Anyone send back Magnepan MMG's?


I'm currently trying out some MMG's under their 60-day money-back trial period. I'm two weeks into it and I've already made up my mind that they're going back. The presentation is interesting, but the soundstaging is no better (perhaps even worse) than my trusty Audio Physic Tempo's. There is a problem in cohesion from midrange to bass, and this manifests itself quite frequently when I play 80's rock and pop (Pat Benatar especially). And they get congested with complex orchestral music. Granted, with simple chamber music or guitar solos, they sound pretty good. But they just can't handle the gamut of music that I play like my Audio Physic speakers.

There are those who may claim that perhaps my amp isn't up to the task of powering the Maggies. I have an Innersound ESL 300 which is designed for planars and electrostats, being able to double down twice to 2 ohms, and still stable at 1/3 ohm impedance. It should be more than enough to drive the Maggies.

And some will claim that the MMG's don't adequately represent the abilities of Magnepan's higher-end offerings. I've heard a 3.6 previously, driven by Classe electronics, and while it sounded OK, I wasn't thrilled with it. Which surprises me, because I tend to gravitate toward electrostatics, and I thought I'd gravitate towards planars as well.

And I will admit, my old Audio Physic Tempo's originally retailed for $4000, which is substantially more than the MMG's $550. But still, even at their entry level, the Magnepan's should be hinting at something that those box speakers can't quite do. But I'm not hearing it. I came into this with a very open mind, and I'm somewhat surprised that the speakers are likely getting shipped back to Magnepan.

Has anyone else come to this conclusion?

Michael
128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xsufentanil
I owned these around 1986 for about two years.
After hearing a really good dynamic speaker (Conrad-Johnson Synthesis) in a dealer showroom, I couldn't get rid of them fast enough.
Stop playing Pat Benetar or any pop music from the 80s. No, really, seriously, stop it. (Just kidding.)
I sent them back. I never tried raising them up. The biggest complaint I had was that they only sounded good in the sweet spot. Could have been my room, or placement.

Either way, wasn't happy and sent them back.
It sounds like you over-anticipated what a $500 speaker can do. Did you really think that it would best a $4k speaker when even the 1.6 can't do low end with authority (i.e. below 40Hz)? I have heard dynamic speakers with 6" woofers compete with the 1.6 for bass presence, and 5" drivers compete with the MMG's bass. Did you really think the MMG was going to do it for you, or did you think you could switch and pocket $1,500 after resale of your speakers? Classic case of wishful thinking maybe? In their price zone, against similarly priced competitors, there are far fewer speakers which can compete overall. I have owned the MMG's and the 1.6's. I am also a reviewer for Dagogo.com.

I once took the MMG's to a couple's home who had ARC amplification and were running Vandersteen 3's, with twin Vandy subs. Without much ado, we placed the MMG's into the system, with the subs, of course. It was tremendously satisfying. A different presentation because of the planar versus dynamic design, but entirely engaging and entertaining. The MMG's lacked some of the refinement of the Vandy upper end, but the openness of soundstage, which was much greater than the 3's, was very enticing.

They had no clue what the value of the MMG's was, and they were shocked when I told them $550 including shipping! It was a marvelous demonstration of the ability of the MMG's to impress under not quite ideal, but excellent conditions. It confirmed my suspicion that the audiophile on a budget should fearlessly consider them, as they can be taken to much greater heights in performance with subs added and amp upgrades. If I only had $500 to spend on speakers they would be among the top contenders. The goal then would be save for subs.

OTOH, there are so many hyped claims for the Maggies that people begin to buy into the idea that they are the greatest gift to audiophile speakers ever given. That would not be correct either. ONE OF the great gifts in terms of speakers, but definitely not the only outstanding technology around.