MMG Questions (and Impressions)

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Doc Sarvis, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis New Member

    Location:
    Utah USA
    Just got my new MMGs and and working on initial impressions for this group. I will post shortly. In the meantime a quick question: Do other MMG users use the supplied resistors to back off the treble sound? I want to avoid excessive brightness so I hooked them up with the resistors included right out of the box, and have not yet tried listening without them. Becasue they have famously long break in time, and because I'm considering changing out the amp, I'm not judging them by the sound yet (although they sound great so far!).

    Also, which resistor pair is which? They are not marked. Which will provide the greater attenuation - the 1 ohm or 2 ohm?
  2. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider

    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Hey Doc.

    I got mine last week and have been listening (some) and burning them in (more) the last few days. I haven't been using the resistors but I have Cornerbusters behind mine, so I haven't seen the need for them.

    They're fun to listen to, aren't they?
  3. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis New Member

    Location:
    Utah USA
    So far I'm extremely impressed, and I have had 20K speakers cycle in and out of here. Amazing value.

    More impressions coming soon.
  4. bdiament

    bdiament Producer, Engineer, Soundkeeper

    Location:
    New York
    Hi Doc,

    Though I know a few folks who don't use them, I've always preferred my Maggies (MMGs, 1.5s, 1.6s, 3.6s) with the resistors in place. To my ears, the speakers just disappear better when using them.

    Best regards,
    Barry
    www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
    www.barrydiamentaudio.com
  5. tps

    tps Active Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    why do Maggies sound so good?

    My theory: lower doppler distortion and greater linearity, for starters. The Maggie is to speakers as the flying wing is to airplanes. Lower doppler distortion due to lower excursion because there is more surface area. The problem in conventional designs with getting more surface area is that it must be made rigid (read massive) in order to respond accurately to the voice coil without bending. Magnepan overcomes this problem by using a low mass diaphragm and distributing the driving force fairly evenly across its surface, allowing them to use an extremely low-mass diaphragm. This allows them to make the diaphragm as large as is needed.

    I'm sure there are MANY finer points involved, but it seems to me that the Magnepan design eliminates what have to be trade-offs in conventional speakers.
  6. P2CH

    P2CH Active Member

    I've had my MMG's for about a month or more now. I had the 1 ohm resistors in place but I put in the 2 ohm resistors last night. I was finding the high frequencies to harsh but the 2 ohm resistors brought the sound into a more balanced, flat and less crisp type of sound that I prefer more.

    And with the new amp I got pushing 700 watts per channel, they really play.
  7. tps

    tps Active Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    At this point, I have the shorting jumper in place, but, depending on the material, I am hearing a bit of harshness at times. So I guess I'll be trying the 1 ohm resistors...

    Doc -- the shorting jumpers should give you the most high end, the 1 ohm should turn it down a bit and the 2 ohm should turn it down more.
  8. Al D'Addario

    Al D'Addario New Member

    Location:
    Wakefield, MA.
    Maggie MMG's

    I've had my MMG's for a year and love them! I never tried the resistors, but I have done the fuse by-pass as shown on the Audio Asylum site.

    I use my vintage Nakamichi 410 pre and 420 amp. I bought them new in 1979.
    The amp produces 60 watts into 4 ohms.

    I'd be interested to hear what others are using for power.
    Some say 200 SS watts minimum, some use 30 watts of tube power. All report good results. I think the quality of the power is just as important as the amount.

    I found proper room placement to be very important.

    What are the MMG owners here using for amps?

    Thanks,
    Al D'Addario
  9. tps

    tps Active Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Outlaw Audio 2200 mono blocks, recommended by Barry Diament as a good match to Magnepan speakers.
  10. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider

    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Welcome to the Forum, Al :wave:.

    I'm new to the MMG scene but I use a pair of Outlaw M200 mono amps (Thanks, Barry!) rated at 200-watts. Found a deal on a pair on this very Forum.

    Has anyone mentioned that this place will cost you money? :)
  11. LowRideDuh

    LowRideDuh Member

    Location:
    Missoula , Montana
    I'm using the older version of the M2200 , the M200 Mono Block . The M2200 Mono Block and the M200 Mono Block both are rated at 200 watts @ 8 ohm , 300 watts @ 4 ohm .

    I don't have MMGs tho , I have their older brother , MGII s .


    Doc , P2CH , VinylMatters , Welcome to the World of Flat . . . and they thought the World was Flat at One Time . lol
  12. P2CH

    P2CH Active Member

    I bought a PA type Crown amp with 300 watts per channel. I traded it back in for a QSC GX5 amp with 700 watts per channel. It has RCA, 1/4" and balanced inputs. It's fan cooled but the fan only runs when it's operating hard. It shuts right down within a few seconds.

    I found 300 watts not enough power to push them to the realm I require sometimes.

    Great amp. Great power. Great sound. The Maggies get warm if I push them too hard though.
  13. bdiament

    bdiament Producer, Engineer, Soundkeeper

    Location:
    New York
    Hi P2CH,

    I believe it is mistaken to think the reason the Crown didn't work with the Maggies for you was the wattage. Maggies care more about current and basically, PA amps don't deliver a lot of this. I would submit that if the QSC delivered more current, you would not require anything like 700 wpc. (I'm glad you found an amp that drives them to levels that satisfy.)

    The Outlaws, for example, deliver 200 into 8 ohms and 300 into 4 ohms. I can drive 3.6s with them -which need more juice than MMGs- and shake the walls with AC/DC or Led Zeppelin and still have headroom to spare.

    Best regards,
    Barry
    www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
    www.barrydiamentaudio.com
  14. P2CH

    P2CH Active Member

    Barry, that could have been the issue with the Crown. The power LED even dimmed when it was operating. I guess, being I was scared away with the price tag for a pair of Outlaw amps, I likely went down the wrong amplifier path.

    If indeed the Outlaws perform as you say, they surely must have very robust power supplies. There is no other speaker I have ever encountered that have the demands like Maggies do.

    But then too, there are no other speakers that sound like them either. If I didn't know that the things I hear in the mix was meant to actually be there, I would think they make them up as they go.

    I am always hearing something that makes just say wow. And I'm spoiled now too. I don't even want to listen to other systems I have.

    And like you said, they can do just the opposite too. If the power amp is inadequate or something in the chain, you won't be happy of what you might hear.

    And by the way, the 2 ohm resistors make them sound truly sweet. They are still crisp but not over bearing in the upper freq's.
  15. tps

    tps Active Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    The 2200's have very large and flat toroidal power transformers. When I bought mine, Outlaw had a deal if two or more were ordered.
  16. I'm using an Anthem AMP 2 (300W @ 4 ohms) and an Anthem PRE-2L SE tube preamp on my modified MG12. I gutted and rebuilt the crossovers, bypassed the fuses and added Cardas mounting posts, but the best enhancement was when I built a stand that has the Maggies upright and 6 inches off the floor.
  17. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis New Member

    Location:
    Utah USA
    Here are my initial impressions. Overall, I’m amazed by the value of these speakers – they represent a high-level experience for a very reasonable cost.

    First, my situation: I’m a longtime audiophile, and I’ve owned many sets of speakers with retails up to and over 20K/pair. I’ve bought and sold a fair amount of equipment over the years for the fun of it, to try out different things. I’m currently cycling through amps, though, and only have one on hand: a PrimaLuna 35wpc tube amp. However, once I heard the MMGs I decided to try some more power, I pulled the trigger on the Outlaw 160wpc (@ 4 ohms) receiver (not yet here). It’s worth noting, though, that the Maggies sound great with the PrimaLuna, an EL-34-based amp that puts out a lot of current; maybe that’s the reason.

    I bought them using the 800 number provided on the website; apparently that’s the only way they are available. Magnepan ships the pair in one box since they are so thin. The receipt is mailed separately. It’s a unique and ingenious marketing plan to sell these at an entry level price on the website, then offer 100% trade-in for higher price speakers from Maggie dealers.

    Out of the box I was impressed by the fit and finish of these speakers. They have the look and feel of a higher-priced product. The speaker terminals are unlike any other I have seen. Be warned that they will not work with spade connectors. However, my cables use banana plugs which worked fine. There are two pairs of resistors that can be hooked up to a connector, supposedly to control treble harshness in some settings. After some experimentation I found the 2 ohm resistor (which provides the greatest attenuation) to provide the best sound in my room, at least with this amp and at this early stage of break-in.

    I hooked up the speaker to the PrimaLuna’s 4 ohm tap, and tried my favorite test disc for new equipment, Donny Osmond’s This is the Moment (I know, I know…a good test disc isn’t necessarily good music).

    My first reaction was that the sound was not as crisp as the bass-reflex Wharfedales I was previously using, but more balanced overall than the Avantgarde Duos I previously owned. Initially there was a curiously unfocused quality to the sound, almost as if it was pixellating. I was able to resolve most of this with a lot of placement experimentation, and in the three days I have been running them almost constantly, it seems to have evaporated. Bass is already tightening up becoming more broadly pronounced. It appears that stories about the extensive break-in changes are true!

    That’s it for now – I don’t want to really start critical listening until I’m powering them with a 160 watt SS amp instead of the 35 watt tube amp I am using. Again, though, I’m impressed. They or their bigger siblings will be keepers and part of one of my long term systems.

    More to come in the weeks ahead as I give them proper amplification.

    P.S. One question: In the initial listening tests I’ve conducted, it’s clear that they would benefit from a subwoofer, albeit set at an unobtrusive level – just to fill in the missing lowest frequencies. Any suggestions/recommendations?
  18. bdiament

    bdiament Producer, Engineer, Soundkeeper

    Location:
    New York
    Hi Doc,

    Yes, I suggest waiting until the speakers have played about 400-500 hours of music. They will change a great deal after the first 100 hours and then continue until about the 400-500 hour point. Among the changes I hear, is the bass, which will get more extended, more powerful, dynamic, focused, etc.

    If they've got less than 100 hours on them, they haven't even begun to show their magic.

    One other thing that comes to mind, which I haven't mentioned to the other new MMG owners here, is the tilt of the speakers. At the back of each "foot" there is a small mechanism -for lack of a better word- that can be folded outward to make the speakers stand more vertically, with less tilt backward. I highly recommend using this (unless you stand while you do most listening). The more vertical position will provide appreciably better focus for a seated listener.

    Have fun and enjoy the unfolding magic of your new speakers.

    Best regards,
    Barry
    www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
    www.barrydiamentaudio.com
  19. ben_wood

    ben_wood Well-Known Member

    Outlaw is currently offering a pair of M2200s for $674 with free shipping. Also, they offer 90 days same as cash. Barry has convinced me that this pair of amps is the way to go. :righton:
  20. tps

    tps Active Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    I just listened to "Trav'llin' Light" from Claire Martin's "He Never Mentioned Love" album, recorded by Linn Records and provided as a 24/96 FLAC download. It starts out with just a solo bass, then Claire starts singing, accompanied by just the bass. I would say the bass is definitely coming in fairly well on my MMGs at this point, and this particular track sounds quite good.

    http://www.linnrecords.com/recording-he-never-mentioned-love.aspx
  21. psulioninks

    psulioninks Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Kansas City, USA
    I use a Martin Logan Dynamo with my MG-12's. It is a very fast and accurate sub, not to mention, it's quite small and easy to place.
  22. tps

    tps Active Member

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    With the "flippers" engaged, I can sit on the floor and still have good sound; with the "flippers" disengaged, the good listening zone seems to end just below normal seated position.
  23. Doc Sarvis

    Doc Sarvis New Member

    Location:
    Utah USA
    Almost a month in; so far, so good. I am now using them with a 160-watt SS amp (4 ohms). When everything comes together the sound is phenomenal; the challenge has been finding the perfect placement combination - feels like a never ending adjustment process (but fun)! I'm still looking to add a sub, but that has not happened yet.

    A few questions for other MMG users:

    1. Where are they in your room? Many MMG loyalists put them 3-4 feet out into the room. Can you describe your placement philosophy?
    2. Are you pointing them right at your listening chair?
    3. Are you using room treatments/damping to control the rear-firing sound waves?

    Mine are three feet out, five feet apart, slightly toed in (not pointed directly at me), and eight feet from my chair. No room treatments (but I'm considering plants to put behind them)!
  24. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider

    Location:
    Heart of Dixie
    Hey Doc.

    I've had mine about the same amout of time.

    The longer I have with them the better I like them. I'm powering mine with a pair of 200-watt Outlaw mono amps. You know when someone says they're rediscovering their music? Well, that's just what I'm doing. Last listening session I "rediscovered" some Eels, Porcupine Tree and The Clash. Tonight, I hope to "rediscover" my Shaded Dog Nutcracker ('tis the season!). To answer your questions:

    1. Mine are 33-inches from the back wall and 18-inches from the sides. My listening room is a little narrow.
    2. Mine are toed-in but not exactly pointed at my listening position. They intersect more just behind my head.
    3. I have Bass Busters in the corners behind my spreakers and Echo Busters on the sides. I have 10-foot ceilings in my room so there's four Corner Busters on top.

    BTW, my Maggis flippers stay up...just seems to sound better that way.
  25. bdiament

    bdiament Producer, Engineer, Soundkeeper

    Location:
    New York
    Hi tps,

    It isn't just convenient listening height. I find the MMGs are better focused from a normal listening seat with the flippers up, to make the speakers more vertical.

    Best regards,
    Barry
    www.soundkeeperrecordings.com
    www.barrydiamentaudio.com