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REVIEW: Magnepan CC3 Speakers

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Model: CC3
Category: Speakers
Suggested Retail Price: $950
Description: Center Channel
Manufacturer URL: Magnepan
Manufacturer URL: Magnepan

Review by rkeman ( A ) on July 30, 2003 at 13:54:09
IP Address: 12.168.121.2
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The Magnepan CC3 is the latest generation of the center channel speakers from Minnesota-based Magneplanar (www.magneplanar.com). The CC3 is designed to provide better low frequency response than the previous models (CC1 and CC2) while retaining the excellent horizontal dispersion characteristics of the curved planar diaphragm. It is a 2-way design (quasi-ribbon tweeter and planar magnetic woofer) with a relatively simple crossover.

Every loudspeaker has individual foibles and placement is the CC3's. Positioning is more critical than with many center channel speakers, given the rather large dimensions of the CC3. The dipolar radiation pattern necessitates that it should be operated at least 2 feet out from the wall behind and the rear radiation should be allowed to return to the listening environment (i.e. no enclosed cabinets). These requirements are easily met if the speaker is placed on a rear projection television set (as in my case); however, it is well worth taking the time to access where the CC3 will go prior to purchase. The rear foot of the CC3 can be adjusted to "aim" the speaker at the listening position which is quite useful.

If all of this seems a bit much, it must be said that the performance of the CC3 is well worth the effort it takes to integrate it into a home theater. The bottom line for any piece of high fidelity equipment should be how accurately it conveys the program source to the listener, and here the Magnepan CC3 shines. The tonal balance is neutral and clarity superb. The sound is firmly anchored to the screen, but possesses the large image "size" associated with dipole loudspeakers. Dialog rendered by the CC3 reflects the nature of the source for better or worse and without the boom, honk, and boxy character of so many center channel speakers. The CC3 seems more dynamic than the CC1 and it does provide an additional octave of bass allowing a subwoofer crossover point of 80 Hz so typical in home theater. The CC3 provides the kind of performance required to do justice to the best current program material, whether movies or emerging multichannel musical recordings. Highly recommended.


Product Weakness: Placement can be difficult.
Product Strengths: Superb clarity and neutral tonal character.
Imaging.


Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Outlaw 750
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): MSB Technology MVC-1
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Pioneer Elite CD45A
Speakers: Magnepan MG1.6 (mains) and MGMC1 (surround)
Cables/Interconnects: Various
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Various movies, and music (classical and pop)
Room Size (LxWxH): 20 x 15 x 8
Time Period/Length of Audition: A month
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner




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Topic - REVIEW: Magnepan CC3 Speakers - rkeman 13:54:09 07/30/03 ( 4)