“Stated simply, Magnepan’s LRS is the most expressive, revealing, resolving, sharply focused and well balanced loudspeaker at or anywhere near its price that I have ever heard,” writes Chris Martens in the magazine’s January issue. “It is brilliant, too, at imaging and rendering spacious three-dimensional soundstages.”
“In a world where many loudspeaker manufacturers offer products based on the ‘very high performance = very high prices’ formula, the US-based firm Magnepan builds speakers that prove sophisticated performance can be surprisingly affordable,” writes Martens.
For many years the company has offered inexpensive entry-level models as a way of introducing music lovers to the brand, and in the hope that their positive experience will ultimately lead them towards Magnepan’s bigger and better models. However, these ‘gateway’ models, while much respected and very popular in their time, had one drawback: they were designed to be easier to drive, so that they would work well within a starter hi-fi system. So, while they did indeed perform well in their entry-level roles, “they lacked some of the nuanced and almost ‘magical’ sonic qualities that made Magnepan’s larger speakers so desirable.”
In contrast the LRS is designed to deliver that ‘real’ Magnepan sound, right from the entry level. The downside: you need a decent system to drive the LRS to best effect. The upside: you get the full Magnepan magic, within budget and room size.
“From the moment they were first powered up, the LRSs created one overriding impression, which is that they sound far, far more costly then they actually are,” writes Martens. “ One’s eyes register the presence of two small, tasteful yet unassuming speaker panels, but one’s ears tell a different story… one might be forgiven for thinking ‘I can’t believe this is happening’. But it is, fellow music lovers, it is.”
Read Chris Martens’ full review in the January 2021 issue of Hi-Fi Plus.