New House, New Audio Room!

  • Main speakers: Magnepan 3.6R
  • Bass reinforcement: Magnepan IIIA bass panels
  • Preamplification: Cary SLP-05
  • Amplification: Parasound JC-1 monoblocks
  • Power: PSA P-10
  • Media player: Bryston BDP-2
  • DAC: PSAPW Direct Stream
  • Turntable: Kuzma Stabi (Kuzma Stogie tonearm), Lyra Delos MC cartridge
  • Sutherland 20/20 phono preamp (fed by a K&K step-up transformer)
  • Audience interconnects
  • Goertz speaker cables
  • 10ga shielded power cabling throughout
The audio half of the room is is powered off a dedicated 20 Amp breaker (first thing I did to the house!). I was lucky that I never sold my old Maggies. The 3.6Rs produced no bass at all by themselves in the new room (15.5' x 30').

This system represents a complete redesign of my previous system. In the past two years I’ve replaced just about everything but the turntable (new cartridge and step-up though). The timing of the new DirectStream release and upgrade was a bonus!

The new space would not accommodate what I was using as an equipment stand; so, I’m using a crappy old console to hold the non-turntable equipment. The 100+ pound butcher block table works great as a turntable stand. I look forward to the improvement in sound I’ll get from a more rigid equipment rack – suggestions welcome!


Very nice.

I use a Grand Prix Audio rack and have been very happy with it for almost 15 years.

Pricy but worth it

Box Furniture Co. I have one in Maple… Truly heirloom quality fit and finish, and I hate to say it but my system sounds much better on it that anything else I’ve used…

Classy…! 77_gif


  • I ended up choosing a Mapleshade rack (liked the adjustability and the price).
  • I took the wood accent pieces off of the MGIIIAs, and placed the panels closer to the sidewalls (better bass!).
  • Found a guy who could repair my old Revox PR99 -- my Barclay-Crocker, as well as other prerecorded tapes are a revelation!
  • Picked up a PSA memory player to round out the system.
By the way, I've discovered that Magnepan's latest iteration of the ribbon tweeter has a much smoother response (less beamy and bright) than the ribbons that were originally on the 3.6Rs. I kept wondering why the right channel of my system was so much louder and brighter than the left -- turns out it was the difference between a 1990's ribbon and 2004-5 ribbon. So, if you have a pair of 3.6Rs, a cheap upgrade would be to swap in new ribbons. The newer ribbons completely changed the sound (for the better) of the 3.6Rs -- much better midrange to HF integration.


Looks great. A very interesting speaker combination to me. I owned the Tympani 4a’s so the size and configuration is about as close as I have ever seen.

With them, I set the mid/tweeter panels up first with tweeters on the inside. I created the classic triangle and sweet spot intersection and slowly adjust toe in to create a continuous sound filed, then I moved them forward and back until I found a smooth midrange response.

After that I marked the floor with painters tape and placed the bass panels on the outside of the midrange. It was a much slower process (1/4" at a time) to create a smooth bass in the room. The end up toed in slightly more than the mid/tweeter panels and almost tight together.

How was you experience with your configuration?


Tom eh

Thanks Tom eh.

The good news is that although the room looks symmetrical, it is not. Even that window behind the speakers is off center by about a foot. Add in the patterned ceiling, the offset doors leading in an out of the room, the listening area being 3-4 ft narrower than where the speakers are and you have the makings of a decent sound room (even though I couldn’t use the long wall)!

Problem was, after a month or so of moving the speakers around, I just couldn’t get acceptable bass response – great imaging, but no bass. I like my Maggies with the tweeters to the outside. To my ears, in this room, I get a fairly large sweet spot, and a good sense of stage.

What gave me the idea to use my old 3As as bass panels was Magnepan’s own DWM, but it did take a while to realize that the bass crossover frequencies of the 3A and the 3.6Rs were different – couldn’t quite get the speakers to “blend” properly. I did a little research, and then redid the 3A crossovers.

With the tweeter/mid in the center between two bass panels, the speakers disappear, and I get a wider and deeper soundstage. And because the speakers are separate, I was able to optimize the placement of the 3As for the best bass response – close and perpendicular to the side walls.


Just a note: Using two Maggie pairs this way derives a static impedance of 2.5 ohms – might be a bit low for some amplifiers.

NICE bro4_gif