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.



Okay I applied curtains and perhaps that wasn't enough. Are you suggesting that if I were to treat the rear wall more, it might allow the speakers to sound a bit more focused with voices or horns perhaps? I'm open to thoughts. 

I own the Magnepan.7's and for money spent I'm very satisfied with their performance, and yes they require some effort to get the best out of them It took me some time to find the best location for the .7's to sound their best in my room I'm taking plus or minus 1/8" of an inch I was driving them with my VAC PA 100 100 tube amp amp and ARC LS15 tube pre amp They sounded excellent But as you know Maggie's love power!! So l decided to try them with my Spectron musical MK ll D class amp with 500watts@8ohm 650@4ohms and 1,200 watts@1ohm and 65 amps for 500 milliseconds  To hear the results you can find my YouTube vid Magnepan. 7's & audio system  I think you may be surprised with the soundstage, inner detail and dynamics! At the time of this vid l had only one SVS Ultra 13 sub woofer Now l have added a second sub and upgraded the plates amps on both

Watch "Magnepan .7's & audio system" on YouTube

rankaudio, there is only so much that can be done to focus a panel speaker. It will always retain the characteristic splayed soundstage and center image. It will not replicate the wave launch of a dynamic speaker. You can get some more focusing of the center image with toe in and placement, but if you crave the solidity and locational queues of a dynamic speaker, a panel speaker is the wrong genre for you. Very likely there would be no remedy for the .7 that would provide you a focused enough center image.

If it’s all about that solidity and tightness of the center image for you, then seek a full range speaker or one with a concentric driver. You will hear the central part of the performance as never before.

I use BAT VK-150's for my modified 1.7i. High current tube amps are the way to go.