It's been some time since I started doing this and in the past year or so many things have changed and for various reasons they have not been addressed by me, so I have made this page to explain them here. Mostly it revolves around my dissappearance from online forums and the changes Magnepan has made to it's product line which I personally feel do not bode well for serious listeners. Since I get emails almost every week asking why I vanished, I'll address that first. If you only care about speaker selection, jump right to the very bottom.|
The Asylum, and why it should be locked up - As many of you know, when I reported what I did online years ago it was not attacked right off. That's because I did not sell it then and had no intention to, so I was just another "modder". However after some DIY people tried it and report back with vigor that I was indeed telling the truth and the results were that remarkable it's popularity started to erupt and that's when the people who like telling others what to do started to resent me and my work and all the arguing started. However (for the 5,000th time) I wish to point out that to this day I have never argued with someone who did it or owned it and actually listened to it. It has always been with people telling me and others it isn't true, even thought they never heard it, and in most cases didn't (and still don't) fully understand what I did.
As you also know this went on for a few years, and eventually slowed when they could not find a single person to counter what I said. It's hard to get traction screaming "It'll never fly!" when the person you're screaming at is flying above you. However their animosity was so deep that they never stopped the backstabbing comments, but the overt arguing ceased... mostly. However, making all those other people happy resulted in an unforseen problem for me.
So many people had taken my advice and gotten happy that they left the forum. After all, while it is a place to chat, it's mostly a place to get help and if you no longer need it you don't go as much, if at all. As a result almost all of my support vanished and the ingrates became emboldened by this and started attacking me again and worse, this included the moderator as well who turned on me. He began interjecting himself into the debate, made left handed snide comments about the things I did and deleted posts of mine for no legitimate reason. It is bad enough to have to fight them all over again, it is worse to have to do it alone, but it is impossible to do it when the guy running the board won't allow you to speak.
That bothered those decent folks who were left and many of them quit the asylum for boards like Audio Circle. This came to a head in early 2012 when I saw a post from some guy who mentioned he had MMG's and was going to mod them even though people kept telling him to get bigger models. He said he heard the 3.6 and didn't like it. For it's stock flaws he preferred the way the MMG sounded, plus it suited his room and gear more. While it seemed like he knew what he wanted, his post was questioning, as if their telling him he was wrong made him question his own wishes so he was looking for support. I already was not posting much at this time, but I felt it necessary to reply to him.
I told him that it was my experience that many people prefer the MMG simply because of the way it sounds (Especially once modded) and there was nothing strange in that. In any case, I told him too many people are quick to dismiss the introductory model of any product line. That model is meant to get you hooked, then you buy the model with the bells and whistles "when you're serious". (Or at least that's what the pundits believe) I likened it to the old Charles Atlas ads where the MMG is the scrawny kid who gets no respect and worse, he's trying to make time with the 3.6's girl. I found the idea very funny and made this cartoon as a joke which I put in my reply, and then I left.
Two days later the emails start pouring in. "How could they do that?!", "I'll never go back!", "That place is full or arrogant assholes..." "Thank you for what you've done, but I can't stand the place anymore..." etc etc... I was genuinely mystified. I later found out this post started the worst infighting that ever happened there, and that's saying something. I didn't read any of it, but I went and looked and it trailed down the page forever. Seriously, how could this cartoon start a war? The only answer is seriously disturbed people. It got so bad I understand some people declared they were done and never coming back and friends (not the moderator) informed me I got "suspended" for a month. Suspended? For what? My original post was entirely non offensive and I said NOTHING at all during this dust up. Nothing. Of course the moderator had no answer, or balls, as usual. To show him what a joke his "punishment" was I didn't post for the rest of the year. That'll show me...
This fight was the final straw and most of the remaining decent people left for good to other boards like Audio Circle, however trolls don't like living under bridges nobody walks across, and as soon as they all discovered everyones new route they went and camped under the new bridge. That being the case, why post anywhere? So I am here to tell you all I am done. I can't be bothered posting anymore because there is no promised land where we can talk without being attacked, insulted and "ruled" by our betters. (Who ironically it seems spend all their time talking about but not actually listening to their own, magnificent stereos) However, because I am gone my detractors have had a field day because no one contradicts them anymore. So, how do you spot them? Easy.
- It's the same half dozen people doing it.
- None of them every actually heard my work.
- Almost all of them have thousands of posts to their credit - IE - blowhards
Keep in mind that I did not beat you over the head with a bat and TELL you what you need like they do. You found me. I can tell you a recent customer of mine wound up living right by my worst detractor, an ingrate who calls himself "Davey" online. This customer said he'd be happy to bring his speakers and a dozen people over and Davey could show everyone how superior his speakers were. He adamantly refused, and then ran and hid under his bed. That tells you all you need to know.
If you need more proof I've handed out my schematic for free somewhere between 2-3 thousand times now and to people literally all over the world, so there are quite a large number of people using it. I'd ask you to find one, just one, who is saying they used it then abandoned it for something else. You won't find one and that alone, especially in this "hobby" speaks volumes. In fact it's almost unheard of. Weigh that against the words of those who never heard it, and make your choice.
That brings us to the Magnepan factor. The following is entirely my opinion and take on this subject. I am not stating it as fact, only my assumption of reality based on what I have observed and parts of it may or may not be correct.
Many of you may know Magnepan never had an online presence, and in fact it seemed like they didn't know the internet existed. You couldn't even email them. That began to change about 2-3 years ago when they starting making inroads on the boards, and this was done by Wendell Diller himself. However thru accident or his actual character he quickly upset a lot of people who felt he acted like an annoyed father talking to wayward children. While Magnepan claims they know people mod and they don't mind it, I truly believe it annoys them terribly. In fact, I believe they despise it. I think that is foolish. 99% of the people who buy cars don't want a racecar and most people who buy speakers don't want ultimate resolution. Their systems couldn't reproduce it anyway. But those who do want that level don't seek out the worst cars or speakers to jack up, do they? No, you use the one with the most potential, so it should be viewed as an honor but they do not see it that way. I truly believe they think it makes them look like a failure that needs fixing.
However because he alienated everyone so quickly, he left. He then found himself a mouthpiece named "Josh" who speaks on the boards for him like a self appointed expert on the subject, even though I have no idea who he is or what gear he even owns. The last time I looked he still had not posted what his system is, or what his credentials are. Worse, he made himself an expert on my work (which he's never heard) and constantly tells people, including my customers, what they should do and on every occasion that I've caught him, he's been entirely wrong. If you have a question about my work, ask me. Do not listen to him for any reason at all. It's been proven to me he doesn't even fully understand what I do, he just "knows" it doesn't work. Worse, he continues to promote the mantra that I'm the one responsible for everyone leaving the asylum (because of the above fight, that he forgets I had with no one because I never posted anything but a cartoon) so as far as I am concerned he has no scruples or integrity. (And certainly no knowledge of what I do) Listen to him at your own peril.
It quickly became obvious that the line they were pushing was "Magnepans are perfect, (especially these new ones) so don't mod them." As the boards died, as I vanished, as all talk about modding ceased because it was now no longer "approved" nobody discusses it. The planar asylum used to get fifty posts a day. Now it gets 5 a week. They got what they wanted - the conversation died, and don't you dare try to start it. I don't see how this benefits anyone, and what a fall from grace for that board, which started as the MUG forum which was a place made to talk about MODDING these speakers.
That's where we stand. I have been asked to start, at least a blog, where I post info and people could chime in and I can control who posts, so the trolls will not be allowed. If time permits at some point I may, but as of now it does not. However, and as always, feel free to email me if you have a question that needs answering, especially if you want an honest and truthful answer.
Finally, the new Maggies. I'm not going to try to delve into the why's of it, I am just sticking to facts as I know them. All new maggies now come with full use of QR foil as voice coil wire. (The exception being the MMG and MG-12. I had understood the MMG was being changed but someone just had a conversation with Magnepan about this and they claimed that was not the case, and the MMG and 12 remain not full QR foil) In any case, those models which were changed have had their performance severely limited (which measurements and listening show) because IMHO QR foil is too massless to do bass or sustained dynamics well. What I found modding the 1.7 and which will apply to all new models if modded is:
Given all those reasons why would you spend the money to mod (DIY or otherwise) these new models when you won't get the same return you would modding a 1.6 or MMG? Yes, my XO makes the new ones better, but not better than the old ones and it costs more to do it. Therefore if you have any intention of modding do not buy the new ".7" models because their problems cannot be fixed. It's my opinion nobody needs anything other than 1.6's or MMG's to be happy anyway, and there are a ton of them out there.
- Bass response is bad. You will need a sub for 1.7's and probably for 3.7's
- They do not get the decibel boost from the XO. They stay at apx. 85 dbl
- The new XO is super expensive because it needs to be super complicated
I truly mean that as well. If you own modded 1.6's and MMG's and it's still not right, your room is either bad or your gear is not good or assembled with care. (Put together with part synergy in mind) This mod is not a cure all. It fixes the speakers, that's it. If the room sucks, if the gear is not great, those issues will still exist.
Thank you as always for your time and interest. However, I need to end with a disclaimer. It has been a long road and I am growing tired of doing this. (I never intended to do it to begin with) That wearyness combined with the increasingly bad economy has made doing it harder every year. (Since fewer people want it every year and the cost of materials rises monthly as the dollar tanks) So I am informing everyone now that it is my intention to stop offering this mod.... only when, I can't say. Obviously it can't stop until something that makes money can replace it, but I am working towards that end. Therefore if it has been your intention of having me do this, it might be prudent to act sooner rather than later because once I stop, that's it. I do not see being able to stop before sometime in 2015 at soonest, but hopefully sometime soon after that if the Gods allow.
Disclaimer Number Two - Much to my surprise, shortly after creating this page I began to receive a flood of emails, all of them supporting my comments about the forums strongly and many people relating their own bad experiences with the trolls, but what really shook me was the genuine angst about my actual stopping. I had never expected this announcement to arouse such emotion, or genuine concern.
OK guys, let's make a deal - I have to stop eventually (as even I am entitled to some peace) but I will never stop entirely. What that means is I will always make the info available to those who want it, and I will, probably forever even if I have "stopped", do a few mods a year for those who truly "get it" and desire it. In other words I will not abandon you, you just may need to work with me a little. However for the foreseeable future as noted, it remains business as usual, so calm down. Thank you all.