When I went into the Magnepan room at T.H.E. Show, the speakers were hidden behind a curtain. Magnepan's Wendell Diller ushered me into the sweet spot and started playing some sounds on the all-Bryston front-end: BCD-1 CD player (which LKG raves about in our February 2009 issue), BP-26 preamp, and a pair of 7B-SST monoblocks.
Hmm. The sound was spacious, with a well-defined soundstage. The balance was a little lightweight, though lows extended down to the mid-bass. The system was having to work hard to produce high spls, as the Bryston amps' red clip LEDs were occasionally flashing on snare-drum transients, but there was no other signs of strain.
Imagine my surprise when Mark Winey drew back the curtain to reveal a pair of these tiny panels that he is holding in the photo. Yes, they were being helped out below 300Hz by a Magnepan subwoofer module, but they were still punching way above their class, Provisionally dubbed the "Mini Maggie," the speaker combines a ribbon tweeter with a small Magneplanar panel. Price is still to be decided, but the Mini would make a superb desktop speaker,