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A note from Magnepan

32.212.76.154

Posted on March 18, 2017 at 08:21:45
josh358
Industry Professional

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Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
Wendell, who has been following the recent discussions, asked me to post this note:

I can't take time away from other tasks which are in desperate need of attention to become involved in chat room discussions. However, if any of you want to call, I would enjoy a break from the usual phone calls of what amplifier is best or how to repair a 30 year old Maggie, etc. (If you quote me, please try to be accurate. It is distressing to see my words inaccurately reported and the necessity to respond.)

Like any company, our staff would like more sales. I agree, but I point out that we should be thankful that we have survived. Business was easier in the Old Days when we had full-range planar competitors like Apogee and Acoustat. They were successful and had worldwide distribution that rivaled Magnepan's. Today, there are full-range planar competitors, but if success is measured by distribution, Magnepan is #1. We have distributors in Bangladesh, South Africa, Viet Nam, not to mention China, India, etc.

After 44 years marketing Maggies, I seldom hear an idea that hasn't been tried or considered. The advice is well intentioned. I don't have the time to fully explain our point of view. However, two principles can address many of the suggestions or criticisms that I've heard -- 1) Changes or new models must pass blind testing. 2) The value must be overwhelming due to the ever-increasing resistance to large speakers.

 

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RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 18, 2017 at 09:14:03
Davey
Audiophile

Posts: 839
Joined: September 26, 2013
It would be easy to incorporate a simple blog page to the Magnepan website where Wendell/Mark/etc could post an occasional (maybe once every couple of months) update on various goings on.
No replies allowed.....just a simple update page. I think that might give customers a better feeling regards the company status/operations.

Dave.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 18, 2017 at 13:11:06
russ69
Audiophile

Posts: 899
Joined: December 13, 2009
Good idea Dave. I think newer customers are a lot more "wired in" then the old gray beard customers of the past and they have higher expectations of being digitally connected to retailers or direct sale businesses. Sure a phone call CAN solve a lot of problems but it's not always easy getting "in touch" with a 3 hour wide time zone and difficult working schedules. Online ordering and real time inventory is just about mandatory today for successful businesses.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 18, 2017 at 13:30:50
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9490
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
I think that's a great idea!

 

or twitter, posted on March 18, 2017 at 14:33:00
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 13574
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
great for on-the-fly thoughts and doesn't tie you down to a computer


 

RE: or twitter, posted on March 18, 2017 at 19:57:20
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9490
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
I thought only presidents used that? :-)

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 19, 2017 at 06:45:46
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 13574
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
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June 17, 2003
Great update; I'm sure they have a lot on their plates. However I'm not sure what he means by "business was easier when there were competitors" Is he saying there's too much of a demand due to lack of alternate options in the planar market?


 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 19, 2017 at 08:05:11
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9490
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
The other way around -- the market for large planars (and large speakers of every variety) is smaller than it used to be, so there are fewer large players in the field today.

It seems that people today want small speakers with a high wife acceptance factor, and small wireless speakers are becoming popular as well. It's too bad because as someone pointed out not long ago (don't remember where I read it) many small speakers have compromised performance -- drivers that are used near their excursion limits, marginal bass extension, limited SPL, etc.

 

Just say "NO!" to Twitter (at this point). nt., posted on March 19, 2017 at 15:20:15
MWE
Audiophile

Posts: 506
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000
nt.
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 19, 2017 at 16:38:05
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 155
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
I've always been surrounded by "civilians" (non-Hi-Fi enthusiasts), particularly other musicians, to whom computer speakers are now the standard Hi-Fi system. One of my old bandmates came down from N. California to visit me in Burbank in 2006, and seeing the pair of Infinity RS-1b's I had a the time said "You know, people don't have big speakers anymore". I thought to myself "They never did", but held my tongue. People are now so distracted, pulled in so many directions simultaneously, multi-tasking constantly, that sitting in front of a good system and just listening to music is a very quaint, old-fashioned concept. I look over at my sisters in the living room---they can't even just watch a movie anymore. While the movie is playing they are on their smart phones, perusing Facebook and posting responses to other postings. I'm glad I'm old, and won't be around that much longer (assuming I live to my Dads age of 79), having to watch the culture deteriorate any further than it already has.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 19, 2017 at 21:09:35
Utley1
Audiophile

Posts: 735
Location: NYC
Joined: July 30, 2010
Do not be silly.l Screw them...Great music system is the antidote to despair and numbness of spirit. Music makes you live longer that you would have expected, but one needs the equipment to enjoy it.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 19, 2017 at 21:37:19
Joe Backer
Audiophile

Posts: 316
Joined: July 10, 2011
I hear you but I don't know... I look at my kids, now in their 20s and they and their friends are so smart and are so interested in music of all genres and art and travel and they read and they care about those silly facebook friends. They work a ton of hours for really good companies and then really enjoy their weekends and days off. They are way ahead of where I was at their age. Miles ahead.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 20, 2017 at 10:00:53
Norman M
Audiophile

Posts: 778
Location: NYC Suburb
Joined: December 9, 2012
It may well be a only tiny fraction of the population but there are many thousands of young people who spend their entire day practicing an instrument in hope of winning a competition, perhaps followed by landing a spot in one of our orchestras, and/or career etc. (And before that, they did the same while even younger and in 'school'. It doesn't prevent them from using social media, etc. Even President Trump manages it. :-))

Attending a classical music concert, opera, ballet, recital etc., one see can see 2-3 thousand people of all ages glued to their seats for a couple of hours (Well, there are intermissions.)

 

Twitter?, posted on March 20, 2017 at 13:54:24
grantv
Manufacturer

Posts: 4807
Location: B.C.
Joined: January 15, 2002
I don't even really know what Twitter is, somewhat doubt they'd be keen on the idea TBH.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 20, 2017 at 16:30:05
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9490
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
It's true. In fact, I find myself listening to other sources more often than my big speakers, just because they're there -- the little Monsoons on my computer, my wifi earbuds (I have a pair of Etymotics but they're too fragile/uncomfortable for everyday wear). That's one of the reasons I set my system up the way I did -- I'm hoping to be able to take a monitor and keyboard into my listening room and work from there.

I think part of this is positive -- it's nice to be able to have music when you're working. But of course when you lose the patience to listen to a symphony or read a good book you've lost something, and headphones can't yet approach speakers in fidelity with stereo recordings because of the in-your-head effect (although I've played with some very promising HRTF programs that like Out Of Your Head).

Another factor I think that's damaging two channel audio is that fewer children are being exposed to acoustical music like classical and jazz, so they don't grow up with an appreciation for it.

Then too, there are so many ways to spend your money on electronics these days -- computers, phones, home theater, smart home automation, what have you -- and I think these have sapped some of the time, budget, and social desirability of two channel; whereas a kid might once have shown off his stereo, now he shows off his new iPhone or what have you. Even cars don't have the cachet they used to, from what I've read.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 20, 2017 at 16:32:38
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9490
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
I read somewhere that a surprising number of people say they sometimes listen to classical. It may just be on the radio when they're driving, but it suggests that audiences are still there. Orchestras have paradoxically been hurt by recordings, since going to a concert is expensive and an event in itself. But for someone like me who no longer lives in civilization, they're a boon. :-)

 

"...one needs the equipment to enjoy it.", posted on March 20, 2017 at 17:22:24
MaggiesAndCats
Audiophile

Posts: 295
Joined: August 31, 2009
Yes, but it doesn't need to be an audiophile system. I've been enjoying music for close to 6 decades, and as you might guess, on a wide range of equipment. From my parents Telefunken console to a Walkman to the several means of audio reproduction I use now, I've enjoyed the music on every piece of equipment I used.

Regards,

Steve

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 20, 2017 at 19:14:07
timm
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Location: Ann Arbor Mi
Joined: January 15, 2008
I will say josh - my 24 year old son writes classical and was in a jazz program. He has written 6 string quartets and is working on his first symphony. Although I never really listened to jazz or classical (he really introduced me) - he did like to sit and listen with me. Not background music... but serious listening. Now he comes in - buys classical cds and listens on my stereo. He is going gaga over the possible arrival of the 20.7s this summer. He refers to them as 'texture machines'. We went on a boondoggle to listen to the 20.7 in Evanston Ill with my brother. Only people here could understand if I said the event is something we will be talking about. So there is hope.

The other angle w the movement towards smaller speakers could also parallel cheaper cost. I mean if I want to pay 4-13k on speakers - I want something very substantial. I find big speakers as a room compliment - not a detriment. Of course you need the space...But that's me. :)

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 20, 2017 at 22:39:11
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 155
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
Congratulations Tim, looks like you have done an incredible job of raising your son! I have a dearly departed friend (he died from a heart attack at only 56 years of age, the result of his terrible diet) who was the smartest guy I've known in this life. He was put ahead a grade twice in elementary school, his mother (a college professor of language) refusing a third as she felt he would be too much younger than his classmates! I played with him in a musical group in high school, and then in college as he studied music as his major at first San Jose State and then The University of California at Riverside. He passed on his gift for music to his son, who is now an orchestra conductor in San Francisco. My friend gave me the great gift of exposing me to the glories of the music of J.S. Bach. He loved harmony (that of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, C,S,& N, etc. as a kid, later just in general), and I believe his son specializes in choral music. A father and son sharing the love of music is a beautiful thing---I envy you!---Eric.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 21, 2017 at 08:40:25
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
I stopped going to concerts routinely because I started choking in the halls and my coughing was a nuisance for the audience, besides which, I would rather stay at home than sit outside of my preferred seats at the center front, which are always short on availability and high in price. A great deal of my musical enjoyment comes from having a good sense of the tactile detail that you can only hear up in the front, and from the sensual scale of the ensemble or instrument, not just loudness and the sheer power of the orchestra.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 21, 2017 at 08:50:03
Satie
Audiophile

Posts: 4216
Joined: July 6, 2002
I can't enjoy music in that casual way. It just sounds wrong. It "reminds me" of music rather than "being" the music. Particularly unconvincing are headphones, and I stopped with boomboxes and headphone portables the moment I had the space and funds for a real stereo. Even in the car the main effect of listening is to have go dig up the LP or CD or file of what I was listening to in order to actually feel it. It reminds me more of what I am missing than actually providing a musical experience. At the office the boom box was always set low so that it was more background than anything else.

 

hot among millennials who-after all are, posted on March 21, 2017 at 17:30:50
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 13574
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
gobbling up LPs at break neck pace while steadily trying to distance themselves from the status quo'.

I personally don't have a twitter account; but essentially a person follows another person who is then 'alerted' whenever they 'tweet'.

Some individuals (celebs) have >100's of thousands of followers.
'Tweets' are limited to 140 characters.

Great for a lot of businesses since it's essentially free exposure/advertising. Not sure how long they're going to be around; one never knows.




 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 21, 2017 at 20:38:03
timm
Audiophile

Posts: 142
Location: Ann Arbor Mi
Joined: January 15, 2008
Awesome story Eric. My son is also in northern cali. He is so immersed into the creative aspect - and I am trying to see if he can market his quartets. :). He actually had a string quartet from the Argentina symphony record 3 of them in 96/24. The recordings are very 'in the room'' with no compression.

 

This is funny. Where customers need a post or two from the CEO so they 'feel better'? crazy. nt, posted on March 22, 2017 at 10:12:48
3+4=5
Audiophile

Posts: 397
Location: Midwest
Joined: December 24, 2016
.

 

RE: A note from Magnepan, posted on March 22, 2017 at 21:27:18
Utley1
Audiophile

Posts: 735
Location: NYC
Joined: July 30, 2010
Amen. Same with mine...

 

RE: This is funny. Where customers need a post or two from the CEO so they 'feel better'? crazy. nt, posted on March 23, 2017 at 09:15:22
Davey
Audiophile

Posts: 839
Joined: September 26, 2013
Yeah, it is pretty funny.

Dave.

 

RE: Panel loudspeakers...., posted on March 24, 2017 at 06:39:07
BigguyinATL
Manufacturer

Posts: 2995
Joined: April 10, 2002
I'm probably responsible for at least a dozen sales of Maggies over the last 15 years - I show pictures of my system when I teach my Architectural Acoustics class - and often discussions come up at lunch afterward. It is rare that anyone has ever heard of a planar speaker - and if so it is a Martin Logan they saw at Best Buy they mention. These customers are acoustical consultants, architects, environmental engineers, HVAC engineers, and other mostly technical folks.

I think it is the failure of the industry, the demise of the local hi-fi store, and then in some ways the lack of avocation we, as participants do in this industry.

We are a great point - with the resurgence of the LP and turntable to grow the practice of listening to music again.


"The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat" - Confucius

 

RE: Panel loudspeakers...., posted on March 24, 2017 at 17:55:30
josh358
Industry Professional

Posts: 9490
Joined: February 9, 2010
Contributor
  Since:
February 3, 2012
I think you're right, but how can we change that? With half of the country living out of range of an audio dealer now, Magnepan has addressed that with products bought through the Internet and "samplers" like the MMG. But as Wendell likes to point out, Maggies have to be heard -- it's their sound that sells them. And with only a handful of high end dealers most people don't have that chance anymore.

 

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