Thinking of Magnepan ... finally!

Until recently, most of my amps have been tube-based with the exception of a few great SS integrateds thrown into the mix for fun. That's probably the main reason I have stayed away from Magnepans (or other speakers of its ilk) thus far. Now that I have an Aavik U-280 integrated amp that can do 300 watts @ 8 ohms and doubles to 600 @ 4, I would love to scratch that itch finally. Keep in mind that I do not intend to get rid of my other speakers (Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene, Harbeth SHL5+, Fritz Carrera BE) since I love them all for different reasons. The Magnepans will be rotated in the main listening room with Joseph Audio Perspectives. One thing I like about Maggies is that they are relatively lightweight so I can move them to the closet without breaking my back when not in rotation.

Since I've never owned Magnepans before, I have a ton of questions and doubts. So here we go ...

Bass (or the lack thereof) -- I've been told that the Magnepans are very light on bass and definitely require at least on subwoofer. Is this true in all cases? Anyone using them without subs and happy with the performance? TBH, I really would prefer that I don't use subs but not set in stone for sure.

Breathing Room -- my room is 20' x 15' with 12 foot ceilings. The speakers will be placed along the short wall (15'). I can pull them out by about 4.5 feet from the front wall and 3 feet from the side walls. Seating distance will be approximately 8 - 9 feet. Is this good enough or do you think more distance, especially from the front wall, is required to truly enjoy the speakers?

Mods -- I've also heard that the stock components (crossovers, fuses, etc.) and stands are suboptimal. Is this true? If so, what are the minimum requirements to bring the speaker to a higher standard and at what cost? 

Value -- For someone who is just starting out with Maggies, which model is a good entry point? I know that LRS+ is a good value, but my other speakers are very very good, so I want to do justice to the Maggies as well. But at the same time I don't want to spend more than I need to. Where do you think the sweet spot lies, i.e. which model(s)? I will be looking for used only since I've already spent way too much on other speakers.

Imaging -- I've also been told that imaging on Maggies is not that great. I have never heard Maggies before so I have no idea if this assertion is true or not. Your thoughts?

And finally, I want to hear from folks who love their Maggies. What is that you love most about the speakers? What qualities do they bring to the table that no other speaker does? Are there magnetic planar speakers from other brands that I should also be considering? Keep in mind they have to be readily available in the used market. So please don't suggest something that doesn't meet this requirement.

However, to bring some balance to the feedback, I would also love to hear from those who tried Magnepans and moved on to something else. Why? What was it that you didn't like about them? What did you move on to?

Thanks in advance and a sincere request: Please keep it civil ... no need for haters of Magnepan to use this as an opportunity to diss the brand.


$.02 maggies a virtually always presented at shows with tube gear powering them.

Having owned several , here is  why I had to rebuild them 

junk connectors , fuses = bottlenecks ,Xover well below average in quality ,you would think after 30 years they would build a solid frame that doesnot flex like a sail  which = distortions 

sound labs are much better in every facet , yes they are large and not cheap but Sound labs make the  best sounding stats !!

Do you live in Washington?  I have a pair of 3.7 you can try.  Magnepans are awesome, I have always loved them.  You need two good subs, but you have that covered already.  Oh yes, and you need a kick ass amplifier like a Parasound JC5 or similar.


I have Herbie Gliders on my Skylan stands that hold up my Fritz Carbon 7's.

It makes moving them around the wood floor so easy and allows my to swap out for my LRS's really without much trouble at all.

I agree with what others have said here...It's definitely worth owning a pair.   Maybe you'll like or  maybe you will pass them on...but they are a unique experience.  My room is not ideal either...and I'm new to Magnepans.  I have enjoyed their more diffuse yet detailed presentation as compared to my box speakers.   Some say they aren't very dynamic, but I think they are , at least for me.  There are moments where the dynamics are startling when listening to well recorded music.   Currently the only amp I have that can drive them well is my 120 watt into 4 Ohm AVA Set 120.  It does a marvelous job but can get hot.  I'd love to jump up to their new Set 500 stereo amp to pair with the LRS's.  

I also don't find them as fussy as some people say they are.  Yes they need room but not a crazy amount.  I essentially place them where I place my Fritz speakers which are about 3' from the wall behind them.  You'll have more interesting results from playing with toe-in.  

Currently using them with Magnarisers "slim line 2" which come with replacement jumpers.  I haven't done anything yet with the fuses.

If I had the room I'd seriously consider getting the 1.7's but as it is, the LRS are a perfect thing to have tucked away that I can pull out when the mood strikes.