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Any experience with Magnepan modifications?

bryanl9581

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#1
There is a lot of hype about various types of modifications under the view that Magnepans have some great attributes but are built to price points and they can be significantly improved by upgrading the design. I did try the easiest type of modification which was replacing the fuse for the tweeter with a silver plated tube and replacing the aluminum(?) jumper with a silver wire. I am not sure whether one or both made a difference, but it was easy to discern in an A/B test and I was very pleasantly surprised.

I am still a newbie to this site and I am now nervous that the more fancy modifications, which involve taking the speakers apart, might be "snake oil" and I will be wasting my time. These fancier and more interesting modifications generally involve placing the driver in a solid wooden frame rather than the stock MDF (theoretically absorbs the residual vibration from the driver panel) and a newly built crossover with premium components. Has anyone done any A/B testing on mods such as this? I am headed down that path with my MMGs and will probably do the wood frame mod to one speaker and A/B test it against the untouched one. Thanks!
 

DonH56

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#2
I've done myriads of mods to Maggies of all types over the years. In a few cases the difference was measurable, in virtually no case was it audible in a blind test unless it was a physical change like raising the speaker.

Back when I worked for a dealer as a tech, replacing the fuses with solid wire was a very popular mod that gave me a lot of extra business when they blew the panels and especially the ribbon tweeter in the upper 3.x, 20.x, and Tympani models.

Making a stiffer mount for the panels would sometimes yield a hair better measured transient response but in practice I never found it worthwhile and again it was inaudible in any sort of blind testing.

But, it is 40+ years since I heard my first Maggies, and the claims are just as robust today, sigh.
 
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#3
I feel like there's not a shadow of a chance that rebuilding MMGs would be more cost effective than upgrading to the next model. That said, I do really like my Mye stands, especially after threading in felt sliders for feet. The stock stands seem unnecessarily cheap.
I can second Don's point about blowing tweeters when you bypass the fuses. I got my mains used and the original owner tweaked them to the high heavens, including custom crossover boxes and the ever popular fuse bypass. One set of blown tweeters was enough frustration for me to build my own lil fuse boxes to put in line. I haven't A/B'd them but I haven't noticed a difference.
If you're interested/willing to do crossover surgery the other big, meaningful tweak would be an active crossover/eq. I've been using a DEQX unit which has been pretty exciting in its overwhelming potential. The other thing I'd recommend being mindful of is using thick gauge speaker cable and keeping your runs short.
 

Sancus

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#4
Back when I worked for a dealer as a tech, replacing the fuses with solid wire was a very popular mod that gave me a lot of extra business when they blew the panels and especially the ribbon tweeter in the upper 3.x, 20.x, and Tympani models.
Lol removing the fuses just seems crazy to me. I blew the fuse on my 1.7is twice. Imagine if each time required a full tweeter repair????
 

Hon

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#5
I added the electrostatic elements from a pair of RTR tweeters to my MG-IIa's a while back. I remember taking the socks off and somehow installing the electrostatic panels inside the frame. There were three or four square panels in each RTR open-front-and-back box. I doubt that intact RTR add-ons are still around, but some of the panels have survived.
 

restorer-john

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#6
I've done myriads of mods to Maggies of all types over the years.
I once picked up a pair of Maggies from the tip shop. (recycling shop) for a few dollars. Maybe 20 years ago. They were toast. All I kept was the terminal plate and some of the oak? outer frame. I should have repaired them, but just looked at the de-lamination and figured they were a write-off. I know better now. :facepalm:
 

DonH56

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#7
I once picked up a pair of Maggies from the tip shop. (recycling shop) for a few dollars. Maybe 20 years ago. They were toast. All I kept was the terminal plate and some of the oak? outer frame. I should have repaired them, but just looked at the de-lamination and figured they were a write-off. I know better now. :facepalm:
Oops. Given your history, Sir John, I am amazed you did not repair them! Delamination was common and a pretty easy fix, natch. The harder fixes were open wires or traces in the middle of a panel. The 20's were a bit more painful since they had magnets on both sides, as did the Tympani 4's (I think, been a while!) For a while I was the "go-to" guy in the area for Maggie repairs and mods; got very good at pulling the socks and making the repairs. All but the ribbon tweeters; I had the occasional rare success, but usually just swapped them since Magnepan made it a fairly inexpensive and easy repair. One of the leading causes of dead ribbons was not actually overpowering the tweeters, though that happened often enough, but folk who vacuumed the dust off the socks! The panels would usually survive but not the ribbon tweeters.
 

LTig

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#9
Lol removing the fuses just seems crazy to me. I blew the fuse on my 1.7is twice. Imagine if each time required a full tweeter repair????
I second that. Blew the fuses of my MG 1.6 at least 3 times during the 13 years I had them.
 
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