My first maggies - need some advice - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 29 Old 03-16-08, 11:22 AM Thread Starter
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My first maggies - need some advice

Well, I did it.. I bought my first pair of maggies the MMG Ws; which are now being used as my mains with my custom subwoofer EBS alignment or SST as some call it. My goal is to have a complete Magnepan HT room. Overall, the sound is AMAZING, but I do notice a little bit of an edge or harshness from the MMG Ws. I am going to run some measurements on them to see where it is coming from but for surrounds they should be great. Now for the questions: Do I get the MMGC or spend the extra money and get the CC3? Is there really that much difference between the speakers? As for the mains, I am really torn between the MC1 and the MMG 12. I like the idea of wall mounting but if the MG12are that much better then I can forgo the wall mounting. Also, I am using an Onkyo 805 to power the speakers. The whole setup will be in a dedicated room 13 by 16 feet home theatre. I would really appreciate any advice you can throw my way.

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post #2 of 29 Old 03-16-08, 01:06 PM
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

Hi Matt and welcome to the Shack!

I don't believe we have that many Maggie users hangin' around, so I am not sure how much response you will get.

Sounds like you are headed for a nice system though. We have the 805 in our great room and it has faired us well thus far. I seriously considered the Maggies before planned on building the huge entertainment center that we built.

Maybe someone will chime in.

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post #3 of 29 Old 03-16-08, 01:55 PM
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

Since I'm a Maggie fanatic, maybe I can be of some help, or at least muddy the water for you a bit.
I currently have Maggie 3.6Rs and a CC3 center in the front and 1.6QRs as surrounds. I also have a pair of MC1s that I use in my bedroom. I've been waiting patiently for over a year for Magnepan to release their new true ribbon center speaker, at which point my CC3 will get back speaker duty.
I strongly recommend that you spend the extra money and get the CC3 center. It will be a much better match sonically for either the MC1s or the MG12s. Plus, it will give you some room for upgrading should you decide to go with larger Maggies like the 1.6QRs at some point.
If I had a dedicated room the size of yours, I would opt for the MG12s with a CC3 as the center. I would probably forego the MMG-Ws altogether and use the MG12s as surrounds also, since I listen to multichannel music quite a bit. The MC1s sound very good, and wall mounting is certainly a plus, but about the only way to find out which speaker is going to suit you best is to audition them at a Maggie dealer or a Maggie owners home. No speaker should ever be purchased blindly, but this is particularly true for Maggies.
My only concern with your setup is your receiver and it's ability to handle a 4 Ohm load. I'm not familiar with the Onkyo 805 and it may be fine powering the speakers at normal listening levels, but you may have issues if you like things loud. You may want to contact Onkyo customer service and ask them how well the 805 will handle 4 Ohm loads.
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post #4 of 29 Old 03-16-08, 02:20 PM
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

Hey there,

It's been a long time since I've owned Maggies, but I did enjoy them. I used the MMGs for my L/R fronts. It was at the beginning of Home Theater (for me at least, around 1999 probably).

The main thing I recall, and it echoes what was said above, is that they like a lot of power. I was using a Denon receiver, and it wasn't really enough. I upgraded to an Audio Alchemy OM150, and things were a lot better. Like darwin, I'm not sure of the capability of your receiver to push the 4 ohm load, so you may have enough. However, if it were me, I'd feel much more comfortable with something like 200 WPC on Maggies.

FWIW, the MMGs that I was using never felt like they had quite the dynamics for me. If I were to do it again, I'd opt for the biggest ones I could afford and fit in the room. I'm not all up on the models as of today, but check out whatever fits your budget and space.

Good luck and have fun!

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post #5 of 29 Old 03-16-08, 03:01 PM
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

I ran Magnepan MG-IIB's in my home theater/audio setup for awhile last semester and heres some things I learned from my experience with Maggies. They need to be away from the walls (at least mine did), get them far away as possible, and there was a very defined sweet spot to sit (limited room size was my killer), and it was definitely noticeable when you were in it.

I have heard of people not liking the MMG's as much as the bigger higher end Maggies, just something about them that didn't do them justice. I haven't personally heard them, but I have heard it from several people who have heard the MMG's.

I powered mine with a QSC Powerlight 1.0HV rack amp, and it used all the power that it had if I decided to crank it up some (it still had plenty of power to blow the fuses). They certainly do love gobs of power, they are rather inefficient.

I was just running a 15" subwoofer for quite awhile, then I got around to going to dual 15's in stereo bass crossed over at around 80Hz if I remember correctly. The stereo bass crossed over higher made them come alive, I enjoyed the sound a lot more once I got both woofers in there. My recommendations for any maggie owner that can do it is stereo bass crossed over as high as you can, it'll make them come alive.

I'd suggest getting as big of Maggies as you can, if you don't have to buy new used ones can be picked up for rather cheap now. Mine are an early '80's model, they were factory reconditioned in the late '90's and I got them shipped to me for 325$. *They are in pretty decent condition too*

My rule of thumb on Maggies is you need to have as much power as you can on tap, get them away from the walls, stereo bass if you can, then sit back and grin ear to ear as you listen to them.

There a little more mud in the water for you now, hope there was one little tidbit of helpful info in there for you.
post #6 of 29 Old 03-16-08, 04:03 PM
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

Former Maggie owner here...........
I would suggest you buy the Internet direct $300 center channel and see how it works for you, I ran one for 2 years and never felt I needed more, the CC3 is a lot more cash for only 20 extra HZ, the budget center goes down to 100HZ and the expensive CC3 does 80HZ if I recall correctly.
I ran mine with a Parasound amp, 200watts used can be had for around $500 and they are a high current line that can handle all but the loudest full range Maggies.
Space behind them as others noted is really, really critical and if you cant pull them out far you need to atleast break up the backwave with odd shaped items behind speaker, like diffuser panels.
If I can be of any help contact me anytime..............good luck!
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post #7 of 29 Old 03-16-08, 08:17 PM
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

Well congratulations on becoming a Maggie owner! I am also pretty new to the world of Magnepan, though I have coveted Maggies for many years. I recently bought a pair of MG12's (7 months old) from a guy who graciously invited me to audition them along-side his MG3.5's. He was driving them with a SimAudio W-5, so there was plenty of power available. For a couple of hours we listen to a wide variety of music (both his and mine) and I was extremely impressed with the sound. The MG12's kept up with the MG3.5's in every way except bass extension.

I brought the 12's home and hooked them up to my Yamaha RX-V1400 and spent the next several hours listening and moving around everything in the room. As others have noted these speakers need to be positioned well away from the back wall. When I finally got everything setup right they sounded glorious; thought I still am tweaking speaker placement. My only problem is a lack of power. At low to moderate listening levels the Yamaha does a fine job but there is some compression in the dynamic response, especially at higher listening levels. This was not an issue when I auditioned them.

As others have mentioned, I would highly recommend an amp with plenty of power. I would also add that since rapid transient response is one of the stellar features of Maggies, you should get an amp with a high slew rate in order to do them justice. Superchad recommended a Parasound amp which would be an excellent choice.

Depending on your room and music taste, you may find the MG12's too bright. If so the MG12's have an attenuator you can plug in that will tame the high frequencies.

Since I am using them in a 2 channel setup, the small sweet spot is not a major issue for me. But even outside the sweet spot the Maggies still sound good.

I also have an HT set up with some good front speakers. Since the 2 channel room and the HT room are adjoining and are sourced from the same receiver, I can go back and forth to compare the sound. While I am extremely pleased with the sound of my vented box speakers, the Maggies have a unique and wonderful sound all to themselves.
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-16-08, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

WOW guys thanks for all the GREAT advice!!! I went to Monterey CA a couple of months ago to audition Maggies. The shop was in a remodel state so I all go to hear where the 3.6’s which where awesome but there MC1’s and 1.6’s and CC3 where unavailable for a demo so I am planning a return trip to audition more Maggies.  The 805 has preouts and I was planning on adding another amp down the road but a half to do it in small steps or my better half will kill me.  She has been a good sport and loves the looks of the Maggies. Do the MG 12’s or MC1’s one need more power than the MMG W’s? The 805 pushes the little Maggies pretty well but not sure how much more she has left in her power wise.

Another question that just popped up was the option of using MC1’s as a phantom center channel. Does anyone have any thoughts on this setup? Sorry for all the questions, but there are so many options that it is getting confusing; fun but confusing.
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-17-08, 12:41 AM
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

Phantom may be tough with this particular speaker technology, as long as you dont have folks sitting off axis, when people are in various areas around the room it may be less than ideal as they have limited horizontal dispersion but if its just you and wifey and you cuddle it may be ok....and alot of fun!
For $300 I would get the center from Magnepan direct, if you dont like it you will be able to sell it for maybe a $25 or so loss so its not really risky............I really liked mine!
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post #10 of 29 Old 03-17-08, 07:03 AM
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Re: My first maggies - need some advice

mdrake wrote: View Post
Do the MG 12s or MC1s one need more power than the MMG Ws?

Another question that just popped up was the option of using MC1s as a phantom center channel. Does anyone have any thoughts on this setup? Sorry for all the questions, but there are so many options that it is getting confusing; fun but confusing.
The MG12s or the MC1s will require more power. They are both two-way speakers with quasi-ribbons, whereas the MMG-W and MMGC are one-way and lack the quasi-ribbons. In my experience the MMGC didn't blend very well with the MC1s or the 1.6QRs, but you may not find it to be the same for you in your room.

I currently have a pair of MC1s in my bedroom without a center speaker and it works very well for me. Although, I only use them for watching television and lying in bed is the only listening position. Since you are trying to complete your setup in stages anyway give the phantom center arrangement a try, then pick up a center speaker as your budget and wife allow.

I went through nearly the same as you, working up in stages, and taking my wife to speaker auditions. We've managed to go through every speaker that Magnepan currently makes, with the exception of the 20.1Rs. I'm working on the wife for a pair of those, but it's going to take quite some time to wear her down and get her to an audition.
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