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Easy Magnepan MMG tweaks?

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Posted on September 9, 2010 at 11:49:11
ggking7
Audiophile

Posts: 713
Joined: January 26, 2008
I've got my Magnepan MMG speakers on Sound Anchors stands which sit on Barry Diament's isolation platforms. They sound great but I'm digging for more easy and worthwhile tweaks which don't require soldering.

Has anyone tried the Maggie Quasi Ribbon Rear Wave Attenuator? I read a couple threads on the subject here that suggest they are best suited for small rooms where the speakers are close to the side or rear walls. I have plenty of room around the speakers so maybe I shouldn't bother?

http://www.knightsfordusa.com/MaggieRWAs.html

I was considering a pair of HiFi Tuning fuses, but I wonder if I would be better off with something that removes the fuse altogether? Is there a plug-in item that will do that? In what type of scenario would I be risking damage to the speakers if I don't use a fuse?

The system sounds much better with the 1 ohm resistor in place, so a high quality bridge like the Cardas or Mapleshade probably won't work. I tried making a very short bridge using Belkin PCOCC speaker wire and it sounded the same as the stock bridge. What about a high quality 1 ohm resistor?

 

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RE: Easy Magnepan MMG tweaks?, posted on September 11, 2010 at 17:16:43
kh6idf
Audiophile

Posts: 949
Location: Texas
Joined: May 2, 2001
You can bypass the fuse and fuseholder entirely by removing the binding post panel and switching a few wires around - no soldering required, just a crescent wrench, screwdriver and pliers. Take a photo of the back of the panel before you move anything and draw a wiring diagram. You just have to move one wire from one side of the fuseholder to the other to bypass it. I wouldn't do this while the speaker is under warranty though. My SMGcs are 17 years old so I can afford to take chances. They've been fuseless for several years now with no problems.

If you're using the 1 ohm resistor, you may not notice an improvement by bypassing the fuse, but it is something you can try and put it back to the original configuration if you don't like it, no soldering or cutting wires is needed.

I used to use the resistor on my SMGc's, but I removed it when I switched from a Hafler DH200 amp to a Linn LK280. With the Linn amp the highs were cleaner (less distortion probably) and taking the resistor out sounded better, with more extended highs but it still didn't sound overly bright, just more extended.

I'm posting this from Hawaii (Kailua) while at my dad's place. My wife and I may possibly move out here (from Texas) sometime in the future, the threat of corrosion would probably cause me not bring out the speakers but revert to a headphone only system (much lower shipping cost too.)

What part of HI are you living in? Windward or Leeward side? I think corrosion is worse on the windward side.

 

RE: Easy Magnepan MMG tweaks?, posted on September 13, 2010 at 09:34:03
ggking7
Audiophile

Posts: 713
Joined: January 26, 2008
I'm on the windward side, almost always a steady breeze.

Can the resistor be bypassed in this same non-permanent way?

 

"What about a high quality 1 ohm resistor?" ..., posted on September 9, 2010 at 17:29:42
andyr
Audiophile

Posts: 10706
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
Yes, that should improve your sound and it's a simple "tweak".

Buy some Mills 10w wire-wound resistors from Michael Percy or parts Connexion. They cost a buck or so, each. I suggest you buy a few pairs of slightly different values and decide which value produces the sound you like best. Say, 0.82, 0.91, 1.0, 1.2 & 1.5 ohms.

Then you can buy a pair of Duelund resistors at the preferred value - these sound even better!

The other good tweak is to put a small choke (inductor) in series with the tweeter. Go and search the Planar Asylum for details.

Regards,

Andy

 

OK will do, posted on September 9, 2010 at 18:12:27
ggking7
Audiophile

Posts: 713
Joined: January 26, 2008
I like that idea, thank you.

Do resistors always come with metal that is prone to oxidation? I've been using mine for less than a month and the area where the set screws make an impression on the resistor wire has turned brown with rust. I live in Hawaii and everything rusts here.

Can a choke and resistor both be used without soldering, or is it one or the other?

 

Some components have plated steel leads., posted on September 10, 2010 at 11:59:24
Al Sekela
Audiophile

Posts: 9169
Location: Northern California
Joined: February 18, 2002
The lead wires are made of steel to allow magnetic handling in automated circuit board building machines. They are plated with something to allow them to be soldered.

Anything magnetic is bad for sound.

The JW Miller 5502 or 5522 RF chokes may give better sound than resistors if your problem is RF noise picked up by the speaker wiring acting as antennas. These chokes have very low DC resistance and do not compromise the dynamics.

 

Here's why...., posted on September 9, 2010 at 21:11:23
Coner
Audiophile

Posts: 1431
Location: USA
Joined: November 17, 2001
When steel contacts a different metal like copper, it will
rust faster. I suggest stainless steel setscrews or at least
reg. steel ones coated with anti-ox compound such as lubriplate,
(lithium grease).

Coner

 

"Everything rusts" ... Hehe - so there's a downside to Paradise, eh?? :-)) ..., posted on September 9, 2010 at 18:30:39
andyr
Audiophile

Posts: 10706
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
I've never experienced that - I guess the set screws punch through the tin(?) coating, so the bare metal is exposed? But the bare metal is copper so I would've thought that shouldn't really be a problem?

You'll be pleased to know that the Duelund resistors have solid silver lead-out wires. :-))

And re. "Can a choke and resistor both be used without soldering, or is it one or the other?" ... ideally, as they are in series, yes you should solder the 2 items together in the middle. However, you could get away with instead using a "screw-cap" connector (that electricians use to connect like mains wires together).

Regards,

Andy

 

Thank you., posted on September 10, 2010 at 10:29:58
ggking7
Audiophile

Posts: 713
Joined: January 26, 2008
Thanks a lot.

 

RE: Easy Magnepan MMG tweaks?, posted on September 9, 2010 at 17:12:50
Ewalaa
Audiophile

Posts: 415
Location: Central VA
Joined: December 10, 2000
If they sound best with the resistor in place, I would suggest looking upstream.

E.

 

using a resistor is OK, posted on September 9, 2010 at 18:09:43
ggking7
Audiophile

Posts: 713
Joined: January 26, 2008
I don't think using the resistor necessarily means there is a problem upstream. Barry Diament has said every Maggie system he's ever set up has sounded better with the resistor in place.

 

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