Magnepan MMG Ceiling Suspension Setup

From Mike C.

The main idea behind this plan is to suspend the MMGs from the ceiling, at least two feet from the back wall for very good listening positioning. In doing so, the speakers are always at the same level from the floor as the listeners' ears, whether standing or sitting. Since Maggies are fussy about placement, I opted to use shelving tracks on the ceiling which would allow me to move the speakers to my heart's content. While it is ideal to have either nothing or something acoustically absorbent between the speakers, this was not practical in my situation.

Equipment used (all from Home Depot):

Four wall-mountable metal shelving tracks
Six toggle bolts
Four four-inch springs, each capable of suspending 50 pounds
Four four-foot lengths of chain, depending on ceiling height and desired speaker suspension height (I used white chain)
Four connectors or fasteners which will attach to MMGs at existing screw holes

How to do it:

Decide on placement for mounting shelving tracks to the ceiling. Mine allow for adjustments as close to one foot from the wall and as far as a few inches in front of the entertainment center.
FIRMLY attach shelving tracks to the ceiling, either screwing directly into beams or using very large toggle bolts. (The MMGs weigh over 50 lbs. each.)
Remove bottom screws from MMGs where the factory stands are meant to attach.
Attach one fastener (see Figure 3) on each side of the speaker.
Slide the spring into the desired hole in the shelving track.
Attach one end of the chain to the other end of the spring, loop it through the fastener on the speaker, and attach the other end of the chain to the spring.

download MS Word document with a few more schematics


Good-Sounding Homemade Speaker Cables

Unfortunately, I can't remember who to credit for this simple design. I feel apologetic because this is such a simple cable, and I don't mean to insult the reader's intelligence. Since my amp and speakers don't need them, I did not use terminators. I just tinned each end. Anyway, here is how to make two 6-foot speaker cables that sound great.

Cut 4 six-foot lengths of Category 5 Ethernet cable
Strip off about 1.5 inches of the outer insulation (both ends)
Strip off about half an inch of insulation on each of the eight inner solid copper wires
Carefully and evenly twist together all eight wires on each end. I twisted the eight wires into four pairs, then twisted these into two pieces, and finally twisted the remaining two together. Try to get as much copper touching other copper to enhance conductivity.
"Tin" each end with a little bit of solder, preferably high silver content solder
Take two of the cables, and mark all four ends with permanent black marker. These will be your negative wires.
Match one marked and one unmarked wire and clamp the ends under something heavy. Tape the ends together about four inches from the edge.
Begin twisting the two wires together. Once done, tape the end that is in your hand about four inches from the edge.

You now have a better-than-decent speaker cable with individually insulated solid core copper wires twisted and wrapped around each other. From what I have read on the 'net, the solid copper provides better sound than twisted copper strands. These cables give you eight solid copper wires per electrical pole. The twisting serves to reject external magnetic interference. Since there are eight wires per electrical pole, these combine to give a good aggregate gauge. I'm not sure how the gauge compares to commercial brands, but it seems to me that you could improve it by using four cuts of Category 5 Ethernet cable per speaker. I may try this next, since it's so cheap.