Odd estate sale purchase

useful? Dunno…

But they look cool. Got speakers like these for some 6-pack money:

MAGNEPLANAR Speakers…gotta find a manual for them… :)

You didn’t mention the Model # so I don’t know if you will find it here, but probably a good place to start - http://www.magnepan.com/index

And here’s a review you may find interesting - http://www.soundstage.com/entry04.htm

Thansk Bill! It must be the original model - MG-I. They sound really good, too (compared to my rodeo shark speakers). Finally I’ll be able to get a good sense of the low end. :)

The picture above doesn’t really show what they are - they are about an inch and a half thick, big gigantic ribbon speakers. Loud suckers.

Why can’t I every find deals like that? I’ll give you $200 sight unseen.


Are they electrostatics Tom?

If they are, how’s the bass end? Many electrostatics tend to be a wee bitty bass light.

EDIT: Ok, I followed Bill’s link, not elctrostatics but as you said, ribbon type.

So, how do they sound? :)

What are you driving them with?

They sound, well…different than cones. Very nice, open, flat, loud without sounding loud, the sweet spot is fairly narrow, but one heck of an improvement over the Rodidio Snark things.

Gad, my mixes have been so awful for so long. Gotta learn that lesson - if ya can’t hear it, if probably sucks… :)

Mike, I checked ebay, a bit over 200 seems to be about what they go for, although this pair is in mint condition (and thank you, but I think I’ll keep these for a while…) :D

I believe those speakers are from somewhere out of the early '70’s… Seems to me, ya have to have a hugh amplifer to drive them properly. Did you happen to look around that estate sale to see if there was a power amp or power amps, there. They would have been transistor amps with hugh transformers on them Real big Boat anchors… They would have been 600-800 watt RMS amps… If you want to power them properly, think about a pair of Yamaha 1000 watt amps… If you under power those speakers, you run the risk of over-heating the voice-coils… Be careful… In today’s specs… that would be about right…

If they’re the ones I think they are, they are one beautiful set of speakers… Image Galore…

I believe they went for around 2200.00 1975 dollars… At the retail level…

How do you get deals like that… ANYWAY?? ??? :;):


Hi TomS,

I thought those were electrostatics similar to my Acoustats but they appear to be something totally different. If you saw this before I edited it, what I said does not really apply.

shrug Learn something every day.

Still seem like a great buy.


TrackGrrrl, even so, what was the comment you had posted? I’m sure there are folks here who would like to hear it. :)

Bill, I don’t know how I get deals like this - well, I have a theory - this is a great town for old stuff - I mean, I’ve found some great things in the last year or two - the wurli piano for 25 us dollars, a cool old Kay bass amp for beer money, a free hammond m3 - I seem to have good “vintage” karma. :)

Question: why would underpowering the speakers be a problem? I hooked it up to a harmon-kardon amp (the only one that I have that runs at 4 ohms) that I think is 100 watts per a 4 ohms, IIRC. That should do it? Seems plenty loud enough, can’t turn it up more than half way.

Speaker ratings have a lot to do with amp power. My JBL4311 Studio monitors are rated for no less than 100 watts. running them with less decreases bass responce. Bill is correct about over heating. Just check to see what the correct ratings are for best efficiency. :D

P.S. Even recorded strats will sound good if amp matches speaker ratings. :D

So there is hope for the lowly strat after all, yaz? :laugh:

Quote (TomS @ April 18 2005,06:43)
Question: why would underpowering the speakers be a problem? I hooked it up to a harmon-kardon amp (the only one that I have that runs at 4 ohms) that I think is 100 watts per a 4 ohms, IIRC. That should do it? Seems plenty loud enough, can't turn it up more than half way.

You are not going to damage those speakers Tom. 100 watts per is fine. Those do not have voice coils in the conventional sense. Pretty cool technology actually. I would worry more about an underpowered amp killing itself rather than the transducers.


PS Hey Yaz. Played my Strat at church yesterday through my tube amp. Sorry to break it to you bud... Strats RULE!! :)

Hi Again TomS and everyone,

Well since you asked, I had made a huge post before I realized those were not electrostatics. But the major points I was making WRT electrostatics (and some other speakers) were…

1. What TG kind of just said, if your amp can’t handle low impedence loads (read HIGH peak currents), sooner or later you will loose the output stages. RMS power ratings frequently do not give a good indication of an amps ability to pump big current into a load, especially during transients.

2. The reason that this is particularly important with electrostatics has to do with the electrical characteristics of the speaker along with the transformers that are frequently used to couple a conventional amp to an electrostatic speaker. Transformers are usually required because electrostatics opreate with a bias voltage of 5000 volts or higher.

The impedence curve of a typical electrostatic takes a steep drop down to about 2 Ohms at low frequencies. This is one of the reasons some people think they have poor bass response. Sometimes what they need is a heftier amp.

4. Electrostatics take time to charge up (especially large ones). Sometimes 1-3 days are required after the bias supply is hooked up before they will produce their optimum sound. They will produce low output and relatively poor sound until they are charged.

5. Even if your amp does not blow up, there is a huge audible difference when you use an inadequate amp on electrostatics. I use an old Hafler power amp. Nice but not the highest end. Anything less and the sound takes a big hit.

6. There have been some special amps made for some electrostatics that allow the output stage to be coupled to the speaker without the transformers. Some of these were produced by the manufacturers, others in the aftermarket (some may have been kits). I believe there was one for the Acoustats that actually biased the tube output statge up to the bias voltage of the panels.

7. Electrostatics and similar single panel speakers require a lot of work to get the placement right. Being dipolar, they just plain act differently than anything most of us are used to. It is worth the work to get them set up right.

8. There are a few electrostatics that do have too small a panel to produce good bass. The rest, if set up properly, are capable of extremely natural bass response.

9. Because of the high voltage supplies there are some safety issues to be aware of, especially if the outside coverings are damaged and/or you have young children or pets. Many cats like to use large panel speakers as scratching posts 8(, though some seem to sense either the charge or the (pretty much inaudible to humans) hum from the AC power transformers that are usually in the base of the speakers. In many cases that does seem to keep kitty away.

Thats most of what I can think of for now.


What she said. :D Think of these speakers as a ribbon mic in reverse and you just about have it. KEEP YOUR TAPE COLLECTION AWAY THOUGH!! Looking at the website and the contruction details concerning Magnaplanar speakers reveals some nice permanent magnet bars in there. Might wreck your vintage KISS 8 tracks! :D


Yeah, TG, I’d hate to have that happen!

Very interesting, TrackGrrrl, thanks for the time you spent on that. About set up - the sound changes radically with different placements, and in general it seems to be the case that I need to be pretty far from them for the best image. So these are bi polar, hm?

edit: oops, I mean “dipolar.” :)

Looking at the diagrams on the website, I would say that the Magneplanar type speakers are probably semi-dipolar, most likely generating an asymmetrical figure 8 pattern where the radiation to the rear may be attenuated compared to the front.

My Acoustats, like the majority of the electrostatics that I am familiar with, are pretty much true dipoles, generating a symmetrical figure 8 pattern.

Another difference seems to be the multiple drivers in each Magneplanar panel. Most electrostatics are a single driver, though a few smaller ones have an added subwoofer mounted in the base of each unit.


TrackGrrrl, you obviously know a lot about this stuff - is there a reason why you use electrostaic speakers? Do you prefer them?

Strat update! This just in, recent studies show most strat players have been misled for years. When purchasing a new strat the sales person is secretly installing cotton in the buyers ears! Thus strat players are not hearing the truth! ROFLMAO :p

"You can’t handle the truth"

He he he he

On a more serious note, the Strat is not a lowly guitar. Have owned 3 strats in my life and very useful in a lot of songs. getting the best sound from stereo speakers is by far a more challenging concept than most believe. Go to a store where you can A/B/C different speakers thru diff amps. High end audio stores, NOT Best Buy or Circuit City.

P.S. Fess up TG, how many 8-track tapes do you still own?