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REVIEW: Magnepan Magneplanar MG12 Speakers Review by Greg C at Audio Asylum

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Magnepan MG12 speakers have graced our home for the past year. We have worked to improve the quality of sound from now is a good time to build on my previous review.

I noted in my previous review the MG12 speakers are transparent. They create an audible link to each alteration of the signal path. Here are some of my possibilities for this planar wonder.

The CAT5 speaker wire recipe of Chris VenHaus is terrific. The sound through this speaker wire is neutral, robust, and open. From my experience, use the Belden wire he recommends only.

The steel speaker attenuator bar controls the character of the speaker. By changing various wire in place of the bar you can alter the treble output from very soft to very bright. After many, many changes of wire in banana plugs, I found 15 strands (each slightly less than 3 inches long) of Kimber 4TC/8TC (same wire) is our best combination.

Replacing the attenuator bar is an easy project. As I said in my previous review, imagine going into a high end audio store and ask for a foot of their most exclusive wire. Just the reaction will make the project fun.

Then there are the fuses for the MG12. You’re into a warranty issue here, but purchase a pair of replacement fuses and induce current to blow the fuse wire. Take 6 strands of the quality Belden CAT5 wire and solder them across the ends of the fuses. Replace the factory speaker fuses with the new homebuilt fuses for a wonderful increase in detail. Remember, you now have no speaker protection. Practice safe audio and play at reasonable volume.

It is also quite easy to bypass both the fuse and attenuator bar. Remove the speaker binding cover, study the connections, move the upper fuse wire from the speaker binding connection and replace it with the lower wire at the end of the attenuator bar circuit.

The sound is very clean, more dynamic, adds soundstage depth and perhaps provides a little less sense of openness. It may boost the lower midrange, as I turned down the subwoofer after this change. Grand piano truly sounds robustly grand. Massed choir is impressive. This is the point where I have left the speakers.

My experimentation extended to the CD music source. Most CDs are well-engineered products, but the CD is a lens. It is an inexpensive plastic lens that can be improved.

MapleShade < http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/> sells a polish called, MicroSmooth, which removes very small ripples in the plastic that interfere with reading by the laser in a CD player. This simple polish will add music detail.

Occasionally a CD will have an irritating high end. Some audio enthusiasts describe this as “bright” sounding. There is a cure.

Office supply and discount stores sell a permanent green marker called a Sharpie.

On the majority of CDs I do not use the marker. On the offending recordings I make one pass around the outside edge of the CD. It is very rare to make a second pass and I never use the green marker on the center hole. Too much green with make the CD sound dead.

Oops, overdid the green? This is easy to correct. Use a product called, Goo Gone, also commonly available at discount stores to reduce or remove the green film.

With these two products, Mikro-Smooth and a green Sharpie, it is possible to tune CDs. Take your time in experimenting and begin with recordings of that you may find the most irritating for pleasurable listening. These CDs will hone your skills in tuning. With these products perhaps you will add more CDs to your choice listening collection.

All of the above have made great improvements to the quality of the home audio system. They are inexpensive, add dimension to the audio experience, and are just fun.

We have no urge to change speakers. The MG12 is very high fidelity at a low cost. It is a gift from the wonderful people at Magnepan.


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Topic - REVIEW: Magnepan Magneplanar MG12 Speakers Review by Greg C at Audio Asylum - Greg C 10:36:09 01/11/01 ( 1)