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  1. #1

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    Default Random impulse speaker purchase

    Well during and after LSAF this year I started thinking about upgrading my main 2 channel rig, that's the effect those damn shows tend to have. I heard so many setups at LSAF. Skip's Ushers, Ron's Dynaudio, and Rus's....well whatever the hell those were...all sounded superb and in different ways. Any one of those three would have been an improvement over my PSB (and don't get me wrong I love my PSB but they are simply not in the same league as any of those). There were other great sounding speakers, but honestly nothing else really jumped out at me like, say, those Elemental or SoundField bookies did last year.

    So I left the show with expectations to check out a few specific speakers (Ushers, Russ's build and wanted to talk to the SoundField guy about building me a pair of those KEF based bookshelfs he had there last year), and I do still plan on doing that.

    Then I woke up yesterday morning and for some reason decided I wanted a pair of Maggies. Totally random, yeah I've heard them before but not lately and not at the show and I have't thought about or talked to anybody about buying a pair. This was a total random impulse purchase that was made easier by the fact that I found a good deal on a pair locally, and it has turned out to be the best speaker purchase I've ever made.

    I ended up with a pair of freshly rebuilt Magnepan 1.6 (new wiring kit and socks) for $750. It's not the deal of the century or anything, but I think I got a great deal for a minty fresh pair.

    These aren't the best speakers I've ever heard and probably not even the best I've ever owned (the B&W 804 probably get that award), but they are my favorite. They don't do everything well, but what they do well they REALLY do well. I won't go into a full review here as those are available online. They struggle a bit with some rock and really complex or dynamic music like classical or some movie scores...but they do vocals, jazz, and lighter music better than any speaker I've ever heard. They do need a sub though, at least on my rig.

    Right now I'm running them on my Pioneer SC-25 using the ICE amps, and am looking around at separate amps to drive these (actually any thoughts there would be appreciated). I will probably also need a sub to round out the bottom end.

    Here's a quick pic of the new setup, still playing with placement and learning my room all over again. This is fun!

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    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  2. #2

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    Sunfire 300/2 would pair quite well with these. Congrats on a nice set of speakers.
    HT Setup... Pioneer Elite SC-37, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TL's , Oppo BDP 93
    Two Channel... Carver Statement 450~1 Vacuum Tube Monoblocks, Dodd Mid-line Tube Linestage with Psvane 12Ax7 tubes, Pioneer Pdd 9Mk II SACD Player, Yamaha PX-3 Turntable with Sumiko BPS EvoIII, Polk Audio SDA-SRS 1.2TLs.


    "Everything we have fought for has been lost, and everything we fought against, we have become...."

  3. #3

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    Would be nice if the audio gods would pay me a visit in my dreams and i'd wake up with an answer of exactly which amp to pair with my speakers! haha.

    Nice grab!
    Full 5 channel set of Polk Audio
    Fronts - LSiM 705
    Center - LSiM 706c
    Sides - LSiM 703
    Mits WD-82842 82" DLP 3DTV
    Denon AVR-3313CI Receiver
    Emotiva stealth DC-1
    Emotiva XPA-2/Fronts XPA-3 Center-surrounds
    Oppo 103

    Loving the new Family! :)

  4. #4

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    Anthems can be had for cheap, they double down hard for diff loads and have alot of detail but bass might not cut it. I think $750 is a steal on those, congrats

  5. #5

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    Congrats man that's a nice looking pair of Maggies for a great price, sounds like it was meant to be!
    Theater Room: Pioneer Elite SC-35, RTi12's, Csi5, Fxi5's, Fxi3's, ED A5-350 sub, Optoma HD20, 92'' Elite Screen, Sony BDPS790, Xbox One, APC H15, MIT Exp 2 SC's, Pepster PC's

    Living Room: Martin Logan ESL's, Peachtree Audio iNova, Zu Mission SC's & IC's, Pepster PC, Sharp Aquos 60'', AEX

    Bedroom: Panasonic AX200U projector, 110" screen

    Outdoor: Polk Atrium 5's, Yamaha Rxv371

  6. #6

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    Danny, I've seen those Maggies for a while and they were calling for me. Glad you snagged them so temptation will pass. I guess now I can just head over to your house. Who needs Mark anyhow?
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  7. #7

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    Actually right now you'd want to hear Mark's as his are on better gear at the moment, I plan to rectify that soon though
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  8. #8

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    Congrats!

    Here in My area I saw an add in the morning for a pair of MG-II for $150.00 add was up a 6:47am and gone before 9:00am dammm I sleep in late that Sunday.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/ele/3778221431.html

    Cheers
    AVR-Onkyo709
    AMP- Parasound 2125, Adcom 585
    Mains for HT and some Music- RTi12s
    Main for Music only- Linn Keilidh or Usher V-601
    PreAmp for Music: B&K AVP-3090
    Rear- RTi8s
    Center-CSi5
    Sub-JBL L8400P 12"
    Player- Oppo BDP-103
    TT: Philips 406
    Phono Pre-Amp: BBE FJB-200X

    Bedroom rig:
    Pionner Elite VSX-30
    Onkyo CS-5VL SACD Player
    Polk Audio LS70
    Hunting for a sub...

  9. #9

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    Danny,

    Was good to see you at LSAF. I left that place with a crazy hunger for tubes. Congrats on the purchase man, would love to hear them some day. Speaking of, I need to get some ears on my setup.

    Halen

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    Danny, I've seen those Maggies for a while and they were calling for me. Glad you snagged them so temptation will pass. I guess now I can just head over to your house. Who needs Mark anyhow?
    Skip, based on your music taste I'm not sure how much you'd really enjoy these speakers. With stuff like Muse, Depech Mode, Metallica, etc I think your Ushers are more dynamic and sound better. I don't know and am not saying that's your entire collection, but with the material we heard at your room over the weekend I think your Ushers are a better match.

    That's at least true now, until I'm able to find a good deal on an amp...
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  11. #11

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    Awesome! I'm new to the Maggie family myself as I bought John's MMGs on an impulse buy also. I've only had them for a couple of days but I like them very much. I'm finding the exact things to be true with the MMGs that you are finding with the 1.6s. I have to say though, that I'm very surprised with the bass that they do put out. Based on the reviews I've read, I wasn't expecting much bass at all, so I've been pleasantly surprised with them. They definitely don't dig deep and they are not the most dynamic speaker I ever heard, but the bass that is there is very well defined and actually has more impact than I thought it would.

    I'm running the MMGs with a Primaluna Prologue 4 tube amp rated at 35 wpc and it is having no problems driving them to loud levels. Don't know if this would be the case with the 1.6s since they are a good bit larger. I found a good deal on a NAD 2600A Power Envelope amp and pulled the trigger. I read that the older NAD PE amps have huge headroom and drive difficult loads with ease. I also read they were a good match with Maggies. We'll just have to see how it sounds. I'm kind of becomming a die-hard tube guy and love the power of SS, but I much prefer the liquidity and smoothness of tubes. At least there will be a tube Pre in the mix. After I have I chance to listen, I'll let you know if they are a good match or not (at least with my setup).

  12. #12

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    I've heard maggies with Wyred 4 Sound amps and thought they were a good combo.

    As far as the low end goes, a nice sub will help much more than any amp.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    Skip, based on your music taste I'm not sure how much you'd really enjoy these speakers. With stuff like Muse, Depech Mode, Metallica, etc I think your Ushers are more dynamic and sound better. I don't know and am not saying that's your entire collection, but with the material we heard at your room over the weekend I think your Ushers are a better match.

    That's at least true now, until I'm able to find a good deal on an amp...
    Yep, I'm aware of that. I tried to use selections that really showcased the speakers. I prefer mellow/folky music much more than the hard stuff and spend most my time listening to that. I like the Usher's and they are the perfect speaker for me since I have a dual purpose rig.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  14. #14

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    ^^I bet^^. I can't wait to hear these paired with my REL sub.

  15. #15
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    Congrats and Maggies are very enjoyable, and a fun change in reproduction style.

  16. #16

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    This question may get lost in all the replies here, but I'd like to get some feedback on amping the Maggies.

    Right now they're being powered by the Pioneer SC-25 ICE amps and they actually sound quite good, but am wondering how much more they're capable of. Specifically, my two issues are their bass response and they're not quite as dynamic as I'd like and get lost with really complex music. The bass response should be easy enough to rectify by adding a sub, but I'd like to 'untangle' their sound a bit if I can.

    Here's the deal though, this being totally impulsive and not completely thought thru, I don't have alot of extra cash on hand for an amp especially after I add the sub. So, I have maybe $600 to spend on an amp right now and given that I have two choices:

    1 - Live with what I have until I can afford $2K for a better amp
    2 - Get something I can afford now and upgrade down the road

    In my price range I've found things like the Parasound A23 and the 2125 (2x). Those are the main two I'm considering right now, either get the A23 or get two of the 2125 and run those in mono.

    Any thoughts on those specific Parasound amps? The A23 is rated higher per channel, but if I run the 2125 each in mono I can get more power feeding each speaker. The 2125 are only 35 amps though which I don't think is enough, does that number also double up if I run them in mono, or only the wattage?

    Any help or other thoughts given my budget are appreciated.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  17. #17

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    PM NooshinJohn, he's your go to guy on these.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

    Main HT: APC H15 | Pio 51FD | Uverse DVR | Xbox 360 | Squeezebox Classic | Integra DTR 5.9 | Carver AV-705x & M1.0t MKII Opt002 | LSi 15 | LSiC | LSi F/x | Kimber Hero IC & 8VS SC

    Office Rig: Win 7 -> DacMagic w/ Pangea PSU | Pro-ject Debut III | Sunfire TGP-II | Parasound HCA-750ii | Polk RTA 11TL | Cables TBA

    Bedroom: Uverse DVR | Roku 2 | Samsung LCD | SurroundBar 2000

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  18. #18

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    I have a NAD 2600PE on the way that I picked up pretty cheap. I've read a lot of reviews saying that the older NAD Power Envelope amps match well with Maggies. We'll see when it gets here. It might be a stretch for me because like I said, I'm a tube guy. As mentioned earlier I'm running my MMGs currently with a Primaluna 35 wpc tube amp. Last night I was listening to Mussorsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Night on Bald Mountain and it actually sounded very nice. It did not sound congested at all and had more dynamics than I was expecting. The PrimaLuna impresses more and more everyday. I'm just saying this to say that quality amplification may go a long ways toward relieving the congested sound you are describing. I'll let you know how the NAD sounds with the Maggies after I get it and play with it for a bit. I only paid $170 for it shipped, so I'm not expecting too much.....

  19. #19

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    Well I got the NAD 2600PE in and hooked it up to the Maggies. I have to say I am very impressed with it. I have read several reviews that stated the older NAD Power Envelope amps were great matches for Maggies and I have to agree. The highs are also not as bright as I thought they would be and are quite pleasant. Soundstage depth is not as good with the NAD as it is with the PL tube amp, but it's still quite good (they are Maggies afterall). I would definitely put these on your short list if you are looking for something to drive the Maggies without breaking the bank. I know there are better amps out there, but it really does seem to pair well with the Maggies. For what I paid for it, its's a no brainer. In fact I may buy another one of these to bi-amp with.

  20. #20

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    I ended up going with the Parasound A23 (Halo series) and really like it. I've used the ICE amps in the SC-25 for a couple years now and it's a great amp section, but the Parasound is much better in every conceivable way.

    I was looking at the 2250 (New Classic series) as it has more power (and I know the Maggies love power), and found a good deal and was actyually settled on that amp at a couple hundred bucks more than the A23. I would love the A21 but it's out of budget right now. After talking with Parasound and a couple dealers locally thought I ended up going with the A23. The general consensus is that with the 1.6 and in my medium size room the A23 would have plenty of power and offer a little sweeter sound than the 2250, if I move up the line in Magnepan or end up in a much larger room I'll get the A21 and move the 23 to the back for surround duty.

    Without actually hearing the 2250 I can't really say if I made the best decision, but I can say that the A23 sounds absolutely fantastic in this setup! It's still breaking in and will get better with time, but already I can tell this is going to be a good match for me.

    I'm still futzing around with placement and trying to work a sub into the mix, and am considering looking at a preamp (which I totally cannot afford right now) with HT bypass to improve the 2 channel performance. I'm still getting a little congestion with really complex music, but once I get that sorted out I'll be good to go.
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  21. #21

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    http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...pin&1162599347 Freelance reviewer for StereoMojo

  22. #22

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    Dammit you had to post that didn't you...

    Somebody needs to buy some of my other gear so I can get that preamp!
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  23. #23

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    Nice! Belles makes some great stuff! I would love to have a 21 tube amp. A good pre will probably go a long way towards helping the congestion issue. Congrats on the A23! That and the 2125 were on my short lists as well as the NAD. I jumped on the NAD because of the deal I found.

    I was basically looking for a good SS amp with adustable gain on the input because as well as using it on the Maggies, I'm also going to try biamping my SRS 2s using the NAD on the lows and one of my tube amps on the mids/highs. I got that idea after reading something from Von Schweikert on an audio forum somewhere stating that he liked to do the same thing with his speakers and matched the gain between the two amps by using resistors. I figured I could try to do the same thing using an amp that has adjustable gain (such as Parasounds, Power Envelope NADs, and some B&Ks). We'll see if it works, may or may not, but regardless I know it sounds great on the Maggies and my tube amps sound great on the SRSs. I have nothing to loose.

    BTW regarding the set-up on the Maggies, I was looking at the picture on your set-up. I would try moving the left speaker away from the wall a little more if you haven't already (your probably way ahead of me on this). It may very well work in your set-up and/or you have limited space to set them up in, but I find they sound better being away from the walls (both side and back). Just my dos centavos.
    Last edited by Dawgfish; 05-14-2013 at 12:26 PM.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    I ended up going with the Parasound A23 (Halo series) and really like it. I've used the ICE amps in the SC-25 for a couple years now and it's a great amp section, but the Parasound is much better in every conceivable way.
    I would hope so, considering the modules in the SC-25 are mediocre compared to most standalone Class D amps. Regardless, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the A23.

    If you have a place to hide the battery, his 6H30 preamps sound fantastic: http://www.doddaudio.com/for-sale.html
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  25. #25

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    Damn Danny completely missed this thread...congrats.....you couldn't have pulled this off a few weeks earlier, before LSAF.

    Nice new new toys
    Home Theater:Samsung8000-55LED,Pioneer SC35, Pioneer DV-79AVi, Sunfire TGA7201, LSi25, LCi RTSc, LC80i
    2chnl system:Melody 101 tube pre, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, W4S Dac, MG Audio Planus2 speaker cables
    Office rig: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures

  26. #26

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    Dude, I wasn't even remotely thinking about buying Maggies before LSAF! Hell, I wasn't even remotely thinking about buying them the day before I got them. I literally woke up last Tuesday morning and decided I wanted to change to Magnepan, found this newly rebuilt set locally for a great price and decided it was meant to be and within 24 hours had them here.

    I'll bring them to LSAF next year, though I can already tell that setting them up in that room is going to be a chore. I need to start looking at acoustic panels before then for sure...
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  27. #27

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    You got a great deal and look forward to hearing your setup along with Halens...(apologies for Halen).

    Always love hearing of great deals on nice gear and the excitement like a new toy at Xmas for a 5 yr old.

    I definitely want a pair of ES's someday (just a little green with envy). Audio gear is a double edged sword especially speakers. If you are a multi-genre listener there will always be a a speaker that does one genre better than the other.

    My Ushers excel at Jazz and Blues. My Dyn's little more well rounded but don't out do my Ushers in the Jazz and Blues genre.

    That's what I love about LSAF especially after hours when we can go just hang out and jam...even your buddies vintage gear...dynamic, no, but pleasurable old school and fun.

    Anyway congrats on a great deal.

    FYI...look out for the Rooster

    Cheers

    Ron
    Home Theater:Samsung8000-55LED,Pioneer SC35, Pioneer DV-79AVi, Sunfire TGA7201, LSi25, LCi RTSc, LC80i
    2chnl system:Melody 101 tube pre, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, W4S Dac, MG Audio Planus2 speaker cables
    Office rig: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures

  28. #28

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    How about a one week update...

    These Maggies reveal everything! If there is a weak link anywhere in the chain the speakers will expose it and then beat you over the head with it repeatedly while you listen. First the amp, then the preamp (still working on that one), then cables, and now the DAC. And then, when I get ALL that done there's still some really poorly recorded material that'll just never sound good on this rig. Lucky for me, the vast majority of the stuff I'd actually sit down and listen to on this rig is well recorded and sounds great on them.

    These speakers are really some temperamental bitches, but once you get them dialed in it's like nothing else you've ever heard. I can't guarantee you'll like them, but I can guarantee you they're different
    Main HT
    Magnepan 1.6QR fronts, POlk R15 surrounds, Pioneer SC-25, Parasound Halo A23, Oppo BDP-105, Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Sony PS3, Apple TV

    Bedroom System
    Polk Blackstone TL3, Polk PSWi225 Wireless Sub, HK 3490 Integrated, Oppo BDP-103, Sharp Aquos 32" TV, Apple TV

    Office Rig
    27" iMac w/Amarra, AudioQuest Dragonfly 1.2, Focal XS Book, Schiit Valhalla, Cypher Labs Theorem 720, Philips Fidelio X1, Sennheiser HD600, HiFiMan HE-500, B&W P7, LG 47LM7600, Sony PS3, Apple TV

  29. #29

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    Is the sub integrating well or have you even tried it?
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  30. #30

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    I like different, but have a lot same issues with my MD2's especially poorly recorded muic

    I still want some ES's in my world
    Home Theater:Samsung8000-55LED,Pioneer SC35, Pioneer DV-79AVi, Sunfire TGA7201, LSi25, LCi RTSc, LC80i
    2chnl system:Melody 101 tube pre, Pass XA30.5 amp, Usher MD2 speakers, W4S Dac, MG Audio Planus2 speaker cables
    Office rig: Modwright KWI-200 Integrated, Dynaudio C1-II Signatures

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