Magnepan MMG Floor-Standing Speakers Reviewed

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Magnepan_MMG_reviewed.gifThe Magnepan MMG is the smallest and least expensive speaker in the Magnepan line, priced at $599 per pair and coupled with a very generous 60-day return policy. Magnepan also offers the option of trading in your "Maggies" for full credit on a higher-end model within one year of purchase, which speaks to the "first rock of crack is free" phenomenon among drug dealers, as well as the old-school audiophile upgrade path, depending on the analogy you like better. The MMGs have two choices of trim, black or natural oak, coupled with black, off-white or gray fabric.

Set-up is painless. Simply attach the legs (two per speaker) with a Phillips screwdriver and you're off to the races. Should you find the treble a bit too harsh, the angle of the speaker can be adjusted by simply flipping a small metal bracket on the back of each leg. This is not a traditional "box" speaker; it's a one-and-a-quarter-inch thick quasi-ribbon with a planar-magnetic driver. This type of design provides a broad sound field, which emanates from the entire surface area of the speaker (both front and rear). As a result, speaker placement is extremely important. Basically, you want a few feet of space between the back wall and the speaker. By experimenting with the placement, you'll find substantial differences in the sound.

Competition and Comparison
To compare the Magnepan MMGs against their competition, please read our reviews of the Klipsch Synergy F-1 floorstanding loudspeakers and the Aperion Audio 4T tower speaker.  There is also a great deal of information available in our All Things Floorstanding Speakers sectionDiscuss floorstanding speakers at  Find your nearest Magnepan dealer.

Read Page 2 for The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion

HTR Product Rating for Magnepan MMG Floor-Standing Speakers

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High Points
• If properly driven and positioned, you'll find a soundstage that is absolutely stunning, putting you right there in the concert hall.
• The treble is as open and airy as you're going to find in any speaker, especially in this price range.
• Magnepan MMGs speakers are not necessarily known for their deep bass response, although I found the bass to be more than adequate on just about any type of music, sans some of the heavy-hitting urban tracks in my collection.

Low Points
• The MMGs need to be driven at four ohms and, due to their design, require a decent amount of good, clean power. I'm using an NAD C325BEE two-channel integrated amplifier (160 watts at four ohms) and it's a great match. You don't have to break the bank, but you do need a proper amp. Most receivers can't cut it on Magnepans.
• For the best performance, you need to get the Magnepans away from walls, so make sure this is feasible in your room.
• For any level of home theater application, you will need a subwoofer, which other speakers at the MMGs' price point might not fully require. Personally, I think everyone needs a sub, even for a music system, but with MMGs, you really need one.

As I write this review, I'm listening to older Peter Gabriel on my Magnepans and they're putting a smile on my face. These speakers make listening to music fun and engaging, just as it should be. The economy is a mess, so why spend a fortune on speakers when you can pick up a pair of Magnepan MMGs for well under a grand? With this type of sound quality and price point, not to mention a 60-day trial period, it's sort of a no-brainer. I try not to be overly effusive in my reviews, lest I convince someone that I have an ulterior motive. In this case, I'm throwing that out the window in order to make it clear that these speakers have no audiophile rival at this price point.

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