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Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad

138.207.151.18

Posted on December 19, 2016 at 18:50:23
Les Anderson
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Posts: 908
Location: So. Florida
Joined: May 12, 2003
My buddies wife placed an order for a mmgc today based on my advice. I know the Magnepan product in general is great, but Magnepan needs to modernize.

1. Could not order via the website. Magnepan does not do ecommerce.
2. Could not order Saturday morning, or Sunday when she was thinking about it.
3. At least 3 calls to actually get through to someone at Magnepan to place an order on Monday.
4. Order placed Monday. Magnepan states 10-15 days for shipping. "Maybe less" this is for a product that seems to me should be ready to ship immediately.

Understood Magnepan relies on dealers, and there is no bigger indirect sales advocate than me. But in this case, when you want to order a simple product you should be able to do it easily.

This is just crazy for 2016.

 

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RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 19, 2016 at 20:27:43
neolith
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I guess it would be nice if they moved into the 1990's. However, as an old fart, I kind of like it. It is rare to see a business model that relies on human contact and personality in a world of Amazon and others. Sure it isn't as convenient but considering the value of the product and the support, all is forgiven. How would you feel if a Chinese company bought them out and moved the operation overseas and the way you could communicate was by a iPad?



I married the perfect woman. The downside is everything that goes wrong is my fault.



 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 19, 2016 at 20:57:41
Norman M
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Posts: 750
Location: NYC Suburb
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Are you implying this is an either or situation (and there's no middle ground)?

I myself am rather unhappy with Magnepan's customer service. Over a month ago I reached their repair department via telephone for a trivial job which I can't perform and which I don't trust locals to do even if I could find someone willing to do it. Surprisingly their recorded message gave an email address for me to contact. I sent them two emails during this interval and have received zero response. If they choose not to do it, I'd sooner be told the equivalent of drop dead and go to hell, rather than no response.

 

Harmon-Kardon in talks to buy the patents, posted on December 19, 2016 at 21:45:30
farfetched
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Got ya
/ optimally proportioned triangles are our friends


 

RE: Harmon-Kardon in talks to buy the patents, posted on December 19, 2016 at 22:19:27
Roger Gustavsson
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"Harmon-Kardon in talks to buy the patents"

Joking? Samsung own Harman. Magnepan patents have expired.

How large is the staff at Magnepan? Is it not a small Company? Planar speakers will never sell in large quantities.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 06:18:10
Les Anderson
Audiophile

Posts: 908
Location: So. Florida
Joined: May 12, 2003
I appreciate your sentiment, but they should be able to answer the phone. And their products more geared towards the mass market should be available to ship within a reasonable time during the holidays.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 07:40:50
Davey
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Posts: 812
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I like the old-school business model and customer support. Do you need a Magnepan app for your phone for crying out loud?
I've only called back there about a half a dozen times over twenty years, but each time I always got a person on the phone who was pleasant to talk with and handled said situation perfectly fine.

Regardless, you're perfectly free to not purchase their products.

Dave.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 08:06:12
Les Anderson
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Location: So. Florida
Joined: May 12, 2003
I want to reccomend and purchase their products. I have owned several pairs over the years and would be the first to agree that they represent an unprecedented value. It would simply be nice if they would make it easy for a customer to transact. The old school business model is charming, until it takes over your Monday like it did for my friend. To place 3 calls and then be told 10-15 days for $300 speaker seems crazy.

To run an ecommerce site in this day and age requires a tiny investment. To answer the phone when called is not too much to ask.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 08:46:51
neolith
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I certainly won't offer apologies or explanations for poor customer service whether it is by snail mail and telephone or by cyber communications. I have never had a problem contacting Magnepan (during normal business hours) and have always found the people (Margaret in the old days, Karen, or Wendell) easily accessible. Maybe there is some type of karma involved -- have you been a good boy :).



I married the perfect woman. The downside is everything that goes wrong is my fault.



 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 08:48:34
russ69
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I feel your pain but I think this happened by circumstance. Magnepans are not plug and play. Often people need help setting up Magnepans correctly and they also need help picking the right components. So in the past Magnepan was a dealer only option. That way they could serve the needs of the customer better. Later, because of the diminishing number of brick and mortar stores it was decided that the smaller speakers could be sold directly to the customer(MMG). Magnepans were never intended to be a mass market product. They are totally hand made (as far as I know).
If the market was different, there would be multiple middleman wholesalers and you could order them on Amazon. Magnepan is a niche product from a small company, you can't compare their business to the mega conglomerates.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 09:39:16
grantv
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Location: B.C.
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1. Agreed they could/should offer ordering online at their size.
2. If you try to call most anybody in manufacturing on the weekend you'll get nobody, this is pretty standard. If 1 was fixed however, this wouldn't be an issue.
3. See 2; Monday's are crazy for me at my day job (manufacturing). Chances are Monday's are for them, particularly just before Christmas.
4. In busy periods, such as right before Christmas, I think this is a pretty fair delivery schedule.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 09:50:47
Norman M
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Posts: 750
Location: NYC Suburb
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The problem I had is my first and only with Magnepan.
Could they possibly be going downhill?

While I'm sure of being on Santa's nice list, I'm placing Magnepan on his other list.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 11:28:26
josh358
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Remember, though, they aren't an e commerce company or even a retailer, but a manufacturer. They don't have banks of operators standing by in Bangalore.

I do agree that they should allow direct web ordering since it's now customary and expected, but I know how they feel on this -- would you rather order from someone at the factory who knows something about the product and can offer technical support and advice, or to someone in Bangalore who doesn't know the first thing about what he's selling?

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 20, 2016 at 11:34:32
zulugone
Audiophile

Posts: 55
Location: Seattle, Washington
Joined: August 31, 2013
About two weeks ago I called a few times to order a part and only got a recording from the parts and service number so I called back and talked to the friendly lady at 0 who transferred me to the perspicacious Mr. Diller who informed me that the service person had been out sick for a while and hopefully would return soon.

I live in Amazonia and see many who have worked for Lord Bezos. They were run hard and put away wet.

When my family in WI tell me they see the first signs of Spring I will wait a couple of weeks and call MN. The part will come.

 

A note from Wendell, posted on December 20, 2016 at 17:04:11
josh358
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Wendell called this evening to say that he'd seen the thread, and wanted to respond. Here's his statement:

"Instead of online ordering, Magnepan has made a change in a different direction. All orders, no matter how small, require that Wendell first consult with the customer to be sure that it is a good fit and will meet the customer's expectations. Magnepan's business relies on customer satisfaction and referrals. This new policy is more labor-intensive, but as a result, the level of customer satisfaction has increased and returns have decreased.

"Magnepan has a crisis in our service department. Our new service manager has been in the hospital with a serious illness. Employees in other departments are trying their best to take up the slack, but it is a struggle. Magnepan asks for your patience while we fill this position.

"If you get voice mail in other departments, you will get a return phone call. In an ideal world, you would never get voice mail at Magnepan. But, we have a small staff and sometimes we are all on the phone."

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 21, 2016 at 05:47:31
kentaja
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Posts: 4186
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"would you rather order from someone at the factory who knows something about the product and can offer technical support and advice, or to someone in Bangalore who doesn't know the first thing about what he's selling?"

For some the answer is someone in Bangalore as long as I can get it now......and cheap. The two driving forces for many consumer transactions.

Patience and a sense of value are not high on the priority list for many consumers. I want as much cheap junk as I can possibly get my hands on and I want it NOW.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 21, 2016 at 07:14:50
Les Anderson
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Your dreaming if you don't think there is middle ground.

 

RE: A note from Wendell, posted on December 21, 2016 at 07:20:57
Les Anderson
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Location: So. Florida
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I appreciate the follow up. I don't mean to bash the brand and I understand there can be constraints and challenges but this model of doing business is becoming extremely old fashioned and antiquated. In the transaction I described, Magnepan achieved the exact opposite of what the strive to provide. Adding modern conveniences, like even a queue to hold in if a customer chooses should be a viable option and does nothing to prevent them from providing 1:1 consultation.

Thanks again

 

He might reconsider, posted on December 21, 2016 at 08:27:09
E-Stat
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the question of ecommerce if Magnepan wants to woo Millennials.

They don't like using their phones to call anyone - even their mothers!

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 21, 2016 at 08:50:19
kentaja
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Certainly there is middle ground.

 

RE: Harmon-Kardon in talks to buy the patents, posted on December 21, 2016 at 15:18:15
RickeyM
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Don't even play like that! :)

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 21, 2016 at 16:14:38
josh358
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it's true. However, I don't think high end audio is that kind of business -- that was always the province of the mid fi people. I get the impression from what Wendell wrote that he's more concerned with reputation and word of mouth than he is with that kind of sale.

 

RE: He might reconsider, posted on December 21, 2016 at 16:16:06
josh358
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Heh, I've heard that. It is an issue.

 

RE: A note from Wendell, posted on December 21, 2016 at 16:18:39
josh358
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I'm no expert, but I don't think a queue would work in this situation, where the orders all go through one person.

Part of the problem some people may be having is that they're used to leaving messages and not getting a response half the time -- that seems to be the way customer service works at most places these days. But Wendell assures me that if someone leaves a message, he'll get back to them before he leaves for the day.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 21, 2016 at 21:10:25
contrapuntal
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Guess I am old school as well. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." So by the time they get there, you friends might be a little fonder.

Actually. I am always having people at places other than fast food joints (which I do not even eat anyway)apologize to me for waiting too long, i.e. at a doctor or dentist office. Or at a hardware store. Or even at the supermarket. Every time I get "I'm so sorry this is taking so long." my standard reply is "Hey, this ain't fast food is it?" About always get a smile. These people put up with people all day.

And after seeing every widget in the world with "China" stamped on it, I'm just grateful such American made loudspeakers are still made in the USA. Don't have them, but I can remember the first time I listened to them, and I swore David Crosby was standing about 6-8 feet further behind the speakers, which meant I heard him singing through a solid wall.

 

RE: A note from Wendell, posted on December 22, 2016 at 09:13:03
Norman M
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Posts: 750
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"Magnepan has a crisis in our service department. Our new service manager has been in the hospital with a serious illness. Employees in other departments are trying their best to take up the slack, but it is a struggle. Magnepan asks for your patience while we fill this position.

"If you get voice mail in other departments, you will get a return phone call. In an ideal world, you would never get voice mail at Magnepan. But, we have a small staff and sometimes we are all on the phone."

Unfortunately that reads like double-talk to me.
I got a recorded message from the Repairs Dept instructing me to contact them by sending an email to "service@magnepan.com". I then sent two messages to that address, starting November 17, and never received a reply. The Chinese (many, but not all of whose products are poor) might have been able to better handle this situation. Why couldn't I be sent some type of an auto reply informing me as to their unfortunate situation? I really can't comprehend why I didn't. The fact of the matter is that without your post, I would still be in the dark.

IMHO, not good either of a Chinese or an American outfit.

 

RE: A note from Wendell, posted on December 22, 2016 at 10:59:21
josh358
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I think you make a good point -- that when something like this happens, the customer should be informed by a message or auto-reply so that he doesn't feel he's just being ignored. I know how frustrating that can be.

 

ya was a joke ) , posted on December 22, 2016 at 15:52:37
farfetched
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And a bad one!

I heart small companies. Discovering Maggies was the absolute high point of my audiophile life.

And boy, is it sad planars wouldn't mass sell. Wonder why that is?



f
/ optimally proportioned triangles are our friends


 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 23, 2016 at 04:30:32
PeterZ
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Posts: 160
Location: texas
Joined: November 8, 2003
100% agree.

Sometimes it is an attitude of the manufacturer or seller that makes it that way and likely Magnepan is almost the only game in town, they can work this way. A good website and return calls is a great idea though.

Yes being old school or waiting a certain amount of time is nice but this isn't 40 yrs ago. People have much more hectic schedules.

I know I would have a hard time doing purchasing during the week, let alone 8AM-4PM and would likely go elsewhere, if there was another game in town. I couldn't deal with those hours if I needed service on them.

Shoot and I was going to contact them about some speakers.
PeterZ

 

Be careful for what you wish, posted on December 23, 2016 at 16:27:19
neolith
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From the amp forum:
"I have contact ARC tech support regarding my problems. Waiting for an answer. Since their buyout, all contact is by VM and email. Techs will not talk to customers anymore."




I married the perfect woman. The downside is everything that goes wrong is my fault.



 

RE: Be careful for what you wish, posted on December 23, 2016 at 21:20:52
Norman M
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Neolith, I'm not sure but is this supposed to imply that two wrongs make one right?

 

That's a very interesting conundrum! ..., posted on December 23, 2016 at 22:06:17
andyr
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My gut feel is that any company has to move with the times ... so it's tempting to think they need to "get with" the Millenials. But are Millenials their target audience?

Andy

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 23, 2016 at 22:13:25
rwiley
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Ditto!!!

 

RE: That's a very interesting conundrum! ..., posted on December 24, 2016 at 04:39:37
E-Stat
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If there is to be a future audience, I would say yes.

Millennials now represent the largest segment of working adults.

 

RE: Be careful for what you wish, posted on December 24, 2016 at 05:16:13
josh358
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This is precisely what Magenpan is trying to avoid. I fear it's a losing battle, given that there's now an entire generation that equates "customer service" with "Chinese water torture."

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 24, 2016 at 05:42:56
josh358
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But then, there's a flip side. I just ordered some parts for my Tympani IVA's -- felt strips for the tweeters and adhesive to repair the voice coil.

These speakers were built 30 years ago and they still offer complete parts and support. They have cheap DIY repair kits, or they will rebuild them from scratch, an operation that requires its own mini factory that can reproduce any old model or its parts. Compare that to your $700 cell phone with its non-interchangeable battery!

And they don't make a profit off of this, their parts and repair operation is at cost, whereas most companies make spare parts into a profit center and sell them at exorbitant rates.

As to ordering, I raised this point with Wendell. His reply was that he's gone to the opposite extreme -- all calls now go through him, because he can better advise customers on the best products to buy and they're happier with the results. So when you order a product, even a $600 speaker like the MMG, you are talking to their director of sales and getting the advice of someone who knows more about choosing and setting up Maggies than just about anyone living. He has found that customers have been more satisfied and less likely to return products since he started doing this.

I think they may be losing some customers like you who just want to click and order, and I've expressed that concern to Wendell. But I suspect that he would rather lose the occasional sale and make sure that the sales he does make are to customers who ordered the right thing and are happy, since their sales depend on word of mouth. I mean, I just ordered a UPS from Amazon that wasn't quite what I wanted. Decided to keep it because it was close enough and it's a pain to pack it up and return it. Maggies are even harder to return, and because they interact with the room they aren't as easy to buy.

I don't know if this kind of approach can survive in an era when people are used to clicking to order and then waiting 45 minutes for a customer support experience that has intentionally been made to be miserable, but it's the way they've chosen to do business and it does have benefits, in particularly the expertise you can draw on when you place the order or have a technical problem. I've sometimes thought while listening to ghastly hold music that companies should be rated by the ratio between the time it takes to reach sales and the time it takes to reach tech support. :-)

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 24, 2016 at 08:01:05
Norman M
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It goes without saying that all you write is commendable on Magnepan's part, and they are free to run their business however they feel best (both for their customers and themselves).

Their repair department was very helpful to me in the past performing work free of charge, including the cost of my item's return shipping. I ended up feeling guilty about not being able to pay for any of it.
This experience made it all the more difficult to understand why two emails to them weren't even acknowledged, after their phone message specifically asked that I email them. (I thought I had heard this message because I reached them at an inopportune time, all of them attending a meeting, or a similar matter.) Magnepan had been so reliable and conscientious that I faulted my ISP's mail server.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 24, 2016 at 16:22:32
Utley1
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Well said Josh and pertinent in a world of huckster business models starting from the President Elect and processed by almost every major corporation with shortening list of exceptions.Let the company breath they do no harm to their customers. Audiophiles should watch their manias and stop inflating their quasi rational expatiation's reserve your anger to a car company or a bank.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 25, 2016 at 07:02:59
PeterZ
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I'd be a bit happier with a wider window and some weekend support. A little like the reason TX has to close their car dealerships one day a week. Well most close Sundays. The ones that are opened Sundays are hit by the people who don't have time to deal with the "normal business hours" stuff. Commendable for their workers but if 5 or 6 days a week is the norm, give a wider window to folks that have to work all day or overlap non-traditional hours to pick up new clients. Doesn't hurt and could help since you can still work the same number of hours a week and cover 80% of the traditional "business days".

If I was retired, I guess it wouldn't matter.
PeterZ

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 25, 2016 at 09:00:49
josh358
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I can see that that would be an issue for those who can't make a call during the working day. OTOH, Magenpan is a manufacturer rather than a retailer -- most of their products are sold through high end audio dealers -- so they don't have a big sales operation with phone banks and such. And the kind of support they want to offer can't be offered by outsourcing to India or just hiring a part-time employee to take orders on weekends.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 26, 2016 at 16:48:39
josh358
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"Reserve your anger to a car company or a bank."

Well said!

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 26, 2016 at 18:01:23
Utley1
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There is still a wonderful fellowship on this site:a rarity in this world. I am grateful for more than the occasional moments of brilliance(quite often really) that I encounter with the actors here. Remarkable and extraordinary indeed.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 27, 2016 at 10:05:57
macmagman
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I've been in customer service for over 30 years and Magnepan is at the very top of my list. I have had several occasions where I have dealt with them, mostly replacement ribbons, and to talk directly with someone there I believe is huge, so you have to call during the day, that's what lunch hours are for. I have had a situation with my mid-range failure and talked to Wendell directly, I'm not happy that I now need to repeat the procedure with the other speaker but I have called them, talked to Karen and as soon as funds allow me to I will second the second panel to them for repair.

Late last week I had a buzz in my speakers and I placed a call to Sanders, talked to Roger personally and he led me to the problem within minutes. So Wednell - Roger and the other companies that operate this way. please don't change a thing you are a dying breed......

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 27, 2016 at 16:30:03
josh358
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+1

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 28, 2016 at 04:44:23
PeterZ
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Saturday 8-12AM for at least support.

Still would be nice.
PeterZ

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 28, 2016 at 08:02:42
josh358
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It would be nice, wouldn't it? The problem is that they just don't have the staff -- Wendell says that since they've increased the level of support to include all MMG sales, he's been falling further behind in sales and working with dealers and distributors.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 28, 2016 at 08:17:34
JBen
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This is a good thread and welcome feedback for all. On one hand it reminds us that there is always room for improvement on even things that are great and worth having. On the other, we are also reminded of the great value that we enjoy. Keeping it all good while still improving things will remain a balancing act for Magnepan, as it has always been.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 28, 2016 at 13:26:46
zulugone
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If you get a heads up from the overloaded but persevering Mr. Diller regarding the addition of a new parts person please pass the good news along.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 28, 2016 at 18:16:57
paul3
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Oh, the tragic horror of it all.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 28, 2016 at 19:38:03
josh358
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Sure, will do. Meanwhile, I've told my tweeters that under no circumstances are they to blow!

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 29, 2016 at 17:19:30
JBen
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Rats! You're right, Josh. One lousy Christmas day (glorious) playback of the 1812 cannons...and now it's too late to send them these old MMG's for a quick reglue. I never learn! Though most of it is still holding on fine, this original glue in last-century MMG's don't much like the workout.

It's just a 1" wire segment. Darn, the DAP glue dried up and so did the tube of E-6000! Now where did I leave that Elmer's glue...

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 29, 2016 at 17:49:05
Norman M
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Elmer's schmelmer's, just buy a new pair of MMGs.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 29, 2016 at 18:25:17
josh358
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Damn, I blew more 1-D fuses with those 1812 cannons! Drove the poor amp into hard clipping, too. Good thing that the 1-D's were pretty nigh indestructible . . .

 

RE: ... just buy a new pair of MMGs. , posted on December 30, 2016 at 00:10:00
JBen
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LOL, I wish I could. They don't make them like these original 90's model ones anymore. Fast (thinner) tweeter and more bass area...biamped and otherwise tweaked they need no woofers for most music. From these I'll just have to go to 3.x but there's no rush. I'll just DAP this up in an couple of days and we'll be good for another run at 1812.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 30, 2016 at 14:01:26
JBen
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In more recent years, the Telarc 1812 SACD has punished my MMG's. Yet, back in the 80's it was the original Telarc LP of 1812 who sent several pairs of woofers to heaven. I actually kept buying them in advance, 4 pairs at a time. All in all, 9 pairs died within 2 years.

Once the factory ran out of the woofers, I replaced them with a higher power-rated set of woofers but (unknowingly) of half the original impedance. It was a 3-way bi-amped box system and the woofers had a stereo power amp all to themselves. So, they worked fine for a while, even playing 1812 "loudishly".

Then came one evening fully reserved for my audio pleasure. It actually turned into an audiovisual spectacle. The deafening tune of the cannons yielded the scene to the fireworks. The woofers power amp blew in glorious sparks.

BTW, if I remember this right, I think it was Norman who also launched some serious fireworks from his power amp while playing 1812 at one time.

Then you go blow sparks in them Maggie fuses!

Not audiophiles...pyromaniacs is what we are!

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 30, 2016 at 19:03:28
josh358
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LOL

And I thought I was pushing things.

That's what those $70 audiophile fuses are for you -- they scare you into keeping the levels low!

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 30, 2016 at 19:11:09
Norman M
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I confess, however the devil made me do it. The Telarc 1812 cannons made a Adcom 555 amp go up in flame and smoke. I recall my greatest concern at the time was that some nearby drapes would ignite ultimately causing us to become homeless. My speaker was a Tympani 1C, which could withstand nearly anything (and without the need for fuses). Many listeners (obviously myself included) really abused those speakers. I didn't reveal my dirty little secret to Adcom and the amp still being under warranty was replaced free of charge, even with an apology for my inconvenience. Needless to add, I no longer engaged in such foolishness. IAE my wife probably looked upon it all as being more 'innocent' than other possible vices.

 

RE: Ordering from Magnepan, lol if it wasn't sad , posted on December 30, 2016 at 19:25:16
josh358
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Taht record probably caused more damaged than any ever made! I miss the Telarc Organ Symphony too -- have to find a copy of it.

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on December 30, 2016 at 19:47:48
JBen
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Hmmm, right you are. I never owned it but did hear the impressive organ recording at a friend's long ago. That gent makes us sound like wimps. In a room no larger that 7x10, he had megawatts of top-notch power amps. AND, to put things in perspective, among other things, he had 4 (FOUR) 18" woofers in the cramped space. Full sitting accommodations was 2 directors chairs, surrounded on both sides by equipment. Just clean raw power. Fabulously loud and totally undistorted sound...marred by a total lack of imaging.

Tomorrow I may be going for a walk at the local flea market. I guess I now have a good reason to get on my knees and search the many boxes of old moldy LP's that some vendors bring.

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on December 31, 2016 at 05:15:22
josh358
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"Fabulously loud and totally undistorted sound...marred by a total lack of imaging."

Heh, reminds me of horns. If you add in a few annoying resonances, that is.

Speaking of bass, someone posted this on the Planar Circle yesterday -- check out these dipole tower subs -- I think they use the GR Research 12" servo drivers:




 

symmetrical skylights?, posted on January 1, 2017 at 06:15:36
watts
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I don't think I've ever seen that before. I wonder if the room was designed as such?

 

RE: symmetrical skylights?, posted on January 1, 2017 at 10:46:59
josh358
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Heh, hadn't noticed that. It's a hotel room, so maybe it was?

 

RE: symmetrical skylights?, posted on January 1, 2017 at 21:58:19
Satie
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They just came out this year. No reviews yet.

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 2, 2017 at 16:56:59
JBen
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First, Happy New Year to all!

Wow, what a little system you show there! Satie must be salivating for a demo of those little puppies!

Anyway, I walked the Swap Shop on Saturday and searched for the Telarc LP; no luck but I'll keep my eyes open. I did see an LP album by Kenny G, new, unopened. For some reason I thought of Neolith. There must be an old thread somewhere here where KG was discussed? I thought I recalled the gist of the discussion and left the record undisturbed lest he lets the little ladies loose on me, LOL.

Celebrating the new year, I finally switched the system for class A end-to-end (at low to moderate levels) yesterday. This only happens from the PC, where the class A DAC goes straight to the Parasound HCA amps. After 10 continuous hours of listening today I could have gone on forever but my wife demanded her time minutes ago. Still, not a bad day at all.



 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 2, 2017 at 18:08:14
russ69
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"I walked the Swap Shop on Saturday and searched for the Telarc LP'

I just found a copy in a thrift shop for 2 bucks.

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 3, 2017 at 16:19:23
josh358
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I can't say I'd mind a tower of dipole servo woofers myself. :-)

Still thinking of going to Pass amps in the by and by, but meanwhile, the A-21 is doing a nice job without breaking the bank or turning my room into a sauna . . .

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 10, 2017 at 22:30:39
JBen
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Sweet, Russ, may you enjoy it grandly! I kept looking for the LP actively until this past weekend.

Then I learned that Telarc had actually taken the trouble to make careful SACD versions of it (Saint-SaČns: Symphony No. 3 for organ, Eugene Ormandy/PO) and the original Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture / Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue...Kunzel. Not the LPs but I was VERY glad to get them. They are not the greatest performances but that Soundstream digital system captured some mighty sounds.

So, no LP's for me. LOL, my current vinyl gear may not even track those 1812 cannon shot grooves like the old set did so well in the 80's.

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 10, 2017 at 22:57:18
JBen
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Well, Josh I know the feeling. With the right gear, it is so hard to pull away from that Pass sound. LOL, it would actually be downright impossible to do so if one lived in Antarctica -- tunefully trimming ice shelves along the way.

OTOH, an A-21 visits home every now and then. I also visit its home often. The beautiful sound via that unpretentious-looking smooth operator is what convinced me to go for its MOSFET HCA siblings.

Then, I did a bit of tap dancing with bias settings for more class A watts, primarily on the HCA 2003a amp that drives just the tweeters. Yup, it sure warmed up the room, but not as much as it sweetened the music. Oh man, get another A-21 and biamp at line level. That should be something!

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:11:38
josh358
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I've been thinking of an A-51, because ultimately I want to triamp and also do some experiments with splitting the woofer panels. Not sure how it compares sonically to the A-21 -- I think the A-21 is the only one that John Curl recommends for high end use out of the box. And then there's that mod he has for the HCA-3500 -- apparently spectacular results, but I have os much to do right now that I don't think it's practical (still haven't even fixed my delam -- it's been cold up there since the radiator isn't working).

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 12, 2017 at 00:10:29
JBen
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Sonically identical, like most of the JC MOSFET designs are (after the late 90's?) compared to the A-21, most of them cannot match its power supply budget per channel. That is a relative shortcoming in the A-51. To be sure, I was not able to tell so when I heard it, probably because it was not being driven hard...nor anywhere as low as to stay in class A, either. Yet, at usual volumes it is an A-21 sonic twin.

Then you have the HCA-3500. I actually wanted one very badly at first. However, the real mods for it were the ones JC and his partner fooled around with and offered to do long ago. Along the way, I the realized that I would not have space for neither it nor the A-21 in my place. In an apartment, 3 power amps plus the rest of the audio gear can lead to a divorce.

In the end, finding the 2003A instead of the additional 1500A that I was looking for was a major blessing in disguise. With a beefy PS made for 3 channels, I use only two channels -- just for the tweeters -- and re-biased for a little more class A. Works like charm (though more by accident than skill :).

Which makes me think that if you "wasted" 3 of the A-51 channels...you'd still get great stereo class A for the tweeters...at probably a very decent price. Well, that's just a rough idea that you could polish.

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 12, 2017 at 09:51:37
josh358
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Good point -- I have to look up the power supply specs, and also the bias spec, for the A-51. I'd only be using four channels (annoying to leave one unused!) so I'd have more reserve. I'd also be driving the Neo-8's, which are incredibly efficient (and should never leave Class A) and the ribbon tweeter, which uses little power, so the A-51's power would really be overkill. But putting the little Passes on them would be expensive and run up my electric bill something fierce. :-)

Another thing to consider is that since I'd be tri-amping, I'd have the power supply budget of both amps.

Actually I'd really like six more channels since I want to experiment with splitting the woofers. But I guess I can perform those experiments before I do the Neo 8 mod, which isn't going to happen until I fix the delam anyway. One possibility would be A-21 for midbass, A-51 for low bass and tweeter, and tubes for the critical mids. Or the little Pass. But I figure I can cross that bridge when I come to it.

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 12, 2017 at 22:01:03
Satie
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i can only say that the a51, however attractive is way overkill at the 200w x 5 8 ohm rating and near $5k mark. You would be better off trading for lower power rating and higher class A operation with better passive parts. There are ksa 50 clones you can have made to order and the classic "small" coda, Classe, threshold, plinius etc high bias class A/ab amps. the smaller theta multichannel amp (Intrepid) is a better choice as it is not designed with bass extending feedback but is focused instead on the best time domain performance for top notch mid and treble.
Alternately a pair of hybrid stereo amps would be perfect.

http://www.stereophile.com/solidpoweramps/625/#hTS25PSufebVI0Qs.97

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 14, 2017 at 00:31:38
JBen
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Awright, Josh! That's what I meant with "that you could polish". And I had forgotten the Neo's.

A couple of items for you to remember or simply evaluate:

-- One is this. If my blastedly cheap old MMG's insist in telling power amps apart, I bet the IVA's will do so much more.

Until the MOSFET-driven 2003A arrived, I had used a HCA-1000A for the tweeters. It has NO mosfies output but did well enough with class A at low volume, due to a re-tune into high bias.

Yet, in the few visits by the A-21 to my place, it was tried as tweeter amp, in place of the 1000a, with the HCA-1500A in its usual bass duty. The A-21 was also tried with the 1500A driving tweeters, as well as the A-21 doing bass. (The remaining possible combinations, by including the 1000 and a few other power amps, were also tried.)

Consistently, the MMG's were always "clear" that any combo of the A-21 and the 1500A was great. The same is the now case with the 2003A and the 1500A. I expect that the A-21 will get along grandly with the 2003A the day they get together. (That shared fundamental design PLUS the MOSFET output may explain it.)

Not so when others were in the combinations. Which surprised me at first because the 1000A has a very similar design, minus the MOSFETs.

-- Another point, however, is that all of the above may lose some relevancy if the Neo's decide to impose new rules.

-- Lastly, even when at moderate levels, "part-time" class A is sweetly worth it IF the whole signal chain can stay in it. (I mean, from the source to the power amps...and at a useful power envelope.) Starting the chain in class B always, for example, won't get this "fixed" by subsequent class A stages. Doing class A all throughout does not need to break the bank nor do space-heating.

The thing the MOSFET HCA's are doing here is to provide a very delightful class A delivery right at levels where mechanical distortions have not yet imposed a drowning effect. I suspect that the A-21/31/51 could deliver more sweetness still.

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 14, 2017 at 12:12:35
josh358
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Yeah, agree an A-51 is overkill, but I prefer to think of it as a 25 watt Class A amp! The question is can I do better on a per channel basis. IIRC last I checked A-51's were going or about $3500, so that's $1750 per stereo pair -- a bit more actually than the A-21. (But three A-21's, yikes . . . my back isn't what it used to be!)

So there's price per channel and then there's sound quality, which is hard to ascertain since I'm no longer somewhere where I can go to the dealer and swap out amps. Which is to say there are a lot of variables here, and given the importance of listening and the fact that I'm no longer near a major dealer it's hard to sort through them . . .

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 14, 2017 at 13:35:24
Satie
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The Theta Intrepid goes for about $1-1.3k giving you 5 channels for 1/3rd the cost, Effectively $600 or so per channel pair. The downside is that because it is a non feedback design it has weak bass and midbass performance. Because of this, and because of the particular attention Reich puts into midrange and treble performance it should do the tweeters and mids a better service than any of the JC designs. My only caveat is that being a DC servo it might have a slight low level resolution problem as the TIVa mids have and the Neo8 do but to a much lesser extent. I have not found any review to mention that it is an actual performance limitation.

Of course, the Theta Intrepid is not going to drive the bass panels. It also needs a real ground so requires that you have 3 phase wiring in order to avoid hum..

The other issue and downside of a non feedback balanced design is that the THD is rather high in the presence of bass and IMD on adjacent freq tests would be higher. But it is 3rd order so rather innocuous. This is not far from my old DR-9 design (from which Reich derived the Theta line) in general behavior and I can assure you it works fabulously on both mids and tweeters. Class A operation is 8-10W as tuned at the factory, you can bias it up further but the amp does well in the class B portion of its output so it is not as critical as it is in the JC and Emotiva designs..

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 14, 2017 at 17:29:51
josh358
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I read the review last night. The price is certainly great, but there are a couple of issues -- it won't drive the woofers, as you point out, so I couldn't use it for my split woofer experiment.

And then there's the ground loop issue. I'm about to try an experiment with my computer, I got a fanless power supply, low noise video card, and liquid cooler for my computer, and I'm going to see if it's quiet enough to use in my living room. But I have to disassemble it to install the components. Once I've done that, I can try reconnecting the ground on the A-21. I fear, though, that I'm right and truly screwed, even though I swapped breakers so that everything driving my audio gear is now on the same phase. Even an isoground system probably wouldn't fix the hum fields in this house (my tech power is isolated ground but I had to repurpose some existing circuits for my audio and the contractor didn't put in the access hatch I asked for so I'd have to rip open the walls to run new ones).

 

RE: miss the Telarc Organ Symphony , posted on January 15, 2017 at 22:20:14
Satie
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Without a real well grounded 3 phase supply I don't think the linear Theta amps are a practical reality. So unless you manage to sort that one out I think those are out.

On the other hand, there is more flexibility in having high feedback and much cheaper high power amps for the bass panels rather than using the much more refined and expensive JC multichannel. Think linear Crown mactrotech 2402 which you can buy by the dozen at the price of the A51. Or 3X 3600 or 3602. Though some surgery to replace the fans is necessary.

 

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