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REVIEW: Mye Sound MG-3.6/R Speaker Stands

Model: MG-3.6/R
Category: Speaker Stands
Suggested Retail Price: $315
Description: MyeSound Speaker Stands for the Magneplanar MG-3.6/R
Manufacturer URL: Mye Sound
Model Picture: View

Review by roninCoder (A) on January 20, 2007 at 08:47:05
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for the MG-3.6/R

Allen Wright, writing in his tube preamp cookbook, bases his design philosophy on the observation that things that shouldn't move shouldn't move, and things that should move freely should move freely.

He was referring to electronic design of course, but this seems like an effective design philosophy for speakers as well.

Historically, two major complaints about Magneplanar speakers were lack of low level detail and lack of dynamics or, more prosaically, "slam."

These two "problems" have been reduced over time. I own (still) both MG-IIIs and 3.6s, and I would rate the 3.6s an order of magnitude better at revealing low level information over the original 3er. With careful positioning (closer together rather than farther apart), effective room treatments (the backwave is not your friend, in my opinion), and an appropriate amplifier choice (if you can weld with it...), one can further mitigate these issues, to the point where, if they don't have the slam of a pair of Altec-Lansings, I can live happily with that.

Still, in the case of the floor standing Magneplanars, what shouldn't move does move, and that can't be good. Certainly toward the top of the panel there is quite a lever arm with respect to the base that may magnify the effect of driver movement, and the large driver area probably couples very well with the air, adding that mass to the reactive force on the support panel.

This is not a new or unknown deficiency. I can understand Magnepan's desire to maintain an elegant simple shape for their speakers, and maybe many or most purchasers of the speakers are happy as they are out of the box. I, on the other hand, have been planning some sort of new stand for my speakers practically since I purchased the MG-IIIs in January of '86. They wobbled, you see, especially on carpet (long narrow spikes drilled into the base, with heavy weights on the top of the base, provided a bit more stability).

But I didn't quite get around to marshalling the resources to build my own stands.

Procrastination works, however, in buying computers, HD-TVs or, it appears, in getting better stands for my speakers. And eventually, through this forum I learned of Mye Stands and I decided I now had a problem nicely matched up with a solution.

I ordered the "stealth" version in glossy black for my 3.6s. Since I live in the land of the Europeople, shipping from British Columbia proved to be a bit painful, both in time and money, but I mentally prepared for the wait.

And the wait is over.

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After I unpacked the stands (from wooden crates, would that the rest of my equipment were so protected) I screwed the brass points into the base and set them down. All four points were coplanar, which spoke well as to the precision of the stand's construction. (Hint, don't install the stands with the points installed, you won't be able to reach some screws.)

The only modifications I performed were to fill the accessible tubes with dry sand, and to remove one screw from each panel that was keeping the stand from seating flush with the speaker. The stealth stand version requires a counterweight to keep it from falling forward under modest impetus; shipping dead weight is expensive so that task of supplying the counterweight is left to the buyer. For the time being, I drape a 25 kilo bag of sand over the base of each speaker.

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So you waded through the exposition to this point: the payoff. Which is: The 3.6s are a heck of a lot better speaker than you think. Or that I thought, not that I was in any way disappointed with them before hand. Mostly I have found I can't imagine how the sound could be improved, until I heard the improved version.

And this wasn't an improvement of the "gestalt" variety, that is, somewhere in the subconcious an improvement is recogized, but dang if I can conciously put my finger on what has changed. I would say the improvement is comparable treating a room with OC-705 panels, and the improvements are in the same things: bass articulation and low level detail, or as Allen Wright would have it: "Downward dynamic range."

Punch: up. Bloat (such as it existed): down.

One "objective" way I evaluate mods is to listen to recordings on which the singer articulates poorly, or on which the vocals are so far down in the mix the lyrics can't be understood. When I can start picking up intelligible snatches of words (not neccesarily intelligent words) unbidden, that is, without focusing and straining to hear, I declare a meaningful improvement. Mye stands passed this test. While in the States over Christmas, I repeatedly saw an ad on TV for an MP3 player. The two characters were arguing about the words to the lyrics of the songs to which they were listening on the MP3 player. The ad seemed to cast this as a good thing -- hear whatever you want to. I formed rather the opposite opinion on the quality of the player. The gist of the articulation test was the same, the results different -- and consistent.

As an aside, it seems clear much of the engineering that goes into pop records is applied to cover up the deficiencies of what are basically amateur performances -- talent without skill (as opposed to many audiophile records -- skill without talent). It is amazing the way my system now sweeps aside this engineering legerdemain and exposes the humans behind the performance, with all their warts. I don't actually mind the warts -- perhaps consistent with my preference for folk music -- but...fascinating.

The capture of detail revealed itself with better rendition of the acoustic space of recordings and, most welcomely, clearly improved presentation of timbre, both vocal and instrumental. But especially vocals. Ahhh, the vocals...

Significantly, the timbre of the bass notes is very consistent as they descend through the scale, not as if the notes have been homogenized, more as a lack of resonances excited by one note over another.

It might be appropriate to describe Mye stands as the great subtractor -- minusing out the bits of misplaced energy that obsures fine detail and blurs transients.

With half a bottle of a modest Pinotage, one with much to be modest about, behind me (well, inside me) and I am ready for the homestretch of this review.

OK, that didn't work out so well so we will try again tonight with an unassuming Riesling from the Wurtemburg region, slightly on the sweet side with hints of fruit and of no character whatsoever, but at 2 euro 50 per litre subject to no expectations except to do no harm...

...and it is Saturday Afternoon wet and dreary and wonderfully uncold. So what would I tell someone with their Maggies, and amplifier and wire and source? It might go something like this:

Run out and buy a box of OC-705 (2 inches). Place the panels across each corner of your room with the remaining two panels fitted at the first reflection points of the side walls. While you are sitting there enjoying the suddenly resonance-less sound of the bass and the well-extracted detail in your apparently new room, fire up the laptop and send an order to Mr. van der Mye for a set of stands appropriate for your speakers. Then relax. It will be a while. But that is OK because it will give you a chance to really know your system and to come up with some way of finishing the OC-705 panels so they don't look so yellow and fiberglassy. Don't swap amps, wire, sources. If you do you won't hear half of what you paid for.

Then one day the stands will show up at your door and you too will find that less is more.

Product Weakness: Industrial look may not be to everyone's (read wife's) taste. Shipping hurts.
Product Strengths: Big bang for the bucks. Really a required upgrade for Magneplanars.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Krell FPB-300
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): Ronin + Coder GmbH Superior Balanced Signal Attenuator
Sources (CDP/Turntable): VSE 5 Sony SCD-1
Speakers: Magnepan 3.6R
Cables/Interconnects: VH Audio balanced interconnects, Braided Cat5 Bi-Wire speaker cables, VH Audion flavor 1,2,4 power cables
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Folk, Rock, Pop, Classical
Room Size (LxWxH): 39 x 18 x 9
Room Comments/Treatments: OC-705 + diffusors
Time Period/Length of Audition: 1 week
Other (Power Conditioner etc.): Power Plant 300
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Mye Sound MG-3.6/R Speaker Stands - roninCoder 08:47:05 01/20/07 (11)

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