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I Dream of Maggies

MRC01

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#21
As a Maggie 3.6 owner for 20+ years, I'm a fan. However, much of their clarity is due to the ribbon tweeter, and I think the 1.7 has a different tweeter. So listen and make sure you like it. Or, look for a used 3.7 which could cost the same as the 1.7 new. At 20+ years old my 3.6 still perform equal or better to spec based on REW measurements, so these speakers do last when cared for, buying used shouldn't be a concern.

Maggies being dipoles are more sensitive to room setup than conventional speakers, and usually need to be further in the room away from the front wall. This can impair using the room for other things, so make sure that works for you.

Don't buy room treatments up front. Measure the room response with REW first, rearrange the speakers & room to get it as good as possible (which will make big differences), then decide what room treatments you need to correct that response. Room arrangement, then treatment, goes a long way especially with dipoles. Then you can use DSP EQ for the final touches.

Whether you need a sub depends on what you listen to. Bass with my 3.6 measures flat down to about 30-35 Hz, and 25 Hz is audible though it's attenuated. Classical & chamber music I find no need for a sub. Even with a lot of rock music, most of the bass is 40 Hz and up. But if you want that bottom bass octave you will need a sub.

XLR vs. RCA won't make any practical difference, so long as you don't have ground loops or other issues.

Regarding amps & power: my 3.6 are not quite as efficient as Magnepan says they should be. They do need more power than you think. I use an Adcom 5800 rated at 400 WPC continuous and it is plenty, but I think 250 WPC is the minimum for these speakers.
 

sm5

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#22
I agree that the clarity is due to the true ribbon tweeter in the high end models. (Mini Magnepans/3.7i's and up) To me the Real ribbon even beats electrostatic in the very high end frequency response. If they made a .7 with a true ribbon tweeter I'd say that would be awesome! I'd buy it in a second! Room correction works great with Magnepans/Electrostatic speakers! I just made another thread with measurements of Final ESL's and Magnepans and JBL 306 mkii's in a small room! (Was going to post them here but decided it would be better to just create a separate thread)
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ostatic-jbl-room-response-measurements.12000/

If buying new: I'd maybe suggest the .7's depending on room size. I actually loved my .7's ... the 1.7's were just okay (maybe It had to do with the fact the 1.7's are 3-way and maybe I didn't like where they crossed over? Maybe the 1.7i's are better?
LRS's aren't bad either - but the .7's do audibly sound a bit better. The 3.7's are awesome! If I had the room I'd pick up a pair ... or some of the new Final Electrostatics they are making in the Netherlands.

I used all the speakers with Emotiva A-300 or Outlaw 5000 or later Icepower 125ASX in bridge mode and they all sounded fine. Now running Hypex ... though the Amps don't make as big of a difference at all compared to simply moving the speaker around in the room/placement.
 
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Thread Starter #23
I am stunned by the level of response this has garnered. Thank you all so much!
I've got a lot to think about and review now.

As much as I wish I could make used 3.7's or even 3.6's work what I've seen in the used market so far doesn't look like it'll fit in the budget.

I think Bald1 is right, I'll pickup the 1.7i's plus an appropriate source and amp before I bother with room treatments or a sub.
Though I'm making sure to leave room in the budget for the SB-2000.

Checking the used market in the greater Seattle area isn't yielding much fruit yet, but I've got at least 6 weeks to figure everything out.

So far, the SHD is looking like my best bet for a primary source. It's a little more expensive than I was looking for, but it's got me covered into the future. If I do need/want a sub, it has that. if I do need/want room correction, it has that.
I am already planning to purchase high-quality versions (or rip CDs) of a lot of older mid-grade mp3s I've had for years. All of that will end up on a local NAS, everything else will be streamed. It looks like Volumio is a popular solution with good NAS support. No GPM support so I'll have to change streaming services, but that's a minor issue.
Thanks again to igufi for that suggestion.
 

direstraitsfan98

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#24
1. What is/are the main source device(s)?

Use your computer to your preamp, use a cheap dac like a topping d50.

2. Do I need to care about XLR? Or is RCA fine for interconnects?

You need to care if your system has a high noise floor, which is doubtful. However, XLR is nice just because it guarantees there's no noise coming from cables touching each other.

3. Do I really need the sub? Or is 800 better spent elsewhere?

It really depends on personal preferences. Some people with 5 inch bookshelf speakers say they don't need subs. Some people using 15" full range floorstanders say they do need subs. I would get subs later, and budget a large amount on a pair of quality ones. Maybe a pair of SVS SB-2000 in piano gloss black.

Out of curiosity, what is the size of your room?
 
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Thread Starter #25
If buying new: I'd maybe suggest the .7's depending on room size. I actually loved my .7's ... the 1.7's were just okay (maybe It had to do with the fact the 1.7's are 3-way and maybe I didn't like where they crossed over? Maybe the 1.7i's are better?
LRS's aren't bad either - but the .7's do audibly sound a bit better. The 3.7's are awesome!
sm5,
Is there anything in particular that makes you like the .7's more than the 1.7's?
I've read that the 1.7i's are generally superior to the 1.7, but would need to test with my own ears to verify.
Haven't found measurements or real data to quantify the changes yet.

There's a showroom less than an hour from me I can check the 1.7i's at. But if they're as room dependent as they're reputed to be, I don't know how relevant that test will be.
 

Wes

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#27
I spent a couple of hours comparing 1.7 with 3.7 in a dealer showroom - they are very close.

You can add the sub, the new "fits your room" speakers if they ever come out, or other things later.

You have plenty of room - the manual tells you exactly how to set them up...
 

LTig

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#29
As a Maggie 3.6 owner for 20+ years, I'm a fan. However, much of their clarity is due to the ribbon tweeter, and I think the 1.7 has a different tweeter. So listen and make sure you like it. Or, look for a used 3.7 which could cost the same as the 1.7 new. At 20+ years old my 3.6 still perform equal or better to spec based on REW measurements, so these speakers do last when cared for, buying used shouldn't be a concern.

Maggies being dipoles are more sensitive to room setup than conventional speakers, and usually need to be further in the room away from the front wall. This can impair using the room for other things, so make sure that works for you.

Don't buy room treatments up front. Measure the room response with REW first, rearrange the speakers & room to get it as good as possible (which will make big differences), then decide what room treatments you need to correct that response. Room arrangement, then treatment, goes a long way especially with dipoles. Then you can use DSP EQ for the final touches.

Whether you need a sub depends on what you listen to. Bass with my 3.6 measures flat down to about 30-35 Hz, and 25 Hz is audible though it's attenuated. Classical & chamber music I find no need for a sub. Even with a lot of rock music, most of the bass is 40 Hz and up. But if you want that bottom bass octave you will need a sub.

XLR vs. RCA won't make any practical difference, so long as you don't have ground loops or other issues.

Regarding amps & power: my 3.6 are not quite as efficient as Magnepan says they should be. They do need more power than you think. I use an Adcom 5800 rated at 400 WPC continuous and it is plenty, but I think 250 WPC is the minimum for these speakers.
A lot of truth here. I owned MG-1.6 for 13 years (powered by Denon POA6600 mono blocks, 250W/8 Ohm/ch) and was a fan. Then I met pro studio monitors (while helping a colleague to find speakers) and we both switched to small active 3-way studio monitors (K&H O300D, 260W/ch). Sometime Iater I added a sub (Genelec 7060B, 120W). I use them now since 16 years and will probably only replace them (by their successor, Neumann KH310) when they finally break. The 3-ways are much better than the Maggies regarding precision, dynamics, source pin point location and bass (even without the sub). The first thought entering my mind when listening the first time to the O300D in my home was: I did not know the Maggies were soooo bad.:cool:

A colleague has 3.x Maggies and listens to classical music only. With this restriction the sound has a certain charme I still like though.

Sooo ... I'd like to recommend before you finally buy the Maggies have a look (or rather a listen) to a few decent studio monitors. They are all active so no need to worry about matching power amps. Check JBL, Genelec, Neumann. Read the reviews here.
 
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#30
Alternate to the SHD: NAD C658. There's one on Agon at an attractive price. You get XLR outs for your mains, Dirac, sub outs, BluOS for streaming (which I really like, great user friendly app).
That said, your room/space is a little tight. 1.5' to the walls made me think yikes. Plenty of people make that work for them, but proper placement with more room can hugely improve performance.
How loud do you listen? What kind of stuff do you listen to? For mostly acoustic stuff the bass extension will feel fine, but you're definitely missing the low stuff. You'll hear a pounding bass line or beat, but you won't really feel it in the room. Maggies are hideously insensitive so you're probably going to run out of juice on the PA-1 when you crank it. Subs will help; my go to recommendation is Rythmik.
 

Wes

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#31
Magnepan 20.7 speakers in Warren Gehl's listening test room at the ARC factory_9.jpg


You can treat the wall if you need to put them close - this is a setup used to listen to Audio Research's electronics at their factory,
Magnepan 20.7 speakers in Warren Gehl's listening test room at the ARC factory_9.jpg
BTW
 
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#32
Elaborating on placement close to walls- guys at Magnepan have said that you can go directly against the sidewalls with the bass panels on the 30.7, and I believe the same idea holds if you go tweeters in as above. The wall behind the speakers is a lot trickier. Ideally you want 8-10 ms of delay on the first reflection which is to say a good 5 feet, again as in the picture above. Diffusion will help in general, and especially if you want to go closer, but diffusers are quite pricy. That picture has to have more $ in treament than the OP's entire budget.
 
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Thread Starter #33
Sooo ... I'd like to recommend before you finally buy the Maggies have a look (or rather a listen) to a few decent studio monitors. They are all active so no need to worry about matching power amps. Check JBL, Genelec, Neumann. Read the reviews here.
Bonus points for a novel suggestion!
It's very true that I WANT maggies. But that doesn't mean they're the best choice. I'm often wrong.
Like OdysseusG said above, they're going to be a bit stuffed into the corners and that may be more of a hindrance than I'm accounting for.

I'll give reference monitors a fair round of research before I pull the trigger on anything.

Thanks,
T_C
 

Sancus

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#34
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Thread Starter #35
We had another thread where this was discussed a few weeks ago, so I'll just link my post rather than redoing it: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-retiring-tl-dr-help.11654/page-3#post-336298

Not to dissuade you, if Maggies are your heart's desire go and buy 'em. But I tend to agree with the wife that it's not likely to be the last stereo you ever own ;)
Oh man. I guess I'm glad I have plenty of time to figure this out. Getting into that thread is just link after link of good info and more discussions.
Down the rabbit hole I go...

T_C
 

Lavawood

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#36
Best system I’ve ever heard was ARC & Magnepan @ Audio Dimensions In Michigan.
that was in 1998 and I still dream of having that system one day. The owner there was happy to let me listen often, knowing I couldn’t afford it.
 

Blumlein 88

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#37
A lot of truth here. I owned MG-1.6 for 13 years (powered by Denon POA6600 mono blocks, 250W/8 Ohm/ch) and was a fan. Then I met pro studio monitors (while helping a colleague to find speakers) and we both switched to small active 3-way studio monitors (K&H O300D, 260W/ch). Sometime Iater I added a sub (Genelec 7060B, 120W). I use them now since 16 years and will probably only replace them (by their successor, Neumann KH310) when they finally break. The 3-ways are much better than the Maggies regarding precision, dynamics, source pin point location and bass (even without the sub). The first thought entering my mind when listening the first time to the O300D in my home was: I did not know the Maggies were soooo bad.:cool:

A colleague has 3.x Maggies and listens to classical music only. With this restriction the sound has a certain charme I still like though.

Sooo ... I'd like to recommend before you finally buy the Maggies have a look (or rather a listen) to a few decent studio monitors. They are all active so no need to worry about matching power amps. Check JBL, Genelec, Neumann. Read the reviews here.
I want to EMPHASIZE Ltig's post here.

I've owned 3 sets of Maggies, the most advanced being the 3.3R. I've heard several others. I also have owned and own panel electrostats.

And yet, ........and yet..............................Those have serious flaws. They are different, they are special, and you can enjoy them your entire life. I'd wonder however what I'd think if I could hear panels vs excellent box speakers behind a curtain so I didn't know which is which.

See, one of the coolest things is visual about those panels. A big, thin, gossamer membrane behind some fabric that makes beguiling music without a box. I must admit I think the cool visual that goes with hearing those unexpectedly is a signature experience you really cannot forget or get past. It also shows you don't have to have super accurate speakers to get fully enthralled by music. Maybe the visuals and how they help your brain tell you what you are hearing is so special that indeed the experience cannot be matched by the worlds finest, flattest, most transparent cone and dome box speakers. Maybe the finest speakers blind aren't the finest speakers sighted and never can be.

So don't take this as an anti-Maggie or ANTI-Panel post. It could be the reverse. I would advise everything in your system is pretty easy to do without tons of money. The speaker is the key centerpiece. The most variance is there, the most difference is there, and beyond measurements (though including them) they will determine what sound you get, and what your listening experience is like. Choose the speakers most carefully.

And yes, very few people buying Maggies or any panel are at their destination lifetime speaker. It happens, but maybe like 1 out of 1000 people do this. My guess just reading your post is you've wanted these Maggies and nothing else will scratch that itch. So do listen to some quality alternatives, but if nothing much shakes your sense of the Maggie dreams, you'll probably have to have some Maggies for awhile. Just manage leaving your self some wiggle room for later on. If nothing else for getting some better Maggies somewhere down the line. Its about the music, but you have to be honest...............its a little bit about the gear too. Nothing wrong with that. You'll have fun.
 

Blumlein 88

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#38
Oh about using Dirac with panels, I've used it on several panels and different locations. The results always seem to be quite an improvement. So much so that after just a few minutes listening with it on, you do not want to turn it off. Also have used the old Tact Room EQ gear to good effect on panels of several types.
 

Hipper

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#39
If you like ribbons generally you could always look for a speaker with ribbon highs and mids with cones for bass.

My speaker is a U.S. made VMPS RM30M. These are no longer made but may be available used, as might some of there other products. I'm sure they weren't the only ribbon hybrid speakers.
 
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#40
[QUOTE="TerrestrialCephalopod, post: 348130, member: 14024"



That's what I'm aiming for too. My wife doesn't believe me when I say, "I'm trying to make the last stereo I'll ever own."
How is your experience with positioning? I've read they're very finicky. Based on my current living room diagram I'd have about 1.5' to the sides and 1.5'-2' from the front wall, that's why I was considering room treatments from the get go. Perhaps I'm misguided there.
[/QUOTE]

T_C,

I think you'll find you need much more space between the Maggies and walls than you are planning. They demand space period. Mine are several times the distance you cite (look at my picture above). You'll do some experimenting to suit your tastes (e.g. ribbons outboard or inboard, angle of speakers towards listening position, distances from rear and side walls, etc.). So not finicky really, just need some invested time to experiment with best placement. Follow both Magnepan (toe in) and Cardas (triangle) guidance for placement to start with and then fine tune things.
 
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