Switch to Magnepan 20.7 ? From B&W 800 diamonds?

Hi all,
As the title suggests, I may be considering a switch from my current B& W 800 diamonds to Magnepans 20.7.
I have PS Audio, BHK 300 monos, BHK Pre & Directstream. I’m very happy with my setup but as usual… yearnings can come for a change.
I have previously had Apogee Stages and Duetta Signatures… lovely speakers themselves but never had Maggies. Unfortunately the dealer for Maggies here in Australia is in another state and it’s hard to get a local audition.
Any comments/ recommendations?

You probably already know this, but the current maker of Apogee speakers is in the Australian sunbelt, and manufacturing considerably upgraded new versions.

Hi eldrick,
Yes, I know Graz personally and I’ve no doubt his speakers would be brilliant.
I am however still on a budget. I would only go for 2nd hand if I could.

Sheesh, the maggies show:

Sensitivity: 86dB/2.83v

I didn’t know they were that hard to push. :confused:

I have listened to the Diamond series many times. I have owned the 20.7’s for almost 6 years. You will love the soundstage on the 20.7’s and the detail and presence of the quasi-ribbon/ribbon technology and the way it envelopes you. You will miss the chest thump feel and deep bass capability of the B&W 800’s. The 800’s are also more forward sounding so you will have to adjust for that with the Maggies.


What RsZk said. I’ve listened to the 802 diamonds - not the 800. If soundstage is your bag - the 20.7 is magnificent and can’t be beat in my opinion. I love everything about my 20.7s. To me - the 802 was a great sounding speaker. The 20.7 is an experience. You don’t really need subs in my opinion - but if you want the walls to rattle and shake - then you do. The bass feels different. I have a pair of Martin Logan odyssey’s and a descent sub in one room and I wanted to compare the bass between the two systems. Amazingly - I felt the 20.7 had way more bass in this A/B without any subs. But it just doesn’t jump or shout at you. It’s extremely natural without any directionality. It’s a shame you can’t hear them as I would say they are very different than your B&Ws. The mids and upper bass have a nice warmth in my system - and ever time I listen I am surprised. I love the ribbon tweeter - smooth natural and doesn’t miss on any counts. Ok. I’m done :slight_smile:

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I’ve listened to the 800D’s often at my friends house.
I own a pair of Magnepan 3.6R’s with 2 REL subs.

Massively different experience in listening to music with 800’s vs. Maggies.
Agree with the fellas above.

Obviously, all depends on your preference.

If you like deep, wide soundstage, Sweet highs and natural sounding instruments - especially with acoustic music…Magnepan is the ticket.

I found the 800D’s a bit too sharp on the high end. but incredibly vivid.

nice decision to make! good luck


And since they’re 4 Ohm nominal impedance, that corresponds to about 83 db/W. Ouch.

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it appears the last time the updated the web site news was in 2006?

You’ll find more and more current Apogee info in his Forum. He has announced new speakers and upgrades for existing speakers fairly recently.

Disclosure: I am possessed by a pair of Duetta Signatures, upgraded and personally owned by Graz, and recently upgraded with replacement xover and ribbons (by Rich Murry). They are simply the most natural-sounding speakers I have ever heard, and keep sounding better the better the signal I feed them.

Possession! When I had my My Duetta Sigs, I upgraded the Cover components - and that itself made a very big difference - so I can only imagine what you’re experiencing! They are great speakers! I upgraded to his Perigees. Still have them and they are still top performers - still hard to beat in many ways. Its pity Graz doesn’t update his site a bit more frequently. It seems like there is enough fans of Maggies here to give them serious consideration for my next upgrade.

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Hi RsZk,
Thanks for your comments and opinion which seems to reflect the consensus from some preliminary research I have done. “Swings & Roundabouts”… You win on some aspects and loose on the others … it seems like it will come down to personal preferences … but they do have a fan club for a reason!
I might dig around a bit more to see if I could get an audition somewhere.
Definitely on my audition list.!

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Thanks tj-sully, Its a tough decision … but someone has to make it! :wink:
Problem for me is that there is a lot to like with the 800s.
I’m convinced I will have to audition a pair.!

To me it’s mustard and ketchup. So different, each with a separate purpose. I know the sound of both very well, and it’s not a subtle jump. I have always wanted to own Magnepans, and I never have purchased them. I have MANY B&Ws, was in danger of getting more but I went a different way. The diamond tweeters are too extreme for my taste. So I have 803n, and 805n models in several rooms. Listening to the 805s at the moment as they are my computer speakers.

But so many people, so very many people including me love to listen to Maggies. I just don’t want to own them. The old “it’s a nice place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there” thang…

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Understandable. Magnepans have a distinctive sound. I find they work well for somethings, not well for others.

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Advice from a 800D2 owner : don’t do it, you already have the best speakers in the world :blush:

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Do you notice a downside to the 800’s that the Maggies will easily solve, without giving up what you really love about the 800’s?

Hi adifferentpaul,
The 800s are still magic… and I’m in awe every night listening to them. Maybe I’m greedy … I want more atmosphere … but probably not at the expense of punch.
My 800s are well set up here … clear, sharp image. Lots of musicality … but I’m still wondering whether there could be some other ‘wow’ factor that I’m missing. From a conventional speaker design - I wouldn’t change … but for planar … that’s different enough to tempt me!

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Enjoy this process, whichever way you go!
From what I’ve read, both B&W and Maggies work extremely well with the BHK Preamp and BHK 300 amps (as you already know).

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I tried Maggies (just LRS’s…) and, while I can see the various upsides of them, the sound just wasn’t for me (see all comments above). However, 20.7’s and your equipment I would imagine would sound fabulous with the right music (again, see comments above).
Best quote on Maggies I’ve ever heard: “Maggies are great, but you have to play by their rules”.