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Magnepan LRS Speaker Review

leeroy 85032

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Interesting.. I've heard *nothing*but gushing platitudes about the sheer perfection of these speakers from every source I've seen/ read ... It's obvious that some of the reviewers drank the hype kool aid... The measurements seem to indicate a seriously flawed speaker....i guess i don't have to worry about upgrading to a "better" amp as all those reviews suggest "to get the most" outta these...lol
 

Vini darko

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Going above and beyond :D. Results line up with most reviews when reading between the lines. I suspect a lot of the problems emanate from the mid and tweeter sharing the same membrane. Issues kinda shared by coax dynamic drivers.
 
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MZKM

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Interesting.. I've heard *nothing*but gushing platitudes about the sheer perfection of these speakers from every source I've seen/ read ... It's obvious that some of the reviewers drank the hype kool aid... The measurements seem to indicate a seriously flawed speaker....i guess i don't have to worry about upgrading to a "better" amp as all those reviews suggest "to get the most" outta these...lol
A $650 speaker shouldn’t need a $6500 amplifier to sound great.
 

richard12511

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Damn, not what I was expecting.

On one hand, the response above 300Hz(ignoring above 15k) or so is more linear than I thought it would be(reflected in the decent w/sub score).

On the other hand, the bass is way, way worse than I thought it would be. I can't imagine how it's possible for these to sound even decent with any song that has any sort of bass content at all, and I'm not even talking super low EDM/Pop stuff. Perhaps one could run multiple crossovers to get a decent sound out of these. Crossover to a traditional bookshelf/tower below 300Hz, then cross that speaker over to subs at 80Hz.

Still kinda interested in trying them, just to compare to everything I have, though I can't see myself liking a speaker with no bass or midbass. I do think it perhaps bodes somewhat well for some of the larger Maggie panels. The mids and highs are better than I thought they'd be, and a larger panel should be able to fix some of the missing bass, right?
 

Sancus

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Very interesting review. Given these are even smaller panel area than the 1.7i(696sqin vs 1235sqin), I'm not surprised they're bass deficient. I already feel the 1.7i bass is not great and requires a subwoofer. The PIR is surprisingly decent above the bass drop-off.

I'm replacing my 1.7is with Genelec 8351Bs soon(supposed to arrive end of month) so maybe it would be possible to send the 1.7is in for measurement if desired/possible. Though shipping them back to me just to sell makes no sense; perhaps we can find a buyer in the US.

E: My general opinion of the 1.7i having since compared them to well-measuring traditional speakers(Neumann KH80) is that Magnepans don't have great(nor terrible) tonality and this is very obvious in a direct comparison. However, most(all?) monopole speakers can't match their spatial quality. Now, whether you like the spatial quality is another story. Some don't. But it is qualitatively different. Oh, and yes, vertical dispersion is terribly narrow.
 
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617

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Really interesting Amir. I always assumed the radiation of these panels was uber chaotic but it's incredible to see such good data. My intuition about these speakers was; high bass distortion, narrow dispersion. It's amazing how well they perform, and I think it validates the idea dipolar radiation.
 

Kaiju

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So, It was all the fuss all along. Thank you for reviewing these.
 

MZKM

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so not as intuitive. But hopefully you see it now with the annotations in place.
Maybe this will help:
Screen Shot 2020-09-18 at 8.26.48 PM.png


0-degree is facing you,
+/-90 degrees are facing the side walls
+/-180 degree is facing the front wall (away from you).
 
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Blumlein 88

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Maybe this will help:
View attachment 83667

0-degree is facing you,
+/-90 degrees are facing the side walls
+/-180 degree is facing the front wall (away from you).
I wish Amir would report directional plots this way. Much more intuitive though I get you really are getting a more course readout of the info.
 

Blumlein 88

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I've owned panel speakers all my adult life. Including a few Maggies (though not these). The results look way more awful than I found them to sound, but I've never been very happy with them. I much prefer full range panel electrostats. Wish someone would send Amir some of those to measure.

One thing that strikes me as a problem for Magnepans looking at the results is using a 1st order crossover. Some of these up and down bits in the response wouldn't be there if the Maggie used a 24 db/octave crossover. Not much of an in the room interference pattern would exist. This is why I always found Maggies much more of a head in a vise speaker than ESL's. And they are like described so picky on positioning of speakers and your listening position. I've thought it was the interference pattern from the different drivers and a 1st order crossover.

Still this is a very interesting entry into the database of Klippel measurements.
 

MZKM

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I wish Amir would report directional plots this way. Much more intuitive though I get you really are getting a more course readout of the info.
Yeah, you can only see a few degrees at a time; though, @hardisj has a really cool heat map global plot, too bad I can't make those.
Selah%20Audio%20Purezza_360_Horizontal_Polar.png
 
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OdysseusG

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As an unabashed Magnepan fanboy this is a lot to chew on, and delightful even where it's unflattering. I'll cherry pick the very low distortion at higher frequencies as validation of part of the subjective appeal. Other notes-
The indentation: Magnepan say that the buttons are there to combat resonant frequencies inherent to a single panel driver this large. In measurements this detailed can you pick out damping/loss of output around the button?
I'm really interested in more detail on the placement of the speaker for the subjective listening, as well as details on in room response. I'd expect more of a boost to the bass than I see in the early reflections graph, but am not sure I properly understand that graph.
The in room picture of the LRS looks like it's a good two meters away from the wall behind it, but with plenty of cabinet and gear in between. Was an effort made to play with distance/placement to that wall so as to tune the SBIR? How far was the listening position, especially in light of the relatively large far field distance?
Vertical directivity- I feel like I can't be understanding this correctly- there's a very narrow (vertical) sweet spot centered within the height of the drivers? I thought they were known to beam, but as long as you were comfortably within the height of the drivers you were ok- the old "they sound the same sitting down or standing up". Especially given that their preferred demo of the flagship 30.7 was standing, walking around, this clashes with my understanding. Note to self, conduct some listening tests at home with a computer chair moving through its full range of heights.
I'm sure I'll have more questions, but it's a start.
 

Blumlein 88

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Very interesting review. Given these are even smaller panel area than the 1.7i(696sqin vs 1235sqin), I'm not surprised they're bass deficient. I already feel the 1.7i bass is not great and requires a subwoofer. The PIR is surprisingly decent above the bass drop-off.

I'm replacing my 1.7is with Genelec 8351Bs soon(supposed to arrive end of month) so maybe it would be possible to send the 1.7is in for measurement if desired/possible. Though shipping them back to me just to sell makes no sense; perhaps we can find a buyer in the US.

E: My general opinion of the 1.7i having since compared them to well-measuring traditional speakers(Neumann KH80) is that Magnepans don't have great(nor terrible) tonality and this is very obvious in a direct comparison. However, most(all?) monopole speakers can't match their spatial quality. Now, whether you like the spatial quality is another story. Some don't. But it is qualitatively different. Oh, and yes, vertical dispersion is terribly narrow.
I think what makes them desirable and explains that qualitative difference is the lack of reflection or room interaction between 400 hz and 6 khz in this speaker. And probably over a wider range with the larger Maggies.

It also strikes me that this kind of measurement doesn't show what the actual heard result would be. Because it isn't going to include the reflected backwave from the room correctly is it? Or does it. It would have to account for the delayed and reflected backwave as part of the front wave and it can't do that the way the Klippel operates as the device is giving you anechoic results. I don't think the PIR function works correctly for a dipole. Or am I wrong?

@amirm can you comment on how how the PIR for a monopole speaker vs that of a dipole speaker works. Is the PIR going to give a poor prediction as I suspect for dipoles. Even though the PIR above 400 hz looks pretty okay I'd still think it not accurate.
 

Sancus

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the old "they sound the same sitting down or standing up".

My 1.7is don't sound even remotely the same sitting down or standing up, this is one of my main complaints about them. I haven't heard the 3.7i, but this effect did seem less on the 20.7, though honestly I only heard them once and I could be remembering wrong.
 

Blumlein 88

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Yeah, you can only see a few degrees at a time though, @hardisj has a really cool heat map global plot, too bad I can't make those.
Selah%20Audio%20Purezza_360_Horizontal_Polar.png
Yes, I've seen his and commented favorably on them. That is the version I'd really like to see used.
 

AudioTodd

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Now I regret paying $2390 with tax for my 1.7i. The Kef R3 cost less and probably sound better.
I have a pair of 1.7is and a pair of .7s in a different system and love them both for what they do well. I’m lucky in that both systems also have different speakers ready to go for when I want sound without the shortcomings of the Magnepans. They are not for everyone and even dealers will often ask you if you are familiar with the Maggie sound before just selling you a pair sound unheard. Unless you just decide to turn around and see them back, give them a listen as you might find you like their strengths and don’t mind their weaknesses.

By the way, I was trying to justify sending a packed away near 20 year old pair of MMGs to Amir before the LRS was announced as I thought we could all benefit from seeing measurements of a dipole speaker. The new model superseding the MMG, however, made me doubt the ultimate value of measuring them since I instinctively thought it would be a much more difficult endeavor than measuring a typical box speaker and would not be relevant enough to justify the effort considering they had been replaced in the lineup. I’m extremely pleased to see this review as a result!
 
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