Magneplanar Stand Construction Project (PanStands)


6-15-2000



Background:

It has long been known that speakers require a firm footing in order to reproduce sound properly. Newton discovered some time ago that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Imagine for a moment the diaphragm of a speaker vibrating back and forth; the vibrating membrane is the process in which electrical signals from your amplifier are converted into acoustical energy. If the membrane isn't held in a fixed position while reproducing sound, a significant amount of the signal will be lost. Many people who own box speakers take steps to minimize this loss by purchasing after-market stands. Most of the better stands for box speakers are very heavy, have points on the bottom and bolt on to the speaker.


Purpose:

The Magneplanars come with bolt-on feet that do a good job of keeping the speaker from falling over that's about it. Push on the top of your Maggie's do they budge? Grab the top corner and gently rock it back and forth do they flex? If you own 1.6QR's and I do, your answer will be yes. Constructing a rigid stand that supports the full frame of the speaker will eliminate flexing and improve overall sound quality.

I can buy stands, why construct my own?

At least one company manufactures an after market stand for the Maggie. For about $225 SoundAnchor will sell you a set of tubular steel units that look nice and will bolt right up to your Maggie just as your current legs do. Problem is, the SoundAnchor stands support the speaker only up to the top of the internal cross member (about 1 feet). This situation will not cure the flexing problems in the panel and will not provide an optimum solution that a better designed stand will.


What to expect:


Relative performance improvements (10 = biggest, 1=smallest)


Tools required:



Material required:

Approximate cost: $50.


PanStand construction:

Although constructing the PanStands isn't difficult, it can be time consuming. Plan on spending the better part of an afternoon to complete the project. Note that all of my measurements are for the Magneplanar 1.6QR. You can make the appropriate adjustments to tailor them to your particular model. The PanStands are built by joining three separate assemblies together. Figure 1 shows the bottom base assembly. Figure 2 shows the frame assembly that supports the Maggie panel. Figure 3 shows how to install the strut assembly from the base to the panel assembly.



Building it:

Assembly 1 and 2 all use butt joints that are held in place with 1 " sheet metal screws. All joints should be glued and then screwed together. It's critical to pre drill each screw hole to avoid splitting the wood. A framing square should be used on all 90-degree joints to assure they are square. I used two screws at each joint to assure a rigid connection (see photo #1). Assembly 2, the panel support frame, once constructed should be reinforced with 1/8" fiberboard triangles and screwed in place with " sheet metal screws (see photo #2). Once assembly 1 and 2 are constructed, refer to figure 3 for measurements to join them together. The bottom of the rear support angle braces are joined to the base assembly with a single screw from the inside. The top of the rear support angle braces need a miter cut at the angle you determine by leaning the support brace against the panel support frame. It's important to assure that assembly 1 and 2 are joined together at an exact 90-degree angle before marking your angle cut. I added two horizontal pieces between the angle braces to improve lateral rigidity. For aesthetics, I used a jigsaw to bevel the fronts of the base assembly 1 (see figure 3).

Once the stand is fully constructed it should look something like photo #3. At this point you're almost done! You need to add a cross member to the bottom of assembly 2 which will be used to secure the bottom of the Maggie to the PanStand (see photo #4). Drill two holes in the cross member that align with the holes on the Magnepan (which are used to bolt on the stock legs).

Place your Maggie into the stand it should be a perfect fit if you measured correctly. Secure the Maggie to the PanStand using the stock bolts that once held the legs on. Temporarily clamp the top of the Maggie on to the PanStand. You now need to bend some sheet metal to construct the six C-clamp fasteners that will keep the Maggie secure against the PanStand support frame. It's very important that the fasteners be constructed so that they tightly fit around the front of the Maggie and the rear of the PanStand support frame you don't want any play which will cause a loss of rigidity or become a source of vibration. Secure the c-clamps to the PanStand using one screw through the side and another through the rear (see photo #5).

The final step is to place 4 archery points on to the bottom of each of the base assemblies. You can do this with the Maggie bolted in place. Lean the stand forward and on the bottom of the base assembly measure 1 " in from each edge and mark it. Drill way through the bottom and thread the archery point into the wood. I recommend wrapping some masking tape around your drill bit to set the depth this will avoid run-away problems.

Optional final, final step: Referring to figure #3 cut out a triangular piece of fiberboard to cover up the opening on the bass panel side of the stand. This addition will prevent the rear low-frequency waves from being cancelled (see photo #6). Expect better and more extended bass with the wing in place.

That's it. You're done!


Links:

See Jeff's version of the PanStands. Note the use of heavier stock and added bracing.

Ed Hsu's Magnepan 1.6QR cross-over modification page.



Note: Some of the photos that are linked to this document are rather large (80k) and may require some time to load depending on your connection speed. I purposely kept the resolution high so that you can use them as a reference.

Cheers!