Planar Magnetic Loudspeaker Aficionados!


Love those manly harmonics…


Hi Michael,

I think Sanders has a distributor in Norway

Sanders Sound Systems — PM Audio AS

Stereoanlegg av audiofil kvalitet til enhver prisklasse! CD- og LP-plater. Utstyr innenfor akustikk, vibrasjonsdemping, rack og stativer, og mye mer!


Room shoebox… yes that is my experience with owning two models of Magnepans… but not how you may think… They always sounded best along the long wall where the side walls were farther away… not always the best for furniture layout.

The rear-firing sound bounces off the walls (yikes, did I just compliment Bose???)… your ear brain uses this time-delayed ambient information to improve the localization of sound… hence Mangepans famous imiging capabilities. I believe this is one of the phsychoacoustic effects described as the Haas Effect.

Now how the ear-brain localizes height… well that is another interesting capability and why headphones can’t do imaging that well. You skull actually “hears”… sound above you hits the top of your forehead and passes through your skull and vibrates the bones in your hearing system… however it does not pass untouched, it has a strange notched frequency response (filter) that your brain has evolved to use in interpreting height of the source. Many thought for years that your brain compares the time delay between your two ears to localize a source… very true, but there was more going on.

Bruce in Philly


Been a while since I read a review of them, so not sure if that is a common setup, but, regardless I have been under the impression that one of the advantages of panel speakers is the radiation pattern has minimal output to the sides, This would mean location to sidewalls shouldn’t matter as much as a cone-based speaker. Doesn’t jibe with your set up, but that’s audiophilia!

What I’ve liked about Magneplanars is the sense of openness, most likely a result of the back wave bouncing off the rear wall and adding in to the front wave. Of course there can be cancellation too. Even though I liked the sound I have been suspect they may be enhancing the sound, but having never owned them I don’t have the expereince to draw conclusions. I will say have been a Vandersteen fan ever since the local Magnepan dealer said (many years ago) the Vandersteen’s were the best cone based speakers he had heard compared to Magnepans. For me, Vandersteen’s are much better for my room.


Setting up Magnepans is a black art. I would plan weeks in advance and wear a black smock and hood… burn candles and drink a lot of beer. I tried all kinds of wacky crap… no kidding, I actually pounded nails in my rear wall and hung large blankets to damp the rear reflections just to try it out. Sucked royally. They need a reflective back wall.

I actually made little platforms with wheels in the four corners… placed the speakers on them so I could slide them around… put tape markers all over the floor… I even cut lengths of dental floss (won’t stretch), taped to the sides of the speakers so I measure exactly to my seating spot. With a move of about 1 inch, you could shove a horn to the side by two feet.

The sides walls… well again, I moved these things all over the place… and side walls being far out worked best… my assumptions about the side walls was that if the walls were farther to the side than the speakers were from the back wall (kinda opposite of what most would do instinctively), the time delays would be more spread apart thus enhancing the Haas effect… a more spread-spectrum of delay (Heady Lamar!).

Best rear wall I had was when I lived for about 15 years as a single guy in Center City Philly where the wall was that beat-to-hell industrial red brick… uneven, lumpy, just fabulous.

But honestly, I have no clue what I am doing… If you are buying a pair speakers that have drivers that fire to the rear… well better plan on putting in a ton of work to get them to sound their best… but well worth the effort.

Bruce in Philly


Are Martin Logan easier and more room friendly then? I was looking at the


Sorry this reply is so late and so pathetic. I realized that I could not photograph what I was describing since it was 7ft above the floor so here is an interactive, professionally produced 4K graphic to ‘splain it!


I disagree, you DO know what you are doing. The ears have it, unconditionally. Though line source speakers do lobe in a fashion favoring reduced sidewall reflection, they are not perfect and your approach of finding the right position by listening is spot on!


Nope. They are a great line of speakers but suffer from the same finicky set up as most bipolars do. Galen Gareis, of Belden Iconoclast, uses a pair of ML CLX as one of his test beds for his work (and pleasure). They are brutally unforgiving of both positioning and everything else in the chain prior to them. If something is out of whack they will punish you without mercy (heard it!) but when everything is right the sound is spooky good. In a very general sense, planar magnetics tend to be more forgiving to the equipment that drives them than electrostatics.


My local dealer will allow me to take any speaker I want home to test in my own room with my equipment. I am taking home a Martin pair on Monday!


Next maybe a Persona pair!


Darren, good luck the MLs… what amplification do you have? I had a pair of ML Quest Zs and they did not mate well with tube amplification… MLs can be a tough load to drive. If you have tube amplification, listen for a “glassy” sound… if you have this, you may want to reconsider the MLs… good luck, let us know what happens.

Bruce in Philly


BHK pre and BHK 300’s


Haha. You’re set!


Take a look at this video. Are those amps on the floor? Speakers look amazing.


Those are amps alright. Monoblocks, so they must be bi-amping, i.e., using two amps per speaker, one for low end (cone woofers) the other for high end (electrostatic panels).


With me, they are called the plastic bags … lol


Thanks for
the visual clarification!


Here is my planar magnetic. :). See if this works


Having Logan’s and Maggie’s here are my thoughts. I thought the Logans took a little work to get right. But really - since the woofer is in a cabinet (except for the CLX) you do not have a rear wave on the low frequency. This makes them easier to place in my opinion.

The mags made me think of speaker room interaction differently. With the Maggie - the room is literally the cabinet. This gives you tons of flexibility in tuning the sound by moving them in the room. And they are very sensitive to it. You get it right - and you are in heaven. If not - they can sound ‘off’. If you get the bigger series you need the room. And you will be rewarded with planar bass which to me is really their strength. One you hear a tympani or upright bass on a big Maggie there is no going back. My opinion of course. :slight_smile: