Nice sound stage, huh? -Nothing like line sources for that.
I agree. It is seems easier make the speakers to disappear with a line source driver design. It made my room seem twice as big.
Ok, I love my. M700s, but what is the nirvana amp for Maggies?
Big, and capable of delivering a lot of current. I’ve heard various maggies with large monoblocks from Mac, Bryston, Classe, and Pass. All sounded pretty darn good. Others swear by large tube amps. The key, I think, is to deliver enough current to adequately control the panels. The conductors in the mid and bass panels are bonded to the membrane, which adds mass. Back in the day I ran a pair of MGIIa’s with a 50 wpc Conrad-Johnson amp. It was OK, but a Counterpoint SA-220 did a whole lot better.
Amp for Magnepans… hmmm… I don;t know. I just know that you need a high current amp… one that puts out as close to double the watts into 4 ohm as 8 ohm.
I used a Bryston 4B… I sold that darn thing… I wish I kept it just to have it around for experiments and fun. Mostly, I ran the 20 on a pair of VTL Deluxe 300 monoblocks… 16 6550 tubes!!! Then a friend brought over a CJ transistor amp… it geve the 20s a more defined bass… but the 20s just sounded better with the tubes.
Kevin Deal noted in a video or two of his that my PrimaLuna HP will power them fine but I never hooked em up. Who the heck know, you gotta try it out. But again, a high current amp is clearly needed.
Bruce in Philly
The M700s are definitely high current and sound good. Just wondering way ahead about where to go next.
Perhaps not the high-end category you are seeking, but for value, consider the Parasound JC-1 monoblocks. HIgh-current Class A/AB amps (800w continuous into 4 ohms), and their excellent quality can be judged by their having remained an Absolute Sound Editor’s Choice for 15 years.
They are a great match with Maggies (zero DC offset), and you can pick up a pair used for around $5K.
Paul, I must congratulate you and PSAudio. You have embraced the changing audio marketplace and in fact made it your own. When I toured Magnepan I felt I was viewing history, an impressive product built by dedicated craftspeople, but lacking a vision and a passion for the consumer. In my interactions with PS I have seen the enthusiasm your people have for the technology , products and especially a shared excitement with your consumers. Since the era of a local hifi store delivering multiple pieces of gear for the consumer to try in their home is over more of us will be open to single product line designed to work synergistically electrical outlet to speakers. Thank you.
I was curious whether you used the digital crossover or the older analog “Brain” with your Wisdom adrenalines? I have the analog version and wonder if the digital one is better as far as sound quality?
I used only the analog version of the “active brain” for my systems, the M-50s and the Adrenalines.
Tom originally created the digital “active brain” upgrade to facilitate remote accessibility for system calibrations. It was a slick unit (ahead of its time, in my opinion), but it was less user friendly (again, my opinion), because it needed a computer hooked up to adjust the parameters. Sound wise, I am sure there was some improvement. How much, I can’t remember but I never got the upgraded unit as I didn’t play much with my settings.
A good friend has Maggie .7’s that he drives with an Aesthetix Atlas. His room is large and with them three or four feet from the rear wall, they’re really wonderful.
My recently upgraded Apogee Duetta Signatures are still among the best I’ve ever heard, after 25 years. New ribbons, new xover - about the same degree of upgrade as Snowmass.
Thanks very much. I’m thinking about downsizing my system and replacing the line sources with Reference 3A Grand Veenas which at present reside in my living room. My dealer told me that the Grand Veenas would be more transparent and revealing of fine detail than the Wisdoms, but I have a hard time giving up the low end and huge soundstage of the Wisdoms. Any thoughts on that?
I haven’t heard the Grand Veenas and I would not even venture to guess how they would compare. I had to downsize as I had mentioned earlier (Real estate in Southern California is expensive, just ask Disney). Now using my surround speakers, the Wisdom Audio NS-27s, I truly miss the the soundstage of the line source and my low end is supplemented with a Bag End sub. My most recent major upgrade and improvement came from upgrading my modded Shanling CD player to the stock Oppo UHD player which drastically increased the clarity, detail and transparency on the disc. I have thought about the current Wisdom speakers but with a kid heading to college… I was impressed with the sound of the Golden Ear line of speakers. I am kind of waiting to see what Paul has up his sleeve with his line of speakers.
Congratulations on the Duetta Signatures. I had a pair for.a while and upgraded the xover with better caps and that made a big difference. I presume the ribbon upgrades would be phenomenal!
I still miss mine although I did upgrade to the Graz’s Perigees. Nice! Voiced on the scintilla and they can give them a run for the money.
I’m currently running and enjoying B&W 800 Diamonds.
I’ve always loved ribbon speakers. I remember as a teenager listening to the Apogee Stage’s and wondered how they made that bass!? I had Newform Research hybrid ribbon/cone speakers, custom made speakers with Raven tweeters/cone woofers and now Magnepan 20.7’s. I had a set of 200 wpc monoblocks that drove the speakers okay, but it’s when I moved up in power to the Magtech Monoblocks with 2000wpc into 4 ohms, they really sang. One caveat though is that I am still after 4 years playing with placement. I got tired of all the tape on the carpet though so I go by memory now haha! The 20.7’s get the tone, pitch and snap right on acoustical bass. Better than any cone driver. They don’t have the weight of a cone, nor move air like a cone. I believe that even the 20.7’s require more bass at the lower end of say 40Hz(try music with pipe organ, or some pop music like Lorde). I have measured this and it’s true in my room. I have been experimenting with some cheap vented subs and noticed an improvement and also negatives when applying subwoofers. Possibly subs such as the Rel 212/SE, Rythmik sealed subs, SVS sealed Ultras, Velodyne, or JL Audio are in my future.
I am currently waiting for my PS Audio electronics (Directstream DAC, BHK Signature preamp, BHK 300 Signature monoblocks)…Yes I went all in for PS electronics as I just love how the company portays itself, the fact it’s growing and also the YouTube videos that Paul posts frequently. I have been lurking on these forums for quite awhile to get a feel of how this forum is and works along with the members that post. It seems like a great community of people and also the fact that the staff also post here as well.
I can’t wait for my gear to arrive and hope that the BHK 300 monos can drive the Maggies well.
I had a pair of Maggies long ago, and a set of Flatline 175s (a ribbon hybrid) , but the Duettas just keep getting better as I improve the gear feeding them.
I have recently been contemplating a sub, and may try an inexpensive one this winter.
Oh awesome. I too have 20.7s. I love them. I don’t really feel the need for a sub… but I have a ML Descent and I turn the main volume way down - but it has a volume at 25hz on down which I boost. It creates ‘something’ that can be more felt. I’m leaving it for now as it doesn’t interfere with the purity of the planar bass which I’ll trade for any cone.
Let me know in this thread how the bhk compare to the magtechs. I am currently using a sunfire signature with pretty great results.
I have a pair of SVS SB-3000 that I am testing with a pair of Analysis Audio Omegas. The SVS are hard to beat for the money but they don’t quite work for me in my setup. I have a PrimaLuna Dialouge Premium HP which has a single sub output. I think I will like a high level connection better so I am going to give REL a try.
Good luck in your search.
Good to know about the PB-3000’s. I imagine that one needs to go near or to the top of the food chain for whatever manufacturer one picks for subs, to get their best technology to mate with planar speakers properly.
I too am intrigued by speaker level connection, but I’m a bit wary with the noise issues of Rel’s when paired with the 300 monoblocks as some users have experienced.