Magnepan needs your help

Magnepan needs your help.

Are you willing to publicly give your feedback of Magnepan’s proposed new speaker concept? Below are the cities and dates of select cities for the first tour to hear public opinions. Instead of filling out focus group forms or giving information to Magnepan’s representatives at the demonstration, Magnepan is encouraging public debate. (Negative feedback can be just as valuable as positive feedback.)

If you are interested in hearing this speaker concept, it is critical that your dealer have your contact information. Winter storms could cause a delay of the tour.

Chicago-- Quintessence Audio, Wednesday, December 11th
Toronto-- Audio Excellence, Saturday, December 14th
Pittsburgh-- Butch’s Sound and Vision, Monday, December 16th
Northern New Jersey (Verona)-- Audio Connection, Wednesday, December 18th

- Wendell Diller, Magnepan
Seattle can't get no respect. Okay. I can totally get that. But Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue? Right across the lake. So, come on!
Last I spoke to Wendell, he was planning to swing west after the East Coast tour. Ripeness is all!
BTW, for those who haven't heard about the new concept, it's what Wendell calls a "30.7 for Condos" -- two 12" wide panels with dipole woofers. Here's the writeup in TAS:

And the ad that ran in TAS and Stereophile:
Interesting. We’ve been building and selling line source dipole speakers with outboard open baffle woofer modules for almost two years. The woofer modules each have two 10” dynamic drivers. The system is DSP controlled. The woofer modules can be placed anywhere around the towers with alignment dialed in by DSP. Our DSP system can be accessed from a remote location through the internet so we can help our customers from virtually anywhere providing they have an internet connection. 
That's a great idea. But how do you know what to do without measurements? Or are you just helping them with the automated process?
The core of the DSP unit is basically a computer so we can log on to control the processor and view the events. The processor comes with a four point microphone. Once the speaker system is installed and all the cables are connected the DSP unit is turned on and connectivity is established. We can then setup all the crossover functions. The next step is to perform speaker optimization which includes amplifier level matching which allows using almost any amplifiers. In my personal system I use 2A3 tube Monoblocks for the towers and a pair of our 1KW hybrid Monoblocks to drive the woofer modules. The system can be listened to like that or the room correction optimizer can be run. At that point there are multiple ways to tweak the system. Throughout the process the user can watch, learn and ask questions via phone. It’s actually an easy process.
I have a condo in Carlsbad, Calif and would love to host Wendell and ten or so avid listeners, chat w Bruce at Stereo Unlimited the local dealer, fun.... vino and smoked salmon on me :-)
11-25-2019 7:56pmI have a condo in Carlsbad, Calif and would love to host Wendell and ten or so avid listeners @tomic601 Greetings from Temecula; I'm new to audio above mid-fi, but have dabbled in and with it for decades. Maybe there might be another seat at the table or on the couch for an interested neighbor? Thanks. Peace. Mark L.
I have a condo in Carlsbad, Calif and would love to host Wendell and ten or so avid listeners, chat w Bruce at Stereo Unlimited the local dealer, fun.... vino and smoked salmon on me :-)

Only ten???! I'm in Redmond, WA and would happily host as many as Magnepan can draw to my dedicated listening room.

Quality over quantity:-) we serve a mean DAVIS Family Vineyards- Russian River Valley Pinot as the House wine

But seriously it was the Magneplaners multi panel for condo that got me excited :-) how fun !!!!
Doesn't Magnepan have competent in house listeners, and years of experience to judge for themselves, what sounds good.

Why ask for the opinion of the average audiophile at a dealers setup, which turned out to be useless with the 30.7 road trip?

How many 30.7 speakers were actually considered for purchase by all the 30.7 road trip listeners? The audience was just curiosity seekers!

There are many people that just do not like panel bass, because they listen to music "live amplified" through boxes, and want that sound at home. 

They already know how they sound and several reviewers have already listened and confirmed that it equals the sonics of the 30.7. Here's the second report and it sounds killer: 

So it isn't a finished project and the tour it isn't about drumming up sales. This speaker is a significant departure for Magnepan, so they want to find out whether customers and dealers are interested in buying or carrying it and to solicit opinions on things like cosmetics, which is why Wendell is asking everyone who attends to post their impressions online. It's more like a focus group than a sales tour. Then the reactions will help them make a decision on whether to proceed with the project before they invest in the industrial design and production engineering.
Thanks for the link to the HiFi Plus article, Josh. It confirms the design I anticipated and described on your thread over on the Planar Speaker Asylum, right down to the 6.5" woofers! Good to hear the subs will be self-powered, and I imagine a "shelving" circuit (6dB/octave boost at some frequency) will be built in to compensate for the dipole cancellation, as it is in the GR Research/Rythmik OB/Dipole Sub.
I was thinking you could get some *real* slam by adding a couple of those GR Research subs. :-)

Josh, a pair of the 12" woofers is plenty punchy for me, but I don’t prioritize reproducing the hyped-up bass heard in Pop recordings. The planar bass produced by the Tympani-model Magneplanars (and now by the new 30.7) has long been my standard, and the OB/Dipole Sub comes the closest to that I’ve ever heard.

There are some DIYers (and pro speaker companies) using three, four, six, or even eight OB woofers per side! That is useful in a larger room, but a single pair per side is plenty for me. The eight 6.5" woofer per side (four on each of the two baffles of the W-frame, I’m presuming. Oops, I’ve said too much already ;-) in the new hybrid Maggie will grab about the same amount of air as will a pair of 12’s, I believe. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m mistaken!

And, the 8 woofers won’t have to travel as far to do it, leading to at least the possibility of less distortion. But then, the GR Research/Rythmik sub employs servo-feedback, so all bets are off. If this hybrid planar/OB sub makes it into production, planar lovers will finally have available a speaker with deep bass without needing huge panels to produce it (Tympanis, Sound Labs, etc.). And that bass will be very different from that produced by standard subs: not as "plump"---no added fat; the texture of stringed instruments (upright bass, cello, piano) more audible, as are the end trail of notes, etc. And the balance between speakers and subs will remain stable when listening distance changes. Plus lots more! --- Eric.

Exactly! It's like a dream come true for planar owners -- I'm imagining my IVA's now with a tiny sub rather than 36 inches of bass panels.

As you say, the current sub has about the radiating area of two 12" woofers. I've heard others say the same thing you have about the GR Research dipoles, that the number you need depends on the size of your room. Wendell demoed these in Magnepan's listening room, which is actually a pretty sizable room -- just not huge. I can imagine versions of this with stackable woofers, as with the GR's, so you could adapt them to larger rooms.

I think Magnepan may have a real winner here -- I don't know how many times I've heard people say that this or that Maggie is just too big.
Dipole woofers can work great with planar speakers. We have been using our dipole woofer modules with our Analysis Audio speakers for several years with great results. Our dipole woofer modules each have two 10” long throw drivers and are designed to be stackable. Our experience tells us that typically one pair of woofer modules is enough for all but very large rooms or larger open concept homes.
They keep doing it...making the speakers that reproduce what you feed them.  I still remember my first listen in 1974...and I have had zero speakers other than Maggies since then.  As a former dealer, I was fortunate enough to hear pretty much every speaker made for many years, and while some boxes are OK--Fulton comes to mind--nothing lets music sound like it does when I play it on any given musical instrument better than Maggies fed by first quality hardware.

Some companies come and go; not so here, and there is a reason.

Hi Wendell,
I would love to but NJ is a bit far for me. I live in NH. I have owned and set up countless Maggie's. 
What I can tell you is that if the 20.7's were 7' 10" tall they would be near perfect for anyone with an 8 foot ceiling. If you are going to do a line source please make it full range! I think your bass projection would improve and the speaker would sound more balanced.
Isn't there a show in upstate New York that might be closer to you? There's that, Toronto, Chicago, and New Jersey so far.

BTW, Wendell would love to make panels that extend floor to ceiling! The problem is that nobody would buy them. But he knows it's ideal for a line source, in fact he even did a demonstration once in which he stacked two .7's to show the difference a full-height line source makes.

Oh FFS, let’s have fun, listen, stop arguing and give Maggie some feedback

Hi there,
I am a Magnepan owner and would be happy to help.
I can do Northern New Jersey (Verona)-- Audio Connection, Wednesday, December 18th
but they are not my dealer. How about Lyric HI Fi??? the only Maggie dealer in NYC???


I really believe panel bass to be the best. Ever hear big Maggie's or big Sound Labs? They have ultra low distortion bass with high output and slam that blows away any dynamic driver out there. This will line Magnepan's pockets as it did for Martin Logan but is a step backward in high fidelity. 
Josh, I don't think so. But there is a Maggie dealer in Nashua, NH. You could capture most of New England there.
Josh, where did the "nobody would buy them" theory come from. If I did a demo with a standard 20.7 and a 20.7 full line source nobody except the cheapest among us would go for the standard version. Both have exactly the same foot print. There is no down side but the cost and the improvement would be worth every penny to anyone already considering spending that kind of money on a loudspeaker. The problem is getting your dealers to put them on the floor and actually make that comparison.
Let Wendell have his way! 

Secretguy, I asked Wendell about the price, and he said that the price will depend on the cosmetics, which is one of the things that will be influenced by feedback from the tour.
Hi Grossman,

Verona will be the event for the New York area, so no need to worry about it not being your dealer, just call them and make arrangements. That's the one I'm going to myself, hope to meet you there!

I guess the proof is in the pudding, but I can tell you after many conversations with Wendell that Magnepan was not going to release these if it meant compromising Maggie bass. That was the big challenge here -- to get planar bass out of a small package. I guess we'll all learn soon whether they've succeeded!
Mike, I suspect you're right. Sure, this will be more expensive, but worth it. It's hard to imagine that people won't want it if it's as good as they say, but it won't work unless there's full customer and dealer acceptance and that, I think, is one of the main reasons for the tour -- to show the prototype and see if everyone is on board. If not, it doesn't make sense for them to invest in the production engineering for what for them is a radically new product.

@richopp, I bought my first Maggies---the Tympani T-I---in ’73, and loved what they did well. But I missed the liquid-transparency and "snap" of ESL’s (the early Maggies were a tad veiled and soft), and the bottom octave (we didn’t at that time know about bracing the panels). So when in ’74 the Fulton Model J was introduced, I sold the Tympanis and bought a pair.

It didn’t take long for me to regret that move: yes, the Fulton was more transparent (those RTR ESL tweeters were about the best available at the time), and had "shuddery"/deep, deep bass, but lacked the wide-open sound (the sound box speakers produce seems to be squeezed through the boxes) and lifesize images (big instruments sound like dollhouse miniatures through small loudspeakers) of planars. I experienced planar-withdrawal! I sold the Fultons and have been a panel-lover ever since (current owner of Tympani T-IVa, Eminent Technology LFT-8b, and original Quad ESL)..

But to get deep bass out of planars, the panels have to be very large (Tympani double bass panels---or the new 30.7, and SoundLab ESL’s). That Tympani bass is unlike that produced by any dynamic woofer I’ve ever heard, until I heard a really good OB/Dipole (there have been some poor ones, like those Gradient made for Quads). For those not having room for the 36" wide (each channel!) Tympani bass panels, these prototype 12" wide Magnepan OB subs are a very welcome alternative.

Sure, the GR Research/Rythmik OB/Dipole Sub has been available for almost ten years (and is fantastic!), but it is available only as a DIY kit, the H- or W-frames the kit (in basic form a pair of 12" servo-feedback woofers and associated plate amp) is installed in needing to be built (there are easy-to-assemble flat packs available). Many audiophiles have no interest in anything DIY, so again, the possibility of a commercially-available OB/Dipole sub, especially one designed specifically for Magneplanar loudspeakers, is of great interest. While no substitute for big panels, an OB/Dipole sub is as close as you can get to the taut, percussive (piano! drums! slapped upright bass! Yo Yo Ma's attack on his cello!) bass impact that planars produce.

Quarter century Maggie owner here. I would love to go to the Chicago showing. Do I just call Quintessence?

This sounds like my next speaker!
Yes!!! Tympani 1D's + Tymp. 1C bass panels + Sequerra T-2 ribbon tweeters; fully tri-amplified. That has been my system from new.
Sheer MAGIC! 
Er, ah... typo slipped in there.
I meant to type Tym. T-1D's + the 4 Tymp. T-1B bass panels + Sequerra T-2 ribbon tweeters.
Sorry for the confusion and error.
  When Magnepan asked
general public for help.  
  hit the dirt,   something 
not right