The Marvellous MG30.7's

Feb 3, 2012
648
19
18
Melbourne
#1
Greetings & G'day to all,
Well I must say this time round was quite different, with an added twist to the Big Mac!

So what can 50 grand ($AUD) worth provide you in ribbon panels? I will tell you, it can take you to the live event!

Having heard these things earlier in Feb, driven by the Relentless amps, partnered with a full line up of Dan'D designs, including the Nordost Odin's as a complete reference cable loom, was indeed in a class of its own. However, I must say the line up of Mac gear priced at a far more reasonable level, holds its ground very firmly, and delivers just what the 30.7's require, which is very high quality playback.

I'll summarise in a few points:
1. Due to the multiple placement arrays these have, I think it's best to follow the owners manual, (which finally arrived and was delivered to the owner) as a start and perhaps tweak with finer adjustments well into the break-in period, which is still on-going...

2. The amplifiers of choice must have not only high power output but also the capability to fully grip the bass panels in order to generate the required speed, depth and agility the 30.7's are capable of. So the question is which amplifiers would suit best? Well that depends on what kind of music and the levels you listen at...

3. The 30.7's are rated somewhere around 86-87db efficiency and around the 4ohm mark but could also dip lower on certain passages...
So one would think an amp delivering 250w/ch on an 8ohm load then doubling to around 500w on a 4ohm load and significantly doubling again towards lower impedences would be the ideal match? I wouldn't know but I sincerely hope so!

4. From personal experiences, having dealt with certain makes & designs being tube & SS, these ones provided the greatest level of control when it came to driving large panels, such as ribbons & full range stats:
CJ, ARC, VTL, Manley and Melos, to name a few selected all tube designs of what I have used/owned ... In terms of SS: Threshold, Momentums, Relentless, Pass Labs, Accuphase, Plinius, Bryston, Parasound, Mark Levinson, and Jeff Rowland, to name a few more, and of course McIntosh. The big MC452 didn't have any issues driving the Maggies to extended dynamics and superb control in the full frequency spectrum. So basically, this is one heck of a combination! If any of you are considering Mac amplifiers more seriously to drive your panels, no issues whatsoever.

5. There is no doubt that if these were driven by top of the line amplifiers, such as the Relentless or Momentums, the performance level increases to great lengths but I sincerely don't think it's very necessary. Which leads to my next point...

6. The Overall control factor:
Now this is where many so called high powered amps simply don't deliver. They may have the power in terms of watts but they lack in terms of generating the required current to handle the impedence curve, stable power supplies and fast reacting power supplies to generate the required speed these panels are capable of delivering. That overall "control factor" is going to make or break any system, and when I refer to control, I'm referring to that full hold/grip the amplifier must have on these panels in order to optimise their performance and make them feel happy, whiles generating wonderful musicality.

7. The music is engaging, it allows a more neutral balance, blends well and the ribbon tweeter is well tamed, it doesn't wander off into the woods...
The key to success with the 30.7's is getting that balance and blend factor right. Due to the bass being a large panel, consisting of two panels in separate frames, mid bass and lower bass, that added refinement and seamless integration will be realised by careful placement and proper break-in.

8. The mids and highs have everything you would expect at this level of highend performance. Superb transient speed, level of detail, decay, acceleration and control. The mid-range is more open now, and easily compared with the finest stats, both equally superb! The bass does capture the low notes and can go even lower, which will be fully realised upon full break-in. For now, the bass is just as good to be experienced in a full swing of added depth, great mid bass slam, fantastic agility and great sense of natural tonality.

9. The bass can sometimes seem either overpowering or muddy but then again more open bass lines follow with great speed and whiplash, which I figured was based on the recording. Hence, very similar to my CLX's, these are quite revealing, such that whatever is presented on the recording, these transducers will pick it up and deliver every minute detail. So this can be a good thing or a bad thing, therefore it would be advised to play high quality recordings, no kidding!

10. In summary:
These are not the typical 1.7, 3.7 or MG20 series... Magnepan have come a long way from those previous models to form a multi-panel speaker system, capable of delivering blistering transients, along with the added dynamics certain cone types can achieve, keeping this in superb balance (as long as the main amplifiers are upto par), providing a far more neutral presentation (allowing more of the music to flow) and most importantly of all, taking you one step closer to the live event.

This my fellow high-end enthusiasts is one of a kind design by Magnepan, and it certainly is not an ordinary Maggie, I suppose that's what 50 grand and above will provide.

It hasn't fully run-in as yet but with the amount of hours already run-in by G-man, which has clocked around the 100hr mark..., for those of you who are seriously considering the 30.7's, to experience what these can do is probably once in a lifetime. Simply because other systems capable of delivering this level of sonic mastering will cost a fortune! So for a fraction of that cost, once you hear these, you will straight away understand why I would agree that this is a "game changer", and this is what Magnepan has always delivered, absolute value for money.

Hats off to the G-man down unda, and very well done mate!
Given the hours already clocked in, with those finer quality cables, with a bit more break-in time and minor adjustments, get ready for a serious ride on the SOTA! You're gonna love it!

Cheers to all, RJ
 
Feb 3, 2012
648
19
18
Melbourne
#3
Oh! Sorry mate, looks like I confused the plot...

No, these are not mine. They belong to a chap whom I refer to as the G-man. He's the only person who first ordered the 30.7's and the only pair to arrive in Aus. No one else over here has even seen or heard the 30.7's, and since they're very new, such that they just came out of the oven, he had to wait nearly 5 months for delivery. The colour he ordered was the Walnut finish and these did not come with the added bass controls nor external cross-overs.
The main importer/dealer based in Sydney, flew down to Melbourne to set these up and fine tune the panels using electronic calibration for best room interaction and placement.
Prior to this, I helped my mate unpack these and set then up in order to allow for the room placement process to be easier...

I must say, I was for once very pleased to see that Magnepan have finally considered much higher quality parts throughout, including the T-shaped feet, which they've been using for decades, are now heavy duty type.

These things take a long time to break in properly and require a lot of care in initial setup, compared to other single panel types, which are much easier to dial in...
Overall, a very fine ribbon based panel, delivering very high quality performance comparable to the ultra high-end, no doubt! I will be visiting again and many times more, just to experience the difference in sound with a different flavor.

Having said that, my reference speakers are and will always be the CLX's, they have been my dream speakers and will never change from having full range stats. I'm very passionate about stats, tube amplification and TT's, that combination is of my highest overall satisfaction and a personal preference.

Just once in awhile, it's certainly great to experience something different, especially when at one point I used to own a number of Maggies... It's wonderful to see something redesigned that closely emulates the legendary Tympani's. The 30.7's have taken Magnepan awfully long to finalise on their design, whatever they did and however long they took, I can say one thing, boy did they do it right! This time!

Cheers to all, and enjoy your panels!
Big woof! RJ
 
Apr 12, 2019
17
10
3
48
#4
Oh! Sorry mate, looks like I confused the plot...

No, these are not mine. They belong to a chap whom I refer to as the G-man. He's the only person who first ordered the 30.7's and the only pair to arrive in Aus. No one else over here has even seen or heard the 30.7's, and since they're very new, such that they just came out of the oven, he had to wait nearly 5 months for delivery. The colour he ordered was the Walnut finish and these did not come with the added bass controls nor external cross-overs.
The main importer/dealer based in Sydney, flew down to Melbourne to set these up and fine tune the panels using electronic calibration for best room interaction and placement.
Prior to this, I helped my mate unpack these and set then up in order to allow for the room placement process to be easier...

I must say, I was for once very pleased to see that Magnepan have finally considered much higher quality parts throughout, including the T-shaped feet, which they've been using for decades, are now heavy duty type.

These things take a long time to break in properly and require a lot of care in initial setup, compared to other single panel types, which are much easier to dial in...
Overall, a very fine ribbon based panel, delivering very high quality performance comparable to the ultra high-end, no doubt! I will be visiting again and many times more, just to experience the difference in sound with a different flavor.

Having said that, my reference speakers are and will always be the CLX's, they have been my dream speakers and will never change from having full range stats. I'm very passionate about stats, tube amplification and TT's, that combination is of my highest overall satisfaction and a personal preference.

Just once in awhile, it's certainly great to experience something different, especially when at one point I used to own a number of Maggies... It's wonderful to see something redesigned that closely emulates the legendary Tympani's. The 30.7's have taken Magnepan UOTE]
 
Apr 12, 2019
17
10
3
48
#5
Wow only 5 months? I cancelled after >12 months of waiting. Australia? I'm was just a 14 hour drive from the them.

I have a pair of CLX - very fine indeed. Can you share some words of comparison?
 
Feb 3, 2012
648
19
18
Melbourne
#6
G'day Dok,

Yes I certainly can share some points in comparison with the CLX's.

First of all, it's too bad to hear about your Maggie saga... That's definitely not good at all. Plus I simply cannot understand why they would take that long to reply to your request or custom finishes... Something is a miss here, and it looks like a communication breakdown big time, which obviously leads to frustration ending with a cancelled order. I used to have my very own high-end dealership back in the day, so I can certainly see your point of view. I truly hope at one point they are better able to manage their custom orders, after all the 30.7's are made to order and not stocked items. Hence, these are pretty much custom made, so there must be a separate division looking after such customers and ensuring that these orders are handled promptly and efficiently, clearly this is not the case!

The comparison between the 30.7's and the CLX's are in two parts for me. Such that;
1. General comparison:
This is where I would compare general specs and the overall sound. The Maggies being around 86-87db efficiency, 4 ohm load and dips to around 2ohms or thereabouts... Freq resp 22Hz to 40kHz and above and requires assembly plus a few accessories to hook up.
Note: connecting cables between mids & tweeter panel to bass panels is not supplied. Bass level controls are not supplied, these have to be separately ordered, and no user manual either. This comes in the post separately, also dealer setup is recommended and not for the user initially. Therefore, when these are shipped out to the owner, they have to wait for the dealer to arrive and set up in room according to Wendell's electronic room response calibration devices/tools. The dealer will have these tools/items and will be able to assist in room setup. The explanation to this is because the 30.7's are a new design, Magnepan wants the owner to be fully satisfied with these, therefore the dealers are guided and trained as to how to do this and tailor make the best possible sound for the owners room... So I was told.

Comparing the CLX's, you are probably well aware of the specs, plus they are fully assembled, nothing to worry about and no drama... And no waiting for the dealer nor cables, and best of all, the owners manual is supplied!
Now that's a general comparison and I guess, the CLX's being what they are, would require at least 3 people to lift out of its shipping cartons and help set up. Once placed upright, a single person can do the rest. The CLX's are far heavier than the Maggies to begin with. Maggies can be set up by two people as well as carried and lifted by two, nothing more...

2. The second part comparison;
Personal preference:
This I term as "personal preference" simply because I have selected the specific type of amplification to drive my CLX's according to the type of music I have a passion for. Jazz, vocals, strings, piano ensembles with modern jazz, blues, and other acoustic versions with a live sense, natural recordings and mostly LP's. Although I do enjoy CDs & SACDs, my passion is the high quality playback from tube amplification driving the CLX's and having the TT as the main source.

My preferences in artists range from Diana Krall, Casandra Wilson, George Benson, Earl Klugh, Bob James, Three Blind mice jazz, Liz Wright, Holy Cole, Norah Jones, Anushka Shankar, Larry Carlton, Kenny Burrell, Oregon and Fourplay and so on...

So with that in mind, I have tailor made the system to reproduce that type of music at the highest level possible in terms of overall performance and musicality.
The amplifiers I use are all Conrad Johnson monoblocks and the CT5 preamp. The cables, interconnects and power cords are a full Nordost Heimdall 2 and Frey 2 combination of interconnects and speaker wire, including the Nordost Qbase 8 and QX4 devices. This has reached a perfect balance and level of synergy that nothing I have ever previously owned comes close to it. Some of the big gear I owned in the past, Apogee Divas, Infinity's, Maggies, Quads and the CLS IIz, driven with various amplification gear. Although certain systems were excellent in their own regard and performance parameters, none of those combinations could deliver what the CLX's and CJ gear can do for me.

Main comparison points based on the above:
1.The Maggies can deliver a large big soundstage, it can seem to be rather too big at times but this can be sorted out by careful placement.
2. They can play loud, and have very powerful dynamics, the bass does go quite low and does capture all the low notes, and has the ability to propel this bass wave like canon fire, provided the main amplifiers are up to the task!
3. The ribbon tweeter is far more coherent with the rest of the panel and doesn't wonder off into the woods on its own...
4. They've used slightly better quality parts and materials in the 30.7's compared to all previous Maggies and thus makes a huge difference.
5. These have multiple arrays of placement, this it's upto the user to optimise which array and which placement with the help of the dealers guidelines...

Comparing those 5 points with the CLX's:
I will mention only one point in summary:
The CLX's are totally transparent, crystal clear, and captures every single detail on the recording. They can disappear in an instant! The speed and sheer brilliance in the mids, highs and bass is remarkable! It's fully balanced with the right kind of amplification and when dialed in properly, I don't require a sub at all for my types of music. The quality of parts and materials used throughout are top notch, a far above the quality of the Maggies. They are easy to set up and get going however the impedence curve is a killer! So if the amplifiers cannot deliver the required current, the CLX's will not perform their best.

The overall naturalness and musicality of the CLX's are my preference but as I said, just to experience something else once in awhile is also nice.
Cheers, hope that helps in comparison.
RJ
 

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