Magnepan MG-2-B

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General information[contribute]

The Magnepan MG-2-B is a ribbon speaker. It was manufactured from 1981 to unknown.

James Wong (September 2004): In the late 60's a young and talented engineer began daydreaming at his desk. As a conceptual developer for 3M, it is one of the few jobs that when the boss walks through the door he better catch you with you head in the clouds. That day the man, James Winey, was working on an application that involved laminating tape to flexible magnets. As he brainstormed the possibilities his mind drifted to another subject that has often intrigued him since his boyhood days, that is, his love of music and the science of reproducing it accurately in a home setting. At that time in his life he was memorized with the sonic attributes of his KLH 9 electrostatic speakers, he loved the speakers, although he knew they had weakness that could be improved upon. At that moment he stared at the air conditioner vent then at the ceiling tiles. As he listened to the air rushing through the grill, viewed the large thin tiles, and considered the flexible magnets attached to tape, a light bulb went off and a totally new and unique loudspeaker concept was born, the planar-magnetic drive principle.

After years of research and development James Winey turned his idea into a working prototype that would go on to revolutionize the Hi-Fidelity speaker market and further blur the line between live performance and electrically reproduced performance. The Magneplanar, as it became known, is not an electrostatic speaker nor is it a traditional cone type speaker, yet it contains design elements of both types and it successfully encompasses each ones sonic strengths without their known limitations. Like an electrostatic, the Magneplanar is a full-range panel speaker, propagating sound over a large area thus capturing true-to-life height, width, depth and separation of a performance. Since the Planar panel is made larger than any electrostatic could be made its soundstage is even more lifelike. A traditional electrostatic needs electric in-order to operate, this slightly colors sound and creates other complications. The Magneplanar, like traditional cone drivers, relies on magnetic force and requires only a signal from an amplifier, therefore projecting an uncolored, natural sonic image. The Magneplanar uses magnets and a voice coil to create sound by moving air. Unlike a conventional driver, the magnets are spread throughout the whole panel structure, and the voice coil is attached to a Mylar sheet, which does the moving of air, creating the sound. For the last 35 years James Winey has been producing the Magneplanar speaker system from his corporation in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Since day one the various versions of the Magneplanar have been the choice of elite audiophiles and music lovers worldwide.

The MG-IIB is an evolved version of the original. It was introduced in 1981 with a production run of 5 years. When combined with equipment of similar quality there are very few modern speaker systems that can perform at this level. They produce an amazingly large and precise soundstage with realistic imaging, an attribute that is truly distinctive to the Magneplanar. Its presentation of music puts you right in the middle of the performance; with your eyes closed you feel like you can reach out and grab the musicians. Music is clear and defined, revealing even the most delicate sonic nuances. The biggest critique of the Magneplanar has been of its inability to reproduce the lowest regions of the frequency range with authority, although considering its breathtaking sonic display this is very easy to overlook, especially in the day of subwoofers. If you are serious about music, you should seriously consider the Magneplanar MG-IIB, your only regret will be that you didn't consider in 20 years ago.


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