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Magnepan 0.7 Opinions

Peter Leyenaar

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#1
Hi all,
I would like opinions on Magnepan 0.7 speakers, I am contemplating purchasing a set.
I have searched through a number of forums for opinions , they are varied.

The .7 seem well liked for clarity, somewhat week in the lower frequencies , opinions about
how to power them are all over the place, some indicate 300 watts, some indicate 50 watts.

The store I would be buying them from , Audio Arc in Edmonton demo the .7 with a 35 watt tube amp,
they say that they sound fantastic with that amp, the store person seems very knowledgeable and no nonsense.
I haven't been up there yet, a 7 hour drive for me.

My listening room is approximately 15x20 feet , I listen mostly to classical and jazz at moderate levels,
through Dali Helicon 400 speakers.

I owned maggies a very long time ago, really like them, except for the low end, (I did have better ears back then)

Please let me have your opinions,

Thanks

Peter
 
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#2
Hi Peter,

haven't heard the 0.7's, so I can't comment on them. I had a listening session on one of their bigger models (I don't remember which model exactly) once. I remember that I liked them and thought they were good monitors. I didn't intend to purchase, I was just curios to know how they sound. And as said, I thought they were very good. Not as special to my ears that I would have arranged to live with their size and prize though. The speakers that did just that are the Quad ESL 57. They have all the qualities I was looking for in a speaker. Subtelty, refinement, naturalness, transparency, amazing transient response...

Currently I have a good room for the Quads, so I'm trying to find a good pair. If that changes and there is less room I'd be interested in the new Magnepan LRS. Basically they seem to be a smaller version of the .7 at half the price.
 

Peter Leyenaar

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#3
Thanks Goodkeys, I was not aware of the Magnepan LRS, some people claim they are better than the .7, of course the proof is in the listening,
at half the price they seem like a very good deal, the smaller size is also more attractive, I will have to audition those once I get up to Edmonton,
have to wait about a month as I am dog sitting for my neighbours who are off to Europe.
 
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#4
Spec-wise the .7 and the LSR look similar. The .7 is larger though, and I suppose that should have an influence on the sound. Would be interesting to compare them side by side. I agree that the price is very attractive. Definitely worth to check them out. Waiting for a month could be beneficial as I have read that they are slow to roll out. Not too many stores that have it on display yet.
 

Peter Leyenaar

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#6
Steve Guttenberg owns and loves the .7's. Maggies need lots of power.
Hi Ron, the power requirement for the 0.7 is an confusing issue, a lot of people indicate the need for lots of power, others say this is not so
and a solid 50 watts with a good power supply is adequate , The dealer in Edmonton demos the 0.7 with a 35 watt tube amp,
as they are in the business of selling, one would have thought , they would use an amp to make them shine, the peron
in Edmonton seems like a knowledgable person, not given to flights of fancy.
At the moment I have a 60 watt kt88 tube amp, should this not be adequate I would upgrade to a higher powered ss amp,
although I would miss them glowing in the dark
 
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Ron Texas

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#7
Hi Ron, the power requirement for the 0.7 is an confusing issue, a lot of people indicate the need for lots of power, others say this is not so
and a solid 50 watts with a good power supply is adequate , The dealer in Edmonton demos the 0.7 with a 35 watt tube amp,
as they are in the business of selling, one would have thought , they would use an amp to make them shine, the peron
in Edmonton seems like a knowledgable person, not given to flights of fancy.
At the moment I have a 60 watt kt88 tube amp, should this not be adequate I would upgrade to a higher powered ss amp,
although I would miss them glowing in the dark
At least in Edmonton you don't have to worry about making your room hot. Power requirements must factor in room size, whether a sub woofer is used and how loud do you like it.
 

dreite

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#8
It depends upon your room, your musical tastes, and how loud you like to listen, but you can't achieve what those speakers are capable of with a 35 watt tube amp.

The 0.7 speaker has been out for a few years now, but I've yet to see a solid, objective review that shows a proper impedance sweep and other technical characteristics. Unfortunately, Magnepan no longer provides crossover schematics or meaningful technical information on their models, so it's difficult to deduce (without firsthand experience) how the speakers will perform with Amplifier X.
They're much more into flowery rhetoric and marketing-speak these with regard to how the speakers perform. :)

I haven't listened to the 0.7's or the new LRS model, but I do have extensive experience with the MMG and 1.7 models.

Dave.
 

Peter Leyenaar

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#9
Hi dreite, thanks for your response, there is an amp available to me with the following specs: would that do the trick for me ?

Power output: 2 x 150W (RMS, 8ohms)
2 x 300W (RMS, 4ohms)
Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 35 kHz (-1db)
Input sensitivity: 450mV
Input impendance: 100Kohms
THD+N: 0.1%
 
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#10
I own Magnepan 1.7s and I would not describe them as particularly accurate, but the large panel + bipole effect is certainly a cool thing that some people like and some people dislike. I would expect the 0.7s to perform similarly. I'm in the 'like' category but I'm increasingly looking at alternatives because if you listen to Maggies and directly compare them to speakers designed for accuracy first(JBL, Revel, whatever) you will notice their limitations.
 
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#11
I've been lucky to have heard numerous Maggie models over the years starting back in the '70s with the tri-panel I-Ds powered with Bryston gear. Biggest differences have always been true ribbons versus quasi-ribbons. And of course larger panels being able to provide deeper bass. Then there's the impact of high current delivery amplification.

FWIW I run modified, bi-amped, sub augmented MGIIIa's with Odyssey monoblocks in a large listening area.
 

Sir Sanders Zingmore

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#12
Hi dreite, thanks for your response, there is an amp available to me with the following specs: would that do the trick for me ?

Power output: 2 x 150W (RMS, 8ohms)
2 x 300W (RMS, 4ohms)
Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 35 kHz (-1db)
Input sensitivity: 450mV
Input impendance: 100Kohms
THD+N: 0.1%
If we work on the assumption that the 0.7s have a similar impedance profile to most Maggies, my suggestion is that you need an amp that is stable into 2ohms
 

Blumlein 88

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#13
Maggies are inherently not far from resistive load. Which is good. Easy on current required of the amplifier. They are usually about 4 ohms which means you do need some current. If your KT88 amps have a 4 ohm tap, you'll want to use it. They do seem to come to life a bit better with extra power though they don't necessarily sound bad without big power.

I've run some of the older Maggies on VTL 75 wpc KT88 based amps. It wasn't optimum, but it was good. If your listening room isn't huge your amp would likely do alright with them. 150-300 watts is nice to have on them. A very solid 50-75 wpc amp will do alright with them. The one you list specs for would likely drive them fine. Some tube amps have very high output impedance which isn't going to go well with the Maggies. If it isn't too horrid it will work.

You could always try it with your tubed amp. And maybe plan on adding a powered woofer which would relieve the main amp of much of the load.

A side comment, I used to have a Carver receiver which was I think 130 wpc 8 ohms. Don't remember its 4 ohm rating, but I think it was about 200 for 4 ohms. It played the heck out of early Maggies.

My guess is any of the class D amps of good quality would do very well with these. Like a Wyred4Sound or something similar. An older set of Bel Canto class D amps if they are in your budget might be a good second hand choice.
 
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LTig

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#14
Maggies are inherently not far from resistive load. Which is good. Easy on current required of the amplifier. They are usually about 4 ohms which means you do need some current. If your KT88 amps have a 4 ohm tap, you'll want to use it. They do seem to come to life a bit better with extra power though they don't necessarily sound bad without big power.
I had the MG 1.6 from 1991 until 2004 and can confirm that the impedance is almost resistive. I first drove them with a refurbished Amber S70 stereo power amp (70W pch at 8 Ohm I think, but capable to drive 4 Ohm which is as far as I can tell important for Maggies) I had bought used 2 years earlier.

When I saw a pair of used Denon POA6600 at a dealer for a very good price I could not resist and bought them. They deliver 250W pch at 8 Ohm, can drive 4 Ohm and did a very good job.

Nevertheless, the first time I listened to my current speakers (K&H O300D active 3-way) after moving out the Maggies my first thought was: I did not know that the Maggies were soo bad. I think I had just grown them out...

I sold them to someone in need of Maggies, he sold them some 5 years later and replaced them by MG 3.x if I remember correctly. Maggies have a special kind of charm, they are very forgiving when it comes to bad recordings, and everything sounds big. Some people like it - well, I liked it back then, but no longer.
 

Jaimo

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#16
I’ve been a Maggie owner for the past 30 years, starting with SMGa and SMGc’s and then on to MG1.6QR’s which I still have. I’ve had loads of other speakers as well but stuck with Maggie’s all the way through.

I haven’t heard the new generation ‘all foil’ speakers but can give you my overall Magnepan opinion.

Magnepan have been gradually replacing the copper (or aluminum??) wire voice coils with what they call ‘quasi ribbon’ aluminium foil. This started with the MG1.6QR and has progressed to the point where both tweeter, mid and bass drivers are made the same way. This is a good update overall as the larger surface area of the foil improves the adhesion to the film and as a result, the coils are less likely to de-laminate. Older generation Maggie’s are notorious for de-laminating.

As others have pointed out, these speakers are not very accurate but do sound great. They have a narrow sweet spot and stereo imaging is fantastic.

I drive my MG1.6Qr’s with a pair of KT88 based Dynaco MK3 clones and this combo sounds great. I previously had a Bryson 4B-ST but preferred the tube amp.

On the downside, you will not get the same level of dynamics, fidelity, and high SPL that a good cone driver based speaker will give you. The low end extension is also weak and lacks “punch you in the gut” dynamics.

You could add a couple of subs to your system but this adds cost and placement complexities. I didn’t have the tools that are now readily available and as a result could not get sub integration right. Also remember that speaker placement can be challenging as the speakers need to be away for from the rear walls.

I did experiment briefly with making my Maggie’s active but was never happy with the outcome.

All things considered, Maggies offer great value for money even if the construction is very much cottage industry like. I initially switched to a pair of JBL LSR308’s and then to LSR708’s and much prefer these speakers to my MG1.6’s. Go for the new generation Maggie’s if you can live with their compromises.
 

LTig

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#17
Hi LTig, You had the MG 1.6 for 13 years, could the speakers have deteriorated somewhat over that period ?, just wondering.
I don't know. After about 8 or 9 years of usage I noticed some rattling when playing louder bass notes, and after taking away the cover (just very big stockings) I saw that the wires had partially become loose. I contacted the support and they told me how to fix it by myself with a certain glue. It was an awful sticky mess but it did work.

There is not much inside which can deteriorate. The magnet strips should last forever, and the thin membrane had no signs of age like holes or being flappy. The wires for bass and treble are just glued onto the membrane parallel to the magnet strips, thats all. The crossover is simple. Remember the MG 1.6 had no ribbon or quasi ribbon driver.

Actually speakers age very slowly, except those where the designer stupidly decided to use foam as material. Foam just disappears after about 10 years and the chassis must be replaced or fixed. My oldest speakers are KEF B110 and Audax HD25 used in a DIY 2 way speaker made in 1988. They are still in perfect condition. If a crossover contains large elcaps they may need to be replaced after 20 or 30 years.
 

Peter Leyenaar

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#18
Lots of good information here , thanks everyone.
Some have indicated inaccuracy in the Magnepan speakers, this is something that worries me, how does that manifest itself ?
The speakers I have had for the past 14 years are Dali Helicon 400, a Danish built speaker that presents a very clean clear sound
with distinct stereo imaging, some base extension , again clean and detailed, but overall I have found them somewhat on the cool side,
they make poor recordings sound really bad, conversely , good recordings very good.
What I am looking for in the 0.7 is smooth clean detailed presentation and nice imaging, I listen mostly to classical and jazz, some folk, some 60s 70s.
 

Sal1950

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#19
I've run some of the older Maggies on VTL 75 wpc KT88 based amps.
D, just curious, is this the Stereo 75 you had?
I had one for a very short time but traded it back to the dealer for a pair of VTL 80 Monoblocks. Stereo amp had a high level of hum into my very high efficiency La Scalas that the monoblocks pretty much cured. Great tube amps both for their time.

 
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#20
Lots of good information here , thanks everyone.
Some have indicated inaccuracy in the Magnepan speakers, this is something that worries me, how does that manifest itself ?
First I'll tell you my subjective impressions having owned 1.7s(then upgraded to 1.7i recently -- not really noticeable difference, IMO) for 5 years. Magnepan midrange is hard to find fault with. It's very even and the bipole effect especially on larger acoustic instruments like a piano make it sound amazing.

On the other hand, bass is... uneven. As someone else mentioned, it lacks the punchy dynamic feeling of a typical cone speaker. You can sort of compensate for this with more power, but not really. Amusingly, they can also be pretty boomy, with uncontrolled mid-bass. I found that room equalization helps a lot, and probably this is the source of the reputation they require good placement and a lot of fiddling. The bass on the 1.7 disappears almost immediately below 40hz, and I suspect the 0.7s will be even worse here, with it disappearing below 50 or 60hz. I consider a sub to be fairly important in that case.

The treble has always just sounded a bit off to me, and really uneven. I suspect this is why people think the true ribbon upgrade on the 3.7 is such a big deal. But those are quite expensive, and if you are looking to fix accuracy issues, I think you can do better for ~$6000/pair.

The other thing is that there aren't really measurements for the modern Magnepans, and that gives me a lot of concern. The older measurements for the 1.6/qr aren't great, and I looked at them some time after I had formed my own impressions, so the fact that they kind of match up with my feelings that the midrange is good, but the treble and bass have issues, leads me to believe that these frequency responses haven't improved that much over the years.

I'm far from an expert in translating measurements into real world concerns, but looking at the spectral decay and comparing it to a more well-behaved speaker like the F208, it looks to me like the panels resonate an uncontrolled amount at randomly different frequencies, particularly in the treble. That's definitely not good for obvious reasons.

All that said, the bipole effect is pretty cool and tends to make all music "sound big". Some dislike this, some like it, but you can't just turn it off. That's how all your music will sound. I listen to a lot of orchestral and instrumental music, so I like it. But based on reading these forums, learning a lot, and listen to some speakers in show rooms, I've pretty much decided that I'm going to look at moving to multi-channel sound with more accurate traditional cone speakers in the future, and see how that works out.
 

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