NEWS & WORK QUEUE - Updated 5/17/15: First is the announcement many of you have been waiting for...
Updating old boxes with Jupiter Caps - Yes, finally Jupiter is in a place to supply enough caps for my regular work as well as this. So those of you who have written me looking to upgrade, now is the time. Contact me at your leisure for particulars and to get placed on the list. This work will start sometime mid June and continue thru the year. If news about the Jupiter is new to you I invite you to visit their website and learn more about it.
As for this cap I have listened to it, on my 1.6's and brand new MMG's. I was lost for words for some time. They are nothing like the flat version he ultimately could not make last year. He told me he used "every trick in the book" he knew making them, and my Lord, words fail. I just wrote someone that I can't even use normal audio jargon to describe what they do. Essentially very note, every note, is now God damnable real - Attack, body, decay, spatiality...oh yeah, the bass thunders, the highs are airy like a ribbon, but I'm not even listening to that. The notes... the sound...I have never been more moved listening to music than I have thru these caps... and that's only 1 week in. Even the unresolved issues with my new room have become immaterial. Music is no longer auditory... it's emotional.
Work Queue - My spring work is set and will be finished next month. All people joining now will be scheduled for fall or spring 2016, depending how full the list is (and it is full, so don't hesitate because people do opt out) I will be starting my fall work sometime in August.
A word on buying new MMG's. You do not need to buy the "super" version, and it is in fact no different than the original one. (Aside from the same XO parts being wired together wildly different) Magnepan seems to be making the new ones consitently well, so I much advise this route over looking for used ones.
Special Notice - I will no longer mod the 2.7 maggie unless the owner can drop off and pick up. They are too heavy after the mod to be safely shipped in the stock packaging, and I do them so rarely finding an alternative is not cost effective. I will also no longer mod any 2 series with ribbon, 3 series, 20 series or tympani maggie period. Don't even ask. I did the 20's and tymps to see if I could, and I could. I will post the DIY info one day for them if time allows. As for the 3... it's just too damn big and heavy, I'm getting too old, the ribbons are a PITA and frankly, you don't need a speaker that big. The 1.6 modded properly is enough for anyone.
RE-THE ABOVE SPECIAL NOTICE - That handn't been up a week and people were already upset by it. The sad news is the general public has been brainwashed with the bigger is better mantra for so long that even if deep down people know better, in practice they don't think better, and consequently the idea that I would not do these models anymore is viewed as some sort of tragedy. The fact is in all this time I can count the number of 3's I have done on one hand and I have yet to do a pair of 2's with a ribbon. So where is this great need? What is the great tragedy? The fact is, modded my way, and especially with these new Jupiter caps, there is nothing an MMG or 1.6 cannot do that anyone needs. I have always said, the MMG is a 4 foot tall speaker, so where in audio is that considered a small speaker? (and most of that 4 feet is driver) If it gets to working properly, it can get the job done and MMG's modded by me have time and again beaten (badly) 3.6's in head to head shoot outs. If that is not your result with my methods, then it's your room and gear that need addressing, you don't need bigger or different speakers. I know, only audiophiles would be upset at news like this but the truth is you don't need to spend so much money.
On other fronts, the events of the past few years have not gone addressed publicly by me because I no longer post online. However I keep getting emails from people asking why that is and more importantly, what the changes Magnepan has made to their product means to them. To resolve this I have written a page which can be viewed here and I strongly advise you to read it.
Welcome! This site is dedicated to helping you get the most from your pair of Magnepan loudspeakers, and in fact turn them into speakers capable of competeing with (and beating) virtually anything out there. We can mod every main production model so if you do not see yours on the price list, write us for information. We can probably do it and we offer discounts for the first of each model done.
Now if you're thinking "Wait a minute, did he say they could beat virtually anything out there?" I sure did, and it's true. Magnepans are considered "excellent values" and "unbeatable" in their price ranges but if you step outside that price range and start to compare them against the best the high end world has to offer their flaws begin to show. In response people then say things like "If you don't appreciate planar characteristics you won't like Maggies". I can appreciate what they do right, but it never made me ignore what they do wrong. The fact is the Magnepan driver is capable of much greater resolution than anyone imagined and once their problems are corrected they can and do compete with (and beat) most if not all of these high end models that had previously bested them.
Our modded maggies have been compared to and beaten the top of the line models from such makers as Gallo, Harbeth, Merlin and Vandersteen. One customer who was a long time electrostat user (owned Quad, ML and Soundlabs) told me his modded 12's were as good or better than any of them in the midrange department and another of our customers told us he compared his modded 1.6's head to head with Wilson Maxx 2's. He could have afforded either and told us "The Wilsons won in some aspects and the Maggies in others, essentially a draw, but the final card was sound presentation and in that respect the maggies won hands down. His final choice was our modded 1.6
I know, it seems incredible, especially when the used price for maggies (roughly $350 for the MMG, $1,000 for the 1.6) is hardly the price range serious audiophiles consider when looking to buy speakers, let alone their "final" or "destination" speaker. In fact used maggies are usually bought by audiophile newbies who have little money and beginner systems and want the best "bang for their buck" they can get. Many long time audiophiles, aware of Magnepans inherent limitations which have never been corrected, have essentially written the brand off. Are these newbies going to spend the money for an upgrade? Will serious audiophiles come around and base their mega dollar systems around an MMG? They both should, because the days of maggies getting labelled as "bass poor", hard to set up, having a tiny sweet spot or "they can't play rock" are over for good.
Upgrading now no longer means what it used to in the Magnepan line, where you climbed the model ladder every so many years getting a bigger and supposedly better model only to find your amp insufficient, your room insufficient, or yourself just unhappy at where the sound is now at after spending all this money, and maybe you're not even sure why. Well, the problem is Magnepan doesn't make them better, they just make them bigger. What's more our mods have revealed that the "small" (as if a 48" tall speaker is small) and medium sized models have literally no performance ceiling where clarity and delicacy is concerned, and they can even do bass, as in you don't need a sub bass. It's simply a question of unlocking the performance contained in them.
The journey to get where I am now took many years of trials, and in that time certain truths have been revealed. Most notably is that almost every old notion about maggies (notions which were applied from cabinet speaker design) is incorrect and does not apply. Also of interest is that I have found not every one is partial to the sound of the bigger models. To read more about our philosophy on maggies and "upgrading" click here.
One thing all Magnepans share is that they have been called "excellent values" which is a term that belies the real truth: Performance, as good as it is, was sidelined for costs sake when they were made. What we do here is take these speakers and make performance the main issue. Cost is not an object but like so many things we have found most expensive does not always mean best. We use the parts and designs which work best, period. Once transformed you'll be amazed at how they outperform not only stock maggies but all other commers in so many parameters regardless of cost. In fact size should not determine which model you can (or ought to) own, and in fact it's been a 50-50 split between people preferring the smaller models (MMG & MG-12) and the 1.6 once modded. If choosing the model is your first concern, visit this page to get the facts you need to choose wisely.
Make no mistake, what we do is not a tweak, rather it is a full blown re-modification designed to extract every ounce of performance and music from the Magnepan driver. It really is like taking a car to an overhaul shop and having it come out a Rod. Our design and modifications are based around our many years of personal ownership of these fine speakers and they seek to accentuate their strengths while reducing or even eliminating their shortcomings. All of this is done while striving to remain true to the inherent sound quality of Maggies. We know and love them for the same reasons you do, and it was not our desire to make something out of them they are not. Our goal was to retain what they do right and enhance it as much as possible, to increase performance in those areas they are sometimes lacking in and to make any flaws vanish or even become positives if possible.
We believe our design has achieved this and more. The sound staging, "liveness" and warmth of maggies not only remain but are greatly enhanced, and to sweeten the deal they now have lucid detail, incredible bass and a sweet spot bigger than just you. Best of all, our work is a one of a kind, one at a time old fashioned hands on affair. Even if it's the 57th of that model we've done, no other will look quite like yours. To find out more about what we do please use the menu above to read about the modifications, and if you have any questions please click the contact link and write us any time with your questions or concerns.
Magnepan 1.6 QR's Magnestanded in Makore