Are these genereally regarded as the best speakers in their class? The most loved? What are some positive characteristics about them? Can I go to a dealer and listen, or do I have to order over the net? How do they differ from other speakers? Do they work with low powered tube amps?
It is not 100% successfull. In fact I know 2 out 2 friends tried out the MMG and returned. Since we are in Canada, they lost about $100 because of freight and taxes.
Hmmm? Why do I like Maggie well here are a few reasons.
1. The image they project is large! sometimes larger than life 2. They sound resonably fast 3. They look cool, although I prefer the looks of ML but not over the 3.6's. 4. The sound is very nice transparent, wide soundstage, highs are smooth, bass is also pretty good although they don't go that low, it's tight though and they aren't bass shy.
But I would not say they are the best speakers out there there are more I'm sure. Audition? try and find a dealer near you or you can have an MMG home trial I forget how many days. SETs? well I'll let you know as soon as I recieve my Wright 3.5s.
Mostly I believe listener's taste, for example, some people like Chinese and other people like French or Italian food. But I can say most people like the timbre of Maggies than other flat speakers. But unfortunately or fortunately (?), Magnapan dealers are not every where like PBS, Paradigm or Bose. There are still many states which have not Maggie dealers. So quiet a many people have no chance to be exposed to audition the Maggies (MMG program is the good marketing strategy) and the speakers are not easy to match with amps, and not easy to find the right place to be installed. And also relatively smaller sweet spot for the listeners. I had researched to purchase my system for about one year. Finally I decided Maggies, so far I never regret since 6 months have passed. They are getting sweeter every morning. Still I am trying to do something with Maggies, putting blanket on the backside of the speakers, putting speakers on the some concrete blocks, tilting the speakers, changing the phases, adding resisters in serial, bi-wiringÉ.etc. thanks for reading, I like this site very much.
I've never had the opportunity to hear a pair of maggies, but all of this breathless talk about them sure has me fired up to listen to a pair! (I just wish there was a dealer in my area).
I'm very familiar with the current Martin-Logan lineup - do maggies share a similar sound?
FWIW, I really like the sound of the ML's as long as the front end electronics are warm and clean.
They sound totally different.
If you haven't heard planar speakers and you hear Martin Logans, you either think they are funny sounding or you fall in love. You start hearing differences in the preamps and amps demoing them and you realize your wallet needs a little padding. If you decide the MLs (for example the Aerius-i) is worth $2300 and you have to rob a bank; then you go listen to Maggies. You realize you only THOUGHT you were in love, but now you see that your soul-mates are 1.6QRs and you only have to steal $1475. Life really is good. But now you're spending all your time listening to music. Just a little warning.
MLs are electrostatics with a cone woofer, and hence you tend to get
some discontinuities at the xover point. MLs also tend, imo, to have
a slightly dry sound. Magnepans are planar magnetic speakers. There
is no crossover discontinuities; in fact, one of their strong points
is the seamlessness of their presentation. Maggies, imo, tend to
have a very slightly sweet sound. Both present a wide, deep, believable
soundstage when properly placed.
You can order, for $500, a pair of MMGs directly from Magnepan, with
a 30 day return privlege. Might be worth doing; all it will cost you
is shipping. Website is WWW.MAGNEPAN.COM. Mike.
I've found that amp choice is critical with these speakers, and was never quite happy with my old Sequel IIs unless they were biamped. Yes, I know you can't bypass the passive xover, but it still made a big difference in transparency although it did present a new set of problems. I found them to be worth dealing with.
Actually "The Deal" on the Magnepan MMG is a free 60 day in home trial and 1 year tradeup program.
I had a chance this time around to compare the Magnepans and Martin-Logans and think the ML's are very impressive. I bought the maggies.
The Minneapolis dealer, Audio Perfection or something like that, has both ML and Maggies. They are very helpful and have done this before.
I'd always go with what my ears prefer, and within my budget, I'll audition lower cost units and be favourably impressed when setting biases aside.
I understand that the ML's are electrostats where as Maggies are ribbon speakers. What is the difference between these two concepts in design and components?
I'd suggest going to martinlogan.com and magnepan.com for better details. Basicly they are trying to do the same thing in the mids and highs: move air with a flat panel diaphragm. The MLs metalize the diaphragm and put it between two poles. Then they curve it. Maggies put wires onto the diaphragm and put the wires in a magnetic field. The panel is flat. MLs add a cone woofer for bass as a compromise for people that like "punch" for loud rock or movies. Maggie owners typically prefer acoustic music and prefer the accuracy of the panel's bass. Both speakers run at 4 ohms and tend to be so fast acting and transparent that any deficiencies in the source or amplification is revealed. Often, the listening experience in hifi shops is dramatically affected by the system they are put in. With good electronics and setup they are dramatically different than any cone speakers. I like them both but prefer the Maggies.
Great info! FWIW, I also thought the MLs were a bit dry sounding and, when drivin by Krell electronics, too analytical for my taste. I liked them much better with tube electronics even though the bass was very sloppy. I will give serious thought to auditioning the little maggies at home, sounds like an offer you can't refuse.
I have this love/hate relationship with electrostatics.
1) If you're going that route buy the full range ones & dispense with the XO discepancy entirely. The 2 drivers don't match & never will.
2) These speakers are so blisteringly fast, they reveal everything! So, your signal path better be impeckably immaculate.
3) It's easier to go electrostatic with headphones. The signal path is shorter with less things to go wrong & requires much less power which is a crucial corruptable element all its own. It's also orders of magnitude cheaper.
I agree with your comparison. I have listened to ML Aerius and SL3, and while I thought they are very similar to Maggies in presentation and equally adept at the disappearing act, I found them on the slightly cold and dry side when compared to Maggies with the same electronics. I don't think either is more correct than the other, personal preference will decide.
I'd like to add my perspective on Magnepan having been an owner of 3s and reviewed the 20s.
The Magnepan story consists of three periods: pre-ribbon tweeter, ribbon tweeter and QR midrange (current). Why Magnepan speakers gained early acceptance and noteriety were that they offered audiophiles a piece of the electrostatic sound without the drawbacks of arcing and unreliability.
The earlier Maggies were somewhat rolled on top, a little hard but were really quick. A model like the Timpani IVa had bass that was extremely fast that revealed little details that the big slow woofers of the day just smeared. In fact, many bought the bass panels (despite their size) and combined them with other drivers (like the QRS/1D system) to produce some outstanding speaker combos.
Then the real breakthrough came with Maggies introduction of their ribbon tweeter (now in its third incarnation--and many still believe the initial despite it's somewhat limited power handling--was the best of the ribbons) in the MGIIIs. This ribbon is still arguably the best HF transducer ever made. Suddenly, HFs were opened up like people never heard in a speaker. This type of resolution was also problematic in that it now revealed faults in equipment that we never knew really existed--and Magnepan soon introduced a resistor to tame problematic high frequencies.
The new MGIIIs had exceptional highs and lows (to around 40 Hz) but the midrange was a little veiled compared to the extremes. (of course some like JGH objected to the venetian blind effect of the transducers being placed side by side.) Why I eventually settled on ML reQuests over MG3.5s was the midrange however. The bass on the two speakers were different, the ML moving more air and Maggies being faster and more resolving; the Maggies have of course the better top end by far; but what was the deciding factor was the midrange: here the ML's had the upper hand.
The main problem was that the MGIIIs required a lot of power to get going -say like 100 watts min and definitely were better sounding biamped (due to bypassing 40 mikes of caps in the xover). Some other complained that the coherency from top to bottom was slightly compromised--but compared to other speakers with the exception of full range estats (which have a transformer which causes other problems --I didn't feel it was a huge failing.
Then Magnepan developed the quasi ribbon driver (QR) for the mids and lows. I must say if you have the right room and amplification, the 20s are probably one of the best buys on the market for slightly under 10K. Having reviewed them, they really need to be biamped and you really need to have a big bass amp with a lot of current driving the bass panel--or else you can hear it slap. The 2nd version which has the outboard passive xover is the one to get for most people--otherwise you'll have to play with active xovers--and I'm not a big fan of active xovers. The 20s really give you the feeling of a real size orchestra--yet don't oversize small ensembles. They are more coherent than earlier Maggies--with all of their attributes.
Then we come to the 3.6s which are supposed to be a real step forward--with the QR midrange--and I'm waiting for the review pr to show up that Steve Rochlin is reviewing for the winter issue of UA. They do promise to be some exception sound, especially for the money. It will be very interesting to hear how the new mid driver integrates with the rest of the drivers and if overcomes the slightly lower midrange resolution of older models.
That said, I think another reason for the popularity of the Maggies is that they're like the Dynaco equipment of yore. The speakers are easily modifiable and the speaker can become even better. I know that I totally rebuilt my MGIIIs with new caps, wiring, chokes, bracing, binding posts, hard wiring the speakers, moving the entire xover outboard--and the sound of the speakers just improved by leaps and bounds. Some like George Cardas even went so far to replace the wire on the panels--and gaining an additional 3db of sensitivity in the process. They're a few Cardas modded Maggies circulating around on the West Coast and people swear by them.
Replacing the polyester caps on the tweeter with polyprope or styrene RELs revealed nuances and delicacy that other drivers only dreamed of. Playing the bass---improved not only the speed (and hang over) but revealed the smallest changes in the playing of upright basses on jazz recordings--that other drivers were just too slow to decipher. Then of course whenever you improve the low end--you'll find a greater sense of ambient space!!! The MGIIIs also used iron core chokes (sure they reduce the size but they don't sound good) and I replaced them with 12 ga. Solen air core chokes (expensive and heavey but worth it!)
Anyway, I hope this gives a little more insight into why the speakers have developed such a loyal following. The main problem with Maggies is their requirement to be placed at least 4 ft from back walls and their size. Not so long ago, big speakers were falling out of favor--but suddenly the demand has picked up and size seems to matter less ;-)
Myles B. Astor
I too hope you will expand on this topic and print a feature the history of magnepan speakers and hot-rodded maggies - fascinating stuff! Thank you for your insights, hope to see more.
Interesting, Myles. I remember coveting the Tympanis - Hell, I coveted the entire Audio Research/Tympani package. But 'twas not to be for lack of scratch. I settled for an SP-3A-1 and a pair of the original Acoustat X's - which wasn't bad settling ;-). Would like to put that system together again now with a really good sub like the REL.
I think in some ways that system, even with it's bass deficiencies, was better than any other I've had (including a system with the ML Quest z's)save the current set-up with 45s, OTLs and horns - which BTW will do all things you describe the Maggies and 'stats doing with the added plus of deep, well-controlled bass and very wide-range dynamics.
You're lucky. I bought a pair of the original Audio Research Tympani I(d) about 25 years ago. And kept them until one of the mid/bass units went 2 years ago (they're in the attic, still). You go out to hifi shops, you listen to speakers, you say... "MMMMM.... Sounds pretty good, but I've got some tympanis at home. Are these new things really $5,000 better. Nahhhh." It almost killed my audiophilia.
Now that they died, it's like waking up after a deeeeeep sleep.
Lovely piece of history and very much to the point and concise about what you know and think of Maggies. This is the sort of stuff I bet people would love to see in the printed press (and which is absent because of, I think, the formal, stylized, frame of mind that authors assume when they write for the printed medium). You should print the post in UA! What say others?
don't read AA. These are some of the very worthwhile posts that keep me here and probably others. Regardless of what the rest of the world thinks of Maggies Myles gives a clear, consise opinion that is backed up with experience and knowledge.
Me too. SP3 (then a, 1a, Van Alstine, et al.), D76, EC22, Ampzilla (bass panels) Tympani IIIa.
It has been a long time but the sound really sticks in my memory as beeing the best I ever heard. Would love to compare with todays offerings - I'm sure that set-up had weaknesses, but I just remember really getting lost in the music. That seems harder to do these days despite improvements in the past 25 years which should have made this more obtainable.
What is it? Overly romantic memory of "first girl" due to inexperience? Technology advances haven't translated into more musical products?
Just seem to be smoking more and enjoying it less.
When my tympanis went down, I bought a pair of biro L/1s. The reason was that at 10kg each I could ship them to europe free and Van Alstine rated them pretty high. At <$1500, I was thinking of using them till I could get the maggies fixed (surface shipping would take over 6 months RT and caust in the upper 3 figures). I listened to some JM Lab and Alons (local stuff) and was underwhelmed at the price/performance. Plus france has 20.6%TVA.
I was pretty well amazed at how much better the little biros were.
is a function of age, I think. The older you get, and the sharper
your critical facilities become, the less able you are to just
lose yourself - in anything, I think, be it music, sex, a book,
or whatever. This, obviously, is good and bad. Mike.
I have been a fan of Magnepans for several years now, but knew little
about their history, etc. Now I know some it. Recently acquired a
pair of 3.5s (used) for what I consider a bargain price, and I must
say they are truly spectacular - not as good as 3.6s, which I have
auditioned at a dealer, but at only 1/3 the cost. I love 'em. Mike.
The Maggies are very good speakers but you can´t say they are the best.
It´s a matter of taste if you prefer Logans,Maggies or something else.
I heard the Maggies (MGIIA) for the first time about twenty years ago, since that I have owned different planars like Maggies, Audiostatics
and Logans, if you´ve heard a planar it´s hard to go back to "boxes".
What I like about Logans and Maggies is the big, high transparent soundstage.
IMO you need to spend much more money to get really good "boxes".
I wouldn't say they are the best,but they are VERY good, et least the big models. They have their faults, but heycan also produce wonderfull music.
Maggies are very nice speakers for a couple of reasons:
1. Their appearance "wows" non-audiophiles and neophytes
2. In many cases they have a high WAF
3. They sound very big
4. They are, by and large, fairly neutral in their presentation. Musical too
5. Robust design - they last a long time
6. They do not present a very difficult load for amplifiers. This can mean that certain load sensitive amps can perform at their best
7. They are an excellent value
I've yet to meet that woman. All the lasses I date think my MG2.7s are much too monsterous let alone my dual FSR18s.
I'm sorry to hear that, Mart. My wife is very taken by the appearance of our 1.6/QRs. It was her idea to audition them after hearing the [smaller] MG12s.
No, seriously, my girl says they're UGLY but accepts them because she says they sound so fantastic on choral music, her favorite. She is even willing to have FIVE of them in the room (1.6 pr, 12 pr, CC1). Love. How can any guy not think they are cool looking. Like the apes finding the monolith in 2001.
I really appreciate the analogy with the apes and the monolith in 2001. As some one who has recently come to maggies after a series of good mid-fi boxes (Celestions) my first hearing of maggies in my family room was a similar revelation. The wife approval factor is that mine (the maggies not the wife) are relatively easly moved back against the wall when not in use, something that couldn't be done without risking a hernia with the celestions. They are truly superb on choral music, on chamber I can close my eyes and "see" the quartet in the room.
have you ever powered them by a Siltech wired Krell. You'll not only think you see them corporately but you'll begin to see each inidividual person.
Ever see a pair of 2+2 Acoustats?
I own the MG12 predecessor MGLR1 too & mounted them for my rears. I have a MGCC1 on route & look forward to purcahsing another to D'Appolito the 2 for a crisp central image.
Yes ,the Magneplanars do some really special things, but I think all the forum threads and posts really indicate the need for a "Maggie Support Group" as they can be a bitch to drive and get to work properly.
They are more transparent speakers, but none more neutral. They play rock, classical, jazz, HT & just about anything else equally well.
They are very transparent and give a false sense of spaciousness. But them are very difficult to align. I own a pair of Maggie Tympani IV with Fisher A-200 tube amps with Hafler Iris pre-amp. Analog is Transcriptor Referance and digital is Accuphase. I keep working on the placement but haven't found the the "perfect" match yet.
Sometimes lots of talk, then months of no talk.
Deserve most of the good press they recieve. Setup is a bit of the challange.
The over focus will subside and who knows maybe we'll get back to being the 2A3 forum again!
does magnepan advertise at all? if so, where? maybe they don't need to, huh? i think they're overdue for a website overhaul, though. martin logan's site is real slick and magnepan's is just so-so. one thing, i wish they had a lower model center channel and rear surrounds that people on more of a budget could match up with MMG mains. maybe there are logistical obstacles to making a smaller/cheaper center and surrouds, but man, would they get some business! just think if you could get a maggie HT setup for a grand, who would talk about take5?
This forum differs from, say, the Audio Research forum in that many of the members listen to more demanding music (gross generalization). For those that listen to acoustic music (classical, jazz, vocal), there seems to be a tendency to like "planar" speakers rather than "dynamic" speakers. It's just a preference like everything else. Notice all the discussion of classical music on the Music forum here when only 2-3% of CD sales are classical.
The Magnepans are only one type of planar speaker but are very popular because they have some reasonably priced models that, in many opinions, sound far better than comparatively priced dynamic speakers. I have heard complaints about placement but I haven't had any problem. There are some really picky people here, and there is plenty of room for playing around with planar speakers to get different effects. They do sound better after a month and you shouldn't place them right next to the wall but that's not so bad.
Magnepan is getting flooded with orders these days. They don't know why business is so good, but their most popular speaker is $1475 and the wait is 2-3 months. They can't hire enough people. The factory offers a full refund deal on their $500 speaker that is pretty hard to beat too.
> > Magnepan is getting flooded with orders these days. They don't know why business is so good, < <
I wonder if this forum played a small part in that (maggie talk in the forum goes back to march). Maybe they ought to sponsor us by forking over some $$$ for a forum of their own.
. . . and he thought it was possible that internet word-of-mouth could have contributed. I didn't suggest your idea though. Why not? (Wendel is the marketing/sales mgr at Magnepan).
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: