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B&W 602 S3 VS Magnepan

 

New member
Username: Tzeleung

Post Number: 3
Registered: Oct-04
Is there anyone heard of both B&W 602 S3 and Magnepan MMG speakers? I'm going to buy NAD C352 or NAD C320BEE. Do you guys know which speakers is a better choice for these Amp?
My room is about 15 feet by 15 feet.

Thanks
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 658
Registered: Dec-03
Ho:

I have heard both and the difference is huge IMO. The Magnepans are much more expansive sounding--kind of like being in the concert hall rather than hearing a recording. The Maggies are faster (a badly under-appreciated benefit), cleaner, image much better, and sound much more open, like the B & W Nautilus speakers rather than a 600 series speaker. The 602s are a decent speaker, but the Maggies are superb speakers.

One thing, though. If you do get the MMGs, get the 352. The Maggies are very power hungry and even the well built and reasonably powerful "bee" will run out of gas as the Maggies soak up power like a sponge. You will need the 352, at the very least.
 

New member
Username: Tzeleung

Post Number: 4
Registered: Oct-04
Thanks a lot Hawk,
I guess now that leave me 2 questions
1) If I decide to buy Magnepans, what Amp would work better than NAD C352 around the same price range?
2) If I want to get a subwoofer to go with the MMG, what is the good one

Thanks a lot
 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 117
Registered: Dec-03
Ho Tze: In addition to the help here, I would recommend doing a search or asking the question on this site:

http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/MUG/bbs.html

This is the site for serious Magnepan users and they discuss these same issues all the time.
 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 118
Registered: Dec-03
Ho Tze: Check this article out. They used a Rotel RA971 stereo integrated amplifier. Many in the forum recommend the NAD integrated amplifiers which, BTW, don't have the same complaints on quality control that the receivers have. I am about to buy the NAD C372 which is a ton of power. I would think the NAD C352 would be power enough and given that it is only about $477 or so street price, it is a great deal. Here is a thread from Audio Asylum regarding varius amps:

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=mug&n=60130&highlight=MMG+amp&r=&sessi on=

You might also get away with using the C320BEE which I have read reviews on which make it seem that it sounds better than the C352 or C372.

Finally, here are reviews of the MMGs at audioreview. The reviews often listen their equipment so you can see what others are using with the MMGs. Good luck.

http://www.audioreview.com/PRD_120044_1594crx.aspx
 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 119
Registered: Dec-03
Ho Tze, sorry but I was reading some of the reviews at audioreview and it reminded me of my feelings. I know Hawk is a big proponent of the MMGs. I know that I have listened to ribbon speakers and prefer them over box speakers and it isn't close with me. I have Martin Logan ATF ribbon hybrids (I have the Montage and the Fresco and soon to have Mosaics) and love them. They are not in the same price range but are easier to drive than the Magnepans. I have not heard the MMGs. I have heard the Magnepans 3.6 and the 1.6. Here are my observations.

I thought the 3.6s sounded great. Keep in mind I heard them at an audio store. They are expensive speakers and you need to buy expensive equipment to buy them. At the same place, I heard the 1.6s in the same set up. I thought the 1.6 paled in comparison to the 3.6s. The highs seemed compressed and the imaging wasn't as good. These speakers also need acurate placement and if you move around or stand up, you lose the sweet spot. The bass also rolls off really fast. Since the MMGs are much lower on the ladder, I would suspect that they are much lighter than the 1.6s. The hybrids I have do not have the imaging or separation that the Magnepans have but they have the same quality without the compressed highs, without the rolled off bass, without the small sweet spot and without the need for expensive amps/careful placement. I also listened to the Clarity which is the lowest ML hybrid electrostatic and felt that, while it was more spacious than the Mosaic, it is not worth the bump in price. (I am getting a screaming deal on the Mosaics). Also, the ML Aeons are said to be alot better than the Clarity and they are not that big of a price jump.

All of this is just to say that alot depends on whether you will be satisfied with the MMGs. I might start with the MG12s if I had the money to go that way or even at the 1.6s in hopes I could get the proper equipment. Its just this continual need to upgrade. I ultimately decided that I really don't listen enough to justify the quest for an audiophile type system. I am still getting a pretty darn good system but I am will be almost done (other than upgrading some cheapo components like the dvd player etc) and not be in this loop to get a more expensive speaker.

Sorry this is so long and rambling but hopes it helps.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Highlands Ranch, CO USA

Post Number: 659
Registered: Dec-03
Ho:

1) There are a number of good integrated amps I would recommend for the MMGs, such as Arcam, or Musical Fidelity, but none of them are in the same price range as the NAD C352. The 352, like all NAD integrated amps are a steal, performance wise. Again, I would note that both the 320bee and the 372 are on the Stereophile Recommended Components lists (the 352 has not been reviewed, but it is of the very same quality as the other two). To match the performance of the 352 from another brand, it is my opinion you would have to spend about twice the cost of the 352. While I like Rotel products very much, it is not the best match with MMGs as the rotel sounds a little too cool for those speakers. The warmer sounding NAD is a much better combo with the MMGs.

2) As for a subwoofer, I would recommend a HSU Research sub. Absolutely the best subs for the money, IMO, especially in the sub-$500 category (yes, folks, I love SVS, too, but they don't sell their subs nearly as cheaply). You can order Hsu subs direct from HSU here:

http://www.hsuresearch.com/

Now, which Hsu sub you get is going to be a matter of taste, but given the price of the other equipment (the NAD amp and the MMGs), I would suggest the VTF-2, a 10" sub with plenty of power and the ability to get very low, without distorting. If that is a bit too much money, simply get the STF-2 for $100 less. You give up the varible tuning, which allows you to choose between loe extension and high volume--the STF simply does the low extension, which is the correct match for the MMGs

Finally, there is no question that the 3.6s are a huge improvement over the 1.6s and the other Maggies, but they also cost six times what the MMGs cost. They also require even more power to drive, upping your amp costs. The MMGs are essentially the same speaker as the MG 12s, but without the options for wood trim and covering cloth. So the performance level is quite high as the MG12s run over $1K. I would highly recommend that you get the MMGs, because the price is unbelieveably good, and get the NAD amp to go with them for the same reason. But I would wait on the sub. The sub can always be added, but you may not need it as most people are very surprised at the MMGs low end extension (they will go lower than the B+W 602s, for instance). I filled a room 20' x 14' x 18' with the MMGs driven by an old Kyocera receiver (which did not have the power the 352 has) and I never needed a sub. If you determine you want or need a sub, it is easily obtained later.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
 

New member
Username: Tzeleung

Post Number: 5
Registered: Oct-04
Thanks a lot you guys, it is very helpful, now all I need to do is to find the deal and test around the amp and speakers.

 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 120
Registered: Dec-03
Ho Tze: Hawk posted that the MG12 is essentially the same as the MMGs. I have no personal knowledge of that. However, the planar forum posters seem to think differently. I found a really good post that I will quote here:

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=mug&n=59703&highlight=mg12+mmg&session =

In response to the query of what to choose: 1.6, MG12 or MMg this post says:

"Really, it depends on a number of factors.
Room size:
If you have a large room the 1.6s might produce the best sound. If you have a smaller room the 1.6s might be more speaker than you need.

Amplification:
The 1.6s will require more power than the MMGs or MG12s. Power costs money. It's kind of a double wammy with maggies. Not only does the cost of the speaker go up, but so does the cost of amplification. If you like loud music IMOHO I would recommend at minimal 60 watts for MMG, 80 watts for MG12s, 130 watts for 1.6, 225 watts for 3.6 and 300 watts for 20.1. Magnepan advertises less, but I don't know what they are listening to. I have 125 watts per channel on my 12s and I can hit 3/4 volume without overdriving the speakers.

Music tastes
While all the maggies can be used for most types of music your listening tastes might make some models more practical than others. For instance if you don't listen loud and like music that is lighter than average i.e. female vocals, light jazz, chamber music ect... you might consider one of the smaller models (or bigger models with less amplification).

Budget
This one is pretty simple. If you want bang for buck the mmgs will give you plenty of satisfaction. They are much better than their $550 price tag would suggest. If you like the 1.6s but have a smaller room the MG12s are a great choice. They are essentially mini 1.6s, benefit from high WAF, and sound good when driven hard. At $1100 bucks they are well worth the money. If you have a larger room and plenty of $$$$ for good electronics the 1.6s are a classic choice, and not far more expensive than the 12s. On the flip side, if cost is no object the 3.6s and 20.1s offer true high-end performance.

So to sum it all up, I don't think that there is a quantitative way to describe the ratio of the speakers overall quality. It really depends on the application of the speakers."

And this one says:

http://db.audioasylum.com/cgi/m.mpl?forum=mug&n=59687&highlight=mg12+mmg&session =

"There's a bigger gap between the MMG and MG12 than between the MG12 and MG1.6, I would say."

My previous post was to point out that the only concern with buying these smaller speakers which give you a taste of the good life is that usually you want more so you end up upgrading and upgrading. Depending on your situation (room size, music love and $) it might be better to buy better from the start.

 

JimM
Unregistered guest
I love my MMG's. But I get the upgrade bug sometimes and have wondered about the 12's. After reading some posts on the subject I was surprised to learn that some actually prefered the MMGs over the 12's.

Some comments I've read were that the MMG's were more detailed. I'd advise doing a search in MUG.
 

Unregistered guest
I have owned both the MMG's and now the MG12 and I can tell you that the difference is substantial. The MG12 sounds much more like the 1.6 than the MMG. I enjoyed my MMG's but they lacked the feeling of a substantial speaker. I had a difficult time believing that the MG12 could be worth twice the price but I was wrong it really is better in every way. When I upgrade I will move straight to the 3.6. I have a friend who owns the local classical music store who has the 20.1 and another friend who owns the local Magnepan authorized boutique who owns the 3.6's and I am conviced that the 3.6 is the kind of buy to the 20.1 that the MG12 is to the 1.6. What you have heard about power is true. Not only do Maggies eat power but they are choosey about where the power comes from. I am using the NAD c162 pre with the Hafler 9505 power amp (250 watts into 8 ohms and 375 into 4 ohms), My source is the NAD C542 CD player and I use a Paradigm PW2100 subwoofer (a little slow but one of the best matches for the money 729.00). Don't let my power amp scare you as it is more than I need. The NAD that you have suggested is a good choice and let me suggest another amp. The new Marantz PM7200 integrated amp (95 watts at 8 ohms and 155 watts in 4 ohms, oh and catch this 25 watts in class A operation). This amp sounds unbelievable and at a price you just can't beat.
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