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Don't believe everything you hear

Posted on November 13, 2022 at 05:36:46
Posts: 2
Location: SE USA
Joined: November 13, 2022
I recently bought a pair of Maggie 3.7i's (and a Parasound A21+ amp and a Bluesound Node, streaming Tidal). These are, by far, the best sounding speakers I've EVER owned (and I've owned a bunch in my 60 years on this earth). But, they are - no surprise - severely lacking in bottom-end "oomph." So, I bought a Maggie bass panel (DWM). This helped with the lower midrange and upper bass (and even extended the lower bass slightly), but still failed to produce the bottom end I wanted. Spoiler alert: most music doesn't have a lot of sub-bass, but for those that do, it's imperative that your system can reproduce it. So, I starting asking around...

"Don't add a sub - it will ruin the 'tight' bass that your Maggies are known for!" was what everyone told me - even Magnepan. But, I thought that didn't make sense - unless the subwoofer was ALSO reproducing bass (instead of just sub-bass*). As long as I kept the bass frequencies out of the sub (let the 3.7i's do the bass), it should sound fine. That was my theory.

*Many people think a subwoofer goes down to 30Hz. No: that's where sub-bass begins!

Enter SVS (highly recommended!) I bought their "entry level" sub (model SB-1000 Pro) to "test my theory" with the plans to upgrade it if I was right. Well: I am so happy with it, I never upgraded it - there's no need to! I roll it off at 33Hz @ 24dB/octave and use the parametric EQ to boost 20Hz by 6dB. As such the -3dB downpoint is around 16Hz. (The proverbial "bottom octave: 16-32Hz).

This adds a deep, gut-rumbling bottom end to music - and in NO WAY diminishes the "open", "airy", "tight". "fast" (choose one) bass of the Maggies. On most (some) music, the sub does nothing. But play, for example, Yello's "Stay" with and without the sub and you'll never do it without again!

I was, in fact, planning on upgrading to the 20.7's, but the 3.7's are almost identical to the 20.7's in all but the bass panel area - something the sub MORE THAN makes up for. Save the $5000 and get a sub (I DID audition the 20.7's before stating this)

To all Maggie owners: try this - you'll never go back. Just be sure to roll off the sub quickly and sharply (min: 24dB) and low. 33Hz is just right for my system in my room - you'll need to experiment. The nice thing about the SVS (though not unique) is the app that lets you tailor rolloff frequency, slope and parametric EQ to fill in exactly what is needed and NO MORE.


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I heard that somewhere... nt. , posted on November 13, 2022 at 05:44:11

Posts: 1906
Location: Burlington, NC
Joined: June 8, 2000

Mark in NC
"The thought that life could be better is woven indelibly into our hearts and our brains" -Paul Simon


Me to. +1. nt, posted on November 13, 2022 at 05:53:10
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Posts: 7588
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
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RE: Don't believe everything you hear, posted on November 13, 2022 at 09:04:03
Industry Professional

Posts: 12205
Joined: February 9, 2010
Yep, makes sense.

The main advantage of dipole bass is that it excited room modes less. But most rooms are free of modes in the bottom octave, so you *can* put a sub there.

The problems occur when you run the sub higher.


I agree heartily.. My SWs' LP-filter point is set at 30Hz..., posted on November 13, 2022 at 13:40:53

Posts: 5550
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Joined: December 10, 2004
December 13, 2004
...and there is, indeed, music and movie noise that's MUCH-more enjoyable with good SWs.. Mine are a pair of Rythmik 18"ers.


I believe everything I hear, posted on November 13, 2022 at 15:34:49

Posts: 7326
Location: B.C.
Joined: January 15, 2002
Everything I hear with my ears, not everything I "hear" (read, hear from others).
1. If, only if, set right, a sub can be an absolutely positive addition. Necessary, no.
2. Implementation of subs is easier done with bigger Maggie's IME, as the lower xover setting crosses over more seamlessly.


RE: You haven't specified whether or not ..., posted on November 14, 2022 at 02:22:36

Posts: 12396
Location: Melbourne
Joined: September 2, 2000
you are rolling off your 3.7is (to stop them having to reproduce extreme LFs). (I understand SVS subs offer a HF roll-off?)

I would suggest your sound would be even better if you upped the SVS low-pass filter to, say, 50Hz (24dB) ... and implemented a high-pass filter on your 3.7is at 50Hz (24dB).

This stops the single-sided bass panel from having to have an extreme excursion, to deliver LFs at a reasonable volume level - thus reducing distortion.

Of course ... if you sit close and listen quietly - my statement may not be relevant. :-))



RE: You haven't specified whether or not ..., posted on November 14, 2022 at 08:07:45
Posts: 2
Location: SE USA
Joined: November 13, 2022
I run the 3.7i's full-range. I don't play them loudly enough for excessive excursion to be a problem (I have Klipsch LaScalas when I want it loud) - they just need help in the bottom octave.

Crossing them over @ 50Hz gives too much bass to the sub and it DOES "muddy up" the sound. Even 40Hz makes the bass seem less "tight"


RE: Don't believe everything you hear, posted on November 26, 2022 at 12:45:23

Posts: 24
Location: Sweden
Joined: December 18, 2021
I have 3.7i. I also have one DWM. The DWM is placed directly to the edge of the left 3.7, with no space between them. Much lowered bass roll-off!

The membranes themselves appear to go way below 35/40 Hz, but that is normally not possible to hear. I discovered that with my arrangement.

Now, with partly increased frontal area, cancellation occurs at a lower frequency and lower frequencies are percieved at my listening position.
When DWM and 3.7 are separated, the only effect is more membrane area (=slightly rised efficiency in bass) but the same bass-roll-of as without DWM.
I strongly recommend a pair of coils to get rid of the higher frequencies from the DWM. Otherwise the sound will become contaminated and way too opaque.


RE: Don't believe everything you hear, posted on November 28, 2022 at 21:19:13

Posts: 12
Location: upper midwest
Joined: May 13, 2010
I completely agree with carlgardeif. For years I have been running my 3.6's with a JL Audio F112; I do not cut off the Maggie bass, and set the filter for the subwoofer low, though a bit higher than 33dB. Steep filter is good, I also use 24dB. I have the subwoofer cone next to and in the same plane as my left speaker. One of the things I really like is the JL Audio's ability to be phase-matched to the main speaker.
When set up correctly, there is absolutely no question in my mind that a good subwoofer adds necessary fundamentals to the sound without sacrificing anything. I would never go back to my system without the subwoofer.
I am using Classe CAM350's for power, so no bass limitation there.
It's the music, of course...


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