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.


@yyzsantabarbara I'm so excited that you're planning to give LRS+ a shot. Given your vast experience with gear at different price points, not to mention your ability to always keep an open mind, I can't wait to hear your impressions.

How far out are you able to pull out the speakers from the front wall? Do you plan to augment them with a sub? I've also read that replacing the stock stands with Magnarisers have a huge impact on sound quality. IMO, if you order the LRS+ you should also order the stands at the same time.

Not sure if I have vast experience, just recent experience. I placed a 50% deposit on the LRS+ today. I may get lucky and get the LRS+ this week, otherwise, maybe another 3 months of waiting.

I emailed Maga Risers earlier today and will order a stand from them when they get back to me.

I can get about 36 inches from the front wall. I also have the room treated. I had the Thiel CS3.7 in the same room for 2 years and while not allowing it to shine at its full potential, it was not a bad setup. The LRS+ should be a bit easier to setup. I will sit about 8 feet away. I sit with my back to the speakers and have an additional 4 feet of open closet space in front of me. That extra space was a big help. I can keep the speakers about 6-7 feet apart.

I also have the KEF KC62 subwoofer, which I sold last month and bought back last week (for the LRS+). That was a painful $200 loss.

BTW - after about a decade of waiting, I also plan to buy my Livingroom speaker tomorrow, the Yamaha NS5000. I will be using my modded PeachTree GAN1 on it (don’t laugh it is an excellent amplifier after the mods). In my office, I will be using a CODA #16 amp on the LRS+.

I was expecting to get the KEF Blade 2 Meta but I have a kids birthday party happening this month at my home and the thought of all those kids near an unprotected Blade drivers made me go with the NS5000. The GAN1 can also drive the NS5000, I doubt the GAN1 could properly drive the Blades.

Interestingly, I think the LRS speakers I purchased last year just opened up.

I'm mentioned here that I switch them with another pair of speakers (Fritz) and they probably see 25% of the play-time ...So even though I took delivery of them almost a year ago, they have very low hours.

I thought they were fully broken in and I've been happy with them after about a couple weeks of listening and adjusting.  Then sometime over the winter I started to feel that they were getting better.  The 'diffuse' nature of Magnepans kind of sync'd up and, at once got both more focused but also deeper.

Then , just last month I had them out for a week...rediscovering how good they are.  And the sound got better again.

In my case, contrary to what a lot of ppl say, I felt that out of the box the treble was soft .  It was confusing since so many ppl say the highs can be difficult.  Well they have sharpened while the bass has also extended into a satisfyingly deep and controlled musicality ...even without a sub.  (although I do usually use subs with them).  I would articulate it as a bigger sound , focused yet relaxed.  

I wish I had tracked the number of hours until this point.  Also, I wonder if taking them out of rotation so much starts the process over in some way?  The only reason they get less playtime is the visual aspect as I have to keep the living room usable in other ways.  Plus the Fritz speakers sound amazing too and the LRS are so easy to move as long as you have a good place to stash them when not in use.

I have them on Magnarisers "Slimline 2" stands that I purchased when I was waiting the 6 months for the LRS to get to me.  They are powder coated in the same cream color as the LRS's.  I prefer tweeters on the outside.




Got some good news today. My LRS+ is ready for me to pick up. Problem is finding time to make that 1-hour drive.

I will have the KEF KC62 sub arriving on Friday. Since I listen for about 15 hours a day in my office these 2 units should get worked in fairly fast.


did you still keep your benchmark ahb2's?  they should do well with the lil maggies in your room!