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Magnepan LRS Speaker Review

josh358

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@David Harper in @Blumlein 88 is right there, then please reconsider if your research was flawed and the conclusion drawn too fast because of misunderstanding from start on.

Have research included what it means stack transducers upon each other and situate two such rows side by side to take care each their unique summing passband, yes a infinite stacked row can have some theoretical perfect behavour but never for a finite stacked row, so the finite stack length and the side by side design will add acoustic distortions that wasnt there had transducer been a single point source, then comes when a open dipole is a long stack it creates non symetric variations for cancelations. Look if stacking acoustic transducer upon each other was a perfect model we never had other than say two or three sizes of transducers listed in manufactures catalog because the rest of system designing was simply how many we would use stacked, but that is not how real world works because stacking is not flawless so catalog include tons of sizes to pick among, will mean whatever acoustic distortions talked about above or their sum have chance be responsible what you call detail so in research please check out if a single planar is still detailed enough to outperform a single whatever normal transducer.[/QUOTE
For what it's worth, the behavior of stacked drivers is complex, because the near/far field transition distance (critical distance) varies as a function of frequency, and also because floor and ceiling reflections play a significant role in extending the line acoustically at lower frequencies, creating what is for all intents and purposes an infinite line.

If you haven't seen it, I suggest you check out Jim Griffin's wonderful near field line source white paper at https://audioroundtable.com/misc/nflawp.pdf.

Anyway, in my experience, yes, ribbon and planar magnetic and electrostatic transducers do sound "transparent" even when they aren't in a line array (which benefits mostly bass and midbass output).

I can think of several reasons why that might be the case. The first is acoustical -- they're often dipole or dipole line source drivers, so contribute less energy to early reflections and room ambiance. Then too, dipoles have no enclosure so are less affected by cabinet resonances and the like, and they tend to have low levels of THD and IMD at modest listening levels.

A good waterfall seems also to contribute to the clarity of loudspeakers, and in some cases, high frequency resonances can give the illusion of "extension" that rapidly turns into a headache.

Perhaps it's most accurate to say that dynamic loudspeakers can range from the fuzzy, indistinct, high-IMD sound of a table radio to the pristine sound of an expensive, esoteric system, while planar transducers are by their nature fairly uniform -- any competent design will produce good results.
 

josh358

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Ray's ESLs look like quasi-second-order (12 dB/octave) to me with some extra filtering going on.

I have not read the LRS manual but Magnepan normally (historically) suggests setting up the speakers (physically) to delay the tweeter's time of arrival to match that of the bass driver (by adjusting toe-in, or not).
And it's well known that John Atkinson is unwilling to modify his test procedures to suit the requirements of the loudspeaker. IIRC, he mentioned in the review that the speakers sounded and measured best off axis.
 

pozz

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If a person can hear then the person can form a preference. If the preference changes then their preference is unstable. How quickly does the preference change? What degree of degradation is needed to create the instability? Is there an intermediate area where the preference "sticks" unless the hearing has been quite aggravated?

"Less able to form a preference" and "increasingly unreliable in their reports" are both vague to me. If you can link to a recent article that explains these things clearly (especially one that doesn't conflate presbycusis with nosocusis and sociocusis) that would be great.

If that's true then, given the pervasiveness of hearing damage, a very large portion of the public will be "increasingly unreliable in their reports", "less able to form a preference"?

From what I've read that's a big overgeneralization. It is my understanding that there are different types of hearing reduction losses, including mostly the loss of high frequencies only. Perhaps it is true only for much of sociocusis-induced degradation but what about the effects of ototoxins and health factors like diabetes (nosocusis)? Some hearing degradation factors are due to things other than the hairs being damaged. It seems very unlikely that they would all yield the same symptoms.

So, a person who can hear up to 15.5K and no further, as an example, could have reduced sensitivity at 3K? Must they have it?

If the sensitivity loss is centered around 3K that's not the same thing as "With hearing damage loudness perception across many levels changes, not just sensitivity to the quietest sounds or those with the most HF content". It would, instead, be "With hearing damage, loudness perception tends to be reduced around 3K". And, what is "tends to be"? 90% chance? 60% chance? How much of a notch filter is it versus a larger range? How deep is the reduction? What about hyperacusis?


So, is the research adequately looking at the ends of the hearing range? Seems to be focusing mainly on the speech range. That would explain a finding about 3K being the most common. It would ignore any losses above 8K entirely.

It also seems relevant that a huge portion of what is written talks about hearing "loss". I prefer the term degradation, as it focuses more on quality rather than on the more binary "Can you understand speech well without a hearing aid or not?" model that seems to dominate the research (based on my very cursory/preliminary look at it, that is).


Words like "may" point to the problematic nature of tweezing out both the causes and the symptoms. For instance, if exposed to certain computer noise for long enough I get a temporary, very annoying, midrange warble that I never hear otherwise.

Wikipedia says age is weakly correlated with prebycusis and that most people had good hearing in pre-industrial times (although it also says citation needed for that latter claim). Trying to move beyond Wikipedia's mixture of accuracy and sloppiness, I just read a PDF from the NIH and it's a mess. It conflates presbycusis with nosocusis and sociocusis, for instance. It also has a lot of "sometimes it's this, sometimes it's that". Hand-waving about tinnitus. So, I looked at some other seemingly authoritative sites and they did the same thing. It's hard to persist in an investigation when the sources are shoddy.

This reminds me of the low fat diet that was the standard of the medical community for decades because a charismatic (bully) scientist contradicted the findings of a prior scientist. He mischaracterized what his "big data" showed and the prior scientist and his work became the object of ridicule and a chilling effect on follow-up research. That scientist said the data shows that sugar is the big dietary problem, not fat. I hope to be convinced, via a link to a very clear and very well-supported source of evidence that we're not dealing with a flawed understanding of the situation. Of course, before it was finally realized by the community of experts that they had gotten the low fat bit completely wrong for many years, even though the data about sugar had already been known, someone like me asking questions would have been authoritatively informed about why it's a simple fact that reducing fat intake and not worrying about sugar intake nearly as much is the way to understand diet strategy.

The data may, indeed, be out there. It may not be. It may be mischaracterized or forgotten. That's one of the issues with science. Sometimes it is the loudest voice or the voice that is saying what seems convenient or useful that wins the day. Skepticism about the low fat strategy was met, though, with ridicule and a chilling effect on research. The scientist who published a book about sugar was shunned. What about people who aren't even able to get that far, because they're shot down more quickly?

Speakers are subject to shortcomings due to cost/benefit analysis. Designs like the LRS sacrifice bass and probably high frequency performance as well, to fit into a price point. The LRS could have come with a 'subwoofer' and a ribbon tweeter (or some other kind of high-frequency tweeter). But, it does not. For people whose high frequencies have been lost, to aging or anything else, the addition of a tweeter for better reproduction of high frequencies is probably an unnecessary added cost. The same goes for additional bass response (a complex matter due to factors like loss of bass hearing, room gain, speaker distance, etc.). (Too bad about the midrange, though, unless sophisticated EQ can solve that.)

How much quality can be sacrificed to adhere to a price point is debatable. There is also the other issue of unnecessary shoddiness of design, something that came up in another topic I was posting in recently involving USB cable noise in digital audio — something that should never be a factor as practical/affordable solutions (like placing files into RAM) are available. Persisting with a poor design paradigm is no good. If the paradigm is broken, either by simply not being able to work at all or due it having been made superfluous by a better design, then the only thing that can keep it relevant is aesthetics. (Although, a picky person will note that anything that keeps a design relevant makes the design not fundamentally broken. I think from a practical standpoint that that's too fine-grained, as snake oil can bring pleasure to people and still shouldn't be allowed.) Some have argued here that planar speakers have to be larger than the LRS for the design to be relevant-enough. Some believe that additional hardware is necessary. MartinLogan uses subwoofers for all but one model of its electrostatic planars. Magnepan uses ribbon tweeters with higher-level models. Planar bass-enhancement panels can also be purchased from Magnepan to improve bass response to a point. Both also use larger size as one goes up the chain.

Speakers involve many factors, including aesthetic considerations. It's also true that a person, even if it's purely psychological, may find more enjoyment in listening to unusual speakers than typical box speakers. Humans, as a general rule, place more value in what is unusual than what is common. That's why an otherwise beautiful flower that grows easily is called a weed and one that is very hard to cultivate is cherished. (If dandelions were very rare and difficult to grow there would be gardeners all over hoping very much to have one in their flower bed. They'd spend money on the seeds and buy the plants at Lowe's. If the blue Himalayan poppy were to grow like dandelions do people would spend money to spray toxic chemicals around their properties to prevent them from appearing.) Scarcity causing perceived value meant aluminum was once more valued than gold, as an aesthetic item! Music enjoyment is subjective as it's an artistic experience. Try as they might, no one has ever been able to define the artistic experience on a universal level. Duchamp, when he placed a urinal in an art museum, drove that point home.

That said, good design from an engineering standpoint absolutely matters, especially when it comes to snake oil like that "noise cleaner". But, there can be large differences in what people seek from any artistic experience. Some, for instance, think fiery diamonds are worth spending very large amounts of money on. Others look at them and say "Okay... pretty rocks. So what?" Some can appreciate relatively small differences in quality of diamonds but also not think they're worth spending that kind of money on, even mostly regardless of scarcity. What would one do with them? I can't tolerate jewelry and watches — too annoying to wear. Another example is McDonald's food. It is satisfying to a huge number of people but, when compared with high-quality fare, is an abysmal experience (my opinion). The context also has a strong influence on the acceptability of the design.

The biggest hope factor is for humans to be improved, with the restoration of the ability to regenerate the cochlear cells. Only mammals lost that ability so it shouldn't be too difficult to find a way to use genetics to restore it. Once that happens then, indeed, speaker preference will be almost totally universal — as hearing degradation will cease to be a factor for the overwhelming majority. Maybe we can also adjust people so they will have better taste than McDonald's and Taco Bell.
Sorry I couldn't reply earlier. Work and all that in the way of the hobby.

About hearing loss, please see these two posts:
About hearing capability and ability to form a consistent judgement, please see these posts:
Toole's book contains the material for listening tests about preference and compiles the available references in his citations.

This has been discussed a lot so excuse me for not writing a response specific to your post.

I'll link a few more things about hearing loss: https://www.researchgate.net/public...from_Chemicals_Nordic_Expert_Group_Gothenburg

Pg. 8 in the above. This is a typical audiogram for noise induced hearing loss.
1608047017389.png


Here's a more formal source with audiograms for different types of hearing loss: https://www.aafp.org/afp/2013/0101/p41.html Again, notice that noise-induced hearing loss centers in the most sensitive area.
 
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This thread strengthens my thoughts on how some brands, especially name brands, have their Defenders of the Faith, a kind of thought police who cruise the internet, constantly searching for new discussion of ‘their’ brand.

And when they find it, these Defenders either luxuriate in the glow of yet another positive review, “you go ‘bro”, “welcome to the club”, etc, or if it is a negative review, come down hard on it from every possible angle in order to disrespect it, or at least to dismiss it as ‘your ears vs my ears’. Every. Single. Time.

If the negative review is subjective, the thought police descend with “break-in time can take months or years”, “partnering equipment is critical and sometimes only the best (read expensive) partnering gear will get them to sing”, or for speakers, “they are monumentally sensitive to room positioning, speaker and listener both, and you need to just keep ‘tweaking’ for as long as it takes, again this can take months or even years, but when you get it right they instantly transform from okay-ish to the best thing ever”. If all else fails, it’s “your ears vs my ears”. Ring any bells?

If the negative review is objective, then heaven help the poor reviewer, because the Defenders instantly feel fully justified to go on the attack about how hopelessly broken is the link between measurements and sound quality. “You can’t measure ‘xxx’: organic integration, liquidity, depth, transparency...” The list is infinite. Or, “A simple listen with your ears proves that the measured flaw is irrelevant, or you must be measuring the wrong things (i.e. things that don’t matter).” The fact, that listening with their ears, in the manner that they invariably did when forming their opinions, is completely proven to be dominated by things other than the actual sound waves, doesn’t seem to be a fact that the Defenders will allow to get between them and their story. The other fact, that the link, between measurements and how the sound waves are liked or not, is stronger today than before, and so strong as to be described as reliable, gets brushed aside with a dismissive “listen with your ears”. Well sure, but do it in a controlled manner that makes the subjective comments actually be about sound waves, for a change. Until then, the SOTA measurements are the best, most reliable indicator of how the sound waves will be rated by listeners. Casual, sighted listening is a broken gauge of sound waves.

This speaker and brand seems to have more than its fair share of Defenders of the Faith. Attempts to discredit the measurements started long before the review was even published, going back to when Amir first announced that a review is in the pipeline. Guys, let it go. You have come to the wrong forum if the above paragraphs describe your defence. It’s okay to still like/love a speaker that has significant flaws (that are correlated with lower subjective appeal of the sound waves). And it’s also okay for you to admit that those flaws exist and have relevance. It won’t hurt the speaker’s feelings. After all, it can speak, but it cannot hear. ;)

Cheers
If a 'negative' review is objective and the objectivity encompasses the necessary variables then it's a worthwhile review. If it's subjective then it's a highly questionable review.

Subjectivity doesn't gain special status due to the favorability of the claims to product sales. Frankly, I fail to see the value in subjective reviewing in a venue dedicated to the importance of objective measuring.

It's also always important, of course, to make sure that one is measuring what needs to be measured in the right way.
 
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Newman

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It’s not clear to me which part of my post you are commenting on?

I fail to see the value in subjective reviewing in a venue dedicated to the importance of objective measuring.
You are mistaking science for electrical measurements. Audio science includes listening tests. But they need to be valid listening tests, controlled for variables other than sound waves.

IMO ‘Audio Science Review’ of gear should include subjective reviewing, but ideally via controlled listening tests.



cheers
 
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I have a pair of these and really like them. Compared to my KEF Q900 for music there is no competition. To me whatever the LRS do They reproduce an instrument they way it sounds. Even the bass while limited is quick and sounds again like a real drum. They need to be at least 5 feet from the front wall and be used with a fast pair of subs. Also, Audyssey helped give them some punch and really tightened the already razor sharp imaging. I am often startled by music passages and sometimes have The sensation I can reach out and touch what appears in the soundstage. The KEF Q900 reproduction of music sounds like a recording in comparison. For Someone on a budget the LRS are a steal And the best Money I have spent for stereo equipment. I have not heard the better KEF speakers, therefore my opinion is based on a comparison of Q900s And LS50s.For rock music and movies they will be limited, but do offer superior imaging. Everyone has different taste, but this is mine at the moment Until I hear something better and affordable.
 

Rac1

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I have a pair of these and really like them. Compared to my KEF Q900 for music there is no competition. To me whatever the LRS do They reproduce an instrument they way it sounds. Even the bass while limited is quick and sounds again like a real drum. They need to be at least 5 feet from the front wall and be used with a fast pair of subs. Also, Audyssey helped give them some punch and really tightened the already razor sharp imaging. I am often startled by music passages and sometimes have The sensation I can reach out and touch what appears in the soundstage. The KEF Q900 reproduction of music sounds like a recording in comparison. For Someone on a budget the LRS are a steal And the best Money I have spent for stereo equipment. I have not heard the better KEF speakers, therefore my opinion is based on a comparison of Q900s And LS50s.For rock music and movies they will be limited, but do offer superior imaging. Everyone has different taste, but this is mine at the moment Until I hear something better and affordable.
Would be interested to know what amplification you are using with the LRS?
 

amper42

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I have a pair of these and really like them. Compared to my KEF Q900 for music there is no competition. To me whatever the LRS do They reproduce an instrument they way it sounds. Even the bass while limited is quick and sounds again like a real drum. They need to be at least 5 feet from the front wall and be used with a fast pair of subs. Also, Audyssey helped give them some punch and really tightened the already razor sharp imaging. I am often startled by music passages and sometimes have The sensation I can reach out and touch what appears in the soundstage. The KEF Q900 reproduction of music sounds like a recording in comparison. For Someone on a budget the LRS are a steal And the best Money I have spent for stereo equipment. I have not heard the better KEF speakers, therefore my opinion is based on a comparison of Q900s And LS50s.For rock music and movies they will be limited, but do offer superior imaging. Everyone has different taste, but this is mine at the moment Until I hear something better and affordable.
I read a post like yours saying how the LRS was great and ordered a pair. Once they arrived I tested them with the Hegel H90, Monolith 7x200 and the March Audio P452 amps. They sounded OK if I didn't compare them against anything and just listened. I thought they sounded best with female vocalists like Diana Krall.

However, when I A/B tested them with volume matching against the Ascend Sierra Towers they sounded "fuzzy" compared to the crystal clear Sierra Towers. I had the LRS 5 feet out from the front wall and tried moving them around for better sound. However, after a day of comparing the LRS with the Sierra Tower I realized I prefer a crystal clear sound rather than a sound that can't possibly be that clear as it's being dispersed from all sides of the speaker. I currently own DiPoles and in the 80's I owned a pair of Ohm speakers (basically an inverted speaker). However, none of those come close to the total lack of sound direction offered by the LRS panel. It was pretty clear the LRS wasn't my cup of tea. As a musician, I know what live sound is like... in my experience it's nothing like the LRS panels I listened to. My guess is you will either really like the LRS sound or won't want them in the house. :)
 

Newman

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against the Ascend Sierra Towers they sounded "fuzzy" compared to the crystal clear Sierra Towers
a sound that can't possibly be that clear as it's being dispersed from all sides of the speaker
Firstly, a dipole loudspeaker does not disperse sound from all sides. One of its strengths is that it does not do so.

Secondly, even if a speaker was doing so, the ‘clearness’ would be highly dependent on your wall treatments and room character.

Thirdly, your report of ‘fuzzy’ sound of the LRS is a big indicator that you fell foul of its hyper-sensitive vertical directivity, which Amir measured:-
1609552110594.png


Amir himself was initially fooled, by getting the measurement axis slightly wrong, which created a frequency response like this:-
1609552239697.png


The above frequency response probably sounds very much like the report that you gave above, ‘fuzzy’ or lacking clarity. This would explain your experience better than notions that it disperses sound “from all sides”.

If you had gotten the listening axis exactly right, you would have experienced the on axis FR in black, below. Although still a touch lacking in the 1-4 kHz range, it would not be enough to sound blatantly ‘fuzzy’, IMO.

1609552921538.png


I gather that you have returned the speakers now, so you don’t have the opportunity to have another listen while making small fine tuning adjustments to the tilt angle that you are listening at, until you are listening in the super-narrow beam shown in red in the top illustration above.

cheers
 
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richard12511

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I read a post like yours saying how the LRS was great and ordered a pair. Once they arrived I tested them with the Hegel H90, Monolith 7x200 and the March Audio P452 amps. They sounded OK if I didn't compare them against anything and just listened. I thought they sounded best with female vocalists like Diana Krall.

However, when I A/B tested them with volume matching against the Ascend Sierra Towers they sounded "fuzzy" compared to the crystal clear Sierra Towers. I had the LRS 5 feet out from the front wall and tried moving them around for better sound. However, after a day of comparing the LRS with the Sierra Tower I realized I prefer a crystal clear sound rather than a sound that can't possibly be that clear as it's being dispersed from all sides of the speaker. I currently own DiPoles and in the 80's I owned a pair of Ohm speakers (basically an inverted speaker). However, none of those come close to the total lack of sound direction offered by the LRS panel. It was pretty clear the LRS wasn't my cup of tea. As a musician, I know what live sound is like... in my experience it's nothing like the LRS panels I listened to. My guess is you will either really like the LRS sound or won't want them in the house. :)
The Ascend Sierra Tower is a much more expensive speaker, so it "should" sound considerably better, even if both speakers are well engineered.
 

amper42

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Firstly, a dipole loudspeaker does not disperse sound from all sides. One of its strengths is that it does not do so.

Secondly, even if a speaker was doing so, the ‘clearness’ would be highly dependent on your wall treatments and room character.

Thirdly, your report of ‘fuzzy’ sound of the LRS is a big indicator that you fell foul of its hyper-sensitive vertical directivity, which Amir measured:-
View attachment 102953

Amir himself was initially fooled, by getting the measurement axis slightly wrong, which created a frequency response like this:-
View attachment 102954

The above frequency response probably sounds very much like the report that you gave above, ‘fuzzy’ or lacking clarity. This would explain your experience better than notions that it disperses sound “from all sides”.

If you had gotten the listening axis exactly right, you would have experienced the on axis FR in black, below. Although still a touch lacking in the 1-4 kHz range, it would not be enough to sound blatantly ‘fuzzy’, IMO.

View attachment 102955

I gather that you have returned the speakers now, so you don’t have the opportunity to have another listen while making small fine tuning adjustments to the tilt angle that you are listening at, until you are listening in the super-narrow beam shown in red in the top illustration above.

cheers
When I was testing the LRS I could walk around it and actually hear more sound coming off the back than the front of the panel. It was really odd. I moved them to several different locations. Tried them loud and quiet. It sounded fine until I A/B them with the Sierra Towers and it was night and day on clarity. I'm sure some really like the sound. It just wasn't for me. I would consider the LRS sound to be totally different than any other speaker I have listened to.
 

BYRTT

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Firstly, a dipole loudspeaker does not disperse sound from all sides. One of its strengths is that it does not do so.

Secondly, even if a speaker was doing so, the ‘clearness’ would be highly dependent on your wall treatments and room character.

Thirdly, your report of ‘fuzzy’ sound of the LRS is a big indicator that you fell foul of its hyper-sensitive vertical directivity, which Amir measured:-
View attachment 102953

Amir himself was initially fooled, by getting the measurement axis slightly wrong, which created a frequency response like this:-
View attachment 102954

The above frequency response probably sounds very much like the report that you gave above, ‘fuzzy’ or lacking clarity. This would explain your experience better than notions that it disperses sound “from all sides”.

If you had gotten the listening axis exactly right, you would have experienced the on axis FR in black, below. Although still a touch lacking in the 1-4 kHz range, it would not be enough to sound blatantly ‘fuzzy’, IMO.

View attachment 102955

I gather that you have returned the speakers now, so you don’t have the opportunity to have another listen while making small fine tuning adjustments to the tilt angle that you are listening at, until you are listening in the super-narrow beam shown in red in the top illustration above.

cheers
Could be wrong here but think not for LRS case its so much tonality changes that is responsiple if stuff get fuzzy, reason is using acoustic 1st order crossover region that have non ideal consequenses outside used in pure electric domain or for coxial arrays, problem is the physical spacing plus out of phase slopes and the wide coverage that for a @1kHz crossover point will dictate passbands is not more than -20dB away one decade below and above crossover point (100Hz for tweeter & 10kHz for woofer), often its impossible hold textbook slopes that wide especially for the biggest diameter device and the 90º out of phase tilt main lobe plus it make any small movement of microphone per few inches to output another physical step response because we not in electrical domain or use a coxial transducer.

In below animation LRS panel is rotated -30º so main lobe points forward but still the normalized listening window is kind of non ideal fuzzy, for better clearance what happens with rotation have added Genelec 8341A and its -30º rotation below LRS graphs..

Newman_x1x1_1000mS.gif
 
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josh358

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When I was testing the LRS I could walk around it and actually hear more sound coming off the back than the front of the panel. It was really odd. I moved them to several different locations. Tried them loud and quiet. It sounded fine until I A/B them with the Sierra Towers and it was night and day on clarity. I'm sure some really like the sound. It just wasn't for me. I would consider the LRS sound to be totally different than any other speaker I have listened to.
Well, I think Richard12511 has a point -- the LRS should be compared against speakers in its price range; the right comparison here would be something like the Magnepan 1.7, which is comparably priced and a much better speaker than the LRS. Still, I have to wonder about the lack of clarity and fuzziness you experienced, because people often comment on the LRS's stat-like sound. (I assume you played them enough to let them break in -- Maggies come out of the box sounding kind of constipated.) They shouldn't sound that way, but should have low harmonic distortion, a relative absence of cabinet resonances, and relatively low room interaction overall (dipoles dump 4.8 dB less into the room than omnis). I remember the MMG's sounding somewhat fuzzy, but not, in my brief listening, the LRS.

Perhaps the vertical angle wasn't right as Newman suggested -- they have to be tilted back so that your ears are on axis vertically. Or perhaps your acoustic was too "wet" -- the more reverberant it is, the less defined and spacious the sound will be (for any speaker), while the "drier" it is the greater the perceived clarity. But I don't associate any of this with "fuzziness" -- to my mind, that subjective term implies diaphragm breakup and non-linear distortion. I may not be understanding how you're using the term.

Another question is how loud you were playing them and how large your room was. These speakers will not work in a large room, and they "fall apart" when you push the level. (My MMG's, when I had them, got decided unhappy once SPL's reached the mid 90's.) I wouldn't want to use these for rock, except perhaps with a subwoofer.

Re BYRTT's point about the first order crossover, by chance, I watched Danny Ritchie's video on modifying the 1.7's the other day and he noticed that when he pushed the levels, the tweeter started distorting, so he put a second order crossover on the tweeter and the problem went away.

Re listening off the horizontal axis, in my experience the lobing causes changes in tonality as you move left and right -- the limited dispersion of the tweeter probably does as well, if you have younger ears than mine! But I wouldn't describe what I hear as fuzziness or lack of definition -- rather, I hear changes in tonality around the crossover point.

Also puzzled by the fact that your friend said the instruments don't sound real -- Seanhyatt's experience is more like mine, in that all but esoteric and expensive dynamics sound like they're humming along with the music rather than reproducing it. Realistic reproduction of acoustical instruments should be one of the fortes of a planar, as well as convincing reproduction of the space in a large venue. But they are very finicky about placement.
 
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I read a post like yours saying how the LRS was great and ordered a pair. Once they arrived I tested them with the Hegel H90, Monolith 7x200 and the March Audio P452 amps. They sounded OK if I didn't compare them against anything and just listened. I thought they sounded best with female vocalists like Diana Krall.

However, when I A/B tested them with volume matching against the Ascend Sierra Towers they sounded "fuzzy" compared to the crystal clear Sierra Towers. I had the LRS 5 feet out from the front wall and tried moving them around for better sound. However, after a day of comparing the LRS with the Sierra Tower I realized I prefer a crystal clear sound rather than a sound that can't possibly be that clear as it's being dispersed from all sides of the speaker. I currently own DiPoles and in the 80's I owned a pair of Ohm speakers (basically an inverted speaker). However, none of those come close to the total lack of sound direction offered by the LRS panel. It was pretty clear the LRS wasn't my cup of tea. As a musician, I know what live sound is like... in my experience it's nothing like the LRS panels I listened to. My guess is you will either really like the LRS sound or won't want them in the house. :)
If I had A/B tested I may of liked the Sierra better. Can only comment compared to the KEF Q900 That sit next to the LRS. In any event a few days ago I moved around some sound panels and gained more respect for the KEFs. I am finding setup, room and equalization make the biggest difference between two well engineered speakers. All I know is that I have had both speakers for a while and I keep changing stuff (when I have time) and they both get better.
 
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Hi,

I am pleased to announce the debut of a new YouTube channel called DIY HiFi Life.

My premiere video features three ways to upgrade the Magnepan LRS speaker to take them to the next level. Even if you don't have the LRS, you may find my technique for integrating a subwoofer in a 2.1 HiFi system of interest.

As always, I am grateful for your viewership and would appreciate your subscriptions and likes.

I have many other ideas for future videos and will be encouraged by growing subscriptions.

Thanks.

 

wje

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Hi,

I am pleased to announce the debut of a new YouTube channel called DIY HiFi Life.

My premiere video features three ways to upgrade the Magnepan LRS speaker to take them to the next level. Even if you don't have the LRS, you may find my technique for integrating a subwoofer in a 2.1 HiFi system of interest.

As always, I am grateful for your viewership and would appreciate your subscriptions and likes.

I have many other ideas for future videos and will be encouraged by growing subscriptions.

Thanks.

Greetings. I've watched part of your video on the LRS. I will watch the additional parts of the video on the LRS modifications today. Also, I'm local to the DC metro area and reside in northern VA. I'm following the DC Metro HiFI group on YouTube, too.

This past summer, I had the LRS, the .7 and the 1.7i in my condominium. The 1.7i was too overwhelming, so I got out of the Magnepan game for a bit. But, sprung for a pair of the LRS this past weekend. When driving the Magnepan LRS back in July/August, I was using a Crown XLS 1502 amplifier. The sound was "OK". Now, I'm using a McIntosh MC352 to drive them. The McIntosh clearly provides the current that the speakers need. Granted, I'm only using about 5 watts of power to get 60 - 65 dB in my listening position. While, on paper, the Crown XLS1502 had enough watts of power, but being of a class D variant, it couldn't provide the needed current to make the Magnepans sing.
 

wje

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How did you come to this conclusion? Purely by ear?
Yes. After swapping the Crown XLS1502 out with a Parasound A23+, the sound had some significant changes - mainly in the bass region. Again, though, this is my subjective experience and listening. I'd hook up the speakers to the amp, then play a series of songs that I'm familiar with along with using an SPL meter in my seating position. I noticed a bigger difference with the .7 model when swapping out the Crown for the Parasound. I no longer own the Parasound A23+ amp, but have the McIntosh MC352 instead.
 
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