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Old 1st December 2006, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default Sun shines in - I have awoken

...to the joys of speakers without boxes

Our recent move presented the opportunity to set up a new music system. The difficulty here is that my wife is not keen on large speakers, especially cabinets. " why can't we have something thin" was her refrain. I can't entirely blame her, some of the "best" designs are spectacularly ugly . It was then I remembered Magnepan's designs, and found some pictures on t'internet for her to look at. Mmmm, not bad came the reply and then all went quiet.

A few weeks later (last weekend) came my birthday. To my overwhelming delight, I was ushered in to see my surprise present - a pair of used but tidy Magnepan SMGa. We plugged in (a very nasty cd-radio "system" bought for $40..). The sound was dull, lifeless and when I turned it up, things rattled. Oh dear .

The offending speaker was pulled apart, to reveal that the wires of the mid-bass panel had begun to separate from the membrane.
Over the last few evenings, I have cleaned and reglued as necessary. I also found that the "tweeter" protection fuses were blown in both speakers.

Finally, last night I plugged in again. Same lo-fi radioCD source - I wasn't expecting much, it was never intended to drive a 4 ohm load

Wow Everything I thought I new about "hi fi" was wrong. These speakers, now 20 years old, are the best audio device I have ever heard. They just disappear, producing music effortlessly. What is more, my dear wife love's their "Danish Modern" appearence!

I have real amplification lined up in the form of an Adcom GFA585 power amp that I have just repaired, and can't wait to get things together. The Adcom came to me for free (broken) from a good friend, and seems on paper to be a good partner to the SMGs. We have a good system for little money and some DIY effort, always more satisfying than forking out hundreds (thousands?) at Hi fi dealers

So I am fortunate to now be a member of the planar club - I am entirely converted, surprised and delighted. DIY thoughts abound...

Cheers,

Ed
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Old 1st December 2006, 08:23 PM   #2
kvholio is offline kvholio  Netherlands
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Congratulations on your newborn Magnepans
I bet a Krellclone could really make those Maggies sing

With kind regards,

Klaas
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Old 1st December 2006, 08:24 PM   #3
v-bro is offline v-bro  Netherlands
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I once had the honour of having the designer of the Dutch speaker brand 'Translator' dropping by at work... He mentioned he was designing a dipole speaker. He added that the distortion of a speaker without box was some 30% lower. After a short time I came across some old ESL-57's from Quad, it was love at first sight...

Magnepan always drew my attention in the same way....

You may count yourself 'blessed'..
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Old 1st December 2006, 08:29 PM   #4
v-bro is offline v-bro  Netherlands
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By the way, many folks would render it an overkill on planars/esls, but I've connected class D to the esls...and wow!

Discovering class D presented about the same revelation to me as the esls did...(even on dynamic speakers!)....
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Old 1st December 2006, 08:36 PM   #5
kvholio is offline kvholio  Netherlands
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Remember Translator well, have listened to Reflexions a lot.
Must be the most open-sounding conventional speaker i've heard.
Needed lots of power though. You could easily drive a quad-606 into clipping without the speakers breaking a sweat.

With kind regards,

Klaas
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Old 1st December 2006, 08:52 PM   #6
v-bro is offline v-bro  Netherlands
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Yes we sold his speakers, so I heard a lot of them. The guy is much like
a happily disturbed professor (even looks a bit like Einstein :P)...

He mentioned the dipole he was working on needed a whole lot of power, but added this was just necessary to get the performance he was looking for....
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Old 1st December 2006, 09:26 PM   #7
kvholio is offline kvholio  Netherlands
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Yes , like dynaudio. Finding smart solutions to solve problems in conventional speakers, but these solutions throw away efficiency.
The problems that are left are for the amp-designer

Can sound marvellous though when the amp-designer does his job well

With kind regards,

Klaas
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Old 1st December 2006, 10:08 PM   #8
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Ed,

May I borrow your wife? I need her to speak to mine.
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Old 1st December 2006, 10:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
May I borrow your wife? I need her to speak to mine.
What's it worth?

...Thanks for the other replies everyone. The ESL/Planar section of the forum is a rather interesting place to read around. It also seems to be one of the (few?) areas in audio where there is still space for new ideas and experimentation.

Ed
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Old 1st December 2006, 11:47 PM   #10
v-bro is offline v-bro  Netherlands
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After reading all restrictions to behavior as a member on this forum, I wonder if trading your wife is to be rendered legal in that perspective....
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