Bought Magnepan LRS Speakers - Now What?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Rattlin' Bones, Jul 4, 2021.

  1. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Was look at Linton's, but several folks suggested looking at Magnepan's. I managed to find a like-new pair of LRS for $400. Done.

    Playing now in my listening room which is smallish maybe 18x12 or so, with carpet, furniture, and low 7' drywall ceiling. My amp is a Cambridge CXA80 which puts 120w into the 4 ohm speakers.

    Good definition and excellent soundstage, but a little thin sounding. With my more traditional 8 ohm box speakers with 10" woofers, I never turned volume up past 8 or 9, and they sounded pretty full. I have to crank my amp up to 11 or 12 with LRS speakers, and sound is still thinner.

    I got a demo of LRS at the dealer who had them in Cincy where I made purchase. Beefier amp as in more power. Beefier fuller sound from LRS. Their source was streaming. I tried streaming, CD's and my TT with similar thin results.

    Amp must be the issue, right? I need more watts output, but it's not all about watt output, right? The LRS need a better current output or something the Cambridge just can't deliver?

    Whatcha think?
     
    unclefred likes this.
  2. 33na3rd

    33na3rd Forum Resident

    Location:
    SW Washington, USA
    You might want to look for an amp that doubles it's power into 4 ohms. That's a good indicator of a stout power supply.

    I would need a small subwoofer too, preferably one that's sealed. That new SVS Micro 3000 looks very interesting, and affordable too.

    3000 Micro
     
    marcb and sunspot42 like this.
  3. progrocker

    progrocker Forum Resident

    It's not about watts primarily with those speakers, it's about current delivery. Need a beefier amp to get the best from them. That said, congrats on a great deal.
     
    marcb, hifisoup and FLEMKE like this.
  4. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    Sell them now before you waste another minute. Been there and done that with magnepans. The most frustratingly over recommended speakers ever.
     
    Pkcpga, bhazen, BluTorch and 4 others like this.
  5. Colin M

    Colin M Forum Resident

    Look for a used Quad 606 or 909.
     
    33na3rd likes this.
  6. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    You now need a big amp to power them (500w) and will most likely need two subs to pick up the low end.
     
    Pkcpga, sunspot42 and timind like this.
  7. Art K

    Art K I bite you!

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    Bryston and Magnepan are a great match.
     
  8. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    I had a 300w Classe and that wasn’t even enough to make them sound good.
     
    Pkcpga and 4-2-7 like this.
  9. hesson11

    hesson11 Forum Resident

    Anyone but me wondering whether the difference between the sound at the dealership and at home is attributable to room acoustics?
     
    Archguy, Blue Devil and timind like this.
  10. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    They need a sub, you definitely don't want your amp's power going to try to derive bass from Maggies unless you have power to burn. And you need an amp that can deliver current into 4 ohm loads, lots of it.

    I think they sound phenomenal with enough amp power, but that is a big drawback.
     
    noway and Chris DeVoe like this.
  11. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    The .7 is the only Magnepan I’ve heard that manages decent bass response in balance with the rest of the spectrum. Haven’t heard the LRS yet but from everything I’ve read, they’re light in the bass like most Magnepan models.
     
    Fruff76 likes this.
  12. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Well at a dealer you need to tell them to turn off any subs if they have them in the room, many do to help speakers sound better. Maggies are like this they need a ton more power than 90% of most speakers, and they need subs. They need far to much attention to what they need to just make them equal too many other speakers that don't cost that much. You think your just buying a small speaker with a pretty small foot print till you need to buy a bunch of stuff just to get them adequate. One is far better off buying some Martin Logans.
     
    Fruff76 likes this.
  13. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    I had the 1.6qr’s for many years and spent too much time and $ chasing good sound with them. I could never get them to sound engaging to me.
     
    4-2-7 likes this.
  14. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    How much have you tried different speaker positions? What's behind the speakers. You may be experiencing the cancellation of lower frequencies because of placement, very common with Maggies.

    I've owned the 1.6qr and the 1.7. Never really got the love for Maggies.
     
    Fruff76 likes this.
  15. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Forum Resident

    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    Yeah, I'm not saying you but this will be an argument for the Maggie faithful. You need better placement, the room isn't right, need bigger amps, need subs on and on until your siting one foot from them together in the middle of the room.

    One can achieve better sound from Martin Logans without any of this fuss, as well as other speakers. I spent a couple of weeks trying to get some MG-10/QRs working in my system, I wanted them for a small footprint. I generally have three amp/speaker setups in my main system, to do so a small footprint is needed. While I could get them to sound decent with twin subs and 500 watts, the speakers I had already sounded better and I didn't need subs with them.

    I fully understand not all speakers do everything good, so I'll have choices within my system. None of them fail like the maggies at giving me at least one of the list of things I want out of a speaker.
     
    Fruff76 and timind like this.
  16. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    I had a friend who cranked hiphop on her SMGa with a 40watt Rotel integrated*. As with all Magnepans, placement is critical for good bass, but the smaller models also benefit greatly from being raised upright off the floor.

    *840bx, I think...
     
  17. telemike

    telemike Forum Resident

    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    Peachtree Nova 500?
     
  18. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Dealer room was huge compared to my listening room, so the sound from LRS could get lost in that size room. It didn't. I had them play jazz I listen to. They had no subs in use I asked. Volume was at same volume I use in my room at home.

     
  19. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    I was wondering about raising then 12".

     
  20. Rattlin' Bones

    Rattlin' Bones Grumpy Old Deaf Drummer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    At first they were only about 18" from back wall. I moved them out to about 3' from the back wall, and about a foot farther apart. They're now about 7' apart and about 9' from my listening position. That made a big difference. They really woke up.

    The Cambridge amp is putting out 120 watts into the 4 OHM load.

    I see a lotta people using Schitt Audio Vidar amps with smaller Maggie's. It's 200W into 4 OHM's. I'd need a pre with it. I also see the Emotiva XPA-2 mentioned a lot, which puts 490 watts into a 4 OHM load. That's serious. But for the $400 difference I could get a nice pre with the Vidar.

    Their performance, in listening to them for about 6 hours today, is very dependent on the recording and instruments. Some jazz tracks with big sax sound were amazing and just sparkled with the new placement. The position really woke them up, especially in lower mid-range where a tenor sax lives. I'm thinking more power would really make them sing now that I found a position that works well even with the Cambridge 120w amp.

     
  21. sunspot42

    sunspot42 Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Maggies are still my favorite speakers - the imaging is just insane. But I live in a tiny studio apartment, and the odds of them sounding good in this space is slim. I'd also only have room for their teeny surround panels, which actually sound great considering the size, but aren't quite the same thing as full sized giant Maggies.

    I see people recommending Martin Logans and just...no. Not the same experience. At. All. Got very excited, tried lots of models at lots of dealers and...no.

    But if I retire to a place big enough for them...
     
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  22. Ripblade

    Ripblade Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Six
    My rule of thumb is the tops of the tweeter should be at standing ear height but this will be an individual decision. Try them at least 4ft out from the wall behind, and remove any furniture or bass treatments back there. That space is where they need the most breathing room. This is true for all dipoles, not just Magnepans
     
    bever70 and Rattlin' Bones like this.
  23. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    Location:
    U.S.
    Yeah, my auditions of the <$10K ML ESLs were unimpressive.
     
    sunspot42 likes this.
  24. ChrisR2060

    ChrisR2060 Forum Resident

    Location:
    North Carolina
    you need POWER now. like 300wpc.
    ANd some room treatment behind the panels to limit/control back reflections.
     
  25. ejman

    ejman Music, fountain of life!

    Location:
    Oregon
    I like magneplanars I have 3 sets in 3 different rooms (1.7's, MMG's, MGI Imp). I also have a wonderful wife that is perfectly OK with these monoliths dominating the rooms they are at. Fortunately for me she appreciates good sound. Having said that I can certainly understand the frustration of some people that have tried Maggies and have come to the conclusion that people that like them must be nuts. No bass, no impact, no dynamics, difficult to place, inefficient and so on. One is not going to get chest pounding bass out of a Magneplanar no matter how much power is used ( caveat I haven't heard the 20.7 or the 30.7).

    The answer for me is that no other reasonably priced speaker (say less than $5,000) I've heard checks the realism scale to the extent Maggies do for the music I like to listen to (mostly Jazz and classical with some new age thrown in). When the performers are right there in front of you and the speakers completely disappear its quite amazing.

    I see the OP has discovered the magic of moving the speakers away from the front wall. Its a good start. As stated by others, more power will elicit better sound with a couple of observations. My Jolida 502P is a tube amp that I run with KT 150 tubes. Its rated at 60 watts/ channel and sounds very nice with my 1.7 Maggies. Particularly for Jazz it seems that tubes and Maggies get along very well. I also have a well regarded Creek 4330 amp (SS) which is also 60 watts per channel compared to the Jolida its weak, lifeless, almost like a transistor radio sound. Same power rating - completely different sound. Having said all that, My Conrad Johnson MF 2330 at about 450 watts certainly gets the job done.

    The OP mentioned Emotiva amps. My experience with that brand is that it has a somewhat brighter sound - some people like it some don't. I have a pair of Emotiva monoblocks which I use with my Magneplanar MGI Imp in my TV room. The brighter sound meshes quite well with these older more mellow Maggies. It really wakes them up. By the same token I find them too bright with the 1.7's which have a more extended treble response than the old MGI.

    On the bass side I do recommend a subwoofer eventually but only after you have listened to the LRS for quite a while without a sub. Many times I'm listening to my system without the subs on and don't miss them at all. Depends on the music and one's preferences. It takes a while to become accustomed to the different bass from Maggies. It can actually be quite good and more natural than the enhanced bass one gets from many regular speakers. Many brands of subs out there - the SVS 3000 sounds intriguing but I haven't heard it myself.
    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2021
    Archguy, marcb, jbmcb and 5 others like this.

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