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Magnepan Full-range ribbon and planar speakers

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  #1  
Old 09-12-2017, 10:26 PM
jdcarlson jdcarlson is offline
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Default Maggies vs KLH Model Nine

I have long admired the KLH Model Nine. I have a lead on some for a decent price. David Janszen (son of original designer of Model Nine) is running a repair/refurbish/upgrade service (http://www.janszenaudio.com/klh-nine...shment-upgrade) in addition to making his own line of Janszen speakers.
Has anyone compared any of his updated Model Nines to the 3.7i, or 20.7?
50 years ago I remember hearing a pair of Model Nines playing a tape (recorded live at a supper club) on a Crown Deck through the Model Nines. I still remember hearing the sound of customers silverware on their plates from the tape through the Model Nines. As a "wannabe" musician (although I never quit my day job) I had played some gigs at a supper club, and I remember that sound (in the middle of our performance) from those gigs.
I have never heard that level of detail from any other speaker, nor even from Sennhiesers balanced cabled to McIntosh MC2205.
Has anyone heard that kind of detail from the 3.7i or the 20.7?
Any thoughts would be welcome.
Thanks,
Jim
__________________
Office: McIntosh,MS750, MX118, MEN220, MC2255(4), MC2205, MC2505, Legacy Signature IIIs, Sennheiser HD600s (balanced cabled to MC2205) , Sennheiser HD580s (balanced cabled), Sanegan HD FM Turner, Magnum Dynalab FM Booster, Teac X-10R, Liebert 3,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply
Home: McIntosh,MS300, MX130, MAC3, MC2500(2), MC7270(2), MEN220, Pioneer 1020L, Yamaha K800, Pioneer CS77s, Sennheiser HD580s (balanced cabled), LaCie Media Server, Samsung Plasma, Rotel surround speakers, Liebert 2,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply, Liebert 1,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply
Garage:Sansui 1000X, Paramount Speakers
On Standby: McIntosh,MHT200. Yahama P550 turntable, Shure V-15 Type 5 MR, Luxman R406, Carver CT-7, Sony TC355, Rotel Speakers
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  #2  
Old 09-12-2017, 11:33 PM
timm timm is online now
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Default

Here is something if you hadn't seen it. https://www.stereophile.com/floorlou...klh/index.html

Have owned stats - and own 20.7s and have listened to the 3.7s on multiple occasions. Here is my opinion.

Maggie's give you detail. You will hear all of the silverware. here is where they shine - in particular the 20s - texture / timbre/ natural sounding bass into the mid 20s. So you get the detail - but you also get more body and more warmth to the sound without getting muddy. The bass doesn't come at you like a cone. Think of it as a bass drum just reverberating throughout the room like a real drum would. Not a piston firing bass at your chest. The bass is 'bloomy' not 'punchy'..

I will say - their sound changes more than any speaker I have listened to based on room placement.

Having never heard the KLH - I can't comment on them. All I can do is give you a relative feel for the Maggie sound.
I love my 20.7s (can you tell?).

Last edited by timm; 09-12-2017 at 11:36 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-13-2017, 02:15 PM
jdcarlson jdcarlson is offline
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Default

Here is something if you hadn't seen it. https://www.stereophile.com/floorlou...klh/index.html
Thanks for the reference. I have already read the article, as well as the 1968 article that is referenced.
The thing that impresses me is that in 1968 he said the Model Nine was the best speaker he had heard up to that point. Seven years later (in 1975) he again said the Model Nine was the best speaker he had heard up to that point.
I know there were a lot of speaker advances between '68 and '75, but according to him, none of theses "advances" moved any other speaker to the top spot, pushing the Model Nine aside.
Now, in 2017, we are 42 years past the 1975 statement. I do not know the history of Maggies (first heard of them about 1988). But, according to the forum posts and reviews, there have been a lot of improvement in Maggies in the past 25 years.
So, I am trying to make up my mind whether to go with the "classic" standard of excellence, or if Magnepan has passed up that standard.
Living in the "backwoods" of Florida (we are so far in the backwoods that we are an hour behind the rest of the state), the closest high-end shops are 180 miles away in New Orleans, La. (three states away). So, my ability to go listen for myself is much more limited than if I were in a more metropolitan area. So, I am hoping someone has experienced both and can give a comparison.
Thanks,
Jim
__________________
Office: McIntosh,MS750, MX118, MEN220, MC2255(4), MC2205, MC2505, Legacy Signature IIIs, Sennheiser HD600s (balanced cabled to MC2205) , Sennheiser HD580s (balanced cabled), Sanegan HD FM Turner, Magnum Dynalab FM Booster, Teac X-10R, Liebert 3,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply
Home: McIntosh,MS300, MX130, MAC3, MC2500(2), MC7270(2), MEN220, Pioneer 1020L, Yamaha K800, Pioneer CS77s, Sennheiser HD580s (balanced cabled), LaCie Media Server, Samsung Plasma, Rotel surround speakers, Liebert 2,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply, Liebert 1,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply
Garage:Sansui 1000X, Paramount Speakers
On Standby: McIntosh,MHT200. Yahama P550 turntable, Shure V-15 Type 5 MR, Luxman R406, Carver CT-7, Sony TC355, Rotel Speakers
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  #4  
Old 09-13-2017, 10:49 PM
timm timm is online now
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Default

It was interesting. The more I read that article - the more the description sounded very similar to a magnepan.

How big is a room you wanted to put them in. One other thing to consider... humidity.

So what does he do a complete rebuild? Would you need to get your hands on an old pair? How much for the refurb? Both of these speakers need room.
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  #5  
Old 09-14-2017, 06:55 PM
jdcarlson jdcarlson is offline
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Default Maggies vs KHL Model Nine

Quote:
Originally Posted by timm View Post
It was interesting. The more I read that article - the more the description sounded very similar to a magnepan.

How big is a room you wanted to put them in. One other thing to consider... humidity.

So what does he do a complete rebuild? Would you need to get your hands on an old pair? How much for the refurb? Both of these speakers need room.
There was one point I left out of my comments on Stereophile and their comments on the KLH Model Nine. At https://www.stereophile.com/floorlou...klh/index.html this article is repeated with a March 5, 2006, date. This listing references a June 6, 1975, date, and that 1975 article references (and expands on) the 1968 article. It is highly unusual for a speaker to receive mention thirty eight years after its initial evaluation, especially in the grandiose terms that were used.

As to what David Janszen does to the Model Nine, his website shows three levels of service. Rather than attempt to re-describe them, take a look at http://www.janszenaudio.com/klh-nine...shment-upgrade which is his website.

As to the size of the room, it is my office which is 11x21 feet, with a ten foot section that is 12 feet wide. I believe the total is 243 sq feet. The office is fully carpeted. One wall is covered with mahogany bookcases and credenza. I have five client chairs (two cloth wingbacks and three leather captain chairs), my Aeron chair, a conference desk (42"x84"), and a set of Legacy Signature IIIs. Acoustically, all of the furniture and the carpeting (along with all the bookcases) makes it more "dead" than "live" sounding.

My speaker placement is limited because of needing to keep a "working" atmosphere in the office and to allow for reasonable "traffic" flow. Right now the Legacy Signature IIIs are about nine feet out from the back wall (against the side wall on one side, and against the bookcase on the other wall), toed in to be pointing at my chair behind my desk. The speakers are about 12 feet from the wall behind me.

However, the Legacys (at about 12 inches wide) are considerably narrower than either the KLH Model Nines or Maggies. So, if I go to planer speakers, they will probably have to go fairly close to the 11 foot wall, across the room from my desk. Having wide planer speakers in the present speaker position would not allow the room to function as an office. Hopefully, I can get the planer speakers far enough out from the back wall to allow the bass sections to "breathe" properly.

I have a McIntosh MEN220 (with "Room Perfect" equalization established by a series of test tones while putting the calibrated microphone in various places) driving the Legacy Signature IIIs in bi-amp mode through four Mc2255s (two each channel - one for high and one for low). The MEN220, (with an active crossover allowing bi-amping) made a significant difference with the Signature IIIs. I hope it will help to give me a little more flexibility in speaker placement if I go to panel speakers.

As to getting used Model Nines, right now there is one listing on Ebay that shows two Model Nines, but reading some of the Q&A on that listing reveals that he has a third set. He is willing to sell all three to me, but we are having problems lining up shipping for these monsters. There is another listing on Ebay for a single pair of Model Nines. In my telephone conversation with Mr. Janszen, he mentioned that they had ten pair in the shop they were currently working on. He has one pair for sale (but, obviously, he wants more money for his re-worked pair than the people on Ebay).

Having purchased nineteen McIntosh units (as well as a Teac Reel to Reel deck, several equalizers, two Advent Dolby units, and miscellaneous other gear) on the internet, I have learned about the "risks" of purchasing used audio gear. In addition to the 19 that I have, there were four more McIntosh units where I refused to accept delivery because of damage in shipment. However, if one limits oneself to "top drawer" gear, it is worth the risk. Well made gear can always be put back in working order. One MC2255 worked for 15 minutes and then quit. But, I was able to get it running properly again with the able assistance from Audio Classics.

As to humidity, yes that is a problem on the Gulf Coast. But, we keep the Air Conditioning on 24/7 for the sake of the computer network, and to keep the humidity level in blank paper low enough that the printers do not jam. In addition to cooling, the office system also monitors humidity levels.

But, to get back to my original posting, has anyone had experience with both the KLHs and Maggies that can give a comparative perspective.

Thanks,

Jim
__________________
Office: McIntosh,MS750, MX118, MEN220, MC2255(4), MC2205, MC2505, Legacy Signature IIIs, Sennheiser HD600s (balanced cabled to MC2205) , Sennheiser HD580s (balanced cabled), Sanegan HD FM Turner, Magnum Dynalab FM Booster, Teac X-10R, Liebert 3,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply
Home: McIntosh,MS300, MX130, MAC3, MC2500(2), MC7270(2), MEN220, Pioneer 1020L, Yamaha K800, Pioneer CS77s, Sennheiser HD580s (balanced cabled), LaCie Media Server, Samsung Plasma, Rotel surround speakers, Liebert 2,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply, Liebert 1,000VA Double Conversion Power Supply
Garage:Sansui 1000X, Paramount Speakers
On Standby: McIntosh,MHT200. Yahama P550 turntable, Shure V-15 Type 5 MR, Luxman R406, Carver CT-7, Sony TC355, Rotel Speakers
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  #6  
Old 09-14-2017, 07:21 PM
nicoff nicoff is online now
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Default Maggies vs KLH Model Nine

I have been a Maggie owner for many years. Did I see that the cost of some of the upgraded units can get above $10k when you include shipping?
For that money, you can buy a used 20.7 that will be easier to sell if you ever decide to upgrade.
Ps. And with Maggie you have a long established company behind.

Last edited by nicoff; 09-14-2017 at 07:23 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-15-2017, 05:06 PM
Cyclotronguy Cyclotronguy is offline
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Default the fabulous 9's

I grew up with KLH 9's and have been looking for that level of magic ever since.
Still looking!

Cyclotronguy
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