DWM Mid-Bass Module:
• The DWM module is a single panel, one- or two-channel, dipole lower midrange/bass driver. Many users mistakenly think of the DWM as being just a “woofer” (or “subwoofer”), but in fact it is more than that. Specifically, the DWM module not only provides all of the bass output for the system, but also contributes a significant part of the system’s lower midrange output.
• The DWM provides dual (left/right) high-current speaker taps and satellite speaker outputs (see rear panel DWM photo). Along with dual inputs, etc., the DWM provides connectors where optional woofer-output padding resistors (included) can be installed, if desired.
• The versatile DWM module provides built-in crossover network with settings appropriate for use with several different Magnepan products, including:
o Mini Maggie satellites,
o MMC2 or MC 1 on-wall speakers, or
o CCR or CC5 center channel speakers.
• DWM uses a planar magnetic mid/bass panel that, by design, features dual conductors or “voice coils” (one set for the left channel of the Mini-Maggie system, the other for the right channel). Note, however, that while the DWM panel can be used with two-channel inputs, it also works fine with a single-channel input.
Mini Maggie System on the Desktop
When used in desktop applications, the Mini Maggie system sounds uncannily similar to Magnepan’s much larger and more costly 3.7 floorstanding loudspeaker—a speaker that has won critical acclaim and awards from The Absolute Sound and other publications. The only major differences involve the fact that the Mini Maggie system offers less powerful and deeply extended bass, a somewhat less expansive dynamic envelope, and conveys images and soundstages with less of a sense of scale (especially in terms of image height) than the 3.7 does. Indeed low bass extension and wallop (from about the mid-40Hz point on down) is not really the Mini Maggie system’s strong suit. But where it plays (mid 40Hz on up beyond the highest audible treble frequencies) the little Mini Maggie system sounds very much like the superb 3.7, which is high praise indeed.
In practice, this means the Mini Maggie rig sounds smooth and evenly balanced from mid-bass frequencies on up, with terrific levels of transparency, openness, resolution, and transient speed. One aptly chosen word many listeners use in describing Magnepan speakers in general, and the Mini Maggie/3.7 in particular, is coherency. That term also applies to the Mini Maggie system in a big way. The sound is remarkably consistent from top-to-bottom, so that the speaker’s various drive units merge seamlessly and speak as if with one common, qualitatively consistent voice.
Unlike many desktop speakers, the Mini Maggie system is capable of presenting soundstages that offer almost shocking degrees of apparent width and depth. Image height is quite good, too, though not on a par with Magnepan’s larger floorstanding models (which are known for their spectacular sense of scale and image height). But as desktop speakers go, the Mini Maggies system’s imaging and soundstaging are—in my experience—about as good as it gets. It’s an eerie thing to listen the system, realizing that the Mini Maggie satellites are in fact being heard at arm’s length, yet at the same time receiving the sonic cues that suggest musical events are unfolding on a big, broad stage located what seems like 20, 30, 40 or more feet away from the listener. Imaging precision is excellent—the best I’ve ever heard from any desktop speaker system. In short, Magnepan’s ads for this system have got it right; it’s a desktop rig that provides a listening experience similar to hearing big dipole speakers in a large, well-proportioned listening room.
But Can it Work for Whole-Room Applications?
Let’s begin by stipulating that the Mini Maggie system will only ever work well in mid-to-small size rooms—typically the smaller the better. I would also add that, for almost all whole-room applications (except for exceedingly small rooms), listeners should probably plan on upgrading the system to include two DWM modules (not just one, as comes with the standard Mini Maggie rig) in order to achieve optimal bass balance.