question for Mr. Valin re Maggie 1.7 setup

Gregory Macdonald -- Sun, 08/08/2010 - 18:20

 
Hello, Mr. Valin ~
Thank you for your recent review of the new Magnepan 1.7s (TAS issue 205).  I am still waiting (!) for delivery of my new 1.7s -- ordered quite some time ago -- but one day I'll be setting 'em up in my listening room, and I'm writing to ask about your preference for placement with the tweeters to the inside of the speakers.  Could you please share with us your observations and any other comments regarding this tweeter-inside vs. tweeter-outside placement?  Thanks, and best wishes to you.   Greg
.....

Josh Hill -- Thu, 09/02/2010 - 09:50

Well, I'm not Mr. Valin, but since he seems to be off cavorting with dolphins -- the solution to this perpetual dilemna is to try it both ways. It really is room dependent. Planars need to be at least 3' from the rear wall and 2' from the sides, with 5' and 3' (or more if possible) ususually preferable, though that can vary depending on what happens to the bass in your room. And you generally end up sitting on something like an equilateral triangle with the tweeters at the stereo sweet spot. Those are your basic parameters, and then you fine tune, moving them a bit this way and that. Anyway, in some rooms they'll sound better with tweeters in, in some with tweeters out, it really depends on the shape of the room and how it interacts with the crossover lobes etc. so what works best for one person may not work best in your room. Some people even swap them depending on the type of program material, though that's going a bit too far for me, LOL.

Jonathan Valin -- Thu, 09/02/2010 - 10:06

 Gregory,
 
The dolphins have thrown me back on dry land.
 
I'm truly sorry I didn't reply to your post sooner, but for some reason I didn't get notified about it until today. In any event, Josh has the answer to your question exactly right: You should try the 1.7s both ways and go with the tweeter orientation you prefer. Generally speaking, "tweeters in" gives you tighter imaging and a bit more presence; "tweeters out" gives you somewhat more diffuse images and a slightly more laidback presentation. But, as Josh noted, a lot depends on your room. 
 
Although this "in"/"out" dilemma is as old as Magnepans, the 1.7s do present a slightly different case in that, unlike other Maggies, they are designed to be toed in quite a bit. I asked Wendell Diller of Magnepan which tweeter orientation he preferred, and he replied that about 60-70% of Maggie 1.7 users seem to go for Maggie's recommended (and Wendell's recommended) "tweeters in" orientation; the other 30-40% prefer the "tweeters out."
 
Thank you, BTW, for the kind words about the review and the well wishes. The same best wishes to you (and Josh).
 
Jon
 

Steven Simon -- Thu, 09/16/2010 - 10:28

Welcome back to dry land. My 1.7s sound pretty good when fed hi-res files through a Cambridge Audio 840 integrated. I'm struck however by the emphasis listeners/critics have placed on the importance of hi quality, high current amplification. Naturally, I wonder if I'm missing something. Could you give me any recommendations in the < 1500USD range, or should I leave well enough alone?
All best
Steven Simon

Jonathan Valin -- Fri, 09/17/2010 - 03:09

Steven,

I don't think Maggies generally need "high-current" amplification, which is more important for speakers that present difficult loads. What the 1.7s need is high-power amplification. (There was a reason that Maggie demo'd the 1.7s at CES with a 1000Wpc Bryston 28B.) I believe your 840 has 120Wpc, which may be enough power depending on your room. Obviously, you can do better if you have the dough, but I'm not sure you can do significantly better for under $1500.

Jon

Gregory Macdonald -- Sat, 09/18/2010 - 18:17

Thanks to Steven, Josh, and Jonathan for contributing to this Magnepan 1.7 discussion. My new 1.7s arrived a couple of weeks ago, and --briefly -- I offer these few (early) observations.

System: Ayre CD and preamp; Audio Research VS115 power amp; Magnepan 1.7 speakers (yay!).
Setup: room is 14' wide, 20' long, 7' high; Maggies 4 1/2' from front wall, roughly 3' from sidewalls, tweeter elements about 6' apart, tweeters inside, speakers toed in as Magnepan recommends (aimed at listening position).
Listening experience: 1.) Isn't music a fabulous element of the human condition! and, 2.) Oh, at long last, all this money has really paid off.
Follow-up: Details to come in a new post.

Greg
.

Greg 

Josh Hill -- Sat, 09/18/2010 - 18:43

Hey Greg, congrats. The 1.7's are on my own shortlist right now -- I can't fit 3.5's or 20.1's in my listening room, never mind my old Tympanis. (I'm not nearly as brave as that guy who wants to put Sound Labs in a 10 x 12 room.)

SundayNiagara -- Fri, 09/03/2010 - 06:41

"Although this "in"/"out" dilemma is as old as Magnepans, the 1.7s do present a slightly different case in that, unlike other Maggies, they are designed to be toed in quite a bit. I asked Wendell Diller of Magnepan which tweeter orientation he preferred, and he replied that about 60-70% of Maggie 1.7 users seem to go for Maggie's recommended (and Wendell's recommended) "tweeters in" orientation; the other 30-40% prefer the "tweeters out.""
 
As our friend, DC would say, "some people might say."

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