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Thoughts on Sanders Magtech

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Posted on September 7, 2020 at 13:32:07
bufalloattic
Audiophile

Posts: 4
Location: Midwest United States
Joined: September 4, 2020
I'm looking into Sanders Magtech to drive my 3.7i's. Any thoughts on this amp?

 

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RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 7, 2020 at 16:01:37
DCStevens
Audiophile

Posts: 10
Location: Detroit, MI
Joined: February 13, 2020
I have owned a Magtech amp for approximately 15 months and use it to power my Magnepan 1.7i speakers.

My experience has been very positive. It has no problems driving the speakers and remains cool to the touch unless I really turn up the volume.

I purchased my Magtech used on eBay and sent it to Sanders Sound Systems to have it evaluated and upgraded to current specifications. The people at Sanders were great to work with and they did the upgrade in two days time. The cost of the upgrade was very reasonable.

They even gave me a lifetime warranty on the amp now that it is upgraded to current specs.

I have not owned many amplifiers, so I can't provide much in the way of comparison. I initially had a Mcintosh MC2250 and that amp would not drive the magnepans sufficiently.

After doing some research, I narrowed down my choices for a new amp to Magtech, Bryston or Parasound amps with at least 500 watts into 4 ohms. Luckily the Magtech came up for sale quickly. I don't see them too often on eBay, but there was one last week that was snapped up in less than 4 hours.

The Sanders Sound System website has a number of excellent white paper reports and links to reviews of their products that you may find interesting.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 7, 2020 at 16:56:06
emailtim
Audiophile

Posts: 3141
Joined: July 2, 2017
I wasn't aware they had "upgrades".

What did you have "upgraded" on the amp ?

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 7, 2020 at 17:01:22
emailtim
Audiophile

Posts: 3141
Joined: July 2, 2017
I have had one for at least 5 years now. No problems with it at all. Roger was very helpful and answered all questions.

FWIW, Roger gives a significant discount to Planar Asylum and Martin Logan Owners Group members upon request.

There are others here that have them and like them. I don't think I have ever seen a negative comment on them or their service.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 7, 2020 at 18:29:40
DCStevens
Audiophile

Posts: 10
Location: Detroit, MI
Joined: February 13, 2020
I had read that some Magtech amps had a part that was bad from the supplier and the amps with this part would get very hot.

Since I bought the amp from eBay, and there was no history to be found, I wanted to be sure that it didn't have the bad part.

So I called Sanders and asked them to look at the pictures of the inside of the amp that were provided in the auction.

Roger Sanders' wife answered the phone immediately, looked up the auction while I was on the phone with her and both she and a technician looked it over. They couldn't tell from the pictures, but offered to inspect the amp for $50 (if I recall correctly).

I purchased the amp (it included a 30 day return period) had it shipped directly to Sanders.

The technician at Sanders looked it over and reported that it was an early model, and it did not contain the bad part. He offered to bring it up to "current specifications" for an additional $450 plus $75 dollars for their shipping crate, as the one provided by the seller was not suitable. The update came with a lifetime warranty.

I gladly paid the money and had the amp in my hands within one week of it arriving at Sanders. Total cost including purchase of the amp was $3600 - quite a deal in my estimation!

I didn't ask what was changed to bring it up to current specs, as I wouldn't have understood any of those technical details anyway.

I was really impressed with how cooperative and helpful everyone that I encountered at Sanders turned out to be. I can't recommend them highly enough.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 7, 2020 at 18:33:15
bufalloattic
Audiophile

Posts: 4
Location: Midwest United States
Joined: September 4, 2020
yes I am aware of the discount! $500 I believe.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 8, 2020 at 01:17:53
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30199
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
The Magtech has driven my 3.7i Maggies for over five years now with no complaints. Have never regretted it. I did try out other amps, but the Sanders amp was the best performer overall. I liked this amp so much I decided to try out the Sanders preamp the next year which ended up replacing my Audible Illusions tubed unit. Also, the Sanders warranty is hard to beat.

Hope this helps!

Cheers,
AuPh

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 8, 2020 at 07:54:19
bufalloattic
Audiophile

Posts: 4
Location: Midwest United States
Joined: September 4, 2020
Thanks for the info. I'm curious, what other amps did you compare it to?

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 8, 2020 at 13:17:10
Audiophilander
Audiophile

Posts: 30199
Location: Fort Worth (D/FW Metroplex)
Joined: March 31, 2000
The earlier amps employed with my Maggies are Wyred4Sound Class D mono-blocks that produce around 1100 wpc into a 4 Ohm load and a Quad 909 (A/B topology) that's around 250 wpc into 4 Ohm loads. Each amplifier had unique sound signatures, strengths and weaknesses. The Quad had a warm slightly soft and rolled off presentation, but also got quite warm with extended listening sessions. If I were describing the sound of the Quad over Maggies it would be lush but less focused on inner-detail. Average soundstage depth, not notably wide.

The Wyred4Sound amps are very clean sounding, almost too clean and analytical on some material. They sound great on well recorded studio albums with lots of inner detail and isolated instruments, but not so good on live material. Wyred4Sound Class D amps are very light in weight, but not prone to overheating. However, the sterility of their presentation proved to be less satisfying on a broad mix of recordings. Flatter, wider more forward soundstage presentation; not much front to back depth.

The only other amps I briefly used with my Maggies were a pair of Monarchy Audio SE 100 Deluxe mono-block amps. I'm not sure what the Deluxe is supposed to represent. These were just so-so in spite of the theoretically superior Class A topology. Based on recollection the Monarchy amps had less focused imaging and a constricted soundstage with limited front to back depth. Overall. a lackluster presentation. These were not a good match for Maggies, just average sounding amps.

The Sanders Magtech has a nice detailed presentation overall. It's neither overly analytical nor forward, but with good rock solid focus and sufficiently nuanced inner detail. Also, there's excellent front to back spatial depth and realistic soundstage width that stretches beyond the speakers. The Magtech's performance and solid construction provides a "there and done" level of confidence.

As mentioned below, some of the very early Magtech amps had unexpected Motorola heat transistor failures that allowed the amp to get a bit too warm if left on idle as Roger Sanders suggests. Performance was never compromised, but I opted for transistor replacement.. It was fixed and returned under warranty within a week. In fact, I'd purchased the Wyred4Sound monoblocks in the interim as a quick, inexpensive replacement thinking my Magtech might be in the shop a couple of months (my prior experience with Audible Illusion's Art Ferris had toughened me to anticipating long service waits).

Because my Magtech came back so quickly, I ended up storing it for a few more weeks to continue auditioning the Wyred4Sound amps. This gave a good baseline for assessing both amps capabilities and limitations. When I finally reconnected the Magtech and shelving the Wyred4Sound amps the differences couldn't have been clearer after playing familiar music over both. Note: I do keep the Wyred4Sound amps for backup, but I've never had another heat transistor issue or problem of any other kind with the Magtech.

Hopefully this information will prove useful in your deliberations.

Cheers,
AuPh

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 10, 2020 at 06:00:44
macmagman
Audiophile

Posts: 494
Location: NW Indiana
Joined: October 17, 2010
I started with a McIntosh Mc352 with my 20.1. It would go into thermo shut down. Then I had Bryston 7bst mono blocks sounded thin. Then I went to the Magtech never looked back. I have had it for about 8 years now and I did have the power issue and Roger had it back to me repaired within a week never had another issue. Currently I am bi amping with an ESL driving the mids and tweeters. I would never consider any other amps.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 11, 2020 at 21:14:38
mraudio
Audiophile

Posts: 270
Location: Northern Colorado
Joined: November 4, 2006
First off, Roger and Angela are two of the nicest people on the planet.

I've owned both the Sanders ESL amp and the Magtech. Each performed incredibly well and never a problem. I used the ESL with Martin Logans, Acoustats and Soundlabs. The Magtech was used with 3.6's and 3.7i's.

EXCELLENT amplifiers!!! Highly recommended.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 12, 2020 at 13:28:39
Utley1
Audiophile

Posts: 1443
Location: NYC
Joined: July 30, 2010
Curious as to why the happy MAGTECH owners do not own the Sanders speaker system? I am trying to make a decision about them.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 12, 2020 at 13:35:32
emailtim
Audiophile

Posts: 3141
Joined: July 2, 2017
Magnepan's version of the chicken and egg thing. Magnepan owners looking for a descent amp for their planars.

As for Sander's hybrid ESL's, they have a very narrow head-in-vice sweet spot. His show demo room is the only room that I have ever seen with 1 column of audition seats (1 column right down the middle, no chairs left or right of dead center).

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 12, 2020 at 15:50:37
Utley1
Audiophile

Posts: 1443
Location: NYC
Joined: July 30, 2010
THANKS..... Several people have mentioned it....Once owned omni-directional stats and never found a replacement for them...A little bit tired of my ribbon speakers, as worthy as they are.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 12, 2020 at 16:19:32
emailtim
Audiophile

Posts: 3141
Joined: July 2, 2017
You might want to check out Jazzman's symmetrically electronically segmented wire-stator ESL's. They are approximately the same form-factor size as Sander's hybrid ESL's but use a ladder array of resistors to turn a flat ESL panel into a "electronically curved" panel.

The center of the panel runs full range and each section further away (left and right) from the center has more and more of the high frequency attenuated. This supposedly gives you a wider sweet spot and better off-axis response.

http://jazzman-esl-page.blogspot.com/

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 12, 2020 at 16:29:19
Utley1
Audiophile

Posts: 1443
Location: NYC
Joined: July 30, 2010
Thank you. Brilliant conception.....Wonder if they are still being built by JAZZMAN.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 12, 2020 at 16:38:26
emailtim
Audiophile

Posts: 3141
Joined: July 2, 2017
He never built them for sale.

He shares his designs freely and built those sets for his friends.

He said he will not build any more.

 

Sanders Sound ESL: glorious in that one spot, posted on September 14, 2020 at 15:06:16
DrChaos
Audiophile

Posts: 1949
Location: San Diego
Joined: July 13, 2009

At the T.H.E. shows where I heard them a few times, the Sanders were to me, clearly the best speaker in the show, and the best I've ever heard. Probably as good as big Apogees at least. I calibrate on diversified large-scale classical, and they were absolutely amazingly perfect.

But a far too narrow listening position.

I so wish that Mr Sanders would make a segmented ESL with much wider dispersion. If it sounded like the Sanders 10E in the sweet spot, I would own it no question.

 

RE: Sanders Sound ESL: glorious in that one spot, posted on September 14, 2020 at 15:27:10
mraudio
Audiophile

Posts: 270
Location: Northern Colorado
Joined: November 4, 2006
I'm sure most of you know that Roger Sanders invented the curved electrostatic panel that Martin Logan uses. He thought, (and still does ) that the flat panel was/is better.

I completely agree that they have a very narrow listening window, but inside that window...WOW!!!

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 14, 2020 at 21:25:13
airheadair
Audiophile

Posts: 380
Location: California
Joined: October 18, 2010
I think this is very similar to the way the Stax F81 and F83 work.
I don't know if this design addresses the issues with 'wide dispersion' that Sanders warns against.

I am pretty happy with the imaging and transient response of the Stax speakers. But they are extremely difficult to drive.

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 14, 2020 at 22:00:20
emailtim
Audiophile

Posts: 3141
Joined: July 2, 2017
Stax uses a bi-lateral resistor ladder array to electronically segment their their stators ?



 

RE: Sanders Sound ESL: glorious in that one spot, posted on September 14, 2020 at 22:47:55
airheadair
Audiophile

Posts: 380
Location: California
Joined: October 18, 2010
I have read great things about these speakers from many sources. I would love to hear them. The narrow sweet spot doesn't bother me that much, since I usually listen alone. What does concern me (although based entirely on numbers, not listening) is that the crossover is around 300 Hz, meaning that a lot of the midrange is handled by the woofer, not the ELS unit. What does Fisher-Dieskau sound like, for example?

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on September 14, 2020 at 22:48:52
airheadair
Audiophile

Posts: 380
Location: California
Joined: October 18, 2010
Something like that. Maybe kentaja can verify.

 

Off sweet spot listening, posted on September 15, 2020 at 09:51:19
jimbill
Audiophile

Posts: 2690
Location: Texas
Joined: May 31, 2004
Sanders states in his video that they sound like any other speaker outside the sweet spot.

Do you agree?

 

Sanders outside the sweet spot, posted on September 15, 2020 at 22:01:40
DrChaos
Audiophile

Posts: 1949
Location: San Diego
Joined: July 13, 2009
No, the high frequencies, spectral balance, and the magic is lost. It sounds like a low pass filter because that's what it is.

My Magnepan 3.6's have roughly the same perceived spectral balance at angles to the emission vector. And combined with the large line source, meaning less deviation on account of distance, they're pretty nice in filling up a space with natural sound even if I'm not listening intently, e.g. I'm at the dinner table.

It's nothing but a matter of physics: the Sanders beams because the width of the driver is larger than the wavelength at higher frequencies. Which is why other planar speakers have narrower midranges and tweeter sections. And conventional speakers have high frequency domes that are an inch wide vs 8 inches.

A segmented ESL, i.e. electronically segmented vertically like the Jazzman ones would be amazing from Sanders. I would love it if done well. I think that's vertical version of the 2-d circular method from the OG Quad ESL-63.

 

sounds great, posted on September 16, 2020 at 13:06:04
DrChaos
Audiophile

Posts: 1949
Location: San Diego
Joined: July 13, 2009
With the DSP crossover/correction in the new 10E, it's totally transparent.

I didn't notice any discontinuity between woofer & panel. And the woofer is a transmission line, not bass reflex which can boom more.

BTW the crossover frequency is 170 Hz according to a review.

https://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/sanders-model-10e-hybrid-electrostatic-loudspeaker/

As I have said, it's the best I've ever heard on diversified classical. Heard it 2-3x at T.H.E. show and I always put it as my #1. Second was Revel Ultima Salon 2.

 

RE: sounds great, posted on September 16, 2020 at 19:00:41
airheadair
Audiophile

Posts: 380
Location: California
Joined: October 18, 2010
Not sure about the crossover frequency. I had read a review of the 10B which mentioned 300, but perhaps the 10E is different. I think I also read that with the digital crossover, the user can choose it, but that Sanders still recommends 300.

Not disputing how great they sound. If my Stax setup fails and I still have any ears and/or money left, Sanders is surely what I would try.

 

RE: sounds great, posted on September 16, 2020 at 22:18:45
BDP24
Audiophile

Posts: 1064
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Joined: September 12, 2013
I heard the Sanders at two separate hi-fi shows in S. California, and at both shows Sanders imo had the best sound at the show. If I had the necessary $ in my pocket, I would have bought them on the spot! As a single listener, I don't mind a speaker with narrow dispersion. It mitigates room sound (reflections off the side walls and ceiling), a good thing.

Is it just a coincidence that Bruce Thigpen chose 180Hz as the x/o point between the planar m/t drivers and the sealed 8" woofer in his Eminent Technology LFT-8b loudspeakers? ;-)

 

RE: Sanders Sound ESL: glorious in that one spot, posted on September 18, 2020 at 18:08:20
Green Lantern
Audiophile

Posts: 16202
Location: San Diego, Ca
Joined: November 12, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
June 17, 2003
hey Doc; off topic but have you heard the LRS either at an exhibition or over at Stereo Unlimited by Sports Arena blvd?

Wondering your thoughts.


 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on November 21, 2021 at 19:35:00
Mcmusicman
Audiophile

Posts: 26
Location: Wilmington NC
Joined: April 15, 2020
For those looking, a Sanders Magtech just hit the sale board at Audiogon.

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/lisae1g1-sanders-sound-systems-magtech-2-solid-state

 

RE: Thoughts on Sanders Magtech, posted on November 22, 2021 at 21:15:50
Kurtle
Audiophile

Posts: 257
Location: Salem Oregon
Joined: December 21, 2002
Contributor
  Since:
April 6, 2011
Utley1,

I am wondering how your amp replacement saga ended up. I trust you found an amp(s) that meet your needs and expectations?

Kurtle

 

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