial M3 or M4. Dynamic, open, and not hard to drive at all. Plus, you can have them less than 3 feet from the wall behind them and they will still perform. Just a thought.
As always, thanks to those members who have responded so far, The information is useful and informative.
To rebbi,... Your recommendation is NEITHER out there or off the the topic .I will have to check out the Spatial website.
To bdp24. I was recommended the Eminent Technology LFT 8b before by other members. and checked out the reviews about 1 or 2 year ago. However, I will have to go back to the reviews because there was something said about the speaker that steered me away from them . I believe the ET sells factory direct with ( I think) a 30 or 60 day return policy.
Without waxing philosophical over this thread based on the responses so far, I think every speaker puts you though hoops to find the right set-up for sound quality in a listening room. However, buying a speaker, especially a large or ungainly one is not like buying a suit where you can try on several until you find the one that looks feels right. Obviously, none of us, or a large majority, do not live next door to a high end store or even one within walking distance. That would make it easy to try different speakers in your home and with your equipment; and, dealer I would speculate don't want to get into the "loaner" business if they can avoid it.
I used to be a big believer in the "in-store" audition ( and I was a high-fi salesman in the late 1980's and half of the 90's) but don't support the concept anymore. I have seen a few times on this blog, comments about.... "speakers sounding different when I get them home.", and because I now feel less comfortable spending even an hour or two auditioning speakers in a showroom....there is always that mounting tension or expectation from the staff that.... "is he going to buy". I realize it is their job to close the sale and sell the product. and not just eyeball the customer's wife or lady friend
My other point is this:...It is hard enough finding and assembling a quality high-end system including speaker cable and interconnects, to then have to face the daunting obstacle of a speaker that is finicky or problematic in setting up, especially if the sweet spot set-up is never resolved despite good advice from friends and/or Audiogon members.
All speakers to a vary degree offer setup problems, but usually can be resolved with some patience in a short time. However, set-up should not be an ordeal by fire, regardless of how great the sonic rewards, if resolved to a buyer's satisfaction. I think the more variables there are in getting to make a speaker sound "right", the less fun it is to own a high-end system or simply a high-end speaker. No speaker is going to sound gorgeous "right out of the carton" (or burned in) even with a well-conceived set-up grid...
However, I appreciate the comments and will take them under serious consideration and advisement. Cheers to all, S.J. .
I've owned a pair of 1.7i Magneplanars for about two years. They replaced a pair of 1.6s I'd used for over 10 years.
Like others here, I've found placement to be a bit tricky, but once you get them dialed in they're great. I've found mine work best placed 40 inches from the back wall and 55 inches from side walls.
They are heavy enough to leave indentation marks in the carpet, so I can temporarily move them out of the way, and then re-position them exactly where they belong.
Bass can be a bit lean. I've had problems getting a subwoofer to blend properly, so I finally just gave up. After reading the manufacturer's literature on the subject I think they may be right when they say the added bass drivers should be matching panels and not coned drivers. I may try a Magneplanar bass panel.
They need a powerful amplifier, but it sounds like yours is up to the task. They're a simple 4 ohm load that most good amplifiers won't have any trouble driving.
As for banana jacks, I'm not sure what the problem would be, unless you have spade connectors or bare wires. The connectors are for banana plugs only.
If you can arrange for an in-home audition keep in mind that they require about a 50-100 hour break-in period before they sound their best.
To my ears, the Magnepan 1.7i is not only better than the Triton 7s, but much better than the Triton 1s as well. The caveat is that they don't open up until moderately high volumes. Maggies at 65db sound dull and thin, at 80db, they can sound glorious. IME, something like 200 watts into 4 ohms should be plenty. They can make an amp very warm.
I don't think they're as picky about placement as many claim, but they do seem to react to almost anything in a room, if only to a small extent. They are detailed but I understand why some refer to them as having a "Maggie Mist." It's as though they're detailed but a bit veiled at the same time. To use an Art Dudley adjective, maybe a lack of "touch." I think this has to do with their low sensitivity coupled with the low impedance.
I am a Maggie user for over 40 years; my secret is to place the speaker 4 to 5 feet from the back wall and place the tweeters just within 5 feet apart. This brings coherence, bass coupling, and rich timbre. It's about hearing the acoustical space of the recording and not lateral separation, too much of which causes smearing. They should be towed in until one hears the acoustical space jell; one sound top to bottom and left to right. Multi mike with sound better too.
The biggest problem with Maggie's is they sound lifeless unless you listen at high volume levels. If you like to listen moderately loud, you won't be able to find a conventional speaker less than $10k that sounds anywhere near as good, unless you like echoes from a box. But if you listen at lower levels, I think you would be happier with a Martin Logan planar. At lower volumes you would again need the 10k to get close to the Logan planars, with the you might like echoes in a box caveat again.
I bought a pair of Magneplanar 1.7 speakers. The bass is weak in my opinion. I put a Velodyne SPL-R1200 (12") one kilowatt sub with it and that was better. But, my Berning EA-230 tube power amp only puts out 30 watts per channel (I did not like the sound from my other amps as much). To get it to play louder I bought a a second pair of 1.7i Magneplanar speakers (the super-tweeter did not have a huge effect compared with the 1.7) and hooked these up in series with the original pair. Now it went louder with eight ohms being seen by the amp. I also added another SPL-R1200 Velodyne I got from a friend. So there is a separate sub for each of the two channels. The system now plays loudly enough for me and sounds similar to a piano in the same room on piano music. The room is about 21'x27', so it requires a fair amount of power.
In another system I have a REL S5 that may be better (that is, faster) than the Velodynes, but it is in a small 10'x12' room.
I have a big system in another location that plays much louder than the Magneplanars, but it does not sound as real, even though the dynamics are amazing. It seems each kind of system has certain things it does well. It is fun to have more than one system if you have enough room. The speakers made by Sandy Gross sound very nice as you know, since you have a pair. The XXL subs they make might have a big effect on your sound if you like bass. Best regards
Here's a very thoughtul review of the Magnepan .7s by Julie Mullins from a couple of years ago at The Absolute Sound. Her observations and perspective echo much of my experience with my 1.7s, including her observations with a pair of subwoofers.
I also have a pair of subs with my 1.7s, and I can play pretty much any type of music successfully. Not only do they do classic rock well, they also do big band and large scale orchestral works very well. Brass sounds astonishingly real with the 1.7s, and I also have some recordings that sound best w/o subs (e.g., small jazz ensembles) but a lot more that sound great with them. Speaking of small jazz ensembles, Ray Brown and Charlie Haden great through 1.7s without help from subs. They really flesh out the sound of plucked upright acoustic bass.
To SunnyJim: read both pages of the review; it may help expand your perspective on the virtues and challenges of the .7. I figure the 1.7 is similar but able to sound bigger (because it is bigger).
Speaking of ... one thing that Maggie reviewers consistently call out is how well Maggies do piano. This makes perfect sense to me because the radiating area of a Maggie (esp. the 3.7 and 20.7) nominally approaches the vibrating area of a piano soundboard, certainly more than you get from a 6" mid/woofer and 1" dome tweeter.
"Here’s a very thoughtful review of the Magnepan .7s by Julie Mullins from a couple of years ago at The Absolute Sound. Her observations and perspective echo much of my experience with my 1.7s, including her observations with a pair of subwoofers."
From my perspective, this is a great suggestion. I read Ms. Mullin’s fine review twice and it helped me make the decision to purchase a pair of .7’s - the speakers are a delight. IMO, Mullin’s review is quite accurate.
I’ve often thought that a lot of negative comments regarding Magnepan, in general, are hyperbolic. Yes, they do need to be away from the front and side walls, but so do my Sonus Faber Cremona Auditor M’s. Yes, you’ll need more than a SET amp to power them. In my small, dedicated listening space, the speakers are from 3’ to 4’ from the front wall, and about 20"s from the side walls, with tweeters on the outside. Toe-in depends on my frame of mind on a given day. :) . The speakers sound plenty full at volumes lower than 80db.
Finally, I do not think the .7s are especially fussy to place properly, unless compared to say OHMS. For my listening habits and musical preferences, I cannot think of any "downsides" to the .7's. I do enjoy the luxury of being able to change them out for the SF's monitors when the mood strikes. If I had to choose one over the other, I'd be hard-pressed.
Essentially, what she said was not a speaker for Classical music.
By chance I was in a large hi-end store I do business with little while ago, and noticed that had .7's right next to new Rega RX-3 's in listening room. same room, same system , mostly MAC .
Owner is a buddy and ran them both for me , close in price, in fact he offered either to me at same price . Rega was FAR better than the .7's in every way on Classical . Other genres I have no idea .
As long as Magnepan is being discussed.....I contacted them to ask if they still have the name plate with speaker terminals and fuse holders for the very old Tympani IVa model. No only do they (the speaker was discontinued almost 30 years ago!), but for a complete set for a T-IVa pair (three plates per speaker, each Tympani having three panels), Gary needed only $170, I believe it was. Think how much Wilson would charge!
Over the years, since the early 80s, I've had many very nice speakers including Quad, Vandersteen, Focal, B&W, Gershman, Snell, PSB, etc and have spent many hours in night sessions auditioning many other very fine speakers including the Apogees and most recently - Wilson Audio Sophias and Raidho C2.5.
I have come to one conclusion - there is no one best speaker to suit every audiophile. Right now I am most happy (in my environment and on my budget) with my Magnapan 1.7s. and ADS sub and they are nicely handled by my Cronus Mag. II. Even though they do require a bit of space and time and patience to set up, once accomplished, I have heard few other speakers, at any price, that presents as large and deep of stage or image as well, even away from the sweet spot, as the 1.7s. and I've heard the same about the .7s and 3.7s, so not to sure where chriser was coming from.
If money, space and adequate power was no matter, My first choice of all speakers would be - a toss up between the Maggie 3.7i and the old classic Apogee Duetta II Sig. and close behind my old love, the Quad ESL 63. For now, the Maggie 1.7 is doing just fine, but then I guess I'm just a Stat/ Ribbon kind of guy.
The biggest issue with Maggies is sauce stains from food fights that can break out at any time in a listening room. Otherwise, they're great. Note there's a restaurant nearby that has hung MGAs on the walls (several actually, supposedly to entertain the owner when the place is closed), and they're black so staining from hurled food is less noticeable.
Downside of electrostatic panels is their lack of dynamic range to produce realistic rock or big band jazz or large symphonic pieces (Mahler) levels. They also tend to have a small sweet spot due to the extreme directivity of very large transducer surfaces.
At low SPL levels the distortion levels are world class.
Great choice if chamber classical or choral is more your thing.