Magnepan hosted a “Blind Review” event on October 16, 2010, in Seattle, Washington. The Magnepan event was held at Definitive Audio, which is located just north of the University of Washington. There were reportedly about 100 audiophiles and Magneplanar enthusiasts in attendance during the evening. In one of the listening sessions that my wife Susan and I attended, along with several dozen other people, we heard a new product that is just now being released by Magnepan. We all sat in front of a stage that was covered by a curtain, and we were told that it was a new product but not told what it was. Various selections of music were then played over a half hour time span, and then we filled out a questionaire about our opinions, and were allowed to look behind the curtain.
As it turned out, we were listening to their new MMC-2, which is a planar speaker about 19″ wide by 51″ high. It can be used in a two-channel setup, but also in a surround sound system, as Magnepan also has a CC5 center channel version in this new line.
The speaker is motorized, so that when you click the included remote control, the speaker folds out from its flat resting position against the wall, to a 450 position for listening.
Shown below is a panorama photo of the blind listening setup. It’s a 1800 view, made from combining six separate photos. Wendell Diller, from Magnepan, is seen on the far left, operating a remote controlled music server. This method of presentation worked very well.
I went behind the curtain after the listening test, and was surprised to see how relatively small the speakers were. The sound was spectacular, with crisp, clean highs, uncongested midrange, and deep bass. About 95% of the audience agreed with me, according to the questionaires that they filled out. Susan told me that we should consider putting these in our living room, and that is the first time she has ever requested that I purchase a specific audio product.
Here is a photo that I took of the setup behind the curtain. It is a stereo pair, set up on a temporary stand without the motor assembly, and to see it in 3-D, you need to put your face about 12″ from your computer monitor and cross your eyes until the two images merge into one. You will see the panel angled out from the mounting board.
The MMC-2 is priced at $1,995/pair. Besides the optional center channel version, there was a subwoofer, and also a small Maggie Woofer that blends the deep bass with the lower midrange from the panels.
The bottom line is that the MMC-2 system is a revelation in sound. Wendell played one classical piece from a pipe organ disc, and it truly sounded like I was sitting in the cathedral.