Maggie 20.1's

majesticgiraffe -- Sun, 06/15/2008 - 22:36

any opinions on these? I had tympani IVa 1986-2002. Then 1.6's from 2002 to 2005. Then 3.6's from 2005. Have tried to like boxes but after some time listening to Martens Mile III and audio physic it seemed like the only step up is to the Maggie 20.1's.

Cemil Gandur -- Mon, 06/16/2008 - 00:53

Yes, they're great :)

Unless you want to go to something much more expensive, the MG20.1 are the obvious (and unbeatable, imo) choice at that price range.

Further up the price scale, you get into Magico territory, which do not have any box coloration, throw a pretty huge soundstage, great mid/high and punchy bass. They kind of sound like Maggies with the bass of a box speaker. I moved to those from 3.5s which I've had since 1994 and after coming very close to buying the 20.1

Further up, it's probably MBLs, for a Maggie like of envelopping sound.

dazzdax -- Sat, 06/21/2008 - 16:49

Soundlab is not an issue here?

Chris

Robert Harley -- Mon, 06/23/2008 - 09:11

The Soundlab can sound spectacular, but you need quite a room for them (and associated electronics). I suppose that's also true of the Magnapan 20.1, but to a lesser degree. Two of our reviewers (Jacob Heilbruun and Don Saltzman) own 20.1s.

majesticgiraffe -- Tue, 05/29/2012 - 14:05

thanks

majesticgiraffe -- Mon, 06/23/2008 - 12:21

do you know if they run the 20.1's with the pins maagie provides from the xover to the panel or do they use tails? Tails are supposed to be better becuae the pins can be subject to rfi etc. Wondering if this is the case or the expense of getting tails worth it?

sacduser -- Tue, 06/24/2008 - 19:06

The condition that one would have to live with in the 20.1, perhaps less so than lesser Maggies, would be the somewhat diffuse presentation.

This manifests itself as an absence of sharp focus rather than a distracting or irritating trait. So it is very tolerable and easy to accept.

Subjectively, this may even be preferred as more amenable than a sharper sound image. If one revels in the huge enveloping soundstage that comes as part of this diffusion, then it becomes a plus point.

A classic design that has stood the test of time. Like Zeb, I came extremely close to buying the 20.1's as there was nothing sounding as neutral close to their price point. Like him, I decided to shell out more for the Mini 2, which has comparable neutrality and lack of colouration and more focus in place of the diffuse enveloping presentation. I would have been very happy with the 20.1 and still think of their remarkable abilities and that impressive huge soundstage that they throw.

Ricky Dasler -- Sat, 08/23/2008 - 18:46

I can't see you being disappointed with the 20.1's since you've owned various Maggie's in the past, and I presume you've been happy with them.
As long as you have the room to let them 'breath' and first rate electronics driving them, then you should be fine.
I recommend you find a dealer who can demonstrate them against other speakers you may have on a short list and go from there.

Cheers

Rick.

LIVING SOUND
258 Hardy Street
Nelson
New Zealand
www.livingsound.co.nz

T_Bop -- Sat, 08/23/2008 - 22:55

Anyone ever notice that Magnepan is the "pink elephant" of the audio world. Their line is like a giant pink elephant sitting in the middle of the room, and no one is saying a word (for the most part).

Truth be told (and truth is always relative), no other speaker manufacturer in the High End audio world offers so much "music" for so little money. Really, it's not even close (which is why, I'm guessing, that no one else is talking). The value chasm between Magnepan and all other High End speaker manufacturers (that I know of) is so gross that you really can't make a comparison because nothing else compares (in my obviously less than humble opinion - and no, I don't own a pair - yet). As I see it, value wise, Maggies stand alone!

Yes they require room (don't you just grin at the Magnepan adds that show the 3.6's almost up against a wall) and yes they require healthy wattage, and yes the play better fff than ppp - but oh mama, what comes out of those beautiful panels. Not just sound, but music, music, music!

And you don't have to go top of the line to find this. Try as I might, I know nothing that can compete, dollar for dollar, with the QR 1.6's. Those speakers are the steal of the century.

While perusing the most recent TAS, it dawned on me that the Pass Labs INT-150 would be a wonderful match with the 1.6's. And even though it costs more than 3 times the 1.6's, the 1.6's would match it step for step. Attach a Meridian G-08 CD player with some nice cables and you'd be standing in tall cotton.

Majestic - do you really think the Alexandria 2's are 12 times better than the 20.1's? Neither do I....

Marba -- Sun, 08/24/2008 - 05:40

T_Bop wrote:Anyone ever notice that Magnepan is the "pink elephant" of the audio world. Their line is like a giant pink elephant sitting in the middle of the room, and no one is saying a word (for the most part).

Truth be told (and truth is always relative), no other speaker manufacturer in the High End audio world offers so much "music" for so little money. Really, it's not even close (which is why, I'm guessing, that no one else is talking). The value chasm between Magnepan and all other High End speaker manufacturers (that I know of) is so gross that you really can't make a comparison because nothing else compares (in my obviously less than humble opinion - and no, I don't own a pair - yet). As I see it, value wise, Maggies stand alone!

Yes they require room (don't you just grin at the Magnepan adds that show the 3.6's almost up against a wall) and yes they require healthy wattage, and yes the play better fff than ppp - but oh mama, what comes out of those beautiful panels. Not just sound, but music, music, music!

And you don't have to go top of the line to find this. Try as I might, I know nothing that can compete, dollar for dollar, with the QR 1.6's. Those speakers are the steal of the century.

While perusing the most recent TAS, it dawned on me that the Pass Labs INT-150 would be a wonderful match with the 1.6's. And even though it costs more than 3 times the 1.6's, the 1.6's would match it step for step. Attach a Meridian G-08 CD player with some nice cables and you'd be standing in tall cotton.

Majestic - do you really think the Alexandria 2's are 12 times better than the 20.1's? Neither do I....

Do you think that Meridian is 20 times better then OPPO player?

Cemil Gandur -- Mon, 08/25/2008 - 04:25

Well the value business is pretty relative - these are not linear relationships. You get very quickly to diminishing returns. Is a $200,000 car 4 times as fast/comfortable/roomy/fill-in-whatever-you-want than a $50,000 car? Of course not.

Which is also why insanely priced equipment can be recommended. If your system has the resolution, then, say a $10k cable or $50k amp or $60k CD rig etc.. that brings some improvement would be justifiable.

T_Bop -- Tue, 08/26/2008 - 21:33

I think I may have left many with the wrong impression in my previous note. I was not suggesting that someone in the market for an Alexandria 2 would be better off with a 20.1. That's not it at all.

The point I was trying to make - and perhaps not so well - is that the technology invented by Jim Winey of Magnepan is brilliantly simple. For their top of the line speakers, only $12,500. puts you in a very stratospheric range - how close to the A2 I'll let others decide. But just to be mentioned in that category, kudos Mr. Winey.

By inventing a transducer that is sans box, he eliminated most of the expensive R&D of most cone speakers - what to do with the box. And with that box went most of the expense. X and M material don't come cheap and aren't machined cheaply either. And all that weight costs a lot to ship.

Would I love an Alexandria 2 - sure! And more power to those that can afford one - and all that goes with it - I cannot. And more power to great ideas like the 20.1 and, for that matter, the entire Maggie line.

Cemil Gandur -- Wed, 08/27/2008 - 02:03

You'll get no arguments from me re Maggies. I've lived with a 3.5 for 14 years and if one particular Maggie dealer was not so rude and condescending, I'd be listening to the MG20.1 instead of the Magicos right now. Not that I regret it - every cloud has a silver lining :)

SundayNiagara -- Thu, 08/28/2008 - 19:19

I've been following the high end since 1981 and the Maggies have always been held in high regard. They are an incredible value and will reward the listener in spades with beautiful music, provided they are: A. given enough room, and B. used with amplifier of sufficient current to drive them properly. "Cheap receivers need not apply."

SundayNiagara -- Thu, 08/28/2008 - 19:20

Zeb wrote:You'll get no arguments from me re Maggies. I've lived with a 3.5 for 14 years and if one particular Maggie dealer was not so rude and condescending, I'd be listening to the MG20.1 instead of the Magicos right now. Not that I regret it - every cloud has a silver lining :)

Why do some high end dealers behave like this?

majesticgiraffe -- Fri, 08/29/2008 - 20:23

I had the fortune to live in Chicago and dealt with a well established dealer who has 4 stores. Their motto is "No sale is final till the customer is satisfied." They live it. I moved to San Fran and was interested in the 20.1's from the 3.6's. The local dealer wanted to charge me an additional $1000 shipping on the 20.1's. I asked him twice and he said that was the price. Apparently some Magnepan dealers charge their customers their shipping charges! Aghast! So I traded in my 3.6's with Chicago and had the 20.1's delivered via freight on a pallet. Would I have preferred a dealer to install and voice them? Yes. Initially I called the dealer and said these are too big for my room they are boomy. He said listen to the resolution and consider them an investment. I did and also knew I could return them whenever if not satisfied. He also said give them a few months to break in. Well three months have passed by and the 20.1's are awesome. The resolution and life like harmonics etc etc is incredible. I tried to buy boxes but couldn't. I ended up pairing them with Goldmund Telos 400 monoblocs and sometimes go...wow that was incredible(listening from another room).

I could not imagine them bi amped with 4 Telos monoblocs and an active crossover(if I ever win the lottery). I also upgraded the the cables to Transparent Ref xl mm2 and wow!!

Finally after 36 years of chasing this audiophile dream I am satisfied. Are there better speakers and electronics? Probably. I never got to hear the Maggies with FM acoustics and wonder what that would be like?

I will add some Shakti Hallographs and call it a day.

When I sit and listen I know I am relaxed. I don't try and listen. I am not agitated or disappointed with brightness. Instead the music sounds "slower"...relaxed...draws me in..I don't get fatigued..I strictly use vinyl. Granted this is a huge investment in equipment.

Someday I will listen to Magico minis and V3......for now I am happy with my system for the first time in 36 years. I had always wanted/desired more and wondered. Now I am resting and paying off the investment.

Thank you Magnepan and thank you Simon and Scott at Audio Consultants. All of you are world class and a tribute to some otherwise mediocrity in this hobby. Big brands don't necessarily mean great or knowledgeable service. I have dealt with so many burned out sales people that have lost their passion. I realize and accept the trying times of audiophiles using their time and then going to audiogon...that is not cool.

It is amazing that the distance factor has shrunk. When a person finds a great store, that store will now travel to set up big systems. Unfortunate, but we should never reward a local dealer who does not have the desire/passion/tech knowledge to support a customer.

As someone once said, Unfortunatelyl oyalty in audio does not pay off. " Sad but true when you get a "bad dealer." I found this in cars also.

So Maggie 20.1 's are doing it for me. On one recording I once heard a bass note that floored me. I went what was that? Played it again and said, "Who says Maggie have no bass? What I discovered was that given great sources the speakers revealed great music. Even some recordings that I had foo fooed off as barely listenable became more listenable for some reason. Others did not. Specially MOfi's. The dry lifeless bloated bass just killed me. I couldn't believe how much I had thought these Mofi's were great and now I just cannot listen...especially Boston.

I did go to a showing of the Alexandra 2 in Seattle this year. They were demoed with the latest Ayre and Transparent gear. The timbre was nice but I could not relate to this system. Maybe it was the room or the crowd or all the chairs? I don't know. Then I went to the audio/video demo of the new Maggie motorized wall speakers with the cabinet sub woofer. It was life like and engaging.

Later that evening on the bus stop outside the Definitive audio store I spoke to another person who had attended the event. He commented about the Maggie demo vs the Alexandra. Same conclusion. I mean we said how could this be? 200k plus sound vs 20K? For us it was.

I did not want to be biased or want to like the Maggie's better. Maybe having been a customer for 22 yrs has swayed me? Oh well...a bit of rambling but bottom line is the Maggie's are so musical. They don't need subwoofers for me. All the line sounds so musical for the money. I have had the 1.6 the 3.6 and now the 20.1 Previously the Tympani IVa and the MG 3 a.

I am not here to convince anyone. I believe it is subjective and one has to find what they like and what works. However the better electronics you give any Maggie the better it sounds. I once heard Boulders on a pair of 1.6's!

It is like Italian food for me. One has too decide how much garlic? The tanginess of the sauce etc etc. It is subjective.

Bottom line find a dealer who cares. Sure you pay retail but service and relationship sure beat nickel and diming.

RichTeer -- Sat, 08/30/2008 - 12:05

majesticgiraffe wrote:
Bottom line find a dealer who cares. Sure you pay retail but service and relationship sure beat nickel and diming.

I don't think this point can be emphasised enough. With fewer and fewer decent dealers out there (most being replaced by big box stores), the importance of finding--and supporting--a decent (as local as possible) dealer is paramount.

Cemil Gandur -- Wed, 09/03/2008 - 08:13

SundayNiagara wrote:Zeb wrote:You'll get no arguments from me re Maggies. I've lived with a 3.5 for 14 years and if one particular Maggie dealer was not so rude and condescending, I'd be listening to the MG20.1 instead of the Magicos right now. Not that I regret it - every cloud has a silver lining :)

Why do some high end dealers behave like this?

Arrogance I think.

The worst part is that I had walked in to buy. After 15 minutes in the store, I decided that he didn't deserve my money.

Jacob -- Wed, 09/03/2008 - 08:32

The 20.1 is indeed a great value. Does it have shortcomings? Yes, its bass is not as extended as what many cone driver speakers will deliver. However, it does offer an enormous amount of information in the bass region as well as the acoustic surrounding the note. Magepans offer an extremely airy sound, very open mids and highs. The speaker is hard to beat. I've had mine for seven years now.

majesticgiraffe -- Sat, 02/13/2010 - 23:01

I recently came across an article desribing the treatment and creation of a soundroom for your 20.1's...it looked great and I appreciated the info.

I wanted to know about your experience with 20.1's in regard to placing the tweeters on the inside or the outside/ I saw in the picture of the listening room that the tweeters were on the outside.

I appreciate your help and comments.

Initially I had my 20.1's in a small room and placed the tweeters on the inside. I found a great presentation of the vocals but everything seemed compressed into the central space.

In an email exchange with Mr Cardas I was advised to place the tweeters on the outside in my new room which is 17 long by 14 wide with 9 1/2 foot ceilings and fire them long ways.

Thanks again.

Thucydides (not verified) -- Tue, 02/10/2009 - 22:47

I just got a pair of 3.6 Maggies as the basis for building a serious system over the next years.   After listening to numerous other speakers, I just could not imagine bringing anything else home and I knew I had the space for them.  I'm still seeking the sweet spot for them in my room but that's a delightful task! 
My question is simple -- I'm just starting out with the Maggies and my system and I can tell already they need a better amp than what I've got.   If you had a budget of 1000$ (new or used) what would you go with to make the Maggies sing?   Within a few years I'll trade up on the amp but I need something to tide me over until then.  All suggestions are welcome  including tubes, hybrids, or transistors. 
My music ranges from Albinoni to ZZ Top with a lot of classical piano, orchestral works, classical jazz, and rock and folk guitar if you think that makes a difference.
Thanks in advance.   I'm looking forward to building this system.

Jonathan Valin -- Wed, 02/11/2009 - 00:00

 Thucydides (not verified)!
 
What a great screen name!

Cemil Gandur -- Wed, 02/11/2009 - 04:17

"What a great screen name!"
You're into ancient Greek history Jon ? :)
As for the amp to drive to drive the 3.6s, I have bad news for you ... They require really good and decently powerful amps to give their best. Assuming no budget, my personal choice would be something like a 200W tube amp, eg an ARC 210T but that is so far above your budget, it's not funny. My guess is that you would get your best bang for the buck with a Bryston. You might be able to find a used one close to your budget. Whatever you chose, I would not consider anything under a good quality 100W.
 

thucydides405 -- Thu, 02/26/2009 - 22:39

Any other recommends beyond Bryston's?

The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men; they are honoured not only by columns and inscriptions in their own land, but in foreign nations on memorials graven not on stone but in the hearts and minds of men.   -- Pericles

Jack Durrett II (not verified) -- Thu, 02/26/2009 - 23:05

 Marsh Sound Designs A400.  A robert Green favorite and certainly mine.  200/channel.

Suteetat -- Sat, 02/28/2009 - 06:21

Long long time ago, when I used to live about half way around the world from my current location, I bought a pair of Maggie 1.3 (I think) as a student
from Audio Consultant in Chicago as well and I  had to say that my buying experience there was very good. Consider what I was spending and what they
carried, they treated me like I was buying something much much more expensive. Since then, I went through a few changes and did consider 20.1 for my new speakers recently. They sounded spectacular in the dealer showroom when I heard them. Unfortunately since my listening room is also my living room with lots of other stuffs, I just did not think that there was a way I could do the 20.1 justice in my room and I am not sure that my amp would
be up to driving them.

Cemil Gandur -- Sat, 02/28/2009 - 05:19

You could also try one of the old tubed ARCs. I'm not sure how much they go for on the used market, but ARCs and Maggies are a match made in heaven.

thucydides405 -- Sat, 02/28/2009 - 13:24

Thanks so much for the recommendations.  I am in the process of hunting around for old ARCs which is something I had not considered.  There do not seem to be many used ones available.  I have heard Bryston before and can't say I was favorably impressed with them at the time but have not heard them with Maggies.   The Marsh sounds interesting, too.  I've been intrigued by what I've read about the Vincents which seem to me -- in theory at least -- to be a good match with the Maggies as well.  Any reactions or other recommendations?

The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men; they are honoured not only by columns and inscriptions in their own land, but in foreign nations on memorials graven not on stone but in the hearts and minds of men.   -- Pericles

Sceptic -- Mon, 03/02/2009 - 17:42

"Any reactions or other recommendations?"
 I would also check out the VTL amps.

SundayNiagara -- Sat, 02/28/2009 - 18:32

"Thanks so much for the recommendations.  I am in the process of hunting around for old ARCs which is something I had not considered.  There do not seem to be many used ones available.  I have heard Bryston before and can't say I was favorably impressed with them at the time but have not heard them with Maggies.   The Marsh sounds interesting, too.  I've been intrigued by what I've read about the Vincents which seem to me -- in theory at least -- to be a good match with the Maggies as well.  Any reactions or other recommendations?"
 
Keep an eye out for the earlier ARC Reference amps.  The price has been dropping and with the economy being what it is....................

sheepherder -- Sun, 03/01/2009 - 08:41

 Try CJ's tube gear that is what I use for my Maggies,

Sheepherder
Shenandoah Valley, VA

thucydides405 -- Tue, 03/03/2009 - 22:08

Hey....thanks for all the suggestions. I appreciate the input.   Here's what has been suggested so far:

  • Marsh Sound
  • Bryston
  • ARC Reference
  • CJ
  • VTL

 
I'm prowling the new/used market for something good.  I'll post what I come up with.  In the meantime, keep the suggestions coming.
 

  •  

 

The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men; they are honoured not only by columns and inscriptions in their own land, but in foreign nations on memorials graven not on stone but in the hearts and minds of men.   -- Pericles

Cemil Gandur -- Wed, 03/04/2009 - 17:04

Here's another one: Jadis. I used a Defy-7 on my 3.5 for quite a few years. It could have done with a tough more power, but it produced beautiful sounds.

thucydides405 -- Thu, 03/19/2009 - 20:33

You wouldn't happen to be the person selling the Jadis Defy-7  in Audiogon?

The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men; they are honoured not only by columns and inscriptions in their own land, but in foreign nations on memorials graven not on stone but in the hearts and minds of men.   -- Pericles

Cemil Gandur -- Sat, 03/21/2009 - 04:45

Ah no, mine is sitting in the spare room gathering dust, as are my old Maggies. Who knows, I might have a good use for them one day.

highender (not verified) -- Tue, 03/24/2009 - 18:21

I have heard the 3.6 with Hegel amplification on the High End show in Munich Germany, really impressive and they provide a lot of current.
see http://www.hegel.com

Warren (not verified) -- Wed, 03/25/2009 - 12:14

Set up properly, MG 20.1s do not suffer from diffuseness, at least relative to live, unamplified music. Getting precise symmetry and the toe-in angle exactly right is critical. Use a naturally mic'd vocal and adjust for correctly tight focus of the mouth size. Get it wrong and you have "clown mouth" syndrome; get it right -this includes having sufficient distance from the rear and side walls and their judicious damping- and the scale of the origin points of each voice and instrument will be properly life-size, but not over-blown. The same holds true for older multi-panel Tympanis: spending the time getting each of the panel's angles right in relation to each other so as to converge, in phase, at your listening position is both possible and shockingly rewarding vs. the casual set up. Experimentation with speaker cables and all cables upstream is also in order to maximize their focal and imaging rightness. Many cables and power cords, not to mention electronics, introduce collective time smear, phase shift and resultant diffuseness. Maggies, the messengers, are often blamed for other problems they tend to magnify.

Here's more food for thought: If you parked your head as close to the instrument or singer as the mic is on most all multi-mic'd popular recordings, the size of each would seem huge at your ears (panoramic), wouldn't it? As you back away and move the mic farther away to a natural listening distance, the size of origin point of the sound naturally reduces. This is precisely why Magneplanars sound so natural in scale on simply mic'd recordings, and correctly document those that are, shall we say, amped up, perspective-wise.

These ruminations come after some 34-plus years of owning and playing with all types of Maggies, too numerous to mention. F.Y.I. , the fully restored and heavily tweaked original Tympani 1Us that currently reside in my loft caused an interesting reaction from a well-known audio magazine reviewer who dropped by for a nearly four-hour session: "This is the most real, natural and inviting sounding system I've ever heard".

Getting Maggies to sound their very best can require biblical patience in partnering and positioning. When you get there, they will have challenged nearly all of your assumptions based on other speakers.

Sceptic -- Thu, 03/26/2009 - 09:40

Warren, which amps and cables have you found to be the best match with the Magnepans (3.6´s)?

Warren (not verified) -- Thu, 03/26/2009 - 16:20

Hi Sceptic,

Vacuum tube amps mate well with the 3.6s, especially for smoother top end integration than most solid-state amps exhibit on the ribbon driver. If you go that route and are on somewhat of a budget, an older ARC amp such as a D-76, D-90B, D115 or a VT100 II will work some real magic; so would their new VS115 as well as a good second-hand set of Atmasphere OTL amps. I've found the real key to getting 3-4 ohm speakers like these or Apogees to fly with tubes is to get a set of Paul Speltz's Zero transformers. They have taps on them to double and triple the impedance the amp sees from the speakers. I ordered a set without the case around them and with 2-3 ft. leads coming out of both the input and output ends, to use as the speaker wire. I use the 2x tap on the transformer and connect to the 8 ohm tap on my amp. The sound is much more effortlessly coupled, powerful sounding and solid in the low end than when connecting a tube amp directly to a low impedance speaker via expensive audiophile speaker wire. The sound loses nothing in transparency and purity, as Paul is a very good electrical engineer and nailed the design parameters.

If you need more power and can afford it, I recommend larger, same major-player tube monoblocks, again for naturalness of tone, musical dynamics and greater spatial resolution. There are plenty of decent, moderately priced transistor amps out there that offer high power (200-300 watts) and will give you plenty of slam and quick-audition hi-fi thrills. But, in the end, if you want to just engage emotionally with your music and frequently crave listening for 2 to 4+ hours at a time, only the best tube amp you can afford will cut it. If you insist on solid-state topology, you won't find one with high power and any depth of musical finesse without also paying some outrageous coin. ...Just my opinion after years of hearing each next great solid-state amp that seems to fade from favor by the next C.E.S.

Warren

Sceptic -- Thu, 03/26/2009 - 17:17

Thanks Warren, so you think the VS115, or the REF110 has enough power to make the 3.6´s sing? I´ve heard a lot of good things about the ZEROs.

Old School (not verified) -- Thu, 03/26/2009 - 10:55

I have a 25+ year old pair of Maggie MG-IIIs. My amplification is a VERY OLD Hafler DH-200 and an Adcom GFP-565.  Certainly, this is not state of the art equipment, but I find the listening experience to be very musical and inviting.  I'm in a relatively small room, and not listening at ear-splitting levels. 
I hope to purchase a pair of 3.6s or 20.1's before the MG-IIIs croak*, and upgrade the electroncs as well, but for as old as this system is, it doesn't sound half bad.  It images well, has a wide soundstage, is revealing, and is almost always musical - even with a less than perfect source, as I listen to mostly mass-marketed CDs.  (I listen to just about everythng except country and rap/hip-hop.)
I'm constantly amazed that the audio press doen't give Magnepan more attention and praise.  Is it because they've been around for so long, and that they prefer to made minor changes to their products, rather than sweeping re-designs?  Could it be their relatively low price compared to other high end speakers?
Whatever the reason, I feel that the y don't get the attention they deserve.
*I don't know how they've lasted this long!

Cemil Gandur -- Fri, 03/27/2009 - 09:15

I'm constantly amazed that the audio press doen't give Magnepan more attention and praise.  Is it because they've been around for so long, and that they prefer to made minor changes to their products, rather than sweeping re-designs?  Could it be their relatively low price compared to other high end speakers?

Most reviewers/magazines have praised Maggies many times over, and have usually declared them to be the value for money champs. MAny count Maggies as one of their favorite speakers. On the other hand, as you correctly mention, Magnepan rolls new products conservatively, each having a very long lifespan. Good for the buyer, but does not give much fodder for reviewers and magazines. 

Cemil Gandur -- Fri, 03/27/2009 - 09:15

I'm constantly amazed that the audio press doen't give Magnepan more attention and praise.  Is it because they've been around for so long, and that they prefer to made minor changes to their products, rather than sweeping re-designs?  Could it be their relatively low price compared to other high end speakers?

Most reviewers/magazines have praised Maggies many times over, and have usually declared them to be the value for money champs. MAny count Maggies as one of their favorite speakers. On the other hand, as you correctly mention, Magnepan rolls new products conservatively, each having a very long lifespan. Good for the buyer, but does not give much fodder for reviewers and magazines. 

kenowine -- Thu, 03/26/2009 - 20:09

I have Maggie 1.6 - found the Vincent 331 amp - to be excellent. Since it does 300amps at 4ohms - it would drive the 3.6 quite well. The amp new is $1200. I am using the companion Vincent A31 preamp - $595 - both are hybrids - with my Rega Apollo CD player - a nice smooth sound. However, Jeff at Audible Arts in Campbell, Calif. told me of a terrific dac - the Music Hall 25.2 - just came out - with a Siemens tube replacing the original - wonderful analog sound from cds. I will find out next week when I receive mine. We have no high end in spokane - so I depend on out of town dealers and the internet. I am using Signal cables - excellent and reasonable - ultra speaker cables, analog 2 interconnects, and magic power cords.

don murdza

thucydides405 -- Sat, 03/28/2009 - 10:29

 
Old School, I am currently using an old Hafler DH-200 amp right now with the Musical Concepts mods (new caps, new toroidal transformer, etc.) -- it has served me well for a long time plus I enjoyed doing the mods.   It has been a faithful and reliable amp for these many years producing untold numbers of joyous moments of music.  Yes, I know there is more to the music than what the Haflers do but for my budget they worked well.   It sounds silly I know but they now have sentimental value to me.
 
I'm still working on placement of the Maggie 3.6s -- a little change can make a big difference.   They seem to mate with my room well though I wonder if I'm not going to have move my audio cabinet elsewhere.
 
Here's the list up to this point, I think.

  • Marsh Sound
  • Bryston
  • ARC Reference 110, D-76, D-90B, D115 ,VT100 II, VS115
  • CJ
  • VTL
  • Vincent 331 Amp / A31 preamp
  • ZEROs??? (any listening experience with these and Maggies?)
  • Hegel
  • Atmasphere OTL
  •  

 Zeb, what is your specific experience with the ARCs and the Maggies?  Any others want to speak to that specific combination?

Kenowine, could you say more about your experience with the Vincent and the Maggies?  How long have you been using that combo?  Strengths and weaknesses?
 
Part of my problem is that I am not close to any good audio dealers (Iowa).  For me, it means a two day trip to get there, have time to listen (or get the amp to listen at my home), and then return.  This is making it hard to do what I know I must do -- listen to them in my own system and room.  I have found that most audio dealers are not going to let me do a trial run when the equipment  is going out of state and will be gone a week or more -- I have to depend on "return policies" which often force me to use that dealer after the initial trial.  That means I essentially won't be able to try other amps from other dealers.   Of course, the used market is even worse in this regard.    I certainly understand where the dealers are coming from for these policies but it makes auditioning difficult.  I envy the reviewers.
 
Thanks for the continued dialogue.  Any suggestions will be appreciated.
 
 
 
 
 

The whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men; they are honoured not only by columns and inscriptions in their own land, but in foreign nations on memorials graven not on stone but in the hearts and minds of men.   -- Pericles

gadio4533 (not verified) -- Wed, 07/22/2009 - 21:14

You owe it to yourself to check out Odyssey mono blocs, they are a steal at the price point (around $2400 new, depending on variety).  Extremely high current in 4 ohms and bulletproof build quality, plus outrageous warranty.  Support is first rate.  I am using them with highly modified 1.6s and they are magical.

Cemil Gandur -- Sun, 03/29/2009 - 12:26

Zeb, what is your specific experience with the ARCs and the Maggies?
It was basically hearing that combo, MG 3.5 with ARC electronics that got me to buy the Maggies. The sound was magical. The preamp used was the LS2B and I can't remember the model of the tube amp - this was in 1993.
One of my most memorable hifi moments was hearing the MG20s driven actively by (again) ARC gear in a biamp configuration, with an ARC electronic crossover, again around the same time. From Mozart to James Brown, it was unbelievable for me at the time.
Here's another suggestion: Antique Sound Labs Hurricanes. I've used those with my Maggies for a while to super effect too. They're not as well built as the ARCs, they're noisy, the bias drifts too much for my liking, and they have a tendency to blow tubes, but on a good day, they deliver excellent sound quality for the price. I don't know if more recent models fixed some of the issues I mentionned.

ssegrub (not verified) -- Mon, 04/13/2009 - 16:30

I have Maggie 1.6's with VTL 150 watt monoblocks....great  sounding  voices and 3 dimensional space
but  they lack the juice to drive the bass. I am trialing a krell KAV 250 at present...lots of bass now,
but the mids are thinner so its onwards and upwards ...maybe a Plinius 250??Paul Burgess N.Z.

shepperd@wanadoo.fr -- Thu, 04/16/2009 - 11:48

Wyred 4 sound amplifiers (http://www.cullencircuits.com).  My humble suggestion to this discussion. I have no Maggies at the moment but do have a custom built Ice-Module amp and these are very musical, very powerfull and totally reliable. AND they are very resonably priced. IF I'm not mistaken, he offers an trial period. I'm surprised everyone here has totally ignored 'digital' amps. Sorry to be the party pooper but they HAVE come of age and I intuit that a 500 watt Wyred would make any Maggie sing. 

reinhard@humnet... -- Thu, 04/16/2009 - 17:50

I use my Maggie 2.5Rs with a Pass Labs X150 and it sounds just wonderful.  Real bloom, especially with vocal music, incredibly listenable.  However, I did try using the zeros in this configuration, and no good at all -- in fact, the fuse blew each try I tried to bring the autoformers on line.  I had been using the zero autoformers between the same maggies and a gorgeous, but not adequately powerful old McIntosh ss amp, and they did make a very nice difference there.

jack d ii -- Sun, 04/26/2009 - 14:15

 Not having been close to dealers for the 45 years I've been interested in good sound, I've developed a (half-fast)method for deciding what equipment to buy.  Paying close attention to the articles in Stereophile but mostly TAS, I get some idea about what equipment gives good value.  Occasionally a reviewer unequivocally goes outside the usual reviewer lines and recommends a product which is a great bargain.  I was familiar with Robert Green's reviews and viewpoint, so it wasn't a reach for me to buy the Marsh amp for not much $ via Audiogon.  Robert Marsh's amps are not plentiful on the used market (which might be a clue to the satisfaction on their owners).  I love this amp and it has confirmed everything Green said about it.  Read and reread the reviews of the units you might be interested in and ruminate for a while.  How long depends on the individual.  My experience is that , at some point, I come to a decision that in retrospect seems obvious but wasn't in the beginning.  
         Good luck.

 Jack D II

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