SPEAKER FORUMS >> MG944 >> MG944 Availability?

Message started by Brian on 06/17/14 at 06:12:52

Title: MG944 Availability?
Post by Brian on 06/17/14 at 06:12:52

Not only is this speaker not on the Speaker page
It also is not on the new DIY page

Is MG944 no longer available in any way?  Was it discontinued because one of the current offerings (perhaps the DM947 Monolith) is doing similar work but producing superior sound?

Title: Re: MG944 Availability?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/17/14 at 15:45:39

Yeah, I believe Steve phased out the 944 in favor of the bookshelf speakers with the bass bins on the bottom.

I think I may have gotten one of the last pairs, and mine are special since they were built for Bob.

I am considering selling them in favor of something smaller - but I'm in no hurry to move them. They sound amazing, but I prefer how a single driver, or two driver setup images more than an MTM setup. I'm just a little nutty like that.  :)

Title: Re: MG944 Availability?
Post by will on 06/17/14 at 23:13:42

I loved the 944s with the SE34.I.2, but with the Torii MKIII, in my room, uncontrolled bass required a lot of effort to resolve. I already knew I loved the speaker, and the Torii was all really good otherwise, so I dug in.

I get great imaging with my 944s in both rooms...deep, wide and saturated. But early on I added 3 - 3mm Marigo dots, damping each EDIT: top bass driver, and two on the bottom drivers ...subtle changes to the original sound in some ways, and notable in others (darkness and muddle gone). I don't use the crossover coil, speeding them up. And I closed the plinth gaps a fair bit. Here, by chilling the mid-bass and low bass resonance and intensity, the image and musicality are improved. The bass is also better....tighter, more articulate, present and powerful feeling. I feel the bass, but also hear the air moved by the skin of drums....wood and strings of basses etc. I also put in Clarity SA caps...Bob was using them for a while with the HR-1s, don't know about the later 944s. Also a lot of room stuff in my main room. Finally, I used low EQ to take out several dB at about 45 and 62 Hz, and to dump it below 18 Hz. This system was amazingly captivating at that point.

In my other room, I was able to get the MKIII sounding great with tubes, cables and speaker placement...without treatment or EQ, but it was still on the warm...dark and bassy side for my ultimate preferences with the adjusted 944s. With the blue Torii, no problems...beautiful, open, controlled bass.

I have not compared my adjusted 944s to single or two driver speakers but they are beautifully fast and musical here. I did not experience an imaging improvement with my HR-1s, also damped with a few dots each on the radials and mid-bass drivers. I added internal deflex panel damping the HR-1, further refining presentation, and I plugged the plinths a fair bit on these too....My preferences, but I like both speakers better adjusted. They carry the original sound, but are faster feeling, and more articulate with increased musicality, and plenty of bass for me. With the right synergy, they give the whole story without complaints.... They sound like real music in a very good room.

But then it all starts where we are with room, source, power, amps, cables and all that. I guess my point is that for me, in both rooms, Bob and Steve's preferences were world class starts, based on their great efforts and tastes, including how they arrived at the sound of the rooms they test gear in....their choices in treatment, levels and placement of diffusion, levels and placement of this different than fine tuning a speaker or amp?

Anyway, not able to duplicate their rooms, I started playing with what I could to make it all fit here, for me. A part of this was adjusting the speakers. This and a lot of other adjustments have taken the sound from extraordinary to exquisite for the most part.

Long story, but adjusting the already great 944s made them a lot better for my tastes in my rooms.

Title: Re: MG944 Availability?
Post by Lonely Raven on 06/22/14 at 01:05:38

My 944 have full crossovers, and Bob used Mundorf caps in mine. I can't tell which ones as the crossover is difficult to get at, but they are his current favorite caps from what I understand.

Title: Re: MG944 Availability?
Post by will on 06/22/14 at 15:35:25

I think you are right on the Mundorfs. When I got my HR-1s Bob was using Clarity SAs for them. He asked, and I requested the caps and resistor outside for easy access, similar to the ERRs. I did a fair bit of research and experimenting with different caps, finally preferring Mundorf Supreme as well as Mundorf's heavy duty resistors. Bob got some to try and ended up liking them too, offering them in some speakers then. I think I recall his trying and liking another Mundorf too...maybe the ZN, which I have only tried as bypasses.

I don't know where the coil is installed stock. Mine were built without, and I installed them later by removing the front drivers, but I needed to get to the wires connecting the mid/bass drivers. I would imagine them to be in the back near the caps though. The caps on mine are taped to a bolt on the inside of the binding post panel. A bit awkward, but relatively easy to get to.

I liked aspects of the coil, I think probably making the speaker more accurate and correct, but finally thought it reduced enough speed and vitality that I disconnected it. Not an earth shaking difference, but enough for me. I was also accustomed to the sound without.

I bet those Mundorfs do sound good on the 944 tweeters. I still use them on the HR-1s with some .1 NOS Russian PIO bypasses. Really solid, smooth and complete highs.

Title: Re: MG944 Availability?
Post by Dave1210 on 06/22/14 at 19:14:04

Brian...i am sure you could talk to ZYGI about a pair of 944's.  I have read (haven't heard) that the new Monolith's 945/946 + Cabinet will best the 944's (LR could probably comment as he just spent a significant amount of time with the Monolith's at Tapefest and he owns 944's), but the 944's are fantastic speakers (perform well above their price point) and the Monolith's cost about 50%+ more than the 944's.  


Thanks for your summary on the 944's.  The detail you provided is really helpful.

I am having a similar experience with my 944's when driven by the ZMA.  Imaging is top notch.  Everyone who sits down in my listening chair is amazed by the soundstage and how well they image.  Soundstage depth is excellent and the speakers disappear easily (assuming the recording asks them too).  Imaging/soundstage: check.

Tone is great, drums sound natural and hits are snappy (I like to throw on the drum solo in Take 5 to get people grounded in just how fast, speedy and snappy these speakers can be.  Obviously this recording is not a good choice to show off the disappearing act).  Oh, and Desmond's sax just sounds amazing. Tone: check.

That said, there are times when I think the bass might be a little too slow and less tightly controlled than I would prefer.  I wouldn’t say dark or boomy (probably the ZMA vs. Torii mk3, my room, etc), just not as controlled as I would like.

1) I still haven't gotten the base of the 944's off the rug (with spikes or Herbie's gliders), which is a mistake, so I need to start there.

2) It occurred to me recently that the Anti-Cables I am using could be part of the problem.  I don't know if others would describe these cables as a little slow in the bass department, but that's what I recall from memory.  When I first got the Anti-Cables, I was using Monster or DH labs Q10 and it was as if the 944’s grew a subwoofer (with the SuperZen) but with the additional bass, came slower bass (than my previous cables)…if that makes any sense.

3) I was also thinking bass control could be due to the ZMA having a relatively low damping factor (25-35).

All 3 variables (and more) are likely involved.  That said, I am curious to learn more about what you are doing…

-How are you closing the plinth gap on the 944’s (I have the latest generation of 944’s)?  Are you stuffing the gap with a damping material?

-Are you placing the dots on the front of the midrange drivers?  Any particular configuration?  Does the configuration have to be exact/symmetrical for each driver?  Can the dots be removed at any point in time or are they permanent?

Title: Re: MG944 Availability?
Post by will on 06/23/14 at 06:21:01

Hey Dave,

I think you make a good point about Brian getting up with ZYGI if he wants speakers. Bob is a really good person to work with.

Also, I think you may be onto something with the cables, and perhaps the plinths sitting right on the carpet. Getting mine off the floor did clarify the bottom. And with my HR-1s, going from spikes to gliders was a good move in overall tonal refinement, bottom to top. But this is with brick floors. I really know little of carpet's effects, though I had my 944s on small rugs as an experiment at one point, and spikes were more differentiating.

Cable-wise, I have come to believe the talk, that well designed twisted cables do solve mushiness/smearing, especially in the bass, and remain musical. Bad ones can be a little cold, but so can some solid wires.

When I tried early versions of anticables, they were a little hard, and for me, too warm with big, softish bass. I think they have improved them though....I don't think I would pay whatever the current "sale" price is for my Morrow SP7, but I am really liking them with the MKIV. I was told their SP4 would work fine for my amp and got some to try, but I could hear the lack of bass from too small a wire conglomerate. So he sent me some SP7s without charging more, which brought the bass up, and a pretty nice gesture.

Also, I tried some Virtue Audio speaker cables, and they sound quite good...and inexpensive! Could be worth a trial period if cables seem relevant.

But for what you are describing, if the antis are good in all other areas, the green 3 mm Marigo dots are $35 for 12 at musicdirect or bought direct from Marigo. They are not permanent, and can easily be removed the way I put them on.

I put mine on the flat part where the rubber ring is glued to the cone. They are placed in the flat of the connection, not touching the round flex part of the rubber, or the coated paper part of the cone. They just fit.

You can remove them once or twice and still have the adhesive hold, but best if you can get them right and not have to move them. Once the adhesive stopped working, I have used acid free, removable Elmers glue stick, and it works fine. I think you can send them back to Marigo for 1/2 price replacements too. At least this used to be the case.

This is the method.

I carefully colored the green top with a black sharpy before putting them on making them less conspicuous.

Put one on. I would start with the top driver. [I ended up with three on it and two on the bottom one. I can't recall why, but I must have thought it was more effective soundwise rather than the reverse.] Then listen. If needed, put one on the bottom driver. Then another on the top, and so on. You will hear it when it is too much. Just keep adding as long as it is beneficial. At some point, it sounds off. May be that one or two per driver is enough.

This was a while ago, but when I talked with Ron at Marigo, he said symmetry is not that important, but I like symmetry so used it figuring even with very subtle damping it might be more effective evenly distributed, and perhaps easier on the drivers. I started with the bottom center...then the top center, and when I thought three would be good on the top driver, to test it, I put the 3rd on where it would be 1/3 of the way around from the bottom center one, and liking the sound, I moved the top center one to 1/3.

My plinths are closed on the sides. For the front and back, I found that some rubber and also some sort of dense foam gasket material I had around worked, maybe 1/2 again taller than the plinth space...big enough to have to work it in in compression. I bet caulk backer would work too. I remember Bob saying he thought the rubber floor stuff you use if you stand on concrete all day, the stuff on a roll at Lowes, is decent damping material and might work well to plug the plinth edges.

I just explored and at some point it was clean without too much bass cut at the same time. I focussed more on the back since the back bass buildup tends to be worse. I just looked at the HR-1s and  the backs are open just an inch or so, the opening on the outsides. The fronts, I have three openings maybe 1- 1 1/4 each. Who knows what you will find in your setting. Easy to explore anyway.

Hope this helps.


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