Magnepan Sweet Spot

For the last year, I have been listening to my set of Magnepan Tympani IVs.  They are great at creating a wall of sound, and picked up substantial bass and detail when I acquired a Parasound A21.  However, I have failed to create the sweet spot I have experienced with other maggies I have owned.  Between this failure and the size of the Tympanis, I am considering selling them and looking at other Magnepan models to achieve the sweet spot. I have always loved the Magnepan clarity and detail, and do not need thumping bass.

The current Tympani arrangement has them at one end of a 22x12 room (12' wall behind them).  If I change them out, I think I will rotate the setup, so that the listening chair will be at one end of the 12' wall and the speakers 3' - 5' away from the other wall.

Given this setup, which of the Magnepan line should I consider to achieve that sweet spot??  I have MMGs but would probably get the LRS if I chose that size speaker. 

Heresy though it may be, if I turned away from the Maggies, what speakers would achieve similar results for about $2500 used?

kythyn, if you rotate the system your listening chair will be up against the wall which will exaggerate the bass. I would keep the system on the 12 foot wall. Have you set the Tympani's up with the tweeter panels to the outside? If not please try it. toe the tweeter panels in so that they point directly at the listening position. They should be three feet in front of the wall. The woofer panels will block the primary reflection so do not use any treatment behind the speakers. 
If this does not work for you look for a pair of 3.7i's
My first call would be to Magnepan.
They have great customer service and should be able to direct you in enhancing you speaker placement.
Second, I would consider some room treatments. It sounds like your room might have some issues. 
I love the Maggie sound, but unfortunately, don't have the space.
Magnepans are incapable of creating the phenomena of the more localized phantom image, the illusion that the central part of the performance is as "solid" as the L/R channels. I reviewed the .7 for

Having owned Maggie MMG and 1.6QR, as well as Eminent Technology LFT-8A/B and Kingsound King and King III (The ET and Kingsound were reviewed for none of them create the focused phantom image that you are seeking. 

Placement can help with the width and to some degree of focus, but it simply is not capable of the same kind of localized imaging of a dynamic or horn speaker. You will lose much of the grandeur of the music by moving to smaller Maggies, which is a rough trade-off.  

I am not interested in arguing/debating my discussion.
douglas, then why say it at all? Line source speakers produce a larger image than point source speakers which many of us think is more realistic. You disagree and that is why Howard Johnson's made 28 flavors. Planar Magnetics still have a sweet spot and it should be easily noticeable. Having had Tympani's I know for a fact they will image appropriately if set up correctly. No they will not produce the lilliputian image you seem to like but they will produce the life like image I like and kythyn will have to determine on his own if it is for him or not. 
mijostyn, wrong. You seem to have the classic knee-jerk reaction that Maggie fans have when any criticism of the sound characteristics are mentioned. You will note that I have used and own a panel speaker, so I hardly consider their sound quality inferior. I will say I feel the performance of electrostatic speakers is superior holistically to that of magnetic planars. 

I did not say that I felt other types of speakers are more realistic. I pointed out to the OP that changing to a smaller panel will not resolve the issue. The reason I shared this with the OP is that they seem to not be aware of this.

That's my one clarification. As I said, I'm not going to continue with a debate about it.  :) 
Douglas, then I will debate it with myself. I use ESLs but that does not keep me from supporting Maggie owners. Having set up quite a few I am very familiar with them. I challange you to find another review of any Magnepan speaker that says they can not image. It might be a different image (larger) but an image none the less. Having had Tympani's back in the early 80's I can vouch for the fact that because of their hinged multi panel design they can be daunting and harder to get right than any dynamic or horn speaker and a lot of people have trouble with them myself included. It took me over 6 months to be happy with their sound if I remember correctly. I sold them after three years because I was moving from Alabama back to New England home of Apogee Acoustics and a brand new pair of Diva's a speaker more problematic than even the Tympani's.
For around 2500 you can find a nice magnepan 3.6.

They image better than the six panel tympani line.

I have listened to  the six foot Magnepans every nite since the 70’s and they sound great in the right room.

The reviewer from the weirdest audio website on the internet does not know what he is talking about IMO.
Dear OP,
Putting your speakers on the far wall may not be the best plan.  If I saw your room I could probably place them properly along the long wall (pun intended).  That's how I have set the LRS up to great advantage and sound quality.  But, they are maybe 8 ft apart in both cases.  I use the room and reflectivity.  The more recent placement I have also used filmy floor to ceiling length curtains behind which has been amazing at dispersing the sound.  They were there already but I aimed them that way.  Once again, long wall, but on the end of the long wall facing the short wall.  Sitting in the knock out and way off the corner and the other corner created by the depth of a coat closet.  Also sorry but I doubt your amp will do what my Bryston 4BSST can do with the LRS or any other Magnepan for that matter but then again not having heard it I may be incorrect.  I had fed the LRS with 250 watts a side b4 and now with 500 they just sing.  Bryston is the real deal.  Buy one and sell that other thing.
One of the downsides of the maggies I have now is that the blinds have to be closed during the day to keep from exposing them to direct sunlight.  I'd like to be able to enjoy the sunlight which means choosing a speaker (budget up to $2500) that can stand direct sun part of the day, and work well with the Parasound A21.  Source is Tidal MQA.

I am thinking that I should go with stand mount or bookshelf that can be placed on either side of the TV.  
Oh hell live a little buy a pair of LRS and close your blinds.  Can you move them out in the room?  If not maybe you don't want mags after all.  Either side of the TV sounds like you don't
@kythyn ,
Though I like a sunny room, I also know how damaging those rays are to not only speakers, but furniture and textiles. There was a reason old houses were so dark.
 I would keep the blinds down or get something to filter direct sunlight.
Gammonit_2006.  I love the maggie sound, but think I am being overcome by the inconvenience of living with them. Even with the blinds open in the afternoon when sunlight is indirect, the six panels of the Tympani ivs block a lot of light.  

I have a couple more position experiments to do.  And I have a set of MMGs, some Jones Pioneers and smaller Advents all sitting around.  The LRS are a definite possibility.  
Window panels can be made with glass that blocks UV, thus reducing damage to your belongings.  If you don't want to replace the window glass, films can be applied that will also help. 

If you're in northern CA, I have a pair of Maggie 3.5's if you want to give a listen.  I have used them in various rooms and configurations, including in a room a little larger than the one you described. 



You are right, I do!!


Thank you for your kind offer.  I owned the 3.6s in 2007 and let them slip away! 
I have owned the T-1Ds, the 3.5s and now own 3.6s.  I've owned Magnepans for 40 years 

A solid central image is not the speakers strongest point due to their physical size with the side by side layout of the drivers next to each other. IMHO, the T-1DS were the worst at this and they have the same panel configuration as your IVs.

You can improve the central image by putting the tweeters on the inside, but I'm guessing you do that now. Fanatical positioning with a laser distance meter from the listening position also yields very notable improvements in focus.

I wouldn't recommend another speaker, so I can't tell you what else to buy....
Vandersteen 2Ce Sig II. Properly set up, maybe some treatments at first reflection points, will give you a phenomenal soundstage and solid imaging.
Cover up the TV or get rid of it. Also no rack of gear between the speakers. Otherwise, you'll never have the solid center image you are wanting. I am speaking from experience. My Sig IIs are in a dedicated room, with treatment, no TV, no rack. 
barrysandy, the Tympani's image better withe the tweeter panels to the outside. The reason is that the woofer panels bloke the primary reflection off the front wall.
OP if you like the MMGs then from what little I understand you will like the LRS more and the placement with one would work with the other?  I have tweeters outside and placed to make the room play the music sure there is one nicer spot but the key is to get it filling the space.  Sounds like you are probably not going to want them 4 ft off the wall where they work best from what I can tell..
So much wrong here with the comments that the don't image. 

I have a T1, rebuild and upgraded by magnepan. I have mine approximately 3 feet away from the backwalls. Tweeters on the OUTSIDE, not inside, the tweeters are hinged in towards the listening position. High frequencies, are more subjected to positioning. 

The inner panels are hinged in crossing right before the listening spot. I crossed them over at around 60hz and the rest goes to a healthy 3.5kw of subwoofer support tuned (to be phase coherent) and measured in to be as close as I possibly can with the planars. 

Driven by a healty ATI class a/b weighing in at 97 pounds (pure power supply) you can probably weld with. 

These speakers do not do well on low end. It's just what it is, cut them off at around 60hz (works for me, could be in your room way different) let them do what they do best. Mid-low, high it makes a huge difference with the tympani, giving them that low end cone support. It gained heaps of dynamic range.  I use two 18 inch jbls in a very narrow bandwith to give it body,  and two 10 monoliths to support mid low. I am fortunate I have a audio engineer as friend who gladly helped me out. I learned a great deal about my system and its capabilities.  

Then the "audio reviewer" making claims they don't image. I had a chuckle, let's put this in perspective how incredibly wrong you are. 

You use a mmgi and basically step in maggies. They are fantastic in their own right, but comparing that to a Tympani?! Is hilarious at best (I got the mmgi, mgI , mgII, Tympani, mmgw) .

The only reason why you failed at making them sound good, you lack the equipment and/or the room you put those in was far from ideal. I can assure anyone here. The T1 when set up correctly, voices smack in the middle and with authority none of my point source speakers are able to do. Not even in the same realm..

I have also a huge collection of Arnie nudell speakers. (Needs no introduction) so not being a biased "knee jerking Maggie fan" none of that. 

Infinties list I currently own 

Kappa 9, kappa 6.1, rs4, rsII, RS1b (!!) , Renaissance 80,QE needless to say I am a fan of planar drivers. These are all speakers that have incredible potential and are well known amongst the community..

None of them come close to the sound field the Tympani can produce in my space. Dipole , line source doesn't suffer from floor or ceiling reflections. What one guy said above "do not use diffusion or traps" he's correct. 

The backwave is important, you can fine-tune it but don't over dampen your room that's completely the wrong approach with maggies. I urge any here that are interested, to look up "dipole radiaton patterns" .some need that little lession so it seems here (with respect ) 

It becomes very clear you're dealing with a totally different speaker principle here. It cannot be compared to cone. 

They are amongst the best speakers I have ever owned. Superior instrumental seperation, completely dead center vocality (people stand up and think it's a trick) aslong as your room allows it. And have these speakers set up right ?! You get something really special to listen too. 

I literally had a buyer here to buy a set of k9 , he heard my main system. He ordered for 8k on amps same as I have and maggies the second he left. As thank you, he gave me a set of kappa 6.1 😂

They rival high end speakers all day long with ease. They do take some more user patience, and understanding. Than a point source .. 

Then for horns, I had a klipsch lascala , on prima Luna and jadis orchestra reference tubes. It wasn't for me , it's just a speaker that saturated the room with spl . It wasn't for me,...

I would have to concur that Maggies do not have the 'solid' image focus as a well done box speaker. I suspect it may be because of dipole radiation, which lends the air and spacious sound, but also provides strong rear radiation with which the room generates constructive and destructive interference. At times, it almost sounds (to me)  like part of the music is out of phase, which, well it probably is! Keep in mind that conventional speakers are monopole radiators at low frequencies, and dipoles energize the room acoustics much differently. I am very happy with the speakers overall; with good recordings, musical instruments sound more like the real thing than my other speakers.  FWIW a well designed box speaker that has constant directivity and low distortion  will provide a more 'convincing' stereo image than my maggies. They just don't sound quite as "real". Box speakers have resonance and re-radiation issues through the cone that panel speakers avoid - electrostatics and otherwise. Moving the maggies around can help some, but I have not been able to find a convincing "sweet spot".