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REVIEW: Magnepan Magneplanar MG2.6R Speakers

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Model: Magneplanar MG2.6R
Category: Speakers
Suggested Retail Price: $1,900
Description: 2-way 609inĀ² planar-magnetic speaker with a 45
Manufacturer URL: Magnepan
Model Picture: View

Review by Scott 2.6/R ( A ) on May 23, 2004 at 11:53:03
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for the Magneplanar MG2.6R

I have had

Maggies since 1985.I upgraded to the 2.6's in 1995 and so have lived with this model for more than 9 years.

It is a difficult speaker to set up in the room to extract its best performance,that being said it is well worth the effort.

The 2.6's most obvious strengths are its immediacy and its see through transparency into the music,transporting the musicians into your listening room.

When properly set up it couples to the room to produce a huge open sounstage which blooms forward of the speaker plane and at the sane time creates the illusion of great depth behind the speaker plane.

I believe its strenghs come from its true ribbon and its design is unique in the Maggie family in that it extends down to 1000 hz and covers most of the midrange as well as the upper frequencies(its predesessor-the 2.5 has the same design but with a different crossover)The result is a pure midrange that sounds very close to the Quad 63 but a little less dark,with the music conveyed with an emotional connection to the artist which often raises goosebumps.It is the reason why I have kept these speakers for so long.I have demoed many great speakers but none have tempted me except for the Apogee Duetta Signature which has more bass slam.

I have performed two modifications to the speakers in the last year or so both which have surprised me in the magnitude of their benefits.The first was to bypass the fuse and connector plate and crimp my speaker cables directly to the leads coming from the speakers' crossovers.Results-increase in resoltion especially at lower volumes,big increase in dynamic shifts within the music,smoother midrange and reduced grain in the upper freq.this tweak was performed only after consideration that I had not blown any fuses protecting the ribbon and should only be done if your amplifier produces lots of CLEAN power with no clipping at higher volumes.The second mod was to replace the stock stands with the after market MYE stands.Again I was astounded at the level of improvement to the speaker.The most obvious benefit is the extension of the bass.Anyone considering a sub should save some money and try the MYE stands,the desire to get a sub vanished with the stands.The bass is also more detailed with easy to follow bass lines.I had heard about the better bass performance,I was not expecting the improvement in image focus.What I thought was a Maggie trait-diffuse sound field is not a trait but rather a design flaw in their stock stand.The flaw lies in the fact that the majority of the panel is unsupported in the vertical plane and excursions caused by the bass panel movement also cause the speaker to sway back and forth where it should be inert.The result with the MYE stands which hold the panel rigidly,is a great increase in image focus in the soundstage,more detail and again better dynamics.

I would like to add that I believe I have yet to realize the full potential of this speaker as every time I upgrade a component in my system the 2.6's reveal more of the music.For me it is a world class speaker that although not long in production should be a design that Magnepan should revisit.It is easier to drive than the 3.6 and has a simpler XO network,its biggest asset is a true ribbon covering most of the midrange and we all know how we feel about that ribbon!

Jim Winey once said at an audio show that the 2.6 was one of his favorite designs and that it produces magic!It has for me for 9 years and I am about to take it further with top quality components to replace the stock XO as well as high quality internal wiring.I can't believe it can get any better!

Product Weakness: stock stands,difficult to setup to extract its best performance

stock XO parts

Product Strengths: Immediacy and transparency,an "in the room with the artist"

3D huge sounstage with a lifelike bloom to the music

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Aragon mk II
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Transvalve class
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Oracle/OL250/Dynavector DV-20X Sony DVD/Space Tech Lab DAC
Speakers: Magnepan 2.6/R
Cables/Interconnects: Acostic Zen Hologram/Harmonic Tech
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Acoustic pop,World Music,Flamenco,Folk
Room Size (LxWxH): 15' x 14' x 8'
Room Comments/Treatments: Homemade absortion panels at side first reflextion points and behind listening position
Time Period/Length of Audition: 9 years
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): upgraded eagle outlets
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner
Your System (if other than home audition): same

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Topic - REVIEW: Magnepan Magneplanar MG2.6R Speakers - Scott 2.6/R 11:53:03 05/23/04 ( 9)