Should I get Magnepans if I only have 1-2 feet available distance from the back wall ?

DaveF

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Jan 24, 2022
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I never had Magnepans but will likely demo 1.7i, 0.7, LRS next Monday , Jan 31.
My room is small & can only have 3 feet maximum distance from the back wall.
Should I try the Maggie's or try another brand ?
Currently using my Martin-Logan Aerius i I bought in 1996.
Preamp = Krell Soundstage
Amp = Aragon 8800x3
Center = Aerial Acoustics
No subwoofer.

Using the Cardas calculator , recommended distance from rear wall = 4.94 feet.

This is my first post on the What's Best forum. I did search the Mag forum & found a similar topic,
with a recommended distance.

I did email the dealer last week. They have the Maggies in stock.
Scott Walker Audio - Home

Thank you,
Dave
 
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Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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ML is not a pure dipole. My gut reaction is no. The Maggie's are mobile. So if you don't mind repositioning them maybe it will work.
 

tima

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Mar 4, 2014
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I found Magnepan speakers work well in a shoe-box shaped room. You could ask your dealer to position the various models in a way that resembles what you have to work with.
 
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DonH50

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Comb filtering will be worse and extend higher into the audio range the closer they are to the back wall. That leads to ripples in the frequency response and strange imaging. My solution has always been to place an absorber or diffusor panel on the wall behind if they are closer than about 3' or so. Magnepan used to recommended 3' minimum, not sure if that is still the case, but I prefer them more like 5'~6' out or with the back wave absorbed.

I much prefer adding a subwoofer to Maggies as their low-end response is limited, especially with the smaller models, and the panels distort heavily when presented with large bass signals (like, 10's of percent distortion at moderate listening levels).

HTH - Don
 
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Gregadd

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Hi Don,
I found some benefit from toe in
Meaning the reflection did not come directly back to the speaker.
Do you concur?
 
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DonH50

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Hi Don,
I found some benefit from toe in
Meaning the reflection did not come directly back to the speaker.
Do you concur?
Hi Greg,

Yes I do, to a point... Lower-frequency wavelengths are long enough that toe-in does not help as much, and if the panels are very near the wall behind the reflected waves still "collide" with the forward waves even at higher frequencies. Dipoles are more sensitive to the wall behind than conventional speakers since the back wave is essentially equal in magnitude to the front. This is a pro or a con, of course -- with an angle/toe-in as you suggest they radiate off to the sides and help "fill the room", but the interaction among sound waves leads to "interesting" frequency responses.

I touch on comb filtering here: https://www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/introduction-to-comb-filter-effects.20633/

I owned Maggies for many years (technically still do but they are in storage) but unless they were in a big room I always damped the back wave. Not as "room filling", but much smoother frequency response and more stable imaging. Very much a personal choice.
 
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Gregadd

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Of course it would help if we which model
That big ribbon tweeter and all.
 

DonH50

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Yah, though none of the models the OP mentioned have the true ribbon tweeter. That is only in the 3.x, 20.x, and 30.x models. Personally I prefer to raise the smaller models a little, either with a custom platform (cheap concrete blocks painted or with a nice felt cover works) or aftermarket risers (legs).
 

mullard88

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My first exposure to magnepan was back in 1975 when an audiophile friend invited me to hear his system. His room was really small. Just 9 feet by 9 feet. He had a pair of Tympani in that tiny room and the sound was fabulous.
 
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steve_o

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Sep 3, 2010
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Hello Dave,

I own Magnepan 1.7i, and have a small listening room.
I think the speakers will project a nice wall of sound.
When I auditioned this model at a local dealer, they were placed less than a foot away from the wall, and I could still hear what they were capable
of.

I later applied these changes:
1) Cardas banana/spade adapters
2) Hifi-tuning fuses (these were not worth the extra money, IMHO)
3) VanderMye stands
4) Higher-current amp (Sanders Magtech)

If you take the time to try different loudspeaker placement (including tweeters on the inside vs outside), that will have a major effect on overall sound.

The Magtech amp seemed to provide deeper bass.

Have fun with your audition!

- Steve O.
 
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DaveF

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Jan 24, 2022
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Thanks everyone for your replies & helpful advice.
I don't consider myself an audiophile. I infrequently dip into audiophile news, only when I think about upgrading an audio component. I don't upgrade often,. although I did upgrade a bit last year after years of no upgrades. I don't have any audiophile friends. I posted here because I'm sure that everyone here knows so much more than I do. I value the learned experience of others.

I was becoming more dissatisfied with my Martin-Logan Aerius i's lately,
I bought them new in 1996 at Simply Stereo in Palatine, IL when I lived in IL.
I'm glad to see Simply Stereo is still there. I moved to Orange County, CA in 2002.
Audiophile stores here are few & far between, for a county of 3.1 million people.

Saturday mornings I am usually busy, but not today.
I went to my local Maggie dealer today, only been there 2-3 times.
I first listened to the .7. I was very impressed by them.
Then the 1.7 . I immediately noticed a bigger sound of the 1.7s.
Bonus, that to my ears, they don't need a sub.
That's about as good as I can describe it, due to my sparse audiophile knowledge & experience.

I didn't get home until after 7pm. A friend lives nearby. He went to the store with me.
He has his own machine shop about 5 minutes from the store. In fact, he made record clamps
for a client from brass. They seemed very heavy, maybe too heavy.

I put the speakers together, was easy. The Maggies need banana plugs. I already had a few el cheapo banana plugs from Monoprice. By the time all was connected, it was 9 PM. I live in a town home, with neighbors on the back wall and side wall, so low db gain tonight. I put the tweeters on the outside, the 1.7 s are 3 feet from the back wall, because my living room is only 12 x 14.
Space is tight. I have little play in where I can position the Mags. I read so much about them being quite particular when they are positioned.

I put on a cd, Ultra-Lounge Vol 4 & smiled. Sounds wonderful, even at low volume.
I am so not the expert, but it sure sounds good to me.

Sorry for the long post. Hope I didn't bore anyone.
Dave
 

DaveF

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Jan 24, 2022
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Comb filtering will be worse and extend higher into the audio range the closer they are to the back wall. That leads to ripples in the frequency response and strange imaging. My solution has always been to place an absorber or diffusor panel on the wall behind if they are closer than about 3' or so. Magnepan used to recommended 3' minimum, not sure if that is still the case, but I prefer them more like 5'~6' out or with the back wave absorbed.

I much prefer adding a subwoofer to Maggies as their low-end response is limited, especially with the smaller models, and the panels distort heavily when presented with large bass signals (like, 10's of percent distortion at moderate listening levels).

HTH - Don
Thanks Don. What absorber or diffuser panel do you recommend ?
 

twitch

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Jun 17, 2010
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David, first off, Welcome ! Longtime Maggie and Logan fan here dating back to the eighties so I'm all in with you and their 'sound' ! With that being said Don has given you a sage piece of advice for sure and you stated your current Logans have lost some of their luster ? At 26 years of age I suspect the panels are at their end !

You said your room is 'small' , how small, dimensions ? FWIW and IMO, speakers that are designed to work in a dipole environment sound their absolute best when one is not forced to make compromises. When I was running Maggies (3.6's) and Logans (last pair Spires) they were between 4-5' out and 44" from side walls. I've listened to set ups where di-poles were less than 3' out, I was never impressed......
 
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kach22i

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...................I was becoming more dissatisfied with my Martin-Logan Aerius i's lately,
I bought them new in 1996...........
I bought my Aerius speakers when they first came out (1992?, #205 & 206 made?). They still sound good, but the panels were replaced only a few years into ownership.

I put the tweeters on the outside, the 1.7 s are 3 feet from the back wall, because my living room is only 12 x 14........................

Dave
Sounds like the perfect sized room so you can "energize" it (assuming you can close it off somewhat), great speakers first on my list should I replace my speakers, like their bass panel as well.

Try both Far-Field and Near-Field listening positions, Maggies up close can be very enveloping despite their strong suit of capturing depth and space when listener is set further back.

You may find this old thread of interest:

An argument for NOT spiking speakers to floor​

 
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Ron Resnick

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Jan 25, 2015
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Welcome to WBF, Dave!

My first loudspeaker was the Magnepan MG-IIIA. I listen often to a friend's MG-20.7s. He uses high-power tube amps and REL 212/SE subwoofers with them to wonderful effect!

Enjoy your 1.7s! They are great! They will do you proud as you upgrade your electronics over time!

I have had dipole loudspeakers for over 20 years.
Different people have different views about whether the rear wave of dipole planar speakers should be absorbed or diffused or left unadulterated.

Placing the panels five feet to nine feet away from the front wall allows the right amount of time delay for the reflection off the front wall to merge with the direct wave and provide the sonic spaciousness and open-ness panel people typically like.

I have never subscribed to absorbing the back wave. I like the concept of having little to nothing on the front wall to achieve in my mind a clean and unadulterated reflection of the rear wave off the front wall.

However, at only three feet from the front wall it makes sense to experiment with absorption or diffusion of the rear wave.
 
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kach22i

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.................and the panels distort heavily when presented with large bass signals (like, 10's of percent distortion at moderate listening levels).

HTH - Don
I would think that the triangulated stands mentioned would help with that as it's the frame holding the panel that's twisting, right?
 

kach22i

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Apr 21, 2010
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Yah, though none of the models the OP mentioned have the true ribbon tweeter. That is only in the 3.x, 20.x, and 30.x models. Personally I prefer to raise the smaller models a little, either with a custom platform (cheap concrete blocks painted or with a nice felt cover works) or aftermarket risers (legs).
On my Aerius I found that raising the rear heel up for a more vertical front helps, but on Maggies lifting them lessens the ground plane interference, plus getting some air under the panel helps open up the soundstage (ie mini monitors on stands). However, mention of a "living room" makes me think of a "platform floor or sprung floor" not a "concrete slab" and if a sprung floor there are two options in my opinion:

1. Decouple via isolation platform of some kind

2. Couple to a mass large enough to absorb all/most of the speaker's energy, meaning perhaps casting in concrete a sizable plinth, larger than your average patio paver.
 
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DaveF

New Member
Jan 24, 2022
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Hello Dave,

I own Magnepan 1.7i, and have a small listening room.
I think the speakers will project a nice wall of sound.
When I auditioned this model at a local dealer, they were placed less than a foot away from the wall, and I could still hear what they were capable
of.

I later applied these changes:
1) Cardas banana/spade adapters
2) Hifi-tuning fuses (these were not worth the extra money, IMHO)
3) VanderMye stands
4) Higher-current amp (Sanders Magtech)

If you take the time to try different loudspeaker placement (including tweeters on the inside vs outside), that will have a major effect on overall sound.

The Magtech amp seemed to provide deeper bass.

Have fun with your audition!

- Steve O.

David, first off, Welcome ! Longtime Maggie and Logan fan here dating back to the eighties so I'm all in with you and their 'sound' ! With that being said Don has given you a sage piece of advice for sure and you stated your current Logans have lost some of their luster ? At 26 years of age I suspect the panels are at their end !

You said your room is 'small' , how small, dimensions ? FWIW and IMO, speakers that are designed to work in a dipole environment sound their absolute best when one is not forced to make compromises. When I was running Maggies (3.6's) and Logans (last pair Spires) they were between 4-5' out and 44" from side walls. I've listened to set ups where di-poles were less than 3' out, I was never impressed......
David, first off, Welcome ! Longtime Maggie and Logan fan here dating back to the eighties so I'm all in with you and their 'sound' ! With that being said Don has given you a sage piece of advice for sure and you stated your current Logans have lost some of their luster ? At 26 years of age I suspect the panels are at their end !

You said your room is 'small' , how small, dimensions ? FWIW and IMO, speakers that are designed to work in a dipole environment sound their absolute best when one is not forced to make compromises. When I was running Maggies (3.6's) and Logans (last pair Spires) they were between 4-5' out and 44" from side walls. I've listened to set ups where di-poles were less than 3' out, I was never impressed......
Thanks twitch. I just became more dissatisfied with my Aeriuses. They still are OK.
I plan on selling my Aeriuses for cheap because they are too big to keep.

My room is 14 feet wide & 12 feet deep, too small to move the speakers much further from the wall. They sound really nice to me right there. I may try different positions after a while. Now I just want to enjoy my new toys.
 

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