Is it possible that a Maggie custom system could sound better than 3.7s?
You might say "How is that possible?" The 3.7 is inherently a better speaker.
What you wouldn't know unless you heard it, as a "3-channel stereo" on-wall system it results in the sum being greater than the total of the parts. In terms of the feeling of "you-are-there", it really is possible to surpass a purist 2-channel system. In addition, the system costs about $600 less than 3.7s. Obviously, if 3.7s are used as left/right speakers, it is even better.
We suspected you might not believe it was possible. So, we put an experienced editor to the test-------
Marc Mickelson is a good sport and now we will reveal what he heard--
1 pair motorized MMC 2s, mounted on the side wall, back from the front wall approximately 5 feet.
2 DWM Bass Panels placed below the MMC 2s
1 CC 5 center channel speaker simulating cantilever mounting on front wall.
Bryston SP 2 processor---digital output of CD player into SP 2 processing 2-channel source into 3 channels. (Yes, it violates some preconceived beliefs by audiophiles. You may have to hear it for yourself.)
Magnepan offers a consulting service
Wendell Diller has 40 years of experience with Maggies and can help resolve an impasse with what we call "the conflicted couple". You want 3.7s, but, the "interior designer" of the house wants invisible speakers. We have a proven history of making everyone happy. Call and ask for Wendell. He will want you to email a 360 degree photo tour of your room along with your phone number (please downsize the photos to approximately 400 kb).
You might also ask "Why doesn't my dealer have it on display if it is as good as we claim?" It is a matter of display space. Your dealer has a number of speaker brands (with dozens of models). To make this system work properly requires space which he probably does not have.
At the Newport show in 2012, we invited direct A-B comparisons of the Magnepan custom system with expensive speakers down the hall.
"Your sound was truly exceptional better than 90% of the systems I heard in Newport."
Email from Marc Mickelson, editor theaudiobeatdotcom after the Newport Beach show, (quoted with permission)
"It was one of those 'Is it live or is it Memorex?' moments. The system easily bested many of the traditional- and significantly more expensive two-channel setups in other rooms." Excerpt from ultrahighendreviewdotcom Frank Berry
* Note in the system below the two DWM Bass Panels are built into the cabinet.
What is an MMC 2?
The MMC 2 is NOT an MC 1 with a motor. The MMC 2 has a unique planar midrange, plus a quasi-ribbon tweeter and quasi-ribbon super-tweeter. When used with one or more DWM Bass Panels, a full-range, 3-way system achieves the sound of our large free-standing speakers. To get a mental picture of the MMC 2 system, imagine that we removed the tweeter/midrange from our large 3-way speaker and motorized it on the wall and "hid the bass panel in plain sight" inside furniture.
At the touch of the remote, the power supply/controller automatically moves the MMC 2 into a pre-determined position. After listening, the MMC 2 automatically closes when the system is turned off.
Chris Martens, editor of The Perfect Vision, put the Maggie System "under the microscope". The review is in two parts and very long. (You might want to print it out to read later.)
In his review, Chris Martens said--
"In terms of overall timbre, and tonal balance, the Magnepan on-wall system reflects its technical influences, which means that it sounds a bit like a cross between the firms second-from-the-top model, the MG 3.6 loudspeaker, and its top model, the MG 20.1. The midrange and highs of the system, which are contributed primarily by the MMC2) remind me of the sound of the MG 3.6: well-balanced, fast, and open, though relative to the MG 3.6 the MMC2 can sound slightly forgiving way up high".
John Crossett, of The Audio Beat, examined the Maggie system from the perspective of our 30-day home trial program (Maggie Dealer-Direct). Please note that no care or attention was given to aesthetics. John reviewed the system using our Disposable Speaker Stands as if he were a customer taking advantage of our 30-day offer.
So, are you skeptical?
We are like you. We are Old School Audiophiles. We prefer to have a pair of 1.7s or 3.7s standing about 5 feet out into the room. (Even dynamic speakers will sound best well out into the room where the first reflection is greater than 10 milli seconds.) We like diffusers and absorption to break up room reflections and we turn down the lights for serious listening. So, excuse me, don't tell us that a "custom" system could tempt us to give up our big free-standing speakers. However, as John Crossett said in the Audio Beat review-- "Don't thumb your nose at or dismiss this system until you've heard it. I'm willing to bet that your preconceived notions will take the same beating mine did."
Since audiophiles are known to be very skeptical of "custom" products, we went to your colleagues. We conducted a "blindfold" field trial test in Portland, Oregon and Seattle.
We invited audiophiles and Maggie enthusiasts to attend an unveiling of a new product at their local Magnepan dealership. Approximately 135 of your peers attended these "Maggie Nights". The system was hidden behind a scrim cloth with back-lighting to keep it a secret until after the 35 minute demonstration. Before the demonstration, we explained that they were to be "Reviewers for the Day". Magnepan was conducting a field study of this new speaker. They would be given a survey to fill out after the "blind" listening tests. So they would not be influenced by the size, price or appearance of the speakers, they would be "kept in the dark" until after the demo.
To validate the results of this field trial for you, John Johnson, the editor of Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, was interested enough to fly up from California to witness this demonstration. He also was "kept in the dark". His report validates the accuracy of our test results. The Maggie system is "Audiophile Approved".
What about a center channel speaker?
In situations where the left/right speakers can not be placed in the optimum position for stereo imaging, a center channel speaker for 2-channel music is a excellent solution, as pioneered by Paul Klipsh for their corner-loaded horn speakers. A center channel speaker can fine-tune the stereo imaging and results in an huge "sweet spot" for everyone in the rooom.
The favorite Magnepan speaker of "The Interior Designer"
There are many thousands of households like the son and daughter-in-law or sister and brother-in-law of our marketing manager. His sister is a gifted interior designer. He calls them "the Conflicted Couples". His brother-in-law is an audiophile. They can have most any Maggie they would like. Many years ago, his sister had MG Is in her living room. Not any more. Now, both ladies prefer the MMC 2s. Our marketing manager likes to tease his sister that since her handiwork has been featured in the Portland, Oregon Sunday paper in the section of "My Home is Better Than Yours", something changed.
The market is flooded with custom speakers for the interior designer. But, what about the audiophile of the "Conflicted Couple"? Compromise is part of life, but, do we really have to have in-wall speakers? The Holy Grail of loudspeaker design is a massless driver suspeneded in free space. MMC 2s aspire to that goal by operating as free-standing speakers that tuck away when not in use. His sister and brother-in-law found this to be the ideal solution to keep everyone happy. The MMC 2s and Maggie Woofer are stealthily incorporated in their beautiful living room.
Finding the right spot to mount the MMC 2s
A floor-standing model can be moved to find the perfect location for the best sound. It is not so easy with a wall-mounted speaker. Our $30 Disposable Speaker Stand kit allows you to move the speakers along the wall to find that perfect spot before making a permanent installation. You can order the kit directly from Magnepan.
Are you a do-it-yourselfer?
In case you are put-off by the expense of a custom installation, the MMC 2 was designed with the do-it-yourselfer in mind. No need to run wires through the wall, if you choose. The MMC 2 is mounted on the wall with the same sheet rock anchors that are used for photos or paintings.
What are the advantages of a Maggie Bass Panel?
Think of our on-wall speaker this way-- We took the woofer out of our big 3-way speaker system. You are getting the midrange/tweeter portion with our on-wall model. You have the option of using a dynamic woofer. However, if you want the full-range Maggie sound, nothing has the speed for a seamless match with the midrange/tweeter on-wall like the Maggie Bass Panel.
Top and bottom mounting assembles available in natural oak, black oak, dark cherry and primer for custom painting.
|Freq. Resp.||100 Hz- 24 kHz|
|Rec Power||Read Frequently Asked Questions|
|Dimensions||10.25 x 46 x 1|