Why I sold my Magnepan .7's

It's a bummer but I spent about a year with them and maybe this may or may not help you if you are considering them yourself. I also use a set of open baffle Caintuck Betsy's as well as a set of Heresy II's. Over the course of time, I felt myself only enjoying hifidelity types of recordings with them. I realize this is often the kind of music others demo at trade shows, but this isn't the kind of music I listen to generally. I mostly listen to jazz quartets and classical and with regard to jazz in particular, I felt that the .7's did not produce enough of a focused sound. 

For example, the soundstage was huge and that was great. It was a wall of sound. The issue though is they sounded as if all the instruments were coming at you together at once from everywhere rather than a group of individual instruments in locations which provides more of a sense of three dimensionality. It's hard to put in words but they didn't sound as focused like you get with individual drivers. It was like there was no depth or texture in the sound compared to individual drivers. It just all comes at you at once in two dimensions.

Another issue I had was the power requirements. I just can not stand solid state if I can help it. I much rather prefer tubes and tubes will eventually clip compared to solid state with the Maggies if you turn them up too high. So, to really get them going, my friend drove them with a Parasound A23 Halo, coupled to one of my tube preamps. I was amazed at how loud they got, but with jazz, that articulate separation just wasn't there like the other speakers and so they didn't engage me in the same manner as either of the other two sets of speakers. The other issue was placement. At first, I really didn't believe it was an issue as much as others stated, but I was wrong. It's true that they play and breathe so much better away from walls and I just didn't have the space to give them more than what they needed overall. In the end, it all added up to a decision to let them go.

Another thing I find rather ironic. The Bose 901 has received so much dislike from the hifi community because the sound reflects off the rear walls. I don't know why others don't mention this, but Magnepans appear to shoot an equal amount of sound from the rear as well. Sometimes I would stand behind them and ask myself if the panels were backwards but they were the right way. I think the music just goes everywhere with ribbons and maybe that too is part of the reason to get them away from the walls.

I have played the .7's far from the walls but the sound still doesn't appear more focused and still just comes at you all at once, mixed everywhere. When I originally bought them, I had a chance to hear the .7's next to a pair of $25,000 Sonus Faber reference speakers. I told the salesman at Shelly's Stereo in Woodland Hills CA that I'm still buying the .7's so don't worry. I'm just curious how different they sound. When I heard the Faber's I just dropped my jaw in disbelief at how amazing they sounded. Every detail in the music was focused, seperated, three dimensional and articulate. It was absolutely insane and I told the salesman to turn it off before I end up mortgaging my house. 

Regardless, in my opinion one of the hottest speakers to come to the light are open baffle speakers. With Jazz, it just doesn't get any better. They are extremely efficient so you can drive them with just about any flea watt tube, easy to place, well focused, articulate, open, inexpensive and then some. Right now I'm building a set of LII Audio 8 and 15 full drivers in a wood sapele baffle and they are to die for. Anyway, I hope this helps anyone considering Maggie's. They are great speakers, depending on the music genre you prefer, but IMO, jazz isn't quite up to snuff.



Dipole monitors on the same baffle are impossible.

I like Maggies too. Always have, just like I like Infinity IRS Betas. One of the nicest speaker systems I ever messed with for the money. But for stereo reproduction and being accurate.. I say they have some really nice sound effect..

Do all the math you want.. You can only get it so accurate and it can change from recording to recording. That is what I didn't like.  A fickled sort for sure..

The old songs recorded with reverb were kinda' magical with that type of speaker system. Nothing quit like that..



Thank you for the feedback but I think my comments are being taken way out of context, especially by tablejockey. That's a common issue I encounter with responses. Where in my post did I even remotely once bring up any concerns about bass? I never complained about any such thing. Even so, you can see in several of my videos, I have two REL T5i's and it doesn't get any better or faster than those as far as I've been testing. And I've tested quite a few subs. Also, I explained that I've put the .7's in a well spaced room with the same results. See my video here.

If anyone skips to exactly 4:45 of Steve Guttenberg's video below, they will see that he too explains that Maggie's are not as focused as conventional driver box speakers and are more diffuse in their panel presentation which coincides with what I was complaining about. 


What I was mentioning basically is the coherency for example tends to be more spread out rather than focused or pinpoint. Rather, it's kind of spread out wide. Also I've experimented with the tweeters in vs out. I always found them positioned in as better rather than out, particularly in corners where the bass should be closer to the walls and the tweeters closer to the listener. 

@rankaudio , the problem is not the speakers. It was how they are being used. Personally, I do not like them either. The first Maggie I would consider would be the 3.7i. You have to use sound absorption behind the speaker. If done correctly imaging should be superior, more life like than any speaker made up of dynamic drivers open baffle or otherwise. They still require power. No getting away from that. Also forget about bass below 40 Hz. That is where subwoofers come in, another bag or worms.