Magnepan SMG Floorstanding Speakers

Magnepan SMG Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

PLANAR LOUDSPEAKER

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 22  
[Oct 31, 2013]
Jim
Casual Listener

I got these speakers used thinking that they maybe giant paper weights and not 100 percent sure if they'd sound decent. I must say that they are older than me and sound amazing! I didn't have a amplifier but I have a 6 ohm reciever, combined with my iPhone and good music.... They sound awesome!!! The sounds are crisp, attention grabbing, mesmerizing, just beautiful. The bass is good but I still want to get a amp for these. The speakers take up no room! So in conclusion mixing these vintage speakers with some new tech gives you a go back to the future feel. I don't plan on selling them anytime soon.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 20, 2012]
paul jacobs
AudioPhile

I found my SMG1's in the trash! Someone had laid them out to the curb with other stuff they were throwing away. My buddy who was driving slowed down when I alerted him, but quickly sped back up and said, ' Aw' you don't want those old office partitions.' I said, 'No! Those are magnapans!' Luckiest find yet. I took them home that night 7 years ago and to my amazement they worked perfect. I had no reference to go by except my equally awesome pair of ADS L-500 I'd bought at a local thrift for $5 each. The first thing I discovered was that in my smallish room of 8'x 10' the SMG's sounded as if it was like having the medium bookshelf size L-500's in a much larger room, placed back several more feet, and turned up to a nice full volume,but the intimacy of the SMG's took my breath away. As a musician with a somewhat acute sense of hearing my ear always seeks out the subtleties. The SMG's delivered every nuance from the first listen.
That night I was so pleased I cranked them up and after about an hour of listening I decided to go out in the hall to see how much it disturbed others in the house. As I exited the door and shut it behind me I was shocked at how quiet it was outside of the room with the door shut. That's when it dawned on me that by design these speakers don't operate the same way as conventional speakers in that the larger area of the sound footprint on the SMG's is already in tact as it leaves the surface so in effect it doesn't have to have the same pressure level as a cone speaker with the same sound footprint when it arrives at the listener. This seems to go against the common agreement among users that Magnaplanars take more wattage to get as loud as conventional speakers. Actually this makes sense because by definition the word 'loud' is used to describe the physical intensity of a sound. Since the surface area of the speaker is larger it requires a larger amount of energy to deliver it, or accelerate it, to the ear. This is where it gets very interesting to the audiophile because although there are set scientific ways to describe sound, how it is perceived and ultimately appreciated is entirely in the ears of the beholder. I imagine there are tests that can be made to determine which types of music are more conducive to the pressure levels set forth by said speaker, but again it's subjective.
I play organ. There are as many types of organ music as there are speaker types, maybe even more. So when I listen to the organ on the Magnaplanars I am very pleased because whether it's a big church pipe organ, a theater pipe organ, a Hammond tone wheel organ ( like a B3 & Leslie speaker combination), a Wurlitzer electrostatic reed organ, or even the latest digitally sampled virtual pipe organ played directly through the SMG1's...they all sound great! I've also played my Wurlitzer 4410 electrostatic reed organ directly through the SMG1's and the organ sounds very sweet with every little key click and overtone. Now if I can just figure out how to build a Leslie out of one! LOL

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Feb 06, 2006]
squeegy200
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Incredibly lifelike soundstage and presence. Detailed and revealing but will expose poorly recorded material making them unpleasant.

Weakness:

Placement is critical. Design is not child or pet friendly.

Not much is said about these very capable speakers. However, they do perform extremely well. I acquired these from an online auction and then placed them in my listening room. I expected any speaker from this era to require some level of refurbishing but was pleasantly surprised to find a factory rebuilt pair for sale at a price worth the risk. My most recent experience with the SMGs was consistent with my favorable memories of them when I first auditioned these in an audio store more than 20 years prior. I was not disappointed this time either. After an initial "getting acquainted period" with my existing system, they began to settle in and became smooth and spacious. These speakers truly define "out of the box" type of sound. They react quickly to transients and create a lifelike presence of musicians in the room. The realism of the sound as it decays in the studio and the position of each instrument in relation to the studio microphone is clearly evident. My wife --who has always been a critic of my previous speaker choices-- immediately expressed her approval when she first gave them a listen. Being a professional opera singer, she is accustomed to orchestra and choral music. Who better to judge speakers for their faithfulness to the original performance? She enjoys them just as much as I. However, I've found that my listening room is occupied more often than not. I sometimes have to reserve the space for my own listening enjoyment! There's been plenty of equipment in that room but never before have others enjoyed the musical experience as they do now. That's never happened before the installation of the SMGs. At the price they are commanding on the used market, these are truly a hifi bargain.

Similar Products Used:

Dahlquist, GNP , Thiel, Tannoy, Infinity, Advent

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Nov 10, 2004]
snacpak89
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

wonderful mids. crisp highs, sturdy construction. decent bass if connected right, but as with any speaker system a sub helps.

Weakness:

none. believe me you wont find any.

I have owned a pair of maggie SMG's since 1983. I purchased them new at a gallery for roughly $500. I also bought a carver amp/reciever, onkyo cd player, nakamichi tape deck, and a Rega planar turntable. With this combination of products the maggies sounded outstanding. Now the big misconception with these speakers is not enough bass. Well there are many factors that affect this. one of them being the amplifier power. If you ever by a pair of maggies do not get a weak amplifier. now im not saying get a very powerful one either. i have friends that own maggies and they have them connected to 70wattx2 amplifiers. They sound good. but when i go home and put on my carver reciever with 150wattsx2 power the sound quality is much better. Another factor is the impedance rating of the reciever your using. A lot of people i hear are using 6-8 ohm recievers with maggies. thats not a great idea. the impedance rating on most maggies is 4 ohms. that should be the reciver rating as well. Problem with that is 4 ohm recievers are not cheap. My carver cost about $900. I highly recommend you do not use a cheap reciever with maggies. Sometimes old equipment is just as good as new or better. Also carver recievers are made with a magnetic field generated amplifier which tends to work together with the maggies. Also back o the topic of too little bass. The low end rating on my maggies is 50hz. Thats not bad considering my subwoofer is 40hz. so it is possible to get good bass from your maggies. Bose doesnt hold a candle to them.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 03, 2002]
Drew
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Oversized sound stage, and a very large sweet spot. Best with vocals and accoustic music. However they do well with many types of music.

Weakness:

Very weak bass. A sub is a must. Planars that produce low bass cost multi-thousands.

I purchased these speakers from a local antiques and vintage shop. The guy told me that the tweeters didn''t seem to work so I purchased them as is for $100. I took them home and replaced the fuses and the tweeters came to life. These speakers produce and amazing sound stage. I hear the most subtle of sounds in my music. I listen to everything from metal to classical. These speakers have no trouble with anything that I throw at them. My room is severly over crowded. The speakers are placed as a as space allowed configuration rather than where they work best. They still sound wonderful. THe soundstage is amazing when you are in the sweet spot, however I find that they fill the whole house with wonderful sound. Moving from the sweet spot can be a let down however, as it is very sweet. I am not giving five stars overall as that should be reserved for the very very best. These are as close as I think one could get for under a grand. Five stars on value. Magnepan informed me that these are close to the new MMG''s $550 delivered is a steal!

Similar Products Used:

No other Planar speakers. Just the usual wooden boxes.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 03, 2000]
Jeff Hamilton
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Imaging, accuracy, speed

Weakness:

Lack of low bass

I have owned a pair of SMGa's for over 10 years, mine are
1989 models. They have stood up very well over time,
one repair to the left panel was necessary when it
became delaminated. (This apparently was a malady of older
Magnepans with the glue that holds the mylar together
failing.) However, this was no big deal and was performed
by my local dealer for about $100CDN.

My setup uses an Adcom GFA 555, GFP 555 and Nakamichi CDP2A player all of approximately the same vintage. The Magneplanars are an easy load to drive (4ohms) but need a high degree of power to generate reasonably loud listening levels. I would recommend at least 100W. I also run a
Mirage bi-polar 8" 250W subwoofer - it is fast enough to
keep up with the Maggie's and is electronically crossed over
at about 50Hz, right where the panels start to roll off.

Many times I have considered going to a larger set of Magneplanars (for a bit more "presence" and because the big ones look so damn good) but the sound quality of my setup is really so good, I can't justify it.

Anybody who can get a set used, it will be the best money you spent on a pair of speakers, providing you use a good amp and set them up right in your room.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jan 25, 2000]
James Towers
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

Great imaging

Weakness:

Slightly lacking low frequencies

I own a pair of SMGA's and I find these speakers to lack slitghty in the bottem end. On a postive note I must say these speakers sound very warm, and are unsurpassed when it comes to instrumental, jazz, or classical music listening. I found they perform best with tube power, but with the right solid state amp you wouldn't be at all dissapointed. I recomend 40 to 250 watts per channel for SMGA's. These are not a power hungry speaker nor are they super efficient. Please note If you purchase a set of these speakers second hand,listen closely to them. I recently had the misfortune of losing the tweeter in one of mine and let me tell you there's not alot of authorized repair shops that are willing to do the repairs. Magnepan's web site will provide you with a list of dealers closest to you.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Sep 22, 2000]
Mark Kneeskern
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

overall sound quality

Weakness:

not for rap music unless you have sub...

I have had these ever since my sister (who bought them in the early eighties) gave them to me...they have brought me many hours of pure music enjoyment and part of that enjoyment was when friends would come over for the first time and become baffled because they didnt know where the great sound was coming from...now i need cash and don't foresee having a good home for these any time in the near future as i am a traveler now, i must sell them...if you are looking for a pair, go to this site-they are on E-bay auction until October 1...thanks...

cgi.ebay.com/awcgi/eBayISAPI.dllViewItem&item=446119585

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Sep 24, 2001]
Glen
Audio Enthusiast

Strength:

The SMGa's really do justice to certain instrument sounds & vocals. In comparison with the small Mission bookshelf speakers that I was using previous to this the 'sound picture' or 'footprint' is certainly larger and wider.
I had no problem setting up these speakers as others have mentioned - imaging is good and the sweet spot is relatively wide - speakers are about seven feet apart, two feet from the wall, and toed in slightly

Weakness:

Some harshness with certain frequencies, bottom end sounds a little constipated (my Mission speakers which don't go much lower than the SMG's had a rounder bottom sound, this using the same gear I am using now).
What else...Some rock CD's sound good others sound crappy. Recent Brit rock CD's seems to sound the best. Gotta love those British. Select classical, jazz, and twisted pop albums sound very good

Interesting speakers...I will enjoy experimenting with them in combination with other pieces of equipment. At this time I have a budget set-up:

Harmon Kardon PA-2200 power amp (100x2)
Dynaco Pas 3x pre-amp
Yamaha CD player

This can sound pretty good at times...it certainly has enough volume for my needs

Similar Products Used:

Nothing similar.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Oct 31, 2001]
carl
Casual Listener

Strength:

Quality sound for the price

I bought my maggies in 1987. I bought them retail at a store on Long Island (I don't remember the name) and have hauled them during my many military moves through the years. I personally dismantle and pack my maggies in their original box. This is at least one box you can't throw away. I'm sure it is because I kept the orginal packing materials that my maggies have survived.

The only thing that has ever been replaced is one of the fuses. (I loaned them to a friend who pushed way too much power at them) Personally, I power them with a HK385i reciever which was the cheapest reciever I could find that met the current requirements of the SMG's. The maggies don't take a lot of wattage, only amperage. My HK only has 40 watts per channel but that has proven to be more than enough to push the speakers.

Although over 14 years old, the SMG's have continued to sound great. My musical taste leans toward jazz and instrumental which many of the other reviewers have commented on.

I bought my maggies following a "stereo" seminar at the US Air Force Academy. One of the instructors was an audiophile and wanted to make sure we didn't go buy lousy equipment. His goal was for us to be able to put together a quality sound system for under $1000. While the SMG's ate up half of the goal, they have clearly provided that much enjoyment.

Needless to say, I love my maggies and couldn't imagine have a "box" speaker in the house. If nothing else, the SMG's are great conversation starters.

Thanks Magnapan.

Similar Products Used:

None

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 22  

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