Magnepan Magneplanar MG 12 Floorstanding Speakers

Magneplanar MG 12

User Reviews (54)

Showing 1-10 of 54  
Audioholic   AudioPhile [Apr 05, 2015]

It only took me 15 minutes at the shop to be convinced of the quality of these loudspeakers. Absolute killers for the money.
Wonderful energy, detail, transparency, spacialisation and rythm.
Superb match with excellent Sumo Polaris II power amplifier and tube preamp - Nos tubes.
Magic.
These MG 1.2 are the end of my (15 years) quest for Graal.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Volker Weber   AudioPhile [Nov 23, 2011]

I read so many about the MG 12 wich makes me wonder if there is more than one model... . Can't be that everyone write about the same speaker. My MG 12's are perfect in musicreproduction. Even the bass is like true. Not so noisy and dump like from a boxspeaker.
I have used Canton Ergo passiv, JBL L90, ALR Jordan Note 5, Mirage MRM 1, Zingali Prelude .4, but only the MG12 was good enough to stay.
If you have a problem with it, it's only from your amp or player.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
weaver   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 09, 2011]

I bought these about four months ago after hearing a lot about them and then finding my local dealer. I must have spent 2hrs listeining to various models in the showroom including the 3.6's and was so impressed. I was a little nervous about how the 12's would sound in my home but the dealer offered to let me try them with no risk so what the heck! Anyway, got them home and hooked them up to my system(5.1 with anthem mrx500 receiver, anthem mca2 to drive fronts and a polk audio psw10). I had been using a vintage pair of Yamaha NS-690 which were very dynamic, accurate and really didn't need a sub. I first put the maggies on either side of my 52"tv about two feet off the back wall. I sit about 10ft away. From here I was very disappointed-I just wasn't getting the depth and width of soundstage I had heard in the shop even though everything else was pretty good(although I found the sub muddied the mids and highs and preferred it off). I experimented with different positions and eventually found the "sweet" spot. The speakers are now approx 3ft on either side of the tv and approx 1.5ft in front of it and canted in towards the listening position. They sound awesome now! I was reasonably pleased with the bass even as is with the polk off(the mid bassof the maggies is just so clear, accurate and articulated) but eventually replaced my polk with a martin logan dynamo(10in) that I picked up on ebay and now it's GREAT-a major improvement over the polk! In home theatre it's crazy too-I literally jumped at some gunshots in a Breaking Bad episode on blu ray! So, even though esthetically the maggies are not in my ideal spot I can easily return them besdie the tv when not usiong them because they're so light-this is a major advantage over the martin logams with the integrated subs. Another fantastic thing I've noticed about the maggies which I hadn't anticipated is that they mnaintain their characteristics right down to ridiculously low listeing volumes. I rent out my basement so if I don't want to bother them late at night I just turn off the sub and turn doen the volume and I'm still very pleased! I actually had to turn off the furnace one night because I had the volume so low that the furnace was louder! I am very pleased with these and don't foresee changing them fro a long time(prob when I turn the basement opt into a listening room). I am sitting relatively close to these and they have walls right beside them and I definitely get the sense that they would benefit from more "space".

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Still Cruising   AudioPhile [Apr 04, 2010]

What level of performance can inexpensive subwoofers provide to the MG 12?

The MG 12s are some of the best sounding speakers I have ever listened to. They are capable of providing highly detailed musical sound with a 3 dimenisonal quality few speakers can approach. After listen to them, one can only imagine the potential of what the more expensive model would do! Given their high quality sound, they seem like the perfect speakers to test subwoofers with.

The MG 12s, as full range speakers, do have their limitations. They have very little mid or low bass output and also seem to hit a brick wall at a volume level of say 6, with 10 representing the loudest level that my Polk SRS 2.3 would play at without distortion. The MG 12s don't distort at high volume, but any further increase provides no further gains. It's like having a Corvette that can accellerate fast, but is speed limited at 85 mph. Can a subwoofer (or two) help? The following subwoofer combinations were setup to accompany the Maggies.

Polk PSW10 ($199, could be had as a throw-in promotion with a pair of Polk speakers, or recently on-sale at Fry's for $88):

This subwoofer is relatively small and lightweight, and very low end. Is there anything in it? Well guess what? This little 10 inch, 50 watt sub goes low and totally compliments the fast transients of the MG 12s. A very musical combination with great integration between the sub and the main speakers. Test tones show that the system's bass extends solidly down to 31 hz with lower level output still at 25hz. Amazing from a cheap sub.

AudioSource 15 inch ported no model name Subwoofer (was available from Costco at one time in the distance past):

This cheap subwoofer was a real surprise. It provided a quantity of bass the little PWS10 could only hint at. It made the system sound robust and muscular. It liked being chranked up and it really rocked out! Bass extension was gratifying low with even better output below 31hz. Still, the memory of the quality of the bass from the little PSW10 showed that the AudioSource was quite as fast in the transients. The AudioSource was satifying nevertheless for different characteristics. Without any comparsion, it's sound was gratifyingly good.

AudioSource 15 inch + two PWS10s:

Did I tell you I brought a PWS10 to play together with the free PWS10 I recieved as a promotion? So a tower of three subs. Could be promising right? Well not really. I could not get the sound from the different size subs to integrate. Not surprising considering their difference sound characteristics. So guess what's next?

Two Polk PWS10s on the floor:

This is the hot cheap ticket! Two 10 inch cones have the same radiating area as one 15 inch cone. In this case the sound output of the dual Polks confirms this and then some. There seems to be no sonic downsides, but only improves on all of the attributes of the single sub setup. It is the best of both worlds. Additional bass weight, fast transients, musicality that redefined the limits of the MG 12s. The subs just disappeared as a sound source. That these bottom end Polk subs have the ability to mesh with the ultra fast Magnepans is astonishing. They are real sleepers. They make the Magnepans sound hugely powerful for very little money.

Humm, at an affordable price of $88 each, one can only wonder what a four sub array would sound like? Actually, a two by two array is rather compact and would have the benefit of providing a large aggregate radiating front face.

Martin Logan Abyss - Too tired to test now.....

The dual PWS10s are soooo well matched to the MG12s that it is hard for me to imagine what greater improvements the fine Martin Logan subwoofer could bring. Just going on the Abyss's performance in my other systems, I think that the Polks have the edge on transient speed but the Abyss will undoubtedly go lower. Will the Abyss be as musical? There is no doubt that one on one, the Abyss with play louder than the cheap Polk. Given the retail price different, the dual Polks should not even be in the same ballpark.

Further thoughts:

I tried the sub combinations with other main speakers. The subs enhancements were similar in character with different mains.

For these subwoofers, the speaker grilles really constrict and muffle the sound. I ran all the subs with the grilles off.

The subwoofer placement requires much experimentation to be optimized. The dual Polks sounded rather dull until I did a final tweek of rotating them one whole inch! They literally snapped into focus and became much more focused, dynamic, and powerful sounding.

The subs integrated well located to the side of the main speakers along a wall with their cones facing toward the main speakers. I suspect that given a choice, a sub would sound better with direct radiation inlieu of floor reflected positioning. Something to experiment with in your own system.

The idea of getting two matched subs was to have the ability to run stereo subwoofers. However, it is very possible that the best location for the sub is not where the LR speakers are located. Nevertheless, there are potential benefits to using two subs when the cones are only 10 inches.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
PPP   AudioPhile [Mar 07, 2010]

I just listened to kef's Muon's with Leema gear. (+ 140.000,- EURo's!!)At home i recently bought magnepan mg12's with a rel storm III.
My magnepan's sounded more musical...I can't believe my ears; they sounded better to my ears than those muon's. I never go back to box/conus-speakers anymore.
With the magnepan's there is no boxiness. The planers are detailed, livelike and musical.
They have got the same big soundfield as the Kef Muons. With the subwoofer they are just as dynamic and punchy. They sound seamless. I had kef c75 in the past and liked them a lot but with these Magnepans i ended my quest for audionirvana. Audionirvana is right here now in my room!!
Do yourself a favour and buy these speakers when you get a change. They sell secondhand for very little money.
This is unbelievable for the money....I find myself listening to music again (and not to gear)




OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
TWJones   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 04, 2009]

There's really no point to writing this review: It has all been said before. But what the heck. I have been searching for just the right system since 1976, when I spent $60 saved up from my 10th birthday and mowing lawns to buy a Montgomery Wards phono-only stereo and a copy of Sgt Pepper's. Been through a lot of what most here would call midfi gear since, trying to find the right balance of thrills and cost. From Pioneer SX-5 when I went away to school, mated to wonderful EPI 100s two-way speakers, to my retro-analog kick of a few years back using vintage silver-faced gear with Wharfedale Emeralds. Been through a lot of changes in musical tastes, too. Classic rock, punk, New Wave, Be-Bop, Electronica, Classical, and now mostly baroque, with some Van Morrison and the occasional rip through Elbvis Costello's This Year's Model to clean out the tubes. Always wanted a pair of Maggies, but multiple stints abroad, then little children, made it seem rather foolish once I finally could afford them. They were just so COOL for a kid raised in the 70's on Audio and Stereo Review. When I was in my 20's and in NYC I used to stop by a little shop on the Upper East Side just to hear them one more time, sorry dude, not buying today, do you mind?

Well, my youngest is now 4 and knows not to put his hand through the speaker grills anymore. So I did some research and through Audiogon bought some just-broken in 12QRs and an Acurus A200 amp for about a grand and retired my Wharfedale RB-27s (a very pleasant three-way tower), discovering in the process that the slight rattle from the right speaker I thought I could discern was caused by a shockingly large collection of Thomas the Tank Engine wooden coaches, not the onset of senility. Seems little Owen's favorite hiding spot was the rear firing bottom port. Cost of the speakers on Ubid a few years back? $300. My four-year-old's feigned, protesting innocence - who, me? - as his slightly older brother pulled out one lost treasure after another? Priceless.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
quoicanano   AudioPhile [Jun 11, 2009]

Disappointing

I bought a pair of MG-12 (white = beautiful) one year ago.

When l connected this new planar and I started my music, I noticed a problem of distortion with the bass which increased each week. The dealer said to me that it’s impossible, it’s only to take away them from the wall and break in long time.

After several months, several tests with the location and different cables speakers, I returned that MG-12 at the dealer to repair this problem of distortion.

After 6 months (too long) at the repair shop of dealer, he said to me break in again because that distortion is normal with new Magnepan.

After one year, same thing. I asked at my dealer for real reparation or a new planar. He doesn’t want repair my speakers because he thinks that I imagine this problem of bass distortion and anyway the company does not recognize that its product can have an imperfection.

Finally, he exchanged my MG-12 for used Proac speakers. With Proac, no bass distortion.

I had SMGa and no bass, MG-IIa and no tweeter, finally MG-12 with bass distortion, each was disappointing.

Conclusion: Magnepan has no quality control and the dealer offered me an inferior service.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
hammondb2bv   AudioPhile [Apr 07, 2008]
Strength:

Amazing soundstage for their size. Affordable. Size is perfect for those needing the mag sound without using up a ton of space. I promise it will please those who own larger mag's and need smaller ones for future moves/home changes.

Weakness:

Like any other maggie, the low end doesn't fit my personality. I always pair w/ a sub. Even these smaller MG12's need power, make sure you have it & plenty of it.

Most of the reivews of the MG12's tell you what you really need to know. So i'll make mine a little different. I'm a father of the Mag 3.5R's, which are now in storage due to their size. I'm now married, and recently moved, and my music room is now much smaller, way to small to accomodate the 3.5's. So this will be the focus of my review, comparing the 12's to the 3.5's as there may be others facing the same dilema.

I was nervous at first to be honest, i wasn't going back to a box speaker, and i certainly wanted a magnepan that was going to give me the picture and sound as close as possible to the 3.5R. The 1st idea was to consider the MMW's - wall mounted maggies. I was considering 4 of them. As good as they are, Jim W. at magnepan said it wouldn't even come close, and that i had been spoiled for too many years with the 3.5's. SO....next in line to look at were the 1.6's - still too large for the music room, so i didn't even bother auditioning them. My only options were the MMG & MG12. Obviously i listened to the MG12's and ordered a pair that day. Totally different ball game compared to the 3.5, but given my room dimensions and components, they are a sure buy for their price.

The high end is there, the soundstage is still there, the picture and detail of "being there" from the 3.5's are most definately part of the MG12's. Mine are still in burn-in process, we're at about 20 hours now, another 30-40 to go before i do another critical listen.

Here's where i differ from the rest of the crowd. I cannot listen to Mag's without a sub in the system, period. Even the 3.5's can't do it for me. Don't let this discourage you, the bass response from a magnepan is personal preference. For me, the 3.5's needed subs, and the MG12's are no different. I paired the MG12's up w 2 vandersteens and I didn't like it. My only other sub is a Paradigm Seismic 12, and for my room and MG12's, the single Seismic is a better match...i have more control w/ the paradigm. They mate very well together...sub isn't the fastest on the market, but it's fast enough. The vandersteens are certainly made for my 3.5's, which they will again be used down the road.

I'm very excited to hear these after they get some hours. They are wired w/ Straightwire Encore II's. (6 ft. pair) - a very reasonable cable that always performs. MG12's powered by McIntosh MC352 - another nice match. Mac & Mag always pair up nicely, no matter which models you choose.

The other reviews sum it up nicely....you can't go wrong w/ these MG12's. If you love the sound of panels, these certainly are by-far winners for the money. From using much larger Magnepans for many years, i was stunned...stunned at what the "entry-level" of the big boys can do. This will keep me happy until the 3.5's are back in use down the road.

Customer Service

Oh...for what it's worth...SHOULD you need service on Mag's - which is unlikely unless you abuse the things...Magnepan always sends out parts, like wrenches, extra screws, and resistors. Every time i've called, i've had the parts within a few days in the mail. That kind of service doesn't exist anymore. They are great to work with & generally when you call, you end up speaking with Jim, the owner. Thanks!

Similar Products Used: Magnepan 3.5R's. JBL Studio Series.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
artur   AudioPhile [Mar 02, 2008]

mg 12

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
postmdma   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 08, 2007]
Strength:

-- Superior bass resolution compared to other products
-- High resolution, airy high-end and mid-range
-- Cost-effective

Weakness:

Can't think of any

I waited for my bonus to arrive for some time, because its arrival marked when I could run out and upgrade my MMGs to MG-12s. They arrived last week and I've been carefully listening to them with various source material, mostly electronica, jazz, and classical. First off, the bass reproduction is spectacular compared to the MMGs. Bass is strong, resolves extremely well, instruments decay accurately, and according to the manual, bass performance is only supposed to improve as the units break in. It's interesting that when the bass rolls off on the MG-12s, the sub takes over bass duties seamlessly--it's like my MG-12s and Epos sub were designed to work as a unit.

High-end and mid-range are airy and open, with a wide soundstage and clear resolution of individual instruments in jazz and classical, and clearly delineated wispy layers of sound in electronic music punctuated with strong melodies and operatic vocalists. My daughter listened to Bob Magnusson's "Liquid Lines" and said, "It sounds live." Yes, it does. Instrument placement throughout the soundstage is accurate and although I've optimized the speaker placement for soundstage I still get a decent amount of depth.

I didn't expect such a vast improvement over the MMGs and I have to say I'm surprised and also happy that I didn't spring for the 1.6s--I think I got the best bang for the buck.

Customer Service

Definitive has usually come through for me when I bought in-person, but now that I've moved to California details have slipped a little. They forgot to check to see whether Magnepan actually received the order, which they hadn't, so after two weeks or so I started bugging them about why they hadn't arrived yet. It took a few days to get the attention of the salesperson, but he straightened out the situation and they arrived one day early. Dennis is my salesperson and he's the most knowledgeable guy there about two-channel audio.

Magnepan has always come through for me whenever I've needed them. I needed a spare hex key and some extra feet for my MMGs, and they had them to me within two days. However, sometimes they are hard to reach by phone, which is frustrating.

Similar Products Used: Martin Logan, Magneplanar MMGs.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 54  

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