Welcome! Need support, you got it. Or share your ideas and experiences.
There have been many discussions here about what to use for a center channel. Here is my 2 cents. First I now believe a center speaker is a better choice than the phantom. I have taken apart my downstairs setup to prove this to myself. I had a pair of 1.5s' down there and mmgs' upstair using the phantom center in both places and thought that it was fine. Reading about Maggie centers just didn't do it for me. Now if I were to use a cc5 may have changed my mind but far to expensive. As an experiment I brought the 1.5s' upstairs and used one of the mmgs' for a center. What a huge difference. Movies just exploded in your face. The match was simply spot on.
Now what to do for downstairs? I guess buy another mmg or sell the one channel I have left over. If anyone may be interested let me know. All replies will be emailed to me.
This is not an add to sell just seeing if there be an interest before listing it somewhere.
I wonder how necessary the center speaker of a tri-center center is. Is a tri-center a lot better than a dual center, which I seem to recall Magnepan recommending in the past before they made a center channel speaker?
you may be missing the point and at the same time spending more to get less. A tri-center creates, in some respects the same problems you have with using phantom center and using a dual center, ditto. Using an mmg is cheaper than any center they sell and you get a full range speaker. Wendel even suggest a tri-center using the cc5 which costs 3 times a single mmg.
ps: sometimes less is more;
profpaul has answered most of you, and doing so hit the nail on the head. Also the mmgs' match very well with the 1.5s', which is a top priority.
As for my placing of the mains, the mg1cs' are made to mount on the wall. Can you get any closer to the wall than that? When I asked Wendell if they are made any different to be able to sound as good against a wall, well I never got an answer other than the brackets. Personally I don't think they are made any different. After hearing my wife complain about having to walk around the speakers I decided to take a shot at hanging them on the wall. They were great. So basically Magnepan is getting more than $300 for a bracket to mount the mgmc1 instead of the mmg.
As far as saving me money, yeah they build the best pair of speakers for $600. However they will agree that the center speaker to match stinks and are asking us to go with a dual center or a tri-center K-ching.
All that said, I am not worthy to strip the wires for any of his setups. He is a brilliant man and the life and blood of Magnepan, for that he deserves all of our thanks.
To sum it up, I'm just a man that has spending limits and I am not afraid to try things on my own.
Check out Magnepan's tri-center -- center channel reproduced by three speakers, two on-walls and a dedicated center. Those who have heard it are enthusiastic about what it does to the sound.
What did you do for your processor?
What model is it and how did you set it up?
Does the 3 speaker setup also work well for music?
As far as the tri-center,costs more money and my room would be a bit to tight to fit all that in. There has been quite a few concerns with a tri-center. As stated I used an mmg for the center with 1.5s' as the r and l.
The sound blows me away. I do not use the center for music. My processor is in my receiver a Marantz 7002. Once you set the front speakers as small will not allow you to switch off the sub. If you choose large speaker and sub to no the sub is turned off. Basically unless you use a hi priced pro like Diller uses, his setup will not work. One thing about Magnepan, they think we have a bottomless wallet.
OK, I finally got the MMG re-grilled and now in my set up. Hard to see it in this photo but I used black grill and placed it under my TV. It is actually sitting on the Denon receiver on four Vibrapods. I have it leaning slightly so there is a bit of an upward tilt. I used 2 other Vibrapods as "bumpers" to keep the speakers from touching the glass shelves. There is nothing on the shelf directly behind the MMG so sound can reflect off the back wall. I think that helps...who knows...???
What you see are my MG 3.6's R and L and the MMG in the center. My rears are refurbished MG III's that I have facing each other (almost 90 deg to the wall). Can't explain why, but it works great. Got the idea from one of the Planar inmates...I don't even remember who. I have four Hsu Research HRSW 10's - 2 up front and 2 in back in a four corner config.
Sound is unbelievable at the sweet spot. Just excellent off center...plenty good enough for folks sitting on the sofa. We'ved watched a few movies and I can tell you that I have had a few "over the shoulder" looks from my children to see if they were hearing things.
I know that Maggies are not supposed to work in HT...but I beg to differ...
Very nice looking system, and Congratulations for producing children whom you trust in the same room with nice gear! Those amps, sitting out all nice and pretty on the floor, would rapidly become home to Lego wars in my abode :)
More on topic, I built home-brew open baffle center and surrounds to go with the Magnepan mains. They are 4" mids and Dayton planar tweeters. They match surprisingly well, though not perfect. No bass at all of course. I tried the MMGW wall-mount setup, but they sounded painfully thin and miserable.
It's a bit tough to see in the crummy picture, but I have a rear-projection setup with a screen which pulls down in front of the fireplace. 1.7's on either side of the fireplace, center on the hearth. Surrounds are not visible. The room is huge, about 20x30 with 11ft ceilings, but pulls double duty as family room / home theatre room. With the creen retracted, it's not too terribly ugly.
The children know that I can always get to their 529's in case of damage!
Very nice home brew indeed.
I have always found the mags to be finicky if too close to a wall (thus my skepticism toward MMGW's) and I assume a similar effect if enclosed eg within a stereo cabinet. That is why I had considered some type of mount that would extend the MMG out from the wall. Just my luck, the TV stand I have are open shelves so when the MMG is sitting just in front of the stand, I can make sure there is nothing in back of them. I assume the shelves have some sonic effect, but doesn't seem to be a big issue.
That's a impressive photo there!
I've been trying to figue out a good center channel solution to my HT when I happened to come across this stream. I was on the verge of purchasing either a CC3 or MMGW's, but now I am glad that I come across Joe's (and others) suggestion of using a single MMG. My prior setup was Paradigm Studio CC but it never mated to the MG 3.6's very well. I also had studio 20's in the rears which again sounds great if using all box speakers but left something lacking with the MG's. My old set of MG III's had a brief trial at the rears pointed directly at the primary listening seat. Unfortunately it was way too bright in that configuration. So I was back to the studio CC and studio 20's. As it turned out I saw this thread about the same time I saw another post describing the sounds of a 2 channel MG system with the speakers firing at each other (perpendicular to the listening axis!). I purchased the MMG from Joe. I had all sorts of ideas for a center mount but while I was brainstorming I had to temporarily set up the MMG center and bingo, I came up with the position above the receiver. Works great and all for the price of a few Vibrapods lying around.
So now about the rears. I thought that the problem may have to do with the sofa blocking some of the bass frequencies coming from the MG III's. The ribbons are positioned higher and would not be as effected by the "proper" speaker position. So on the second attempt, I positioned the speakers firing at each other - nearly perpendicular to the back wall. I put the ribbons right next to the back wall so the woofers would be outboard. My room is wider than it is deep, so the side walls are a good 5-7 ft away. I thought in this configuration, the woofers would have a chance to breathe and open up. Voila...crazy sounding MG III rears.
After reading these posts, I think I will try the MMG horizontal but I will try a flat screen TV mount above my RPTV that I can extend out 27" and tilt/swivel. That will give me some room to experiment. I get the sense that horizontal near the floor is not a good option.
I need to figure out how to make a braket for the MMG so I can attach to the TV mount.
I actually used 1 of my MG1 IMP's for a center for a while, and it worked great. I tried it after I was unsatisfied with maggie centers. I mounted mine from the ceiling on hinges, and used wire to adjust the angle. I now just run dual front speakers (MG3a's and MG1 IMP's) and together they create a huge enough sound stage that I don't need a center. I think that MMG's are a much better choice than the maggie centers if you have the room.
Like your setup. Thanks for splitting the pair of MMG's with me. I'll let you know hao it sounds. What are you using for a stand?
About using a vertical vs. horizontal MMG for the center, I would expect horizonal to be better for HT use.
Partly this is because a lot of the reason to have a center is to expand the soundstage. Maggies, especially MMGs, change sound pretty dramatically when one stands up. By staying horizontal, the center could be aimed at a couch and 3 people seated could enjoy something resembling a sweet spot. You would not get this using an MMG vertically; I wouldn't expect it to sound great even on either side of the couch.
A second reason is practical. There isn't enough room for a vertical MMG, monitor, and sound equipment in most of our living rooms. Horizontal is likely much easier to fit.
Looks like a fun setup!
Joe, this is not a normal approach, just something that worked grandly for me despite being my only choice. It probably is not practical for you because, if you had the space, you probably would have separated the Maggies from the walls long ago. Anyway, here it goes in case it helps:
My MMGs are 4ft away from the wall behind them, and 2ft from the sides (room 12x25). What is not "normal accepted practice" is that the equipment rack AND the flat TV are in the middle between the Maggies. It was not a choice, it had to be that way, for which I am kind of lucky.
Aside from other virtues that I discovered with this forced positioning, a center speaker is not needed here. In fact, I no longer have one. I watch movies in surround mode but tell the Denon receiver that there is no center. Works like charm. For stereo music, the center is solid and as deep as it is behind the speaker & outer sides. The whole back wall is erased along with all the hardware, including the Maggies. The side walls often do a similar stealth act.
This applies as long as the TV is at the same plane or very slightly behind the plane of the MMGs. The equipment rack on which it rests is open on the back (though I added a thin perforated insulation for bass/imaging fine tuning).
At first, I had doubts that this setup was what caused the great center I enjoy, along with other goodies. In the past couple of years, in other places, trying it has never failed to deliver a solid center for Maggies. I am not talking about a phantom center or a floating center. This is just as solid as if it came from a Maggie; and with as much depth of imaging.
EDIT: I just recalled that a pair of MMGs (with equipment rack & TV in middle) did pretty much a good center DESPITE being 1 foot from the wall. [Imaging depth was not impressive but it was better than many box speakers. In fact, this was in the lobby at a dealer's place. A guy walked in with one of his Def Tech speakers (dipoles) for a repair. I let him sit were I was listening to some of my own music. He was very impressed with the imaging of these MMGs which were new out of the box.]
Have you considered moving the gear out of there (between speakers) and positioning the MMG vertically ?
Just wondering how that would sound?
One thing I know about Wendell is that he's obsessed with keeping costs low, in fact, his favorite words when I suggest something are "too expensive." I gather he used the Bryston processor because it happened to work, not much they can do if another processor won't work with it. There's been some talk on the Bryston forum about Bryston offering a dedicated processor which would presumably be less expensive since it would repurpose the old model. It had occurred to me that you might use less expensive or older models to do a tri-center, but, of course, if that doesn't work out for you, it doesn't make sense.
Post a Followup:
Post a Message!
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: