Their virtues are many including producing a large and deep soundstage, having a superb transient response, and they allow for excellent detail retrieval. Maggie devotees claim that the results sound more like live music and less like a speaker playing music. Their downside is that, to produce any real bass they need to be a rather large pair of panels or the smaller panels need to be crossed to a subwoofer. This is especially true of Magnepan’s smallest model, the LRS. Enter the VPE Electrodynamics Little Dipole Woofer Model 1 and Magna Riser Airborne stands.
Don Bingaman, the owner of VPE Electrodynamics, approached us with an interesting proposition. He had noted our writer Glenn Young’s fine review of the Magnepan LRS and said that he and his team had developed a purpose-made subwoofer for the LRS, and when used in conjunction with Magna Riser Airborne stands (developed separately by Robert Raus) significantly improved the overall performance of the LRS. If he sent us a pair of Maggie LRS speakers, a set of Magna Riser stands, and a pair of his VPE Electrodynamics Little Dipole Woofers, would we be interested to verify his claims? I was excited because, while I had heard various panel speakers at audio shows, I’ve never had a set in my own listening space before, so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. This little experiment involves the use of two different products to essentially turn a ribbon speaker into a hybrid ribbon/dynamic driver speaker.
In my initial discussions with Don, we agreed that I would assess the Maggie LRS on their own first, then add the Magna Riser Airborne stands, and after a little time finally integrate the woofers into the system. Look for a full review, with measurements, to appear on the Secrets website soon.