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Considering speakers, setup help needed

  1. mrksgrn
    I'm considering buying the Magnepan Mini Maggie 2.1 system (all passive) and being a complete novice that I am to speakers, I was hoping some more knowledgable members here can help me with setup. I hope to pair it with a stereo amp that will be connected to my Schiit Lyr acting as a pre-amp.
    Would a 2 channel speaker amp work for this 2.1 system? Or must it be 3 channel to connect the subwoofer panel? Or am I wrong entirely? I'm looking at the Emotiva XPA-2.
  2. blazer78
    I would recommend buying a proper integrated amplifier, and not pre-amping with your **headphone amplifier.
    As long as the subwoofer supports high level inputs (most modern ones do, but check first), you can connect it out of a 2 channel amplifier by chaining the binding post with your speakers (i.e. connecting the subwoofer and speakers to the same output terminals of your stereo amp). A well designed subwoofer will allow you to connect L/R (+ve and -ve) to the output of your stereo amplifier. A word of caution though, the working space for such a configuration may be tight.
  3. mrksgrn
    Thanks for your reply, blazer, but can't you only attach a powered subwoofer to the stereo amp in this way and not a passive one?
  4. cel4145

    Why? The Schiit Lyr is bound to have a good pre-amp section. If there's no need for the pre-amp in the integrated amp, seems better to me to use the Lyr with a power amp.
  5. cel4145

    I think you need to contact a Maggie dealer to find out what you need in terms of amplification. I looked at the Mini Maggie instruction manual, and it was vague. Or you might try over on AVS in their Magnepan owners thread. I'm sure some of them know about the Mini Maggie setup.
  6. blazer78
    I'm not familiar with the benefits of pre-amping, but if the stereo amplifier has a powerful enough output for the speakers, why add an additional headphone amplifier in the chain?
  7. blazer78
    According to the mini maggie manual on their website (http://www.magnepan.com/manual_mini_maggie):
    • Hookup

      The Mini Maggie System is a 4 ohm speaker and should be used with a high-current amplifier that can safely drive a 4 ohm speaker. As a general rule, the Mini Maggie System will require less power when used as a desktop system compared to use as a woofer/satellite system.
      Connect the output of the amplifier to the amplifier input on the DWM Woofer. (Note- There are no left or right input/outputs on the DWM Woofer.)
      Connect the Mini Maggie to the "high" output of the DWM---observing polarity in both cases.  "
    It would appear that the satellites connect to the subwoofer, and that the subwoofer connects to your amplifier (like a passive version of a 2.1 genelec setup or multimedia speakers from logitech, harmon kardon etc). Of course, it would be prudent to contact their customer service to confirm this.
  8. cel4145

    The headphone amplifier will not be "in the chain." The Lyr has a pre-amp and a headphone amp, much like a speaker integrated amp is a pre-amp and a speaker amp. When the line outs are used on the Lyr, the audio signal is being passed through the pre-amp much the same as when using the record out or pre-out on a integrated amp bypasses the speaker amp.

    I would think the Lyr and speaker power amp setup would be more convenient because either headphones or speakers can be controlled via the Lyr's volume knob instead of having to deal with two different units for controlling the volume. I actually bypass the pre-amp in my HK 3390 that I use with my setup and use the main in input because it doesn't make sense for my setup to route the audio signal through 2 different pre-amps. Unless mrksgrn needs the extra features of the pre-amp in a speaker integrated amp, a power amp for the speakers like the XDA-2 would seem the better choice to me.
  9. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Is that really a preamp output on the Lyr, or just a bypass output? Webpage doesn't mention that it's a preamp.
    Primary benefit of preamping: controlling the volume. If it's built into the headphone amp and is feeding a power amp (or studio monitors that need a master volume control instead of fidgeting with each knob on each speaker) then it's not adding a headphone amp into the chain. If it was, that would be like saying an integrated amp is adding an amp in the chain and one should just hook up a CDP with no variable lineout directly into a power amp.
  10. cel4145
  11. blazer78
    Unsure about the Lyr as I do not own any Schiit [​IMG]. In the past, we would have used a common configuration being:
    Source > preamp > power amp > speakers
    The main purpose to reduce the noise floor inherent in the old tech power amp. However, technology has advanced since then, and a decent modern integrated amplifier should have no problems with noise or power output and filtering. Thus the actual benefit that I have concluded is that if you wanted some colouration in the sound (e.g. tube pre-amp with SS power amp) you could achieve that.
    Of course, if the OP were to use the Emotiva power amp as he was considering, then yes he would need either an active or passive pre-amp to control the volume, this is not a benefit but a requirement [​IMG]. Selection of the preamp is not a simple task, and you need to check the technical specifications of both the pre-amp and the power amp to ensure compatibility. If he did not like the synergy between this setup, he would have one more element in the chain to consider (i.e. the pre-amp).
    However, since he stated that he was a novice, I recommended purchasing a integrated stereo amplifier as they have a clean signal, usually enough grunt to power 4 ohm speakers, and easy to setup. (plus it comes with a volume knob).
  12. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    The thing for the thread starter is that he already own the Lyr, and wants to be able to use the exact same source, and he went for that path due to 1) the fact that the Lyr already has a preamp and I suppose also 2) the relatively low price of the XPA-2. If the ".1" in the MiniMaggie is the same or similar bass panel (ie passive bass panel, not an active sub), then it'll be hooked up to the speaker outputs in parallel. No need for tape/loop out for the Lyr and then a Y-cable between the preamp section to the amp section (as on old NADs) and an active sub.

    Thanks! Didn't check the manual, just the product page [​IMG]
  13. blazer78
    Most modern active subwoofers allow high level inputs and can also be hooked up to the speaker outputs in parallel with the speakers. But you have a point, if OP is budget conscious, it can turn out cheaper to use the Lyr as a preamp, not that the mini maggies are budget speakers by any means.....
  14. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Yeah, twice the price of the MMGs [​IMG]
  15. blazer78

     I wonder how they sound for the price [​IMG]

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