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Magnepan Owners & Discussion Thread

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Guest Gary janezic

Got my magnapans 1.7is and they are very nice sounding and very revealing. They easily showed the difference between my McIntosh mcd550 and gamut cd1 player McIntosh being the clear winner.i am wondering how much better can the 30.7s be obviously better but how much? I’m talking strictly on sound quality not bass power or extension or dynamics.i will listen again to Peters 20.7s when he’s repaired the tweeters . Any feedback welcome.  Gary the music monster 🎶

 

 

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Gary, 

 

Your Maggie's are nowhere near having been run in. Give it a few months and they will really open up. 

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25 minutes ago, Gary janezic said:

Got my magnapans 1.7is and they are very nice sounding and very revealing. They easily showed the difference between my McIntosh mcd550 and gamut cd1 player McIntosh being the clear winner.i am wondering how much better can the 30.7s be obviously better but how much? I’m talking strictly on sound quality not bass power or extension or dynamics.i will listen again to Peters 20.7s when he’s repaired the tweeters . Any feedback welcome.  Gary the music monster 🎶

 

However good 1.7s can sound, there's no getting away from the fact that they don't have a true-ribbon - only foil-on-mylar drivers.  So they can't deliver the HF extension that a 3-way, true-ribbon Maggie (III / IIIa / 3.X / 20.X / 30.7 / Tymp IV and IVa) can.

 

In addition, 1.7s have the tweeter on the same sheet of mylar as the other drivers ... hence they will exhibit a higher level of IMD than the true-ribbon models - where the tweeter is an entirely separate driver.  And in particular, Tymp IV / IVa and 30.7 (and my 'Frankenpans', which use T-IVa mids & ribbons) have the ribbon on a completely different panel to the bass drivers - so the ribbon 'cage' doesn't get shaken around by bass panel vibrations, like happens with the III / IIIa / 3.X and 20.X (as the ribbon is fixed to the same panel as the bass panel).

 

Andy

 

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Guest Gary janezic

I have also noticed when I touch the top of the panels the speakers move all over the place,isn’t this bad for the sound I think these metal feet are not good enough for 20.7s or 30.7s even 1.7s would sound better with feet that keep the speakers steady. At higher volume this would cause a loss in sound quality,wonder why magnapan don’t address this issue.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, andyr said:

 

However good 1.7s can sound, there's no getting away from the fact that they don't have a true-ribbon - only foil-on-mylar drivers.  So they can't deliver the HF extension that a 3-way, true-ribbon Maggie (III / IIIa / 3.X / 20.X / 30.7 / Tymp IV and IVa) can.

.

.

.

Andy

 

 

quite true, though the 1.7 (and 1.6 prior) sound more coherent than any true ribbon maggie up to the 3.7

 

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2 hours ago, Gary janezic said:

Got my magnapans 1.7is and they are very nice sounding and very revealing. They easily showed the difference between my McIntosh mcd550 and gamut cd1 player McIntosh being the clear winner.i am wondering how much better can the 30.7s be obviously better but how much? I’m talking strictly on sound quality not bass power or extension or dynamics.i will listen again to Peters 20.7s when he’s repaired the tweeters . Any feedback welcome.  Gary the music monster 🎶

 

The 1.7s are very nice speakers but that flex/wobble always seemed to me to be a bit of problem. if you're serious about keeping the 1.7 you should probably get rigid stands made up.

There's a diminishing return in all hi fi but I don't think its very fair to compare 1.7 to the 30.7 - they're in different leagues. And I'm not sure you can talk meaningfully about sound quality if you're not considering bass, extension and dynamics. I moved very reluctantly from 1.7 to box speakers — mainly because of my listening space — but  I now prefer my boxes partly because of tighter bass, significantly better treble extension and much improved dynamics. Of course I've lost in other areas at which the Maggies excel, but we're all compromised by the spaces we live in and choose gear accordingly . 

Edited by buddyev

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Guest Gary janezic

thanks Russ I wanna move up to 30.7s not worried to much about flex wobble on 1.7s but it would be a problem on 30.7s at this price level I expect something more steady than these metal feet. I guess magnapan are trying to keep costs down.it is unfair to compare these 2 speakers as you mentioned I was just thinking how much per cent would they be better buy 15 ,20.30.or more percent better as you say the law of diminishing returns.cheeres mate  . Gary the music monster 🎶

 

 

 

 

 

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I think that my home-made-sand-filled-tubular-steel-triangular-buttress-stands-coupled-to-the-concrete-thru-the-carpet-with-spikes is the best improvement that I have made.

 

The soundstage image snapped into focus and the speakers disappeared totally.  You can stare at the speaker and try as you might still not realize that they are the source of the sound.

 

Everyone with panel speakers (not just Maggies) should try "rigidifying" them.

 

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4 hours ago, Gary janezic said:

I have also noticed when I touch the top of the panels the speakers move all over the place,isn’t this bad for the sound I think these metal feet are not good enough for 20.7s or 30.7s even 1.7s would sound better with feet that keep the speakers steady. At higher volume this would cause a loss in sound quality,wonder why magnapan don’t address this issue.

 

2 hours ago, Gary janezic said:

thanks Russ I wanna move up to 30.7s not worried to much about flex wobble on 1.7s but it would be a problem on 30.7s at this price level I expect something more steady than these metal feet. I guess magnapan are trying to keep costs down.it is unfair to compare these 2 speakers as you mentioned I was just thinking how much per cent would they be better buy 15 ,20.30.or more percent better as you say the law of diminishing returns.cheeres mate  . Gary the music monster 🎶

 

 

Yes, the panels flap because of those pathetic 'T' feet.  Which - as Newton's 3rd law tells us - will deliver worse sound than if you have invested in braced stands that stop the panels moving backwards from a loud bass transient.

 

So why doesn't Magnepan do this?  Because it would greatly increase the price they would have to sell the models at, to still make a profit.  And then they would go out of business.

 

I for one am very happy with Magnepan's cost-competitive focus ... coz it means I can buy a speaker which:

  • sounds good, and
  • has great potential

... for a very reasonable price.  Then I can spend a relatively small amount to make them sound even better:lol:

 

The things you can do to a stock Maggie include (in order of better SQ):

  1. make sure you have a powerful enough amp.
  2. provide bracing for the frame.
  3. replace the MDF frame with a hardwood frame.  (This has a side-benefit of attaching the driver to the frame far better than staples into MDF do!)
  4. remove the mid-panel fuses and replace the cr*p steel, tweeter fuse holders with something good.  (Better still - remove the tweeter fuses!)
  5. replace the cr*p spkr wire connectors with some good banana sockets or binding posts.
  6. upgrade the XO (not so relevant to 'X.7' models as Magnepan use better-quality XO components, these days).  Or - as you can easily spend thousands of $$ by buying silver-wire inductors and boutique caps - go active.

 

Good luck with your journey.

Andy

 

 

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Guest Gary janezic

Thanks for all feedback gentlemen. Gary the music monster 🎶

 

 

 

 

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On 03/12/2018 at 10:12 AM, aechmea said:

Haha.

At my age and deaf as a post I have to press my ear up against them to check that they are working.  All the coloured lights are on so that's a good start.

 

Yeah, it's just gossamer thin open weave gauze that doesn't seem to be of much use.  Might stop finger touching at best.  Reckon you could easily do without it, if it became damaged.

 

-------------------------------

 

If one needs to move them, there is a magnetic strip that fits over the ribbon to provide protection.  Well, mine came with such a strip.

 

--------------------------------

Not that I am in the market, but are there actually any 30.7s in captivity [other than the one doing the USA road-trip]?  Hard to justify $50k for extended bass, if that is all that is being offered, when a few well positioned subs can do that.  And still no active bi or tri amping [still have an ME and a spare Magtech just in case, one day...].

 

I am glad to hear you aren't having any issues with the tweeters. I have heard of another case in HK that had such issues but the early adopter in Bangkok did not suffer the same fate. Never did manage to find out why some did and others didn't. To be fair, both the subsequent owner and myself play loud and all genres of music.

 

Curious about he 30.7 too but the cost will be prohibitive here in SG as well and always got the sense that to play the 30.7 convincingly would require some rather brutish amps lol. 😁

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9 hours ago, PoisonM said:

 

I am glad to hear you aren't having any issues with the tweeters. I have heard of another case in HK that had such issues but the early adopter in Bangkok did not suffer the same fate. Never did manage to find out why some did and others didn't. To be fair, both the subsequent owner and myself play loud and all genres of music.

 

Curious about he 30.7 too but the cost will be prohibitive here in SG as well and always got the sense that to play the 30.7 convincingly would require some rather brutish amps lol. 😁

Playing at high volume should not be a problem for Maggies or any speakers.  If any speaker has a problem with high volume that speaker is poorly designed. 

 

I think the cost of the 30.7 might hold it back.  I've gone cold on it.  I'll stick with the 20.7, it more than meets my requirements.  Just wish the replacement tweeters would hurry up and arrive. 

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On 04/12/2018 at 12:20 PM, GroovyGuru said:

Just checked the US RRP for the 20.7 it is $13,850 plus tax.  The Australian RRP of $21,000 (includes tax) is good. ..............

Seems like a steal to me.  13850/.7*1.10 = 21764 (Aus$ + GST)

And that's not to mention international shipping, insurance, customs, local transport and stuff that's not covered by the US RRP.

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When I hear the term "high volumes", then add 83dB/w/m sensitivity (at best) and 4ohm then add some dynamic range, I immediately think clipping amp.

 

A quick approx calc shows that one needs 100w for 1 speaker for 93dB SPL (at 3m) then add at a very minimum 10dB of dynamic range and all of a sudden one needs 1000w, then throw in current delivery into 4ohms.  There are precious few amps that can do this.

 

However I would expect the in-line fuse to let go first.  Which I suppose is why it's there.

 

[A German magazine measured/quoted 77.5dB/2.8v/m for the 20.7s (=74.5dB/w/m).  Hmmmm.  Doesn't seem right but there you go.]

 

I tried 3 brands of 250wpc amps that didn't do the job to my satisfaction.  The Magtechs at double that do well.  I play at 80 - 85 dB SPL with plenty of head-room.

 

 

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5 hours ago, GroovyGuru said:

I think the cost of the 30.7 might hold it back.

I agree.

5 hours ago, GroovyGuru said:

I've gone cold on it.  I'll stick with the 20.7, it more than meets my requirements.

Me too.

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Guest Gary janezic

Me to peter I am happy with 1.7i better than I fort. 30.7 are for sure the best magnapans ever but they are to expensive for me and my room I believe is to small.  Gary the music monster 🎶

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My recommendation to you guys considering a pair of 30.7s is to give the Tympani range a go. 

 

I have a pair of 1Ds which have been fully refurbished with hardwood frames and metal stands. I have also added the TR tweeters and gone active. They are a fraction of the cost of the 30.7s and whilst they may not reach the level of the 30.7s I think they are closer to the mark than the 20 series. There is no doubt the latest high end Maggies are a return to the multi panels of yesteryear. 

 

As @andyrpointed out you could spend thousands upgrading the XO elements when going active could very well be much cheaper.

 

All of my drivers are further separate from one another mitigating the potential for IMD. 

 

The critical factor I feel is amp power. 

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2 hours ago, Gary janezic said:

Me to peter I am happy with 1.7i better than I fort. 30.7 are for sure the best magnapans ever but they are to expensive for me and my room I believe is to small.  Gary the music monster 🎶

 

Hehe - you need to listen to some with working true-ribbons, Gary ... then you'll hear what you're missing out on.  :lol:

 

Andy

 

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Guest Gary janezic

Yes Andy I will be going back to Peters place for a second listen when he has his repaired. Gary the music monster 🎶

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Guest Gary janezic

  Sticking with 1.7I no need for better. Gary the music monster 🎶

Edited by Gary janezic
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With both broken ribbons installed I marvel at these speakers.  To my embarrassment I suspect at least one tweeter has been broken since about July 2017.  

 

The new tweeters need a few hours breaking in.  Keep them away from any air turbulence.  

 

I would advise against making too many customization of magnepan speakers.  Mr Valin in his review of the 30.7 mentioned that making 'improvements' might result in a dry sound.  You want Magnepans to sound like Magnepans, that's how they are voiced. 

 

I've been lucky enough that my tweeks have still maintained the Magnepan sound, which is lively and present, with a large soundstage extending beyond the speaker edge. 

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10 hours ago, GroovyGuru said:

With both broken ribbons installed I marvel at these speakers.  To my embarrassment I suspect at least one tweeter has been broken since about July 2017.  

 

The new tweeters need a few hours breaking in.  Keep them away from any air turbulence.  

 

I would advise against making too many customization of magnepan speakers.  Mr Valin in his review of the 30.7 mentioned that making 'improvements' might result in a dry sound.  You want Magnepans to sound like Magnepans, that's how they are voiced. 

 

I've been lucky enough that my tweeks have still maintained the Magnepan sound, which is lively and present, with a large soundstage extending beyond the speaker edge. 

Peter, 

 

I completely disagree with this assessment. 

 

There is much to be said for the sonic improvements that one can get from making some smart modifications to any Maggie. 

 

Replacing the existing MDF with hardwood frames and steel does wonders to the sound. It definitely tightens it up in a positive way. 

 

A lot of guys have also taken their system to another level going active and replacing the passive XO components which to my mind are cheap. Magnepan are a company which have survived this long because they can achieve an amazing sound on the cheap. 

 

You get a lot of speaker with a Maggie. It can get better though with some prudent changes. 

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11 hours ago, ghost4man said:

Peter, 

 

I completely disagree with this assessment. 

 

There is much to be said for the sonic improvements that one can get from making some smart modifications to any Maggie. 

 

Replacing the existing MDF with hardwood frames and steel does wonders to the sound. It definitely tightens it up in a positive way. 

 

A lot of guys have also taken their system to another level going active and replacing the passive XO components which to my mind are cheap. Magnepan are a company which have survived this long because they can achieve an amazing sound on the cheap. 

 

You get a lot of speaker with a Maggie. It can get better though with some prudent changes. 

I completely disagree with this assessment.  The heavily customized Maggies I've heard, don't sound like Maggies.  

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2 hours ago, GroovyGuru said:

I completely disagree with this assessment.  The heavily customized Maggies I've heard, don't sound like Maggies.  

Peter, 

 

I don't understand what it is that you are hearing. Every Maggie will sound different especially when coupled to a certain room. 

 

Your 20.7s have a certain signature at your place but will be different in another room just like Andy's Maggie's have changed from his last place to his new one. 

 

Maggie's however it can be said offer that wall of sound and air that box speakers don't have. You'll find everything tightens up with the mods especially in the bottom end. 

 

It is indisputable that Magnepan do things cheaply which is necessary for commercial survival. They could very easily build the speakers with the same mods but don't because of the costing involved which would raise pricing and affect sales. 

 

If you are suggesting that they don't this because you would lose the Maggie sound then I think you are missing the point here. 

 

We do the mods to overcome deficiencies in the original build. Ask Bill McLean for an honest assessment and he will tell you that these changes would result in marked improvements. Without question. Why doesn't he promote these changes? Because most of the punters want a ready made setup without having to worry about anything elsewhere. 

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