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Magnepan SMGb
17 Reviews
rating  4.53 of 5
MSRP  690.00
Description: 2 way planar/quasi ribbon


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Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by jas75 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 6, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I bought a used pair of SMGb's and set them up eight feet apart slightly towed in, three & one half feet out into my 16' X 17' X8' heavily furnished & carpeted living room. Other equipment included a NAD 350 integrated amp ,a Marantz CD5001 CD Player, inexpensive 14 gauge stranded speaker wire, and inexpensive Radioshack connector cables. The sound was spacious and had plenty of bass, but after listening to them for two days I added an Audiosource 10" downward firing subwoofer crossed over at 60 cycles and experienced a slightly deeper bass. A subwoofer would not be needed with the SMG's unless you are an organ enthusiast. I listen primarily to traditional 30's & 40's pop, some classical, easy jazz and folk music. All of the above sounded quite good, with or without the subwoofer. However, the size of these speakers just took up too much space in my room. Additionally, I wanted speakers that have a more palpable sound, so I sold the SMG's and bought a pair of Totem Arros. I want to buy on the cheap, but concluded after hearing the Arros at The 2006 High End Show in Los Angeles, that I'd have to spend the extra dollars to get the more palpable sound I prefer. In conclusion, for $300 or so, the SMGb's will provide lots of happy listening if you've got a room big enough to accomodate them.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jack201 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 1, 2004

Bottom Line:   
A friend of mine moved from his house to a condo so had to break up and sell his secondary and tertiary systems. I had listened to his SMGc's and to be honest found them wanting. Maggies and most other true dipole speakers planar or dynamic, can be a bit disconcerting to most of us weaned on the usual designs. Perhaps because they have a way of energizing a room by moving so much air at any given point in time.

I found the Maggies to be "Hyper-Real". center fill was rock solid but the "air" of the recordings, the ambient information sounded like it was out of a Skywalker Sound engineered movie soundtrack. It didn't help that improper setup can cause phase anomalies so intense that you almost feel you're wearing headphones with one channel running reverse polarity. Okay, I'm exagerating. Call it artistic licence. As other reviewers here have noted, they have little bass, can't play loud, have trouble with complex musical material and require a hell of a lot of power reserves because of its impedance characteristics. Why then did I buy them?

For all of the above reasons ofcourse! You wouldn't buy a Ferrari F50 to pull your boat to the jetty and I didn't buy the SMGc's to play Mr.Audiophile. If I wanted a rock concert at home I'd go get Meyer Sound speakers and Crest Power amps, etc. I bought them for my bedroom, to play soft, soothing music to help me feel rested and (too much information coming up) occasionally get the missus in the mood. (Hey, call it the guy version of that scented candle bit they love to pull on us). Because when these speakers are asked to play WITHIN their limitations, they will perform. That hyper real thing? Fantastic while playing ambient house, or nature sounds while getting a massage! Can't play loud? So what, unless you grew up in Chicago living under the EL. Complex Material? Thermal Compression? Square waves from amp clipping? NOT relevant. As I said, they may not be transparent, uncolored, or dynamic BUT they can help you enjoy the MUSIC.

If more of us so called enthusiasts and Audiophiles built our systems based on equipment characteristics in context with the intended utility in mind, a lot more of us would be happier people.

The SMGc's paired with an ARCAM FMJ integrated and ARCAm CD92 do their job and therefore gets a 5 from this jaded dude.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   second hand



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by iggy a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Hey...to those that think Mags need to be far away from side walls...the most important area is behind the speaker...these are dipoles...meaning they are out of phase in regard to front and back dispersion...thus they emit very little sound FROM THE SIDE!...they need to be a good 4 ft from the back wall to get the depth you paid for...

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ron Wills a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 29, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I own the SMGa which sold for $500-$600 which I purchased about 5 years ago and a pair of MG II which are almost 25 years old !!

Maggie service is incredible. My 25 year old MG II were reconditioned for $350 (I think they originally sold for about $900 back then) about 5 years ago. They totally replaced the speaker component and sounded like new (actually better).

Every time I go out to purchase speakers I am convinced that I will purchase something other than Magneplaners. However, after listening to other speakers IN THE SAME PRICE range, I come back to Maggies.

The older ones need a sub-woofer, no matter what they tell you. I do not know about the newer models which have come out in the past 5 years.

These are NOT ROCK speakers. Rickie Lee Jones is OK, forget hard rock. These speakers are perfect for small jazz groups or acoustic guitar. Classical music and Maggies work well together.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997



Overall Rating:5
Submitted by Henry A. Hunt a an Audiophile

Date Reviewed: July 20, 1998

Bottom Line:   
I've had my SMGbs for several years now and they still amaze me, primarily because they defy measurements, quantitative analysis, etc. They simply play music in a natural dynamic manner that defies measurment, except for the width of the grin on one's face when he/she sits down to listen.Yes, they are room dependent far more than conventional speakers, and, yes, you need some current to drive them, but in my system, with a Thorens table, Denon MC cartridge, NAD 5000 CD feeding a Theta Cobalt 307 into an Audible Illusions Modulus 3 preamp and B&K ST140 II power amp, they simply blow away speakers costing twice as much. The next upgrade will be to an EX442 power amp or possibly an Aragon 4004, or just maybe a larger set of Maggies.
The rating I give is based on value.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audiophile




Reviews 1 - 5 (17 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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