Home Tech Magnepan LRS & Q Acoustics 3050i: The Audiophile System Builder

Magnepan LRS & Q Acoustics 3050i: The Audiophile System Builder


Let’s have a dialogue about context and system constructing. Each are matters which have bothered me tremendously over the previous 23 years as a reviewer and editor throughout the client electronics class.

One of many greatest failings of the audio/video press is that we don’t do sufficient to current tools within the context of a system that folks would possibly really need to purchase.

Reviewing merchandise just like the Magnepan LRS, or Q Acoustics 3050i is a pointless train if we don’t clarify easy methods to construct a system round them.

Telling you {that a} $750 pair of loudspeakers sound nice solely will get you to date.

How are you going to maximize that buy in case you don’t know what to accomplice them with.

It’s a must to create a path for people who find themselves new. And it must be an inexpensive one. 

Does It profit the reader and business extra to debate $800 merchandise or $50,000 elements? 

As a lot as we take pleasure in reviewing state-of-the-art merchandise (as a result of who desires to evaluate a Prius when you’ll be able to spend time with a Porsche) that only a few folks on the planet can afford, there must be larger give attention to the merchandise that may assist improve the dimensions of the bottom – who would possibly finally have the cash to purchase significantly better merchandise.

My listening priorities as a 52 year-old with 3 children in personal faculty and faculty are usually not the identical as a 25 year-old dwelling in an condominium (or mother or father’s basement…time to get out).

We agree, nonetheless, on one essential idea; we each need to benefit from the music that we love with the best degree of sound high quality that we are able to afford.

The idea of “affordability” is barely tough.

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Everybody has a distinct funds. Some folks can afford to spend $100,000 on a stereo system and that offers them the flexibility to attempt elements that 99% of the inhabitants won’t ever get to expertise. It’s not a contest.

I do know individuals who have spent that amount of cash and have been caught on the high-end merry-go-round for years. They’re by no means pleased with the sound of their system and clearly care extra in regards to the tools than the music.

Most individuals that I do know have a really particular funds for his or her dwelling stereo system. $3,000 to $5,000 is probably the most they might ever contemplate spending on a system and that’s really an excellent place to be.

Tune out any audiophiles who inform you on-line that you simply’re not likely “severe” about music or hi-fi in case you don’t spend much more. These are the identical individuals who justify spending $3,500 on energy cords earlier than promoting them at a loss on Audiogon or undergo elements like you’ve gone although masks in the course of the pandemic.

Run away from reviewers who solely appear to evaluate merchandise which might be equal to 1 semester in a personal U.S. faculty. They don’t care about serving to you construct a system or increasing the data of shoppers in regard to raised sound high quality.

It’s about taking part in with costly stuff they will’t afford.

On the finish of the day, the one opinion that issues is your personal.

Chapter One: The Child

Grogu (aka Child Yoda, The Child)

Some audio experiences are transformative. Listening to the Magnepan MG-III loudspeakers for the primary time in 1989 at an area vendor was totally jaw dropping. The remainder of the system was a combination of Mark Levinson and Proceed electronics and I’m fairly positive the vendor was taking human organs in commerce.

Having labored the earlier 4 years throughout weekends and summers at my mother or father’s pizzeria, I had really saved up sufficient cash to afford this monstrosity of a system. Sadly, that cash was earmarked for 4 years of school out of the country so I needed to accept what I already had at dwelling.

What struck me on the time was the mind-blowing transparency of the loudspeakers. Sure facets of the music simply sounded actual; the imaging, readability, and sensation of an actual individual singing in the identical room really made me snicker in entrance of the vendor. 

I wasn’t some high-end virgin on the time, having spent my childhood inside probably the greatest stereo shops within the nation. I had simply by no means heard something like that.

Magnepan LRS Speakers in room
Magnepan LRS Audio system

What additionally struck me was the quantity of energy that these massive panel loudspeakers required.

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There are 1,000,000 opinions on-line in regards to the matter however the easy fact is which you could drive a loudspeaker just like the Magnepan LRS (Little Ribbon Speaker) with any amplifier that may double its output and is steady right into a 4 ohm load. A/V receivers are usually not nice selections on this situation. Their precise energy output right into a 4 ohm load is fairly iffy.

Emotiva, NAD (not the C 316BEE V2), Schiit Audio, Bryston, Audio Analysis, and Move Labs all work effectively with Magnepan.

The LRS want numerous house. A minimal of three toes from the wall behind them. You additionally have to angle the panels in order that the tweeter potion of the panel are additional out of your ears than the woofer. I’ve my LRS turned in order that the woofer panel is sort of 2 inches nearer to my listening place.

The LRS additionally profit from both a heavy paving stone positioned beneath the legs or a devoted stand just like the Magna Risers.

Audio programs should be ahead pondering and dependable so it’s simple to recommend this pile of Schiit Audio elements to be the center of this rig. Having tried my Schiit Ragnarok 2 Built-in Amplifier with the LRS, the difficulty that reared its head was energy.

The tonal stability and general sound high quality was glorious, however the Ragnarok 2 ran out of steam fairly rapidly. In case you don’t thoughts limiting the amount to dialog ranges, the mixture can work fairly effectively.

The Schiit stack is more cash however it is going to ship larger headroom and dynamics.

It has greater than sufficient energy, the best tonal stability, and a plethora of inputs (each analog and digital) for any supply that you simply would possibly already personal or plan on including sooner or later. 

Don’t anticipate numerous deep bass from the LRS – that’s not why you might be shopping for it.

Magnepan has additionally launched the LRS+ for $995.95 USD however we now have but to hearken to them so it’s unattainable to suggest a mannequin that we now have not heard.

There may be additionally a 5 month ready checklist proper now for the LRS or LRS+.

Magnepan LRS Loudspeakers ($650/pair, locate dealer)

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Schiit Audio Vidar Stereo Energy Amplifier ($799 at schiit audio.com)

Schiit Audio Saga+ Pre-amplifier ($399 at schittaudio.com)

Bluesound NODE Community Streamer ($599.95)

Professional-Ject Debut PRO Turntable ($999 at Amazon | Turntable Lab)

Moon by SimAudio LP110 V2 Phono Preamp ($600.00)

Whole: $4,046.95 (not together with cables)

Hot Veal Sandwich

I didn’t develop up kosher. My mother and father despatched us to Hebrew faculty for over a decade, however we have been within the pizza enterprise {and professional} “foodies” lengthy earlier than that time period ever got here into vogue. I additionally grew up with Italians and Portuguese and my each day consuming habits have been closely influenced by that crossover of cultures. Dim sum was a weekend factor. Sizzling veal sandwiches with additional sauce have been a everlasting a part of my food regimen rising up in Toronto.

NAD was an enormous a part of my listening expertise rising up as effectively. I spent numerous hours listening to stereo programs as a child at Bay Bloor Radio and there was all the time a bit of NAD gear in my father’s tools rack at dwelling. 

It’s exhausting to construct a nasty sounding system round a NAD amplifier. 

Q Acoustics 3050i Floorstanding Speakers Gray
Q Acoustics 3050i

The Q Acoustics 3050i work exceptionally effectively with the NAD C 316BEE V2 that has some additional punch within the midrange. The interior phono stage is an effective tonal match for the Goldring E3, Ortofon 2M Blue, Sumiko Wellfleet, and Nagaoka MP-110.

The value differential between the NAD and 3050i would possibly increase just a few eyebrows however I’ve run that particular mixture for over 2 years and swapped out the C 316BEE V2 for 9 different amplifiers and it’s the finest inexpensive choice.

The Rotel A12MKII would additionally make numerous sense on this situation but it surely does increase the system value by virtually $600.00 USD.

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The 3050i doesn’t get sufficient respect from the hi-fi press and that’s problematic as a result of it presents a lot worth for the cash. The construct high quality is sort of excessive for the worth they usually do really feel fairly substantial whenever you set them up. The toes will be considerably wobbly on carpet and I’d follow a hardwood flooring in case you can.

Ditch the froth port pucks which might be designed to be inserted if the loudspeaker must be positioned nearer to the wall on account of house limitations. I’ve my 3050i arrange in my eating room alongside the lengthy wall and there may be solely 8″ between the wall and the rear of the cupboard.

They sound extra open and spacious with out the pucks and the low finish impression is greater than sufficient in a room that’s 16 x 13 x 9 with two openings into the lounge and kitchen.

The 3050i have a fairly well mannered presentation except you drive them with the best amplifier they usually can change into virtually boring if the remainder of the system doesn’t have some prime finish power and the midrange is fleshed out. The NAD simply works on each accounts.

The Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Community Streamer is dearer than the Bluesound NODE, but it surely additionally delivers the best tonal stability for the amplifier and loudspeakers. It additionally scales up rather well with dearer elements in case you determine to improve sooner or later.

NAD C 316BEE V2 Built-in Amplifier ($499.95 learn our evaluate)


Rotel A12MKII Built-in Amplifier ($1,099.95 learn our evaluate)

Q Acoustics 3050i Loudspeakers ($999.99)

Cambridge Audio CXN V2 Community Streamer ($1,299.95)

Professional-Ject Debut PRO Turntable ($999 at Amazon | Turntable Lab)

QED Reference XT40i loudspeaker cable ($159.95 at Amazon)

Commercial. Scroll to proceed studying.

Whole: $3,958.84 to $4,558.84

Ditton 33 MK IIs have been my major loudspeakers till 1993. They “disappeared” throughout a household transfer from Canada to New York Metropolis. Over the previous few many years, a number of pairs of Spendor, Wharfedale, Q Acoustics, and KEF loudspeakers have made fantastic music in our dwelling.

Whole: $2,696 (not together with cables)

Subsequent article on this sequence: Audiophile System Builder: Linear Tube Audio, Decware, Omega

See all Audiophile System Builder suggestions.

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