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After 40 years, I'm a Maggie owner again!

Discussion in 'Home Theater & Video' started by E-Stat, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,696
    I'm gradually replacing Polk LSi speakers in the HT. First was replacing the mains with Acoustat 1+1s. I just purchased an MMG-C center. Wifey and I are planning a major kitchen/family room remodel next spring where that wall will be gone and the system moved to the opposite side. Once that's done, I plan to buy MMCs as surrounds.

    When I spoke with a rep at Magnepan, he initially tried to talk me out of buying this model. Naturally, he thought the CC5 would be a more appropriate match to the stats. I explained that I rarely listen to MC music (have one Telarc SACD) and use the center primarily for dialog. And like the 1+1s, it's a full range design which appeals to the coherency freak in me. :)

    It's efficiency more closely matches the stats so I needed to adjust the level trimmer on the processor for that channel. The Emotiva XPA-5 amp is rated for 300 watts/channel into 4 ohms so its 5 ohm value should allow for plenty of power.

    [​IMG]
     
    Hyfi likes this.

     

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  2. Hyfi

    Hyfi Addicted Member

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    5,706
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    Congrats! Bet it sounds awesome.
     
  3. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,696
    It's a matter of finesse. The Polk LSiC it replaced is a very capable speaker. As a 2 1/2 way design, one woofer only operates to 200 hz. All the midrange is handled by the one on the right. And the Revelator ring tweeter is pretty sweet - arguably with higher response than the MMG-C.

    What I found distracting, however, was that I was always aware that dialog came from the right side!

    The Magnepan center is far wider and exhibits none of that directional character. More natural sounding.
     
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  4. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,333
    Location:
    west Texas
    Maggie means to me Magnecord. Anyone remember that name. I always wanted a 1028 model. Like Ampex they would put a handle on the machine and call it portable. But you really needed a Dollie to move them around.
     
  5. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,696
    Miracord as in turntables, yes. Magnecord, no. It seems their reign was from the 1940s to the mid 1960s and predated my awareness. I am, however, aware of Ampex, Crown, Nagra and Revox pro tape machines. I thought the Crown CX824 was the coolest looking tape drive with the solenoid controls. At age 17 ('74), I purchased a Sony TC-850 because it looked quite similar down to the same color buttons.

    Alas, I quickly realized that the number of precorded tapes available on open reel that interested me was zilch and the unit really didn't improve the sound of the system. Coincidentally, that's about the time I first heard tri-amplified Magnepan Tympani IIIs. That pivotal experience was the first major recalibration for me of just how good an audio system could sound. Later ones were from systems used by my TAS reviewer mentors over the years. I sold the Sony and the Braun LV1020s I was using at the time to finance the purchase of Magnepan MGIIs and an Audire power amplifier.

    I've been a dipolar planar speaker enthusiast ever since. A year later, I heard JWC's Dayton-Wrights which steered me to the coherence of full range electrostats and became my life long preference. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018 at 6:14 PM
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  6. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

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    6,333
    Location:
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    Working for a radio station and a sound company, doing live remotes and recordings for groups or individuals, I had a lot of outstanding musical performances in my library and is why I kept my R2R's till the early 2000's when I dubbed everything to CD. I had to the recordings on Ampex Grand master were quickly becoming unplayable. The Maxell UD tapes even today are like brand new.
     

     

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  7. Hobie1dog

    Hobie1dog Super Member

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    Location:
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    Is that their biggest CC model?
     
  8. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,696
    That is a compelling reason!

    Folks on the bleeding edge with ridiculously fabulous systems like Mike Lavigne still use them.

    Click here for some pics. :)
     
  9. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    6,696
    It's the runt of the litter! Actually all three are about the same size (CCR is taller), but the higher end models are multi-way with the top end using a ribbon tweeter.

    The top end CCR runs a cool $3k.

     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018 at 12:12 PM
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  10. twiiii

    twiiii Addicted Member

    Messages:
    6,333
    Location:
    west Texas
    I do want to hear a set of 4 paneled 30.7 speakers some day. I wasn't impressed with anything current after hearing the big Tympani's back in the 70's.
     
  11. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,696
    As would I. They would definitely be contenders in the $30k range to these ears. It would be interesting to compare them to the lesser models of my Sound Lab electrostats found at that price point.

    It was indeed a pivotal moment for this 17 year old teenager hearing tri-amped T-IIIs back in 1974. Sourced by a Linn Sondek LP-12 with SME3009 tonearm and Ortofon SL15E MC cartridge driving an Audio Research SP-3a preamp into an EC-3 crossover using D76 amplifiers on tweeter/midrange with a Crown DC-300A on woofers (where they worked fine). In terms of resolution and recreating the sense of acoustical space, they eclipsed everything I had heard to that point including the Klipshorn, Altect A7, Bozak Grand, AR-LST, any number of JBLs, double Advents etc. They were driven by a total of 300 watts/channel.

    While vintage amps were powerful, their power supplies were relatively weak as compared with what you find today. You frequently speak of the MC3500 amps. They ran 700 uF on 470V rails for 77 joules each. By contrast, my 300 watt VTL MB-450 monoblocks run 1650 uF on 550V rails for 250 joules each. Such imparts an improved degree of authority and dynamic range from the ppp to fff over the signal especially since they run balanced connections for lower noise and greater low level resolution.

    Planars need lots of panel area in order to achieve good dynamics and image size. All combined, the TIII had 1649 square inches of radiating area or about triple that of the MGIIs I used as a teen. Fast forward in time to the 20.1 and 20.7. I heard 20.1s extensively at Sea Cliff driven very nicely by Joule Electra Rite of Passage amps. The ribbon tweeter sounded as sweet as Harry's big Nola Grand Exoticas but lacked the coherence I was accustomed to by that time using Acoustat electrostats. The "dot seven" series greatly bridged that gap and today Warren Gehl of Audio Research uses 20.7s for his evaluations of components used in their gear as well as listening to every single product before it gets shipped.

    arc_factory_9.jpg

    While its ribbon tweeter is substantially more extended and sweet than the old Tympanis, it has but 960 square inches of radiating area.

    The 30.7 uses the same enclosure for the bass panels only extending the radiating area to about that of the classic Tympanis. This time, however, with better coherence and the ribbon tweeters. Lucky lad that I am, my Sound Lab U-1PX speakers (now called the U-745) have 2350 square inches of radiating area and there are eight (2750 sq inches) and nine foot tall (3125 square inches) versions available as well. :)

    Back to the post, this $400 center matches the electrostats very well in terms of coherency and articulation. I'm thoroughly delighted with them.
     

     

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