Magnepan MMGi audio system are a stupendously skinny wall of sound

Magnepan MMGi speaker


Magnepan is understood for its giant flat panel audio system, nevertheless it additionally presents smaller, extra reasonably priced ones. The unique MMG shared a lot of the identical tech as the larger Magnepans and received the hearts of many aspiring audiophiles. That speaker debuted in 1995, so it is huge information that Magnepan has now launched the revised MMGi, costing $650 per pair.

The speaker stands 48 inches excessive and is 14.5 inches huge, however simply 1.25 inches thick. Magnepans differ from standard audio system in the way in which they mission sound right into a room: Whereas field audio system radiate sound ahead, Magnepan panels radiate from the entrance and rear surfaces. Most audio system have spherical dome tweeters and cone midrange and/or woofer drivers, however the MMGi’s thin-film, roughly 11 by 40 inch “quasi-ribbon” diaphragm produces bass, midrange and treble frequencies.

No marvel the MMGi sounds larger — and its stereo imaging nearer to life-size — than any bookshelf or small tower speaker you or I’ve ever heard. Magnepan has been refining this know-how for the reason that early 1970s, and builds all of its audio system in White Bear Lake, Minnesota.

The MMGi’s impedance is rated at four ohms, and the speaker is obtainable in pure or black stable oak trim with off-white, grey or black material grills.  

I did the majority of my MMGi testing with the audio system hooked as much as a $799 Outlaw Audio RR 2160 stereo receiver. The sound with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Kathryn Stott’s pretty duet album “Songs From the Arc of Life” took my breath away. Their music crammed my room in methods field audio system by no means do, the cello appeared a lot nearer to life measurement, and the 2 devices sounded very clear.

Magnepan MMGi audio system are actually skinny!

Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Then with purely digital music from Cliff Martinez’ rating for “The Knick: Season One” the MMGis deftly dealt with low bass synth traces. The “heartbeat” bass’ definition and texture of the bass stunned me, however the MMGis’ restricted dynamic punch was evident. Then with Alt-J’s “An Superior Wave” album, the MMGis performed vocals with uncommon presence, and the band’s jumpy rhythms set my ft a-tappin’.

Granted, the MMGi’s bass wasn’t as deep or wealthy as ELAC’s $499 per pair Uni-Fi UB5 bookshelf audio system, however the ELAC’s stereo picture is smaller and the sound is nowhere as clear because the MMGi’s. My spouse not often feedback on the sound of audio system I am reviewing, so when she mentioned she actually preferred the MMGis I assumed she was joking. She wasn’t: She was listening to issues in Los Lobos “Kiko” album she by no means heard earlier than!

My $380 NAD C316BEE stereo built-in amp was additionally a really respectable match with the MMGis, however I could not resist additionally making an attempt the $229 Emotiva BAS X A-100 stereo amp. That one gave up some low bass and midrange sweetness the RR 2160 delivered, however the A-100 is a terrific starter amp for those who’re strapped for money or have a really small listening room.

I additionally tried the MMGis in my neighbors’ condominium. They’ve an extended slender listening room, in order that they sit additional away from their $2,250 per pair Zu Omen MKII audio system than I do from my audio system. Very first thing we discovered was that their 35 watt per channel Music Reference RM 10 MKII tube amp wasn’t a very good match with the MMGi — the audio system want extra juice than that. So we popped in my 250 watt per channel Bel Canto Ref500 amp. That was significantly better, however the bass nonetheless wasn’t full sufficient so we connected a Hsu Analysis VTF-1 MK3 subwoofer to the system. 

The match with the MMGis was wonderful, and made them sound like larger audio system. They actually impressed my neighbor Kevin — he remarked many times about listening to new delicate particulars in music he is aware of nicely. He enthused about the way in which the panels energized the room, and projected a deeper soundstage than the Omen MK IIs, that are virtually 4 occasions as costly.

Nonetheless, once we returned to the Omen MK IIs and tube amp the sound was extra muscular and alive. The MMGis with the sub did not have sufficient oomph. I agreed, however in the long run the MMGis sounded higher in my room than theirs, partially as a result of I sit a very good deal nearer to the audio system. Speaker-room matching is all the time a consideration with any excessive efficiency speaker.

Ending up in my condominium I in contrast the MMGi with my Magnepan .7 audio system ($1,395 per pair), and so they had been higher in each means. The sound was spatially larger, clearer, with a extra pure midrange, dynamics kicked up a notch, bass definition and fullness improved. The .7 appears like precisely what it’s, a dearer Magnepan. If you happen to can afford it, get the .7. Nonetheless, for the cash the MMGi is an ear-opening speaker. 

The MMGi will be ordered straight from Magnepan with a 60-day residence trial. Magnepan audio system are additionally bought through a nationwide community of sellers.

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