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.



Steve Gutenberg described the same thing I’m talking about and he said nothing about changing cables. Heck he’s probably got cables to burn. I’m referring to a particular characteristic of the sound signature of the Maggie’s. 

"I find it very difficult to believe" 

A set of cables can typically influence a system as much as a component change. It is fairly easy to have a system get cleaned up in terms of resolution by switching out a brand of cables. There are striking differences in resolution  between various sets of cables, not to mention tonality variations. I switch out sets of cables regularly, so I have much experience in the matter. 

Try it sometime. You'll see, er... hear. You will hear it and still find it difficult to believe! Rehearse saying, "I never thought cables could make that much difference!"  Then you are on your way to becoming an audiophile!

Make sure you build your speakers with capacity to change the internal wiring. You will thank me.    :) 



I have owned 3.6 Maggies for 15 years and in that time they have lived in 4 different rooms in 3 homes.  The keys I have found to unlocking their huge potential  are threefold. The first is have enough power and a little extra.  Mine opened up when I upgraded to monoblock amps.  The second is having difusers behind them.  Artificial ficus plants did wonders for me.  The last is actually free, carefully place them taking measurements of their placing.  Then listen to them and make changes accordingly.  Also experiment with tweeters in and out.  The room will dictate your needs.  I found the sweet spot every time I moved them, but always slightly different placing.  Now when listening to Eva Cassidy, it is like she is in the room singing and other  My other reference calibration is Take Five by Brubeck.  Th drums and bass always tell me if things are working properly.

Good luck in your journey