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The baby Maggie-----Best sound of the show!!

Well, I'm still trying to work through my head what I witnessed at THE Show in the Magnepan room. So much so, that I went to the "mystery speaker" demo a total of 3 times during my trip.

Now, I will say right up front that of any room at either the Venetian or Alexis Park, Magnepan had the best actual ROOM to work with (maybe the TAD room was close though at the Venetian). Very large, but not TOO large, optimum seating, optimum setup, normal height ceilings, etc. So they had a significant "advantage" over the other demo rooms in Vegas. I was speaking with them and they have used this same room for a few shows now (they were there last year too) because they like its acoustics a whole bunch. I heard nothing to dismiss their beliefs!

Anyhow, the long and short of it was this setup was the best my friends and I heard in our 4 day stay, period, and regardless of cost(!). This little speaker did things that defied logic. Dynamic, full bodied, open, and some of the sweetest treble you're ever going to hear. The soundstage and overall presence was TO DIE FOR. So believable and life-size. The 1st cut they did, "Amazing Grace" literally startled me in its believability. The drum recording they did had perhaps some of the best cymbal work I've ever heard, period. I have the 1.6's in one of my systems at home and these were in a different league. Wendell Diller agreed with me. They also played LOUD (but they are not going to play as loud as say the 3.6's according to them). Like I said, the room was very big and these things FILLED IT! They also had to their advantage there 1000 watts per channel of Bryston power pumping through their veins, and were not being babied.

Real quick---- keep in mind Magnepan used their $500 "woofers" in this demo. They are planar magnetic, need to be placed near a room boundry, and extend to 40Hz. The bass woofers match PERFECTLY with the speed, clarity and definition of the baby Maggies (which on their own go to 300Hz). So, you WILL NEED to get one "woofer" for every 2 baby maggies you get (there are 2 woofers inside each $500 woofer cabinet). Your amp connects to the woofer bin and the woofer bin then goes through a xover and eventually connects to the sats (so the sats get the bass filtered out). Anyhow, the bass sounded GREAT! No boom, no smear, and extremely well integrated with the sats.

The astonishing thing was HOW LARGE they sounded. I mean, every bit as large as my 1.6's, and then some. The choral piece at the end was amazing with its height and clarity. And to see these small things is to LAUGH. About the exact size of a standard issue Dell laptop! I have always been a believer that SMALL monitors throw the best soundstage and after this demo I feel vindicated that I was RIGHT! The best part was that there was no "maggie beaming" with these. Due to the smallish size, they imaged willy-nilly and without fuss as to where you were seated, or whether you were on axis or standing up walking around the room. So many medium or smaller size ribbons or panels require you to lock your head in a vice, but this was the EXACT opposite effect here.

I only hope, as someone has mentioned, that Magnepan does not price these "stupidly". They certainly SOUNDED BETTER then speakers that were much more expensive, but I can't fathom paying more for them then say a pair of 1.6's even though somehow they do deserve to be. Of course, raving posts like this one aren't going to help the cause to keep these things reasonably priced.

During the last demo I asked Wendell what others were saying about these little things for the full 4 days and he quipped that some are placing them in the league of the 30k speakers they heard. Now ordinarily, I would say "BS" but I was THERE along with my audio friends and we heard how these things sounded compared to the "competition". 30k is about right on! I would have LIKED to hear the 20.1's right after this or during this demo because those are not valued anywhere near 30k and it would be interesting to compare these puny things to the flagships!

The funny thing is, they had no idea before they had set this thing up that it would sound THIS good. They more or less just made these things, the external xover was just nailed to a board behind the curtain, according to them. Unreal.

The only thing I will also mention is that Magnepan was in "full control" of the demo. We weren't able to play our own cd's. The reason for this though was that there was always "group demos". They would let people in, shut the door, and nobody else was allowed to enter from outside. By the time the demo was over there was always another group waiting, so it really would not have been fair to let everyone wait longer outside to play your own tunes inside. I would have loved to have heard what I brought though!

It will be a good long while before these come to market but as soon as they do, expect the 1.6 hysteria all over again.....
Regards,
Joel


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