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Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs

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Posted on December 15, 2016 at 08:54:30
Muggsy
Audiophile

Posts: 4
Location: OH
Joined: December 15, 2016
Per the subject line, I am seeking advice from the inmates on upgrading my current pair of 3.6Rs by adding subwoofers or buying a pair of new 3.7Is or buying a pair of used 20.1s. Which would you recommend? Any and all input is appreciated!

EDIT - Sorry, I should have included room size to begin with: it is 26' long, 18' wide with 8' ceilings. Thanks again, and please keep your suggestions coming!

 

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RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 15, 2016 at 09:44:58
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
If you're able to determine that the used 20.1 is in perfect operation condition, that would be my choice. (Naturally you would have to own the electronics capable of driving them.)

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 15, 2016 at 12:14:45
grantv
Manufacturer

Posts: 4808
Location: B.C.
Joined: January 15, 2002
To some degree it would depend on the room size. If large enough to support 20 series (which 3 series are not far from re room requirements), I'd consider the 20.1's.
Honestly though, considering the 20.1's will be used, and possibly have issues down the road, are more costly to fix... I'd go with 3.6's and subs (crazy coincidence, I have 3.6's and subs).
Another option would be used TY-IVA's if you can find them, and have the room/amps to support them. Now we're talkin'

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 15, 2016 at 16:09:51
Muggsy
Audiophile

Posts: 4
Location: OH
Joined: December 15, 2016
Thanks, grantv. I see in your profile that you have REL Strata III subs. Any others that you would recommend or are you happy with those?

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 15, 2016 at 16:12:43
Muggsy
Audiophile

Posts: 4
Location: OH
Joined: December 15, 2016
Yeah, I have been leaning toward the 20.1's so far. It's just been a challenge to find any available within driving distance or someone that is capable of shipping such monsters.

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 15, 2016 at 17:32:46
grantv
Manufacturer

Posts: 4808
Location: B.C.
Joined: January 15, 2002
I'm happy with them as they draw no attention to themselves, only supplementing/reinforcing the bottom end. They're older now however, so unsure how easy to find. The old Vandersteen sub was also popular years ago.
Check around here for other recommendations; Rhythmik, newer REL...

 

RE: Any and all input is appreciated! ..., posted on December 15, 2016 at 18:39:03
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
I would say - as I've just done this ... add a pair of sealed subs! You also need an active XO so you can roll off the bass panels to match the subs' roll-off (to reduce distortion). Your room size determines whether a pair of 12 inchers will do ... or you really need 15" drivers. My room is 19' x 12' x 9' high; my 'sub guy' advised me - given my love of organ music - to choose 15" drivers (Dayton Ultimax in 150l sealed cabinets, powered by an 800w Hypex plate amp) ... and I am very glad he did! My organ music could not sound better. :-))

The only thing I would add is that the best marrying of subs to any speakers - but, I suspect, particularly panels - is to be able to use DSP to delay either the Maggies or the subs, to time-align them. In my case, a miniDSP unit provides the XO between bass panels and subs ... as well as the XOs between bass panels 7 mid panels, and mid panels & ribbons. (I run my Maggies 3-way active.) delay is just one of the things a miniDSP unit provides - as is EQ for troublesome room modes.


Andy


BTW, I know people who have 20.Xs who also have subs.


Regards,
Andy

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 15, 2016 at 19:51:34
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 13584
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
agree with the others plus- what size is your room? that's 'the' most important factor IMO. I have MG20s in a 18X20' room along with a REL Strata II. But the sub is rarely -if ever running. Two Emotiva XPA-1s pump the bottom bass panels to the point where the bass gets quite deep and full. The kettle drum on the first track of the Dances with wolves CD ("looks like suicide") reaches so deep you'll think the musician along with his drum snuck' down into your basement while you weren't watching (ask Pictureguy).




 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 15, 2016 at 20:19:06
neolith
Audiophile

Posts: 3763
Location: Virginia
Joined: February 21, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
December 2, 2004
From my experience: When I listened to the 20.1's for the first time at the dealer I was overwhelmed by the bass. Not wanting to shell out the bucks I compromised and added a Rel Strata III to my IIIa's. This definitely helped but the 20.1 without sub was superior in my mind. Eventually I went to the 3.7i, keeping the Rel Strata. The 3.7i is much more coherent than what I had but the bass response is not all that different than the IIIa. Since you are looking for improved bass, I would go with the 20.1 rather than the 3.7i plus sub. However I would strongly recommend actively biamping the 20.1 to get maximum performance. If you need that very bottom octave, like AndyR and his organ music, then add a sub to the 20.1 as well. If, OTOH, you are looking for a more integrated sound, then the 3.7i is a great choice although the 20.1 is not a slouch in that department.
Whatever you do, do not skimp on power --see the discussion below.



I married the perfect woman. The downside is everything that goes wrong is my fault.



 

Nothing like Bach's Passacaglia in C minor to rattle the dishes. -nt, posted on December 15, 2016 at 20:29:44
neolith
Audiophile

Posts: 3763
Location: Virginia
Joined: February 21, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
December 2, 2004




I married the perfect woman. The downside is everything that goes wrong is my fault.



 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 16, 2016 at 03:14:38
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
I've found a sweet combination between the 3.7i and a Hsu Research ULS-15 Mk 2 (centered between my Maggies). If you aren't sure about upgrading your Maggies, you may just want to try out a good subwoofer first. Unless prices have changed recently, the Hsu Research subs can currently be purchased for under $1000 each.

As a Maggie owner you already know how much room size, front/back wall distance, toe-in, acoustic treatments and amplification will impact your sound. These are also considerations for any speaker/sub combination. Note: Mye stands are also recommended for whichever Maggies you end up keeping.

My experience with 3.7i has been that using a well designed sub just to support the lowest octave ...without bi-amping or insinuating an active crossover network between the speakers and sub... eliminates the need for two subwoofers (directionality isn't as much of an issue under 40 hz). In fact, stereo subs can be overkill (unless you choose a high cut-off point), but again it depends on the other factors mentioned.

Mid sized (3 series) Maggies don't produce a lot of bass in a large room below 40hz, so setting the sub cut off just above that will usually provide a nice full top to bottom musical presentation (all other factors considered). Hsu Research sub controls provide good flexibility.

Everyone listens to music differently, so my rig may not suit another Maggie owner's personal tastes, but this is what works for me.

Cheers,
AuPh

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 16, 2016 at 04:59:07
Muggsy
Audiophile

Posts: 4
Location: OH
Joined: December 15, 2016
Sorry, I should have included room size to begin with: it is 26' long, 18' wide with 8' ceilings. Thanks again, and please keep your suggestions coming!

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 16, 2016 at 05:04:40
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 13584
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
a room that size; without a doubt the big Maggie, you will NOT regret it.


 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 16, 2016 at 10:32:58
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
My room is a bit larger than Muggsy's given the third dimension (22x22x20) and the 3.7i easily fills this listening environment without any strain supported with the ULS-15 providing solid bass underpinning. Having the right amplification matters, of course (Sanders Magtech amp is a gem), but there are a number of great amps recommended for Maggies each with their own distinctive flavor.

Naturally the 20.1 will provide deeper bass extension without augmentation, but probably won't go quite as deep as a good sub that's integrated properly. Of course, with the 20.1 having more cohesive top to bottom performance without augmentation, the extra oomph in the bottom octave may not matter.

Dollar for dollar I'm persuaded that the 3 series Maggies provide the best bang for buck, but I'm assessing this based on my own experience in a specific listening environment with all the parameters matched to satisfy my personal listening tastes.

It all comes down to an individual's hearing and listening preferences.

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 16, 2016 at 10:57:00
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
I never felt my 3.6 could in any way substitute for my Tympani IV-A. In fact I felt it to be rather 'wimpy'. (20 X 20 X 9 feet room). Bi-amping (active; 2-way Marchand or passive Magnepan XO-1 (7 Bryston 7BSTs + 1 4BSST did bupkes to improve matters.)

 

RE: Any and all input is appreciated! ..., posted on December 16, 2016 at 11:08:01
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
How about time delay if surrounded by four 20.Xs in a MC system or maybe even a Dolby Atmos set-up (5.1.4 or 7.1.4) ? There you might need to get some speakers up on the ceiling :-).

Its been posted here that listeners used Maggie DWM unit(s) to augment the bass of 20.X speakers

 

RE: Maggie DWM unit(s) to augment the bass of 20.X speakers ..., posted on December 16, 2016 at 12:56:01
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
The Oz Maggie importer told me that DWMs are better for pressuring the room better at the same bass frequencies that 20.Xs go down to ... not for adding an octave downwards. (IE. multiple bass drivers located in different places in the room, smooth out the peaks.)

For augmenting the bass response of the 20.Xs, Bill uses subs.

Andy

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 16, 2016 at 13:15:48
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4222
Joined: July 6, 2002
A more recent 20.1 will give you long life and musical prosperity. A post 2005 one should last an indeterminate time in excess of 20 year The older 20.1s start suffering from delam at 15 to 20 years or not at all, depending on how they were housed. Humidity control and protection from direct sunlight will do the trick to avoid delam.

The 20.1 is a true high end full range speaker and out details, out dynamics out bases and generally wipes the floor with the 3.x models. The push pull bass and midrange are a tremendous upgrade over the 3.x and that is complemented by a better tweeter as well. Having redone my Tympani IV with a push pull midrange I think just that alone does more than enough to justify moving up from a 3.x.

If your room and budget extend to one then a 20.1 is my choice. And by a clear margin. And I do think you would want to biamp before putting money into subs. DWM augmentation spreads out the bass nodes to provide more uniform bass. You will also want to enhance the frame with good bracing like Mye stands.

Another thing to consider if you can live with the sheer size of the thing and willing to do some DIY work is a magnepan Tympani IV or IVa with the mids replaced with a line array of BG Neo8 drivers and the crossover modified to accommodate the extra performance of the new mids - biamp is very necessary in this case. The big plus is having the mid/tweeter units in a separate frame from the bass panels so avoiding the IMD. 2nd is that the drivers can be time aligned which contributes remarkably to imaging. Then finally, the twin bass panels have a midbass impact that is quite unique to this design.

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 16, 2016 at 15:09:16
ahendler
Audiophile

Posts: 4734
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Joined: January 24, 2003
Contributor
  Since:
January 14, 2010
I am just curious. How do you guys biamp the 3.7's with there series xover? Are you replacing the crossover? That is why I keep my 3.6's and don't get 3.7's
Alan

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 16, 2016 at 18:57:48
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4222
Joined: July 6, 2002
That is why so few have done it. Unfortunately those who have did not tell us how they managed the XO reconfiguration.

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 17, 2016 at 00:32:09
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
I've never heard the Tympani IV-A, so there's no reference point. The 3.7i doesn't sound wimpy to my ears in the system I've set-up, but they probably would sound thinner without the Hsu Research subwoofer. I consider that lower octave underpinning integral to listening pleasure. No amount of amplification, bi-amping and room treatments can make Maggies go lower than their design parameters.

Of course, your experience may be entirely different. I'm sure that our listening rooms are different and there's no accounting for individual hearing (your hearing may be far better than mine).

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 17, 2016 at 00:35:09
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
I have no desire to bi-amp, I've bought enough amps. ;O)

Cheers,
AuPh

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 17, 2016 at 08:19:24
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
Although there might be a germ of truth in your comment about bi-amping, owning a 3.7i which natively can't be bi-amped, you are unable to read Magnepan's comment regarding same as seen in their 3.6R and Tympani IV-A instruction manuals. It's Magnepan's opinion that the advantage of bi-amping is "increased dynamic range and lower distortion", so there now you have it.

Perhaps needless to add, no listener in their right mind could think that bi-amping either the 3.6R or Tympani IV-A could make them go lower than their "design parameters".

Most likely my hearing is far worse than yours, since it's likely that I'm older than you are and have listening to one Tympani or another for nearly 50 years. My Tympani 1-Cs were virtually indestructible and during my early listening years, I played them quite LOUD.

 

RE: Any and all input is appreciated! ..., posted on December 17, 2016 at 08:40:00
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
I feel certain that which have posted is quite true, mainly that marrying subs to any speaker is quite advantageous. After first getting my Tympani IV-As, I went to my dealer telling him that I'd like to buy some subs for them. Jokingly he replied (more or less) 'what for your IV-As ARE subs'. Of course we know that's untrue, but I took to mean that I had more than enough bass energy in my listening room and didn't need speakers which could provide added, but even lower frequency bass information. Since he was willing to give up on this potential sale of subs, I dropped the matter and never returned to it.

An audio buddy of mine had Tympani III-As plus a very tall sub, all installed and set-up by a prominent audio guru. Playing genres of music which interested us, I couldn't decide if they added very much. Naturally we compared the sound with subs on/off. I recall having to place my palm on the subs to make sure they were indeed playing.

(It comes to me now, said "guru" was Mel Schilling, http://www.xhifi.com/index.php?section=about&subsection=melbio)

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 17, 2016 at 12:40:28
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
I have no desire to get into a debate over the benefits of bi-amping, but it seems clear that Magnepan's research team implimented design changes they considered advantageous to the sound of the 3.7 making bi-amping either perfunctory or undesirable.

While the manufacturer suggests that bi-amping may offer advantages to earlier lines that allowed for experimentation, the benefits have to be evaluated on a case by case basis, taking into account the possibility of introducing less desirable variations in top to bottom performance that would not occur with a single source of amplification. That said, implimentation of any modification will determine it's value based on a range of acoustical factors, not the least of which is the experimenter's listening environment and hearing.

I've owned many systems over the years, only moving to Magnepan the last few years. I'd auditioned Maggies back in the late 90's (1.6) and was not moved by their top to bottom presentation. Given the associated gear and listening room that demonstration left me with an impression of sterility rather than musicality. I ended up continuing my quest settling on early versions of Gallo Reference speakers augmented with a massive Velodyne sub.

Fast forward 16 years. I was motivated to audition Maggies again (this time 3.7i) as my then current Gallo Reference 3A speakers failed to achieve engaging musical experience after moving to a larger home and availing myself of a larger livelier listening room.

After thoroughly auditioning a key selling point of the 3.7i was the speaker 's smoother top to bottom integration. This speaker wasn't designed for bi-amplification. Could the 3.7i benefit from it? I have no idea, but once installed these speakers didn't leave me wanting more or curious about missing potential. They integrate well in my listening environment with a well designed no nonsense sub that disappears into the sound field. Top to bottom musicality is reward enough.

Keep in mind that I'm not opposed to experimentation with this fascinating speaker line. Maggies have a well earned reputation with the hobbiest as being infinitely adaptable and I'd never criticize those who are confident that they can draw more out of them performance-wise.

For me though, it's all about enjoyment of music, and when fiddling is desired, making those adjustments through front end gear (tube rolling). I have no concerns about the power driving these speakers. The Sanders Magtech amp is ideally suited to the 3.7i ...a heavenly marriage of sorts... And the Hsu Research ULS-15 sub integrates well, in fact, much better with the Maggies than their predecessors.

Your system is quite impressive. I'm very pleased with mine. It may not be the best out there, but it makes me happy. I'm not a DIY'er or technically proficient experimenter. Of the two of us, you may indeed be the elder statesman, but unless you entered the world prior to Ike's presidency as I did, we can quit measuring.

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 17, 2016 at 13:08:41
macmagman
Audiophile

Posts: 441
Location: NW Indiana
Joined: October 17, 2010
I started my Maggie adventure with a set of 3.3's and now have 20.1's. Ive had the same sub with both, a velodyne DD15, which blends perfectly with the Maggies. I have also advanced into the world of bi-amping with the 20.1's, I am using a Magtech for the bass and an ESL for the mid-high.

I can say for sure B-amping made a huge difference, and since doing so I view having the sub as an option, but it still does make a difference I like to use the term it adds the floor to the music.Even bi-amping doesn't give you that bottom end that comes from having a sub.

 

RE: Even bi-amping doesn't give you that bottom end that comes from having a sub ..., posted on December 17, 2016 at 14:59:51
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
Spot on! :-))

A conductor in Texas who I corresponded with a few years ago was biamping his 20.1s but felt the need to add a pair of subs, so he could hear the sort of meaty orchestral music he heard on the podium.

Having recently added subs to my 3-way Maggies I am loving - as you say - the extra floor to the music! :-)) 16hz organ tones are a revelation!

Andy

 

RE: Mmmm, I suspect you won't contemplate Mye stands, either. ..., posted on December 17, 2016 at 15:03:06
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
After all, Magnepan don't make them so they are of doubtful benefit - right? (In terms of increasing SQ.)

Andy

 

RE: Mmmm, I suspect you won't contemplate Mye stands, either. ..., posted on December 17, 2016 at 15:28:39
macmagman
Audiophile

Posts: 441
Location: NW Indiana
Joined: October 17, 2010
Mye stands were never an option;

I had a set day 1, so I don't know how much of a difference they made, I only knew that they would.

 

RE: I didn't start with them ..., posted on December 17, 2016 at 15:38:04
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000

I added them (well, not exactly Mye stands - braced stands of my own design:






So I was able to hear the advantage they made.

Andy

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 17, 2016 at 16:49:15
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
Even before Ike served as President of Columbia University. So shall we therefore return to measuring, I think not. All I ever said was that my 3.6R always sounded wimpy when compared to my T IV-A (and under the same exact conditions). I never listened to a 3.7/i.

 

Uhhh, that was a pun (bi/buy), posted on December 18, 2016 at 02:25:36
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000

Sorry, I thought the "buy amp" jest was pretty obvious (my bad). That said, I have several amps stored away that haven't been used in years. My wife reminds me about this often.

BTW, I recommended Mye stands earlier in this thread.

Cheers,
AuPh

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 18, 2016 at 02:53:44
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
No offense was intended. You've got a few years on me, but neither of us were born yesterday when it comes to appreciating good audio gear.

I've never auditioned the 3.6R, but if you say they sound wimpy compared to your Tympani IV-A I have no reason to doubt your informed opinion. All I can speak to are those speakers driven by the associated gear I've mentioned in the listening environment described within the context of my own hearing strengths and weaknesses.

Again, no offense was ever intended.

Regards,
AuPh

 

RE: Excellent!! ..., posted on December 18, 2016 at 03:36:16
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
I take back every nasty thing I said about you. :-))

Andy

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 19, 2016 at 11:12:23
E-Stat
Audiophile

Posts: 23968
Joined: May 12, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
April 5, 2002
I've heard both the 20.1 and 3.7 in the same room driven by superlative electronics. Both are excellent choices.

The 20.1 provides a truly full range experience while the 3.7 offers improved coherency and low level resolution. Presumably, the 20.7 would provide both.

As a coherence freak, I would likely choose supplementing a pair of 3.7s with a pair of subs.

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 19, 2016 at 11:51:53
timm
Audiophile

Posts: 144
Location: Ann Arbor Mi
Joined: January 15, 2008
Yah... I think the 20.7 does provide both.... I think it is an amazing speaker.... I went to listen ..... and couldn't break away.... for over 3 hrs.... I only left out of embarrassment and the meter out front was running out.... and now I scrimp and save.... scrimp and save..... :) ...

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on December 19, 2016 at 13:39:38
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
Excellent point. While subs may not be required for the 20 series to produce a wonderfully grand musical presentation in a properly set-up listening room of moderate to large size, a good coherent subwoofer system would be a prudent investment for mid-sized and smaller Maggies. Subwoofers, when positioned to maximize their benefit, can be a game changer. A well positioned subwoofer system should be capable of alleviating any perceived thinness not correctable through room treatments.

That said, I'm not convinced that two subs are an absolute necessity to achieve coherency for 3 series (dependent upon room size and acoustics) as the natural low bass roll-off of mid-sized Magneplaners can be finely tuned to match a single, centered, sealed box sub of sufficient power and size (15" or larger) positioned between the main speakers. Also, this can be achieved without an active crossover. If the sub's cut-off is set low enough to match the Maggie's lowest bass output any perceived distortion from overlap should be negligable. Note: To my ears the lowest octave isn't noticeably directional; other's mileage may vary.

Some folks recommend active crossovers between Maggie bass panels and sub(s). If utilizing two subs (esp. modestly powered subs under 15") with 3 series or smaller Maggies and setting the subwoofer's high cut-off point above 50-55 Hz this would probably be advantageous as the transition to mid-bass (above 62 Hz) is where sounds get much more directional. I can certainly see the benefits of an active crossover in a variety of settings dependent upon the frequency range and output of the main speakers. This is where experimenting can often pay big dividends.

Note: My assessment is not intended as an argument for or against anyone else's experience. I respect everyone's viewpoints and perceptions.

Cheers,
AuPh

 

Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on December 20, 2016 at 22:16:26
Magnepans launch a tall bass wave shape the height of the speaker.

Subs are short, and launch a short wave that shows up as an image discontinuity in the bass region that I notice.

There is very little info below 25 to 30 Hz, that adds much to the musical content IMO.

And you have standing waves in the room. Also EQ correction that smooths frequency response, screws with phase, delay, etc. and wrecks the sound purity.

Subs are not for purists!

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on December 21, 2016 at 11:05:04
topjetboy@yahoo.com
Audiophile

Posts: 1
Location: massachusetts
Joined: December 17, 2016
I was thinking about the same problem. When a wave from the sub hits the Maggie membrane it will cause waves that will interfere with the waves the Maggie is trying to make. No way to avoid this, right?

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on December 21, 2016 at 19:09:26
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4222
Joined: July 6, 2002
Yrs, and it will make little difference to the maggie. If it were producing that bass itself then you would have much bigger IMD than from a detached subwoofer. Besides that, the bottom octave of maggies distorts heavily with high output and shakes the whole speaker. So if a subwoofer is something you would like, then get one, or better yet 2 and take some of the bass load off the maggie. Once you carefully integrated the subs you should have better clarity from the high passed speaker.

 

"Optimal" is in individual owner's set-up & room configuration., posted on December 23, 2016 at 11:07:55
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30021
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000

Subwoofer positioning is as critical to achieving good integration as positioning the owner's Maggies. Some folks like deep bass. The only way I'm aware that low bass (bottom octave) can be achieved in a Magneplanar based system is through the addition of a well positioned sub that integrates well with room and speakers.

My 3.7i system utilizes a front firing 15" sub (Hsu Reseach) positioned between my Maggies. It integrates well in a large, lively listening room (22x22x20, vaulted ceiling). My sub integrates well; in this size room configuration the system wouldn't be optimal without it. I'd welcome demoing this set-up for any verifiable Planar Asylum board regular living in the D/FW area. Note: This photo is over a year old, but not much has changed. My user profile should be up to date.

Cheers,
AuPh

 

I own 3.6. I would never buy a sub, or 2. I WOULD maybe buy a pair of 20.7 though., posted on December 24, 2016 at 14:45:56
3+4=5
Audiophile

Posts: 422
Location: Midwest
Joined: December 24, 2016
I have an average to small apartment.
My 3.6 are just right.
I fantasize about maybe buying 20.7.
And that would really be for better clarity in the mids, and only a little for better bass. Rather for better definition in the bass, rather than more of it.
My current Bryston 4B-SST˛would have to handle the workload of 20.7

In my experience subwoofers just never integrate well enough. Get the sub right for one kind of music, then it is not right for some other sort.
Good for small Classical or Jazz? then it sucks for Rock. and vice versa.
I just totally gave up on subwoofers.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on December 24, 2016 at 19:48:26
jrdoe
Audiophile

Posts: 85
Joined: April 14, 2015
I have 2 Rel Strata Subs. Their recommended setup is to take the signal directly from the speaker posts of the amp, rather than from a low pass crossover in the pre. I also have a an LDR preamp. Supposedly, this is better... Debatable, I know...

I'm going to try this for myself, but I'm curious on your thoughts of using a Parasound P5 with the high and low bypass options vs my current setup with full signal frequencies going to both subs and Maggie 1.7's.

Better off giving the Maggies a break on the low end despite the supposed differences with a better pre?

Also, I'd be switching from balanced to unbalanced cabling if I used the Parasound in this setup.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on December 24, 2016 at 19:54:12
Satie
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Joined: July 6, 2002
I think you should give the preamp's sub management a chance. It is far cheaper to implement a sub crossover at line level than go through a sub's features where you are running extra circuitry to do the same job. just use the sub's unfiltered line inputs from the Parasound's sub out and set the Rel at its highest freq. The manual has the details for the Rel as to how to do it.
I should add that there is a fixed low pass that will still be engaged in the REL via the line inputs and it has a significant group delay which sometimes makes the integration difficult..

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on December 24, 2016 at 20:01:56
pictureguy
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Posts: 7086
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
IMO, the key, or at least a few of the key items in subs and maggies are as follows.

Low cut the panels. This removes some of the stress to the amp while the panels don't do well for much of their lowest octave, anyway.

Crossover TO sub below the HP crossover of the panels. This leaves a small 'gap' between the subs highest and panels LOWest frequencies.
This is good, since done Right, they SUM FLAT thru the crossover region.

Adjust phase as needed.

Experiment with sub placement is critical, too. And may change the crossover frequencies needed for proper integration.

After I did the above, ALL muddiness was gone and everything from Pipe Organ and a Bosendorfer Imperial Grand sounded right all the way to the nuttiest movie effects.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on December 24, 2016 at 20:15:57
jrdoe
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Posts: 85
Joined: April 14, 2015
I'll give it a try and let you know. It makes sense. I don't think I've heard any difference with the LDR pre or the balanced cabling, anyway...

 

16hz organ tones are a revelation!, posted on December 31, 2016 at 20:43:42
watts
Audiophile

Posts: 339
Location: B.C.
Joined: June 30, 2004
I am not sure if my hearing goes down that low. Do you hear that or do you feel it?

So many items in the house to stop from vibrating! :)

 

RE: Do you hear that (16hz) or do you feel it? ... , posted on December 31, 2016 at 23:53:27
andyr
Manufacturer

Posts: 11419
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
Well, yes, that's an interesting question ... and I can't give you a definitive answer.

The first time I played the 16 / 12 and 8hz (filler) test tracks on this Bach organ LP, I heard nothing - even though I could see the stylus wobbling explosively from side to side.

With the new subs, I can now 'register' 16hz ... I think it is a combination of actually hearing something ... and feeling it.

But it is sensational! :-))


Andy

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 19, 2017 at 20:21:10
jrdoe
Audiophile

Posts: 85
Joined: April 14, 2015
I'm getting distortion in one channel, now. I thought I might have blow a ribbon, but the problem goes away when I turn off Dirac. Obviously, Im overdriving something after the filter is applied, but oddly, it never occurred before I tried the bas-mgmt of the P5. And it goes away when I switch back to the Hi-level settings on the sub.

It's really the opposite of what I'd expect. When I take the load (<50Hz) off the maggies, they act like they're trying to output too much bass.

Searching the internet, I did find instructions from Dirac stating to not put bas mgmt downstream of Dirac. But I can't understand why that would be. There's no way for me to use Dirac software on my Mac Mini AFTER the Parasound P5...

Any thoughts? I've probably recreated the filter 20 times. Different phase setings, volume levels of the sub. With and w/o the xover set on the P5. Higher/lower xover settings on the sub... Always the same problem.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 21, 2017 at 17:43:53
66mgb
Audiophile

Posts: 152
Location: Pioneer California
Joined: November 8, 2009
I have a REL Storm III with my 3.6's works great !!

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 22, 2017 at 11:28:31
Satie
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Posts: 4222
Joined: July 6, 2002
I don't know enough about these systems and little on the Dirac but I will try and help since nobody else is. It just seems that the P5 bass management settings are being corrected by the Dirac software, introducing two layers of departure from the Dirac performance settings 1. the room itself and 2. the parasound management settings.

You could try and set up the parasound to minimize the departure from the Dirac's target curve, but it is simpler to just use the Hi level input of the sub instead.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 22, 2017 at 12:36:49
jrdoe
Audiophile

Posts: 85
Joined: April 14, 2015
Thanks Satie. Yes, the Hi-Level is how I've been using the REL. But it's not possible to use the P5 bass mgmt with this, as the Hi-Level connects directly to the speaker posts of the amp, not the pre. So, I'll still be sending the full signal to the Maggies, which is what I was hoping to avoid.

Since Dirac is a software loaded on my Mac Mini, I go from Tidal-->Dirac-->DAC-->P5. So the P5 should be taking the corrected signal from Dirac and splitting it into the REL and Maggies when using bass mgmt. I really don't understand why it doesn't work.

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on February 22, 2017 at 14:52:30
timm
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Posts: 144
Location: Ann Arbor Mi
Joined: January 15, 2008
Honestly. I don't think you are going to get that jaw dropping 'wow' experience going from the 3.6 to the 3.7. I would really think about the 20.1. If you can find a newish pair. I love planar bass and that 20.1 is going to give it to you. It's what you really want anyway. :)

My experience with 3.6 and 3.7s after multi hour demos has been 'damn those are nice!!' I get up and go home. With the 20.1 and the 20.7 - I say 'yowza!!! Fricken A !!' I go to get up and my knees are wobbly and I hope I remembered to wear my depends. Haha.

I say buy once - not twice.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 23, 2017 at 07:50:14
Satie
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Posts: 4222
Joined: July 6, 2002
From what you describe when using the P5 bass management with the Dirac it seems that you are getting an overload of the speaker and possibly some over reach by Dirac in trying to flatten out the room.

That can be caused by the calibration measurements for Dirac when run through the P5 with your settings on the P5. Those settings may not be realistic and require lots of correction. So I suggest you optimize the P5 settings and the location of the sub and measure the FR and phase response with REW so that you do not have large corrections for Dirac to make. Then run the calibration measurements.
What you describe with the P5 in the way indicates that the mains portion of the freq spectrum is being corrected upwards to match with the sub output- which is likely being set too high on the P5.

Another option is to restrain the correction Dirac applies to the speakers to the bass fraction of the freq spectrum, say up to about 200 hz.

On a general note, the measurement of dipole speakers is not easy and setting up the measurements for the calibration you should look to average them on a squat window of about 2ft width around your listening position, not rely on a single location.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 23, 2017 at 19:24:17
jrdoe
Audiophile

Posts: 85
Joined: April 14, 2015
That all makes sense, but what I can't understand is why the mains are being overdriven at low frequencies when the P5 bass mgmt is supposedly cutting off the frequency at whatever I set it to (currently 50hz, but I tried as high as 80hz with the same results). Very strange...

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on February 23, 2017 at 20:08:46
russ69
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Posts: 901
Joined: December 13, 2009



Infinity RS1B woofer towers are a good match for large panels, just saying.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 23, 2017 at 20:40:44
josh358
Industry Professional

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Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
One way to avoid it would be to put the sub in line with the Maggies, which is generally pretty close to what you want to do anyway to keep them in phase. The sub is omnidirectional so its direct radiation will apply equal pressure to both sides of the diaphragm, meaning there will be no net effect.

Another way to minimize the effect is to keep the subs away from the Maggies to reduce the levels at the planar diaphragms a bit.

Finally, if you use a low level crossover, the Maggie's woofer will be damped electrically in the sub's range by the amplifier. Electrical damping is very effective at preventing unwanted motion in a conventional dynamic woofer, but I don't know how effective it is in the intentionally underdamped and resonant (for dipole equalization) planar woofer panels.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 24, 2017 at 09:55:13
Satie
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Posts: 4222
Joined: July 6, 2002
My best guess is that the subwoofer level you prefer gives you a higher relative output vs. the mains rather than just extending the bass an octave or two, so that when you calibrate and run Dirac it tries to undo the relative output mismatch by raising the relative output from the mains. There is also the possibility that the bass phase/location (i.e. delay) is not matching well with the mains so is producing comb filtering which requires allot of correction.

That is why I suggested measuring the results with the sub and bass management with the P5 and optimizing FR with XO, level and placement before applying Dirac.

 

RE: Seeking Advice - 20,1s, 3.7s, subs, posted on February 24, 2017 at 09:59:40
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4222
Joined: July 6, 2002
That is ultimate bass for that size room. But this coupling would be surpassed with a ML CLS, Acoustat 4 panel speakers, Sounlab A1. No reason to just use the hybrid - you just need an ESL panel to reach 100- 200 hz with good output.

 

RE: Subs are sub optimal with magenpans!, posted on February 24, 2017 at 10:33:30
jrdoe
Audiophile

Posts: 85
Joined: April 14, 2015
Hmmm. Now I think you're onto something. I'll bet it's the phase, as you mentioned. The Rel can output at 180degrees of phase. It would be great if it could change to any of the the 360degrees, so I could dial it in exactly. I'll experiment with this. Thank you!

 

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