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The correct magnepan for my room

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Posted on December 31, 2016 at 13:10:21
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016



Hello my name is Bob I am new to the forum! I love listening to music and have been out of the stereo market for a few years now.I am looking for some advise on building a new system for the living room of a house we are having built.I put together a system for my basement years ago for the home theatre and tried to incorporate music listening as well as for action films. I feel the system works good for movies but not so well for music listening. Here is what I haver down stairs so you have a idea of what i am use to. I have 5 marantz ma 500 mono blocks and a 2 channel 8008 aragon amp i bought in the 90s its a beast but seems harsh to me on top.. I running this through a integra avl pre amp with a oppo blu ray player. The speakers are definitive technology bp 2000 bipolar speakers the front ,center ,and back. are also def techs.I am looking for something more musical just for music.In the 90s we had a magnepan dealer local called Flips Stereo .This was my first and only audition with them.It left a big impression on me ,the music seemed true to life , huge sound stage almost magical .I am going to include my room size and picture of a display home so you can sorta see what i have to work with.We listen to a variety of music including jazz,pop and some rock.I am listing some of the equipment that I have been considering so any advice would be much appreciated.I have thought about experimenting with a integrated tube amp also.The speakers will go on the sides of the fireplace. I am also trying to keep cost down,the house is killing me as it is! :O) I also wanted to mention I would like to get into listening to vinyl

Rogue audio cronus magnum 2
Nad m-32
mac -6700 receiver
and of course the magnepans 1.7
I wanted to thank you guys for your help.

 

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RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on December 31, 2016 at 13:54:09
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 866
Joined: December 13, 2009
For Magnepans to work properly, you will need to pull them 5 or 6 feet into the room. If you can do that, you'll be fine with any Magnepan.

 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on December 31, 2016 at 13:57:56
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
Thanks Russ what about the amps? any idea

 

agree- the sky's the limit, posted on December 31, 2016 at 14:23:28
Green Lantern
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Posts: 13528
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
I'd shoot for 20.1's if you want to keep the cost down, white fabric, oak rails and I'd never leave that room.


 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on December 31, 2016 at 16:17:11
josh358
Industry Professional

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Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
If my experience is any guide (and it may not be), you're going to have trouble with the fireplace location. I wanted to put my Maggies on either side of my fireplace too -- the room works out brilliantly -- but no matter what I did, I couldn't get that magical Maggie imaging. The sound seemed to be coming from the mantle. They really seem to prefer a fairly plain wall behind them (though HP of TAS had a lot of luck with a bay window -- you never really know with planars!).

You might have better luck than I did, but I'd be cautious. Not that they'll sound bad, but they may not sound as spectacular as you remember them.

That said, I love Maggies as movie speakers, preferably big ones. It isn't a combo that most people think of but it's the best theatrical sound I've ever heard, and I used to work in motion picture audio. The naturalism of the sound adds a lot to the experience. I had the big Tympani 1D's back then, which play louder and deeper than the smaller ones, but I've also had MMG's and they did well, just not at thunderous levels.

I think you may want to wait until you know the exact room layout and then talk to Wendell Diller, the head of sales at Magnepan. Wendell has had more experience than any of us with what model sounds best in which circumstance.



 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on December 31, 2016 at 16:54:40
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4169
Joined: July 6, 2002
2 things to add.

The room is too big for a maggie alone, you will need a pair of subwoofers. If allowed, say with camouflage to make it look like soji screens you can use a Tympani IV or IVa in there.

The 8008 will power up a maggie well. You might have to work on the tonal balance with the resistors on the tweeters to tame the high end of the Aragon. You can also take it to a technician and have him jack up the bias current further into class A. That would tame the top end.

With subs you can get away with a 200 watter Without subs in that size room you will need over 500W at 4 ohms, preferably closer to 1kw.

 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on January 1, 2017 at 06:25:24
Green Lantern
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Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
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I had the best Maggie experience (soundstage wise) with my original pair of 1.6s flanking a brick fireplace. Vocals were so stunning there were more than a few times I was late for work while listening to them.

Of course sibilance and edgy-ness were problematic, but the pinpoint imaging and multi-layering were extraordinary.

I'm sure the room played the most important role; it was 'huge' (25x30).






 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on January 1, 2017 at 11:18:35
josh358
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Interesting. It seems to be flush with the wall? I'd expect that to be OK and the slightly rough surface/bricks to help with diffusion.

The issues in my case are I think because the fireplace projects forward and the mantle has a shelf with a curve at the bottom that just happens to be at ear height. I had to solve the problem by putting the speakers against the side wall, but as you can see it screws up the room arrangement something fierce -- I'd hoped to have a couch facing the fireplace, with the speakers on either side. (It isn't as bad if I push the mid-tweeter panels back to 3' out but then the image suffers.)





 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on January 1, 2017 at 12:40:27
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
My fireplace will have a hearth and stone going to the 12 foot ceiling. I am starting to wonder if the Maggie's are a good choice for the room?

 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on January 1, 2017 at 13:06:42
slapshot
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January 12, 2010
I would hesitate to put maggies in any room that is asymmetrical, that is, one speaker will be closer to a side wall than the other. In my experience, it can shift the image from the center to one side or the other, with is not optimal.

 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on January 1, 2017 at 14:20:01
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9431
Joined: February 9, 2010
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Hard to say. Fireplaces are famously problematic with any speaker, if they project beyond the wall, anyway -- if they're flush, they seem to be fine (see Green Lantern's post).

What will happen with the Maggies or what happened with mine anyway is I didn't get the great soundstage that everyone craves. But they still sounded good. And that was with e.g. symphonic reocrdings. It might not be a problem with the stuff you listen to. And you won't get that great soundstage with non-dipoles either, so . . .

Would it be possible to put the speakers against another wall? Or, alternatively, what about the Maggie on walls? They should be affected because they'd be mounted on the walls -- the back wave then skitters off the side walls. And they'd also save space in your room.

Really, Wendell is the person to ask about this -- as I said, he has more experience with varied customer setups than any of us.

Finally, in the end, you may just have to experiment. For me, anyway, there's always an unpredictable aspect to acoustics in that things never work out quite the way I expected. But I've also always found that I could jigger things around until they worked well, as I did in my room here -- they're sounding quite spectacular now.

 

RE: The correct magnepan for my room, posted on January 1, 2017 at 17:01:21
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 866
Joined: December 13, 2009
You are the slave to Maggies. They have to go where they need to go. If you can't deal with that, they will not work for you. I've never heard any Maggie located near a wall that sounded good. They NEED room to breathe and the back wave needs some space to reflect off the rear wall and match the front wave. No getting around that.

 

caveat added, posted on January 1, 2017 at 20:29:55
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 13528
Location: San Diego, Ca
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June 17, 2003
I initially drooled when I first saw your incredible room but upon reflection (sorry) I did seem to wonder how you'd be able to get them to work with the glass windows and asymmetrical area by the fireplace.

And as Russ noted Maggies will indeed rule a room; they could work along with treatments and perhaps a room divider to block that space opening but this changes an almost inconspicuous setup into an overpowering Maggie showroom.


 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 2, 2017 at 07:33:52
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
The room is large19x21 with a 12 foot ceiling and is open to the kitchen and dinning room which have 9 foot ceilings.The fireplace will have stone to the 12 foot ceiling,not sure if this will affect anything. I guess I am stuck here with what I can do.I will be finishing the basement with a home theatre room down the road but wanted something killer and elegant upstairs to listen to music. I was thinking on the lines of the rogue cronus magnum with maggie 1.7s . I was thinking these would go together but was looking for opinions.The feedback I am getting is not leaving me feeling warm and fuzzy about the maggies in this room.The maggies are my first choice,does anyone have any other suggestions that would work in the situation that would be amazing?
Thank again guys for your input ! I am sure most of you in the forum have more experience than me.Its been years since I put together a system and it was a home theatre setup.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 2, 2017 at 10:26:48
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4169
Joined: July 6, 2002
If the speakers can be pulled out 6 or so out from the fireplace as front wall then a pair of MG20.1 would do just fine as the wall is not going to have big vertical variations in depth and isn't creating deep alcoves. The windows can be treated with heavier cloth covered vertical blinds or heavy curtains. These things would be a problem for any speaker you put up there, not just maggies.

Other options include the new Carver ALS towers. They lack the big maggie ribbon tweeters so will not have as much detail to provide you but will do better dynamically.

If your budget extends to the really large planars like the Soundlabs then that is an option too,

The GTA3 ribbon planars and separate dipole bass towers can ease the placement issues and provide better clarity since the bass and top sections are separate.

Similarly GR Research are working on a new model with planar mids and a separate OB subwoofer and apparently monopole planar tweeters that would be easier to place near an irregular wall.

In tall line sources the wallet removing Scaena system with separate bass units is another option in ribbon speakers, but they are monopoles. http://www.scaena.com/speakers.html

At a more reasonable cost Roger Russel can build you a tall line source with no crossover which is much more flexible in placement - some use that at the wall. Also monopoles

The Martin Logan hybrid ESL speakers are slightly easier to place than a dipole speaker with dipole bass.

Of course, then there are normal multiway box speakers with careful attention to time alignment and phase preservation that can also image like the dickens. Best values are from Vandersteen, and in hybrid dipoles are the Legacy Aeris and up to the Whisper variants though without the "simple". crossovers of the Vandersteens.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 2, 2017 at 15:40:44
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
Thanks for the information.I will check them out.I talked to rogue audio today and explained the situation ,he seemed to think the Cronus would be a good match for the 1.7 says they have used the Maggie's with that amp at shows.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 2, 2017 at 16:08:05
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4169
Joined: July 6, 2002
The match will sound good till you need volume. Then you would want the 1.7s supplemented with active subwoofers. The power draw on the Cronus would be too much when you are trying to do loud deep bass out of the 1..7 alone. Besides which the deep bass on the 1.7 distorts pretty quickly as you raise the output so the whole speaker would do better with a subwoofer. it all depends on your preferred listening volume.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 2, 2017 at 18:37:55
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 866
Joined: December 13, 2009
I think you would like Martin Logans. Much easier placement. Easy to drive with tubes (I have run a 25 watt Quicksilver with mine). In a room your size with some heavy drapes they would sound fantastic. Look at the new Electromotion ESL X or go up the line if you want.

 

A pair of the big Acoustats...., posted on January 2, 2017 at 19:01:13
Mendel
Audiophile

Posts: 957
Location: GTA
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At least 2+2s, but Spectra33, Spectra 44 or Spectra 66 (if you could ever find them) would sound awesome in that big room with the high ceiling. And save you thousands over the big Maggie's. You might not even need subs with the big Spectras. They sound great with tube amps (although you might want to go to the M180 mono blocks for them or any Maggie for that matter). You have lots of room to hide a couple of amps!
Just get a local tech to change/upgrade the basic parts in the interfaces and change the socks to Spandex.
I would kill to have a room like that for my stereo!

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 4, 2017 at 15:02:43
Utley1
Audiophile

Posts: 731
Location: NYC
Joined: July 30, 2010
THERE ARE DEALERS IN NJ WHO WOULD ARGUE DIFFERENTLY. I HEARD THE CRONUS WITH THE 1.7 'S IN 2011 (NOT THE PRESENT UPGRADED INCARNATION) AND I THOUGHT IT DELIVER AT THE BOTTOM END OR SUPPLY EXHILARATION OF POWER FOR THE CLASSICAL MUSIC I LISTEN TOO. THE 1.7'S ARE A GREAT CHOICE. MY ROOM IS LARGER THAN YOURS , WITH 10' CEILINGS AND FOUND FOR THE MONEY SOLID STATE WORKS BEST. POWER AND CLARITY ARE CHEAP THESE DAYS.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 5, 2017 at 16:52:08
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
I am leaning toward the rogue atlas amp with the Rp1 pre amp hoping that will free up some power over the Cronus.If the bass seems weak I will consider adding a sub.I need some recommendations on decent cables for the speakers that won't break the bank.I was looking at some sota turntables the comet is in my price range anyone have any experience with these?

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 5, 2017 at 17:45:57
Utley1
Audiophile

Posts: 731
Location: NYC
Joined: July 30, 2010
Here is my experience with the 3.7i, Where I was able to hear high price ARC tube amps . And $18,000 Canadian solid state. At these prices amps performed similarly,-slight preference for ARC . You must compare a modest price solid state mono blocks with the ATlas. (I never heard the ATLAS WITH ANY MAGGIES) I am sure the ATlas is a great amp $7000 I would guess? You might get a better over all sound with solid state at a lower p;rice. Trust your ears before you put down big bucks. The Asylum is the most knowledgeable place around so read up. Please let us know how you make out. If I were spending that kind of money I would go with the 3.7i and then figure it out.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 6, 2017 at 02:43:27
Satie
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Posts: 4169
Joined: July 6, 2002
The Rogue Atlas is likely a better match. Both the RP-1 and the Atlas are highly regarded. As Utley said, there are far more choices in SS and tubes at this price point and they do tend to sound more similar. So if SS has an attraction for you then do look at alternatives in that direction. You might also want to check out a pro audio class D amp that can deliver near 1kw at 4 ohms to get a sense of what output the speaker can produce and how much of it you need. The Crown XTi series is powerful and performs well with an inoffensive tonal balance. . Once you established your listening habits with this speaker then go on to get a permanent amp that fits your bill.
If you are already familiar with the Rogue amps then just go and get it.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 6, 2017 at 07:08:08
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
Thanks guys for your advise.The rogue setup is closer to $ 4,000 with the 100 watt Atlas and the Rp1 .It just has more imputs ,better phono stage and obviously the pre amp has its own power supply,As the Cronus has to share its power supply with the built in pre amp.I could get the rogue m-180 mono blocks 180 wpc with Rp1 for less than 7,000 but was hoping to keep the cost below that for powering the speakers.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 6, 2017 at 07:46:42
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4169
Joined: July 6, 2002
That is why I was suggesting finding out how much power you need using a relatively cheap amp with decent resale market value... The Crown XTI amp idea accompanied with an SPL meter with fast peak hold response will tell you what your power requirement actually is. 1kw into 4 ohms for well under $1k.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 6, 2017 at 11:29:02
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
Maybe I am going at this the wrong way? should i be looking at the 3.7 for this room? Would the Atlas and rp1 still work or would I need more power?

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 6, 2017 at 17:05:07
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 866
Joined: December 13, 2009
3.7s will need an arc welder for an amp. Few people would be happy with a lower power amp, 3.7s and a large room.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 6, 2017 at 18:19:56
partell
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Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
Arc Welder. :0) The next option I was thinking of was the rogue m-180 mono blocks if the the atlas wouldn't cut it.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 6, 2017 at 19:19:21
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4169
Joined: July 6, 2002
This is a question of your listening habits and the size and particulars of your room.

The room is not too large for a 1.7 but it might be a bit bass light and need subs. It is a perfect size for a 3.7 or a 20.7 - again depends on your listening preferences.

Whichever speaker model you end up with you need to find out how you listen to it. Which is why I still harp on the amp. It would be a waste if you end up buying an Atlas on Saturday and find out the sound is lovely but too anemic for your tastes in that room. On the other hand if you got a rogue M180 and found it to be more powerful than you need, then you chucked out $3k extra for something you don't need. Last, perhaps you are a secret bass blaster at heart and need a kilowatter to scratch your itch.

The highest satisfaction is expressed by folks driving their 1.7 and more so a 3.7 by something like a Sunfire 600, a Sanders Magtech amp, gigantic tube amps like the old Rogue Apollo and Bryston 7B. On the cheap end, D Sonic and pro audio amps like the XLS 2500 and for a bit more the XTI 2002, on the other hand some will power them with 20 W triodes and be happy with the quiet listening they get.

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 6, 2017 at 20:04:46
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 866
Joined: December 13, 2009
Satie has it right. There is no way for me to recommend low power amps with Maggies unless you tell me you listen to chamber music at low volumes. Maggies offer a lot of value for the money but the money you save goes back into big amplifiers. My brother smoked a pair of the giant Parasound JC1s and a Maggie 3.6s. The 3.7 can just laugh at 180WPC if you ask them for too much. If you really want to run tube gear, you might want to look at a different loudspeaker or get some bucks together for a real house warming amp. They make stuff like this for a reason:






 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 8, 2017 at 06:43:49
Green Lantern
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Posts: 13528
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
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  Since:
June 17, 2003
Agree; that room begs for raw, light dimming power. Another reason I'd personally opt for a 20.1 since they can be bi-amped. My Quick Q4s put out 120 watts into four ohms -which would be fine at moderate levels late at night; but daytime, night club level listening levels the bottom end would gobble most of the juice. And I'm not just talking about popular or dance music either, the acoustic bass solo on Brubeck's 'Trio Brubeck' is a thing of marvel and will drain the power reserves on even the mightiest tube amps. Fortunately I have high current 1K watt mono Emotivas on the bottom to stoke the coals.

Now having said that I wouldn't just limit my choices to Magnepans (as spectacular as they are), I'd also consider the big cat Martin Logans, or Soundlabs. And for the same price as a new 20.7 you can get a essentially 'new' Duetta (with warranty), others to consider- Analysis audio, and Sanders.


 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 13, 2017 at 16:19:55
partell
Audiophile

Posts: 23
Location: st louis mo
Joined: December 31, 2016
I know a few of you have mentioned the Martin Logan's .I guess this is what you call a Hybrid with powered sub below.,will these produce the same quality sound as the Maggie's? I assume these would be easier to drive beings they have a powered sub on the bottom? I watched a YouTube video with the Martin Logan's Montis El with the Prima Luna HP man does that sound good ! Well it's YouTube so maybe sound is deceiving. Is the Prima Luna good stuff.Here is the link http://youtu.be/s-rtyg1qvb0

 

RE: caveat added, posted on January 13, 2017 at 23:14:58
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4169
Joined: July 6, 2002
the prima luna design and build are top notch and the reputation is stellar. The price tag not that bad considering what you are getting.

The hybrid idea is great, but difficult to execute. I have my personal nits to pick with the ML hybrids, but I would not hesitate to recommend them for someone who wants stat clarity without losing out on a decently well integrated dynamic bass. They are a greater value with the powered woofer sections.

I prefer the old idea of a CLS with bass woofer towers or Tympani bass panels or H frame open baffle, because it is a tall planar speaker and has less floor interactions than the raised and slanted ESL panels on the ML hybrids. Besides which you don't want the bass to be shaking your mids and treble sections. thus the separate ESL and dynamic bass can provide better imaging than the hybrids.

 

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