Planar Magnetic Loudspeaker Aficionados!


I became pretty interested in a Sunfire sub, because it appears to have a relatively fast rolloff over 100Hz when the xover is set to 30Hz. Seems as if that might blend better than most with planar bass:
However, after a day of research, I concluded that this would be both costly (need two) and a PIA to setup properly. Instead, I elected to go with the Parametric EQ in Roon, at least until I get it in gear and buy a calibrated mic and app to quantify my room nodes and better understand what’s really needed. I set a boost of 4dB at 45Hz, which filled in the bottom without becoming obtrusive.
Any recommendations on room tuning SW for iOS or Android and inexpensive calibrated mics?



You can purchase AudioTools for iOS which I have, but in the end I still went with REW and a separate USB microphone for my laptop as then you can load the calibration file for the microphone to REW for better accuracy and ease of use. Mind you I’m still a newbie at using REW, it has many features.



Thanks - I’ll give it a try.



Fantastic. These are without doubt legendary speakers!



After checking things out with REW, I’ve temporarily tweaked DSP filters in Roon, and things sound much more natural.
Meanwhile, I’ve ordered a pair of Velodyne subs, the DDP10. With their 20Hz capability and smart equalization, I expect to clean up and extend the whole bass range of the Duettas (after a bit of work tuning) .
I’m also upgrading my wall insulation with blown in “firm-pack” cellulose next week, which I anticipate will lower the city-noise floor considerably, not to mention added winter comfort.
Fun times.

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I’m looking to buy a pair of Apogee Duetta Signatures to restore if anyone knows of any. Cosmetics are important but if they buzz no big deal.



You know of ?



Yea, I have an alert set up there.



Ahhh… Planar magnetic loudspeakers…

If I didn’t have five kitty cats roaming around with razor sharp claws, I would definitely have a pair of Magnepan’s again. I have a pair of Martin Logan SL3’s sitting in a spare room at my brother’s place, and they just don’t have the magic that my old Maggies had, and they were only the MGLR-1’s. Definitely nothing special, but they still sounded darn good!



Do you know how much a perfectly working pair of Duetta Signatures is worth?



Yes, a perfectly restored pair is worth $5-6k to me.



Have owned a number of Maggies over the years, and am/remain in love with them. IMO of most their key limitation have been alluded to here. First, they are current hungry, so having the right amp is essential. Second, they need a lot of space for their sound to “bloom” properly. Mine have always sounded best in rooms with high, vaulted ceilings. Third, if you are an imaging fan, these might not be the speakers for you. Fourth - as mentioned - to really shine, they have to be worked. You have to get those panel moving some large air. Which translates to - they sound their best played loud.

And I’m going to respectfully disagree with part of the assertion that they need that bounce from the wall behind the speakers. They do need that for their large sound. But they excel when pulled way into the room, a long way from the wall behind them. Likewise, even then, you’ll never hear transients well until you cover a portion of that wall with diffusion/absorption material. Only the spot that is the first reflection point bouncing to the primary listening position. But doing so will significantly improve SQ in that primary listening position.

Likewise I’m going to disagree with the assertion that they do not need bass reinforcement. IMO that depends. If pulled away from walls, and given plenty of space (to optimize their sound) you lose a lot of bass reinforcement. At that point, it depends on the Maggie. I had a pair of Maggie MG II’s that could SLAM you with bass. I’m talking about the kind the you can feel pound your breast bone. But in the same room, in the same postion, with the same amp my Maggie 2.5 QR’s could not keep up. Subs were required. And while I’m on that point… anyone pulling in a single sub to augment their Maggies vs. springing for two subs (carefully placed) are missing out on how good a sub can be integrated with Maggies (assuming the right subs and crossover roll off, of course, many subs will only be boomy).

One thing that is undeniable, they can reproduce the human voice (and violins too BTW) with a fidelity of sound that is unreal. The only thing is - for purists - they present it in such a large soundstage, that while breath takingly beautiful - it’s a not realistic “image” of such sound. Both instruments (voice and strings) are closer to being a point source of sound than the wall of sound that the line source Maggies produce. But I love it.

I’ll close with an interesting Maggie experience. Having become convinced that the crossover in the 2.5 QR’s were their weak link, I spent a few grand building replacement, external crossovers for them. NO change to the schematic or specs what-so-ever. Merely replacing the XO components with much higher quality parts (mostly Mundorf M-Cap Supreme and Dueland caps, and a monster North Creek 10 AWG inductor). I was expecting an improvement in transients, and nothing else (since I did not change the XO schematic or specs). But I heard nothing. Nothing. But that was until I put the aforementioned front wall diffusion panels in the first rear reflection point back up, at which point all was reviewed. Much more reveling transients. That was what I expected. But it was the unexpected that I’m posting about…

The change also snapped the midrange driver in one speaker. And it made both speakers express the dreaded “Maggie rattle” at volume. My guess is that while the new XOs are merely a better version of the old XOs, the improved transients - as made audible by the panels starting to move, and stopping movement upon the start and stop of a signal - moved the drivers faster than they were designed to move. And breakage was the result. So a word of caution shared.

All the same, I gotta say I love them. It’s too bad they require rebuilds after enough years, because the sound is magical. IMO. They are definitely a speaker - that in the right setup - can bring tears to a listener’s eyes. They are capable of sounding that good.



I have a pair of Magnepan 3.7i speakers and am wondering how well the PS Audio BHK 300 monos drive them. I’m coming from Emotiva XPR-1’s. Thanks!

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I recently have owned single and mono Benchmark amps and later BHK 250 and BHK 300’s.
Each step was an improvement, with the transition from Benchmark to PSA I thought was the biggest jump. I have MG 1.7 ( much like your 3.7 but not a true ribbon tweeter) and the 300’s mate well
with them and I get good bass without a sub in a smallish room. Not in your chest slam but well defined. Any better component or cable will make Maggies sing. They like clean power and your



Thank you for your insight, I’m inching towards the BHK Preamp and BHK 300 amps.



I have both the BHK 300s and the BHK preamp driving Magnepan 20.7s and the synergy is superb! The amount of current the amps deliver is amazing. You won’t be starved for power. Very holographic sound.



Oh ok, if they can handle the Big boys MG 20.7, then that’s all I need to know. Thanks!



awesome description stephen. thanks for sharing!
i just spent the last 3 hours listening to my maggies at full tilt.
love the sound!



New Magneplanar owner here! Just bought a pair of 1.7s and shocked with the sound! Specially piano reproduction is superb.



Congratulations. I have the previous model 1.6 and they are great!