Magnepan Tympani I(u) Floorstanding Speakers

4.88/5 (16 Reviews)


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Reviews 1 - 5 (16 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by fbonzo a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2007

Bottom Line:   
This is a review (actually more like a positive rant) about the Tympani 1-D three-panel planar speakers made by Magnepan sometime in the late 1970's.

Simply, these are THE BEST. If you have the room (and they DO take an absurd amount of room) and you are familiar with and enjoy live music of the acoustic variety--folk, jazz, classical, opera, musical theater, any type of vocal, etc.--then DO NOT HESITATE, purchase a set of these as soon as you are able. You WILL NOT be disappointed. Personally, I am also VERY VERY happy with the way amplified and heavily processed and heavily mixed sound is reproduced by these ancient wonders. I admit that I just don't listen to rap or hip hop, but I believe pretty much every kind of music is represented in my library and ALL of them are brilliantly, heart-breakingly portrayed by these speakers. Hey, who knows, they might even render 50 cent in some sort of way that would make his sonic gyrations bearable (though I don't really see how they'd translate the puerile misogynistic lyrics of his ilk into anything approaching a recognizable seriary handbag).

Back to the speakers...oh wait, a note on me--just to validate my view for you just a little bit. I've been professionally involved in music and music reproduction for...ummm...let me think...around 30 years. I've owned a hifi (we used to call it that) store; I was the first importer of Linn products in the state of Texas (hey, Ivor--how's it hangin'?); I've personally recorded Willie Nelson, Earl Scruggs, and umpteen gajillion orchestral and chamber groups; I was one of the principals in a high-end planar speaker manufacturer (we were even reviewed in TAS...not very favorably, but reviewed); etc.

Also, despite that litany of what I'm sure appears to be self-aggrandizing bragging (I promise you it's not intended that way--just the fax max), mostly what I bring to this whole thing is a VERY experienced set of ears and--believe it or not--absolutely NO interest in the latest glitz/gotta stay on top of the trend/gotta make my man cave uber cool. I've pretty much had the same system for...oh...about 25 years (more on that later).

What I AM interested in is ENJOYING the music, being transported, FORGETTING that I'm listening to a damn stereo (or HT or whatever).

And...here's the real bottom line...these babies accomplish that amazing feat.That is, the feat of essentially disappearing. They don't tire or accost your ears (like, for instance, Klipschorns or any Bose or many of those supposedly high-tech metal dome tweeter systems). They're most definitely not mushy, though (like some of the SEP systems I've heard). In fact, they're so damn quick and responsive that there is always a danger that they'll be a little harsh.

I'll admit that I haven't hung out in high-end audio salons for over two decades (not that I haven't HEARD WAtt Puppies and Martin-Logans and Sonus Fabers and quite a few of the big boys). I don't really see any reason to spend my time listening to systems that cost more than I make in six months. I am NOT going to spend that kind of money and I'll further admit that I think that anyone who does is out of their bleeding gourd and probably needs to take a close look at their personal priorities.

Oh yeah, I'm running these dudes with an Onkyo 702 (dented a bit in the front by an unknown assailant) that I bought on ebay for $70. The source is an old Sony CD changer (MX-355 or something like that, you know one of the 300 disk jobs). I've got it plugged in to the Onkyo w/an optical connection so I'm using the better Onkyo DSPs. And, well, I admit I'm cheating a little and I've got an Anthony Gallo MPS-150 sub wired inline (through the speaker pass-throughs). I'm using some REALLY fancy 14 gauge wire I bought a spool of (really, folks, look at the PHYSICS of these things--wires are NOT metaphysical beings that require virgin's milk).

And that's it.

And I promise you that this system will make an angel weep with joy.

Good luck. Get a pair yourself.

P.S. Oh yeah, I admit that these things so SO WONDERFUL, that I feel bit by that old audio bug once again and I DO expect to be making some further purchases. I probably will buy some kind of used electronic crossover (probably for less than $100) and I MIGHT even spring for a nice tube amp for the tweeters--and I know that that will cost me, maybe even as much as a grand (gulp), that is I THINK I can puy a couple of Van Alstine modded Dynaco St. 70s for that, and I'll probably just keep using the Onkyo for the low end. Oh, and I've got a pair of IIcs coming in that I bought for $100 and I might use those in the rear. Again, enjoy, good luck, don't listen to the snake-oil salesmen...listen to LIVE music and then trust your OWN ears...and please, please, spend responsibly on this stuff...Cheers

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by alecfree a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 18, 2007

Bottom Line:   
This is a review (actually more like a positive rant) about the Tympani 1-D three-panel planar speakers made by Magnepan sometime in the late 1970's.

Simply, these are THE BEST. If you have the room (and they DO take an absurd amount of room) and you are familiar with and enjoy live music of the acoustic variety--folk, jazz, classical, opera, musical theater, any type of vocal, etc.--then DO NOT HESITATE, purchase a set of these as soon as you are able. You WILL NOT be disappointed. Personally, I am also VERY VERY happy with the way amplified and heavily processed and heavily mixed sound is reproduced by these ancient wonders. I admit that I just don't listen to rap or hip hop, but I believe pretty much every kind of music is represented in my library and ALL of them are brilliantly, heart-breakingly portrayed by these speakers. Hey, who knows, they might even render 50 cent in some sort of way that would make his sonic gyrations bearable (though I don't really see how they'd translate the puerile misogynistic lyrics of his ilk into anything approaching a recognizable seriary handbag).

Back to the speakers...oh wait, a note on me--just to validate my view for you just a little bit. I've been professionally involved in music and music reproduction for...ummm...let me think...around 30 years. I've owned a hifi (we used to call it that) store; I was the first importer of Linn products in the state of Texas (hey, Ivor--how's it hangin'?); I've personally recorded Willie Nelson, Earl Scruggs, and umpteen gajillion orchestral and chamber groups; I was one of the principals in a high-end planar speaker manufacturer (we were even reviewed in TAS...not very favorably, but reviewed); etc.

Also, despite that litany of what I'm sure appears to be self-aggrandizing bragging (I promise you it's not intended that way--just the fax max), mostly what I bring to this whole thing is a VERY experienced set of ears and--believe it or not--absolutely NO interest in the latest glitz/gotta stay on top of the trend/gotta make my man cave uber cool. I've pretty much had the same system for...oh...about 25 years (more on that later).

What I AM interested in is ENJOYING the music, being transported, FORGETTING that I'm listening to a damn stereo (or HT or whatever).

And...here's the real bottom line...these babies accomplish that amazing feat.That is, the feat of essentially disappearing. They don't tire or accost your ears (like, for instance, Klipschorns or any Bose or many of those supposedly high-tech metal dome tweeter systems). They're most definitely not mushy, though (like some of the SEP systems I've heard). In fact, they're so damn quick and responsive that there is always a danger that they'll be a little harsh.

I'll admit that I haven't hung out in high-end audio salons for over two decades (not that I haven't HEARD WAtt Puppies and Martin-Logans and Sonus Fabers and quite a few of the big boys). I don't really see any reason to spend my time listening to systems that cost more than I make in six months. I am NOT going to spend that kind of money and I'll further admit that I think that anyone who does is out of their bleeding gourd and probably needs to take a close look at their personal priorities.

Oh yeah, I'm running these dudes with an Onkyo 702 (dented a bit in the front by an unknown assailant) that I bought on ebay for $70. The source is an old Sony CD changer (MX-355 or something like that, you know one of the 300 disk jobs). I've got it plugged in to the Onkyo w/an optical connection so I'm using the better Onkyo DSPs. And, well, I admit I'm cheating a little and I've got an Anthony Gallo MPS-150 sub wired inline (through the speaker pass-throughs). I'm using some REALLY fancy 14 gauge wire I bought a spool of (really, folks, look at the PHYSICS of these things--wires are NOT metaphysical beings that require virgin's milk).

And that's it.

And I promise you that this system will make an angel weep with joy.

Good luck. Get a pair yourself.

P.S. Oh yeah, I admit that these things so SO WONDERFUL, that I feel bit by that old audio bug once again and I DO expect to be making some further purchases. I probably will buy some kind of used electronic crossover (probably for less than $100) and I MIGHT even spring for a nice tube amp for the tweeters--and I know that that will cost me, maybe even as much as a grand (gulp), that is I THINK I can puy a couple of Van Alstine modded Dynaco St. 70s for that, and I'll probably just keep using the Onkyo for the low end. Oh, and I've got a pair of IIcs coming in that I bought for $100 and I might use those in the rear. Again, enjoy, good luck, don't listen to the snake-oil salesmen...listen to LIVE music and then trust your OWN ears...and please, please, spend responsibly on this stuff...Cheers

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Art S a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 18, 2004

Bottom Line:   
What can I say about the "Mother of All Maggie's" that hasn't been already said? The Tympani IV beats their MG20, and most other "panel" speakers on the market, (term used loosely) with the possible exception of the Apogee Diva and Scintilla, big SoundLab's, etc.

It goes without saying that you need a very large room because these monsters are 6' tall and 4.5' wide, and require at least 3.5' of space behind them. And you'd better bring your arc-welder amps along for the ride too.

If you can accomodate them properly, it doesn't get a whole lot better than this in Audiophile-Land.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   Toys FromThe Attic



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tomeh! a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2004

Bottom Line:   
My version is the IVa from 1986. After loving the Magnepan sound (see my MG12 review) I kept thinking about how good the ribbon versions must be and I had listened to 3.6's. After finding used Tympani's and listening to the Tympani's in my home for a couple of months, I still can't believe how good these are. I recently moved them to vaccum in the area and connected a set of Rega, 2 way speakers in their place while cleaning. My daughters said "when are you going to put back the real speakers." They put their finger on it, they do sound "real" and I can not image, nor have I heard a better sound, in anyones setup, anywhere. If you can find them,and you have the room, buy them. Magnepan (what a fantastic company) told me they are committed to supporting these for at least another ten years. Oh yea!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1200.00

Purchased At:   private



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Gerry G a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 18, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have a pair of T-iv-a's that I gave up a pair of new 3.6's for. In a 18x31 room these things are more wonderful than I could ever imagined.

Everything that Maggies are the best in the world for is there and much, much more. Extended bass, much more detail in the dimension of vocals and the strings, oh the lush and lovely strings.

I will never part with these things, and am looking for another pair for my office.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $30000.00

Purchased At:   Toronto




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